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Consumerism has made a turn for the better in the past two decades. Thanks to quality products like the TrailMaster 150 XRS, people nowadays embrace the freedom to go for equally top-notch but cheaper 4×4 options – and this behavior has transcended into the ATV landscape.
The TrailMaster 150 XRS is a rec/utility side x side well-loved by consumers. Featuring a powerful 150-cc GY6 motor, fully automatic CVT, and hassle-free electric starter, the 4×4 is steadily growing in popularity as the go-to vehicle for fun-loving recreational riders and dune-buggy enthusiasts.
With the advent of affordable, high-quality four-wheelers, institutionalized manufacturers have seen worthy competition in China and the rest of the world. Continue reading and discover the competencies of the TrailMaster 150 XRS and how this buggy-style wheeler has kept big-name brands on their toes.
About the TrailMaster 150 XRS
The TrailMaster 150 XRS is a series under the TrailMaster nomenclature that benefited from the successful UTV-segment breakthrough of earlier, higher-displacement models. During its launch, North American consumers were already becoming more receptive (and trusting) of Chinese-made UTVs and dune buggies. Between big-name-brand options and TrailMaster go-karts, more and more end-users realized the latter was a more pragmatic choice.
Unlike the strategy behind the release of the 300-cc Challenger, Chinese manufacturer CKM decided to stick to the fundamentals with the 150 XRS. The go-kart did not have two- and four-seater options and multiple trims. On the contrary, all units were standard side x sides made available in various color options for personalization.
Beyond its sporty, simplistic design, however, the TrailMaster 150 XRS offered flexibility and was more than adequate as a weekend rover and a trusty workhorse in one. The vehicle was capable of conquering demanding trails and the occasional hauling jobs needed around the farm or ranch. It did not have the best top-speed rating in its class, but it had enough power (and attitude) to spin its large, knobby tires on loose dirt or gravel.
TrailMaster 150 XRS Buggy Specs & Features
A forced air-cooled, 4-stroke power mill with an over-square bore-stroke ratio of 57.4 × 57.8 mm (2.26 × 2.28 inches) brings the TrailMaster 150 XRS to life. Engine displacement is 149.6 cm3 (9.13 in3) with a corrected compression ratio of 9.5:1. It has a Force & Splash lubrication system and an oiled urethane air filtration. A TrailMaster 150 XRS carburetor (Deli vacuum-film, identification #PD24J) handles air-fuel mixture.
The said engine configuration lends to a horsepower of 8.2-8.6 hp (6.1-6.4 kW) @ 7,000-7,500 RPM, maximum torque of 9.5 Nm (7 ft-lbf) @ 6,000 RPM, and a top speed of 30-40 mph (48-64.5 km/h) – depending on the source of information. Its stainless-steel muffler and high-clearance, spring-mounted manifold pipe make for a cleaner air intake – as expected from an EPA/CARB-certified wheeler.
Fuel & Lubrication
Fuel tank capacity ranges from 1.75 US gallons/6.6 liters to 2.25 US gallons/8.5 liters of unleaded gasoline with a minimum RON 90 rating and containing < 5% MTBE, < 10% ethanol, or < 5% methanol (E15/E20/E85 fuels are prohibited). As for engine oil, the manufacturer recommends 887 ml (30 oz.) of SAE 15W-40 oil. For best results, use variants with an API certification of SJ+ meeting JASO T903 MA standards.
A fully automatic CVT clutch assembly with an internal reverse gear setup delivers power to the wheels. A heavy-duty #530 KMC O-Ring chain (108 links + joint) handles wheelspin. Its rack-and-pinion steering and adjustable steering wheel provide an improved road feel, making the TrailMaster 150 XRS beginner-friendly and flexible to different rider proficiencies. The same provides a tough-as-nails steering geometry that lends to stability and anti-plow effect.
An electric starting system and an electronic CDI breathe life into the 150 XRS. A flywheel magneto serves as the buggy’s charging system, while a 12V 10Ah/(10 HR) YTX12-BS battery with assembled dimensions of 150 x 87 x 130 mm (6.00 x 3.44 x 5.12 inches – L x W x H) powers up lighting and electronic accessories. It requires an NGK C7HSA spark plug with a 0.7–0.8 mm (0.028–0.031 inch) gap.
Tires & Brakes
Stock rubber consists of 20 x 7-8 (front) and 22 x 10-10 (rear) tires with a 4/110 bolt pattern. Both have a recommended cold-tire pressure of 55 kPa (0.56 kgf/cm2, 8.0 psi). These knobbies are mated to all-wheel-drive hydraulic discs with brake calipers on all fours, which provide the four-wheeler its stopping power. Front tires are mounted on 8-inch mags, while rear ones are on 10-inch rims.
Enclosed in a tubular steel frame are a heavy-duty, front full suspension and a 4-point dual A-arm rear suspension with oiled coilover shocks (and engine leveling). Front and rear-wheel travel is unspecified in the manual. The wheelbase is 59 inches (1,500 mm), while ground clearance is 6.7 inches (170 mm) at the rear and almost afoot at the center of the axle – enough for the buggy to traverse shallow water crossings and crawl over bumps.
The TrailMaster 150 XRS’s overall dimensions are 85 x 53 x 57.4 inches (2,160 x 1,346 x 1,458 mm – L x W x H). Seat height is 350.5 mm/13.8 inches, with 45.7 inches (1,160 mm) and 39.4 inches (1,000 mm) front and rear tracks. Net weight is 210.9 – 220 Kg/465 – 485 lbs. The maximum load capacity ranges from 181.4 to 226.8 Kg (400 – 500 lbs.), including double-seat capacity, cargo, and accessories.
