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Off-RoadAdventures/April 17
Magazines | Outdoors 2017-03-12 12:05:06
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    ROLLING: THE LATEST TIRES AND WHEELS EXCLUSIVELY L FOR CUSTOMERS OF APRIL 2017 • $3.50 U.S. KING OF THE HAMMERS! THE TOUGHEST RACE ON THE PLANET + THE BEST FREE MOD EVER: AIRING DOWN FOR MORE TRACTION TREAD SELECTOR: WHAT TIRES WORK WHERE AND WHY TESTED: GENERAL’S GRABBER X3 MUD TERRAIN 100S OF NEW PARTS SUPER LOW PRICES! SEE PAGE 49

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    INTRODUCING REVOLUTIONIZING THE OFF-ROAD EXPERIENCE. Imagine if there were a way to truly connect with your riding experience. Polaris RIDE COMMAND ™ allows you to effortlessly connect to your machine, your devices and your friends like never before— putting the off-road right at your finger tips. Available on the All-New RZR XP ® 1000 EPS LE or as a RZR ® accessory option. See your dealer for more information or visit polarisrzr.com. DOWNLOAD THE FREE RIDE COMMAND ™ APP TODAY! KEEP TRACK OF YOUR FRIENDS ON THE TRAIL WITH GROUP RIDE GROUP RIDE FEATURE AVAILABLE THROUGH RIDE COMMAND ™ APP. DATA RULES APPLY – AVAILABLE WHEN CELLULAR SERVICE IS AVAILABLE MONITOR YOUR WIRELESS DEVICES ON THE RIDE COMMAND ™ 7" DISPLAY WARNING: The Polaris RZR ® can be hazardous to operate and is not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license to operate. Passengers must be at least 12 years old. Drivers and passengers should always wear helmets, eye protection, and seat belts. Always use cab nets or doors (as equipped). Never engage in stunt driving, and avoid excessive speeds and sharp turns. Riding and alcohol/ drugs don’t mix. All drivers should take a safety training course. Call 800-342-3764 for additional information. Check local laws before riding on trails. Do not enter information while operating your vehicle. Failure to pay attention to operating your vehicle could result in loss of control, injury, or death. You assume all risks with using this device. Read your user guide. GoPro ® camera not included. GoPro ® Hero ® 3 or 4 required. Group Ride feature available through Ride Command ™ App. Data rules apply — available when cellular service is available. GoPro ® and Hero ® are registered trademarks of GoPro Inc. Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Android, Google Play, and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc. ©2017 Polaris Industries Inc. Do Not Enter Information While Operating Your Vehicle. Failure to Pay Attention to Operating Your Vehicle Could Result in Loss of Control, Injury or Death. You Assume All Risks with Using this Device. Read Your User Guide. HOLD A CONVERSATION WITHOUT HAVING TO SHOUT CONTROL YOUR GoPro ® EVEN IF IT’S OUT OF REACH WITH OPTIONAL ACCESSORY HEADSETS GOPRO ® CAMERA NOT INCLUDED. GOPRO ® HERO ® 3 OR 4 REQUIRED. GOPRO ® AND HERO ® ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS OF GOPRO INC. POLARISRZR.COM

