❏ In recent issues Dirt Wheels has
tantalized readers with race reports
and photos about the exciting sport
of ATV sand drag track racing—
sanctioned drag races on a professionally
groomed 300-foot track complete with
NHRA-ype drag race timing lights.
Now you’re thinking about modifying
your ATV into a more serious contender on the track and increasing
your fun potential.
Depending on the size of your wallet and what class of competition
your passion for sand drag racing
has you aiming towards, putting
together a proper racer can range
from a simple convertible conversion
of your existing ATV, a full conversion
dedicated to track racing or building
a completely custom racer. These
might also be “phases” as your racing expertise and budget evolve. We
will keep it simple and give you the
need-to-know of making your quad
into a drag racer that you can easily
turn back into a machine for trail
If you want to race your ATV on the
drag track but also want to continue
to ride it on trails or dunes, this is
your best option. Elapsed times on
the track for bikes in the Convertible
category are usually 5-plus seconds.
Modifications racers do here include:
1.) Adding a “kill switch” you can
teether to yourself (all tracks require
2.) If your motor is carbureted, have
your carb bored out and re-jetted for
higher performance. Changing it to
a Lectron carb is another solid route.
3.) Replace your stock exhaust with
a high-performance system. Get rid
of your bulky stock airbox and filter.
Installing a lighter and higher-ve-locity air-intake system and air filter
improves your motor’s breathing.
4.) Add proper tires to your ride.
SLS (Superlites) Skat Trak sand drag
paddle tires with nine or more paddles on lightweight rims is a great
setup to have.
MODIFY YOUR ATV
FOR SAND DRAG
From mild to wild!
By Gee Armstrong Photos by Brett Sanderson and ATVDragRacer.com
5.) Switch sides of your rear tires/
wheels without turning them around.
Depending on your wheel-rim offset,
this should center your tires a few
inches inward under the seat, adding
6.) Re-gearing. Changing sprockets to transmit your engine’s torque
to your drag tires is a big plus.
Depending on the type of riding
you’ve been doing, you’ll probably
find you need to change gearing to
drive the larger paddle tires. Tip: start
by experimenting with rear sprockets—adding teeth equals lower gearing. If you change your front sprocket,
dropping a tooth is like adding three
teeth to the rear sprocket and vice
versa. Type “ATV Gearing Chart”
into your computer to get some assistance.
7.) Add a wheelie bar to your ATV
and replace the shock absorbers.
To assure confident launches at the
starting line and increase speed and
safe handling down the track, you
need to add a wheelie bar to your
ATV and replace your shock absorb-
ers with suspension lowering struts.
You can change these components
out easily if you want to convert back
for a day of trail riding or duning.
Having raced your bike with convertible modifications, now you want
your bike to go faster and become a
real challenger in your class. This is
where your ATV becomes a track-only machine. Conversions are a solid
class in drag racing, with typical
elapsed times running from around
3. 9 to 4. 9 seconds depending on setup
modifications and engine size.
Put your bike on a diet. While the
industry saying that every 10 pounds
of weight lost equals one horsepower
gained may not be exactly accurate,
lightening your bike will let it go fast-