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Which Tires Should You Buy for Your Off-Road Vehicle

December 1, 2018 8267 Views 1 comment

Tires are one of the most important aspects of the automotive combustion engine because all the power in the world won't make a block of metal move. With ATVs, UTVs and Bikes there are just so many tires out there to choose from. In this blog we'll look at the choices out there and help decipher what tire’s right for you.

When looking at tires you’ll see three different numbers which state, in this order: The height, width and the size of rims these tires can be mounted on. For example let’s breakdown “25-8-12,” the 25 would mean these tires are 25 inches tall, the 8 inches wide and can be placed on a 12 inch rim.

Vehicle manufacturers match their OEM tires with the specs of the new vehicle; the engine, gearing and handling. This is why most people recommend you stay at the same size they put on. But not everyone likes to do that, some people like to buck the trend and go the performance route, really do anything, especially go against those “manufacturer suggestions” to go a little bit faster.

If you're looking to go outside the OEM's tire size then it's important to know size impacts your vehicle’s abilities. Larger tires will increase your top speed and make for a softer ride; however there are some down sides. Larger tires will limit your ability to burst right off the starting line and if you go too big, the engine can be overloaded because it’s trying to produce the energy needed to push those mammoths, and ultimately the frame, the shocks and a number of other parts will wear out early because of the size.

Going smaller is basically just the opposite of going bigger, it'll pick up speed faster right off the starting line, but you won't be performing as well during the race and if you go too small you'll have less control and risk damaging your vehicle.

The Different Types of Tires

Other than size, there are a variety of different types of tires that are better suited for the different environments you may find yourself in, whether that’s on a trail, gliding through mud, skipping on sand or racing down a closed track.

Tail Tires (or All-Terrain)

These tires are the jack of all trades and master of none; they are decent for any terrain; however they don’t exactly excel on one particular terrain over another. These tires are used when you don’t want the maintenance of switching out your tires all the time, which makes up for them not being as good. If you’re looking to spend most of your time in one particular environment these are not the tires for you. We suggest looking at the more specialized tires we’ll be discussing below.

Mud

These tires are great for that wet and sloppy terrain whether that be mud or sticky snow. Mud tires are made to drive through the thick muck and typically have wide spaced, irregular and wide treads that disperse the mud and dirt instead of keeping it inside the tread giving you better traction in the mud. It’s possible to use these tires on other terrain, but it’s a rough ride and these tires will wear much quicker than in their intended environment

Sand

When riding on the sand it’s easy to find yourself in a situation where you’re driving up a sand dune, see the light of success, only to find your vehicle sliding on back down. Lack of traction is a crappy feeling and one that will likely replay itself over and over again until you pony up for some specialized tires. Sand tires are also referred to as paddle tires because of the paddle looking ridges on the back tires. These paddles make for a more stable ride taking away that feeling of having no control.

Racing

If you’re looking to scratch that competitive itch then you should take a look at racing tires. Racing tires come in many different shapes made specifically for the medium to hard packed terrain found on most tracks. Each track is made a little different and veteran racers will know what kind of racing tire they’ll need, for beginners it will take some time and some effort to figure out which tire works best for you on whatever track you’re racing on. Once you get to that point you'll really appreciate the different kinds of racing tires.

Tires are not cheap and you’ll want to keep them maintained, keep them full of air, and check them for tread or other damage. Damaged tires will fail and that could leave you stranded with no way to back. Also, remember that how you ride definitely affects the life expectancy of your tires, going fast and hammering the breaks will wear them out much faster than a slow gradual stop.

There’s a lot of thought that goes into picking a set of tires and we hope this blog gives you a bit of clarity when making your decision. We may not sell tires at partdiscounter.com, but tires will have a massive effect on the parts we do sell. Their life and their performance are greatly influenced by the tires you put on your vehicle.

Have any questions about tires or want a place to inspire others to make a monster machine then leave a comment below.

Sources:

  1. The ATV and UTV Tire Buyers Guide: http://www.bikebandit.com/blog/post/the-atv-and-ut...
  2. The 5 Tire Types that Help You Get a Grip in different Terrains: https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/rm-rider-exchan...
  3. How to Choose New ATV Tires: http://www.atv.com/features/how-to-choose-new-atv-...

