While ATVs have always been known as a machine with excellent offroading capabilities, they are also used for more sporty purposes, like racing on Motocross tracks alongside dirtbikes. some other folks are a little bit more casual and just use their ATV for work purposes and low-speed cruising once in a while. anyways, regardless of how people use their quad all ATV riders have always been interested in knowing something: how to make their quad faster. this is something that I also wanted to learn back when I used to ride older quads. old quads back from the mid-2000s were significantly slower than the machines of this era, especially when talking about utility quads, so if you have a quad like that and want to improve its performance, then read on.
There are several ways to improve your quad’s top speed and acceleration rate. you can do some mods on your quad like for example installing some performance suspension shocks, buying a sports exhaust, or upgrading your air filter, but if you are looking for something more conservative, using an octane booster, making your ATV lighter, or inflating your tires might be enough to provide a noticeable speed boost. your best bet is doing most of what I mentioned above to ensure your quad gains the most speed possible. anyways, below I provide a more comprehensive list of the best ways to make your ATV faster. doing the mods will definitely improve the punch that you get when you first hit the throttle.
Tips On How To Improve Your ATV’s Top Speed And Acceleration.
1. Get An Aftermarket Performance Exhaust
This is one the best ways to significantly improve the overall speed and performance of your quad, especially if you have a utility quad. anyways, most stock exhausts limit the power output of the engine, plus they really don’t do a good job of muffling the loudness of it. installing a performance exhaust made by a reputable brand will improve the airflow of the pipes, making your ATV have more “punch”, and a deeper, more pleasant growl. these performance exhausts are beautiful in my opinion. they are usually made of stylish aluminum and titanium, compared to the dull and brown steel used on most stock exhausts.
A specific exhaust is not going to fit all ATVs, so the best choice for you is going to depend on which quad you have. I currently have a Lexx performance exhaust installed in my Yamaha Raptor 700 which has really beefed up its power, but it may or may not fit your ATV. if you are looking to avoid the hassle of looking for an exhaust that will fit on your specific quad, I would just recommend going for a slip-on exhaust that fits several models. there are several models available on Amazon which might be worth a look.
2. For An Immediate Performance Boost, Use An Octane Booster
An octane booster is a great choice if you are on a budget or aren’t looking to do any complex mods on your ATV. an octane booster works by artificially boosting the octane rating of the gas in your quad, making the gas more efficient, and therefore more powerful on a straight line. the great pro about octane boosters is that they are so easy to use and so cheap too. a 32 oz bottle will cost you less than $40, ideal if you are going to race with your brother and need something to help you decide the outcome. just pour the contents of the bottle on a full tank of gas, or just follow the instructions of the bottle. be aware though, some substances used on some boosters might hurt your engine, especially if used long term.
I personally have used my fair share of octane boosters on my old Honda, and the best one so far has been the Boostane Octane Booster. this additive was originally designed for car engines, but it quickly caught on in the ATV enthusiast community. a friend of mine gave me a bottle as a gift for me to try out, I poured it on my quads gas tank, and after a few minutes of riding, I felt a noticeable difference. my quad felt much more nimble as if it weighed 200 pounds less. I then tried launching my quad over and over on flat ground, and it definitely felt much faster. in conclusion, I would strongly recommend this booster as an alternative to performance mods.
3. Upgrade Your Suspension Shocks
If you are serious about making your quad a speed demon, the stock suspension shocks won’t do. while they might be fine for moderate intensity riding on a trail or riding on a farm, the stock shocks are way too soft and have too much give for more performance oriented applications. buying aftermarket performance shocks will lower your quad an inch or 2, stiffen the chassis up, plus they will also allow your quad to be a little bit faster. The only con is that the shocks can be a little bit expensive, but they are definitely worth it though.
Right now I’m not using special shocks but I used to have some effective but affordable GZYF shocks installed on my old Honda. I don’t have that quad with me anybody but let me tell you: those shocks definitely made the quad ride much more firmly than normal. TRXs are quads that come with firm suspension setups from the factory, but the new shocks reduced the bounce even more. obviously, this translated into speed gains and more precise handling.
