If you ride a quad or dirt bike, these performance-enhancing upgrades are a worthwhile investment for racers and recreationalists alike.
I know as well as any off-road enthusiast how important aftermarket upgrades can be to the quality of your ride, especially if you’re a performance ATV or dirt bike rider.
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For the most part, stock vehicles are equipped to take you the distance, so if you’re a beginner, keep this in mind before you spend big bucks making upgrades to your ATV, UTV, dirt bike, or other off-road vehicles.
Once you gain more experience, however, you may want to consider making modifications that boost your vehicle’s performance. Here are the top five mods I recommend for dirt bike and performance ATV riders who’ve outgrown the stock condition of their off-road vehicle.
Wheels and tires.
An important upgrade whether you plan to ride in the deepest mud or along the smoothest hard-packed trails. Wheels must withstand the pressures of riding in rugged terrain, while tires should provide maximum traction to keep you in control and moving efficiently through deep-rutted conditions and surface dirt.
Dirt bike riders, tires with flexible knobs that grip and ‘bite’ away at surface dirt are ideal; if you ride ATVs recreationally, keep an eye out for tires with an aggressive tread pattern and maximum absorption capabilities. Rocky Mountain ATV/MC offers a wide variety of off-roading tire brands with excellent tread wear.
Aftermarket exhaust system.
Though some argue that investing in a fully new exhaust system is a sore waste of money, slip-on exhaust systems get the job done respectably, and they’re reasonably priced, too.
This particular upgrade is designed to enhance the power of your off-road vehicle, though power grains aren’t as notable in ATVs as they are in dirt bikes. If you’re looking for a power boost on the track or trails, or even a different sound, an exhaust slip-on can help. (Don’t forget, ATV riders, the bigger your haul, the more horsepower you’ll need.)
Looking for improved throttle response? Clutch kits are intended for dirt bike riders who want to adjust their approach to the power curve on the track. Likewise, performance ATV riders may want to increase acceleration or improve backshifting with this upgrade. If you have other plans for your off-road vehicle, however, the stock clutch will get the job done just fine.
These could end up being the most costly upgrade you make to your dirt bike or all-terrain vehicle. Most off-road riders commit to this upgrade for the sheer fact that triple clamps can drastically improve the steering capabilities of an off-road vehicle, which is particularly appealing to dirt bike racers.
Stock clamps are a good place to start if you’re a new rider, but aftermarket clamps can radically change how the bike feels by reducing weight, increasing flexibility and damping, and improving handling; ATV riders will notice these changes as well.
Grips may seem like an inconsequential part of off-roading, but, in reality, they can be VERY important to ensuring your overall comfortability. Plus, they’re one of the cheapest upgrades you’ll make to your quad or dirt bike.
The more comfortable you are, the better you’ll perform, so invest in some aftermarket handlebar grips and say goodbye to blisters.
Do these upgrades and ATV mods have any drawbacks other than cost?
As RidersWest reminds us, “Ultimately the more you modify, the greater the potential for quirks and gremlins to arrive.” This is especially true for ATV fuel economy, so non-racers should consider how their fuel economy might be affected by aftermarket ATV mods. Generally, adding more weight to your vehicle is going to adversely affect ATV MPGs.
You can also improve ATV fuel economy by modifying your riding style or riding locale. Aggressive riding can render even the best MPG ATVs a bit of a let-down, and the rougher the trail, the more frequent the fill-ups. If slower, smoother rides aren’t your thing, though, arrange for a fresh tune-up every now and again.
For more ATV mods and accessories that can boost your off-roading experience, check out The Best ATV Accessories (Are Yours Warranty-Approved?)!
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