SUZUKI LT-R450 FOR TREES & TRAILS

— ATV Project Build: A racer comes back for fun —

By the staff of Dirt Wheels

The combination of a modified big-bore engine and aggressive ITP tires means that this Suzuki LT-R450R throws roost and claws at the sky out of turns.

Cory Hinsz was a factory-supported pro ATV racer in the mid-2000s. Injuries convinced him to retire from racing, and he was away for 11 years. Missing the sport way too much, he decided to get back in and support his beloved sport by racing for fun. He runs the Vet class in Quadcross and Pro class in cross-country races. Trail excursions in Idaho are also on the program. Suzuki’s LT-R450 is his choice of a quad to build. Although it has been out of production since 2009, it is still revered as one of the best racing ATVs ever made. It may not be the lightest, but with its superb reliability, excellent geometry and comfortable ergonomics, it is still a top choice for racers of all disciplines. We wanted to showcase this build that used high-quality products to show how you can make a still-viable race winner into an even more potent beast.

FREEING THE BEAST

One of the most important parts of a race is the start. Getting the holeshot means that you will have clear vision, clean grips and a roost-free environment. To help guarantee holeshots, a Cylinder Works 474cc big-bore kit and oversized Vertex piston was installed. Helping to feed the engine are Hot Cams’ intake and exhaust cams. To take advantage of all the mechanical parts, the head was sent off to McDermott Racing to have the head ported. McDermott Racing went into the head and opened up the intake and exhaust ports, allowing as much power as possible.

Craving more fuel, a user-friendly Dynatek fuel controller was installed to feed this powerhouse. Keeping the engine supplied with clean, filtered air is one of DuraBlue’s PowerFilters. Needing to get all of the spent exhaust out with as little restriction as possible, an Empire Industries exhaust system was bolted up.

No facet of this race quad was left untouched. It gained engine performance, handling prowess and a great look. These substantial nerfs from Factory 43 are modular, so if they get damaged, you can replace parts instead of the entire unit.

GETTING A GRIP

Having all of the power in the world won’t mean a thing, unless you can get it to the ground. Cory called upon Hinson Racing to make that happen. Hinson Racing’s billet-proof clutch kit consists of a new hub, basket, plates, springs and a pressure plate. A Hinson Racing clutch cover tops it off and lets everybody know that this machine is serious.

He then went to Sunstar for a set of Powerdrive sprockets and a 520XTG Works chain. Known for gobs of traction and great puncture resistance, a set of ITP GNCC Holeshots were bolted up to ITP Trac-Lock beadlock wheels. Connecting it all together is one of DuraBlue’s Super-Strength X-33 adjustable axles with aluminum hubs, an aluminum sprocket hub and its superior carrier bearing. Making sure everything back there stays tight, Cory used one of DuraBlue’s aluminum axle lock nuts.

TAKING A BRAKE

Having dramatically increased the go, it was time to upgrade the whoa. Galfer was chosen for their great line of braking products. Both front rotors and the rear rotor were replaced with Galfer’s Wave rotors. Connecting the rear Wave rotor to the axle is one of DuraBlue’s aluminum rotor hubs. Galfer brake pads were used in all three calipers for extra bite. Galfer’s steel-braided brake lines help transfer the hydraulic force that is being applied from the master cylinders. Helping to create a more positive braking feel, he used Fasst Company’s rear brake clevis and return spring kit.

FLOATING ON A CLOUD

Without control, all of the upgrades in power and traction would be wasted. To make sure his ride was as comfortable as possible, he gave the task to Elka Suspension. They built a set of race-dominating Stage 5 shocks for the front and rear. The fronts were bolted up to a set of JD Performance MGC (Maximum Ground Clearance) long-travel control arms. These added strength, boosted ground clearance and optimized shock ratios. To help reduce negative feedback and smooth things out even more, a set of Fasst Company’s Flexx bars were installed with a set of their handguards.

PROTECTING YOUR ASSETS

Racing XC almost always means you will be coming in contact with obstacles that can not only ruin your day but also your machine. Wanting to keep everything safe, Cory installed B.C.C.’s UHMW poly chassis skid plates and sprocket guards. B.C.C. also supplied one of its radiator mud-block kits for those days when mud is unavoidable. It allows the radiator to stay free from mud and keeps the engine safe from overheating.

