Fat Cat: 1986 Honda TR200

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This fatty is a 1986 Honda TR200, better known as a Fat Cat. It’s on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $2,650, or you can make an offer. There is no opening bid price outside of those options. It’s located in Woodruff, South Carolina, about halfway between Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA so there will be a fair amount of shipping charges as well if you’re not in the Southeast US.

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Honda’s Fat Cat was made as a hurried response to Yamaha’s BW200 and was only made for the 1986 and 1987 model years. Yamaha stuck it out until 1989 with their BW series and they’re arguably better bikes than the Honda TR200s are. Of course, I like both of them, as usual. Any Honda collector probably has one on their master wish list just for the limited production value alone. Hagerty lists a #1 “concours condition” Honda TR200 as only being worth $2,000 compared to this one’s Buy It Now price of $2,650! Ouch.

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As you can see, this one is a long way from being in excellent condition, let alone concours condition. From reading the description, I would say that it’s in #3 “good condition” at the most, which Hagerty lists as being worth $1,000. Or, dare I say that it may be closer to a #3 “fair” condition TR200 for $700? The seller talks about the dented and rusty exhaust, stress fractures in the paint, the battery is shot, the brakes need adjusting and it needs a rear brake light, but other than that!..  $2,650 is a pretty ambitious starting place but maybe the market for the Fat Cat is even more than I think it is. Luckily, parts-wise, things like the mechanicals and even tires will be fairly easy to source because they were lifted directly from Hondas ATVs. This one has a new rear tire so that’s one less thing you’ll have to buy, and the old rear tire was about as worn out as it gets. The rear brakes were changed, although they still need adjusting. I would probably do that before listing it for sale, but, call me crazy!

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I would have this thing taken apart and spread on the garage floor, pronto! Sending out parts to be painted, and otherwise restored. But, putting $1,000 or more into a bike that’s already priced above the concours condition level wouldn’t make sense. At least to me it wouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean that I still don’t want this one. The Fat Cat is powered by a 199.1 CC four-stroke single with close to 40 hp and it starts on the first kick, but you’ll need a new battery to use the electric starter. Have any of you owned a fat-tire two-wheeler like this Honda Fat Cat TR200?  What do you think a fair offer for this one would be?

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Comments

  1. JW

    Never owned one but wouldn’t mind this one for the grandkids but not at that price.

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  2. Howard A Member

    Another cool oddball from the king. Never saw this model, but doesn’t surprise me. Off road riding was gaining steam, and it seems the everybody jumped on the bandwagon, hoping their contribution would be a hit. Ultimately, to no avail, and the industry settled on the standard 4×4 ATV. I’m not sure I’d do anything to this except get it running, and let the kids trash it. That’s what I did to a Honda 50. With as twisted as prices are for anything today, I’d maybe go $500, because it’s still just a toy. Great find. As a kid, I’d love this.

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  3. Bill

    These things only handle well on sand. Everything else is a fight. Way overpriced.

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  4. pappy2d

    40 hp from 200cc? Doubtful.
    This one was rode hard and put away wet, many times.

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    • Scotty Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Pappy2d, I got the 40 hp figure from a motocross website that did a story on the history of the Fat Cat, “The short-stroke power plant used in the TR200R was a miracle of four-stroke technology in 1986. Using an early version of their patented Uni-Cam technology and a five-valve head, the 199cc mill revved to a stratospheric 16,000 rpm and cranked out close to 40 horsepower on the dyno.”

      Dyno and real world at the rear wheel are two different things, I should have mentioned that.

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      • Tom S.

        The story you saw online (I saw it, too) is a parody. TR200 Fat Cat does not have a five-valve motor. It has two valves, one intake and one exhaust.

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      • Ross W. Lovell

        Greetings All,

        As far as I know. The 200 was a retuned version of the 4 valve 250. Can’t picture them going backwards, no adavantage and tooling costs would be more.

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      • Ross W. Lovell

        Greetings All,

        Should have realized the parody at 16,000 rpm.

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      • Tom S.

        @ Ross L.

        They did not go backwards. This is just ordinary, off-the-shelf Honda stuff. Here’s a screen shot of the top end.

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      • Ross W. Lovell

        Thanks Tom!

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      • Peter

        Scotty Gilbertson,

        First of all, I LOVE your posts–especially the more off-beat, bike/snowmobile-type stuff–the weirder, the better!

        So, please don’t take this the wrong way, but:

        Only 2-stroke 400cc’s, like the Suzuki RM’s/PE’s (i.e., full-on motocross/enduro RACE BIKES) get near the 40 hp. figure, and they do it at 8-9,000RPM (maybe a little higher?) but no where near 16,000RPM.

        As the following link shows, the Suzuki 1976 RM370 (370cc’s), put out 38.5hp–and this was a rather ground-breaking bike overall, but not necessarily for that output:

        http://www.pulpmx.com/stories/look-back-old-moto-mags/gps-classic-steel/gps-classic-steel-64-1976-suzuki-rm370a

        The point is, as you know, a 2-stroke fires every time, so it’s got twice the potential (not counting inherent losses, based on increased friction, weight, etc…) to OUTPOWER the same-sized four stroke engine.

        So if a near-state of the art, 372cc two-stroke was putting out 38.5hp, getting 40 horse, from a 200cc four-stroke just isn’t gonna happen–absent forced induction, or other, so-called “power adders.”

        But I applaud your listing of this! I’m a fan of the 2-Wheel DRIVE Rokons, the Yammy “Big Wheels” and the Suzuki RV’s, and I’d actually FORGOTTEN about Honda’s foray into this thicket, brief though it was.

        But given the prices of Yamaha BW350’s (upwards of $2,000., and plus $3,000. not unheard of) I’d say Hagerty is low.

        And now, oddly, I believe it is YAMAHA that has out a line of (normal-looking) TWO-WHEEL DRIVE dirtibkes! (I forget the model designation).

        On a a related topic: HAGERTY:

        Has anyone else noticed that Hagerty’s really great, on a large number of vehicles–but when they’re “off,” they’re sometimes WAAAY off? I have, and my wife’s theory is that they simply don’t have enough data on a particular marque/model, to have realistic numbers (on a small number of rarer vehicles, of course). I think I agree with her, too. (Just curious–don’t mean to hijack this excellent Honda thread.)

        Peter

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  5. Ck

    Hey pappy2d You took the words rite outta my mouth .

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    • pappy2d

      Maybe 20 hp. When it was new? This one, is probably down a bit from whatever it started with. 2K? Not me mate.

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  6. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    That era, that engine……would love to know where that HP figure came from, optimistic doesn’t even come close.

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  7. Roger Mathews

    My 1986 Yamaha BW200 (with electric start) is worth $1500 at best, but probably not even worth that. Mine runs fine (also WITH a new rear tire). Riding them requires the true “upset” type of handling, where you slightly turn the bars in the wrong direction, to upset the “balance” of the bike. If you try to ride & just shift your weight it requires a lot of “muscle” to overpower the stability of the bike. In deep sand, just gas it and hang on. It is a true 2 wheel ATV that just won’t quit. I’ll be keeping mine thank you!

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  8. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Peter, if e RM370 was big, where does my RM465 fit in? Always though it was a TM with long travel suspension.

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