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MODIFIED SPORT QUADS: ALBA ACTION SPORTS POLARIS 525 OUTLAW SAND QUAD

 
(1/25/2008)
A NEW GUNSLINGER FOR SAND SLINGING


Once we dialed in the Fox Float front and Fox coil spring rear shocks, we were able to jump the Outlaw IRS quad with complete confidence.

When you imagine an outlaw, whether it’s Clint Eastwood in the “Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” or Russell Crowe in “3:10 To Yuma,” you think of a tough, bad-to-the-bone  predator, who lives or dies by the quickness of his gun. Well, imagine the scenario you would need to transform Polaris’ newest Outlaw 525 IRS suspended quad into a vehicle that either one of these two legendary gun slingers would want to throw a leg over if they were modern day dune sand slingers?

ALBA ACTION SPORTS TO THE RESCUE
“Polaris contacted us and asked us to build them a custom dune-equipped Outlaw that would showcase the possibilities and capabilities of the Outlaw 525,” said Cory Hove, the likeable owner of Alba Action Sports out of El Cajon, California. “They told me they will be showing the quad at their dealer shows and consumer functions throughout the country. Once we started this project, we soon found out that there were almost no aftermarket parts available for this particular quad, so we began to develop our own parts for it,” said Cory.

WHERE ALL COWBOYS START OUT—THE BARS
“The stock handlebars are weak and not pretty,” added Cory. “The steering stem is built strong so we designed a billet aluminum adapter that allows for the mounting of any style of aftermarket fat bars. The adapter raises the mount height so lower bar bends will still fit. The adapter also uses rubber ’anti-vibe mounts’ to keep bar vibrations at a minimum.”

SUSPENSION WORK
The next item to get Alba’s attention on the 525 Outlaw was the front suspension. “We wanted to design a kit that could be used by pro racers and recreational riders,” said Cory. “So we teamed up with Dennis and Theo at SRF racing in San Marcos, California. They spent several months testing and tuning, working in conjunction with Fox Racing Shox to make the ultimate front end setup for our sand machine.”


(Left) An Alba pipe and silencer were added to the engine, as well as a small big bore kit that pumped the Outlaw engine from 510cc to a full 532cc motor. (Right) On the back end of the IRS Outlaw, Alba installed a set of coil over Fox Racing shocks which worked extremely well.

A set of + 2 inch over A-arms were installed on the Outlaw’s front end and set up with optimal camber and caster settings. This was to help it track straighter and turn quick. Travel was increased by two inches over stock with the Fox shocks custom built to match the suspension geometry.
“On the Outlaw’s independent rear suspension, we have had reports from some pro riders of breakage in the upper control arms,” reports Cory Hove. “We had SRF design us new stronger A-arms, built out of 4130 chromoloy. This helped to bring the tire width to match the new front suspension’s width. We also changed the wheel offset on the ITP wheels. While this works fine in the sand dunes, we have not tested it for strength in a racing situation yet,” added Cory.



(Top Right) Our Alba Outlaw duner had a set of Fox “Float” air shocks mounted on the front end. Once we dialed them in, they performed flawlessly. (Bottom Right) These bright orange Alba  Racing nerfs bolted on easily and sell for $219.95 a set.


MOTOR WORK
“Due to budget restraints, we kept our motor work simple,” said Hove. “We did a simple big bore kit on the engine with one of our full exhaust systems. We had Millennium Technologies re-Nicasil the cylinder, and the displacement went from 510cc to a full 532cc. We went from stock horsepower of 38.71 to a hearty 47.74 hp on our dyno. For those of you that adhere to the ‘too much’ is barely enough philosophy, we also offer a 570 bore and stroker kit which brings the overall Outlaw 525 hp to a whopping 50.56 hp!”

RIDE REVIEW
We took the Alba Action Sports Outlaw big bore sand slinger out for an extended test session and here is what we found out. Power is much improved over a stock 525 Outlaw with IRS suspension. Since the IRS model weighs more than its solid axle counterparts, it does help to have a bit more power to pull that extra weight. It accelerates hard from the very bottom, through the mid-range and has a decent amount of over rev on the top.
The Alba Outlaw also has a distinctive look to it, with its bright orange color scheme and demeanor. Alba also offers a sound reduction kit for their exhaust that helps tame the bark to an outdoor friendly 96 dB.
One of the biggest differences on the Alba Outlaw was in the suspension department. The Fox Float front shocks and Podium rear shocks gave it an overall cush ride that was hard to beat. We did have to dial them in for the sandy conditions we rode in, but setting the adjustable air spring rates in the front and the shock preload on the back end were relatively simple operations. With adjustable compression and rebound settings, it wasn’t long before we could pound our way through the roughest whoops at close to full speed. Impressive.
Overall, we think the Alba Action mods helped to contribute to the Outlaw 525’s overall power, handling, and suspension improvements. We think it even looks a lot better than the Black versions that Polaris sells. Clint Eastwood or Russell Crowe wouldn’t have any problems climbing aboard this sand slinger and gunning the competition down.


PRICES & PARTS:
Front bumper-Pure Polaris:
$159.96
Pure Polaris: $139.99
Alba graphics & seat cover: $135.99
Alba anti-vibe fat bar adapter & Tag T2 bars: $154.14
Alba Pro Race nerf bars: $219.99
Fox Float front shocks: $1495.00
Fox podium rear shocks: $1195.00
Streamline front brake lines: $74.99
SRF/Alba Cromalloy +2 ft A-arms: $1249.00
SRF/Alba cromalloy rear upper arms: $349.99
ITP Sandstar rear paddles on ITP wheels: $229.99
ITP Sandstar front on ITP wheels: $199.99
Alba stainless competition exhaust and jet kit: $399.99
K & N filter and outerwear: $52.99
Noise suppresion available to 96 dB
CONTACT: ALBA ACTION SPORTS, (800) 487-3236, www.albaaction.com

Topic: Tests

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WARNING: Much of the action de­pict­­ed in this magazine is potentially dan­gerous. Virtually all of the riders seen in our photos are experienced ex­­perts or professionals. Do not at­tempt to duplicate any stunts that are be­­yond your own capabilities. Always wear the appropriate safety gear.
Copyright 2008 Hi-Torque Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
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