Author Topic: ATV Racing's Single Seater - Finally got to drive one  (Read 1506 times)


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ATV Racing's Single Seater - Finally got to drive one
« on: February 28, 2006, 03:37:24 PM »
I finally got to get a bit of seat time in ATV Racing's single seater - known by most as the ATVR Car - which is a name that nobody at ATV Racing seems to like...  Yet they can't come up with a name they like either! (now they're making full sized sand cars and need a name for them too - doh!)

This particular single seater is ATV's first one.  There is a green one (with the proper rear suspension settings) running around the Phoenix area and 2 or 4 of them are in England (?) also.

Everyone that's driven it says it's a blast.  I finally got to find out - boy is it ever!!!

Two weeks ago this coming Thursday, Neil had to go test a fully race setup Honda 450 quad they'd just finished building and wanted someone to follow him through the desert - so he loaded up the single seater and dragged me out to testing. (damn, what a shame)

He also wanted to do a bit of rear suspension testing on the single seater and figured I'd be able to help.  The rear spring rate was too high and was transferring into the main springs too soon, so he had me turn the cross over spacers between the springs over to let the tender springs do their work a bit longer.   He also had me change the gas charge pressure on the shocks.

It's powered by a Polaris (I think) 400 cc two smoke quad engine - the output is supposed to be very close/similar to a Pilot's.
I don't know carb size. - pretty small.
Tranny is an RPM (Roberto box) with either a 10:1 or 11:1 ratio.
Fox coil over emulsion (no resi) shocks on all four corners - 13" of travel.
Dual A-arm suspension on all four corners.
Disc brakes all around - single in rear like on a Pilot.
Rack & Pinion steering
Pedal controls - Gas and brake in normal positions.  Dead pedal on the brake side to rest your foot on so you don't ride them. (good thing to have)
Beard seat
Team Tech harnesses

The cockpit's open and getting in and out of the car's pretty easy.  Not as easy as a Pilot, but definitely not as hard as climbing in and out of my Deztaz.  It's also large enough and there's enough adjustment that everyone from short shits like myself and Neil to you tall bums will fit comfortably.

The car is probably the most fun single seater I've ever driven.  It doesn't have high hp, but the fun factor is off the scale.  8 to 10 of these identically prepared chasing each other though the desert or the dunes would be tits!

It steers extremely easily and it goes right where you point the front wheels - no push what so ever.  Even with the back end bouncing through the whoops, I was able to keep the little car lined up straight and it tracked just fine.

It took a bit of "tossing" it into corners to get the back end loose enough to really get a good slide going - but most of that was due to the lack of rear brake power versus the front brakes.

Once you do get it sliding, it's really predictable and stable.  It's just an easy fun thing to drive.  If I had more rear brake, throwing it into corners and slides would have been a blast, as it weight transfers nicely.  I had to be ugly on the steering wheel and jerk it into corners I wanted to slide through instead of trying to sneak into the slide with the brakes.

This one has two piston calipers all the way around.  It needs a four piston in the back to match the power up front.  Even with the brake bias turned all the way to the back, the front wheels would still over power the rear.  Once again, this issue was fixed on the Green Car that's running around locally.

The front end was exceptionally smooth and soaked up everything Neil had me drive through.  There was nice feedback through the steering wheel, but NEVER did I have the wheel get jerked from my hands or hit back at me like a Pilot will.  I bottomed it out a couple times, but most of that was due to the rear end hopping and driving the front end into the face of the whoops.

The rear end is still too stiffly sprung and it needs to have rebound damping taken out - the tuning is close, just not as good as the front end yet. (front end is amazing)  Still, it never did anything that you wouldn't expect.  Even with it being a bit stiff, the ride was good and for the most part pretty smooth until I got into the deeper stuff and the bigger square edged bumps.

Being on the throttle over the rough stuff also made a big difference in the way the rear end worked.  Almost motocross bike like.  When I'd come into a corner with deeper whoops (many of them at the testing area), I'd get on the brakes and the gas at the same time to keep the rear end driving - made for a couple of exciting corners...   Out of corners and across acceleration bumps the rear end worked really well and the back of the car wouldn't try to deflect or bounce.

