Sway bar vs replacement upper a-arms
So I know this has been discussed, but haven't really seen a good comparison, so figured I would do it! I bought a set of Teixeira Tech upper replacement a-arms and a L8ton 9/16" sway bar the end of last year, but due to my motor being apart and just life in general, I haven't had a chance to ride with either.
The area I went to ride in last Sunday is my regular riding area, been riding there for over a decade. I have a practice loop out there that is about 12 miles or so in length, has a little bit of everything. (High speed, whoops, tight stuff, sand, etc.) I have probably been around this loop over 100 times, I know it like the back of my hand.
So, first off, I installed only the sway bar. Figured I would ride with just the sway bar and the stock upper arms. The only suspension mods to the quad before the sway bar was tires and wheels. (Front is 23" razr's with 3:2 offset DWT ultimate wheels, while the rears are 22" razr's with 11", 5:2 offset OMF beadlocks.) My plan was to ride one loop with the new saway bar, head back to my truck, reinstall the stock sway bar and ride the same exact loop again. Figured that would be the best way to compare them, back to back over the same terrain.
I will be the first to admit that I was pretty skeptical about a sway bar helping the push, but I was surprised by how much it helped. That being said, it did not totally eliminate the push. What I noticed was the higher the speeds were, the better the quad steered, but at slow speed (sharp first gear corners) there wasn't much of an improvement. I also noticed that how much the sway bar helped depended on how I steered the quad. If I slid the rear of the quad to make a corner, it really made a difference, but if I used the handle bars to steer, it didn't seem to help as much, but did still help, except for those first gear sharp corners. Sharp corners in sand were still not fun.
I did really like the bar for the high speed sweeping corners, for sure helped reduce body roll. I did notice it took a little of the "independent" out of the rear suspension. There is one section of my loop that I go through in fourth gear that has a bunch of uneven bumps that the rear didn't feel quite as planted on, wasn't bad, but the stiffer bar was noticeable. (Still felt better planted though there then my 450R does.) After that, I knew I wouldn't have liked the 11/16" bar, very happy I got the 9/16" bar.
So, that is my comparison of the stock vs 9/16" bar. After I cleaned the quad up Sunday afternoon, I installed the new upper a-arms. Next weekend I plan on doing the same thing, one loop with the stock bar, then one loop with the 9/16" bar. Will post my findings after the weekend.
2004 TRX450R, 2008 TRX700XX
(BITD #639 Quad Ironman Expert)
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