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New to quads, thinking about a Suzuki...any info would help...

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I've ridden bikes before, but not for years and my skill level was never really all that great. I want to get back into going out to the desert, and I believe the learning curve on quad would be a lot easier than trying to jump back on a bike. I'm fairly sure I've narrowed down my choice to buying a Suzuki quad, either an LTZ400 or the LTZ450. What's the big difference between the two? anything I need to be aware of or look for? I'm looking for used, not new due to a budget of about $3500. I've also seen a few YFZ450's for around that price. Any comparrison? Any advice or help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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The LTR450 Is a wider more 'race ready' machine with a fast rapping engine design and no reverse. Stock is comes with 18" rear tires that are probably too small for desert riding. It is fuel injected and for me has been a very reliable machine. The 08's seem to have an issue with 3rd gear going out but all of my 06's have held up fine for us. We race mostly Hare scrambles and after 3 years I did have to rebuild the top ends, and have the cylinders re-plated.

The LTZ400 Is more of a trail-recreational ATV. The 400 is liquid cooled and has reverse, but is a little more mild on power, and has a little more low end torque for lugging through the trails. It is quite a bit narrower and is carbureted. I think the 09's are the first year for fuel injection. The 03's had weak frames by the upper front shock mounts, but are a very capable machine.

I would recommend going out and riding them both as they are 2 completely different and see which one fits you best. If you can't find any to ride, at least go and sit on each and see if one sticks out as more comfortable.

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Thanks! I've had a chance to sit on a 400 at a dealership we happened to be at for an MX autograph party a few weeks ago, and ergonomically it felt pretty good. I'll keep that in mind when I go check out others that I find to go look at... :banana:

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The Z400 is a good desert quad! Plenty of hop-up potential in that engine! Good handling and descent suspension. (For some reason, mine always jumped nose low...no matter what I did. Had a chance to sell it at a good price, so I got rid of it.)

Also, don't overlook the 400EX. Its power is milder than the Z, but it will run forever and a day with just basic maintenance. Word is that you can get a leftover new one for dirt cheap!!!

As for the 450's....the Honda is the king of the desert!!! Multi-time Baja winner....this machine can go the distance! Waste of time to look anywhere else IMO. Be aware that all the 450's will be higher maintenance than the 400's (especially frequent oil changes). If I had to take a second choice, it would be the YFZ.

Any desert quad needs to be set up properly! I run ITP Holeshot XC/XCT tires on ITP Baja rims (wider and has a greater offset than stock), and it makes them +3" wider without the expense of a wider axle/a-arms/shocks....giving a nice increase in stability for high speed desert riding, but still not so wide that you can't trail ride as well. You will also want full chassis and swingarm skid plates (I like DG), a bumper (IMS Dominator), steering stabilizer, IMS Desert Tank (5.3 gallons on my EX!), nerf bars are a must on any quad, etc.

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