October 14th, 2012 by
If you could only budget one mod this winter for more power, would you go with the exhaust or the intake? I want the biggest bang for my buck.
Well like always in this situation, the more info you can provide, the better. Are you modifying a sport or utility ATV? By “bang for the buck” do you mean you want more stump pulling torque or additional top end speed?
That said and all other things being equal, the two mods you are considering actually target the same aspect of the engine (its ability to flow air). Freeing up the exhaust system to expel more air without opening up the intake isn’t maximizing the modification’s potential just as slapping a freer flowing intake without a more breathable exhaust is not. In short, what we’re trying to say is if you’re really serious about increasing your engine’s ability to breathe freely, you’re going to want to target both ends of the equation.
Then the question really becomes which end would we target first? If money were no object, the exhaust because not only does it aid in airflow, it typically saves weight over the OEM unit as well. The intake will of course be the cheaper of the two.
Finally don’t forget that either mod will likely require fuel-mapping adjustments (jetting changes if your ATV is carbureted). You will likely need additional tweaking to the ratios with the two modifications working in tandem.
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April 9th, 2012 by
I never understood the benefits of a steering damper but noticed most racers run them. What’s that all about?
While ATVs share four-wheels with their automotive cousins, the fact of the matter is our structure of steering is actually closer to how a motorcycle functions than the complex rack & pinion system found on cars.
Put simply even on seemingly smooth ground, the terrain is constantly tugging the front wheels (and hence the direction) of our ATVs; a force we counteract by turning our handlebars in the opposite direction of the pull. It’s all a game of leverage; whether we are aware it’s happening or not. Factor in the skipping, bouncing and slamming we encounter when rocks, roots, whoops, or choppy ground enter the equation and maintaining that handlebar leverage becomes even more difficult.
A steering damper (or “steering stabilizer”) is basically a simplified adjustable shock absorber that takes some of the harshness out of the tug-of-war taking place while we ride. By using fluid that passes through valve stacks, a steering damper literally dampens the influence of the terrain before it reaches the handlebars.
The reason they are so popular among racers is that generally speaking, as the speed of the ATV increases, so too does the influence of the terrain. Less battling with the bars means less rider fatigue. Dampers are especially popular with desert racers; where extended periods of wide-open riding are commonplace.
Since the steering damper can result in a “deadened” feel at the bars, most are completely adjustable, giving the rider the option of running as much or as little damping as feels comfortable.
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