Don’t Let Your Vehicle Hibernate This Winter, Add Tracks and Defy the Season

November 1, 2018 3249 Views No comments

Most riders know before winter comes that they have to begin the process of storing their vehicles for the long cold interlude between riding seasons. This involves emptying their fuel, doing one last clean and maybe a little maintenance before its stored away; however, there are some people who still brave the winter on an ATV/UTV. In this blog we’ll talk about the benefits and drawbacks of using to tracks to make your vehicle an all season machine.

The winter, especially up here in Canada can be a cold and cruel that you don’t want to be trapped in. There are less people driving around outside and a lot of places are much harder to get to if something does happen. Now you’re probably thinking “okay, I don’t want to be stuck, so what can I do?” Well one thing you can do is buy tracks.

Tires and tracks are made differently and are meant for different utilities. Wheels absorb the hits they’re given because of the air inside; however tracks don’t have that same luxury. They’re made of a bunch of links that don’t have the cushion like tires do, which means they won’t take as much and are easier to break depending on how and where you ride. The reason we switch to tracks in the winter is for gaining surface area, so we can grip the snow and plow on forward where tires would otherwise be left in a rut. Tracks can also work well in the sand and mud for this same reason as well. Now, if you’re goal is a winter powerhouse, tracks are not for you because they take away a lot of your middle and high-end torque, but gives you in return lots of low-end power, perfect for a winter workhorse.

There is another significant negative to tracks and that’s their cost. Tracks cost so much money; some are in the high $3000s while others climb into the higher $5000s with some even higher than that. At such a price you’re basically paying for another ATV or more likely if winter riding is important to you, a snowmobile. For speed there’s no better alternative than a snowmobile in the winter, they basically own the season. If you’re looking to keep moving loads back and forth or have an unbridled love for your ATV, then tracks might be right for you. These are really for the explorer at heart, the kind of person who wants to go where others have gone before, but get there in a more stylish manner in a season best tackled by a warm cup of coco.

The title for this blog is “Don’t Let Your Vehicle Hibernate This Winter, Add Tracks and Defy the Season,” but you don’t necessarily need to take off the tracks depending on the brand you have and how they were designed. Tracks are great in mud like stated before and can move unstable loads because of their inherent low centre of gravity. You’ll still lose a ton of top speed no matter the season, but if you want to forgo tires and just use tracks you can.

Tracks are one solution to the winter problem, another being a good winch to pull your vehicle out of the deceivingly deep snow. There are other solutions out there, tracks though are quite distinctive and merge tank with recreational machine. If tracks are good for the army when they go into foreign lands with varying environments, then they can be good for you too.

Sources:

  1. 5 Awesome UTVs that Traded Tires for Tracks: http://www.atv.com/5-awesome-utvs-that-traded-tire...
  2. Buyer’s Guide ATV Tracks for the Snow: http://dirtwheelsmag.com/home-page/home-features/b...

Here's Why the Honda TRX 400EX is Still Popular

August 1, 2018 12852 Views No comments

The Honda TRX 400EX is a well-known entry level ATV. The kind that leads to the harder, scarier ATVs able to make tears run down your cheeks in the first second, and dry them all up in the second. You won’t find that kind of power on a base model TRX400EX, but it’s perfect for a beginner or someone graduating from a lower class of bike with less cc’s. Now, just because some see it as an entry level ATV it doesn’t mean the 400EX doesn’t have lots of low end power to whip anyone around the trails and have tons of fun. In many ways though, it’s a jack of all trades but master of none. People might then ask, if it’s not powerful or one heck of a performer then why is it still so widely remembered in the ATV community? In this blog we’ll explore that status and the 400EX’s history ending with it taking a permanent place in the hearts and minds of ATV riders everywhere.

Why the Almost Mythical Status?

Word of mouth is what gives something mythical status, a status that is either good or bad; no one cares or remembers about the all-around average. Generally, we remember the bad easier than the good, which means the good we do remember has to be pretty darn great.

