SPORT TEST: LONESTAR/QUADTECH YAMAHA YFZ450
TITANIUM AND CARBON FIBER GOODIES THROUGHOUT
Nothing robs horsepower more than riding in the sand. An extra heavy quad is your worst enemy. You can save a few pounds by removing items such as your parking brake, lights, and unnecessary stock parts. After that you have to turn to exotic materials. That’s exactly what Quad Tech, man-in-charge, Billy Pointer did with his latest project quad.
This YFZ450 is one of the trickest duner we have come across in a long time. The dune machine was a built-to-order project for a Yamaha dealer in Lake Havasu, Arizona, Tony Beck. Beck wrote Quad Tech a blank check and said go for it. However, he didn’t want an exotic alcohol burning, Stage 5000 hand grenade. The goal was to build a reliable machine that could be ridden on the weekends and wouldn’t be torn apart at the shop all week. But it needed to be special, and that’s why Quad Tech was commissioned to do the build.
The main focus of this project was to keep the machine as light as possible, as it would only be ridden in the dunes. To make this happen, Lone Star Racing was hired to basically copy the stock YFZ450 frame and use titanium for the material. Lone Star first used Titanium to construct the A-arms on Keith Little’s TT race quad.
To build this super lightweight frame, Lone Star charges $6850. It took another $1420 to build the A-arms. If you think that is off the wall, then you will be floored to know that Lone Star equipped this machine with a $680 subframe complete with 24 karat gold plating. Lone Star Racing (LSR) took care of the steel steering stem ($385), axle ($410) and a variety of other items totaling another $1000.
The billet accessories were all from Quad Tech’s new line of low-cost accessories. They included a polished aluminum gas cap, breather cap, dipstick, brake reservoir cover and a brake block-off plate, all for under $200.
Quad Tech (QT) carbon fiber parts were also found throughout this project. The exotic carbon pieces went really well with the trick titanium chassis. Up front, we found QT’s signature hood ($190) with carbon fiber air ducts ($50) below it. Under those scoops, a pair of $125 shock guards were used to protect the ultra light Fox Floats. A carbon fiber brake guard ($50) and case saver ($40) brought a trick look to the side of this YFZ as well. To top it all off, a Quad Tech tall seat and cover ($170) was used as well as a matching graphics kit. PEP, RIS Designs, GYT-R and Pro Tech also contributed chassis components to the project.
Although it adds weight, a few items were powdercoated to protect them from being sandblasted. Embee Powercoating put a clear layer over the Titanium frame and A-arms. The hubs, motor mounts, rear shock spring and beadlocks were also coated in different colors to make them stand out. About $700 was spent at Embee.
This view with the bodywork removed shows how exotic the Titanium frame looks and how crazy the 24-karat plated subframe is. Just about every part of this quad was either polished, plated, chromed or powder coated including the swingarm. The Fox Evol Floats are nice plush add as well.
To get the most out of this light weight dune rocket, Dubach Racing Development was called on to do magic to the motor. If you remember, Dubach (DRD) won our YFZ450 pipe shootout a couple of years back. Doug Dubach has more time riding on and working with the YFZ motor than anyone we know. DRD did some cylinder porting ($550) and installed their stepped head pipe ($195) and spark-arrested racing exhaust ($296). The stock air box lid was removed and replaced with a freer-flowing, sand-stopping $86 unit from Pro Tech.
That newfound power took a path through a full complement of Hinson clutch components ($875) along a DID gold X-Ring chain ($90) out to a set of four ITP Sand Star tires. The paddles were mounted up on a set of ITP’s own beadlock wheels. The package from ITP ran about $900. Braking’s Wave rotors ($340) were used front and rear to slow this machine down.
For convenience, the electric starter was left in working order. Removing it could have saved a few more pounds but for this customer it was left in. On the sand, this machine literally floated. At an estimated 340 pounds, it was hard to get bogged down at any speed. The Fox Float air shocks work well in rough terrain, and out in the sand they are amazing. They don’t bottom or top out and move with a motion like you are riding on water. From the smallest ripples to the gnarly chopped-up sand of a big weekend, the Foxes worked wonders. Out of the box, the front air shocks are as good as Elka’s Dune Edition shocks with a huge weight savings.
The DRD YFZ motor rips. In the sand, desert or on the track, it’s hard to find an engine and exhaust combo this good anywhere else. It could pull the lightweight chassis and a six-foot rider around like no other four stroke we have ridden. It runs smooth and doesn’t feel like it’s on the verge of blowing up like some of the quads we see and hear out in the dunes.
The question is, does a quad warrant this kind of investment? Well, if you have spent every weekend off during the winter at Glamis for the past fifteen years, wouldn’t you want a quad that was lightweight, fast and not going to keep you from your passion due to breakdowns? We would. If you have the desire to rip around on a quad this exotic and have the pocketbook to match, then give Quad Tech a call at (949) 859-7823. Or visit them on line by logging onto www.quadtech-atv.com There, the rest of us might find some products we can afford while we are still dreaming of owning a machine as trick as the Quad Tech/Lone Star Racing Titanium YFZ450.
Quad Tech: (949)859-7823
Lone Star: (800) 457-7223
Fox: (800) FOX-SHOX
DRD: (951) 808-1114
ITP: (909) 390-1905
RIS: (562) 251-1330
Hinson: (909) 946-2942