Trail rider Tyler Hoeft is a 400X fan: “The 450’s power is fun to play with in open terrain,
but the 400X is easier to ride on technical trails, and it has reverse, which I wouldn’t want
to do without. The 400’s suspension is also much smoother. The 450R’s suspension beats
me up in bumpy, rocky terrain.”
because the 450 is lighter, wider and
has firmer suspension than the 400,
which helps it corner flatter.
The 400 handles well and very
predictably; there’s just some body roll
in quick corners you don’t feel on the
HOW ABOUT MAINTENANCE?
Both machines have solid reputations
for durability and reliability. For a high-performance racing machine, the
450R is very easy to live with, requiring
only regular air-filter maintenance
and oil changes, though the 400X’s
maintenance schedule is more relaxed.
The higher-revving 450R holds less
oil than the 400X, so it will need more
frequent oil changes. The air-cooled
400X has no coolant, radiator or water
pump like the 450R, which makes it
HOW ARE THE DETAILS?
These two machines are among the
most comfortable sport quads made,
with roomy ergonomics and slender
midsections that give riders plenty of
freedom to move. The seats are also
Both Hondas have powerful,
controllable brakes, just what you want
on fast sport quads.
Both machines have cold-starting
habits that require some care. The
choke on the 400X is on the carburetor
and not very easy to get to, and the
machine needs a pretty long warm-up
time before it will idle without the choke.
The 450’s choke is also on the
carb, but it’s easier to reach. The 450
usually needs a shot of throttle to prime
the engine for cold starting with the
carburetor’s accelerator pump. Then
you want to be careful not to give it
throttle until it starts or you could flood
WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?
For racers and highly skilled riders,
the 450R is the machine to have, but
a race quad isn’t the best trail quad
for everyone. The 450R’s hard-hitting
power and firm suspension can’t match
the control and comfort the 400X’s trail-tuned engine and suspension offer at
less intense trail-riding speeds. If you’re
more into fun on the trail than battling
for trophies, the 400X may be the better
machine for you. ❏
Both machines have adjustable piggyback reservoir rear shocks.
The 450R (left) and the 400X are among the most comfortable sport quads
made, with roomy ergonomics and slender midsections that give riders plenty
of freedom to move. The seats are also remarkably comfortable.
• Smooth power makes riding easy
• Smooth trail-riding-tuned suspension
• Racing 450s are much faster
• Soft suspension holds fast riders back
• Long warm-up time and hidden choke
lever make cold starts a chore
• Incredible power with instant response
• Comfortable ergonomics
• Least-expensive racing 450
• Abrupt power can be hard to control
in challenging terrain
• Race-tuned suspension is harsh at
relaxed trail riding speeds.
• Fussy cold-starting ritual
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• 2.99% financing