4. Reduce Quad’s Weight As Much As Possible
Installing mufflers and adding octane boosters to your gas is not the only way to increase the acceleration of your quad, there are other simpler ways to do that, including reducing your quad’s weight as much as possible. the type of quad you have will determine how much weight you can shave off. for example, utility quads are famous for being quite boxy, with a lot of plastics all over the chassis. if you have one of those quads, then you can reduce several pounds off your quad by taking off some fenders, plastics, and if not offroading, the skid plates. you will be surprised how heavy these plastic pieces are. other ways to reduce the weight of your quad include getting yourself a new pair of wheels. if your quad is using the stock wheels, then an aftermarket wheelset can reduce more than 10 pounds off your quad, all while making your quad look much cooler in the process.
5. Get Yourself A Nice Set Of Performance Tires
This is one of the most overlooked ways to increase your quad’s acceleration. while high-end ATV tires can be expensive, they are also the best way to improve performance overall. these special tires have very distinctive tread that resembles a car’s rather than an ATV tire, and they do a great job of gripping the road on light dirt conditions. but other than the tread design and the price difference, they are pretty much the same as normal tires. If the tires that you are using right now are worn out, then your quad might not be as fast as it could be.
I’m a big fan of SunF tires because they provide great quality for the price. these are in my opinion the best pack of sport ATV tires under 300$ dollars. they are the brand that I would personally recommend because of that. now, if you have more than 500$ to spend, then there are definitely better sport tires on the market, but if you are like most of us and are limited moneywise, then SunF is the way to go. Other brands that I would recommend include WANDA, and ITP.
6. Get Aftermarket Wheels
While most ATV enthusiasts eventually replace their rims because of styling reasons, they fail to realize the performance benefits of doing so. Replacing the stock wheels for a decent set of aftermarket rims is a good idea for 2 reasons: you are going to improve the nimbleness of your quad plus you are going to make your quad look much cooler than with stock rims.
Decent aftermarket wheels are generally made from more lightweight materials, including alloys, and even magnesium if they are fancy. if you are on the lookout for a set of rims, then get yourself something that’s lighter than your stock wheels, or else your quad’s speed will stay the same or it might even get worse. I’m currently using ITP wheels and so far I have been pleased with them, so they have my vote of confidence, but there are several other great brands on the market. It’s only a matter of looking for the best one that fits your budget.
7. Clean Up Your Air Filter (Important)
Air filters are often something that only comes to mind when something goes wrong with the engine or the filter itself, but ATV enthusiasts often don’t realize how important a clean filter is for proper engine performance. cleaning the filter frequently will ensure your quad internals stays at the top of their game. one of the main reasons ATVs run slower than usual is because of a filter that’s filled with dirt, sand, and gunk in general. if you have never cleaned your filter before, you are going to need an Air Filter Cleaning Kit, which includes filter cleaner, and filter oil.
I will be creating a step by step article on how to clean up your filter the proper way. you don’t want to be doing the cleaning the wrong way because it’s really easy to destroy the filter’s foam, so if you really want to clean it but don’t really know how to do it, then watch a video on youtube or just wait until I create the article on how to do it ;3.
8. Do Quad Maintenance Religiously
Doing maintenance might be boring but it’s definitely necessary to ensure your quad is as fast as it can be. you should be doing general quad maintenance once every 3 months! this a more preventive measure to make sure that your quad maintains the power that it already has rather than a way to make it faster. the most important steps of a proper maintenance routine involve changing the engine oil and cleaning up the air filter. not changing the engine oil is a good way to ensure your engine loses power prematurely. anyways, I talk a little bit more about how often should you be changing engine oil in this article. you should also do some other things, like for example doing some suspension work and adding a fuel additive to clean up your engine’s fuel injectors.
How Fast Can A Stock ATV Go?
Now you might be wondering, how fast can a run of the mill ATV go? I made a complete article to answer this question a few months ago but to summarize what I said, the top speed of your average ATV is going to be about 60 MPH. this speed can only be achieved on a straight line, on even terrain, all while pushing the quad to the limit. trying to reach those speeds is very dangerous because It’s so easy for something to go wrong. 99% of ATV owners have never reached speeds over 40 MPH. while 60 MPH is the top speed of your typical sports quad, there are some special quads that can easily surpass this and attain speeds over 80 MPH.
An example of this is the Polaris Slingshot. many ATVers don’t even consider it a quad but Polaris does so. the Slingshot is capable of achieving top speeds of over 100 MPH on a straight line, which means it might even smoke your average sedan. other quads notorious for being really fast include the Yamaha Banshee and some modded Raptors.