FTZ Pipe Test
By: Chris Hodkinson
Honda quit producing the
famed TRX250R in 1989. Fortunately for the diehard TRX250R fans, the aftermarket companies have been able to take
a late 80's motor and frame design and turn it into a year 2000 quad. Just when you think that the market is drying
up from the lack of new products it takes a strong uphill surge.
One of the companies that has decided to step back into the ATV market is FTZ. Years ago FTZ
was noted for building quads for Mark Lee that gave Gary Denton fits at the GNC's. FTZ, for awhile, decided to
concentrate on their micro midget program and for years made their living building some of the fastest 250cc micros
in the world. This year they have made their return to the GNC's building motors for 250 Pro Joe Byrd, 250A TT
Champ Darin Ogden, and TT specialist Aron Reisig.
We have seen these FTZ powered quads in the pits or leading the way down the backstretch and
the one thing that sticks out about these FTZ motors is their HUGE pipes. We know that it takes more then just
a pipe to make the TRX250R go fast, but as one of the easiest bolt on pipes it is a good place to start.
The quad that we are going to bolt this pipe on has a 1988 motor ported by LRD, Pro Design
Coolhead, V-Force Reed Cage, 40mm Lectron Powerjet Carb., PVL Digital Ignition, and now a FTZ Pipe. FTZ makes 2
in frame pipe choices for the 250R. We had a choice between a mid-range pipe with more torque or the Hi-Rev version.
We opted for the Hi-Rev since this particular bike is used for fast ovals and drags.
pipes are a work of art and look really trick. The pipe is completely made by hand rolled cones with flawless welds.
The installation of the pipe is basically the same as any other 250R pipe. Slide it into place, but some hi-temp
silicone around the joints, put them together, install the springs to hold the joints together, and then bolt it
in place. The fit and finish of these pipes is outstanding. The pipe clears the frame in all areas. When installed,
our pipe rested against the water pump cover. We couldn't get it moved away no matter what we did because there
is no mount to hold the pipe up there. After a quick call to FTZ to voice our concern we were informed that they
do have an optional bracket that can be welded on there if the customer desires, but unless you are MXing it is
not really needed.
Once the installation was complete we richened up our jetting to play it safe. After a couple
of jetting passes we came up with the jetting that was slightly richer then what we needed with our previously installed LRD pipe. Throttle response
with the new FTZ pipe was slightly less just off idle then we had before but it was a lot better then we thought
it would be. As we rolled up through the gears we were surprised on how much harder and longer the quad pulled
through the upper RPM ranges. In side by side 2nd gear roll-ons with a modified banshee the FTZ piped 250R shot
out into the lead farther and held it until both machines rev'd out in 6th gear before the banshee would pass.
With the previous pipe the 250R would be left in the dust after the 1st shift
We have bolted a lot of pipes onto this 250R over the years and we have
always put the LRD pipe back on because we could not find a pipe that we liked better for our style of riding/racing.
That is up until now. The FTZ pipe is on the quad to stay. This is the fastest in-frame pipe for the 250R that
we have ever run. The best part of this pipe is that even though it has great top-end, we still had decent power
down low. I would not recommend this pipe for the normal woods rider, but then again this pipe is not intended
for that either. We will have to try to get our hands on FTZ's midrange pipe to give that a try in the woods. FTZ
has definitely upped the ante in the world of pipes for the 250R. Now lets see if anyone takes the challenge to
build something better or faster.
The price for the pipe is $280.00. It is a little more expensive then most unchromed pipes,
but you have to remember this is a complete hand rolled coned pipe and not a mass-produced stamped pipe. A production
stamped pipe is a lot cheaper to build but usually offer less horsepower and more chance for manufacturing errors.
You can get the pipe chromed and it will look great. Myself, personally, I like the factory look of seeing all
the welded joints so I opted for the unchromed version.
Another area that goes overlooked in the world of performance is the silencer.
FTZ has developed a new line of "oversize shorty silencers" which contribute to an increase in low-end
power. Just like the pipe, the silencer is made to perfection and clamps right on with no problems of hitting the
frame or air box. The cost of the oval silencer is very reasonable.
FTZ Performance, Inc.
408 So. Kingshighway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63703