ATV wheel spacers pros and cons

When it comes to car modifications, every driver has their own preferences. Whether it is preferences regarding the aesthetics of the car, or the functionality of the vehicle, everyone wants something different. This is no different for ATV wheel spacers. It is important that you make an informed decision about whether or not ATV wheel spacers are right for you. To help you out, we created this guide to ATV wheel spacers!

 

​​Why use ATV wheel spacers?

All terrain vehicles (ATV) sometimes use wheel spacers in order to change the spacing of the wheel. There are a few different options for wheel spacers, all with varying widths that increase the spacing to differing degrees. 

The average range of thickness that you can opt for goes between half an inch to three whole inches. People choose to use ATV spacers for multiple reasons, from increased stability to pure aesthetic reasons. 

 

What are the pros of wheel spacers?

Here is a list of the benefits to installing wheel spacers on your ATV. 

 

Better clearance for tire chains

The vast majority of ATVs do not have tire chains installed so if you want to install some, you are going to have to do that on your own accord. However, you might have problems when trying to install them. You might need to install spacers in order to increase the clearance and install your tire chains. 

The problem you will usually encounter will be the chain clashing with other parts of your vehicle, such as your brake lines, exhaust muffler and inner fender. In order to resolve this issue, you should be installing wheel spacers of around 1 to 2 inches, depending on the bike you have. For example, a Polaris will benefit most for a 1.5 inch spacer for clearance purposes. 

 

Aesthetics 

This one is entirely down to personal preference, but many riders choose to install spacers in order to improve the overall look of their ATV. This is mainly because spacers create a wider stance and therefore a more aggressive look to your bike. If this is something you are looking to achieve without having to put in a great deal of effort, adding wheel spacers might be the perfect option for you. 

 

Better stability 

A practical benefit to installing spacers is the fact that it makes your bike more stable on rougher and unpredictable terrains. Riding your ATV in areas that have extreme slopes, which is often the case for thrill seekers, can come with some dangers. If you do not get enough speed going up hills, or if you hit an obstacle at full speed, your ATV is inevitably going to flip on its side. 

In a regular situation, the bike would simply keep going and tumble down the hill, possibly causing a lot of damage to your ATV. However, the addition of ATV wheel spacers might save you a lot of damage control. Moreover, this increased stability will make your bike feel sturdier on the terrain whilst you are riding. 

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What are the cons of wheel spacers?

Although there are a lot of pros to adding ATV wheel spacers, there are also some possible cons that come with installing wheel spacers that you should be aware of before deciding whether or not they are going to suit your driving style and your bike. 

 

Increased strain and wear 

If you are thinking about installing spacers, you need to be aware that it might increase the strain and wear to your wheels, and their components, such as the wheel bearings, ball joints and axles. 

It is important that you do not offset wheels more than they need to be as the wider they get, the more momentum you will gain. Whilst there is no problem if you get spacers big enough for the clearance you need, anything more than that could cause you problems further down the line. 

 

It will be harder to steer 

When you add spacers to a wheel, you are essentially forcing it to swing slightly as the ball joints and the pivot points are not perfectly aligned with the wheel's center. It therefore becomes harder to steer as the steering system occasionally finds it more difficult to move the wheel. 

If your bike has power steering, this will likely be less of a problem, but still might be noticeable. This is also the case with the increased wear that this difficulty in steering might cause the bike. If it has power steering, the effect will likely be lower, but an effect will still be noticeable after some time. 

 

May be too wide 

One of the cons to installing wheel spacers on your ATV is that you might find it is now too wide for the tracks that you are used to riding on. The wider stance that you create with spacers, although might improve the stability of your ride, might be useless if you can't get onto the tracks you want to ride in the first place. 

Once installed, you might find that on tracks your initial bike rode on with ease are now not possible to ride as your wheels reach out too far and are clashing with debris that are on the peripheries of the track. 

 

Are ATV wheel spacers worth it?

The overall verdict is that ATV wheel spacers are worth it. The aesthetic advantage that it provides is one that is unparalleled. Moreover, the increased stability that it offers thanks to the widened stance makes riding far easier and more enjoyable. It also means that in the off chance that you do come into a complication and your bike flips over, there is less of a chance of more damage coming to your bike. 

When assessing the main disadvantages, in most cases, they are things that you can easily resolve. For example, it will not be hard to find a route that will take the widened stance of your vehicle, even if it means you can’t ride your usual trail. Moreover, if you stay on top of the mechanics and overall functioning of your bike, you will spot any potential problems early and can adjust your spacers as needed. 

At perfex industries, we offer a wide range of wheel spacers, so you will be sure to find a thickness that works for you. Nevertheless, we understand that knowing what kind of spacers to get can be daunting, so feel free to contact us to determine what kind of spacers suit your needs best. Our wheel spacers are also offered at an extremely competitive price point!


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November 23, 2021 — Eric St-Cyr