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By: Tim Donaldson

Product Review – DG Performance Products

How many times have you seen an advertisement for a product stating, “Items sold separately” or purchased something only to find that it required several other “must-have” components to make it fully functional–racking up hidden costs to that once lucrative, initial price? Why can’t we purchase an ATV without incurring those document, assembly, destination, tax, title, and whatever other miscellaneous fees that are tacked on--heaping hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in unexpected charges?  I don’t necessarily have the answers to these questions, but I have come to realize that it is a fact-of-life.

Given our understandings of this consumer culture, we should be happy when we finally get our purchase home, taking pride in our successful navigation through the manipulative advertising conundrum, right? No! As avid ATV enthusiasts, we represent a special breed of shoppers, taking the newly manufactured components from our machines and replacing them with after-market upgrades and, you guessed it, adding more costs to an already too convoluted purchase.  However, that’s what makes us happy, and in some cases, those changes are necessary.

Our Raptor 700R before we tricked her out with DG Performance products.
Our Raptor 700R before we tricked her out with DG Performance products.

That’s where DG Performance has established their business niche, offering a wide range of after-market products for ATV enthusiasts and die-hard racers who just can’t be satisfied with the standard, stock components. As for me, my stock ride is a 2007 Yamaha Raptor 700r, and when given the opportunity, I happily replaced some of my stock components for some of DG Performance’s after-market equipment.

Here’s what I tried out:  Baja Series–Skid Plates--Full Chassis; A-Arm; Swing Arm, Alloy Series–Nerfbar with Heelguard (Black) with Black Webbing; Six Pack Rack (Black), and Fat Series–Grab Bar (Black); VPro Front Bumper (Black)

Baja Series – Skid Plates

After-market skid plates are a must have for any ATV. As for the Raptor, the stock machine has no A-Arm protection. You can see from some of the battle wounds on the stock machine the effects of not having sufficient protection. I would hate to have one of the front wheels fall off after fatiguing the steel of the A-Arms, especially with the power and speed produced from the Raptor 700. Protruding rocks can create quite a bit of damage to exposed framing. Attaching the Baja Series A-Arm skid plates was easy and took only a few minutes to install. With the addition of the skid plates, the glancing blows from obstacles will protect the critical framing components.

Although the Raptor does have a stock chassis skid plate, it is made from a hardened plastic, existing only as minimum protection. After a short-period of riding, the stock skid plate will be gashed and gouged, and depending on the severity of impacts, permanently damaged. Adding the lightweight, aluminum Baja Series skid plate from DG Performance was, again, a breeze. The durability difference is obvious when comparing aluminum to hardened plastic. While DG did leave an opening to drain the oil from the engine crankcase, the Raptor, additionally, has an engine oil tank drain which is inaccessible once the DG Chassis skid plate is installed. Since Yamaha recommends that both drain bolts be removed during oil changes, the skid plate will have to be removed each time.

As for the Swing-Arm protection, the durability differences were, again, obvious.  DG’s Swing-Arm protection, also, had less curvature and recesses than the stock skid plate, giving fewer opportunities for mud and debris to build-up. Flatter surfaces, creating less drag, are better for sliding over trail protrusions. We did, however, encounter one problem during installation of the Swing-Arm skid plate. The bolts provided to fasten the skid plate to the undercarriage were not long enough. As seen from the photo, only two threads were left to “bite” into the mating bolt hole. The fix:  purchase longer bolts from the local hardware store.

DG Performance Nerf Bar with Heelguard.
DG Performance Nerf Bar with Heelguard.

Alloy Series – Nerf Bar with Heelguard and Six Pack Rack

As a youngster riding a three-wheeler, I once left my foot dangling from the foot peg. Either out of boredom or ignorance (definitely, the latter), I quickly realized the importance of keeping your feet firmly planted on the machine at all times. DG Performance’s Alloy Series Nerf Bar with Heelguard provides the extra protection needed to prevent feet and legs from sliding underneath rotating tires. Those interested in racing know that nerf bars are a requirement.

The nerf bars are striking and rigid, providing a confident feel while riding.  Installation was relatively easy, with the exception of weaving the webbing through the frame. Recruiting my wife and father--anyone without carpel tunnel syndrome or who hasn’t had the pleasure of doing it before, I understand why manufacturers choose to allow consumers the “joy” of performing the weaving themselves. In reality, I realize that each rider has their own personal preferences.

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