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    PRESIDENT’S CORNER TIME TO WHEEL Exclusive magazine for customers of 4 WHEEL PARTS and off-road enthusiasts everywhere. SAM HOMSIEH GREG ADLER PRESIDENT & CEO 4 Wheel Parts Well, it’s springtime, which means it is time to go wheeling. The Easter Jeep Safari in Moab is a great way to start the season! Moab is such a beautiful and iconic place to hit the trails. Many four-wheelers are fortunate enough to experience this beautiful place. Moab sits within the Canyonlands National Park, which has come under fire by many environmental groups looking to ban all motorized access to the area. The new administration in Washington, DC is supportive of local decision-making. That should be a big benefit for our enthusiasts who enjoy recreation in this beautiful place. Of course, the Off Road Business Association (ORBA) and Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) will continue to keep the fight going! Meanwhile, this magazine has some of the first printed coverage of the 2017 King of the Hammers from Johnson Valley, CA. The battle to be the King was won this year by Shannon Campbell, an Arizona-based fabricator and legend in rock racing! After qualifying 18th, we were able to move into the top five, but had mechanical issues that put us back three hours. After resolving the fuel delivery issue, we switched gears to finishing mode and brought our 4 Wheel Parts/BFG tire Ultra4 to the checkered flag. It was nice to get a finish, but certainly not the position we wanted. We have to wait 365 more days to get another shot to be the King of the Hammers! If you make your home in the Northwest, then don’t miss out on Truck & Jeep Fest when the show rolls through Seattle, WA at the Puyallup Fairgrounds on April 8-9. Come meet the top manufacturers in the industry, see the newest products first hand, and take advantage of great deals! We also have a stop in Daytona Beach, Florida for the popular Jeep Beach April 28-29. The next month, the show crew heads south to Dallas, Texas on May 20-21 at the Market Center Arena. This is our only stop in Texas this year, so don’t miss out! On another note, please take time to support the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act. In 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency introduced a proposal that would have prohibited the conversion of street vehicles into race vehicles used exclusively for racing. Eventually that proposal was withdrawn, but the EPA still asserts they have the authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate competition vehicles. The RPM Act makes it clear that this is not the case, and needs your help to get passed. To get involved and help protect the future of motorsports visit SEMA.org and click on the RPM Act tab. Thank you for your business with 4 Wheel Parts and enjoy this month’s Off-Road Adventures magazine. As always this FREE magazine is supported by the many great brands we sell, so please consider supporting them. 400 W. Artesia Blvd., Compton, CA 90220 310-900-5500 • 4wheelparts.com • offroadadventures.com EDITORIAL Craig Perronne Eddie Melendreras Ana Herrera Barbra Johnson Rebecca Lacko ADVERTISING Jeff Nasi Editor/Publisher Creative Director Ad Coordinator Circulation Manager Copy Editor Director of Marketing jnasi@4wp.com 310.900.7721 CONTRIBUTORS John Cappa, Harry Wagner, Ben Stewart, Sam Homsieh TAP WORLDWIDE, LLC Greg Adler Rich Botello Mark Lane Sean Angues Jeff Nasi Brent Goegebuer President & C.E.O. Chief Operating Officer Chief Financial Officer President, TMG Brands Director of Marketing Director of Advertising Every effort has been made to insure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. Off-Road Adventures, 4 Wheel Parts Wholesalers and TAP Worldwide, LLC are not responsible for opinions expressed or information contained in this publication. When installing any part or accessory, be sure you completely read and understand the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Articles contained in this publication are meant to be informative adjuncts to the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Canadian prices may vary. International destination fees may apply. COPYRIGHT 2017 BY TAP WORLDWIDE, LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED PRINTED IN THE USA To get your free subscription or change your address, go to offroadadventures.com/subscriptions or mail to ORA Magazine, 400 W. Artesia Blvd., Compton, CA 90220. —Greg Adler APRIL 2017 3

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    CONTENTS 14 A lone racer claws his way up Chocolate Thunder as crowds gather to watch. Photo: CRAIG PERRONNE 24 34 42 FEATURES 14 KING OF THE HAMMERS Does IFS or Solid Axle Take the Crown? 42 TRICKLE DOWN JEEP Jeep Or Ultra4 Racer With A Windshield? 24 GET ROLLING The Latest Tires And Wheels For Your Ride 82 QUICK LOOK Project Blue Chip 34 TREAD SELECTOR What Tires Work Where And Why 102 TEST DRIVE: 2017 FORD SUPER DUTY CREW CAB Will The New Super Duty Remain America’s Favorite Heavy-Duty Pickup 4 APRIL 2017

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    APRIL 2017 08 74 ON THE COVER: Larry McRae and Lance Clifford pilot Poison Spyder’s Crispy racer during qualifying at the 2017 King of the Hammers. Photo by BRYAN HARROLD PHOTOGRAPHY CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS 03 PRESIDENT’S CORNER 06 FROM THE EDITOR 08 NEWS 92 PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT 108 NEW PRODUCTS 114 CALENDAR 116 PARTING SHOT TECHNICAL 74 THE GENERAL GRABBER X3 A Versatile Mud-Terrain Tire 84 GET WHEEL What To Know Before You Buy Wheels 94 THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE Airing Down For Better Traction 82 98 102 Follow us on Facebook! Keep up with the latest goings on and post your pics, videos & events. Enter prize drawings available only to our Facebook friends www.facebook.com/oramagazine 108 APRIL 2017 5

