Barker's Official Blog

Out with the cover, in with the ATV – getting your ATV ready for spring

Spring and Winter are the two times a year when your ATV's should always be thoroughly checked out and serviced while in storage (for the winter) or prepping for use (in the spring). Before you bust it out of storage to hit the trails, follow these important steps after your winterization to ensure your machine is in top shape.

  1. Inflate tires to the correct PSI. It's been sitting for awhile so make sure to fill 'em up.

  2. Return battery to housing and make sure it's in working condition.

  3. Take it for a test drive to look for any obvious signs of wear or items in need of replacing.

  4. How are your brakes? If they're worn, replace them now.

  5. Change your oil and oil filter if you didn't in the winter. You should never store your ATV with oil as it can cause internal corrosion.

  6. Is it time for maintenance on your front and rear differentials and gear box? If so, take it to your local dealer, or perform the maintenance yourself.

  7. Are all your belts, cables and spark plugs in working order? Change them out if they need replacing. Replace spark plugs if you stored it longer than 120 days.

  8. Check out your suspension. Look for any loose or worn parts - grease if necessary.

  9. And finally, wash it.

Following all of these steps with ensure you're ready to hit the trails!
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Preparing your ATV/UTV for winter

Some of us ride our ATVs all year round, but many of us – especially those residing in the northern regions -- do not.  Ice can damage the engine, road salt corrodes the undercarriage, and extreme conditions can wreak havoc on your finely tuned machine. If you are a rider that stores your ATV during the cold winter months, taking the time to properly maintain and prepare for storage can help avoid costly shop repairs and extend the life of your machine.  Below are a few steps you can take to make sure your ATV is in peak shape for next riding season.

Thoroughly wash your ATV.  Good ATV maintenance involves washing your machine after every use, however before storage be sure to give it an extra-thorough cleaning.  Scrub every inch and use an old toothbrush to reach those tight areas.  Mud and oil can eat away at exposed surfaces over time.  Once it is dry, give it a good hand wax for added protection. 

Change the oil and oil filter.  Old oil contains acid from the combustion process, which over time, can attack internal components and cause corrosion.  Changing the oil and filter before storage will also keep excess dirt from settling in your engine.

Grease suspension and drive components.  An often-ignored item is the greasing of the pivot points in the suspension and steering systems.  No manufacturer uses enough grease in the pivots to keep them trouble free for very long.  A-arm bushings, swing arm pivots, and shock bushing/bearings all need to be lubricated to keep them working and prevent corrosion.

Disconnect and pull out the battery. Top off the electrolytes clean the terminals and charge it if necessary. Store the battery in a location where it cannot freeze. It's important to keep the battery stored out of the reach of children. Battery acid is dangerously corrosive. Store your ATV's battery on a high shelf or locked in a cabinet. Do not store it directly on concrete. Concrete causes power drain in batteries.  Instead place the battery on top of a couple of 2x4 to keep it off the cement.

Clean and prep the air filter and wipe out the air filter box.  Add some fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank and top off with fresh fuel.  This reduces the surface area inside the fuel tank that can form condensation.  For best results, use premium gasoline and run the engine a few minutes to allow the stabilizer to work its way through the fuel system.  Shut off the engine, and turn off the gas valve.  On carbureted ATVs, turn off the petcock and restart the engine and run until it dies.  This will remove the fuel from the carburetor float bowl. 

Lubricate all levers and cables to prevent corrosion and keep them moving smoothly.

Check your ATV for loose hardware, lug nuts, steering linkage, suspension and motor mounts.  Adjust and tighten as needed.

Remove the spark plugs and put a drop of motor oil into the spark plug hole and reinstall the spark plug to the manufacturers specification.

Pressurize the tires to the proper psi to keep them from weather cracking.

Cap the exhaust to keep critters out. This is also a great time to repack your exhaust so it's ready to go when riding season starts back up in the spring.

