It started off as many Dirt Wheels test Quads do. The 2009 Suzuki QuadRacer R450 came in stock condition for a test that appeared earlier in the year. By the end of the year it had morphed into a full Yoshimura team replica and was one of the most effective machines in the Dirt Wheels arsenal. But unlike other high-end quads, this one happened piece by piece--it didn't just arrive fully built. It was more of a real-world evolution than a blitz and bling arrival from the sky.
The problem with testing a machine like the R450 is that it isn't really designed to be ridden in stock form. We all know that the R450 was designed as a racer. It comes with an EPA blessing and a quiet muffler so that it can be ridden on public land, but most Suzuki dealer's know what the machine can do on a racetrack. In the initial test we pointed out that if you remove the inner baffle, the machine just gets loud. In order to make the bike run right, you have to remap the fuel injection. That sounds a lot tougher than it really is--in fact, Suzuki has already done it for you. Within the quad's brain, there's an alternate map that can be accessed simply by installing resistor in the right place. Yoshimura makes that piece, calls it the Cherry Bomb and sells it cheap. Then, with nerf bars, you have a machine that can be raced. That's where we left of with the test. But then we started using the machine as a platform to test other products. The first step was suspension. The Fox Float R front shocks that are used by almost every factory team were installed. At $1400 a set, this isn't a budget modification. But when you consider that you can keep the Fox Shox for years and move them from one machine to another, you can write it off as a long-term investment. Same goes for the Fox Podium rear shock.
The next step came when we removed the electric starter for a story in the August issue. About that same time, we installed a Yoshimura exhaust and a Precision Pro steering damper ($559, www.precision-rp.com). Then we used the machine for a test on the Hinson BTL "Slipper" clutch, which was effective at eliminating engine braking, but very expensive ($1150, www-hinsonracing.com). At this point we had a quad that looked the part and handled great. Gary Jones son Justin took it racing at an ITP QuadCross and won the intermediate class. It was only his third race on a Quad, and it got him hooked. The Suzuki was good at that level. But it wasn't nearly fast enough for the pro class. That was clearly where Justin was headed.
Over the next few months, he raced the Suzuki and practiced on it every week. It was getting used hard, not only by Justin, but by his brother Greg. After a few months of that it was tired. Then Greg finished it off with a big endo at Milestone Raceway. The Suzuki needed work everywhere. It was bent, it was tired and it was ugly.
That's when it becomes decision time. The 450 could be rebuilt and straighten out, or it could be pushed to the next level. With Justin's Pro ambitions, we decided to go all out. Gary tore down the Quad and gave the motor to Yoshimura for a Stage 3 rebuild. Yoshimura uses its raceteam to develop stuff for the public, so the Stage 3 motor was basically what Doug Gust raced last year. In order to fully use the piston, cam and headwork included in the Stage 3, the Cherry Bomb had out lived its usefulness. Yoshimura installed the Programmable Interface Module (PIM), which is an EFI brain that can be altered to virtually anything you can dream up. Interestingly enough, the PIM was on its way out, due to be replaced by a unit that allows easier programming by way of a lap top.
When it was done, the Suzuki had been transformed into something that could compete in a national motocross. How do we know? We tested Dustin Wimmer's Quad a few months ago. The one that we built was on par with it. Not only that, but we rode our Yosh Suzuki back to back with Dustin Nelson's Yamaha cross-country machine and Jeremie Warnia's Can-Am motocrosser. It compared well.
Still, we know that the total price tag for this machine is overwhelming. With only slight rearranging, we think the sequence of our modifications makes a good priority list. You start where we did, with a Cherry Bomb. The next priority would be exhaust, then suspension. To be honest, we would skip the removal of the electric starter--the weight saved isn't worth the loss of the button for the average rider. But don't even dream of skipping the steering damper--we might even move that ahead of suspension. As for the BTL, it depends on your level. Most riders won't need it. But Justin is on the brink of Pro speed where it makes a huge difference in lap times. As for the final step, the Stage 3 Yosh motor, it's certainly worthwhile if the motor needs to be rebuilt anyway. That helps defer some of the $2700 cost. The stage 3 motor also includes ISF treatment of the gearbox. This is used extensively in Yoshimura's road racers. I've included Yoshimura's description of the process below.
So now what happens to the test machine? It will be raced until it goes back to Suzuki. Then it gets sold to a dealer, just like all our test machines. Chances are, that dealer won't know what he's getting.
Any time two metal parts come into contact the resulting friction causes heat to build up. These high temperatures lead to wear over time, reduce efficiency, and eventually create the need for replacement. By creating a smooth and shiny finish, the ISF Process increases the life expectancy and efficiency of moving metal parts. Increased life expectancy translates into both lower operating costs and improved performance. The ISF Process is a physicochemical process, using high density, non-abrasive ceramic media and conventional vibratory finishing equipment in which large batches of parts can be processed at the same time.
The ISF Process removes the surface asperities inherent in machining processes. By safely removing these microscopic peaks, the ISF Process leaves a highly uniform surface which reduces friction and allows for increased lubrication capability. While the dimensional integrity remains intact, the result is an improved component that will operate at lower temperatures, have increased durability, quieter operation, and increased time between maintenance.
ISF Process has been tested, proven, certified, and is currently in use in many different industries. It is highly successful on parts that operate under extreme conditions. The ISF Process is used in military applications and is FAA approved. The results of the ISF Process are undeniable. No matter what your product, the ISF Process will greatly improve performance, and save time, energy, and money.
Why the ISF Process is important to any application:
· Less inertia = Less friction = Less fuel consumed
· Reduction of friction of metal to metal contact parts = Less wear and contact fatigue
· Lower operating temperatures = Increased power output and efficiency
· Increased power density = options of larger engines or smaller transmissions
· Increased durability = Lower replacement costs and fewer failures
· Additional Benefits:
· Improved bending fatigue resistance
· Reduced lubrication maintenance
· Quieter operation
· Reduces rotational torque
· No metallurgical degradation
· No geometrical degradation