Mods for your quad

Aftermarket products can enhance the function and form of your ATV

by Trish Drinkle and Steven Radel |

An ATV tearing through deep mud.

There are tires for any application imaginable—the Maxxis Mudzilla ATV tires are designed to give maximum traction in mud and a smooth ride on hard-packed trails. — photo courtesy Trish Drinkle

The most common added feature of any ATV is a winch, which not only helps to “unstick” the rider when in a jam, but it also helps to accommodate a plow blade for snow removal and yard landscaping.

Warn winches are probably the most well known winch product on the market, providing an epic product and great parts availability when needed. 

Mods for pleasure riders

The people who like to ride scenic trails, peacefully winding amongst the trees and riverbanks, seem to put comfort and simplicity first. 

Heated grips. On a chilly day, this added feature can make a rider’s day that much more enjoyable. You’ll find that some have variable temperature settings and offer not only grip heaters, but also a thumb warmer, which aids comfort and minimizes thumb fatigue. Our favourite pick is the Moose Utility Division ATV Winter Pack, which is priced at $149.99.

Cargo and storage. Not only will cargo boxes give you extra storage space, but many of the boxes offered today give you extra seating for a passenger as well. Gone are the days of using a cushion as a seat for an extra rider and some of these products come with extra bells and whistles, such as heated grips and poly gel seats—which makes for happy cheeks after a long ride. Your passenger will thank you for this! Quadrax, Kolpin and Ogio give you a wide variety of front and rear storage boxes. For a little bit of extra storage space, look at the Ogio Burro line. And if you need a lot of space, check out the Quadrax Deluxe Extreme and the Traveller storage boxes, which offer a huge amount of space and a back rest for the passenger.

Mods for adventure riders

Aftermarket exhaust. Providing more oomph and a sexy sound, aftermarket exhausts will improve the overall output of your machine. There are a variety of brands to choose from, and, as always, the old saying is true: you get what you pay for. Avoid makeshift exhausts that have been handy-manned together. Opt for a quality exhaust specific for your unit—Yoshimura, HMF and FMF being some of our favourites. You can choose between full replacement exhausts or a slip-on type of setup. Mufflers do have the potential to spark wildfires, so we would urge everyone to ensure that the spark arrestors remain intact in all setups. 

Tires. There are tires for any application imaginable. The rubber your ATV comes stock with is considered an all-purpose type of tire, intended to provide the average recreational rider with a pleasurable experience. 

The Maxxis Mudzilla ATV tires are designed to give maximum traction in mud and a smooth ride on hard-packed trails, while the Maxxis Mud Bug is a mud-specific tire, providing traction in some of the deepest mud conditions around. The ITP Mud Lite tire is another example of a tire that is designed for high-performance trail riding, as well as muddy conditions.

As a general rule of thumb, you can go one size bigger than stock with a moderate difference in tread without having to adjust your clutching. Aftermarket tires can be considerably heavier than stock and demand more oomph to compensate for the increased rotating mass. Aftermarket clutching increases the RPM before engaging the clutch to create a smoother shift, which will safely give the power needed to rotate your new tires. Huge tires with an aggressive tread can be axle snappers, so consider that when choosing your new tires.

Clutching. When approaching clutching, it is a balancing act of sorts. Clutching can improve your mid- and low-end power as well as throttle response. The flip side is the reduction of top-end speed. These are some things to think about when modifying your ride. Ultimately the more you modify, the greater the potential for quirks and gremlins to arrive.

Providing comfort and esthetics, mods can be the least intrusive, giving your ride its own flavour yet preserving its integrity. Handlebar grips can make for a cushier feel and add some colour. Hand guards can add some pizzazz and they also protect your hands and your levers from damage. 

Ultimately, do your research and decide if the modification is right for you. A professional install is often the only way to go and can save you money in the long run!

Have fun! Ride hard,

Trish

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