Since Suzuki developed the QuadRunner in 1982, the rest of the ATV manufacturers have been hot on their heels – crafting the next big thing that will catapult them to four-wheeled stardom. But the Japanese firm was unrivaled in producing innovative, high-performance off-road vehicles. And in 2004, Suzuki beat the others to it again with the launch of the Suzuki LTZ250.
The LTZ250 QuadSport® is a highly capable, mid-weight sport ATV released by Suzuki between 2004 and 2009. Featuring aggressive styling, 50-mph top speed, Cardan shaft drive, and a 5-speed gearbox with reverse, this mini version of the Suzuki LTZ400 rides high among the best sport quads of all time.
The LTZ250 was unquestionably designed to conquer sand and dirt. Competency-wise, it is in the same ranks as Yamaha YFZs and Honda TRXs. The 246-cc quad may not have been recorded in pro-racing books as having won any GNCC or MX/SX championship. Nonetheless, the lack of accolades does not make the Suzuki LTZ250 QuadSport any less of a sport ATV royalty.
About the Suzuki LTZ250
2004 could not have been better timing for the launch of the Suzuki LTZ250, as it came out when the waning 4×4 sport industry was screaming for a much-coveted revival. Together with the famed LT-Z400, this mini beast rekindled the riding community’s gusto for the sport.
It offered the perfect blend of simplicity, enjoyment, and rider comfort. The LTZ250 provided both in-training and advanced thrill-seekers with the same superb handling and unrelenting power.
Contrary to public speculation, the LTZ250 did not have a DRZ400-adopted power mill. Also, it did not change its carburetion system to fuel injection – not even during its outgoing production year. But the wheeler did receive a few design changes, mostly around its drivetrain components and chassis.
Unfortunately, a number of these upgrades seem to have been more of a detriment to the LTZ250 than a benefit – as later versions of the QuadSport saw a decreased fuel tank capacity and lower ground clearance. Furthermore, the highly anticipated shift to chain drive and full-hydraulic-disc braking system never materialized.
Suzuki LTZ250 Specs & Features (2004 QuadSport Z250)
The quad comes equipped with a four-stroke, single-cylinder OHC engine with a Mikuni BSR29 carburetor handling air-fuel mixture. Bore-stroke ratio is 66 x 72 mm (2.598 x 2.835 inches), while compression ratio is 9.2:1. Meanwhile, piston displacement is 246 cm3 (15 in3).
All LTZ 250 versions share an air cooling system making use of polyurethane foam element and a wet-sump lubrication system. Overall, engine configurations lend to an LTZ250 top speed rating of 50-60 mph (80-96.6 km/h) and 32.3 hp/32.7 PS (24.1 kW @ 4,000 RPM) advertised power output.
Fuel & Lubrication
The LTZ250 runs on 10.6 L/2.8 US gallons (including 2.6 L/0.7 US gallons – reserve) of unleaded gasoline with a minimum PON 87/RON 91 rating, containing no more than 5% MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether), 10% ethanol, or 5% methanol.
Preferably, non-alcohol unleaded gasoline should be used on the four-wheeler. And at the first sign of unsatisfactory performance, gasohol variants should be disposed of and switched to premium quality unleaded petrol.
Lubrication-wise, it requires 2.2 L/2.3 US quarts (2.3 L/2.4 US quarts – filter change; 2.5 L/2.6 US quarts – overhaul) of SAE 10W-40 Suzuki Performance 4 Motor Oil with an API grade of SJ+ meeting JASO T903 MA/MB standards.
Use of alternative viscosity grades – such as SAE 5W-30, 10W-30, 10W-50, 15W-40, 15W-40, 15W-50, or 20W-50 – is permitted following ambient temperature. Check the service manual for details on transmission, cooling system, brake, and other fluid capacities.
Like the LTZ400, the 250-cc QuadSport has a wet, multi-plate automatic centrifugal clutch assembly and a forward 5-speed gearbox (including foot/hand-operated reverse gear). The LTZ250 may not have the same shim-under-bucket-tappet valvetrain design as its bigger sibling, but it does exhibit similar handling mannerisms regardless of the type of terrain.
However, the final drive is not shared between the two – the smaller QuadSport has a Cardan shaft drive, while the LTZ400 relies on an RK 520KZO chain drive to handle wheelspin on all fours.
