For woods racing, staying narrow is the top priority, and most aftermarket suspension companies have concentrated on long-travel kits, which are pretty worthless in tight spaces. Luckily, ARS FX is now offering a +2-inch kit, which while slightly wider is still narrow enough for the task at hand. The ARS FX RZR +2 Woods Kit is pretty genius when you think about it; it's a perfect fit for rec riders and woods racers alike, as the arms will work with stock shocks or the Exit X0 or X1 single-rate shock packages. The +2 kit is made from 4130 chrome-moly, which is a good bit stronger than stock, and strength is essential for serious racers. The slight increase in width really does make the stock RZR stance a bit more stable and usable for the average rider, and the fact that it uses the OEM mounting hardware and ball joints helps keep the price lower as well. To further increase strength, Starrett also opted for ARS FX's axle kit, which uses high-strength 300m rear axles and 4340 front axles.
The obvious choice in the shock department was ARS FX's sister company Exit. To sweeten the case for Exit, they're also the brainchild of suspension guru Mike Hallock, and those in the know know that Hallock is at the very top of the Suspension Wizard food chain. The Exit Series X1 UTV shocks have piggyback reservoirs, come standard with HTC springs, are crossover and preload-adjustable and have a dual-rate spring combination in the rear. Since many of us are a bit ignorant when it comes to shock adjustment, Exit has included an external compression adjuster on all X1 shocks, which allows the rider to fine-tune the shock with the simple turn of a knob. The look of the shocks is pretty trick, as all of the aluminum parts are anodized for a durable, long-lasting finish. One of the best features on the Exit package is the Ride Quality Guarantee which states that if for any reason you're not satisfied with the way they are performing, all you need to do is call within the first 30 days of use and Exit will respring and revalve until you are satisfied, at no charge.
Steering, Chassis, Comfort And Looks
With the majority of the mods complete, Starrett turned to his dad/codriver, Charlie Starrett, and the equipment they already own at their business, The Tarp Shop, for some good old-fashioned D.I.Y. modifications. For starters, the duo built a custom roll cage with an integrated radiator mount as well as bumpers comparable to any high-dollar aftermarket company's offerings. "Hell, just about any of the stuff for sale out there is over two grand; I figured Dad and I could just as easily build the stuff ourselves and save a boatload of money," Josh said about the fabrication project. Another project was a lightweight "solid-steering wheel adjuster" which does away with the stock unit and saves a few ounces to boot.
Strengthening the chassis was achieved via a combination of methods, Lonestar Racing's weld-in gusset kit and bolt-in rear main gusset plate were installed, and a series of homemade chassis inserts were added anywhere Josh thought the frame might potentially fail. The frame is fairly bulletproof now, without sacrificing too much in the weight department.
Quickening the steering characteristics is vital to any machine being raced through trees at high speeds. Anything that decreases the time between identifying a potential hazard and the action required to avoid said hazard is a definite plus. With that said, Team Starrett went to Howe Racing Enterprises for one of its revolutionary Stealth HD steering quickeners. The 2:1 ratio Stealth HD uses a patent-pending multiple gear design to increase tooth contact for strength and durability. Unlike other quickeners on the market, the Stealth has input and output shafts that are in line for a reduced gear load. At only two pounds, the Stealth's size is unobtrusive and weight addition is negligible.