Join Date: Feb 2003
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Re: Tough decision fellas......
It all depends on what kind of riding you plan to do most of the time.
For trail riding, the smaller Z400 and 400ex seem to work better than the Raptor or DS650. BEing smaller and lighter in the woods makes them easier to throw sideways quickly to make it through the tighter twisty sections. They are a little down on power compaired to the monster engine quads, but you'd never notice it on tight trails, only on top speed runs down longer straights.
For MX, it's a real tough choice, the Predator handles great on the MX track, either of the 400's handle nice, but need help in the power department, and the Raptor's desperately need wider suspension. The 400's would need to go wider to compete at the more experienced levels of racing too, but they still corner better stock than the Raptor.
For dunes or wide open desert riding, it basically comes down to 3 of the 4 stroke quads. The DS650 is awesome in the wide open spaces, and the stock suspension has enough travel to soak up a lot more of the bumps and jumps at high speeds. The Raptor is almost the same in engine performance as the DS (I think the DS makes more power with less mods), but the front end is a lot lighter, which can be fun if you like to wheelie all day long. The KFX700 is the sleeper of the bigbore bunch. With an aftermarket exhaust, ignition module, K&N Filter, Jetting, and some minor clutch tuning they absolutely fly up a dune. Since they are shiftless quads, they gain time on the other bigbores in drag races whenever the others have to shift. I watched a KFX700 with an Alien exhaust beat up on piped Raptors, and DS650Baja's all weekend long at Boxcar Hill in the ORegon Dunes over last Memorial Day weekend. The same guy's wife was riding a stock KFX700 with just a set of paddles, and keeping up with the piped Raptors and Ds's. They are the quickest 4 strokes I saw there over the 4 days I was riding that weekend.
Decide what type of riding you'll be doing most, and then make your decision, I'm sure others may have other opinions than I do and that's ok. The nice thing is any of these quads are great choices, and they all are sort of specialized when it comes to riding conditions. Pick the right tool for the job.
I know this is a long post, but I figure since the forum has been kind of slow lately, I'd give you as much info/personal observation as I could. Good Luck, let us know what you decide to get. [img]images/graemlins/40BEER.gif[/img]