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Discussion Starter #1
well this will get you all going. After thinking of buying the new z for a while now im leaning more towards a 400ex. 1. proven reliability. 2.parts availability. 3.cost less. 4. The more post are made the more problems that say its just another pos come up. Iknow for a fact that a very good rider could go do well in a gncc with the honda. It sounds as if the z would HAVE to have an axle and a skidplate to finish the race. The z has whimpy tie rod ends that cant take the beating that hondas take. Ive drug some yams. out of the trail with tore up tie rods that are just like the z's. After re-reading the mag article they say it was bottoming on the test track over in japan, and that it wasnt that much of a jump. Somewhere, I think at this site ,someone had problems with electrical system after changing to higher wattage bulbs and a lighted flag. I wouldnt be adding those but that kind of seems as though the system just barely gets the job done with no room for any added drains. Ive read of fuel shut of problems with some fancy vacume valve, jsut leave the normal stuff that works on them PLEASE. Now ive seen that the plastic is messing up, Im guessing where those "darts" are under the seat. Personaly I dont like handlebar chokes, Just harder to put on aftermarket bars. Outdated chain adjustment on swingarm. I would bet money that the frame cracks where the upper steering stem bushing is, thats awfully tall with no gussets. I shouldnt have called it a pos, its not ,but I believe the honda to be the better value and the better race quad. Time will tell. Both need to have some major changes. 1. longer swingarms. 2 the old 250r rear caliper and not that little baby one. 3 how about wider axles that you could just flip the rims over to be xc or mx ready, whatever you prefer. 4 quit detuning the engines so pussies can ride them, leave them like the bike engines with some ponies, yes they may not be as user friendly but an awfull lot of us would prefer it that way. and why must quads have handlebars without a crossbar, dirtbikes have them dont they? Oh well maybe this will force all the companies to keep improving every year just like sleds and bikes and we can all have quads that dont need 4000 worth of extras to even come close to competing at the local races. Its unbelievable that the Warrior still is being sold, along with a long list of others. I know the Z has more power and is fster in a drag race but when looking at the dyno graphs it looks like a pipe on a Honda will even things out. Heck put in a high compression piston like the Z has and things would be much more even. Either way if you want to race they both need money put into the engines. Im not saying you are all stupid for buying a Suzuki, I think they will beat your buddy in play racing if your basically stock, it just sounds as though yur going to need to put some more cash into it so it can last the day without damage, ie. axle.
 

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Man why don't you ride one before you write all that BS? Mine has ZERO problems. You're NOt going to convince anyone here that an EX is better. In fact, it gets pounded pretty bad.

Looks like you know what you want. Hope it works out.
 

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Well "To Each His Own" :)

I personally have had both, and raced both.

Bottom line there is no comparison, the technology and performance are top notch.

But hey the more people that buy the EX's the more fun we have kicking their butts, and parking next to them and making them look like dinosaurs :)

The 400EX was the bike of it's time, but guess what "Times have changed"

