1982 Honda 185S ATC 3 Wheeler Motorcycle
The history of the three-wheeled ATV dates back to the Sperry-Rand Tricart of 1967, but it was Honda’s ATC that captured the public’s imagination, both as a workhorse on the farm and a recreational all-terrain vehicle. Honda’s ATC90 was launched in 1970 and appearances in popular culture, including the James Bond movie Diamond Are Forever, spurred on the craze for these balloon-tyred off-roaders. Realising the potential of a whole new market segment, Honda’s ATC family expanded through the 1970s; the ATC70 of 1973 was aimed at kids while the larger, more powerful ATC110 featured a number of useful upgrades. The ATC185 of 1980 boasted a powerful new 180cc four-stroke engine equipped with a five-speed semi-automatic transmission, optional Hondaline front and rear racks and a trailer hitch for towing. Becoming one of the most popular three-wheelers ever sold, the ATC185 was joined by the 185S featuring slimmer bodywork and smaller (18-inch rather than 19-inch) wheels and tyres. Other notable features include detachable body panels, capacitor discharge ignition and a fully enclosed chain case. Produced between 1981 and 1983, the 185S is now a rare find due to the high attrition rate – not to mention an American agreement for manufacturers to buy back any unsold ATVs from dealer inventories after they stopped sales in 1987 due to safety concerns – and surviving examples are now increasingly collectible.