I never did get any decent flight time or height, so I can't say how it jumps/lands, but if it's anything like the rest of the car's manners, it's probably pretty sweet.

The engine was actually sort of a surprise.  I didn't expect much from it when I first got in and started driving.  It vibrates a bit (hard mounts on this car) and feels sort of sluggish off the bottom end.  It's probably slightly less or equal to a Pilot right off the line.  But once it gets rolling it comes alive pretty well.  From a standing start, you can turn the wheels, stab the go pedal and the car will snap spin a 180 with ease. (in the desert dirt)

Once I got the car moving, the engine seemed to do great.  It's nothing that's gonna kick you in the pants, but it's just right for what I was driving in.  They whole key to this car with this power plant is to be smooth and carry as much speed through the corners as possible - don't use the brakes as much as possible.

Top end is guessed to be in the 65 - 70 mph range.  I probably saw 55 - 60 a couple times chasing Neil when he was on the quad.  It runs at speed effortlessly - just zips along.

I had a few complaints:
1) Vibration and noise - yea, it's a two stroke.  This engine's been hard mounted, so rubber style mounts would fix most of the vibration.  It's not bad, I'm just used to the Dez, which doesn't vibrate at all.  The Green car is supposed to have better mounts.  The new Yamaha four stroke 500cc twin sled engine would be PERFECT for this car.  - a 600 twin EFI sled engine would be scary and FUN - especially in the dunes.

II) Steering wheel - sort of an odd position.  Too high, tilted forward sort of strangely.  I got used to it pretty quickly, but something about the angle and position of the wheel made my wrists tire out sooner than I would have expected.  I was informed by James (ATV Head Fabby) that the Green car had a new steering shaft mounting position that put the wheel in a better location.

C) Dash was useless as information area.  The only guage on it was a Digitron for EGT.  Problem is that it points up.  I couldn't see the read out.  This was also addressed on the green car.

d) Not enough rear brake.  I use the snot out of the rear brakes to drive a  car in the desert.  The caliper just needs to be larger - and this too was taken care of on the green car.

V) Rear suspension was a bit stiff and a bit harsh at times - once again, this was addressed on the green car.  Neil has all the stuff for the red car to bring it up to snuff - just no time to get it done.

If you want a single seater and are willing to wait a while (they're backed up with 5 Tazcars and 2 full sized cars right now), you may want to consider an ATV Racing single seater.  If you're serious about it, get in touch with Neil and arrange coming out for a test ride.  You'll go back to the shop with a dusty grin.

And speaking of dusty grins....  Phoenix has gone 132 days w/o any rain.  The desert's a dust bowl right now.  Following someone (like Neil on a race prepped quad) is just plain nasty.
Moskito - Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming \'WOW-What a Ride!\'


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ATV Racing's Single Seater - Finally got to drive one
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2006, 04:34:44 PM »
Yikes....thats one ugly car....nothing "sexy" about it at all. Great writeup though.


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ATV Racing's Single Seater - Finally got to drive one
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2006, 04:38:11 PM »
my sediments  :P exactly. It;s not going to win sales on looks...the write up however was great. Price tag? 600EFI an option?


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ATV Racing's Single Seater - Finally got to drive one
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2006, 05:40:32 PM »
Nope! She definitely ain't purty!!! Beautiful write-up, though!!! Thanks for the info, Skeeter. By the way, did you start a thread here about the Honda two-seater rumor??? 8)
I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left!  :shock:


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ATV Racing's Single Seater - Finally got to drive one
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2006, 01:37:26 PM »
When I talked to Neil about it last year - he said it was $12k.  I thought that was extremely reasonable for what you got.  I didn't like the engine choice - just a pesonal preference.  It is not attractive at all, but fun to ride.  Sounds like a one-nighter I had years ago...........

I'm curious though.............why the choice of a-arms in the back instead of a 3 link or trailing arms?  Advantages?