LOBE
~~~~
 

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Discussion Starter #4
barely legal, you have post on here that have helped lead me to my conclusions. you had a post about pinging at over half throtle with 87 octane. Its also not bs. there have been several confirmations of problems listed on the net. Yes I would love to ride one to know for sure but you cant tell anything at the dealer parking lot, and you definatly cant test to see if the axle is as strong as an overcooked noodle. I mainly ride xc type stuff so an aftermarket axle isnt mandatory. If you ride mx its not a big deal cause your gona get one anyway.
 

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please lets not flame. Both have their advantages, but i still want a Z. Thats why they make both.

dave
 

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imac- it sounds like you as said above, already know what you want..so why post? i mean yeah the 400ex is a great quad, but lacks a few things. The Z is great, yes first year, yes it will have problems. its normal, its going to happen! i just opened this website and ive had problems...but if i had the money, heck, id buy both! but seems like you want the 400ex
 

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Not to change your mind, but to set things straight, the Z and the EX are the same price, just now cuz it is new, they are more $$$. In a post about axles, the craetor of this site (Z400central) posted it was a manufactorer flaw that has been fixed. The skid plate is crappy, but so is the tin foil on the Honda, no better. The a-arms are made of a different material that most (high tensile steel) not mild steel like most, hence, they are stronger for less weight. The reason for bottoming out is for a good ride for the average rider, not a racer. They are adjustable, the back more so than the EX, and are just as good, maybe better, because they are made by the same company. There is also a post about the electrical system, read it, it says it can handle up to TWICE stock with high rev riding, and another 25 watts with normal riding, and the reflectors arent great, but 5 bucks will fix that. The plastic is fine, but i will admit the swing arm design is outdated, but look how beefy that swingarm is, not gonna break like the honda swingarm does. I bet you the frame will crack under the footpegs on the honda, go to exriders and find out for yourself. The handlebar choke is easily adaptable to any bar. The reliablility is proven cuz the engine has been around since 1999, and Doug gust just won a chapionship on it. Give it time, more parts will come out.

i think the Z is a better deal because it is faster, just as good handleing, it IS reliable, same price, and is easily improved upon with cheap mods. I dont think you can get 5hp out of a pipe on an EX, maybe 2 if ur lucky. U need more $$$ to make the EX as fast, but it still is not liquid cooled and does not have reverse. I think you should reconsider your options before you know enough about the quad. If you want the EX, get it, no one is stopping you. But the Z is a better deal.
Correct me if i am wrong on any of these facts.
This was not intended as a flame.

dave
 

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It was 100 degress out that day. It's a performance machine. I should have never fouled up and put in the wrong low octane fuel. It took 5 minutes and 20 cents a gallon to remedy that situation.
Anything high compression/high performance will ping. It's cause it's made to make power.
I'm glad to have helped you in your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I havent totally made up my mind yet. I was jsut compiling a list of problems that seem to have been reported by what I would percieve as being a small percantage of owners. I usually look at a persons profile and look at all the post they have made to try and see if they are newbies or experienced riders and then decide if I find them credible. Its just looking like for my ability the Z would need front shocks and a rear revalve along with an axle while the ex would barely get the job done. Im not 20 years old anymore and am not wanting to put in much more money into it. As far as speed and power the ex has plenty to beat the Z if the rider is good enough. My old quad wasnt as fast in a drag as a stock ex but much faster on the track than moded ex's.
 

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When I was trying to decide on which quad to get (as you can see in my sig I have a 400ex) I was riding a 400ex but I wanted to move the kids up on quads and I can say from my point of view that I am glad I got the Z it is still tight but I can feel it has more power and snap in the throttle as for problems, remember this is only a small sample of owners so it would seem that there is a larger than normal amount of problems but if you go to any site that deals with a specific item people will talk about there problems in hope of curing them so that would sway the actual results and yes this is the first production year and there will be some problems but I feel they can all be resolved either from the factory or through the aftermarket.
As for power I felt that the Z had a better starting point to build from as you would have to put alot of money into the 400ex just to get to the same starting point as the Z and then build from there. I am not dumping on the Ex as they are both good machines just think that the
Z is more upto date.

DadsZ400
 

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Discussion Starter #12
went to a mx race today and hoped to see atleast one in action but no luck. Only thing I got info on was an old friend used to race lt250's and said the chain adjust was horrible, I know its supposed to be better now but not by much im guessing from the way the mags talked. Supposedly one got 3rd on the hole shot in the last race but then faded, poor rider they figured, and not equiped like most race ready quads. lastly a Yamaha rider on a raptor said he has busted several tie rod ends, they look an awfull lot like those on the Z. I live right by the fairgrounds now and will be headed back over to watch the races in an hour or two. Might as well be in the AC untill race time since I have no quad yet.
 

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ex costs less? yea right. The ex is the same price as the z but hte z is dohc, faster, better technology and liquid cooled. Ex has none of those. Reliableity? Too early to tell on teh z. Suspension bottoms on the z easy? If yoru racing who cares you get new suspension anyways. The z mght have a few probs so do all new models. I read somewhere all the probs the ex had when it first came out but all the ex riders seem to forget about that when the ex was new. Whatever people are just upset the z is same price as the ex yet better and they try to justify why they made the better decision. If you like the ex fine, yoru money, get what you want. but why try to say things about the ex that is not true to make yourself feel better. Just get what you want, who cares about what others have.
 

