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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I road the 700xx the first time and a came into a turn at speed I remember thinking...Whoa, ...WTF. I had read about the issues with pushing and body roll, but there is nothing more magical than experiencing it yourself. I've ridden SRA's my whole life. This was new, and it wasn't good. Now, I have a friend with a Renegade, and he let me ride it a couple of times. I did notice the difference with IRS in turns, and the tendency to come up on two wheels, but it wasn't scary, and I felt that I needed to be careful, but things were under control. The 700xx actually scared me a bit, like I might wreck if I went as fast as I was used to going.
Otherwise the machine delivered wonderfully, amazingly, making me feel like I could take on anything, (especially that Renegade..lol)...if only there were a simply way to fix it. ...so I google'd till 2:00am.
The sway bar is too small and weak. Everything comes down to that. Argue all you want, everything I read about excessive pushing and body roll in the high performance world, be it cars, trucks, or four wheelers, the answer is always the same. Aside from an obvious issue with weak shocks, always go with a bigger and/or stiffer sway bar...sweet, sublime handling follows immediately. (with maybe a little rougher ride) So...

Options:
1) Live with it.
2) Put Band-Aids on it...tires, shock mods...help it some...
3) Spend $500 bucks on an over-engineered aftermarket sway bar.
4) Come up with my own solution.

I really wanted to do either 2 or 3, but financial realities demanded otherwise. So, as they say, "Necessity is the mother of invention." Good 'ol option number 4.

The sway bar is really a torsion bar. The 90 degree arm that connects to the swing arm is really just a moment arm (lever) that twists the torsion bar about its center axis. If you dig into the physics of this relationship, it all comes down to torque, distance, and torsion resistance. The key relationship that I realized could be exploited in our particular scenario is that the distance away from the center axis of rotation determines the force necessary to deflect or twist the bar. There is a direct relationship that says the force needed to deflect the bar is inversely proportional to the distance from the center axis of rotation. In other words, move the connection point closer, make the lever smaller and the swing arm would have to work its ass off compared to the stock position. In even more other words, it is saying that body roll would be cut in half. That is significant for sure. It was so simple it was scary. I didn't need a bigger thicker sway bar, I only need to connect with it closer to the axis. In fact, if I changed the connection point to the mid point between the existing connection and the axis, I would double the force needed to deflect it the same distance. Easy, cheesy, Japanese-ee (no offense Honda).

I wanted it to be very simple and easy, leaving the machine as stock as possible and using as many stock parts as possible. You can see in the pictures that I used three basic pieces of bar stock of steel and aluminum, and five bolts with nuts. Some drilling and tapping and I was in business. I painted the "non-stock" parts yellow, so it is easy to see what has been added to the machine...not much.

So, how does it work...? I would say that it is not the same as a SRA, but definitely as good as the Renegade. There is a hint of pushing, but below the surface now. I ride with confidence. That weird feeling is gone. I have to do much less body position work to corner, really about the same as with SRA, maybe just a little more. It really is a different machine. I am convinced now that a thicker sway bar (which achieves the same thing as moving the connection point) is the answer. Honda are idiots for not offering a "performance" sway bar for $100. They would get their credibility back on the 700xx and wouldn't have to give it away for half price. Not sure who has their head on backwards, but it is a real shame.

I'm on stock tires and shocks. The rear adjustment is backed all the way off as was original. The fronts I adjusted half way and liked it much better (well before the sway bar mod). I have only about two hours ride time on it, but since the sway bar is still essentially following the stock deflection path, there are no issues with interference. Everything moves free and clean. I tested it for one hour with my wife on back riding double. Together we are 330lbs. (Notice I avoided time in the dog house by not mentioning her weight) I ride north Georgia mountains which are steep, rutty, and twisty. I worked the hell out of the suspension and no issues. Everything stayed tight and solid. I'm very happy with it. I was also surprised how well it handled the extra weight of a passenger. My mod wasn't doing that. Makes me think Honda was overcompensating with heavy shocks to offset the body roll. While at the same time using a tiny weak sway bar...they strayed off the path...I think I have found the way back on it.
 

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Very interesting! My next mod was going to be a sway bar, but i may just try this out.
 

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although this all sounds good and you hit the nail right on the head as far as how to stiffen the sway bar i see some issues with this theory.

the reason this quad pushes in corners is because during cornering the inside wheel stays planted/doesnt get lighter as an SRA quad does. on an SRA quad the body roll actually lifts the inside wheel causing it to loose traction causing a loose/oversteer condition.

limiting body roll on the XX would keep the inside wheel planted even more making it push worse. i personally think the way the XX handling inspires confidence during high speed cornering because i never get the loose "loop out" feeling i do on SRA quads. you have to ride the XX more like a threewheeler staying as far forward in the saddle as possible, throwing the back end of the machine with your feet, then staying in the gas hard to keep it sliding.

again, you are thinking right on stiffening the swaybar, but i dont think you are ever going to make the XX handle anything like an SRA quad because they were designed with two totally different schools of thought...
 

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although this all sounds good and you hit the nail right on the head as far as how to stiffen the sway bar i see some issues with this theory.

the reason this quad pushes in corners is because during cornering the inside wheel stays planted/doesnt get lighter as an SRA quad does. on an SRA quad the body roll actually lifts the inside wheel causing it to loose traction causing a loose/oversteer condition.

limiting body roll on the XX would keep the inside wheel planted even more making it push worse. i personally think the way the XX handling inspires confidence during high speed cornering because i never get the loose "loop out" feeling i do on SRA quads. you have to ride the XX more like a threewheeler staying as far forward in the saddle as possible, throwing the back end of the machine with your feet, then staying in the gas hard to keep it sliding.

again, you are thinking right on stiffening the swaybar, but i dont think you are ever going to make the XX handle anything like an SRA quad because they were designed with two totally different schools of thought...
that sounds viable but your missing one very important part the reason the bike dont slide is not just the rear its also the front

the inside front lifts loosing all traction which allows the two planted rear tires to over power the one front tire and it goes where your poited

stiffen the sway bar and keep all four tires planted for the most part makes it more predictable in the corners

as far as making it handle like a SRA if thats what your after go buy one
I just want it to be more predictable
 

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Nice posts guys, this is my biggest complaint about the xx. I agree, the sway bar is too weak, super idea in modding the stock bar, thanks for the write up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmmm...I guess if you look at a IRS and an SRA, the main difference is that the SRA is more rigid. When you come into a corner, the rear wheels (and thus the rear part of the quad) stay pretty much parallel to the ground. The axle is really resisting the body roll and instead of gripping, the tires break traction and you slide. The IRS is less rigid and allows the body to roll and in turn the whole quad losses parallelity with the ground. It promotes the outside rear to really bite and the quad doesn't slide. That I think is the key.
In terms of being able to ride as fast as possible, it makes sense that you want to have as much traction as possible. Any time the wheel is sliding or spinning the power is not moving you forward as much as it would if it were gripping. The bad side is that cornering with excessive body roll gets the inside wheels off the ground and tends to want to pitch you over sideways. If you're dealing with a situation where the faster you corner the more it wants to tip, obviously this becomes the limiting factor. This is seen when riding on pavement with an SRA when, for that set-up, you are seeing what it is like to have good traction and less tendency to slide. Things get tippy. I think there is something to be said about too much traction.

The problem with the stock setup is that it is allowing too much roll. It makes it pretty hard to control. I think it is a compromise. On the range scale, at one end is the SRA and a "beat you too death ride" over bumps, but with very easy to control (and fun) cornering ability. At the other end of the scale I guess would be a IRS with no sway bar at all and "never slip" traction, super smooth ride over bumps, but a terrible tendency to roll over and kill you in every corner. Would be like trying to ride a giant marshmallow. If this weren't the case, we'd all be taking our sway bars completely off and riding that way.

So, how much is too much, or how little is too little. You have to pick a spot in between where you have the benefits of IRS, but still manage to have predictable cornering ability. This is controlled mostly by how stiff the sway bar is. What I believe happened with the 700xx is that they missed the mark and ended up with a quad that makes people go..."Whoa, that ain't right." So what I did was slide my machines tendency a bit away from the "bite and roll" side of the fence to the "stand-up and slide" side of the fence. I don't want to give up too much of the IRS benefits, just want to have better control in the corners. I think most people feel this way, as so many are buying special tires and other mods to help move the performance in that direction. Out of the box, the 700xx needs to be fixed.
I know I'm on to something as the performance of the machine now is definitely showing this effect, as the cornering is much easier and more fun. And I'm doing it on stock tires. So far I haven't noticed any significant loss in the IRS benefits over bumps. I haven't rode it a lot since doing it, so time will tell if I changed it too much.
The interesting thing is that I believe I can make this set-up adjustable. Play around with it till I get the best of both worlds. I am most happy about the fact that the "ability" to get where I wanted to go is within the stock bar. The sweet spot is within the range of adjustment the stock bar offers. I didn't have to figure out how the heck to get around that.
 

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I think I'll just work on mastering the corners the way it is built and see what the difference is between it and my other 4 wheeler that has SRA. I'm just starting to get the rear end to float a little bit, but it is not easy. I can pretty much drive sideways with the SRA.
 

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i guess i just ride super agressively. ive never had a problem with it 2 wheeling any worse than my 450r did in stock form. you DO however have to ride them completely different. both quads are tippy on pavement, but any atv (a vehicle that was not designed to operate on pavement) is.

im from the school of thought that there is never too much traction. ive NEVER felt more confident in high speed (high 4th-5th gear corners) than with this machine. it is one of the most balanced (tration-wise, front/rear) quad ive have ever ridden. i also would not want a quad that has as much power as this one does not have enough side bite. think of how bad it would be if honda hadnt outfitted it with the relatively small/short sidewall/small contact patch rear tires?



