Suzuki Z400 duner

King of the Hill!

Jun. 01, 2002 By Dean Waters
Last month we brought you the most in-depth coverage of the new Suzuki Z400 you'll find anywhere with our first ride article. This month we decided that we just had to get the Z400 off the trails and out to the dunes, to see how it would perform there. Since it's already too hot for Dumont Dunes or Glamis, we decided a Memorial Weekend trip to Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Utah would be just the ticket. (Watch for a full article on the Coral Pink Riding area in next month's issue, including details of the BLM land use plan for the entire Coral Pink/Moquith area.) We are not going to beat around the bush to tell you what we think about the new Z400. We think one word sums it up pretty well - Awesome!
We realized to test the true dune capabilities of the Z400, we would have to have some sand tires and wheels. We contacted Rocky Mountain ATV for some Douglas black label rims and Maxxis Tires for some of their new Rooster Sand Tires. (And yes, you will notice in the photos that the rear tires are mounted wrong - you can provide complete instructions when you drop them off to be mounted, but there's just something apparently baffling about a sand tire...) The Z400 uses the same bolt pattern as the Honda 400EX, so wheels are easy to find.
We started with some easy rides on Saturday to learn the area and get used to the Z400. The ergonomics of the Z400 are very easy to get used to. The T-shaped seat on the Z is a great design. The narrow front and wide back work together and allow easy movement.
We had a variety of riders test the Z400, and met an even longer list of those waiting to get their hands on one. While we do NOT recommend it for a novice or inexperienced youth rider, it proves to be an easy, reliable quad for an intermediate rider, and still packs plenty of power for the advanced dune jumping of the "big boys." This is a serious machine, right off the showroom floor. The jetting seemed less sensitive to the 7,000 elevation than our 400EX, and the gearing seemed a better match for starting in deep sand than several of the Raptors we rode with. Suspension was key on the long sections of rolling whoops you'll find on the major through-ways at Coral Pink, and the Z400 soaked them up at any speed.
On Sunday we happened into a group ride with Steve Abbott of Quad Central II leading the way. The ride started out with about 25 riders on an assortment of quads. The ride ended with five quads - the brand new Cannondale Moto 440 that Steve was riding, a modified Honda 310R, a Yamaha Raptor, a Bombardier DS650, and the Suzuki Z400. The stock Z400 did an amazing job of keeping up with these mega high-dollar quads. After three days of riding the Suzuki Z400 in the sand dunes, we were thoughly impressed with this bike. We had absolutely no problems with the Z400. We did have one test rider comment that the steering seemed slightly twitchy. A steering stabilizer would quickly resolve that.

This is one AWESOME sport quad for a MSRP of $5,699.

Z400 Photo Gallery

Contact Information / Related Articles

Z400 First Ride
2003 Z400 Specifications

American Suzuki Motor Corporation
3251 E. Imperial Highway
Brea, CA 92822-1100
Telephone (808) 226-7744
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