The cheap way to fix it...
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...
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.