As for transmission gear ratios, below are the specifics for the LTZ250’s gearbox:
|Primary Reduction Ratio||3.047 (64/21)|
|Secondary Reduction Ratio||1.133 (17/15)|
|Transmission Gear Ratio – I||3.083 (37/12)|
|Transmission Gear Ratio – II||1.933 (29/15)|
|Transmission Gear Ratio – III||1.388 (25/18)|
|Transmission Gear Ratio – IV||1.095 (23/21)|
|Transmission Gear Ratio – V||0.913 (21/23)|
|Final Reduction Ratio||3.200 (32/10)|
It has an electronic CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition) with a timing of 5° B.T.D.C. @ 1,500 ± 100 RPM mated to an electric start system. A triple-phase A.C. generator with a rated output of about 65V (AC) 150 W at 5,000 RPM serves as its charging system. A 12V 28.8 kC (8 Ah)/10 HR YTX9-BS battery (view on Amazon) powers up the machine and electronic accessories.
All production models require a 20-Amp main fuse and an NGK DR7EA or Nippon Denso X22ESR-U spark plug with a 0.6 – 0.7 mm (0.024 – 0.028 inch) gap. They are all equipped with 40-watt Hi/Lo-beam headlights, 21-watt brake light, 5-watt taillight, and 3-watt reverse and neutral indicator lamps for superior lighting distribution.
Tires & Brakes
Factory rubber consists of AT22 × 7-10 and AT20 × 10-9 front and rear tubeless tires mounted on 10×5.5AT and 9×8.0AT rims. These knobbies have a radial-ply construction, reducing unsprung weight while effectively delivering power to the wheels. The LTZ 250 utilizes dual hydraulic front discs and a single rear (expanding) drum for its halting power, completing its tire-and-wheel assembly.
Recommended cold-tire pressure for the front is 30 kPa (0.30 kgf/cm2, 4.4 psi) and 25 kPa (0.25 kgf/cm2, 3.6 psi) for the back. Depending on riding conditions and aftermarket tire construction, you can air down the tires or inflate them up to 70 kPa (0.7 kgf/cm2, 10 psi).
Never go beyond the maximum pressure of 250 kPa (2.5 kgf/cm2, 36 psi) when seating tire beads. For hard driving or more technical applications, you may swap stock tires with ITP Holeshot GNCC Off-Road Bias Tires (view on Amazon) for that much-needed grip and usable linear power.
Independent, double A-arms at the front and a rear swingarm are enclosed in a high-tensile, tubular steel frame (7° 40′ caster angle; 33-mm/1.30-inch trail). Oil-damped coil springs compliment both units – each suspension setup providing 160 mm (6.3 inches) and 170 mm (6.7 inches) of respective wheel travel.
Ground clearance is an impressive 265 mm (10.4 inches), just a few millimeters shy of what the LTZ400 offers. A 2.7-meter (8.9-feet) turning radius and 1,135-mm (44.7-inch) wheelbase make tight cornering angles possible. Plus, its 45° steering angle, coupled with its 5 ± 4 mm (0.20 ± 0.16 in) toe-in, reduces tip-over tendencies and provides in-training riders a wider margin for error.
The machine’s overall dimensions (1,720 x 1,070 x 1,090 mm/67.7 x 42.1 x 42.9 inches – L x W x H) are only a few inches short of the length, width, and height of its bigger sibling. The same goes for its track measurements (front: 830 mm/32.7 inches; rear: 810 mm/31.9 inches). If it mimicked anything from the LT-Z400, it is the seat height of 810 mm (31.9 inches) and the 110-Kg (243-Ib) load capacity limit.
But despite the more compact frame, the Suzuki LT-Z250 is a bit top-heavy for its class – weighing dry at 166 Kg (365 Ibs.), which is only three (3) kilograms lighter than its 400-cc namesake. Modding the frame, changing stock footwells for Lonestar Racing LSR DC-Pro Nerf Bars (view on Amazon), and swapping other Suzuki LTZ250 parts for aluminum would help shed weight off the wheeler.
The LTZ250 QuadSport has always stood out in a crowd with its high-clearance fenders, angular body panels, and race-ready design. Factory handlebars and grips lend to ease of maneuverability. A posture-friendly seat height, serrated footpegs, and complementing footwells make for a comfortable, all-day ride while supporting aggressive riding positions. Furthermore, a 5.0-L underseat compartment provides much-needed storage for riding essentials.
