PRODUCT TEST: Fuel Customs Intake Kit
Every sport ATV rider we’ve ever met is obsessed with power. Stock is never good enough, even with modern 450s. The Yamaha YFZ450R is a stellar machine in stock trim, and very fast, but sometimes enough just isn’t enough. Fuel Customs is owned and operated by sport ATV riders just like us, so they know how we crave power.
Fuel Customs is based out of Pomona, California, where owner Garrett Torres designs and tests all the intakes he builds in the shop, using his dyno and field time wisely. This YFZ450R intake has been in development for over a year and is available with or without an airbox. We chose to use the airbox for mud and splash protection, which adds $65 to the $235.00 price. Installation is rather simple, but to install the airbox you will have to drill two small holes in the subframe rails to use the supplied bolts. Drilling instructions are available on Fuel Customs’ website. We tested the intake on a bone-stock machine and then with a Yoshimura RS-2 full exhaust system (tested in this issue). We saw power gains with both setups, but the power gains were greater with more modifications. Using the intake and exhaust system together results in a healthy power increase on the R, creating a solid base for modifying your ATV. Fuel Customs also makes intakes for the Honda 450R, Yamaha Raptor 700, Yamaha YFZ450, Kawasaki KFX450R, and KTM 450/525 XC.
Installation is simple. Remove the sensor from the stock intake and bolt it into the Fuel Customs unit. Drill the holes and hang the airbox. Install the intake tube and air filter. We tuned the YFZ with a Yoshimura PIM 2 and DATA Box unit.
Our first impression of the Fuel Customs intake was that it produced more power over the entire rev range, especially up top. Bottom-end pull remained intact, pulling into a slightly stronger midrange with big gains up top. We saw a good 2-3 horsepower increase in peak power with just the intake, and with the addition of the pipe, it only grew stronger. The intake sound is throatier, and the throttle response is even crisper than stock. The look and feel of the intake is high-quality, with great craftsmanship and a smooth, roto-molded intake tract that offers much more airflow than the stock rubber unit.
For anyone looking to increase their YFZ’s pull, the Fuel Customs intake is a solid product that offers a good performance increase for a low price. Sand riders need not worry about the airbox; it comes with a filter skin. For all other applications, we would purchase the airbox kit.
CONTACT: Fuel Customs, (909) 594-6082 or www.fuelcustoms.com