At the offices of ATVR we come across more machines than you could throw a stick at. Everyone has a quad they want featured in the pages of a magazine, but it’s pretty rare that we ever get asked what we want to see built. Well, last year as I walked the floor of the Indy Dealer Expo, I stopped by the Streamline Brakes booth and sat down with owner Paul Rivera and discussed a Lonestar Racing YFZ chassis that he had on display with his latest and greatest product. “What kind of engine would you like to see in a custom-built quad?” Really? I was being asked how I wanted something custom to be built? As I thought about it, I realized the 450 sport market was pretty strong with Yamaha, Honda and Kawasaki still selling their heavy hitters, but the midsize sport market was lacking. Sure, Yamaha has a winner with the Raptor 250, but even that machine has its limits for some riders who aren’t quite ready for a full-blown 450.
This is why I suggested he go with a 250cc engine out of a well-developed dirt bike. Yamaha became the leader in four-stroke engine performance when it debuted the YZ400F, and all other engines that have followed have had outstanding performance and what everyone has set as their benchmark to outperform. Paul liked the idea and the wheels were in motion as we started talking completion dates so we could line up a date for the photo shoot.
Fast Forward Nine Months
OK, most bike builds don’t normally take this long, but when you’re running a strong business things can’t be done overnight. In the time that it took to complete this project, Streamline has released a complete new line of products that doesn’t just limit it to brake pads, rotors and steel braided brake lines. The company now offers steering stabilizers for both ATV and UTV applications, Pro-Lock grips and finally its highly anticipated Reflex clutch and brake levers. I gave Paul about the amount of time it took to finish this “dream machine,” but he reassured me it would be well worth the wait.
We met up at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California, to do our evaluation and photo shoot. I’ve always liked coming to Glen Helen because it offers such a wide variety of terrain and is considered to be one of the top motocross tracks in California if not the country. As Paul pulled up to the track I could see the custom-built beauty shining under a bright California sky, and it seemed more like a show bike than something we were supposed to be hammering around a motocross track. As our photographer set up his gear, Paul took a few minutes to go over everything that made this custom build what it is.
It all began with the Lonestar Racing chrome-moly YFZ racing chassis that was outfitted with its DC Pro long-travel A-arms, standard-length swingarm, +1-inch steering stem, Axcalibar Pro rear axle, rear sprocket and disc hubs, anti-fade lock nut and front and rear wheel hubs that had a tire/rim package from DWT with the latest MXF-V3 front and MXF-V4 rear tires mounted. In addition to the basic components that LSR used for this rolling chassis, the frame was set up with the new pro nerf bars and heel guards, front bumper and rear grab bar that LSR also makes in-house. Since we wanted a special engine stuffed into this frame, custom billet engine mounts were made to accommodate the Yamaha YZ250F motor. For the exhaust a Motoworks SR4 G2 slip-on system for a YFZ450 was mated to the stock YZ250F header, and a Fuel Customs intake system was custom built for this ATV to maximize airflow both in and out of the engine.
Maier was the plastic of choice over the OEM fenders because of the custom race cut that they come in as well as the variety of color options. For this, Paul opted to go with a silver/simulated carbon-fiber look that really made this stand out with the custom graphics by G4. Fasst Company supplied the popular Flexx Bars in addition to a brake clevis that allows riders to have a better and more positive rear brake feel through the pedal. To complete the 250F, every Streamline product that could be installed was placed. The most obvious of the parts are the steel braided brake lines, front and rear blade rotors, extreme-duty brake pads and aluminum brake line clamps. To help keep the machine under control, a Streamline carbon-fiber SS11 steering stabilizer was installed, and finally the new Reflex brake and clutch levers were mounted on the bar with the Pro-Lock grips.
The Little Quad That Can?
