Preserved ATV: 1985 Honda Odyssey FL350R

If you’re someone who watches out for up-and-coming vehicles in the collector car and truck scene, I’d say to spend some time watching out for ATVs and four-wheelers made in the middle 80s through the early 90s. These often Japanese-made vehicles – in addition to conjuring up loads of happy memories for enthusiasts who were adolescents when they were new – were quite reliable and able to withstand loads of abuse, not to mention wearing great in-period colors and decals. This 1985 Honda Odyssey FL350R is a time-capsule specimen that was evidently loved when new, and is listed here on eBay with no reserve and almost all of its original details still intact.

It’s hilarious to think this four-wheeler shares its namesake with Honda’s wildly popular minivan, and I think many of us know which vehicle we’d choose. The FL350R was the final iteration of the single-seat ATV that Honda introduced in the late 70s. This era in general was seemingly defined by numerous three- and four-wheeled ATVs being introduced by the likes of Honda, and likely coincided with one of the more significant eras for motocross riding and stunt competitions. Putting vehicles like these in the hands of consumers let them have some fun of their own, all while attempting to emulate what fearless riders did on dirt tracks and big arenas.

The FL35oR seen here received a number of tweaks from the previous generation, including a bigger engine with higher compression over the preceding era. These four-wheeled rock hoppers featured a single seat and full cage, and really did offer impressive levels of access to the driver who sought to go off the beaten path. In addition, one of the most significant features was the presence of a reverse gear, a feature many ATVs at this point did not yet have. The ATV also featured a four-wheel independent suspension, and could reach speeds of 60 m.p.h. – an incredible number at the time for a vehicle that was clearly not a full-sized sedan.

The FL350R was a short-lived, one-year-only model, which likely explains the competitive bidding at the moment that’s pushed the current number to $6,000. The seller notes it retains its original tires, books/manuals, graphics, and more, making it more of a collector’s item than something to give to your kids to take out to the woods for thrashing on the weekends. Of course, it’s sort of hard to justify keeping a vehicle like this on blocks, but how many are left in this sort of condition? To my mind, that helps explain the rise in interest and prices for these wickedly fun ATVs, as there simply aren’t many left in this sort of shape. Which ATV do you thin is the most collectible?

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Comments

  1. William

    Looks like fun, but way too much for me to spend on something like this.

    Like 4
  2. Turbo

    350 CC’s? Sorry, grandma already has a scooter.

    • Cycle Salvage Kevin Member

      Mr. Turbo, what was direct competition for this 35 years ago? Wait, what’s that? No answer?

  3. MattR Member

    As a teenager into the dirt scene back then, the Honda Odyssey was permanently on my wish list. I’d love this.

    Like 6
  4. Howard A Member

    While the Odyssey was a step in the right direction,( note 3 wheeler next to it) it still fell short on many fronts. It did not have AWD which, many found out, was pretty important in a vehicle like this, and where they were eventually taken. They were fun, added a new dimension to ATVing, at least you didn’t tip over as easy, but it gave a taste to real ATV’s and was clear, it needed AWD.
    Asking someone who just thankfully got out of the dirt riding crowd ( and took a horrible bath, to boot) it’s not for someone on a limited income. 1st, to spend $6g’s on a lackluster, out of date ATV is one thing, but again, I’d have to think parts are non-existent, and if they are, be prepared for an ultimate gouging.
    Quick example, before I got that DRZ, I looked at a vintage Honda 350. It had a broken front brake and signal handlebar housing, I found one online, the guy wanted $167 BUCKS for it! You want to feed into that nonsense, by all means, have at it. I’m looking at vintage guitars now,,,

    Like 4
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      Howard,

      Maybe you should get into a cheap hobby –
      like boating!

