The Suzuki Z-400

Some propaganda from the Suzuki web site for you......

MSRP $5,699USD The Quad Sport Z has the same MSRP as the Honda 400EX with many additional advantages including Liquid Cooling and Reverse. The QuadSport is $800-$900USD less expensive than the Yamaha Raptor! $5699USD $6499-$6,599USD
Displacement & Engine Type 398cc-Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke The QuadSport Z's engine is based on the well-proven DR-Z400 Suzuki Motorcycle powerplant. The QuadSport Z's 398cc engine delivers a flat torque curve and strong response from 3,000rpm all the way up to and over 8,000rpm. 397cc-Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke 650cc-Single Cylinder,4-Stroke
Valve Drive Train DOHC 4-Valve   4-Valve SOHC 5-Valve
Bore & Stroke 90.0 mm X 62.6 mm   85.0mm X 70.0 mm 100mm X 84.0 mm
Cooling System Liquid Cooled With Fan The QuadSport Z uses Liquid Cooling to maintain optimum engine operating temperature and minimize power loss due to engine heat. Liquid Cooling is especially effective on racing-type engines that operate at consistently high RPM. Radiator placement on the QuadSport-Z was chosen for it excellent cooling abilities. Radiator placement along with the Dry Sump lubrication system allows for optimum engine and radiator placement to keep a low center of gravity. Air-Cooled Liquid Cooled with Fan
Engine Cylinder Material SCEM (Suzuki Composite Electrochemical Material) The Aluminum-Alloy cylinder is plated with SUZUKI's own race proven nickel-phosphorus-silicon-carbide coating, known as SCEM, which reduces weight and improves heat transfer, allowing tighter, more efficient piston-to-cylinder clearance. STEEL STEEL
Compression Ratio 11.3:1   9.0:1 9.2:1
Carburetion Mikuni BSR 36mm A large 36mm Mikuni Carburetor is fitted on the QuadSport Z along with 36mm intake and 29mm exhaust valves all with narrow 5 mm valve stems to improve port flow. 35.5mm 33mm BSR x 2
Starting System Electric   Electric Electric
Driveline Sealed O-Ring Chain   Sealed O-Ring Chain Sealed O-Ring Chain
Start In Gear YES The QuadSport Z400 provides convenientstarting at all times thanks to the "Start in Gear" system. NO YES
Lubrication System DRY SUMP By moving the oil reservoir outside of the engine the engine can be made more compact. This permits optimum engine placement in the frame for a low center of gravity. DRY SUMP DRY SUMP
Transmission 5-Forward,1- REVERSE A handy knob mounted on the right front fender releases the reverse interlock and allows the shift pedal to be used to select reverse gear. 5-Forward No-Reverse 5-Forward1-Reverse
Headlights Vertically-Stacked, Dual Multi-reflector halegon headlights The QuadSport Z400 is the first ATV with vertically-stacked, dual multi-reflector halogen headlights. Both headlights use a dual-filament, high-beam/low-beam 30/30W bulb. Dual Headlights Dual Headlights
Brake Light YES The QuadSport Z400 comes standard with a multi-reflector combination taillight and brake light. While the Honda 400EX FourTrax is not equipped with a brake light. NO YES
Overall Lenth 1,830 mm (72.0 inches)   72.2 inches 72.0 inches
Overall Width 1,150 mm (45.3 inches)   45.3 inches 43.3 inches
Overall Height 1,115 mm (43.9 inches)   43.7 inches 45.3 inches
Wheelbase 1,245 mm (49.0 inches)   48.4 inches 49.0 inches
Seat Height 810 mm (31.2 inches)   31.9 inches 33.9 inches
Ground Clearance 262 mm (10.3 inches)   10.4 inches 8.8 inches
Dry Weight 168 kg ( 370 lbs)   375 lbs 398 lbs
Fuel Capacity 2.7 Gallons   2.6 Gallons 3.2 Gallons
Front Suspension Independent Double-Wishbone Front Suspension produces 8.3 inches (210 mm) of wheel travel.   Independent Double-Wishbone Front Suspension produces 8.2 inches of wheel travel. Independent Double-Wishbone Front Suspension produces 9.1 inches of wheel travel.
Front Suspension Adjustment 5-position Spring- preload adjustable coil-over shocks. The adjustable preload feature gives the rider the ability to apply more tension to the spring if the ride feels too soft or less tension if the ride feels too stiff. 5-Position Spring-preload adjustable shocks. 5-Position Spring-preload adjustable shocks.
Rear Suspension An Aluminum-Alloy Swing-arm Rear Suspension System features a single, fully-adjustable piggy-back reservior shock and produces 9.1 inches (231 mm) of wheel travel.   Aluminum Swing-Arm with adjustable Single shock produces 9.1 inches of travel. Aluminum Swing-Arm with adjustable Single shock produces 8.7 inches of travel.
Rear Suspension Adjustment The Fully Adjustable piggy-back shock offers Preload, Rebound damping and compresssion damping adjustments. The Adjustable Preload feature gives the rider the ability to apply more tension to the spring if the ride feels too soft or less tension if the ride feels stiff. The Adjustable Damping feature lets the rider fine tune the suspension for the surface and/or a better ride. Damping helps regulate the speed that the shock springs compress and extend. When you adjust the compression and rebound damping you are actually adjusting the oil flow through the shock. More compression damping will slow the compression of the shock and more rebound damping will slow the rebound (extension) of the shock. Fully Adjustable Single shock 20 Click Compression Adustability
Seat T-Shaped Suzuki's own T-shaped seat is narrow at the front and flares out over the rear fenders, making it easier for the rider to comfortably shift his or her weight back-and-forth and side-to-side. Rectangular Rectangular
Front & Rear Wheels Aluminum Alloy wheels10.0x5.50-inch front and 9.0x8.00-inch rear.   Aluminum Alloy Aluminum Alloy
Front Brakes Dual-Drilled Hydraulic Disc Brakes Hydraulic Disc are featured all around. A convenient parking feature allows the rear brake to be set using the left handlebar lever. Dual Disc Dual Disc
Rear Brakes Single Hydraulic Disc Brake   Disc Disc
Front Tires AT22x7-10 The QuadSport Z400 carries Dunlop Front and Rear radials. 22x7-10 AT21 x 7-10
Rear Tires AT20x10-9   20x10-9 AT20x10-9
Skid Plate POLYETHYLENE (PE) High-Impact Polyethylene (PE)skid plate is lighter than conventional metal plates, is resistant to dents and corrosion and slides easily over terrain high-spots. NONE Composite
Colors Yellow, White   Red, Yellow Blue, Black/White

Jo (the wife) had the 250EX and although it's a totally bulletproof machine, she was left a little "wanting" for power in the dunes. Submitting to the fact that she actually is going to have to drive a machine with a clutch, we upgraded to the Z-400. At the time, Suzuki had a financing deal with no interest and no payment for a year ( !! ) - so we went for that. May as well sit on their money as opposed to ours. We got the new 'zuk for $7700 Cdn - a good, but fair price.

Between the pricing and the financing terms it's obvious that the factory is getting real serious about the ATV market. Mind you, there were some 800,000 ATV's sold in the US last year - more then all dirt bikes combined, so it's not a hard sell for a marketing guy to convince management that this is something they should pay attention too. Friends and neighbours, ATV's are here to stay and the market is getting bigger, not smaller.

Back to the Z. The Z comes in a range of colors and under a couple manufacturers badges. The Kawasaki KFX 400, and the Suzuki Z-400 are IDENTICAL machines. They are both made by Suzuki, with the only difference being the plastic. Although Kawasaki and Suzuki both produce a yellow model, the yellow has a different tint to it - and there are subtle differences in the plastic.

The Z (or KFX) truely is a beautiful machine. It's fit and finish are on par (or exceed) that of Honda. This ATV could easily have been red and labelled with black and white wings. The suspension is plush (mebbe too plush?) the seat is shaped well and is as comfortable as your favorite easy chair.

We've owned the Z-400 for about a year now and we've had zero problems with it. None. Nada. It was Jo's first attempt at an ATV with a clutch so when she finally got the hang of it, I changed the discs out of spite because I was sure with all the slippin' and stallin' that had been going on they'd be fried. First of all, the discs are reasonably priced, second of all, upon inspection, the abused discs were fine! Good meat left on them, no burn marks, great shape. It makes me smile when in the presence of a top quality, well engineered machine.

Out of the box, the Z-400 is a GREAT quad. Jo's has zero mods to it (not even a pipe) and I was able to run with my very highly modified Raptor on a high speed logging road from the bottom to the top of the mountain. Yes, the modified Raptor could accelerate away from the stock Suzuki, but seeing as the Raptor started out as a 660, and then was bored with an 11:1 piston and a complete tranny upgrade, the 400 did just fine. And it did it comfortably and leisurely, and quietly.

You can actually get worn out on a big ride, or successive rides on the Raptor, then throw your leg over the 'Zuk and go again. Without question, I would have owned one for myself if they'd been out when I bought my Raptor.

Funny, I'm comparing the 400 over and over again to my modified Raptor and even stock, the two machines aren't in the same category!! The Raptor, in stock form (let alone the current state of mine), is an all out open class ATV. The Z-400 isn't. Although it rides like one, it's geared to the Honda 400EX market. Evidenced by the fact that Yamaha has just introduced a 400 ATV to compete with the Suzuki! I love it when the manufacturers compete for our dollars! :)

The 400 has soft suspension in stock trim. Very enjoyable for the trail or jumping dunes in Oregon. The suspension feels like it's too soft for jumping, but I have yet to bottom the machine, and in awkward landings, it's extremely forgiving. When compared to our 400EX, the Z-400 would need to be stiffened up on the track, but everywhere else is superior. After getting off the Z and hopping onto the EX, the Honda feels, well, old. Not sure how else to describe it. While the EX is still extremely functional, and was argueably the best ATV ever made (for certain conditions) it rides stiff like my Raptor, and has egonomics like my Raptor and suspension like my Raptor - and heck, if I'm gonna give up all the creature comforts that the Suzuki posesses, I'll just ride my 660. The Z-400 feels like it will eat an EX for breakfast - haven't had the chance to try that yet, except on hill races, and here, the Z wins. It's got a street bike like motor to it - hence it's origins - not a whole lot of bottom end power to it, new riders will stall it a few times, but get the mid-sized dual cam motor into the RPM's and look out. This thing can book.

It'll run any dune with a Raptor, jump like a dirt-bike and track race like an EX. All with the same effort required to sit on the couch and watch your favorite soap opera. It's got reverse (not present on the EX or the new Yami 450), good lighting, great ergos and plush suspension.

It's hard to write a review on a machine with absoutely no bad characteristics. There's nothing to say. The machine starts with ease, purrs like my streetbike, gets great fuel economy, has plenty of power, looks kewl......(sigh) - O.k., you gotta turn the ignition switch 2 clicks to the right to get the headlights on, and the reverse is IDENTICAL to a Raptor, and.....umm... I wish it had a beverage holder......(lol) Susuki really hit the mark here. No this is not the most powerfull ATV on the planet - but you'll be able to run with them. Yes, it is docile enough for a novice, yet powerfull enough for the experts.

In my very humble opion, this is the best machine ever made. Funny, I go back and read the reviews I've written and it seems that sport ATV's just get better and better with each new release. The little 300EX was formerly my favorite all time ATV (edging the 400EX because of reverse) - with this article I'll wave goodbye to an old friend and even tho I'm still waiting for the Kasea 1500,  untill then, there appears to be a new movement in the ATV manufacturing world. And in the front of the line is the Suzuki Z-400.