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Honda Odyssey Go Cart Design Specs

by John Willis

The Honda Odyssey ATV, not to be confused with the Honda Odyssey Van, was manufactured from 1976 to 1985. As three wheeled ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) where enjoying popularity, Honda took another step in recreational vehicles, offering one of the only mass-produced four wheel ATV or dune buggies every made.

Engines

For most of its production run -- 1977 through 1984 -- the Odyssey was powered by a single cylinder, 248 cc two-stroke. The air cooled engine had a 6.6-to-1 compression ratio. Relative to Honda's 250 cc, two-stroke dirt bike engines, the Odyssey was a lower revving, higher torque unit.

A Hyrbrid Recreational Vehicle

The Odyssey was a unique ATV. Part go cart, part miniature dune buggy, it had high floatation knobby tires well-suited for sand. The single seat was equipped with seat belt and roll bars. It had motorcycle-like cable-actuated brakes. While not a street-legal vehicle, the Odyssey had lights mounted both front and back.

Design and Performance Specifications

The 250 cc two-stroke engine was capable of propelling the Odyssey up a 35 degree slope. Power was transferred by a variable-pitch torque converter; it was single speed with reverse. It's weight was closer to a motorcycle than a dune buggy, coming in under 425 pounds. From 31 mph, the Odyssey could stop in 61 feet with it disc brakes. With its diminutive size, 5.51-inch ground clearance and 17.4-foot turning radius, the Odyssey was nimble as well as lightweight.

1976 and 1985 Design and Performance Specifications

The basic Odyssey package saw few changes except for the first and last years. In the inaugural year, the Odyssey was powered by a four-stroke engine, which was criticized for being underpowered. The more powerful de-tuned two-strokes were also criticized as being sluggish, so in 1985, they were replaced by a 329.1 cc two-stroke in the model FL350R. Honda also increased the form-factor for 1985. The FLR had an overall length of 85 inches and a width and wheelbase of 61 inches. Its height was a squatty 54 inches even with larger diameter, 21-inch front and 24-inch rear, high-floatation tires. The brakes were upgraded to hydraulic discs in front and drums in the rear. Overall weight (without fuel or oil) was increased to 584 pounds, though it's turning ability was the tighter 14.1-foot radius. The Odyssey also traded the points ignition for a CDI system. In spite of the major re-think of the Odyssey, 1985 would be the last year of its production.

About the Author

John Willis founded a publishing company in 1993, co-writing and publishing guidebooks in Portland, OR. His articles have appeared in national publications, including the "Wall Street Journal." With expertise in marketing, publishing, advertising and public relations, John has founded four writing-related ventures. He studied economics, art and writing at Portland State University and the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

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