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    FROM THE EDITOR LONG LIVE THE KING CRAIG PERRONNE EDITOR/PUBLISHER OFF-ROAD ADVENTURES Johnson Valley, CA looks like how many of us would envision Afghanistan. Extremely barren, very rugged and somewhat remote, the terrain seems angry and inhospitable. There is not a patch of green to be seen anywhere. Nothing but big, nasty rocks. Get out on the infamous Hammer Trails and things get even worse. They are hard enough to walk up, let alone drive a vehicle over. Rattlesnakes, extremely uneven terrain, and rocks that will gladly snap an ankle make just walking there a hazardous task. It’s not surprising that the Marines use the same terrain adjacent to the trails to train soldiers for deployment overseas. Yet, every February a sizeable city of RVs, semi trucks, race vehicles, campers, and spectators spring forth from what is otherwise the dusty void called Means Dry Lake. Every year the temporary city seems to get bigger as more people show up to watch. It is no longer just one race, either. King of the Hammers has expanded beyond the main event that gave it its name. The King of the Motos, UTV race, qualifying, Smittybilt Every Man Challenge, and others have turned King of the Hammers into a solid event. If you want to check them all out, plan on being there at least a week. It has been amazing to watch the progression of King of the Hammers. What started out as a loosely organized race with just 13 vehicles has become a juggernaut. If you add up all the entries across the multiple races during the week, it is truly one of the largest motorsports events in the world. Its rate of growth has been mindboggling. While some races have matured over decades to become what they are now, King of the Hammers has done it in just 11 short years. Just as fast as the progression of the race is the absolutely insane pace of development of the top-tier Ultra4 cars. Once they were nothing more than converted rock crawlers with slightly better shocks bolted on. Now, they are full-tilt, purpose-built machines with the same top-shelf components used by Trophy Trucks. Even better, with few rules governing their construction, fabricators constantly push the envelope of what is possible. As a result they have become insanely fast in both the rocks and the desert. And, just as importantly, they are increasingly becoming more reliable. Both outright speed and reliability are needed to claim to the top spot on the podium. High-dollar Ultra4 cars racing across some of the toughest terrain on the planet can seem a bit removed from us average Joes. The truth of the matter is different, however. Products and technology are trickling down from the top of motorsports to us quicker than ever now. Manufacturers are using King of the Hammers to develop and improve products all of us can buy. After just 11 years, it’s easy to see the infl uence of KOH in vehicle builds and products. It will be amazing to see what another decade will bring. Long live the king. —Craig Perronne 6 APRIL 2017

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    WELCOME TO OUR SANDBOX. NO RULES APPLY. Power through even the most challenging off-road conditions with the BFGoodrich ® All-Terrain T/A ® KO2. It’s our toughest all-terrain tire. Ever. BFGoodrichTires.com/KO2 © 2017 MNA, Inc. All rights reserved.

