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Suzuki Quadzilla 500: [EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW]

Suzuki Quadzilla 500: [EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW]

The Suzuki Quadzilla 500 is a familiar name for many ATV enthusiasts. It is a legendary quad racer that reigned in the 1980s even though its production was for a short period. The epic speed and reliable performance tremendously contributed to the legendary name of Suzuki.

Featuring 51-hp power output, a sturdy body structure, and a 499-cm3 piston displacement rendered it one of the fastest and most powerful ATVs ever produced. The high-powered ATV manufactured from 1987 to 1990 remains the fastest stock ATV built by Suzuki. It is also necessary to note that the Suzuki Quadzilla 500 is also known as the Suzuki LT500R.

The beastly model is pretty reputable when it comes to ATV racing. Further, it has massively impacted recreational quad riding. Read on to learn more about the Suzuki Quadzilla 500.

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What Year Did They Make The Quadzilla 500?

The Quadzilla 500, also known as the Suzuki QuadRacer LT500R, is one of the most potent and fastest ATVs produced from 1987 to 1980. While it might have been a short-lived sport quad, it featured a 51-hp power output coupled with 499-cm3 displacement, making it one of the best ATVs of those times. Moreover, many ATV enthusiasts continue to celebrate Suzuki 500 Quadzilla as one of the most legendary racing machines of all time.

Suzuki Quadzilla 500 Features

The Suzuki Quadzilla 500 is probably one of the best sport quads produced in the world of ATVs. Its famous moniker and intriguing performance point to a well-deserved reputation in racing. Besides its enormous size and incredible speed, the Suzuki Quadzilla 500 is famous for its notoriety.

The Engine

The Suzuki Quadzilla 500 boasts a liquid-cooled, 2-stroke SAEC power engine. With a Piston displacement of 499-cm3, a bore X stroke ratio of 86 x 86, and a corrected compression of 6:3:1, the engine is robust and reliable. Additionally, the polyurethane-foam-element air filtration supplements the TM38SS carburetor for an effective air-fuel mixture.

The powerful Suzuki LT500R engine guarantees a top speed of 82 mph and a horsepower of 51 RWHP. Some riders report a higher speed after putting their Quad through a series of speed modifications.

It is essential to understand that configuration of the engine for the 1987 Suzuki LT500RH is slightly different from that of the later models.

The Quadzilla Changes

Here are some of the changes that started with the 1088 LT500RJ;

  • The 1987 models had eight reed valves, while the succeeding models had six.
  • Wear-resistant molybdenum is applied to the inner part of the piston, and the groove diameter is reduced to 19.5mm while its length is increased by 1 mm.
  • The polyurethane foam element was changed from screw-type to clip-type by the manufacturer.
  • The cylinder head cover is not interchangeable between the 1987 and 1988 models.

Tires And Brakes

The Suzuki Quadzilla features AT20 x 11-10 rear and AT21 x 7-10 tires with 5/130mm and 1/166mm bolt patterns. Triple hydraulic discs and aluminum rims complete the tire and wheel assembly.

When riding the ATV, it is crucial to consider the recommended cold-tire pressure, which is 25 kPa for the rear and 30kPa for the front tires. It will help to avoid going beyond the 45 kPa mark when inflating the tires.

The Exterior

The Suzuki Quadzilla 500 is a humongous machine that gives an impression of a powerful ATV. Despite the huge size, the sport-oriented design comes in different colors, including blue and yellow.

Notably, the Suzuki Quadzilla 500 has undergone various enhancements throughout its lifetime to make it even more desirable to the racing fraternity. Changes such as a wider front bumper, aerodynamic fenders, and fiberglass skid plates were all meant to enhance the overall racing design of the ATV.

How To Rebuild A Shock On A Quadzilla 500

The shock absorbers form a vital part of an ATV as they are designed to dampen the rebound and compression of the springs and suspension. They control the excessive spring motion while keeping the tires in contact with the road.

In a nutshell, the shock absorber plays several critical roles in a Quadzilla 500, which include;

  • Limiting the body movement of the ATV, considering that ATVs are designed to ride on rugged terrain
  • Stabilizing the ATV for a fast drive
  • Stabilize the tires of the ATV
  • Minimize Tire wear
  • Reduce the overall suspension wear

Considering the critical role that shocks play in an ATV, it is necessary to rebuild them as soon as the need arises to guarantee the superb performance of the ATV.

To rebuild a shock on a Quadzilla 500, you need to do the following;

  • Execute the disassembly of all the internal parts of the shock absorbers
  • Inspect each part of the shocks for damage or wear
  • Examine the piston rod for polish and straightness
  • Thoroughly clean the piston assemblies
  • Replace all the dust seals, oil seals, bushes, and Orings
  • Rebuild the Quadzilla 500 shock absorber with high-quality shock oil
  • Charge with nitrogen

Quadzilla 500 vs. Banshee

Between the Quadzilla 500 VS Banshee, which one do you think will take the day in terms of speed and performance? To determine this question, one needs to examine the two ATVs separately.

The Yamaha Banshee

The Yamaha Banshee made history by emerging as one of the best two-stroke ATVs when it was first introduced in the market. Its RD350-based twin-cylinder engine and high-performance capabilities made it a Baja-winning Quad.

To stay relevant in the market, Yamaha added to its speed several race-worthy features, including incredible versatility. Further, the ATV has a six-speed gearbox ratio that allows quick shifting.

Yamaha Banshee has a two-stroke, liquid-cooled dual cylinder twin turbo engine, a fuel tank capacity of 3.2 US gallons, a wet multiple-disc manual clutch system, a CDI electric starter system, and 30-watt Krypton headlights to guarantee its splendid performance.

The Yamaha Banshee Top Speed

The top speed of the Yamaha Banshee is 65 mph. However, with speed modifications such as altering front fairings, getting taller gearing, power mods, and Kendra speed racers, you can see the speed of the legendary Banshee shoot to 118 mph.

The Suzuki Quadzilla 500

The Suzuki Quadzilla 500 is a product of Suzuki Motors that was considered one of the fastest quads in the 1980s. It features a 499cc engine and weighs 392lbs, making it attain a top speed of 82 mph in stock condition. Nonetheless, a simple modification of the Quad can see it achieve even higher speed.

Besides its sturdy body, the Quadzilla 500 boasts numerous intriguing features, including the 2-stroke SAEC power mill, a liquid-cooled engine, a fuel tank capacity of 3.4 US gallons, a wet multi-plate centrifugal clutch assembly, and a primary kick-start system.

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The Quadzilla 500 vs. Banshee Winner

Considering the sturdy body structure of the two legendary ATVs, the stock top speed, and other distinguishing features, the Quadzilla 500 takes the day. However, the modifications mated on either of the two may make the difference in a racing competition.

The Suzuki LT500

The Suzuki LT500 was released in 1987 before quickly becoming one of the most potent ATVs. Even now, the name Suzuki LT500 is highly valued among the ATV community as it has had a massive influence on the Quad riding community.

In the modern ATV society, most of the quads that you see in the market are influenced by the Suzuki LT500 in one way or the other.

The Worth Of Suzuki LT 500

With incredible performance and quality features, the Suzuki LT500 is not a cheap quad. Its list prices start at $ 3 299 and increase by $1,000 for its final production. The legendary Suzuki LT500 would trade at $ 7,900 to $10 350 in the modern market.


While the Suzuki Quadzilla LT 500 may not be the fastest or the most powerful ATV in the modern market, it has a special place in the hearts of many ATV enthusiasts around the globe. The fact that savvy sports racers still respect the machine even when it is not in production all points toward the strong impact that it created in the history of quads.