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Title: Suzuki LT250r, Tecate 4, Honda 250r
Description: Which is fastest? Find out here


Ryan#87 - January 20, 2006 08:29 PM (GMT)
A old article from Dirtwheels

In the world of performance ATVs, 250 two-stroke four-wheelers are the weapon of choice. Like their motorcycle cousins, 250 are capable of turning much faster lap times than their brothers. Whether it’s lap times or blazing the trails, the performance-oriented four-wheelers are the sport cars of off-road vehicles.

MORE CHOICES THAN EVER
This year the competition and performance-minded rider has the best and most numerous choices ahs has ever had. Last year, Suzuki’s original LT250 Quadracer, the first race-designed four-wheeler and the ATV screen, was challenged by Honda’s fantastic FourTrax 250R. For ’87 the Honda has undergone refinements to further improve what was already an excellent vehicle. Now Kawasaki has launched the all-new KXF250 Tecate-4 on a collision course with the new ’87 LT250RH Quadracer and Honda’s ’87 250R FourTrax.



Since we’ve had a chance to test each of these machines separately, we’ve decided to compare them head to head in what has turned out to be the closest shootout in Dirt Wheels

history. Never have three bikes been so evenly matched. Picking a single winner out of the bunch seemed impossible at first. All three were extremely capable, and all were winners. Picking one over another became a matter of subtle personal preferences. A lot of it had to do with personal idiosyncrasies. Maybe one rider preferred a certain dealer-ship. For another parts availability and reliability were the most important attributes. The subtle nuances that made one of these bikes a better choice for one rider could just as easily be countered by the individual strengths of another.



WHAT TO DO?

After riding all three machines on a variety of tracks and trails, the result were less than conclusive. So we decided to do something a little bit different for this shootout. WE decided to make a special Dirt Wheels test course that would encompass every sort of terrain obstacle and riding environment we could possibly imagine. Thus was born the Dirt Wheels 250 shootout test loop. After extensive searching, we came up with a five-mile loop that had everything but the kitchen sink in it.



TESTING ONE, TWO, THREE….

The next step was to prep all three machines for a no-holds-barred test encounter. Nuts and bolts were checked, chains lubed and shocks checked and adjusted, air filters serviced and tire pressures checked. Our test would consist of several three-lap circuits around the course.

We would use three intermediate level riders on the machines and three pro-level racers. They would ride alternately on the five-mile loops. Our goal was a total of 20 torturous miles or eight laps on three of the best ATVs made today.

To give you a more accurate feel for how the vehicles performed in the actual test, we will really what it was like to ride a typical lap around our 250 shootout course.



LINE ‘EM UP AND MOVE ‘EM OUT

Assembling at the starting line, our three contestants (after topping the gas tanks, thoroughly warming up the machines and then killing the motors) waited mervously to start the five mile Dirt Wheels torture test. Lighting up on the first kick, the Suzuki LT250RH Quadracer jetrted out to an immediate holeshot, followed closely by the Tecate-4, which also fired up, on the first kick. The Honda FourTrax pilot wicked it up the catch the first two after requiring three kicks to roar to like.

The first section of the course consisted of tight, twisty woods trails. In the fast woods section the Kawasaki, with its horter wheelbase and narrower front end, soon gained ground on the holeshotting Suzuki. Tucking inside on a tight woods hairpin turn, the Kawasaki pilot pumped the clutch and blasted past the Suzuki Quadracer. Making up for lost time, the Honda FourTrax pilot and narrowed the gap between himself and the leaders.



OVER HILL AND DALE



As our readers headed out of the woods section, the Tecate-4 led, with the Quadracer and FourTrax hot on it heels. Approaching a moderately steep downhill, all three machines waited till the last possible moment to brake. The Honda pilot out braked the Suzuki and Kawasaki riders and slipped into the lead going down the hill. The Kawasaki and Suzuki followed closely. The Honda, Kawie and Suzuki pilots all downshifted once. They made a turn and proceeded back down a series of rain ruts, which caused everyone to suddenly jam on the brakes. Both the Suzuki and the Kawie riders momentarily stalled their motors, but quick reactions got the wheels spinning again and both were hot on the trail of the leading Four-Trax. A gnarly hill climb lay dead ahead. All; three machines made it up the hill with no problems, but the Tecate-4 had to downshift once and fan the clutch at the very top.



