If you’re into quad racing or simply want to know which model will best help you smoke your buddies out on the track or trails, I have good news and bad news.
The good news is you’ll find multiple pure sport quads that can absolutely fly, and make for the best racing options.
The (potentially) bad news is that you’ll need to buy most of them used, as many manufacturers have moved away from producing pure sport quads in favor of the more popular and well-rounded utility/recreational models.
While the models on this list may not all make for the fastest ATVs in the industry, top-end speed isn’t everything when it comes to racing as will be highlighted later in this guide.
That said, here are the nine best racing quads available today, along with their top speeds.
Best Racing Quads For 2024
# 1 – Yamaha Raptor 700R
The fastest and best overall racing model is going to be Yamaha’s Raptor 700R, which is the best-selling sport quad of all time and has been in production since 2006.
It’s hard to beat this model’s popularity because there’s not another sport quad that can match it in the speed department in stock form, but also because the power and comfort it provides while riding it is hard to match.
The Raptor 700R is equipped with a 686cc single-cylinder engine with a max power output of around 47 HP.
It can hit a top speed of 80 mph in stock form, but by making the Raptor 700 Big 3 Modifications, this model can easily top out at 90+ mph.
You won’t find a better overall racing quad, but the good news is that there are quite a few more models that come pretty close.
#2 – Yamaha YFZ 450R
The YFZ 450R is one of the most motocross-ready quads you’ll find, after undergoing some changes in 2009 to give it a 50-inch width and upgraded frame to make it more effective on the track.
Throw in this model’s impressive blend of speed, acceleration, and awesome handling thanks to its light weight of around 350 lbs dry, and it’s no wonder a number of pro-level racing championships have been won by top riders aboard the YFZ 450.
This model is powered by a high-performance 449cc single cylinder that puts out a max of 38 horsepower.
It can hit a top speed of 75 mph in stock form, but similar to the Raptor 700, you can make the “YFZ 450 Big Three” modifications to have it reaching 85+ mph.
#3 – Honda TRX 700
The Honda TRX 700 was only produced for two years, from 2008 – 2009, so the number of these units out in the wild are limited.
But although this model is one of the heaviest sport ATVs on this list, it comes the closest to competing with the Raptor 700 in the top-speed department and can hold its own on the track.
It features a 686cc single-cylinder engine with an impressive power output of around 53 HP.
During its two-year production run, Honda claimed that the TRX 700 could hit a top speed of 86 mph which would have made it easily the fastest quad of its time.
But that number was disputed by owners, and all these years later it’s more likely that a model in good condition will top out at 80 mph.
#4 – Can Am DS 450
The Can Am DS 450 was built to be a racing quad, and was the lightest quad ever produced during its production run through 2015.
As such, this model makes for one of the best handling quads you’ll find and almost seems to “float” while cornering and power sliding at speed.
But this model is incredibly fast and powerful for its size and offers one of the best power-to-weight ratios ever.
It gets around 45 horsepower from its 449cc single-cylinder engine, and can reach a top speed of anywhere between 78 and 80 mph.
#5 – Suzuki LTR 450
When it comes to the motocross track, the Suzuki LT-R450 is considered one of the best race quads ever designed.
This model was only produced and available in the US from 2006 to 2009, but was designed with help from one of the best ATV racers ever in Doug Gust.
It was built to be quick and nimble with exceptional handling, long-travel suspension and awesome handling that made it race-ready from the jump.
The Suzuki LTR 450 is powered by a 450cc single-cylinder engine with an output of around 41 HP, and can hit a top speed of around 78 mph.
It won multiple motocross championships for big-name professional drivers during its heyday, and still makes for an excellent race option today.
#6 – Bombardier DS 650
Next up is probably the most beastly looking racing quad on this list, the Bombardier DS 650.
This model was introduced in 2000 when Can Am was still Bombardier, and as such is also known as the Can Am DS 650.
It was the largest, heaviest pure sport ATV of its time, and was built to excel in sand and desert terrain, hence the “DS” which stands for Dune Sport.
The 652cc single-cylinder engine is loaded with power and contributed to the DS 650 being the fastest sport model of its time, able to hit a top speed of 75 mph.
#7 – KTM 525 XC
The KTM 525 XC was the most powerful of the four pure sport quads introduced by KTM before they unfortunately folded after the recession in 2008 put a hurting on sport quad sales.
The 525 XC was built solely for racing, with a light weight and awesome acceleration that will get it off the line quicker than almost any model on this list.
Fully adjustable shocks and massive wheel travel also made it incredibly comfortable on the track.
It was said to be able to crack 80 mph back in the late 2000’s, but these days most models will top out around the 75 mph mark.
#8 – Yamaha Raptor 660
The Raptor 660 started as what would eventually mold into today’s Raptor 700 models.
It has some drawbacks, including being a bit top-heavy and a higher center of gravity that makes it a bit tippy, which led to it being phased out for the Raptor 700 after its fifth year in production in 2004.
But it was one of the fastest pure sport models back then, and still holds its own today with a top speed of around 75 mph.
The Raptor 660 models are installed with a speed sensor that limits their speed, but there is a process to bypass this sensor and add around 5 mph to its top-end.
#9 – Kawasaki KFX 700
The Kawasaki KFX 700 was initially marketed as a true sport quad, but was realistically more of a utility-sport blend with its bulkier build and heavier weight.
You can tell by looking at it it’s meant for racing though, with a body style quite similar to the Raptor 660 model of the same era.
The KFX 700 makes a better cross country racing quad than a track racer, but it’ll hold its own on the track with most.
It features a 697cc V-Twin engine with a max output of around 48 HP, and well-maintained units should hit top speeds around 76 mph
Why Sport Models Make The Best Racing Quads
For racing, you’re going to want a lightweight model that is built more for speed, acceleration, and the track than for a mix of work, trails, and recreation like most utility/recreational models are.
A racing quad needs to be light enough that you can whip the back end around and powerslide around the many turns on the track.
You also obviously want a model that is going to be as stable as possible when cornering at high speeds and power sliding.
While some of the bigger, more powerful quads like your Polaris Sportsman 1000, Polaris Scrambler 1000, or Can Am Outlander 1000 models may be faster when it comes to top-end speed and trail riding, they won’t fare as well on dirt or desert tracks as the lighter sport models will.
And as most racing groups have restrictions on engine sizes, the big boys likely won’t be eligible anyways.
If you’re looking for a race quad that gives you the best chance of winning trophies or bragging rights, the models on this list will give you the best shot.
For the best all-around ATVs, check out this guide to the best ATVs for the money before you go.