With all of the details and specifics out of the way, it was time to get down to business and see how well this thing really performed. Since the geometry of this machine is based off of the YFZ450, I enlisted WORCS and Yamaha Quad-X Pro-Am racer Steven Albert, who is familiar with that machine, to put it to the test. As with any new machine he spent a few laps getting familiar with the machine and its handling characteristics, and in no time at all he was blasting through the corners of the infamous motocross track like it was his own personal race machine. The one distinct trait I could tell about this machine was that it loved to be revved, which really isn’t any surprise since the lack of cc’s requires a bit more of an aggressive riding style.
I continued to watch Steve blast around the course and paid attention to the overall appearance of the 250, and was convinced this was one solid machine. The suspension sucked up the acceleration and braking bumps left from a full day of practice and even had plenty of power to clear every jump on the course with ease. It was also amusing to watch as many of the dirt bike riders seemed to get annoyed that this four-wheeler was able to hang and even pass them on many parts of the track. It’s no doubt that some egos were crushed when the 250 was revved to the moon and went by them like they were standing still. It was even more surprising to me when I was told the engine was relatively stock. The intake and exhaust mods along with a slight port job and quality time at Fuel Customs on the dyno really come through in the performance of the peppy ATV.
At the end of the day I sat down with Steve and picked his brain for his overall opinion of this high-roller 250. “This thing is awesome! It doesn’t have the power of my YFZ450, but I would have no problem racing this in any of the Quad-X events here. It had plenty of power to clear the jumps with ease, and the handling was astonishing.” I inquired what exactly about the handling that he liked, and he explained: “It was probably one of the most-planted ATVs I’ve ever ridden, and the light weight of the machine made it a breeze to control. If I launched wrong or hit something wrong, it didn’t take much effort on my part to bring it back. I can’t say that I’d want to race it in any kind of lengthy endurance race because it seems like it would really wear on the engine, but for MX purposes the 250 is great for riders not quite ready for a 450.”
Quad Of The Future?
Sure, there has been plenty of speculation that an OEM is going to step up to the plate and produce a high-performance sport ATV of this caliber, but will it ever happen? I would like to think so, but until then we must settle with what we have. To produce a machine of this caliber, the sticker price would be that of a 450 if not higher, and many people have a hard time paying that price without the extra 200cc. If there was one who did decide to bite the bullet and go all out, we hope they’ve read this article and give the product contributors a call, because this is a machine that has met and exceeded all of my expectations.
Streamline Performance Braking:
Reflex brake lever: $69.95; Reflex pro clutch perch: $139.95; +2 steel braided brake lines: $89.99; rear steel braided brake line: $39.99; billet brake line clamps (2): $29.99 ea.; front blade rotors (2): $89.99 ea.; rear blade rotor: $89.99; extreme-duty brake pads (3): $28.95 ea.; carbon-fiber SS11 steering stabilizer: $199.99; Pro-Lock grips: $23.99
YFZ450 chrome-moly chassis: $2,442.55; YFZ450 standard-length swingarm: $750.00; YFZ450 +1 steering stem: $377.00; YFZ DC-Pro long-travel A-arms: $1,199.00; YFZ450 Axcalibar Pro axle: $399.00; YFZ450 billet front wheel hubs: $299.00; YFZ450 billet rear wheel hubs: $236.00; YFZ450 billet rear sprocket hub: $142.00; YFZ450 billet rear disc hub: $120.00; YFZ450 billet axle lock nut: $95.00; DC-Pro nerf bars with heel guards: $450.00
Stage 5 long-travel front shocks: $1,795; Stage 5 long-travel rear shock: $1,295
Silver/carbon-fiber race-cut front plastics: $236.94; silver/carbon-fiber race-cut rear plastics: $257.36
Flexx Bars: $349.99; rear brake clevis: $39.99
SR4 G2 YFZ450 slip-on exhaust system: $399.95
Champion In A Box wheel kit: $494.95; MXF-V3 front MX tires: $84/05; MXR-V4 rear MX tires: $81.95
Hump seat kit: $185
YFZ450 high-performance radiator: $474.95
Silicone radiator hoses: $68.99
Billet ATV thumb throttle assembly: $124.95
Custom intake system: $219