There is a discrepancy between online resources and the service manual on the XRS’s climbing ability. The manual states 20° – 25°, while other sources indicate a low 12°. GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is approximately 260 Kg (573 lbs.). The seat-to-pedal distance is between 41 inches and 46 inches and the same as the 150 XRX and 300 XRS models.
Like its siblings and cousins, this four-wheeler has a very sporty aesthetic, complemented by a bikini sun-shade top, 5-point safety seatbelts, passenger grab handles, and a rear utility rack. Standard inclusions are a ball hitch, off-road headlights, and bucket seats with headrests (view on Amazon) – among other things. The TrailMaster 150 XRS has a roomy, open cockpit design typical of any dune buggy with five (5) color options – black, blue, green, orange, and red.
TrailMaster 150 XRS Price
Depending on the model year, the list price for this 150-class go-kart falls between $2,299.99 and $3,399.95 (sans sales tax, shipping, destination charges, and other extraneous fees). The first-year prod units are naturally the cheapest and the latest release with the heftiest price tag. This particular TrailMaster series did not offer two- and four-seater trims. Since all units accommodate two passengers, the only thing consumers can select is their preferred color option.
Currently, select dealerships knock off $300 to $950 from the original MSRP of the vehicle. These offers come with a free 3-month parts warranty and MCO/MSO registration documents. As for resale value, near-mint 150 XRS units sell for an average of $5,000 on trader sites. Auction listings are much lower than this figure but still proof of the buggy keeping its value well.
Known Issues with the 150 XRS
Dune-buggy riders would almost immediately include the ‘TrailMaster 150 XRS won’t start’ scenario as the top issue with the 150 XRS and often blame it on a faulty carburetor or motor. While there’s some truth to this, it is not always the case. A no-start issue has several variations, including rough starting, intermittent idling, or cranking with no engine turnover.
Visual inspection of the kart’s engine components would often reveal an unhooked throttle cable or a misadjusted idle screw. Likewise, accompanying symptoms like smoke coming out of the tailpipe would indicate either a damaged head gasket, cylinder, or engine block (if black). Or it could point to a coolant leak (if white).
It also turns out that no-start issues are more prevalent with the 150-cc XRX and not with the TrailMaster 150 XRS. This is quite interesting since both TrailMaster vehicles share the same GY6 motor (view on Amazon) and differ in exterior embellishments and instrumentation. There has yet to be an online resource that explains this occurrence in depth. But in case it happens to your XRS, fuel is most likely the culprit. A sweet or rotten fruit smell is a telltale sign that fuel in the tank is rancid or oily.
Is the TrailMaster 150 XRS Worth It?
Sporty wheelers like the TrailMaster 150 XRS continue the tradition of the sand-whipping segment that peaked in the ’70s. Like its fiberglass-clad predecessors, present-day karts offer the same thrill and excitement but for a fraction of the cost of 50-year-old Volkswagen spinoffs – plus a few other benefits, as follows:
- Enthusiasts love its dune-buggy look and the scarcity of plastics at the front and back.
- Back tires have a very smooth release, allowing seamless fishtails that may otherwise prove challenging on other go-karts.
- There is no problem with TrailMaster 150 XRS parts availability as the kart has been around in the market for a decade.
- Starting the vehicle is a breeze – owners rarely find themselves having to mess with the carburetor to get things working.
- Seating is adjustable and can accommodate a small, 13-year-old beginner, as well as a 6’2″ experienced rider.
- The TrailMaster 150 XRS is adventure-ready and can drive through sand, mud, gravel, and asphalt.
- Moreover, the XRS is generally safer to ride – thanks to its roll cage and 5-point safety harness.
On the downside, the 150 XRS lacks the skid plate, horn, fancy steering wheel (view on Amazon), and speedometer of the same-class TrailMaster XRX. It can also be difficult to register in some US states. Not all XRS karts are EPA/CARB-compliant – only the 2018 ones are. This makes the demand for this specific model year higher than the rest and its online availability scarcer.
ChinaTop King Motorcycles Co., Ltd. or CKM is an emerging player in the dune-buggy segment and is the brains behind the TrailMaster 150 XRS. A well-respected motorsport firm based in China, CKM is also known for other brands like Kainuo, DYK, and Kamax. Founded in 1997, the Chinese company traces its humble beginnings to being a parts supplier before venturing into motorcycle production several years later.
Since then, CKM’s efforts have resulted in exponential growth and over 100 models and 500,000 engines. Their armada of product offerings include choppers, cubs, dirt/street bikes, tricycles, ATVs/UTVs, and core motorcycle parts.
Conclusion – TrailMaster 150 XRS Review
The TrailMaster 150 XRS is a relatively young player in the UTV scene, but it is second to none in terms of the enjoyable riding experience it can offer. While it is considerably formidable at its current state, the beauty of the XRS is that it has tons of room for improvement – both in design and tech. Its hybrid nature not only makes it a joy to ride but also a worthy contender for industry giants.
We hope you find this guide capable of positively influencing your impressions of the 150-cc XRS. Weighing the specifications, pros, and cons in this article, you should ultimately be able to decide whether to purchase this fun, spirited ride or take your money elsewhere. I’d say the TrailMaster 150 XRS is a worthy investment!