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Written by: PJ Crouch
Date: January 5th, 2003
I spent three days at Dove Springs and Jawbone Cyn. new years week. I did not have any dirt bike companions this trip so I put in some quality time on the quad. I rode with a friend that has an LTZ 400 with the common mods pipe, gearing and tires. Every time I ride the Cannibal I enjoy it a great deal. Stock suspension should not allow a quad to go through whoops as smoothly as this bike does. It instills confidence, I feel I can do no wrong in the rough. The steering is precise without being twitchy.
The motor still amazes me also. Down low it has enough power to loft the front end if you want to, but I am not fighting to keep the front end down. The mid range is comfortable for cruising through whooped out sections the front end responds to throttle inputs if the terrain changes quickly the attitude of the bike can be changed by pushing the thumb throttle a little harder. Then we get to the bonus the top end shriek. Even with the stock muffler the bike pulls hard to the rev limiter. When climbing big hills this is the ace in the hole. Long sand hill? not sure you can make it? Oh you can, all you have to do is let it scream the bike starts moving up quickly the front end reaches for the sky and you realize this thing is fat up front and it takes a deliberate effort to get enough weight forward to keep the front end down.
People seem to worry about reliability so far any issue has been owner induced.
Four rims have dents from rocks in the "river beds,"my bad. Scratches in the plastic from wedging the backs of my boots on the back fenders when I am attacking the whoops.
I spent some time on the Suzuki while in the desert and I found that they are a fun bike to ride also. They don't take as much of a commitment from the rider. They are peppy and easy to ride. The suspension is cushy like an old school cadillac. When it is time to push, the limits of the bike are quickly reached. Peppy becomes a little slow, cushy becomes a little soft. Don't get me wrong they are a nice, friendly, fun, capable bike, but they just feel limited to me. The Cannondale is not quite as friendly in the slow putt putt mode but more than makes up for it when spirited riding is in order.
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