REVIEW OF THE PRECISION STEERING STABLIZER FOR THE BRUTE FORCE
Product First Look
Clean, smooth, well crafted, no burs, cast marks or imperfections. So nice, one would hate to get it dirty! Check it out!
Installation was easy and straight forward. All parts fit perfectly as expected. It is critical that tork specs be followed to the letter as per instructions. Also, double check that the stabilizer control arm and the stem clamp arm are in the proper position prior to torking. About fifteen minutes and you are ready for the trails!!
Direction includes settings that professional racers use in various conditions as a baseline. I decided on the rough trail riding as a starting point. The center and sides operation are 100% adjustable for any condition or desire a rider may have.
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The initial ride was only four hours long, but included four basic types of riding conditions.
-Desert trails that include woops, hard corners, sand, rocky climbs & malpye fields (rocky open fields & trails)
-Hill Climbs that include sandy 47-50 degree 3-700 foot climbs, hard pack with ledges & gravel covered 48 degree short 100-200 foot climbs.
-Arroyos which are like dry creek beds cut in to open areas feeding rivers in most cases. They are narrow with steep walls, switchbacks, hairpins, small drop-offs and are usually loose or soft bottomed. Sport quad riders love them. I rolled mine clipping a wall once.
-Simulated Drag Racing Just as it sounds, from zero to top end fully pinned on a dirt road. Simulated because I was alone. No matter, none of my buds will run me any more anyway.
I started out on the Desert trails, which wind out of some small hills onto the desert floor. Noticed it was better behaved over the whoops and off camber conditions right off the bat. In fact, I had to push it a bit to get the tail to swing while playing. George said it would control fishtailing, and boy he was right. Woops had far less impact on the arms as the stabilizer caught the wheel impacts at the stem. On one I stuck it a little on the way out and up she went, however she noised down into the next one on angle. Prepared for a bar snap as she hit…but didn’t happen. Wheel stayed straight and landed just fine. Excited about this I started picking up the pace. The bike now naturally wanted to keep a straight line and it was now the rider that would cause the bike to whip around, not the trail. Steering and cornering in sand was positive and well behaved. The act of over correcting seems to have been reduced drastically if not completely eliminated.
I made it out of the hills to the flats in record time where I let her graze over open rocky fields. The faster I went, the more the stabilizer held on. I found I could ride with one hand over very rough fields of clumps and rocks. I found it very strange the amount of reacting we do from input we get from the trail, and when much of that is taken out, that leaves more time for action…or increased aggressive riding. This could get one into trouble. The Brute behaved so differently that a couple of times I thought to myself “Who’s bike is this?” I became more fearless and started riding it more like a sport bike. In short, the control gain was unbelievable and one might find himself pushing it harder to get back closer to that “edge”. You know about the "edge"...right? That's the point where a rider feels his toes are just across the line between in and out of control. Pushing the limit or envelope you might say.
The next condition was Arroyos, where agility and control counts. With the sway bar off, there were some limitations as to the power turning but it still didn’t slow me down to the most part. These are like little canyons with twists & turns, hairpins and in my case this day, one collapsed canyon wall just around one blind turn. With no time to stop I did a full lockup and fully expected the back end to come around and impact this wall of dirt as it has in the past, but no.. she stayed straight and I was able to twitch the bars enough to line up on a spot that would take me over the top, clicked it in FWD and headed over it like a pro. Wow. I think the only explanation is that the bike uses the stem as a pivot point and when a steering stabilizer is bridged between the frame and stem, it works both ways. The pivot point now has a damper on it, so it can’t start to pivot around without your help. That’s cool…most of the time. If one wanted to play he/she could just adjust this stabilizer a few clicks looser and it would act like it was off. Anyway, even with this blockage, I ran the Arroyo in record time and no feeling of tightness in my shoulders or forearms. I then headed back to the hills for some climbing tests.
On the hill climbs I first off found that what I call “Torque-Steer” was almost eliminated in FWD and in full diff-lock. In just FWD with this initial setting I couldn’t feel any torque steer at all and was able to run a straighter line up to the top then ever before. In fact, I found I used the diff-lock much less. Even on rutty hills with outcropping ledges, the line to the top was much straighter and the bike deflected almost not at all by these bumps and ruts. I then decided to see if I could take the “Torque Steer” out completely and set the stabilizer two notched tighter. This is when I discovered that you really do want some of this to get to your hands. The best way I can describe it is first, what I call “Torque Steer” is better classified as “Traction Steer” for us. In full lock, when one tire looses traction, the other pulls in that direction turning the steering in that direction. You turn it back quickly to maintain your line and before the frame changes course much. Well, I can tell you that two-notch tighter setting will in fact take out 100% of the effect this has on the bars. You will feel no torque/traction steer. But because it was stopped at the stem, and the front wheels did not move, something has to happen, so the bike will jump in the direction of the tire with the traction. It’s like someone picked up your front end, moved it over 5-10 degrees, and set it down. That meant the whole bike is now off your line and you have to turn it back. So, this setting is not good for use with the diff-lock on hills. It’s still OK in just 4WD or 2WD and it will take out more bump-steer and a lower speed, so rough trail riding will be better, but not hill climbing in full lock. That was the only time all day that I felt any pucker factor…and it was a dozy. Did it three times just to confirm that’s what it was doing.
One last test was the simulated drag race. All three takeoffs were smooth and straight, no fishtailing in 2 or 4 wheel drive. You guys that drag race should like that! On up to 55+ smooth as glass except on mine, I have some wobble from my tires that used to come through to the bars and shake, but not any more. I can still feel it in the frame, but its stopped at the stabilizer at the stem. Very cool.
So, in summary, I love it! I liked the ability to either be way-in control or adjust it off if I wanted. The adjustability is fantastic. It was only a four-hour ride, but I needed no breaks and just wanted to hit more stuff. I think any stabilizer will greatly increase a rider’s control and remove lots of the input that causes stress & pump to the upper body. I also think there are those out there that like living on the edge, and for those, maybe a stabilizer shouldn’t be in their future, nor for those that mostly mud and just ride trails to get to the mud. It wouldn’t be worth it. But if you take long rides in the back country, travel over rough areas and want a better, less pounding experience or want to be taken to a new level of control so you can ride more aggressively and confidently, well a stabilizer is for you, and I do highly recommend this one. George and his staff at Precision Racing Products period. And… it’s the only one specifically designed for the Brute Force… and not just some....all of them! A great product, built right here in the USA</ST1
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