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Racer 450 Magazine
1350cc Shootout
January, 2007

Here it is; the most fascinating ATV lineup of all time. Three manufactures put three 450cc machines on the gate. We’ve dug deep, through the endless BS you’ve read in magazine after magazine and website after website. Racer 450 gives our full unbiased opinion on all three machines. We spent countless hours on several machines all across the country. We used riders from the amateur ranks all the way up to pro level to base our opinions on each machine. This is the real deal, can you take it?

Starting things off, we received absolutely no help from any of the manufactures during this test. No machines were provided, absolutely no money exchanged hands and very few phone calls were even returned. Every machine used was a loner from a racer, enthusiast or just someone who wanted to participate in our testing. Has Racer 450 ever lied about a machine, no? Have we ever held back; definitely? That is all about to change.

Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki entered the 450cc high performance market in that exact order. Although Suzuki’s LT-R450 is a first year machine Yamaha and Honda’s 450s have been on the market for a little over 3 years and have both received substantial changes in that period. All three machines are very close to the 450cc displacement limit placed by the ATVA, each are liquid cooled four strokes and were meant for high performance riding. That’s about were the similarities end.

We say high performance riding because none of the companies other than Suzuki actually market their ATV as a race unit. Why, we’re not really sure. Both Honda and Yamaha 450cc brochures feature the ATVs pictured on motocross tracks or feature professional motocross riders and both companies endorse those same professional riders. That’s quite a lot of marketing money pitching the race idea for a machine that isn’t really called a “Race Machine”.

So how do they perform? On with the testing:


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