By: Mark Coles
In 2005 at the Glen Helen GNC MX Series races George Athanasiou showed up with a prototype steering stabilizer and convinced a pro racer to give it a try.
That rider won round one and two more pro riders began using the stabilizer also carding wins that series. By mid season most pro racers had put in the call for a Precision Steering Stabilizer.
Fast forward to 2008 to a gnarly trail area and a brand new, tricked-out ’09 Can-Am Renegade XR sporting 28-inch Outlaw meats on all four wheels.
The “Gade” has gobs of power and like many ATVs it’s easy to dip into its torque curve, grab a rock and find the bars yanked out of your hands. “Rock whip” is not nearly as delicious as it sounds and is never kind to a rider.
Coming from a guy who has broken his left wrist twice courtesy of rock whip, it comes when you least expect it and there’s no time to react.
Basically your wrist and arm are acting as the steering damper. Your wrist is the weakest link in the chain and no match for the resulting instantaneous twisting powerful enough to stretch metal tie rod ends.
The Precision steering damper is a trail solution rather than just a track advantage. It is machined from a single chunk of heat-treated stainless steel in a thick shell of anodized aircraft aluminum to such close tolerances that no seals are required in the pressure area.
How much pressure are we talking? More pressure than the gas shocks on the Renegade X. The stabilizer unit can be installed in about 30 minutes with no drilling or welding.
It has separate adjustments on side to side dampening and also straight line dampening delivering fully adjustable steering zones so you can tune it to the type of riding you do. Once you find your sweet spot, it’s unlikely you’ll ever need to adjust it again.
High speed rock hits are easily absorbed and the handlebars never get yanked from your hands or suddenly cranked to a full lock, out of control position.
To verify our suspicions, we switched back and forth with a stock Renegade to compare and the riders agreed, there is simply no comparison.
We feel strongly this is one of the first mods you should make to any 4-wheeler if you’re concerned about safety, stability and trail control.
For more information check out the Precision Racing Products website at Precision-RP.com.