Chassis/Suspension

Published on July 2nd, 2012 | by Joe

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Teixeira Tech, Camber/Caster Adjustable KFX450R upper A-Arm Test



The biggest reasons for switching out an ATV’s a-arms are to change its width, to allow the use of longer shocks, and to add camber and caster adjustability. Camber is how much the top of your front wheels tilt in. Ideally, you want to run just enough camber to keep your outside tires contact patch parallel with the ground under hard cornering. Caster measures how far back or forward the upper a-arms are in relationship to the lower a-arms. Caster affects how fast a machine turns in, or how stable it is at high speed. Adding caster, or moving the upper a-arms back, makes an ATV track better at high speed, while less caster, having the upper a-arm more directly above the lower a-arm, makes an ATV turn in faster, but reduces high-speed stability.

Today you can purchase machines in either the 46 or 50 inch width range to best suit your riding style Most high-end models now feature fully adjustable shocks, but adjustable a-arms aren’t a common feature. Spending $2,500 on new a-arms and shocks to be able to dial in your front end is simply unaffordable for most riders.  To solve this dilemma, Teixeira Tech offers their trick, fully adjustable upper a-arms, for a little as $295.

Teixeira Tech builds their upper a-arms for most popular high performance ATV models, including the KTMs and Honda 700XX.

Teixeira Tech builds their upper a-arms for most popular high performance ATV models, including the KTMs and Honda 700XX. Teixeira’s upper a-arms provide the benefit of camber and caster adjustment and feature one of the easiest to use caster adjustment systems on the market. Simply loosen the pinch bolts, and slide the upper a-arms forward or rearward. The arms allow you to adjust roughly between 3 and 8 degrees of caster. Interlocking teeth on the upper arm and the caster washer allow you to perfectly align the caster on both sides without the need to measure and remeasure. Each position provides around 1.2 degrees of adjustment.

Pictured are Teixeira Tech’s adjustable replacement a-arms for the Yamaha YFZ450R.

Interlocking teeth on the upper arm and the caster washer allow you to perfectly align the caster on both sides

Teixeira Tech constructs their a-arms out of TIG welded 4130 chromoly. They feature replaceable, high quality, heavy duty, sealed Frap Ball Joints, and sealed Delrin Pivot Bushings with greasable, hardened, and ground pivot sleeves. Zirc fittings come standard on all Teixeira arms, allowing you to easily lubricate them without removing anything. You can upgrade the Delrin Bushings with needle bearings for an additional $60. Teixeara Tech tells us, “The needle bearings triple the life of the Delrin Bushings and pivot sleeves. This reduces maintenance and saves money over time due to reduced replacement part costs.  The standard finish is a durable wrinkle black powder coat, with other colors and chroming available for a bit more.

The Test

A while back, we had the opportunity to try a set of Teixeira Tech’s upper a-arms on a Kawasaki KFX450R built by CT Racing. The test took place in the California desert in an area with lots of high speeds, deep whoop sections, and a private motocross track thrown in.  The Kawasaki has a lot going for it; however, in stock trim, the front end has very little caster. Its quick steering can make it a handful in braking bumps and at extremely high speeds.

You can upgrade the Delrin Bushings with needle bearings for an additional $60. Teixeara Tech tells us, “The needle bearings triple the life of the Delrin Bushings and pivot sleeves. This reduces maintenance and saves money over time due to reduced replacement part costs.

We set Teixeira’s arms up with 6.6 degrees of caster, sliding them back to their second to the last position. With these changes, the front end wanders less at high speed. The mild reduction in steering sensitivity kept small inputs to the bars from overly affecting the machine’s direction, like the stock caster settings do. Fortunately, there seems to be no trade off. The KFX’ frame geometry is aggressive by nature, so the steering remained responsive. If you’re planning on adding only a few modifications to your KFX, Teixeira Tech’s upper a-arms should definitely be one of them.

Conclusion

More caster makes the KFX450 more manageable. Less caster reduces the 700XX tendency to push. Machines like the LTR450 become even more effective when you can set up the front end for tighter or faster tracks and trails.  The YFZ450R’s caster mildly increases as its suspension goes through its travel, something that’s more noticeable when running softer aftermarket suspension. Teixeira’s upper arms for the YFZ450R come with an additional set of brackets that maintain the front-end caster as the front shocks go through their travel. If you aren’t in the market to change the width of your ATV and don’t want or need to make the investment in a full set of aftermarket a-arms and shocks, the benefit-to-cost ratio makes Teixeira’s adjustable, upper a-arms one of the biggest improvements you can make to your ATV for the money.

Manufacturer: Teixeira Tech

Product: Replacement Upper A-Arm

Price: $295-$395

Teixeira Tech, Camber/Caster Adjustable KFX450R upper A-Arm Test Joe

Teixeira Tech, Camber/Caster Adjustable KFX450R upper A-Arms

Summary: More caster makes the KFX450 more manageable.If you aren’t in the market to change the width of your ATV and don’t want or need to make the investment in a full set of aftermarket a-arms and shocks, the benefit-to-cost ratio makes Teixeira’s adjustable, upper a-arms one of the biggest improvements you can make to your ATV for the money.

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First Test


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