Re: Newbie Which one should i get?
I have a 2002 400ex and own a 94' CBR900RR. My CBR is heavily modded, smacks the rev limiter in 6th gear with ease, pulls the front end off the ground in 4th gear with NO clutch. I've drag raced it down in Englishtown dozens of times ....I'm in NJ too. I've never owned an ATV before this 400ex. I just added nerf bars and a front bumper. I ride alot in the pits and top gear is useless to me. I went down one tooth on the front sprocket and the bike rips! I wanted the Z400, but it was first year. I'm glad I got the 400ex b/c the 1st year Z400's had issues with the rear axles. But if i were buying this year I'd definitely get a Z400. It has reverse which I think could be convenient even though my 400ex w/o it never bothered me. But it is water-cooled and can make serious Hp. Just adding a pipe, jetkit and air filter (see Dirt Wheels pipe shootout), it can make 36 Hp easily. Stock is 32Hp. The 400ex only makes like 26 Hp and with pipe, jetkit and air cleaner, at tops makes only an extra 2 Hp. But from a Newbie's perspective (That liked to fly on the CBR) the 400ex is fine for me. Scares me a heck of a lot more than the CBR ever did (except for that one time I almost went head-on with a car doing @50 mph and I wa doing 140 mph. ....Yikes!!!).
Now from experience, my neighbor has 400ex, 300ex, 250ex and had a Raptor and Grizzly. He sold both Yamahas. Even though they made awesome power, he just wasn't comfortable on the Raptor. He enjoyed riding the 400ex better than any of them. The word he used "the Honda is ultra-refined". It was smooth and very easy to ride. He does want more power. He is looking at the Predator, but is getting turned off. Now, he is holding onto the 400ex this summer and then selling it. Next year he wants a new Honda (if they make one).
If you want a new one now, get the Z/KFX 400. Otherwise, wait till Honda comes out w/ a new 2004 model. You may just be kickin yourself in the ass if you don't and they release a killer bike. If I were you, get a used 400ex, learn to ride, leave it alone and then sell it for about what you paid for it. Then get a new bike next year. By that time you'll know more about the Predator and possible new Honda and you'll also know if you really like ATVs to begin with. If you buy new, and sell it, you'll surely lose money. Buying used is the way to go.