SUZUKI  LT-Z400

"We're not here for a long time, so we'd better make the most of it", that's the quote Suzuki South Africa used when they launched their LTZ400 QuadSport. The big thumper is exciting, agile and packs a punch. At the end of a hard day's riding you feel as if you've lived life to it's fullest (and you sleep like a log). After riding the 400 for two full days, I couldn't agree more, I came away feeling as if I had "made the most of it".

The 398cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valve, 4-stroke, single cylinder engine is the heart of this Suzuki four-wheeler. Starting is electric, so there no effort there and once you've hooked first and let the clutch out the fun begins. The front wheels of the LTZ400 will leap into the air at the drop of the proverbial hat (or in this case maybe a helmet) and before you know it, you'll be belting along at break-neck speeds. Bore is 90mm and stroke 62.6mm, with a compression ratio of 11.3:1. Fuel is sucked in through a Mikuni BSR36 carburetor, past two inlet valves, into the combustion chamber, where it is ignited by a single spark plug and expelled through two exhaust valves, into the throaty exhaust pipe.

Transmission is 5-speed with reverse (you don't have to get off to get out of tight spots... the fun just continues). Final drive is by chain. Stopping is with dual hydraulic discs on the front wheels and a single disc on the rear axle.

Front suspension is independent, double A-arm, 5-way adjustable for preload with 215mm of travel. Rear suspension is linkage-type, gas-oil damped with fully adjustable preload, adjustable compression and rebound damping, and 230mm travel.

Ground clearance is 265mm and dry weight 169kg (that's before you fill her up with 10 litres of fuel and roughly 4 litres of oil).

Enough of all the specs already, riding the LTZ400 is what life's about. The Z400 launches from standstill with a tremendous surge of acceleration and it builds from there, with the broad powerband and so much torque you'll be able to take on any other 2X4 quad. But engine performance is only half the story, the light-weight chassis, long-travel suspension and good brakes makes the LTZ400 extremely agile, and will allow you to take on the nastiest terrain. Riding these "sports" 4-wheelers is so much fun, that once you're riding, nothing else seems important.

Thanks to Suzuki SA for all the fun. If the LTZ400 was fitted with a fun-meter, the gauge would be in the REDLINE (maximum) all the time.  Kenn Slater. 

Dylan putting the LT-Z through its paces