In the days of old, people were able to purchase machines that their kids could learn how to ride on and eventually modify for more performance as their skills had progressed. The Suzuki LT-80 was one of the most popular in this category as it had the longest production run from 1988 through 2005. As the evolving four-stroke machines eventually took over the large-displacement market, this of course trickled down and the LT-80 was discontinued and replaced by the LT-Z90. With only a 10cc increase in displacement and conversion to a four-stroke engine, the LT-Z90 certainly lacks in the power department from its predecessor. A large part of this power deficit stems from many Americans' lack of taking responsibility when something happens, which starts a witch hunt ending with an ATV company burned at the stake. Essentially, the thought process is the less power the machine makes, the less likely something bad is going to happen.
Quest For Performance
As youth ATV options are very limited, consumers continue to purchase this machine with hopes of finding aftermarket companies that can provide parts or services to increase the performance. CT Racing has had a solid track record in souping up youth-sized quads, so it was a no-brainer for me to drop off our LT-Z90 to see what could be done. After listening to my wants and needs (aka endless whining) CT recommended I start with a nice bolt-on program it offers for this machine. The kit consists of an exhaust system that comes supplied with necessary jetting, a K&N air filter kit with Outerwear and clutch mod package. This setup should really help to wake up the motor since we're eliminating the stock exhaust system and installing the high-flow air filter from K&N instead of running the restrictive stock airbox setup. Another item recommended to increase the performance of the engine was a Dynatek CDI. The Dynatek unit raises the rev limit of the machine and has four preset ignition curves to fine-tune the power delivery of the motor even more. The clutch mod is geared toward a more advanced rider. The rear clutch is reworked to increase the stall speed, meaning the engine will rev higher before the clutch actually engages and propels the ATV forward. Modifications to the front clutch are primarily in the changing of the roller weights, which allow the engine to keep at a higher rpm power curve through the shifting process. This combination will give the LT-Z plenty of torque to pull hard from a standing start and make power until there is no more.
With the increased power and performance of the engine, I needed a suspension capable of handling it as well. CT contacted Teixeira Tech and convinced them to produce a front A-arm that widens the stance of the LT-Z but also allows for a longer shock to be used since the stock shock is very short and wouldn't allow for much change in suspension travel. This setup will also lessen the problem that's commonly associated with single A-arm suspension designs where the wheels drastically camber in through the suspension travel. To complement the special A-arms CT suggested I run a set of Race Tech shocks front and rear, which would give the hopped-up quad three inches of additional travel in the front and two inches in the rear over stock. This would definitely make for a plush ride compared to the stock setup.