Dirt Wheels - ATV TEST: DRR DRX 90 TEST!

 

All of the big ATV manufacturers build quads for smaller riders, and most of the machines are great. However, if you want to get your kid into racing, you have to consider looking beyond the big brands. DRR is a small Ohio-based company that plays by the government’s rules, yet can design and import vehicles that are made for the racetrack and not the empty lot in your neighborhood. In the 2015 DRR lineup, you can choose between a couple of versions, with a 50cc motor, one 70cc option and two 90s, including the DRX 90 2 LTD that we tested. The standard 90 retails for $3399, which is only slightly more than a Honda 90. The aluminum rims and Rath nerf bars on the DXR LTD set us back an additional $430, which puts the price just over the only other dual- A-arm 90 quad you can buy, the Can-Am 90X at $3699. You can see the entire lineup at www.drrinc.com.

DRR DRX 90

This machine was built for the track. It features a dual-A-arm front suspension and single-shock swingarm setup in back just like the bigger 450s. Suspension travel is about 5.5 inches at both ends. The shocks have reservoirs, along with compression and rebound adjustments. Separately operated disc brakes via a foot pedal for the rear and a hand lever on the right side of the handlebars for the front do an excellent job slowing the quad down. Per CPSC rules, the DRX 90 comes with full floorboards, but DRR does sell a Rath Racing heel guard/nerf bar/footpeg package that makes the machine a little more race-ready. A host of other raceready products are also available if you want to go that route. According to DRR, their ATVs have won more mini ATV MX championships for the last 10 years than all other manufacturers combined. So, this looks like it is the machine of choice for any up-and-coming racer.

TRACK AND TRAIL
To test this machine out, we took to the trails around our local track. On the trails, the two-stroke motor is louder than a modern four-stroke mini, but not annoying. In fact, we miss and very much like the sound of a clean-running two-stroke. The DRR DRX 90 is just that. It runs crisp after a minute or so of warm-up time. The quad has an electric starter, along with a kick backup that even the kids can handle. There is a keyed ignition to keep them from taking a joy ride when mom and dad aren’t looking. A standard wrist-strap ignition cut-off tether and a throttle limiter screw come with all DRR minis. Out in the open, the 90 will reach 40 mph unrestricted. It gets up to speed quick and spins the tires like a 450. It took our testers a few minutes to get used to the powerband. It’s not explosive, but it is exciting, especially when compared to a four-stroke. The biggest difference between this and most other minis is the clutch setup.

 

DRR tunes the clutch as to not engage until halfway up in the rpm range. So you have to stab the throttle and wait for the revs to build, then it starts moving forward. Since the clutch engages so late, the motor is already making a lot more horsepower than it is at lower revs. This launches the quad off starting lines fast and out of corners even quicker. On the downside, it makes the machine a little tougher to control in slow, rough situations. Again, this quad is aimed more for an experienced rider, and the clutch can be tuned for a different powerband feel if needed.

When we are on a tacky track, the quad hooked up and shot from turn to turn quick. The low-end grunt was there too. You do have to wait for the engine to rev and take off; it would dig out of the corner hard even at high revs. In those turns, the 90 would carve if you gently arched the handlebars or would slide the rear end if you flicked them. It was cool to see the kids flick the bars and let the quad fishtail out of the corners. But if they held the bars straight, the quad would track perfect all the way to the next turn and over the next jump.
Speaking of jumps, the DRX 90 takes them like a big quad. With 5.5 inches of travel available, small to big jumps can be taken fast. If the quad has enough speed to catch air off of it, the shocks will soak up the landing. All three shocks operate like a high-end Fox or Elka shock. It’s soft and doesn’t spring back or send the kid bouncing. On the track we could see the suspension stick to the ground and stay hooked up. Small whoops or braking and acceleration bumps were also no problem for the DRR. For most kids’ quads on the track, these small bumps are very sharp and brutal to a little kid. The good-working shocks make the bars easy to hold on to and give any rider a ton of confidence. The fact that DRR uses good tires like ITP Holeshots in the back and Maxxis Razrs up front show they wanted this machine to handle at its best and be ready for the track.
We really appreciate how the brakes are set up like a bigger quad, with a foot pedal operating the rears and a hand lever for the front. That front lever is kid-sized and easy to pull. This setup makes things much easier when the kid transitions to a larger sport quad. The brakes stopped the 232-pound quad quickly. The brakes, equipped with steel-braided lines, are not spongy nor stiff to operate. The entire quad was perfectly set up for a smaller racer. In the ATV national MX races, the age groups for a quad like this range are from 8–11 and 12–15.
REPORT CARD
It’s good for supervised kids to have a little extra power in reserve from time to time to learn throttle control. This quad has plenty of it and great handling to match. It’s no wonder DRR-mounted kids are winning so many races. It would take a highly modified Honda TRX90 or Polaris Outlaw 90 to even come close to this mini even in stock trim. Just the fact that this is a two-stroke, even at 90cc, it offers 20 percent more power than a four-stroke thumper of the same size. The two-stroke power saves about 10 percent in the weight department as well.
We are happy companies like DRR are still developing competitive mini quads you could literally take from the dealership to the track and onto the winner’s circle. The DRR DRX 90 mini is that