Who in their right mind could turn down an offer to test Teixeira Tech's freshly developed 540 Polaris Outlaw IRS? Not us! If you're not familiar with Teixeira Tech, founder Ed Teixeira is a hard-core desert racer who competes in the SCORE off-road racing series and has won the Best In The Desert Expert Championship in 2003 and 2007. Teixeira Tech is best known for its extremely tough ground-clearance-styled, high-performance A-arms.
This particular Teixeira Outlaw was developed for East Coast GNCC-style racing. With that in mind Teixeira wanted to improve some very important performance capabilities. The priorities would be improving handling performance without adding width, gaining wheel travel and upping horsepower to get this big girl up the trail in a hurry all while making it as comfortable for the driver as possible.
Thanks to the suspension improvements...
Thanks to the suspension improvements of Teixeira arms and Fox Shox, this machine can now better handle the hard hits of rough terrain and harsh landings.
Teixeira shipped the motor to CT Racing to work its magic as Ed had raced a custom-chassis KTM 525-powered contraption that he built several years ago in the Best In The Desert Series, which is the same motor as our Outlaw. CT Racing built his motors then along with a custom pipe for the conversion. He supplied CT with a factory KTM 540 kit, which comes from KTM with a piston kit, cylinder and top end gasket set. CT went to work porting the head, which dramatically improved the flow characteristics and the CFM's. When CT Racing ports the heads it does a CNC valve job even on a new motor such as this. The five-angle valve job completely reprofiles the valve seat, significantly changing the flow characteristics. CT then slipped in a Web cam all while maintaining stock valve springs. There is no reason to bump up the spring and seat pressure when using a bottom to midrange camshaft for XC type racing.
CT Racing then pimped out the 39mm FCR carburetor and installed an R&D Power Bowl to it. The R&D Power Bowl includes a significantly stiffer-than-stock accelerator pump spring. The bowl includes an accelerator pump that has the venting higher up allowing the bowl to hold more fuel, which pump-squirts more fuel over a longer duration. The pump features a tunable leak jet that you simply turn a screw with your fingers to fine-tune the bottom-end jetting. The pump lets you stab the throttle without any hesitation while the float bowl stops the bogging from G-out situations. CT drills out the accelerator pump squirt diameter and mods the accelerator shaft slightly retarding the pump timing and then installed its FCR titanium needle along with a richer pilot and main jet.
At this point, CT installed its Sonic pipe, which uses a disc-type spark arrestor system. In fact, CT has won several pipe shootouts over the years using this system, even bringing the most horsepower over the widest power curve in our own Raptor 700 pipe shootout back in 2006. The disc system makes the CT exhaust tunable for noise. If you have a sound requirement you need to meet, you can simply remove discs to get to the decibel setting you need.
Improving The Handling
The folks at Teixeira Tech built a set of ground-clearance A-arms for the front end of our Outlaw. They repositioned the shock mount farther out to offer a better ratio and better anti-roll stability. Teixeira's upper A-arm has the easiest-to-use caster adjustment system on the market. Plates on each side of a slotted upper arm have teeth in them similar to what you would find on Vise-Grip teeth. To adjust the caster you simply loosen the upper ball joint forward or backward. Adjusting camber is the same as well. In our opinion, it's a very simple and ingenious innovation.
"The motor work gave the Outlaw...
"The motor work gave the Outlaw a significant boost in steam."
To suspend our rig, Fox Shox were mounted up and are arguably the best shock on the market and well proven on the Outlaw by Polaris factory racer Doug Eichner. These shocks were amazingly plush yet offered significantly less body roll than the stock shock setup even though some of this does need to be attributed to Teixeira's geometry. On the stock Outlaw, we always felt it needed a stiffer anti-sway bar, but now the thing is flat and stable in corners while continuing to soak up rough terrain in the straights. It's important to set suspension for the terrain you plan to terrorize, and that is one of the cool features of the Fox Shox. With the included air pump, you can adjust the pressure to give the ride height and spring rate you so desire. Of course, you still have compression and rebound adjustment for fine-tuning.
Although the ultimate goal...
Although the ultimate goal was to drastically improve the Outlaw's overall performance, the end results also lead to a trick-looking race quad.
Power To The Ground
The Outlaw comes equipped with Maxxis tires right from the factory. The front tires are great for most off-road surfaces while the radial rear tires are great in low-traction situations as they provide massive forward drive. The downside to these stock meats is that they don't offer much side bite and are not six-ply so they're more susceptible to flats. Considering the purchase of a set of six-ply Maxxis Razr tires is certainly not a bad idea. Our stock wheels, which are good enough for most off-road riding, were modified by OMF Performance. For GNCC-style racing you want to be able to ride hard even if you have a flat tire, so beadlocks are highly recommended. OMF cuts off the outer edge of the wheel and welds on the inner beadlock ring, turning the stock wheel into a beadlock. This made our wheels much beefier and better for tackling extreme terrains.