The 400EX is one of the greats, up there with the Yamaha Banshee 350. Where the Banshee has an extraordinary powerband that can almost suck the vehicle right from under your hands, the 400EX has reliability and ease of use. There is no ATV forum online that doesn’t have countless topics about the 400EX and this just goes to show how popular the machine still truly is. It is without a doubt one, if not the best vehicle for longevity and user-friendliness.

History

When the 400EX first came out it was considered a really good vehicle; however, the powerful two-strokes usually kept them out of major races. And yet, whenever someone goes on a forum and asks “what vehicle should I get if I’m a beginner.” The forum is always full of 400EX responses because it was made tough and durable so new riders didn't have to worry as often about costly maintenance beyond the basic oil and filter changes.

The Honda TRX 400EX is also well-known because of when it launched. It was the light at the end of a long and dark tunnel that stretched for 10 years until a new sport ATV came out. Sure the Banshee and Blaster were still being made, but there was no other competition, at least not until the 400EX came out. In many ways sports ATVs were smeared as dangerous toys, manufactured by companies that cared little for human life and less still for children. The biggest factor in this dark period was the Consent Decree of 1988 which held numerous requirements that immensely affected those “evil” manufacturers. Three wheel ATVs were completely banned from being manufactured and although nothing explicitly banned sport ATVs in the decree, no one really had the needed willpower to fight for their place in the industry.

Then we jump 10 years to 1998, It was a good year for the sport ATV enthusiast because the Consent Decree finally came to an end and sport ATVs had their sudden resurgence with the launch of the TRX 400EX.

In the car world, Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas are seen as invincible lackluster cars that will get you through the years from A to B without many stops at the shop and in the ATV world, the Honda TRX400EX is exactly that. They’re not often raced these days because there are many more powerful vehicles out there, but that also means many of those being sold today are OEM or close to it. The 400EX also has no shortage of aftermarket parts either and aftermarket manufacturers have made it so that if you want to change something on your vehicle, you can, from big bores to suspension and axles to coolers. Nothing needs to be original if you so choose.

It does have a couple weaknesses, putting in mods that generate additional power means putting increased stress on the gearbox and the clutch, which have been noticeable weak points with the machine. But no machine is perfect and the benefits of owning this one outweigh the negatives.

With the 400EX you can truly customize it to your likes and needs. If you’re looking to add some aftermarket parts to your 400EX and keep it just as reliable as before, take a tour of our 400EX section on partdiscounter.com where we have numerous OEM replacement and high performance parts waiting to make it purr or howl, depending on what you’re looking for.


Sources:

2008 Honda TRX400EX: http://www.atvrider.com/2008-honda-trx400ex-change...

Picture: http://dirtwheelsmag.com/home-page/the-life-and-ti...

ATV or UTV, That is the Question

June 1, 2017 2740 Views No comments

When you head into the store this summer looking at 4-wheel, off-road vehicles, you'll see a variety of different shapes and sizes. Some are ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles) and others are UTVs (Utility Terrain Vehicles). While they're both made for off-road trekking, it really depends on what you're going to do with them and what those needs require. Here are some of the major differences between the two you should think about when making your decision.

ATVs are zippy, fun and great racers because of their small, lightweight frames, built for performance with tons of modifications available to enhance their abilities. They're able to tow a little bit of weight. However, they're also physically demanding to drive, and the driver needs to be able to control the vehicle as it’s led through really tough tracks. They're also pretty uncomfortable during long riding sessions because of the way their seats are designed.

The biggest difference though, the one probably pushing you closer towards an ATV is price. UTVs are very expensive and usually sit thousands of dollars higher than ATVs, but of course there are some pretty compelling reasons for that high price.

UTVs come with more than one seat, some come with four and the rare ones come with six. You can drive around with your whole family rather than alone. Then you only have to buy one vehicle rather than one for each person. Sure, there'll be some fighting for the wheel but you'll all be together experiencing the fresh outside air.

UTVs have more to offer then just more seats; they also have lots of storage room because of rear cargo holds that allow them to carry tons more than your regular ATVs. Try dragging a couple bales of hay, you won't have enough room on the back of your ATV to stack them, and you'll probably look a lot like those guys from Fast 5 dragging around that massive safe and crashing into everything around you.