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I don't see how ur going to bottom the suspension at an XC race...i thought there was very little jumps and most XC quads have their shocks set-up softer for a smoother ride, the Z has a smoother ride beacuase they r valved to be softer when compared to the EX. I don't think ur going to bend an axle at an XC, the guys at gtthunder bent one but they r PRO racers and were at an MX track. Also, go 2 gtthunder they have graphs of the Z and a 440ex w/ a Wiseco 440 piston , a TC cam, 41mm FCR carb,and CAM II w/ HMF or Hetrick racing pipe. All that and the EX barely made 40hp while the Z made that hp w/ exhuast, GT intake and cams. With cams, FCR 40mm carb, exhaust and new intake the Z can put out 46rwhp! And u still could put a 439cc kit in. So IMO the Z is more race ready and i think u might be able to put 400ex tie rods on the Z. Got to http://www.gtthunder.com/400z.html and see what they had to say about the Z, i'm just trying to help u out w/ ur decision. The 400ex cost about $5100+charges from ur dealer, the MSRP r same but they don't sell the ex for that much, i got my Z for $5100, is that not a beter deal?


Later
 

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Discussion Starter #15
xc is very hard on equipment if you are running in the top of one of the classes. Those trees dont move if you mess up. lol. Besides a lot of xc gets the course routed onto the mx track also. even national tracks like High Point. I know a lot of riders dont ride at the speed that a mx racer would but the fast guys are very close to the same speed. The best deal I can find is 4900 on a 2002ex and 5300 on a 2003z A good xc rider is going to bottom the suspension more often than a good mx rider. My reasoning here is that terrain is unpredictable in xc and you slam into stuff without rythem. On mx a good rider can hit the downslopes and not bottom out, yes if they stink they will bottom way worse. Im not trying to argue here or insult. My situation is that I used to be competitive in xc, won one national! Highlight of my career. Im now searching for something to play on but dont want to put a lot of money into it. If you are a good rider your going to be skilled beyond both machines without mods. I think the ex would hold up better but I still may go get a Z tommorow and just say the heck with it and replace stuff that needs it. I cant afford that pricey race stuff anymore LOL
 

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There is an article that atv action did, they went to the dunes and the Z walked away from the EX. There was an EX their that had a FMF exhaust, wb ignition and a WB cam and it kept even w/ the Z. I would ride both and make ur decision.


Later
 

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I get where your coming from imac I was kind of nervous about buying the Z because it was the first year in production and it may have some weak points. I decided to get the Z because the engine has been in the DRZ for a while and its better then the EX in a lot of ways in my eyes. The axle has problems so i'll be getting one soon and when tie rods come out i'll pick up a pair of them. I also like the looks and reverse that the Z offers. Lastly I would have been very pissed off if I bought an EX and Honda goes and redesigns the EX for next year.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
well I went and got my new white Z today and got over to my buddies house where we were going to do some riding and comparing of our own. I only rode his ex once but he and I both thought the Z had more power, especially right when you first get rolling. The suspensions are VERY different when just pushing on them and looking them over. Compression on the front feels similar but the Z has a lot more rebound dampening. Springs felt about the same to. On the rear the Z has what seems to be a stiffer spring, its hard to tell about compression dampening, the ex has more rebound dampening. Everything seemed to work like it was sopposed to on the new Z except for it kind of sputtered when i started it one time after sitting about 2-3 minutes, I gave it some gas and it didnt like that at all. I think it almost flooded but it started fine after I left it sit for about 30 seconds wondering what was wrong. It had about 15 minutes on it at that time. We both thought that the Z seemed to do a better job of keeping the front end down and letting the ridder stay on the gas when cresting short little hill climbs, we thought maybe the stiffer feel to the rear and a little higher seat height may be why, dont know. Anyway no drag races yet , wasnt going to anyway but he had to ride around on an old polaris cause the ex wouldnt start. Im sure some of you will get a kick out of that! just old battery and not rode in a while, bad gas kind of stuff not the ex's fault. We both thought that takeing power out of the question they both felt very similar. Reverse is geared WAY to high. Any atv going at any speed at all backwards will tend to whip / turn really sharp and thus roll over. You have to almost peel out to not stall it in reverse. My biggest grip of the night was at the parts counter. Do you have any oil filters for the new quadsport? NO. Will a DRZ filter work? We dont have any Idea on any of the parts for it yet. They did know that they had 400$ exaust and 180$ nerf bars though. Going mx'ing tomorow/well today actually lol. and see how it does. Kind of thinking that the rebound on the rear may need uppped some, maybe compression also. I cant see any reason why the works triple rates I kept from my 88r wont bolt right on the front. I was told by shock connection that they would on a 99ex but nothing else or they bind. I can see no difference between the ex years in the front shock area myself. Yes angles may be a degree of two off from the 88r to then new 4strokes but I would almost garuntee that they would be better than stock.
 

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That was weird! You went out and bought one. Cool. Congrats.
You'll see the power difference after 10-15 hours of use. Take it easy even though I know you're probably tempted to mash on it. You will be impressed when you nail it real hard after letting it get some hours on the motor. Also, the stalling thing seems normal. Mine did that for about the first 4 hours and started running better and better. Now I don't need to choke it, but do need to warm it up for about 3 minutes before it's ready to go.
Nice suspension thoughts. I was surprised to see you thought the Z was stiffer than an EX. After all of the talk about the Z having a soft suspension, is the EX softer? I do know a Z rides much better and have less vibrations coming from the motor.
 

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I am having the same problem with the rear suspension as it wants to buck real bad as in the rebound coming up real hard and still bottoming out when I jump. I have the compression in all of the way (hard) and the rebound turned out (soft) all of the way and tightened the preload down about a half inch and hope to ride tommorrow and see how that does.

DadsZ400
 
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