Project Suzuki LTZ400: OMF Wheels and X Rex Tires

Controlling the power to the ground

Jun. 16, 2009 By Ricky Sosebee
Getting the suspension dialed and then adding a bit more fire to the breath of our 2009 Suzuki fuel-injected Z400, means we are now not only handling the tight stuff better, but we have more responsive power to use.

When we started this project quad there were a few things that we wanted to accomplish, and those two were the core of our goals. Months of testing our suspension has proved successful and we are ready to move to the next performance-enhancing add-on for this beast.

While having a plush ride and a bit more under the throttle finger, there has to be some control of the power to the ground. For this part of our build we decided to get into the wheels and tires that deliver the power to the trail. The stock equipment is just good enough for the timidly aggressive rider and cannot really be counted on for the type of trail riding and or racing we want to do with this ATV.

So where do we go for strong, durable and incredibly-adjustable wheels? Our friends at OMF have just what we had been looking for.

Bead-Lock Wheels by OMF

The billet center bead-lock with an adjustable center was our choice. Bead-locking a wheel is their specialty and making the center of the wheel adjustable for different widths just made it better. These wheels start off as 190 red label’s and turn into reinforced bead-locked tire grabbing rock busters. With a billet center the wheel can be adjusted for varying widths. There can be any combinations of offset. We had the guys at OMF powdercoat our centers and rings to match our Suzuki Z400. The inside or back of the wheels would also get a reinforcement ring to help strengthen it even more.

Our reason for the toughest wheels on the market is to keep the wheel from becoming destroyed by the harsh conditions of some of our trail systems. The reputation of the company you are buying from is always good to consider as well, and OMF is sets a high standard.

You may ask, "why a bead-lock wheel?" Especially considering the cost (about $1,000 a set!) Well, in the fast-paced trail riding and racing world, tires get busted loose from stock wheels fairly easily. Taking a rock to the sidewall or even straight-on can pop a normal bead. Keeping the tire locked onto the wheel helps prevent flats that could end a race or leave you stranded on a ride. Sometimes, that's priceless.

Aggressive Tires from GBC

You're only as good as your weakest link, so when choosing a tire for these rims we had to get a hold of aggressive and tough tires to match. That’s where GBC tires come into play. The X-REX tire from GBC is a tough cross-country racing-inspired trail-grabbing tire with a X-knob tread design. This tire has a 6-ply puncture resisting construction and with the engineering of GBC backing it there is nothing it cannot do.

I like the pattern of the tread and with the extra side lugs on the rear I know muddy terrain will not be a problem. The tire may not slide as well as other brands, but we wanted something tough and all-around trailable.

The X-REX front tires we mounted on our OMF wheels were 21’s and having the 20’s on the rear kept our Z400 close to the ground.

Tough Trail Testing

The mountains of north Georgia yield some very tough terrain and rocks are a big part of it. Our private testing grounds lie in an area where dense trees and large streams cover the property. Very rocky hill climbs and treacherous off-camber trails proved to us that the X-Rex could hold on tightly to the ground under them.

I'll admit that the tires bite hard in the corners and high speeds are a bit sketchy while cornering, but overall the rear tires performed very well. The steering of our Suzuki Z400 was assisted with the bite of the X-Rex front tires and seemed to keep us going in the direction they were pointed. The side lugs seemed to grab at the trail and held their own in the toughest sections. I attempted to puncture the tires every chance I got, with no luck. I'm sure there is something out there that these tires cannot resist but we didn’t find it in our testing.

Overall both the GBC X-Rex tires and our OMF Bead-lock wheels performed very well. This was a great combination and I thank both parties for helping with our build.

Stay tuned for our final add-ons which include Faast bars and Rox risers, with some Suzuki under-belly protection from their own warehouse.


OMF Performance
Riverside CA
(951) 354-8272
Cost for the billet center wheels starts at $249.95 per wheel with the beadlock and inner reinforcing ring, plus an additional $9.95 per billet center or beadlock ring for powder coating. There is an additional charge of $9.95 per billet center shim.



GBC Tires
(877) 410-8608

Current Pricing from GBC

X-REX ATV Tire 20x11.00-9 Rear 6 Ply -- $69.44 $59.12
X REX ATV Tire 21x7.00-10 Front 6 Ply -- $58.97 $54.26
X REX ATV Tire 22x11.00-10 Rear 4 Ply -- $70.83 $67.00
X REX ATV Tire 22x11.00-10 Rear 6 Ply -- $84.74 $80.16
X REX ATV Tire 22x11.00-9 Rear 6 Ply -- $74.14 $74.30
X REX ATV Tire 22x7.00-10 Front 6 Ply -- $65.53 $56.39
X REX ATV Tire 23x7.00-10 Front 6 Ply -- $69.20 $60.23

X Rex

X Rex Size




Rim Width


Weight (LBS)

Max Load



























275 Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!