Modifying the stock steering stem, Teixeira cut the bottom off utilizing the base (very bottom of the stem) and installed a chrome-moly shaft and an anti-vibe top mount. He then utilized his own anti-vibe handlebar clamp, which has two holes in the bottom allowing adjustment forward and backward for that perfect custom positioning. A set of Fasst Company Flexx bars were installed, which are the best bars in the business for endurance racing as they soak up a lot of the hits that would normally fatigue your hands and arms. Adjustable and unbreakable ASV levers were clamped to the bars and have very good geometry for an easy clutch pull. PowerMadd Handwraps and hand guards were installed for protection. These wraps offer a lot of rigidity to the guards, so you can smash into trees and not lose knuckles. Instead of using the stock mount that comes with the guard we used a set of Fasst's anti-vibration handlebar inserts; the inserts cut vibration going to our hands so hanging onto the bars for a long period of time was easier. The PowerMadd Handwraps screw right in, so it's no different than the stock mounting. And lastly in the controls department, we chose the Pro Armor tether switch to kill the engine in an unfortunate mishap.
Odds And Ends
X-Factor produced and provided all of the protection components, which are made in America out of 6061 quality aluminum for this quad. The list includes nerf bars, front bumper and belly pan skid plate. We like how these guys built their skid plates to tie into the front bumper so that you have protection for the full length of the frame. X-Factor also breaks the outer edges of the skids to make a better fit and a stronger skid. We've used X-Factor aluminum for projects in the past and were always amazed at how easily the products bolt right up which is not exactly a common thing with many nerf bar companies.
If you're going to race off-road, a steering stabilizer is a must; if you're going to purchase one, you might as well get the best. Precision's new Pro Series is arguably the best stabilizer on the market and the most popular on the GNCC circuit. The Precision stabilizer offers a significant stiffness in the first 15 degrees of bar turn, and then gets easier after that. You don't want or need to fight the stabilizer when you're crossed up in a turn. The center stiffness and side stiffness are both independently adjustable. The main difference between the Precision and others is that it has virtually no fading when the unit gets hot. Many stabilizers get significantly easier as the unit heats up from use, which means they really aren't working.
In the past, the Outlaws had some issues with the front wheel bearings. Teixeira didn't want to risk a DNF, so it just went with the best hubs on the market, the Hardkors. The Hardkor hubs are machined from billet aluminum and anodized in cosmetically correct colors, and have tapered bearings. Galfer Wave rotors were chosen for their superior braking. The Wave rotors offer significantly more stopping power over round rotors, and with the extra horsepower driving this quad, it's a good idea to get it to stop on a dime with minimal input from the levers.
Luckily for us, Teixeira allowed us to have a couple of days to rip on this quad in Southern California's high desert. The motor work gave the Outlaw a significant boost in steam. Power was very smooth and tractable, even to the point of not portraying that feeling of going fast. That is until you line up against another quad to actually see how fast it is. Part of the reason it doesn't feel blistering fast is caused by the independent suspension. With this suspension, chain torque is eliminated. You experience chain torque when the countershaft sprocket is trying to pull the rear sprocket up to itself, which causes your quad to wheelie. You could look at the lack of chain torque as both a positive and a negative depending on how you ride. For climbing gnarly hills especially in muddy GNCC conditions, you can climb better with the front end glued down basically offering improved control. On the downside, it's difficult to float the front end over whoops or a fallen tree by just cracking the throttle to wheelie over. With this element gone, riding whoops requires you to be precise with speed to make sure the front wheels touch the tops of the whoops to skip along. Go too fast and bounce the front too far and you could end up sinking the front tires. With that said, the Fox Shox do a great job at covering up those mistakes.
In stock trim the Outlaw portrays a good bit of body roll in certain circumstances. Now with the Teixeira A-arms and Fox Shox installed, that horrific body roll is literally diminished. The Outlaw stays flat in the corners, allowing you to really huck it in with virtually no tipping sensation. Overall the Outlaw as setup was a very comfortable ride. The seat is still on the iffy side and the footpeg position is too far back, but there was not much Teixeira could do about those issues. The Outlaw by nature is a large quad, which is great for those larger riders. At the end of the day, we were pretty stoked on how this ride turned out. ATVR
Parts: Teixeira Tech's Polaris Outlaw 540
Polaris '09 Outlaw A-arms (MX, WORCS) with needle bearing upgrade: $985;
adjustable anti-vibe clamps: $100;
steering stem (stock core used): $150
Sonic Series pipe: $534.95;
port head, five-angle radius valve job (assembled head included): $600
Fox Racing Shox:
Float X Evol DSC shocks, front: $1495,
Podium X shocks, rear: $1195
OMF Performance Products:
OMF beadlocks with billet center (customer-supplied wheels): $234.75 ea.
Star Series hand guards: $34.95,
Star Series Handwraps: $39.95
Nerf bars: $169.95;
front bumper: $119;
full body skid plates: $109.95