On the outside, special Solid White and Championship Yellow/Black color options are already plenty to look at. But if you want to add to the QuadSport’s sportiness, aftermarket LTZ250 exhaust like DG performance or FMF Slip-On Exhaust (view on Amazon) and decals will get the job done.
How Much is an LTZ250 QuadSport?
From its launch in 2004, the $3,899 list price of the Suzuki LTZ 250 remained unchanged until its 2008 iteration. The quad’s MSRP only increased by $300 in its outgoing year, bringing its value up to $4,199 (sans dealer-exclusive inclusions and accessories). The four-wheeler seems to keep its value well in the used market, too, with secondhand units selling between $1,400 and $2,200 or auctioned off for the same price range.
Most of the machines for resale seem to be in good working condition and some with less than 100 hours. You may even chance upon a pre-loved quad with a new carburetor, fuel shut-off, and fresh battery. Just make sure to inquire about pre-existing electrical problems and the like – and stay away from those purchases as much as possible.
For reference, here is a non-exhaustive rundown of 2004 to 2009 LTZ250 MSRPs. Bear in mind that pricing information on alleged post-2009 production models is scarce. (Source: Nada Guides):
|Year – Trim – Model #||List Price||Retail/Trade-In Values|
|2004 Suzuki LT-Z250K4||$3,899||$1,625 – $2,140|
|2005 Suzuki LT-Z250K5||$3,899||$1,720 – $2,260|
|2006 Suzuki LT-Z250K6||$3,899||$1,815 – $2,385|
|2007 Suzuki LT-Z250K7||$3,899||$805 – $1,060|
|2008 Suzuki LT-Z250K8||$3,899||$1,995 – $2,625|
|2009 Suzuki LT-Z250K9||$4,199||$2,225 – $2,925|
The following suggestions are non-encompassing but still essential to the seamless operation of your four-wheeler. If you have the time and resources, make it a point to do these mods before roughing up your Suzuki LTZ250:
- Do a carb rebuild, or upgrade to a larger 36-mm high-performance carburetor to get rid of prevalent LTZ250 carb and running problems.
- Enhance engine performance, get horsepower gains, and reduce toxic fumes by getting a performance exhaust pipe – your choice to go for either an HMF Racing slip-on or a full exhaust system from Yoshimura.
- Improve the carburetor’s fuel delivery by installing a Dynojet Stage 1/2 jet kit (works much better when paired with a tailpipe upgrade).
- Choose an aftermarket air filter that would be essential to unrestricted airflow or improved filtration. Whichever you pick, make sure to account for location and riding conditions. (also, consider the stock carburetor’s propensity to get easily clogged).
- Replace flimsy OEM tie rods and ends with a QuadBoss Tie Rod Assembly upgrade kit (view on Amazon).
Though they may seem simple, these suggestions are guaranteed to make your every ride enjoyable. Not only will you be spared from unnecessary inconveniences on the road, but you will also get to experience this mid-size quad’s full potential. More importantly, doing these mods will keep you safe from half of the known issues found in the owner’s manual.
Suzuki Motor Corporation is currently one of the world’s leading automakers and is the brains behind the acclaimed Suzuki LTZ250 QuadSport. Founded in 1909 in Hamamatsu, the firm spent its first 28 years thriving in the loom weaving industry before venturing into the manufacture of automobiles.
From small consumer cars to vehicle parts, this multinational corporation has since grown its armada of product offerings to include outboard motors, street bikes, scooters, and ATVs. Suzuki continues to address consumer needs locally through its subsidiaries and distributors worldwide.
Conclusion – Suzuki LTZ250 QuadSport® Review
Much like how the LTZ400 has impacted the sport quad segment, the Suzuki LT-Z250 does the same – offering irresistible perks but in a smaller package. The sport-oriented machine is, after all, a smaller iteration of the 400-cc QuadSport. It may not be chain-driven or fuel-injected.
Nonetheless, these shortcomings do not stop this beast from delivering above-satisfactory performance, whether on wooded trails, MX-style tracks, or dirt roads. Never one to back down from any drag race or its same-class counterparts, the reputable LTZ250 QuadSport should definitely be part of your off-roading arsenal!
Kris is an avid off-roader and outdoor enthusiast who loves to brave the elements and take on challenging terrain. He also enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge with others so that they, too, can appreciate the ride.