February 18th, 2013 by
When it comes to increasing our ATV’s performance, we often overlook new tires in favor of more glamorous modifications such as a new pipe or a high-compression piston but believe it or not, there may be some massive performance gains to be found by simply putting on fresh sneakers. Wondering how? Read on.
Stock ATV tires are usually selected for their ability to tackle the widest variety of terrain possible since Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha’s engineers don’t know whether you are going to ride on hardpacked trails, desert sand, snow, mud and so on while building your ATV. Jacks of all trades, masters of none if you will. Hence simply selecting a tire package designed for the type of riding you enjoy is an immediate traction boost. With increased traction comes increased acceleration, stronger cornering, and decreased braking distance.
We here at ATV Connection are astonished by how often we happen upon riders pushing heavy 6-ply tires to ride on perfectly groomed trails. When it comes to your rubber, sometimes less really is more. If you can decrease the weight here , in an unsprung region of your ATV, suspension action (and acceleration) will also increase because of a concept known as reduced reciprocating mass.
Generally speaking, lowering your ATV’s ground clearance is a bad thing when it comes to straddling trail clutter and popping over obstructions but these are concerns your typical MX racer need not stress- hence going with a lower profile tire for this application actually makes for a lower center of gravity and better cornering/ sliding habits. Additionally less sidewall means a much stiffer platform (reduced flex).
May 29th, 2012 by
All your performance guides stress the importance of checking your ATV’s tire pressure. Well every time I check mine, it’s never the same as it was the time before and no it’s not a leak because the pressure isn’t always less. What gives?
In short the air inside your machine’s tires is still air. What does that mean? It means the molecules expand when it’s hot out, constrict when it’s cold and fluctuate with changes in elevation and humidity level. What’s more, the temperature of the tire carcass itself affects the air in there!
When ambient temperature decreases, tire pressure actually decreases as well. When the temp rises, the opposite takes place. Just how much of a change are we talking here? Well leaving your quad out in direct sunlight on a warm summer’s day can easily increase pressure in each tire by several pounds due to the nature of expansion. Considering even a ½ pound difference on either side of the quad can cause the machine to pull to the lower pressurized side, the importance of making sure you’re starting out with even pressure across all four tires becomes very clear.
What’s especially boggling is that filling/ checking your air pressure in the cool morning can result in inaccuracies when compared to checking again after a few hours of riding (friction) after the heat of the day arrives.
Here’s the good news- tire manufacturers realize that this is the way of the world and hence select compounds designed to stretch and constrict to compensate. Because of this you’ll notice the manufacturer recommended pressure stamped on your tire’s sidewall is rarely just one number but rather a range (example 6-9 PSI).
Remember that your machine’s tires are responsible for everything from the ATV’s steering to its suspension performance, braking and even overall handling, it’s with good reason we always recommend checking your tire pressure as a starting point for fine- tuning your ATV’s performance.
Got questions for us? Ask them here!