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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I've decided to upgrade the tires on my '07 Sportsman 500 to the Kenda HTR Bearclaws, and I see there may be a clearance issue in the front. My stock tires are only 6.5" wide (nominally 26x8x12), and the 26x9x12 Bearclaws are 8.5". With the stockers, there is only about 1" of clearance between the sidewall of the tire and the suspension, so it looks like if the new tire fits there will be zero clearance. I have the Polaris alloy wheels with the longer stock studs on the machine.

So I thought I might be able to get away with 1/4" thick spacers, as I don't really want to use the 1" ones for several reasons. The problem is, even with the thin spacers I will not have enough thread engagement on the wheel studs. As it is now, there is 3/8" thread engagement - which I might assume is the minimum required. I seem to recall the rule of thumb that you want at least one bolt diameter for safe thread engagement. So now I am considering longer studs, but the longest ones I can find are 1.5" overall length - barely any longer than the stockers (which I think are 1.38"). That means unless I can find longer studs that I would be stuck with 1" spacers.

Another way to go would be steel wheels; since these are thinner I would expect I could use the 1/4" spacers and have enough stud length. I could also go to an aftermarket 7" wide wheel to better fit the wide tire.

I'd be interested to hear how any of you have solved this problem without using either a 1" spacer or going to expensive alloy wheels. I'd rather not change the geometry of the frontend too much if I can help it.

Thanks.

Doug
 

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spacers are one way to go, good ones will come with their own studs and not utilize the existing ones. an aftermarket wheel will work if u go with a 4+3 offset, another option is flipping the tie-rod ends this gives them a bit more clearance. I have read that some guys have enough clearance when mounting up 9" wide tires so u might want to give that a test before making any modifications.
 

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I'd got with a new wheel package before going spacers personally. if it's that much of a concern. I'd mount them up first to find out for sure though. Like bp said, flipping the tie rod may be all you need to do to get them to fit.
 

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Here's my 2010 sporty with an 8.5" wide GBC Spartacus on a stock rim without spacers:



Just barely makes it, 1/8" of clearance.
 

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best way is going with 4+3 offset steel wheels....I just got the Kenda HTR..nice tires and I got STI wheels with that off set....I have not put them on yet..need a warmer day....save your stock wheels incase you go ride 50" trails....thats what I did...

ITP Steel Wheel | Tires and Wheels | Rocky Mountain ATV/MC check around you may find them cheaper.....this way no spacers...to altering suspension...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They fit fine

Hey I just got the tires and wheels mounted and the whole thing fits with no spacers. Just for reference, I have an '07 Sportsman 500 and installed the ITP Delta Steel wheels with Kenda Bearclaw HTR 26x9x12 on the front. I have at least 3/8" clearance between the tire and the tie rod end, with more room than that between the tire and the strut.

I had anticipated using the 1/4" spacers, but there is no need. The ITP wheels fit perfectly. Note these wheels use a flat lug, not a tapered seat. The wheels locate on the hub using the stock tabs on the hub. I used the ITP 3/8" - 24 lug nuts.

I am looking forward to taking this combo out to for some desert riding. The overall stance is a bit wider in the front, but not to the point where it looks goofy. Thanks for your inputs.

Doug
 

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The ITP deltas have 4+3 offset so no spacers needed until >10" wide tires up front. Good luck with them!


Rather be riding, instead I'm using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
New Tires & Wheels

I've added some photos of the completed install on my member galleries page. Note that there is 1/8" clearance between the tie rod end and the inside wall of the tire. This is the tightest spot, but no rubbing.

I took the ATV out for some riding at Hollister Hills yesterday and was very impressed with the new tires. I found that the steering was much more precise, and the front end lost much of the tendency to plow into downhill turns. The overall ride was more cushioned as well. Note that changing over gave me about 2" more front track width, which contributed to part of the above improvements. I really can't say that the steering effort increased, nor did I feel I lost acceleration with the increased tire weight.

Doug
 
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