NEW MODELS: 2006 SUZUKI LT-R450 QUADRACER, ALL NEW RACE-READY QUAD
Some 20 years ago, Suzuki first introduced the QuadRacer LT250R. It helped create the high-performance four wheeled sport quad market way back in 1985. With the introduction of the 2006 LT-R450 QuadRacer, Suzuki has returned to its legendary QuadRacer roots.
The company already had a winner in their proven LTZ400, of which various versions have been modified to race the GNC and GNCC circuits. Most notably was Doug Gust’s 2004 GNC MX championship-winning machine. This vehicle was based on a highly modified version of the Z400 production quad. Competition from Yamaha’s YFZ450 and Honda’s 450R soon made it apparent that Suzuki needed a new purpose-built racer to remain competitive with its arch rivals.
BUILDING A RACE READY QUAD
Dirt Wheels secretly met with Suzuki’s top engineers more than three years ago when they were first coming up with plans for this an all new race-ready quad. At that meeting, we suggested they build a new machine from the ground up. We advised them to keep the Z400 as it was, with its reverse gear and economical price point. We wanted them to build a new machine that was intended for competition, not simply trail riding. We also thought they should include racer accessory items, such as longer width A-arms and race-tuned suspension as standard equipment. The quad should be ready to hit the race track right off the dealers showroom floor, we added. The engineers nodded their heads, scribbled some notes and thanked us for our input. Then they headed back to Japan.
FAST FORWARD THREE YEARS
The 2006 LT-R450 QuadRacer is the official result of these (and many more) meetings with the product planners at Suzuki. The engineers have designed this all new, high-performance QuadRacer from the ground up. It is designed as a no-compromise racer, with little or no modification required to be competitive from the get-go. Here are some of its features.
Suzuki’s R450 has an all new, liquid-cooled, four-valve, DOHC, 450cc four-stroke engine. The motor itself is based on their popular RM-Z450 MX bike. It has a narrow cylinder head design featuring a shim-under-bucket valve train with titanium valves with lightweight hollow-type camshafts and a forged-aluminum piston with an electroplated aluminum cylinder.
The LT-R450 uses Suzuki’s Advanced Sump System—a semi-dry-sump lubrication system that features separate crankshaft and transmission oil chambers. The purpose of the separate chambers is to help permit a low crankshaft placement for reduced engine height and a lower center-of-gravity, as well as lessen the chances of oil contamination.
NEW FUEL INJECTION SYSTEM
One of the most notable features found on the new Suzuki QuadRacer LT-R450 is its electronic fuel injection system. While the R450’s motorcycle counterpart comes with a Keihin 40mm carb and a four-speed transmission, the new QuadRacer utilizes Suzuki’s latest fuel injection and a five-speed gearbox.
While fuel injections systems are not new to ATVing (especially in the 4×4 ranks) this is one of the first to be installed on a Japanese built race quad (Note: the American-built Cannondale quads were the first ATVs to come standard with fuel injection systems).
LONGER WITH MORE SUSPENSION
The new LT-R450 has a little over an inch longer wheelbase (50.6 inches) as compared to the Z400 (49 inches). According to the Suzuki engineers, the new LT-R450 is designed to turn and burn through the corners like a knife through butter.
In the suspension department, the new QuadRacer has a completely new front A-arm assembly. It uses stronger and longer double A-arms up front, with 10 inches of compression, rebound, and preload adjustible travel (for comparison purposes, the Z400 has 8.5 inch travel up front).
On the back end, a single shock, steel swingarm is standard with 10.9 inches of compression, rebound, and preload adjustible travel (Z400 has 9.1-inch travel).
The frame is constructed of steel, not aluminum, and has been redesigned to make it more capable on the race track, says Suzuki’s engineers. It features a center port exhaust design with the chassis geometry said to be more conducive to the carve-and-thrust turning required of modern day ATV motocrossers.
Other features include aluminum front hubs, magnesium engine covers, a removable front headlight and electric starting. While there is no reverse gear in the five-speed, manual clutch gearbox, the Suzuki engineers went ahead and equipped the new R450 with an electric starter. Kudos for that, since the overall weight on the machine is a feathery 368 pounds the LTZ400 is 372 pounds. Considering its increased displacement, this is a substantial weight savings.
More standard features on the new LT-R450 are triple hydraulic disc brakes, mud vented fender/heel guards, and racer-styled seat with sleek plastic fenders. The LT-R450 will come in both a yellow and a white plastic version for the new year and have all new radial tires with rugged dent-resistant aluminum rims.
While the official price has not been set by Suzuki, we expect it to be in the same range as its YFZ450 and Honda 450R competitors, say right around $6900-$7000. We can hardly wait to get our hands on one to see if all the stuff we asked the engineers to do has made it onto the production machine.
(Left) In this view of the LT-R450 you can see the wider track on the front end of the machine. It comes with Dunlop radials at both ends (AT20x7-10 fronts and AT18x10-8 rears). (Right) In this view of the LT-R450 you can see the wider track on the front end of the machine. It comes with Dunlop radials at both ends (AT20x7-10 fronts and AT18x10-8 rears).
2006 SUZUKI LT-R450
Engine type: Single-cylinder, DOHC 4-valve, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke
Bore and stroke: 95.5mm x62.8 mm
Compression ratio: 11.7:1
Carburetor: Fuel injection system
Starter system: Electric
Lubrication system: Dry sump
Transmission: 5-speed constant mesh no rev/
Front: Double A-arm independent suspension, w/ 10″ travel,fully adjustable piggy-back reservoir
Rear: Single shock swingarm w/ 10.9″ ravel, fully adjustable piggy-back reservoir
Front track width: 41.2″
Rear track width: 38.8″
Dry weight: 368 lb.
Colors: Champion Yellow, White
Note: All specifications are subject