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    NEWS TOP STORY 2017 RAM POWER WAGON FIRST DRIVE The Ram Power Wagon is one of the most capable factory pickups ever built, and the off-road centric truck continues for the 2017 model year. It’s still the only pickup that comes from the factory with front and rear selectable locking differentials for incredible traction, an electronic disconnecting front sway bar for more suspension articulation, and a real Warn 12,000-lb. electric recovery winch hidden behind the front bumper for when you or your buddies get stuck. Other standard Power Wagon features include a 6.4L Hemi V8 churning out 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque, the Articulink front suspension system which incorporates high-movement joints, a fi ve-link rear coil suspension, hill-descent control, a manual transfer case shift lever, and luggy 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires. The big changes for 2017 come in the form of a new grille treatment, late ‘70s Dodge Macho inspired exterior graphics, LED bed lighting, and a touched up interior with tire tread embossed seats on some trim levels. Other changes include new painted cast aluminum wheels, although the base model Tradesman Power Wagon will still receive the coveted polished forged aluminum wheels. Our test drive took us on- and off-road through several hundred miles of Nevada four-lane highways, twisty paved roads, and desolate desert trails. One area of note is that the load carrying capacity for the 3/4-ton Power Wagon is less than a comparable Ram 2500. It’s not uncommon for trucks with extreme off-road packages to have decreased payload and trailering capacities in trade for improved off-road ride and capability. The Power Wagon still has a respectable payload of up to 1,510 lbs. and a tow rating of up to 10,030 lbs. We hitched up a 9,000-lb. trailer and the truck didn’t even whimper. With the Tow/Haul Mode switch engaged, the six-speed transmission of the Power Wagon shifted more aggressively for improved compression braking downhill. It also helped keep engine rpm in the power band sweet spot for uphill grades and start-stop traffic. In the dirt we aired the tires down to 35 psi for more traction, improved fl otation in sand, and a smoother ride on rough surfaces. Our off-road tour took us over unmaintained dirt roads, up and down steep rocky outcroppings, and through some small sandy dunes and washes. We even righted a rolled vehicle with the Warn winch. The Power Wagon will traverse beyond where you may expect with the transfer case shifted to low range, the sway bar disconnected, and only the rear locker engaged. With both lockers engaged, you could easily drive the truck through a trail that would simply destroy the body. The dual lockers put more power to the ground than most people will ever need. Ultimately, the 2017 Power Wagon remains a 3/4-ton truck, so it may not be the fastest pickup over higher-speed rough terrain, or the smoothest to land from air time, but the twin lockers and winch are guaranteed to get it further up the trail than any other stock truck. The cargo capacity, trailering capability, locking differentials, and winch make it a great ranch and off-road work truck, too. Keep an eye out for a detailed 2017 Power Wagon review in an upcoming issue of ORA. —John Cappa 8 APRIL 2017

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    NEW FOR 2017 115 BLADES SATIN BLACK MILLED 18x9 | 20x9 | 20x12 NEW FOR 2017 MACHINED DARK TINT 20"x9" 110 INSOMNIA 116 SQUADRON SATIN BLACK MILLED 20x9 | 20x10 NEW FOR 2017 117 BURST SATIN BLACK MILLED 20x9 | 20x12

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    POLARIS SWEEPS KING OF THE HAMMERS UTV RACE Polaris RZRs recently proved their mettle in the deserts and rugged terrain of South America with a sweep of the podium at the epic 5,600-mile-long Dakar Rally. Proving that the RZRs are just as at home in the rocks was another sweep of the podium at the brutal 2017 King of the Hammers UTV race. Navigating a UTV through the giant rocks of the extremely technical Hammer trails of Johnson Valley, CA seems almost impossible to us. Luckily, the winner of the UTV race had plenty of experience. Shannon Campbell, who is best known for piloting his extremely fast Ultra4 racecar to win the King of the Hammers an astonishing three times, took the win UTVUNDERGROUND.COM in the UTV race. His son Wayland also competed in the UTV race and took the second spot, coming in 15 minutes behind his father. Shannon’s daughter, Bailey, also took part going toe-to-toe with her farther at the beginning of the race before finishing 15th. All three were in Polaris RZR XP 1000 Turbo EPS racers built by Campbell Racing. The only non-Campbells on the podium were Jon Crowley and Reid Norton. They used a less powerful, naturally aspirated RZR XP 1000. With less power on tap, their strategy was to build a simple, lightweight RZR and focus on suspension tuning. Starting in 24th, the duo quickly moved up the field and were already in 10th by NEWS the end of the first loop. By remote pit 2A, Crowley and Norton moved into third place. The team continued to charge until a bottleneck on Sledge Hammer slowed their pace and allowed the field to catch up. A wrong move on Chocolate Thunder then let both Wayland Campbell and Eric Miller pass them. After correcting their mistake, they charged hard to the finish line. While they physically finished fourth behind Miller, the push in the last miles was worth it, as they took the third spot on corrected time. Years ago, many would not have thought there was any way a UTV could handle the Hammer trails in Johnson Valley. Showing just how far they’ve come, the UTV race boasted a higher fi nishing rate than the top tier Ultra4 class. An amazing 40 out of 75 starters eventually crossed the fi nish line in the race that is notorious for destroying racecars. UTVUNDERGROUND.COM 10 APRIL 2017

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