By: Harlen Foley
George Athanasiou - Precision Racing Products
In less than one years time,
Precision Racing Products has become the become the
premiere ATV steering stabilizer producer, and now
has nearly half the pro riders running their steering
dampener in both the GNCC and ATVA Motocross Nationals,
and 11 of the 12 GNC MX were won with dampener installed
in 2005. Also, more recently, Wayne Matlock utilized
the Precision Stabilizer/Impact Dampener to win the
2005 Baja 1000, which has been proclaimed as one of
the roughest ever.
ATV Steering Stablizer
all the hype and impressive track record, we had
to find out more about this phenomenal new steering
dampener, which is produced exclusively for ATVs
instead of being a motorcycle dampener that is adapted
to work on an ATV, so we contacted Precision Racing’s
George Athanasiou, and he was happy to answer all
of our questions.
How did you get started in producing your steering
Precision Racing Producuts: Our neighbors were Custom
Axis and they informed us that lots of Pro racers
were complaining that there wasn’t a good
stabilizer out there. Being a machine shop that
specializes in ultra high precision work, mostly
in the aerospace field, but also long time ATVers,
we were up to the challenge of building a product
that could take the abuse and also perform.
long did it take to develop?
We spent months in development. But I can tell you
when our first prototype came off the machine we
knew we were on to something.
We tested that unit against an existing high end
stabilizer and out performed it by 600%
your first unit off the machine was that good?
did you get all those top pros to run it?
It was, but we didn’t stop there. That was
unit “A” but the unit we went to production
with was “J5”.
It wasn’t as hard as you might think. I took
a stabilizer and put a bar on it so racers could
feel how smooth it is and that there is absolutely
no play at all. Then I showed them the adjustments
and how they could make the center area for going
straight ahead more, or less, dampened than the
sides. But what really sold them was the hammer
maintains a two finger grip on the bar even
when a three pound hammer strikes the bar
on the other end, which demonstrates the impact
absorption of the dampener
mean the same hammer test you showed me?
Exactly; when you move the bars back and forth with
2 fingers, then you hand a guy a 3 pound hammer
and tell him to hit the other side of the bars with
it as hard as he can. And he can’t take the
bar out of your 2 finger grip no matter how hard
he swings that hammer. Well you don’t need
to do a lot of talking after that.
you did this at the races?
it was at the opening round of the 2005 GNC MX Series
at Glen Helen. Tim Farr had never even seen the
stabilizer before that weekend, but that demo in
his trailer convinced him to take off what he had
brought and bolt on this still experimental product.
After Tim won round one then Keith Little Won round
two and John Natalie took round three in Florida
and the only product they all had in common was
the Precision Stabilizer, then all the other pros
started to call. By mid season 7 of the top 9 pros
had already called to get a Precision Stabilizer.
introduces the Precision stabilizer to Tim
Farr at Glen Helen, and he would go on to
win both Motos
has happened since then?
Lots of GNCC guys and gals have started running
it and doing real well with it. And also the dessert
racers have taken to it winning just about every
major event including The Best in Dessert Series,
The SCORE and the BAJA 1000.
can you tell us how it works?
What we are doing is taking an extremely high level
of precision on extremely robust parts. This thing
is by far the highest precision piece on a quad,
much more precise then even the motor. With this
and some good engineering we can absorb thousands
of PSI on impacts that would otherwise go to your
hands and wrests. Your rear shock would explode
long before reaching these pressures.
about the adjustments. I see you have one adjuster
marked Center and the other marked Sides?
are the only stabilizer that has different settings-one
for going straight ahead and a separate adjustment
for your turning dampening.
dials are used for adjusting the e dampning/impact
resistance in the center and on the sides
is the advantage?
For example a rider can set the dampening a little
firmer for going straight and lighter for turning.
For other riding areas that may have lots of tight
turns the rider can set the sides even softer so
he or she doesn’t tire out when turning so
much but still have good stability when going fast
straight ahead. And in slippery conditions; you
can set the sides very light so you can turn into
the slide quicker and firm up the middle slightly
so when the back end of the quad corrects the stabilizer
will catch it as it goes to center, greatly reducing
the quad’s fishtailing.
pretty impressive; does it work in the real world
Definitely, at that first Glen Helen race it rained
in between the first and second motos for 3 hours
straight. I went up to the racers running the Precision
Stabilizer and made my suggestion for adjusting
the settings. Tim Farr was hard to convince though,
he had just won the first moto with the settings
he had and was not eager to change a thing. It was
just before he went up to the starting line when
he agreed to make the adjustment. After the race
I spoke with him and he was thrilled with the stabilizer
and the adjustments we made.
about maintenance and longevity of the unit, how
long should it last?
the top pro riders using the stabilizer haven’t
been able to wear one out. We just changed the oil
in Josh Frederick’s stabilizer after he won
the best in dessert championship and the SCORE series
championship on it, that’s thousands of miles
of pro racing, and throw lots of practice time in
too. The thing looked and felt great, the oil wasn’t
even very dirty.
congratulates GNCC Pro, Chris Jenks on his
Podium at "The General" after trying
the stablizer for the first time, and he would
go onto finish 4th Overall for 2005 with an
talk about the mounting; your unit mounts low, and
that may be good for the center of gravity and protecting
the unit, but some other stabilizers mount on the
handlebars and are adjustable on the fly.
We mount ours low and directly to the frame for
a few reasons. First off, we absorb so much energy
that we need to deliver it directly to the frame,
if we tried to deliver that energy to a small rod
it would snap it like a twig. Secondly, as you mentioned
there is the center of gravity advantage, but also
you do not need to but a new steering stem. The
unit will work with after market stems but you aren’t
forced into buying one. Lastly, the unit doesn’t
fade away while you are riding; most racers just
set it and forget it, and only make changes if the
conditions greatly change.
Do you have any other ATV products?
Not yet, but we are working on some real cool ideas.
you tell us what they are?
No, not yet but if they work as well as I think
they will it could be a big deal.
2499 S. Stockton St
Unit #3 Lodi, CA 95240