So we finally got the opportunity to ride the all new Suzuki LT450R. And they allotted us enough time to have the world’s fastest photo shoot and take a few laps on the quad to get an ever-so-first-time impression.
The first thing I noticed was it is really comfortable to sit on; I’ve always felt that they have something good going with that T-shaped seat. As far as the rest of the ergonomics, it felt good as well.
Immediately from take off, you could feel how well the fuel injection works. There isn’t the slightest bit of lag off idle that you always seem to find in a FCR carb. Power-wise it felt great, but with the limited amount of time that I had to spend on it, I couldn’t really decide if it was the engine or just gearing and smaller tires than the rest of the bunch. But I will say that it seemed to pull quite well through the gears.
You definitely feel stable in the corners right from the get go with the wider stance than the competition. The tires felt a little hard on the track that we had access to, so it was a little tough to assess the brakes. After all, anything will lock up the tires on a sheet of ice but that doesn’t tell you what the stopping power is like in a traction situation.
The suspension feels a bit stiff for just tooling around, but then Suzuki didn’t have the tooling rider in mind when they built this quad. I’m sure that some of the harshness can be adjusted out - not to mention the shocks are rebuildable so you could get them resprung and valved exactly to your liking. But as far as out-of-the box, I think the more-aggressive rider will do just fine until they decide to step up to some good after market shocks.
Final Analysis: I think the Suzuki LT450R is a great quad for the market that they are trying to pitch it to. Is it worthy of all the hype that preceded it? Perhaps. It is definitely closer to race ready than the competition. And for an aggressive trail or dune rider I think it will be a hot ticket. I think is a great place to start, but it would be interesting to see how it holds up after giving it a good solid beating for awhile.
If the frame is solid and can hold up, I think a person could set this quad up for considerably less than it’s competition.