JEEPING ALONG



The next section of trail was a fast, deeply rutted jeep trail. With a slight lead, the Honda blasted into this section in hopes of picking up some time over its rivals. The Suzuki and Kawasaki were neck and neck down the fast, rutted fire road. The Suzuki started to pull away from the Kawie as the trail became increasingly more rutted and rough. The Suzuki’s longer travel suspension was in its element now and aided by the hard-hitting mid-range punch and blinding top-end acceleration, was gaining ground fast on the Honda Four-Trax.



SWAMP THING



As the three ATV’s approached the dreaded mud bog lime pits, the Honda pilot nailed the throttle and hit the mud bog, lofting the front end with the torquey FourTrax motor. Right behind him, the Suzuki pilot nailed the throttle and lofted the front end of a shorter distance and then buried it in the two-foot deep slime. Only a steady, concerted dose of throttle kept him from flying over the bars. The Tecate-4 rider saw the Suzuki’s predicament, braked hare, hit the throttle and sailed past the Quad rider.

As the three machines wheelied out of the mud bog, a two-to-three-foot-deep water crossing loomed ahead. Not missing a stroke, the Honda pilot again wheelied his mount, gently touching the front end in midstream. The Kawasaki pilot hit the throttle then spun the wheels on the slick bank and plowed a wake into the water crossing. In spite of a wall of water crashing over the bike, it didn’t miss a beat. But as the rider emerged on the the opposite bank, a tap on the rear brakes indicated their stopping power had disappeared somewhere back in the stream. As the bikes wheeled back past the momentarily brakeless Kawasaki and set off after the fast disappearing
Honda.



MR. SANDMAN



Approaching a series of sand worm turns followed by two sets of sand whoops, the harder-hitting Suzuki began to catch the front-running Honda. After the first couple of worm turns, the Kawie pilot’s brakes had dried out, and he was also in hot pursuit. As the Honda entered the first sand-whoop section, the Suzuki managed to pull almost even with him. Both machines took the oddly spaced-whoops at full tilt, side by side. As they headed into the second set of whoops, the Suzuki Quadracer started to inch ahead. The higher the speed, the better the Quad’s suspension fells. At speed, the Honda has just a hint of rear end swamp. The Kawie, meanwhile, was doubling whoops in a desperate attempt to catch up.



ROCK AND ROLL



Once out of the sand, a gnarly rock-filled trail lay ahead. Having taken the lead in the sand, the Quad hit the rock trail at a fast gallop. With 4.9 inches of ground clearance, the Suzuki pilot was able to straddle most boulders on the trail. Since skid-pan protection on the Suzuki is minimal, the rider still had to be careful which rocks he aimed at. The Honda pilot, having a reduced ground clearance of only 4.3 inches, had to be more careful how big a boulder he attempted to straddle. Although the Honda did have the best skidpan protection of the three machines, it also had the lowest ground clearance.

As they continued up the rock-infested trail, the Tecate-4 started gaining ground in the tight twisties, where the ability to maneuver quickly comes to play. Although it also had minimal skid-plate protection, the Tecate-4 did have the most ground clearance of the bunch- five inches.



FIRE-ROAD HEAVEN



Coming out of the rocky trail in the lead, the Suzuki hit the high-peed, hard-pack fire-road section pouring on the throttle. Zigzagging’ past the Honda in the rocks, the Kawie emerged second and lit up the tires in a bid to reel in the Suzuki. Mere seconds behind the Kawie, the Honda lazily rolled onto the fire road, catching gears in a caching-gun patter until it was in sixth gear. The only problem was, every time he shifted into sixth, he’d have to shift right back down into fifth to maintain a good drive. Sixth on the Honda is more like an overdrive than an actual working gear.

Meanwhile, in the lead, the Suzuki was continuing to hold off the Kawie. The Suzuki seemed to be the only bike of the three capable of pulling strongly in sixth gear. The Tecate-4’s speed in sixth as very similar to the Honda’s, and it, too is more like an over-drive gear.

After easily negotiating a rut-filled corner at high speed (very precisely), the Suzuki headed into the home stretch. Only a set of double jumps, some dirt whoops and a loamy dirt corner separated it from the finish. Hot on the Suzuki’s heels was the nimble-handling but more skittish at higher speeds Kawasaki Tecate-4. The Honda Four-Tax wasn’t far off the pace, and as the narrower and shorter Tecate-4 two-wheeled while coming out of the rut filled corner, the Honda broad slid past it on the outside.



DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE



Coming up to the double-jump section, the Suzuki pilot pegged the motor and set sail. Carving a smooth, graceful arch, it touched down, easily clearing the dreaded doubles. The FourTrax pilot gunned the motor, kept the power on and barely cleared the edge ot the second jump. Immediately behind him, the Kawie hit the jump wide open, also barely clearing the double. Another quick, straight-on jump, and all three machines were catching gears and winding out, straining to cross the finish line first.



WHOOPDEDO



Slamming into a series of hard-dirt whoops, the Suzuki skimmed the tops on its way to only one more turn and the finish line of the five-mile loop. The Kawasaki had pulled even with the FourTrax pilot in the dirt whoops, and both riders flew across the whoops, side by side. Neither backed off an inch as they approached the next-to-last hard-pack turn. AS the Suzuki approached the finally loamy turn before the finish, the Honda and Kawasaki entered the hark-pack turn side by side. The Honda pilot immediately did a quick spin-out, doughnut turn. The Tecate-4 squared off the inside line and headed for the last corner.



SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST



Executing a perfect broad slide into the loose-loam turn, the Quad pilot nailed the throttle to loft a perfect photo-finish wheelie across the finish line. Hot on his heels, the Tecate-4 exploded out of the power berm to take second, while the Honda recovering from the spin-out take third.



WHEW…



Now, that is what one alp was like. In the following lap the results were reversed, with the Honda taking the win, the Suzuki finishing second and the Tecate-4 third. On the next lap the Kawie emerged on the top with the Honda second and the Suzuki third

Which 250 is best? It depends. The differences are so minute that, as we said earlier, on one of the three can and will win. Check out how the machines worked in the type of terrain you ride most often, and make your choice. With these three ATV’s there are no wrong decisions-only different circumstances.[/B]

_Chipwiz_Ben_ - January 20, 2006 11:21 PM (GMT)
Don't know about anyone else, but that article had me on the edge of my seat thinking come on Suzuki!

_Chipwiz_Ben_

lt500rzilla - January 23, 2006 10:14 PM (GMT)
Sweet the Suzuki took first

86lt250r - January 25, 2006 01:54 AM (GMT)
Its stuff like this that you read that makes you wonder why everyone thinks the honda is so much better.

Quadracerdan - January 25, 2006 02:05 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (_Chipwiz_Ben_ @ Jan 20 2006, 11:21 PM)
Don't know about anyone else, but that article had me on the edge of my seat thinking come on Suzuki!

_Chipwiz_Ben_

It had me going the same way

86lt250r - January 25, 2006 03:14 AM (GMT)
I seen this article before i got my 250r.I argued with all the guys at the shop here about the zuk being faster then the honda.They all said the honda was way faster.This article makes it sound like the honda wasnt even close.So which is faster does anyone really know the answer

_Chipwiz_Ben_ - January 27, 2006 07:55 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (86lt250r @ Jan 25 2006, 03:14 AM)
I seen this article before i got my 250r.I argued with all the guys at the shop here about the zuk being faster then the honda.They all said the honda was way faster.This article makes it sound like the honda wasnt even close.So which is faster does anyone really know the answer

I guess this is the wrong place to ask since it's kinda biased :lol:

_Chipwiz_Ben_

Zilla529R - January 28, 2006 09:23 PM (GMT)
Damn that article really has made all three quads sound ALOT closer in competition than history has made them out to be.

ONLY2STROKES - February 17, 2006 02:09 PM (GMT)
dirt wheels did a 1/4 mile test and the suzuki beat the honda by a good margin.but the honda is a lil better mx quad.

JimRalphy - February 19, 2006 04:37 AM (GMT)
Stock to stock the Suzuki is a bit faster, and the Honda a better MXer, only by a little bit either way. However, the Honda got a STRONG aftermarket help in the way of GO FAST...

Quadracer111 - March 4, 2006 08:52 PM (GMT)
The Suzuki is Faster but the honda had a better handeling chassie making it a better mxer.but in a stock-stock drag suzuki would win.. the only reason most hondas are faster is beacause of alll the aftermarket

Zilla529R - March 7, 2006 05:30 PM (GMT)
It would be a tough call if I had the option to buy any one of the three quads today for the same price. Even though I am a huge fan of honda, I do not think I will ever buy a 250r. It just seems like its all to common to own a 250r. It would be a tough one between a Tecate and an LT250r. In the end Id just end up buying one of each (if I only had money to do so). I really like the Tecate and they dont seem to be as troublesome as a LT250r when poorly maintained. But who knows, theres less tecates and probably equal problems per quad sold.

Quadracer111 - March 13, 2006 08:15 PM (GMT)
the thing with the zuki is that it turns heads! like hey look there is the first racing quad ever built.. then u see the honda and say ohh wow there is just a honda 250r

sblt500r - March 14, 2006 02:31 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Quadracer111 @ Mar 13 2006, 03:15 PM)
the thing with the zuki is that it turns heads! like hey look there is the first racing quad ever built.. then u see the honda and say ohh wow there is just a honda 250r

so what do they say when they see a tecate 4?? wtf is that green thing :lol:

i've been looking for a basket case tecate 4 for awhile, you don't find them here in the northeast, at least junkers, they all go for over $2000. closest i found was a 86 tecate 3 that was dissasembled, but i missed out on that.

Quadracer111 - March 19, 2006 03:45 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (sblt500r @ Mar 14 2006, 02:31 AM)
QUOTE (Quadracer111 @ Mar 13 2006, 03:15 PM)
the thing with the zuki is that it turns heads! like hey look there is the first racing quad ever built.. then u see the honda and say ohh wow there is just a honda 250r

so what do they say when they see a tecate 4?? wtf is that green thing :lol:

MABY.... I never knew what a tecate 4 was until i joined everything2stroke

Quad32x - May 30, 2006 04:23 PM (GMT)
I raced a Tecate-4 in 87 till about 90 and I can tell you this , it was a holeshot machine !My Webpage Notice whats right behind me. :o :D

Ryan#87 - May 30, 2006 04:27 PM (GMT)
ha ha i bet once that beast got out in a straight part it took off.

Quad32x - May 30, 2006 05:25 PM (GMT)
No he came in about 6th or 7th. There was alot of very fast GNC riders in that pic. It was a long time ago though. Ive never riden a 500 on a MX track but Im sure they would be a hand full after a few laps. The 250s , I believe , where a better fit for MX racing. This pic was taken at Motocross of Marion County in Reddick , Florida in 87 or 88.

Skully - January 31, 2007 02:28 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Quad32x @ May 30 2006, 04:23 PM)
I raced a Tecate-4 in 87 till about 90 and I can tell you this , it was a holeshot machine !My Webpage Notice whats right behind me. :o :D

Dang Tim........
You look a little bit thinner in that pic! :D

DR Q - January 31, 2007 04:04 PM (GMT)
Hi Tim,
Yes, the T-4 was the fastest of the 250s for sure....
Too bad not too many people built hybrids for the MX stuff......
$.02
RK




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