Quad racing is right around the corner and the engineers, tuners, and riders have been out testing there equipment. The testing results are in and we get to see all the new ideas for 2008. Can-Am released its highly anticipated DS450 with a frame like no other. Yamaha beefs up there 700R so it’s capable of 9000 RPM’s stock and the YFZ 450 comes from the factory with a very impressive five titanium valve head. I’ve broke these machines down to size and I’ll tell you what I think is the best sport/racing ATV on the market for 2008!
#1 Can-Am DS450 EFI
Can-Am is relatively new to the ATV world, but don’t let that fool you. The engineers who developed the DS450 have gone above and beyond. With detachable fenders and headlights this ATV comes stock ready to race right off the showroom floor. It is the lightest ATV in its class weighing in at 345 pounds. The ALTEC frame is what helped loose that weight. Using aerospace technology to help design the frame. It has no welds at all. Can-Am claims it makes 9% more horsepower than any ATV in its class and here is why. The DS 450 has the largest intake valves (38mm), the largest throttle body (46mm) and the largest bore (96mm). That is just the beginning of what this amazing ATV has to offer. It didn’t just make number one by a little it blew the others away!
#2 Yamaha Raptor 700R
This Raptor is the best selling sport ATV for several reasons. This 700 YFI engine has the biggest engine with the most horsepower on this list. This huge engine doesn’t want shifted until 9000 RPM’s. I liked the fact that when Yamaha designed this ATV they kept it in a racing category. Most ATV’s with that big of an engine or bigger start to change the design into a heavier dune type ATV. The raptor has new front piggyback shocks witch will help on the course for tuning purposes. Yamaha got brave and developed its own YFI fuel injection with a 16 bit control to also help tune. I think for the price and power this is probably going to be the best selling sport ATV of the year again!
#3 Yamaha YFZ 450
This is another example of Yamaha’s experience in the off-road world. This ATV is a multi-time GNCC championship winner and the 2007 ATV of the year in ATV illustrated magazine. The reasons are not hard to find. This 450 DOHC has the most state of the art head work on the market having 5 titanium valves. This ATV weighs in at 350 pounds witch makes for excellent power to weight ratio. The one thing I thought Yamaha would have done is put an EFI system of some sort on this deserving 450; instead they decided to stick with a 39mm Keihin carburetor. If you can’t keep up with your competition on this ATV then you might want some riding lessons!
This ATV has won many events but not so many book awards. In my opinion, who cares about a book award if you can win the trophy? The Honda TRX is a little heavier than the other 450’s in its class but it makes up for some of that weight by having 12.0:1 compression in the power plant. This motor is running a big 40mm flat slide carburetor. There is nothing that is spectacular about this ATV as far as big numbers or doing something different to the design of the machine. The bottom line is that this machine performs very well. It might not have the biggest motor or the biggest suspension but what it does have is tuned very well and it will back every bit of the up on the track.
#5 Suzuki Quad Racer R450
It is about time Suzuki stepped up and made an ATV that was a race ready machine. The single cylinder 450 is an engine that has been out for a while on the Z450 dirt bike. They basically took that engine and slapped on to a good heavy ATV frame. The R450 is one of the heaviest in its class weighing in at 368 pounds dry. That does not stop the machine from having speed. It has a very large cylinder bore at 95.5mm, Remember the Can-Am has the biggest at 96mm and Suzuki is not far from that. The thing that I liked about the quad racer is that it has fuel injection. That alone on the machine means it is going to make good power. Suzuki’s are also known for there suspension and they didn’t let anyone down in that area with independent double a-arm up front that is fully adjustable and in the rear is the linkage-type, gas/oil damped fully adjustable suspension.