^^ this rider is at full throttle coming out of a corner and is on 2 wheels its just a matter of comfort. the inside tire is lifting, leaving ONLY the right rear wheel to drive it out of the corner under acceleration causing it to want to pass the left rear wheel making it yaw out.

your idea is a good idea if thats what you are looking for. you cant really bag that hard on honda because some of us havent had the same issues you have had with the handling of the quad. if you wanted it to slide more you could always just make a lowering kit which would effectively "stiffen" your swaybar as well. again just different approaches that would end the same.
 

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btw, looks like the baja 500/1000 winning team is happy with the stock swaybar with a lower ride height due to the elkas.
 

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I am glad TDL is trying something differant. This is how the 700xx will get better.:yay:
I'm with Baxter on this, out of the box thinking is where great things come from.
 

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Yeah.......out of the box thinking could change alot for little.......

I've been thinking about a simple and cheap way of tackleing the same issue.

The centre section of the sway bar (in between the 2 frame mounts) is what twists. What if we just welded a small piece of round bar along the center of the sway bar?.

Linc
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
could work

Yeah.......out of the box thinking could change alot for little.......

I've been thinking about a simple and cheap way of tackleing the same issue.

The centre section of the sway bar (in between the 2 frame mounts) is what twists. What if we just welded a small piece of round bar along the center of the sway bar?.

Linc
I was thinking about something like that, but 2 things kept me from trying it. One, it its fairly permanent once done. What if it was too much or not enough. Two, I don't know enough about welding to know how to do it right. I think the sway bar is some kind of spring steel, but not sure. How would it handle all that flexing...??? Maybe a mechanical clamping system?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

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if you wanted it to slide more you could always just make a lowering kit which would effectively "stiffen" your swaybar as well. again just different approaches that would end the same.[/quote]


umm...considering the sway bar is allowed to pivot in the center, i dont see how a lowering kit would put more tension on it, the only time there is tension on it is when one tire pushes up seperate from the other or th3e body starts to roll, which technically is just one tire fighting the weight of the other VIA the swaybar and links, if you are on level ground and push down on your rear suspension there is no torsion on the sway bar, it simply pivots in its mounts, so the only things a lowering kit will do is lower your center of gravity, which is always better for cornering, but it will also lower your ground clearance and that sucks...

i wish what youre saying would work, all you would have to do is get some extended swaybar links and you'd be sliding around like a maniac, i want to do something about mine, but until then flipping your rear wheels or getting new ones or wheel spacers gave mine SOOOOO much more stability, i can lean forward a bit and slide allll day now, when it was stock width i actually tried to slide it going slow on grass and it grabbed a heaping helping of terra firma and bucked me like a damned bull, while kind of wheelying on one wheel !!!
 

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By the way dark lump, good thinking, nice job, did you just bolt the steel to the stock bolt hole right ? I think i am actually going to try and figure something a little different out, i have been staring at it since i got it and i think you hit it with shortening it, but i am considdering making my own...er...rather have my grandfather guide me thru making one or just longer links and connecting them close to the middle where you have yours clamped, i mean how easy would it be to make a bar that fits this with several adjustment slots ? that would be great, put a pin in there like a quick-disconnect on a 4x4 truck swaybar and BAM, everyone is happy with a few adjustments !!! i'm thinking about just making my own ends and cutting the end of the swaybar off and putting those ones on, using someintenally threaded tubing (like tie rods) and threaded rod/eyebolts for adjustment, that way you just need to loosen a locknut and can make the length EXACTLY where you want, your setup will do this too, thats why i like it, i just thing i want a slightly cleaner finish under there (as if it matters so long as it works right ?) and i also need to see about moving the links or making some longer ones, it's gonna be fun, i'll tell ya !!!
 

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if you wanted it to slide more you could always just make a lowering kit which would effectively "stiffen" your swaybar as well. again just different approaches that would end the same.

Superswire said:
umm...considering the sway bar is allowed to pivot in the center, i dont see how a lowering kit would put more tension on it, the only time there is tension on it is when one tire pushes up seperate from the other or th3e body starts to roll, which technically is just one tire fighting the weight of the other VIA the swaybar and links, if you are on level ground and push down on your rear suspension there is no torsion on the sway bar, it simply pivots in its mounts, so the only things a lowering kit will do is lower your center of gravity, which is always better for cornering, but it will also lower your ground clearance and that sucks...

i wish what youre saying would work, all you would have to do is get some extended swaybar links and you'd be sliding around like a maniac, i want to do something about mine, but until then flipping your rear wheels or getting new ones or wheel spacers gave mine SOOOOO much more stability, i can lean forward a bit and slide allll day now, when it was stock width i actually tried to slide it going slow on grass and it grabbed a heaping helping of terra firma and bucked me like a damned bull, while kind of wheelying on one wheel !!!

lowering it would reduce body roll doing the same thing as stiffening the swaybar. the swaybar doesnt get any stiffer, it just acts stiffer.

running 2x as much air in the rear tires would be the cheapest solution to get the rear end to loosen up too.
 
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