Small changes to your machine can make a big difference. Different ball joints, different axles, or different bearings can change the way your side-by-side rides. For the most part, stock components are good enough for slow, easy riding. But there’s one part where the difference between stock and the aftermarket option is so great that you should upgrade no matter how you ride.
We’re talking about A-arm bushings. That’s because a low-quality bushing material will lead to premature wear of not just the bushings, but the wheel bearings and tie-rod ends too. And if you really abuse them, you could even damage your A-arms.
For something as important as bushings, UHMW is what you want and what you need. UHMW bushings are so tough that they should never need replaced. They’re great for worry-free casual riding and high-octane trails and mud. Here’s why nothing can compete with UHMW.
Before we explain why UHMW is great, we need to look at some of the other common bushing materials. Generally, A-arm bushings are made of Delrin, HDPE, or UHMW which are all different kinds of complex plastic. A rough breakdown of quality goes like this: HDPE is better than Delrin and UHMW is better than HDPE. The crazy part? Most stock bushings are made from a material that’s worse than Delrin, which is what we’re looking at first.
Delrin is the more well known-name for polyoxymethylene and it’s used in low-budget bushings. Delrin is a hard, stiff, smooth plastic, which is OK, but Delrin bushings are prone to wear. They need replaced often, and if you ride hard, you’ll find that they’re not cut out for you at all. If you’ve got Delrin, you should upgrade the first chance you get.
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) bushings are a definite upgrade over Delrin and stock bushings. They can handle a wider range of conditions than Delrin and will wear better. However, this type of bushing still wears over time and needs replaced occasionally. Which brings us to UHMW.
The real overachievers are Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene (UHMW) bushings. That’s because UHMW is a very special material that has some interesting characteristics.
First of all, it is super stinking tough. In fact it’s pretty much indestructible. It’s the same material we use on our skid plates and it’s used in some bulletproof vests. It will outlast your stock bushings by a long shot. We’ve been working with UHMW for many applications for a long time now and We’ve never seen it break or even bend. We’ve also never heard of anyone breaking or bending UHMW without a brake press, but even our brake presses have a tough time with it.
UHMW is also self lubricating. That means that there’s less friction between the bushing and the pivot joint. Even if it wasn’t one of the most resilient materials on Earth, it would take a lot longer for it to wear down due to its perfectly smooth and lubricated interface with the pivot joint.
When you combine those 2 aspects of UHMW, you’re left with a material that’s perfectly suited for use as an A-arm bushing. So that’s what we make our bushings out of. They’ll last a very, very long time—so long that you may not even have to replace them in the entire lifetime of your machine. They are the perfect choice to replace your stock bushings with. And you don’t want to wait until your stock bushings start going bad; by then you’ve already started to wear out your other components.
So head on over to SuperATV.com where we’ve got UHMW bushings available for all sorts of side-by-sides.
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Installation of SuperATV's Pin Locker on the Can-Am Maverick X3