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Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning to run 30" tires, and carry a stock front wheel as a spare. Would this activate any braking from the traction system, since the sensors will be reading different wheel speeds on the same axle?
 

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I am going to do the same thing and I am not worried because...

If you put the spare on the rear, you will simply tire scrub and it may pull to the side the spare is on because the rear axle is locked. Doing this on dirt for a short distance is probably OK but I would not do it on pavement. If you get a rear flat on pavement, put the spare on the front and move the front to the rear.

The ABS might kick in but only during braking and I don't think it will be enough difference to kick in, ABS usually requires a substantial difference in wheel speeds to engage or you would feel it all the time braking around a corner when the front wheels are turning at quite a different speed.

Traction control is also another possibility but only in i4WD. Again, I do not think there is enough difference to make it engage because the system has to account for turning.

Turning radius is about 18 feet on the X so using the same size tires, the outside front tire travels about 113 feet (18 X 2 X 3.14) and the inside tire travels about 82 feet ((18-5) X 2 X 3.14). The outside tire is traveling about 37% more in a full turn. The 28" tire in a straight line will travel about 7% faster than the 30". This is much less so I don't think the ABS or the i4WD will even notice.

My conclusion if doing this is...
  • Put the spare on the front whenever possible (or avoid paved roads if you put it on the rear).
  • Only use i4WD when absolutely necessary.
  • Avoid any harsh driving and go slowly if you have the time.
I believe that the worse that can happen is the ABS kicks in a bit when turning towards the bigger tire and maybe one of the warning lights come on. As soon as you put the 30" back on and drive, the warning light will go out.

How do I know that? From experience...

I towed mine running (had to help the little RZR 800 get me through the sand) for about 2 miles with the RF wheel completely removed and the spindle suspended off the ground after breaking the knuckle. The RF rotor was so bent up, it would not turn at all. We went very slow (fastest we went was about 15 mph). I only noticed the ABS kick in a couple times when I braked but the i4WD light came on almost immediately (even though I didn't have it in i4WD). I was concerned that I messed something up but after fixing it, it only took about 100 feet of driving for the light to go out and it has never come back on or given me any issues since (about 1500 miles ago).
 

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Just to add my own thoughts on the i4wd....
Where I ride here in ontario, its very muddy. I have since changed the tires to sti outback max 14x10x30. Pulls great thru the mud. But before changing thevtires and rims, I had 240 kms on the machine and the frt brakes were gone! Reason for this is the traction control is simply an abs pump that applies braking to the wheel that spins, so in realoty, when your in mud or ice or anything that is slippery, the system is eating up your brake pads. I think this is a design flaw to be honest. Im a licensed mechanic and have spent many years diagnosing abs/traction control systems. I believe that there are times that you want the wheels spinning at the speed you want them to spin. Try it next time your in mud,....its like the machine has no guts because the traction control is hding it back. Ive also read in other forums that rock crawling is not when you want the machine throw power to the other wheel on its own. I for one, think that there should be a user defined front diff lock that can be engaged as needed, and as soon as I find one or when it becomes available, I will be puting it in.
Honda had a good idea, but it kills the brake pads prematurely, as well as limits your ability to thru some stuff you need the power for. I dont drive 2 footed either, and think new brake pads at 240 k's is crazy. I actually pulled the fuse for the abs and traction control, qhich makes it only ever 3 qheels pulling, but I can blast thri any mudhole at full throttle and make the mud fly and the tires work the way they should.
Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I agree that a diff lock would be a performance enhancement, as well as reducing brake system wear. You are obviously qualified to make that determination, from both your professional experience with brake based traction enhancement systems, as well as your experience running the Talon in slick conditions. Thanks for taking time to post what you've learned. Would it require a new diff housing to accommodate a locker? If so, other components might have to be redesigned also. Could be a good opportunity for the aftermarket to step up, since it could be unlikely for Honda to change the system anytime soon, if at all. Maybe better wearing aftermarket pads would slow pad change intervals, possibly at the expense of increased rotor wear.
 

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I agree that a diff lock would be a performance enhancement, as well as reducing brake system wear. You are obviously qualified to make that determination, from both your professional experience with brake based traction enhancement systems, as well as your experience running the Talon in slick conditions. Thanks for taking time to post what you've learned. Would it require a new diff housing to accommodate a locker? If so, other components might have to be redesigned also. Could be a good opportunity for the aftermarket to step up, since it could be unlikely for Honda to change the system anytime soon, if at all. Maybe better wearing aftermarket pads would slow pad change intervals, possibly at the expense of increased rotor wear.
I believe that judging by the size of the front diff housing, it wouldnt be hard to design some sort of electric locker setup. Thank you for the kind words. I have in fact spent many years as a licensed mechanic, dealing with various sorts of traction control. That being said, The only aftermarket brake pads that I found available were brass(100% brass), intended for wet use like the mud I go thru. Problem with those is, on dry surface like running down a gravel road or trail, stooping distance is terrible....
I am really impressed with this machine in so many other ways tho, and have a pile invested i to add ons, so Im not about to stop.
Honda has always made the most dependable small engi es available for sure, so I think they have just not been in this side by side realm long enough to get the bugs out. But they will. My buddy bought the Polaris RS1, Thinking it was the greatest thing. Those are stock 112 horsepower, qhere the Talon is 104, and he cant touch me....niether in drag race or tight trail ripping handleablilty. I wish I had all the money I donated to Polaris over the years.....LOL.
 

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Just to add my own thoughts on the i4wd....
Where I ride here in ontario, its very muddy. I have since changed the tires to sti outback max 14x10x30. Pulls great thru the mud. But before changing thevtires and rims, I had 240 kms on the machine and the frt brakes were gone! Reason for this is the traction control is simply an abs pump that applies braking to the wheel that spins, so in realoty, when your in mud or ice or anything that is slippery, the system is eating up your brake pads. I think this is a design flaw to be honest. Im a licensed mechanic and have spent many years diagnosing abs/traction control systems. I believe that there are times that you want the wheels spinning at the speed you want them to spin. Try it next time your in mud,....its like the machine has no guts because the traction control is hding it back. Ive also read in other forums that rock crawling is not when you want the machine throw power to the other wheel on its own. I for one, think that there should be a user defined front diff lock that can be engaged as needed, and as soon as I find one or when it becomes available, I will be puting it in.
Honda had a good idea, but it kills the brake pads prematurely, as well as limits your ability to thru some stuff you need the power for. I dont drive 2 footed either, and think new brake pads at 240 k's is crazy. I actually pulled the fuse for the abs and traction control, qhich makes it only ever 3 qheels pulling, but I can blast thri any mudhole at full throttle and make the mud fly and the tires work the way they should.
Just my opinion.
It wouldn't exactly be "user defined" but it'll essentially be the best of both worlds... In applying your thought to my constantly grinding gears up stairs I think I'll be putting an in line switch on the ABS circuit to turn it on and off at my own discretion. I'll wait until my first brake change to do so and see how the stock ones hold up with my riding conditions (north east Ohio). Thank you for the good info you've provided, very useful and knowledgeable in many aspects!
 
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