HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR QUAD FOR LESS
There are inexpensive ways to add performance to your ATV without completely replacing stock parts with brand-new high-end components. Here we will show you a few tips on how to fix up your ATV without breaking the bank.
K&K ATV is one of the Northeast’s premier race shops. Located in Belchertown, Massachusetts, K&K has sponsored top riders in the GNC MX, GNCC and New England ATV Series for nearly a decade. One of the byproducts of building full race quads for its customers is that K&K ATV is left with lots of leftover stock components. Parts such as A-arms, skid plates, heel guards, tires and shocks are stacked from floor to ceiling all year long. K&K blows out this leftover inventory for pennies on the dollar by any means possible, including selling them on eBay.
Sure if you own a 2010 Honda 450R and are in need of a lower-right A-arm because you smacked a tree last weekend, you know what you are looking for. However, what if you have a 1998 300EX and are in need of new front shocks that are better than your stocker but don’t want to pay the price for aftermarket parts—you might ask, will 400EX shocks fit? Will 450R shocks fit? What about YFZ450R or Raptor 700 shocks; will they fit my 300EX? Well, K&K can help. By the way, 450R shocks will fit on a 400EX, and 400EX A-arms will fit a 300EX. Another thing that racers have done in the past (before EFI) was to use the throttle assembly off a 300EX or 400EX on their YFZ450s. It was a much lighter pull, and you could find them being used all day long at places like K&K.
To most of us with a broken component, you just want to replace it with something that will get you up and running again. Powersports Nation has thousands of used ATV parts stored, cataloged and ready for sale.
DEALS OF THE DAY
The most popular parts in K&K’s inventory are Honda 450R takeoff parts. You can save $550 when you buy a takeoff rear shock for $100 verses going to the dealer. You can save $200 on a stock axle, $300 on a stock muffler and $100 on A-arms. This is a huge savings for the guy who may have damaged his stock quad in a rollover or by hitting a tree. You can also add value to a quad you are selling by putting new stock products on it instead of marketing it with the old beat-up parts. Contact K&K ATV at (413) 323-7044 or www.kandkatv.com.
Here’s another scenario: Say you have a bone-stock sport quad and are looking to upgrade the suspension. You don’t have $2000-$3000 to spend on new shocks and A-arms in this economy. Companies like Houser Racing sell wider A-arms that will except your stock shocks; they will also work with a set of aftermarket shocks you may already have installed on your stock A-arms. Plus, 2.25-inch-wider A-arms for stock-length shocks from Houser sell for only $575. Normally you can’t replace all four of your stock A-arms for that price. What a deal!
Furthermore, if you have a rollover, the most common and expensive failure you will probably have is a bent steering stem. Keep in mind, if you can’t find a used stock replacement part, companies like Houser sell upgraded anti-vibe stems for only slightly more than stock.
Contact Houser Racing at www.houser-racing.com or (877) 6-GO FAST.
Houser Racing sells wide or stock-width A-arm kits that accept stock or stock-length aftermarket shocks. This is a good option for an amateur racer wanting the extra width without the cost a full long-travel kit.
STOCK SHOCK UPGRADES
If you go the route of using your stock-length shocks on wider A-arms, you will most likely want to beef up your stock shocks to adjust for the extra leverage of the longer A-arms. California-based Race Tech has a shock program to suit your every need. For example, if you just needed stiffer springs to account for the leverage change, they have them for $300. If you need to get the valving dialed in perfectly, valve kits start at $220.
Race Tech also has a service that will take your OEM shocks, say, for a Suzuki LT-R450 or Yamaha YFZ450R and get them working as good as aftermarket equipment. These gold-valve shock conversions run $1500 for all three shocks. Race Tech can also service any brand of aftermarket shock. Contact them at (951)-279-6655 or online at www.racetech.com.
This Raptor 250 owner found a good deal on these Honda 450R shocks, along with some JD Performance A-arms.
In the “Showcase” section of this Dirt Wheels, there are several small companies offering used parts for your ATV; they may be ATV salvage yards or even companies that part-out bank-repossessed ATVs and wrecked ATVs acquired from insurance companies.
With a little computer skill you can look on the “OEM Parts Finder” page found on many dealerships’ websites and view every stock part your quad has. Prices ordered through this system usually cost less than when you step into a dealership.
When we called Powersports Nation in Nebraska and asked them about thier used inventory, the owner, Todd Dickie, told us he gets the most requests for CDI units and carburators. As far as brands go, he has the biggest supply of Polaris parts over the others. All of his parts are inventoried indoors, so you don’t have to worry about getting weathered equipment. According to Dickie, if he has the part you are looking for, you can save 50 to 80 percent over buying new parts. Powersports Nation carries mostly utility parts along with some sport quad inventory. If you want to save some serious coins, give them a call at (402) 371-7002. You can also shop online at www.powersports
nation.com. On the East Coast, Bay ATV out of Ontario, New York, claims to have the largest inventory of used ATV parts in the world. The main inventory is pre-2000, with an ever-growing stock of newer products. The folks at Bay told us that customer calls for bodywork are very common, as well as searches for electrical parts and frames. They also sell a lot of replacement seats. It’s very common for an unlatched seat to blow off of your quad when hauling it in the back of a pickup—it’s happened to us more than once. If it happens to you, call Bay ATV at (585) 746-8680, or give them a parts request at [email protected].
All across the country auctions are held where dealers can get good prices on wrecked and repossessed ATVs. Some of them are parted out, so you can get great used-item deals on items like seats, wiring harnesses, A-arms and frames.
NAVIGATE YOUR WAY TO SAVINGS
If you are set on buying brand-new OEM (stock) parts, we can save you some money here as well. Websites like www.servicehonda.com and www.albaaction.com have what is called an “OEM parts finder.” It’s basically a list and diagram of every stock part on your ATV, from the warning-label stickers to the valve-stem caps. If you have any computer skills at all, you can click on and purchase the exact part you are looking for. And since you don’t have to drive to your dealer, wait for them to order the part and pay for their overhead, you will be saving even more money. And, the parts will be shipped right to your door, which is usually a 25-percent savings.