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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone.....let me start by saying although I'm a new member, I have used this forum over the last year to get a wealth of info.....so for that, THANKS! Last March I bought a 2008 Sportsman 500 ho and so far so good with it. It already had 26" Mud lite tires on the stock wheels with spacer, a Warn winch, and what appears to be a 2" lift. I do not ride hard. Generally I'm just trail riding with my boys who are on a Sportsman 90 and an Outlaw 50. We do ride at Busch beach so encountering mud is inevitable at some point. I'm looking to go with larger tires (mainly for looks) and have pretty much decided on zillas due to all around capability and light weight. My biggest question is will it put more stress on my axles to keep the lift and go 28" or remove the lift and go 30". I really like the ground clearance and do want to lose much of it. Also, are the older axles (like my 2008) stronger than the newer ones. I want to avoid buying axles for cost reasons if I can. Are there many of you out there who have run large tires successfully on stock axles. Seems like you only hear the horror stories. Thanks in advance!
 

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I have an 08 500HO & broke 2 set of stock rear axles with just 25" executioners, i went with rhino rear axles about 3 months ago & they havent broke yet
 

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Pre-2011 Sportsman's have stronger axles in rear. I would remove the lift right away as lifts on stock axles don't go together on a Polaris at all. People have broken axles on stock tires with a 2" lift. That's just my opinion.

I would do as you have figured out is stick the biggest tire you can under the stock suspension.

I once considered the Zilla's but went with the Mega Mayhem instead. The little extra weight can be compensated with clutching. The Compound of the Mega Mayhem to me look as if they are harder which is important to me.

30" Zilla's will fit, I've heard slight rubbing under compression in some situations.
On a 500 you will need to re-clutch the bike because of the diameter of the tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies.

Indyred.... so you would recommend a clutch kit for the 28" or 30". Could I get away with just a primary spring? Like I said earlier, I ride very conservatively since I'm usually going in the same places that my 5 year old is going with his outlaw 50.
 

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Without a clutch kit and a large tire 27" and over you will notice considerable power losses. A clutch kit will save you a lot of grief.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I guess one of the problems is the fact that this machine came with 26" mud lites and I have never ridden a 500 that had stock wheels and tires so I don't know what was originally lost in terms of performance. The 28" zilla that I am interested in is about the same weight as the 26" mud lite that is on the bike now. Will performance suffer more because of the overall diameter, or is it just an issue of weight? Obviously if I decide to go with 30", the weight increases a bit, but only marginally.
 

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You will not be able to run 30" tires without at least some HD springs and spring spacers in the front. Even with that, they will still rub. If you do not get new axles, I would definitely get rid of the lift. You will also benefit from a clutch kit with any tire other than stock. I always recommend upgrading the clutch, even with stock tires. It just puts the power to the ground more efficiently, and improves your belt life. I also recommend that you do a full clutch upgrade, not just a spring. Springs and weights work together, so changing just one thing is normally not the most efficient.
 

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Larger diameter tire creates a longer wheel radius. This increases the leverage the ground has on your motor. Think of it like using a 10 inch long wrench vs a 12 inch long wrench.

OR

Say a 28 in tire has a circumference of 80 in. Say a 30 in tire has a circumference of 85 inches. The motor will have to pull 5 more inches of travel per each wheel revolution.
 

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Thanks for the replies.

Indyred.... so you would recommend a clutch kit for the 28" or 30". Could I get away with just a primary spring? Like I said earlier, I ride very conservatively since I'm usually going in the same places that my 5 year old is going with his outlaw 50.
To be honest if you ride conservative why go with such a big tire? There are trade off's with large tires that you have to accept along with added cost.

Your going to find your 500 struggles in high range more then it did before. If I noticed going from stock tires to 28" MM in high gear on an 800 you will for sure notice a bigger difference on a 500.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Indyred.....honestly, I want to go larger simply because they look bad a$$ in my opinion. I wish I had a better answer for you, but that's the just of it. I realize there are trade offs and I guess Ill be will to do what it takes over the long term. The replies have helped me a bit in my decision making. Looks like the best bet it to do away with the lift, go with a 27"-28" tire/rim combo of my choice and get a clutch kit. Ill hang on to the lift for a while in case I get to the point where I want/have to invest in some rhino or cobra axles (I dont see me ever having to go for Gorillas with my riding style).

Thanks you to everyone for your input....I guess now its time to decide on 12" or 14" wheels!
 

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I wanted to do 30" tires too to be honest. Actually I wanted to go with a set of 29.5" terminators, but quickly realized I'd be in for 4 Axles plus the clutch kit. I don't regret the 28" tires but I think 29.5" have that wow factor!

Buy them and the worst case scenario you have to put a clutch kit in and or replace axles :) Most of us are giving you the worst case scenario. People told me I would break axles with my 28" MM's yet that has yet to happen knock on wood!!

In 28"+ Tires I would go 14" wheels if you trail ride, that decision I don't regret, plus the bigger wheels look badass!
 

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^^^Agreed. Without the lift you will most likely not need new axles. It is not the big tires that break axles, it is the increased angle of the cv's when lifts are installed. For clutching go with QSC, you won't be dissapointed.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
One more question then.....if I remove the lift and do a clutch kit, would I be okay running a Big horn or Swamplite? I was staying away from those due to increased weight but something less aggressive would certainly suit my riding style better.
 

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Clutch kits are designed around the bike and wheel combination you are running. So pick the mods and tires you want first then clutch around that.

I don't recommend swamp lite's because they wear out way to fast. Big Horns though are the shit for an A/T tire!! I like the original Big Horns a lot.
 

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Yes, chose the tire that you want to run, then have the clutch properly tuned for that tire and your individual riding style. Adam at QSC or Ridinagain on this forum can set you up with a QSC kit specific for you.
 

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And I also agree with indyred800 about the swamplites. They do wear out quickly and had a wobble at higher speeds. I had 29.5's though.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I love the look of the big horns as well, and from what I read, they seem to run true to size. So you see no problems (axle wise) if I went this route? Are 28" big horn overkill?
 

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I love the look of the big horns as well, and from what I read, they seem to run true to size. So you see no problems (axle wise) if I went this route? Are 28" big horn overkill?
The 27" Big Horns run taller then a lot of 28" tires in the 12" rim size. I'd also stick with the original Big Horn rather then the 2.0 if I was you. I don't think tall tires are overkill personally, they allow you to overcome obstacles much easier and with aftermarket wheels they widen your stance keeping the machine from becoming top heavy.
 
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