      Like 5
      • Howard A Member

        Ha! Funny you say that. It was the late 90’s, I spent a summer at my parents cabin on a lake. We had boats all my life there. I got a 14 ft. fiberglass boat, in fair shape, no motor, WITH a trailer, FOR NOTHING, friend had a Johnny 75 hp.”anthead” motor for like $50 bucks, had a small problem with the electric shift, another $50 bucks in small stuff, and for $100 bucks, I had a runabout I used all summer. I think today, the word “hobby” is wide open for gouging. Obviously, if money is a problem, one wouldn’t be looking into “hobbies” in the first place. Local pawn shop isn’t giving away guitars either, I found out.

        Like 1
    • Cycle Salvage Kevin Member

      $167?!! No way did you buy it, right? I have well over a dozen CB/CL/SL350’s in my salvage yard. I could have fixed you up for around $60 including shipping.
      Parts for the FL350R aren’t non existent but are priced high. We’ve, well, my mechanic has been sorting out spark issues on my ’85 Odyssey and hopefully the stator I just bought cures the problem. Had I known I’d be buying a used, spendy CDI box, a reasonably priced new flywheel and a real spendy used stator before I bought the machine, I may have passed altogether. Or, bought and flipped as is. It’s not the first time and ugh, assume not the last. I should have gotten a loan back in the 90’s and bought a friend’s FL400 Pilot and been done with it. Hmm, my neck still hurts a little.

      Like 1
  5. Rex Kahrs Member

    I thought the rule was no politics. Lord knows if I say something it gets complaints and removed immediately. I find the opening picture offensive, it should be removed!

    Like 10
  6. rodknee

    My brother in law had one of these. Distinctly remember driving it at high speed along a ditch then launching over an approach and landing on the hard road, thinking that the suspension would save my butt… nope. The reason it has a four point harness is to keep your body and soul together while the Odyssey pounds the living daylights out of your body. I was a young guy at the time, but I definitely remember being quite sore after that short flight. Lots of fun for a nostalgia purchase, but not a great ATV for serious offroading.

    Like 6
  7. JMB#7

    Correct me if I am wrong.. I am not an expert on these. My understanding is that the FL250 did not have rear suspension, but the FL350 did. FL350 would have been from 1985 thru 1988. In 1989 Honda offered the FL400 (Pilot). In the 1984-85 time frame, I was working on a college SAE Mini Baja project. While AWD would indeed get you thru more stuff at a low speed, I would not disregard the advantages of 2wd. If the point is to blast thru stuff and prove who has the better man/machine combination, then a light 2wd buggy can be a winning combination. Many of the college built Baja Buggies exceeded the suspension and off road capabilities of FL350. However, I would still love to have one. A quick internet search will reveal that they are still many to choose from.

    Like 6
  8. Jimmy

    I bought one of the first generation of these back in 1980 with my tax refund. Not as fancy as this one but me and my friends sure got my moneys worth before I sold it a couple years later to help fund buying my first house. I paid $2,100 new and that was a lot back then for a toy.

    Like 3
  9. tony t

    I’ll take the sign … will be worth BILLIONS in a few decades … or not.

    Like 3
  10. Cycle Salvage Kevin Member

    The IFS/IRS ’89 FL400 Pilot runs circles around the FL350 and pretty much everything else up to the present, Polaris included. A friend had one back in the 90’s, the Pilot, and it was the most fun I’ve ever experienced. However, the Pilot’s ability to take a licking and keep on ticking far exceeded the human body’s ability to continue unscathed. Still have neck issues to this day but it was worth every second in that seat!

    Like 1
  11. Cerno

    I had one back in 84 it was all red with gold rims it was a blast in the sand but would literally hurt everything after a ride if you hit the bumps and took any speed over the jumps . Was idiot proof to drive and was cool to let anyone try it but the rear suspension was horrible it basically was the air in the tires and the front shocks looked like they were of the back of a CT 70 I remember the dealers couldn’t give them away back in the 80,s because you couldn’t take it anywhere without lugging it onto a trailer and finding a place large enough to play with it without ripping the crap out of the area . I also remember it took a long time to sell it after .

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