Power Department The Pro...
The Pro Flow kit and Motoworks SR4 exhaust helped our DS breathe deep and exhale smooth, while the Motoworks FMI kept it all in tune. Most importantly though, we could rely on our custom yellow Regina chain to keep the power going to the wheels.
The DS 450 comes stock with some pretty high-tech suspension components. So rather than reinvent the wheel, we stuck with a lot of the OEM components to capitalize on all that great engineering. Seeing as we weren't going to need to go any wider in the front or rear end for our type of riding, we left the super-light A-arms and axle right where they were. Sure, an aftermarket set would be beefier, but they would also be much heavier. Since we aren't planning on doing any hard-core racing, we opted to keep the unsprung weight low to help keep our suspension working as quickly and smoothly as possible.
However, the stock shocks and overall suspension setup definitely needed some work. So we boxed them up and shipped them off to Ross Benson at Hygear Suspension for a complete Pro Package rebuild. This rebuild is one of the most complete packages we have ever seen for OEM shocks. First, Hygear completely tore down our shocks and hard-anodized the bodies, giving them a much stronger interior coating, not to mention a trick look, too! Hygear also custom valved the shocks for XC riding and installed high- and low-speed compression adjustment knobs so we could really get the shocks dialed in.
Motoworks Exhaust And FMI...
Motoworks Exhaust And FMI
The company also slapped a set of triple-rate springs on the front and a dual-rate spring in the rear to give our stockers the progressive action of high-dollar aftermarket units. On our front shocks, Hygear machined the bodies down to give us a lower ride height and help reduce body roll. Last but not least, it installed extra volume caps on our reservoirs, allowing our shocks to hold more nitrogen. The extra gas helps disperse the heat on long rides and keep the shocks from fading.
To hold the steering in check we installed a stabilizer from GPR. The company's new low-mount stabilizer attaches down on the frame and connects to the steering stem with a machined clamp and arm with precision bearings. The GPR has eight stiffness settings and even has the option for a remote adjuster to change the resistance on the fly.
Rear Shock (Hygear Rebuil...
Rear Shock (Hygear Rebuild)
The rocky trails were sure going to be hard on whatever tires we put on our machine, so we decided to go with some of the most reliable ones out there. We got a set of six-ply Maxxis Razr 2's for the front and six-ply Razrs for the rear. The Razrs will give us all the traction we want and all the longevity we need for the countless trail rides we had planned.
To follow Can-Am's lead of using the lightest and most advanced parts available, we thought the perfect wheels for our project would be a set of HiPer carbon-fiber wheels. HiPer set us up with a set of its Tech-3 beadlock wheels for the front and rear. To keep the stock width, we had to run a 4+1 offset in the front because of the inverted caliper and long A-arms and a 3+6 offset in the rear. We weighed our new tire and wheel package to see what kind of penalty we were paying over the stock setup: only two pounds per tire in the front and three pounds in the rear, not bad for six-ply tires and full beadlocks!
Front Shock (Hygear Rebuild...
Front Shock (Hygear Rebuild
With the Hygear-rebuilt shocks we now had a plush ride and a lower and more confident cornering machine, plus all the adjustability we would ever need. The GPR stabilizer soaked up the jarring terrain and kept the wheels in our control.
Comfort And Protection
Just as important--if not more so--as all the performance parts we put on this machine are the items that increase its safety and comfort. We sent our stock seat to Bill Pointer at Quad Tech-ATV so it could set us up with a seat cover and hump modification. The hump on the rear of the seat is designed to help keep your butt from sliding too far back, thus taking a little strain off your arms. We've seen this seat gain a ton of popularity in the racing scene, so we were sure it would be a welcome addition for those long trail rides.
Pounding over rough and rocky trails is as hard on your body as it is on your ATV, so we installed a set of Fasst Company Flexx bars to give our hands, wrists and upper body some extra cushion for the serious jolts. The rubber joints in the Flexx bars allow them to soak up harsh hits and absorb vibration. The best part, though? They are 100 percent made in the U.S.A.