Here's a the clip with them dragging the safe from Fast 5 if you're interested:

For those of you getting a little older, UTV seats are a godsend. They're usually bucket seats or benches that give your back a well needed rest and make it so much easier to travel longer distances while on a smoother ride. UTVs have more "utility", of course, as the same suggests, the range of their capabilities is much broader then ATVs. Some can carry tons of wood back to your house, chainsaws to your job, dump dirt by your gardens, drive across a pond and do a lot of other things ATVs can't.

There you have it; ATVs and UTVs have some similarities but are very much different machines. ATVs are built to take one person on a bumpy, exciting adventure where you feel every corner and race against your friends for the fastest time. UTVs on the other hand do everything else; they take more people, hold more stuff and transport large items. It's up to you to make your choice, but we know you'll have a great big smile on your face when you do pick the one that best fits.

Let us know your preferences and give us some reasons why in the comments! And if you’re looking for some parts to make that new machine even better, take a look through Partdiscounter.com.

Sources:

  1. ATV vs. UTV Vehicle Guide: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/motorcycles/a...
  2. What’s the Difference Between a UTV and an ATV/Side by Side: http://blog.sidebysidestuff.com/faq-whats-the-diff...
  3. Choosing a Work ATV vs. UTV: http://www.atv.com/features/choosing-a-work-vehicl...

Dangerous Engine Heat: 3 Prevention Tips After Installing Performance Mods

July 25, 2016 7677 Views No comments

Engine performance mods add more speed and make your vehicle accelerate quicker. It’s fantastic and exciting, but the extra performance comes with one major downfall; engine heat. Vehicles tend to perform sluggish and lose power when they overheat. When there's too much heat, parts also become more vulnerable which can cause them to warp and even break. We know that’s not exciting to hear, but there are a number of ways to prevent this like changing your oil cooler, adjusting your jets and even looking at using different oil.

Take a big bore cylinder for example an engine performance mod that would require more cooling after it's installed. A big bore gives your vehicle enhanced performance through power. More specifically, “when you increase the cylinder’s bore you increase the surface area on top of the piston…” which “… spreads the fuel/air mixtures workload and produces more power…” (Motocross Action Magazine). Now that we have an example, let's explore the different ways to keep the engine cooled after it’s installed.

Here's an example of a Big Bore Kit that fits Honda TRX400EX & XR400R

The first way you can improve your vehicle’s cooling is by changing the oil cooler. An oil cooler is a type of radiator already inside your vehicle if its liquid cooled. It helps cool surplus engine heat, but after new mods are installed the stock version might not be enough. If you're a one and done kind of person, a good fan placed in the oil cooler can do the trick. If you're looking to add tons of different mods then you might want to replace it entirely with a bigger version or even install two.

Another way you can help cool your engine is rejetting. After an engine performance mod is added, your engine will likely run lean. Running lean means your air-to-fuel balance is off and too much air is coming in and too little fuel is forcing the engine to work harder. This requires changing out the jets in the carburetor and making sure it has access to all the fuel it needs to properly power the new and improved vehicle.

Now if you finish that and you’re still having problems cooling your vehicle, can we suggest you make the change from regular oil to synthetic? Synthetic oil as the name suggests, is a lubricant consisting of chemical compounds made artificially and has been proven to handle the high temperatures coming from performance parts that would otherwise break down regular oil. It’s not a cure-all, but it certainly makes a difference. Synthetic oil is more expensive, that's true, but it also has a number of advantages to make it worth your while if you’re still on the fence.

  • Synthetic oil flows easier in cold weather and is highly resistant to viscosity breakdown (the ability of the oil to flow easily in all temps) from heat, friction and chemical contaminants. Synthetic oil also better lubricates the engine in very cold weather, meaning if your engine is having trouble starting, synthetic oil can help.
  • You don't need to change synthetic oil as often as regular oil.
  • With less oil changes you'll be helping out nature by lowering the amount of oil you dispose and let’s be honest we all use nature a ton so it's good to do what you can to keep it around.
  • Synthetic oil will increase an engine’s life because it protects against crud forming in engine hot spots and burns off less oil with reduced clogging in oil passageways, limiting potential damage.

We hope these tips help overcome engine heat and make your new mods work how you want them to. If you have any other tips or tricks to keep an engine cool please share them in the comments below.

Sources: