Tuesday, March 11, 2008

High performance 450 shootout

Dirt Wheels has their long-awaited shootout of the major high-performance 450 sport quads in their April 2008 issue. Despite the "and the winner is..." teaser on the cover, I would say the piece is more a "party" involving seven awesome machines than a true shootout! No clear winner is declared, which I agree would be difficult anyway. But this also allows me to give you my own breakdown of the data and as I read and re-read the article, I thought a "visual guide" would help...

First, the seven machines to keep straight:

  • Can-Am DS 450
  • Honda TRX 450
  • Kawasaki KFX 450
  • KTM 450 XC
  • Polaris Outlaw 450MXR (straight axle)
  • Suzuki LT-R450
  • Yamaha YFZ 450

Key differentiating specs (since most are the same)

EFI - DS450, KFX450, LT-R450
Reverse - KFX450, 450XC, 450MXR

In order of cost

  1. TRX450 ($6850)
  2. YFZ450 ($7100)
  3. 450MXR ($7200)
  4. KFX450, LT-R450 ($7400)
  5. DS450 ($7500)
  6. KTM 450XC ($8800)

Drag test

  1. TRX450, YFZ450
  2. 450MXR, LTR-450, DS450, 450XC
  3. KFX450

Top speed

  1. TRX450, YFZ450 (78mph)
  2. DS450 (77mph)
  3. KFX450, LTR450 (74mph)
  4. 450XC, 450MXR (73mph)

Trail loop

  1. KTM450, DS450, YFZ450 (34min)
  2. TRX450 (34.25min)
  3. KFX450
  4. 450MXR, LT-R450

Suspension

  1. 450XC, 450MXR
  2. DS450, YFZ450
  3. KFX450
  4. TRX450, LT-R450

Jumping

  1. 450XC, DS450, LT-R450

Handling

  1. 450XC
  2. YFZ450
  3. LTR450, 450MXR, DS450
  4. TRX450
  5. KFX450

So now you can make your own call on the winner or check out the full article for plenty of good comparative photos and more comments.