One Bad to the Bone LTR
Dave Barton's GNCC Suzuki LTR450 QuadRacer
November 29, 2010
Brakes and Lines
Steamline brake pads and lines were installed. I like the craftsmanship of Streamline products and they have held up to some of the nastiest stuff we run through. This year over 75% of our races were run in muddy conditions and the brakes never failed me. The front brake lines are two inches longer to the stem. This is nice because if you ever choose to run a longer stem there is plenty of line available. Also with this you can reroute them to make a cleaner look.
Rocks have sidelined many riders. A Blingstar rotor and rear sprocket guard is used as is a Blingstar roost guard. I love the rotor guard especially. It's a simple design and is very well built. It is designed to protect the rotor from rock, roots and anything else that I may run through. Its made from a tough 6061 billet aluminum and mounts in place of the stock brake stay. The sprocket guard is sold as a inner and outer dual setup, I prefer the outer only for the fact that I have seen a lot of debris get into the dual setup and cause broken chains and worse yet snapped cases cause by stretched chains. The outer is also made of a 3/8" thick 6061 billet. The rock guard helps to keep roost and mud down to a minimum on the front. A lot of GNCC racers have to tape the front ends up to help keep the mud build up off the radiator and this helps with not needing to tape up the entire front end, plus it just looks very cool.
Rath Racing nerf bars and heel guards add a nice piece if insurance against obstacles I've found nerf bars help in the woods in that they allow me to pivot around trees if needed. The Rath heel guards help to keep me from running over my foot if it ever slips off the peg. The Rath heel/nerf set up work well and look very sharp. The only problem we encountered with this set up was the rear fender mounts on the heel guard. We had to cut a piece of 3/16 aluminum to make a spacer in order for the mounts to line up with the mounting holes on the rear fenders. The bumper and rear grab bar are also sharp-looking Rath Racing components. Each of these bolted on and aligned perfectly without any problems.
Lastly, I know there are plenty of good chassis skid plates available but I like to make my own. I cut mine from a 1/4" thick sheet of urethane. I like the plastic much better than aluminum because you can slide over obstacles much better.
Controls and Cables
ASV brake and clutch levers are used. I like the levers and their unbreakable design works quite well. If the quad decides to go for a tumble it's nice to know that the levers will be there when you flip it back over to get going again. I use Streamline clutch and throttle cables, again I like the two inch over stock design like the brake lines, you can route them easier if you are running a extended stem or different bend handle bar. They are braided for durability and have that cool factor as well.
Lubricants and Odds and Ends
I've had nothing but good luck with Shell Rotella T 15w40 oil so this is what I run. I'm not the only one that approves of this oil, Rekluse suggest it as well. The very important air filter duties are handled with a UNI foam air filter with a good soaking of Maxima Fab 1 filter oil. The plastic is kept clean and shiny with Silkolene Pro Prep. Pro Taper chain and sprockets are uses and lubed with Silkolene semi synthetic chain oil. Lastly Pro Grips and a Pro Armor kill switch are used.
With the addition of a few quality aftermarket components and a little tinkering with some of the stock Suzuki ones we were able to build a serious cross country race quad with no shortcomings whatsoever. The engine makes usable low and mid range cross country punch that seems effortless. The suspension components offer a surprisingly plush ride without the high price tag. And I'm happy to say my new Suzuki outhandles my Honda all while offering more room to menuever around on the machine. In my opinion it also looks sharper than my old Honda.
Other than Chris Borich's Suzuki you don't seem to see too many at the GNCCs. Maybe riders don't like the wide width of the LTR, but ATV Four Play A-arms and an RPM Dominator variable width axle solved that problem for me. Some have argued that the Suzuki weighs too much, but I haven't been able to notice the few extra pounds one bit. All in all I couldn't possibly be happier with my new found love, and that's coming from a guy that won a GNCC championship on a well-prepped Honda.