Factory 43 Evo Propeg nerf bars with heel guards help to keep the rider’s feet firmly planted. This new, innovative design looks like one piece but is actually two, which makes replacement of damaged parts easier and more cost-effective. They also have the lowest footpegs on the market, which is great for taller riders like Cory. Keeping the front of the ATV protected is one of Factory 43’s number plate front bumpers. A Factory 43 rear grab bar adorns the back.

TOPPING THINGS OFF

Being able to go the distance is key in XC racing, so a much larger-capacity 3.6-gallon IMS fuel tank was used. With its natural color, you can see where your fuel level is.

When building a quad this nice, stock fenders with warning-label provisions would never do. A set of Maier Racing’s Vibrant White carbon fiber plastics were installed. You have to see these in person to really appreciate the color. Making sure that all of Cory’s much-appreciated sponsors are well-represented, DirtFiend Racing did a stunning job with custom graphics. Putting the cherry on top is one of Graves Motorsports’ custom non-slip seat covers and a custom hood from Ewephoria Racing.

This Suzuki has a wide stance with ample clearance. Between the Elka shocks and Flexx handlebar, bumps don’t stand a chance.

TAMING THE BEAST

Throwing a leg over this stallion, you will instantly notice how comfortable the ergonomics are. As soon as you hit the start button, the engine roars to life with a ferocious bark. The suspension does a fantastic job of absorbing whoops and jumps, and allowing the rider to go fast while maintaining control. If you need to lift the front over objects, the abundance of power on tap, aided by extreme traction, is easily used to wheelie over objects. When coming into a corner, the brakes slow you down in a hurry. All in all, this is a race-winning package that instills confidence and works in harmony, giving an abundance of smiles all day long.

SUZUKI LT-R450 PARTS LIST

B.C.C. Skids: www.bccskids.com, 205-435-5442
Full chassis skid plate $$69.99
Rear sprocket guard $45
Radiator guard kit $15

Cylinder Works: www.cylinder-works.com, 515-251-4070
474cc big-bore cylinder kit $649.95

Dirt Fiend Racing: www.dirtfiendracing.com, 888-777-8068
Custom graphics $322.49

Durablue: www.durablue.com, 949-770-5533
X-33 axle w/ sprocket hub $736
Axle brake hub $188
Axle housing (carrier bearing) $460
Posi-Lock axle nut $88
Power air filter $40.36

Dynatek: www.dynaonline.com, 800-928-3962
Fuel-injection controller $249

Elka Suspension: 800-557-0552, www.elkasuspension.com
Stage 5 front shocks $1699.99
Stage 5 rear shock $1299.99

Empire Industries: www.empireindustriesinc.com, 928-505-6443
Exhaust system $569.95

Factory 43: www.factory43atv.com, 418-485-7843
Front bumper w/ number plate $125
Rear grab bar $85
Propeg nerf bars w/ heel guard $420

Fasst Company: www.fasstco.com, 877-306-1801
Flexx handlebar $359.99
Simple Solution handguards $135.99
Rear brake clevis $39.99
Rear brake return spring $28.95

Galfer USA: www.galferusa.com, 800-685-6633
Front wave rotors (set) $224
Rear wave rotor $112
Front HH sintered  brake pads (set) $72.50
Rear HH sintered brake pads $38.04
Stainless steel front brake lines $71
Stainless steel rear brake line $32

Graves Motorsports: 425-227-8789, www.gravesmotorsports.com
Custom seat cover $200

Hinson Racing: www.hinsonracing.com, 909-946-2942
Complete billetproof clutch kit $1094.99

Hot Cams: www.hotcamsinc.com, 515-402-8005
Shim kit $89.95
Exhaust camshaft $199.95
Intake camshaft $179.95

IMS Products: www.imsproducts.com, 800-237-9906
3.6-gallon fuel tank $274.95

ITP Tires & Wheels: www.itptires.com, 909-390-1905
A6 Trac-Lock front 10″ (pair) $415.98
A6 Trac-Lock rear 9″ (pair) $429.98
Holeshot GNCC 21×7-10 (pr) $184.92
Holeshot GNCC 20×10-9 (pr) $218.60

JD Performance:www.jdperformance.net, 951-676-7957
Long Shock MGC Arms $799

Maier Manufacturing: www.maier-mfg.com, 800-33-MAIER
Front fender $150.43
Rear fender $299.68
Radiator air scoops: 69
Frame guards $71.82

McDermott Racing: 909-373-1462, www.mcdermottracing.com
Porting and head work $200

Sunstar:www.sunstar-mc.com, 937-743-9049
520XTG-120 Works chain $114.95
Powerdrive countershaft sprocket $23.95
Steel rear sprocket $37.95

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