DIRT WHEELS TEST: WILLIAM YOKLEY’S SUZUKI LTR 450
Suzuki certainly has a hit on their hands with the new LTR-450 QuadRacer. This all new machine has already won our motocross shootout (DW, June 06) and looks to be a hit with the sport and trail riding audiences as well. Still, once you focus your attention on making a better motocross quad, something has to suffer as a consequence.
On the Suzuki R450, that was its single-minded nature of being a track ready race quad. Suzuki made a no-compromise racer, and for riders interested more in taking it out in the woods and going trail riding, it was lacking.
YOKLEY TO THE RESCUE
Last year, Kentucky’s William Yokley raced a modified Z400 to a win at the Loretta Lynn GNCC National. No small feat against the very best ATV woods riders on the planet. William is a dyed-in-the wool good ol’ boy, who has won the GNCC’s Sportsmanship award for two years and is well liked by almost everyone who meets him.
Even though he got off to a late start on this season’s series, and did not get his new LTR-450 QuadRacer until just before the first race of the season, he has been working diligently with his sponsors and aftermarket companies to set up his machine for the races while they are already underway.
We spoke with William and his sponsor Scott Wright, of IMS/Roll Design, and asked them to let us in on how he’s setting up his LTR-450 to handle the woods and trails of one of the most competitive race series in America.
Dirt Wheels: Scott, how are you setting up Will’s new Suzuki for the woods?
Scott Wright: The ‘06 LTR-450 utilizes their version of our new Roll Design Patented gull wing design A-arms. But both myself and Doug Roll feel that Suzuki missed the mark on track width for both Motocross and Cross Country racing. Doug feels track width for motocross should be an inch wider overall, and for Cross Country, it should be a full two inches narrower.
DW: How are your new A-arms for the Suzuki LTR different from stock?
Scott: Our initial Roll Design A-Arms are limited to an upper A-arm that will allow camber adjustment. These A-Arms should allow for better dialing in of the suspension since the stock arm camber adjustment is not optimal for cross country. These units were the fastest variation to manufacture and test with the allotted time before the season started. These arms are designed to work with the stock A-Arms and will accommodate both stock and aftermarket shocks. The kit includes: (1) upper A-arm set, (1) upright, (1) upright adapter, (1) set pivot pins, (1) set of dust caps and retails for $725. These A-arms are now available at Roll Design by calling (760) 731-5920.
DW: What else have you modified on Yokley’s R450?
Scott: The front Roll Design A-Arms were mated to a set of Elka Elite Series front shocks which have both high-speed and low-speed damping as well as rebound adjustments. They increase wheel travel by one and a half inches from 9.4 to 11.25 inches. The retail cost of a pair of front shocks is $1675. These shocks are also available at Roll Design.
DW: How about the rear end?
Scott: An Elka Elite shock was fitted to increase rear travel by .5 inches from 11.4 to 11.9 inches. The retail cost of the rear shock is $1045.
DW: How about tires?
Scott: We have what we think is the hottest new tire to hit the cross country market in some time. William debuted the new ITP Holeshot GNCC and is really impressed with it (see test in this issue). The Holeshot GNCC was specifically designed for the GNCC series and developed for today’s long-travel, high-performance quads. The Holeshot GNCC tires are lighter, and easier steering than previous Holeshots. The retail price for them is $69.95 for fronts and $79.95 for rears. The new meats were mounted on ITP T-9 Pro Series GP wheels in front and ITP T-9 Pro-Lock Bead-Lock GP wheels for the rear.
DW: Any other woods tips for racers?
Scott: Tire Balls were used inside the new tires for added protection against flats from the sharp rocks and roots encountered while racing in the woods. They are using a new material that weighs half what the previous tire balls weighed. They now only add about 1-1/2 pounds more in the rear and one pound more in the front. But the added insurance against flats you get with running them justifies the increase in weight. Tire Balls are available through Tire Ball Company at (877) 847-3225 or got to www.tireballs.com.
DW: What did you do to the engine?
Scott: The engine for the LTR-450 was pretty much stock except for the addition of a Yoshimura Racing Stainless Steel exhaust system and Cherry Bomb insert. The Yosh exhaust goes for $670 with the Cherry Bomb selling for $40. We also replaced the stock air filter with a UNI filter.
DW: How about nerfs, bars and such?
DW: Do you use a steering stabilizer on the woods quad?
Scott: A Precision Steering stabilizer was installed to dampen handle-bar feedback to the rider from abrupt contact with terrain such as roots, logs and large holes. It sells for $485 and is available at (209) 365-1890.
DW: Any other special stuff?
Scott: We mounted up a Quadtech custom front nose piece (William Yokely replica); cost is $65, and a non-slip seat cover from Quad tech as well, which retails for $125; stock hand grips were utilized and are available at any local dealer. The hand-guards are Powermadd Star Series IMS-Roll edition and were utilized with wraparound mounts. The cost of these is $90. The front bumper was an IMS-Roll Intimidator off-road model with integrated skid plate and retails for $129.95 and is available from IMS-Roll.
DW: How about fluids and such?
Scott: Fluids are provided by Motorex oils and included Motorex Brake fluid DOT 5, Motorex power Synt 4T 10w50, and finally, Motorex air filter oil.