Do not store ATV's outside in winter climates.   Push the ATV into a shed or garage and place the ATV up on blocks.   Expensive jack stands aren't necessary; cinder blocks or heavy plastic milk crates work just fine

Place a tarp over the ATV to keep excess dust and vermin away. If desired, leave an open can of auto wax on the floor under the tarp. The smell repels mice, chipmunks and other small pests.

Now that your ATV is prepared for storage, remove tarp from your snow machine and get ready to ride.  The snow is about to fly!

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How to select the right aftermarket exhaust for your ATV or UTV

Buying a new exhaust for your atv or utv is by far the easiest and fastest way to gain lots of extra power from your machine.  But before you buy, It’s important to do your research and not run out and buy the first or cheapest exhaust system you find.  Nothing is worse than wasting your hard earned cash on something your just not happy with. In order to avoid that, here’s some things to keep in mind:


If you’re like me, the first and most important thing on your list is performance.   Performance can sometimes be the cure-all for any other downfalls you may see in a product.  Even if it looks and sounds like someone stuck an old soup can back there, if it outperforms everything else, your happy and ready to sing its praises. 

All exhausts are not created equal, the power delivery for every pipe is different.  Sometimes its hard to determine which exhausts perform the best.  The easiest way is to read your favorite atv or utv magazine pipe shootouts.  They usually have the best expert opinions plus dyno runs with hard figures you can compare.  Its also a good idea to look at what people have to say on popular online forums.

You can learn a lot from dyno sheets, learn how to read them and what the number’s mean.  The pipe withthe highest peak horsepower number doesn’t always mean it delivers the best “useable” power.  You want to find an exhaust that shows good power increases throughout the powerband.  Keep in mind your riding style and around what rpm range you do most of your riding. 

Keep in mind, If you plan to modify your motor in the future you may want to go with and exhaust that performs better on a modified motor versus a stock motor.


This part is fairly self explanatory.  Just keep in mind that there are many different styles and options out there for exhausts  like: different shapes, exhaust tips, colored, chromed, brushed aluminum, carbon fiber and way more. 


As time goes on this particular area has become more and more important.   Alot more than just your comfort level should be considered.  You should always check with your favorite riding area to see if there are sound restrictions.  Most tracks also have restrictions/ limitations.   

What typses of activities will you be using this ATV or UTV for?  (i.e. Hunting)  It’s not always fun to swap out your new exhaust for the stock one, every time you want to keep things quiet.  Do you ride through your own, or other,  neighborhood to get to your riding area?  Not fun to deal with angry neighbors or pay tickets.  Plus as an ATV community it’s important to be respectful of others,  the last thing we need is an excuse for someone to close another trail or riding area.

Another thing to keep in mind if your riding in national forest is if your exhasut USFS approved or does it have an USFS approved spark arrestor.  If your not sure contact the manufacturer.


You should feel comfortable with the exhaust manufacturer, do they have good a good reputation for developing good quality products?  Are they well established in the industry?  Are they available for product support?


Make sure you are aware of everything  that comes with the purchase of your exhaust system.  Here a a few things to look for:

-          Jet kit or proper jetting recomendations.

-          EFI controller for fuel injected systems

-          Are you paying for a full system or slip on

                     A.  generally an aftermarket header may only net you a couple horsepower. Is this worth the additional cost?

-           Air intake system

When weighing the Cost it is important to keep in mind these additional purchases you may need to make.

Purchasing a new exhaust system for your machine isn’t a cheap or simple process.  Do your reasearch.  In the end you’ll have the peace of mind that you spent your money wisely.  Be safe and Have fun!

Article provided by our friends at
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Dyno Results For Yamaha YFZ 450 R Exhaust

I was reading the forums & came across this post by "Buddha" from Sand Mountain, UT on Dyno results for a Barker's Yamaha YFZ 450R Full Exhaust:

Well the best we could do is:
47.85 HP
31.62 TQ
The curve is very good and a huge improvement over the PCV. 

We started at 39.24 HP 25.79 TQ. Remember this is at 4400' above sea level on KBR's old Dyno. The MSD made a huge improvement with as much as 8 degress timing on the top end and as little as 5 degrees on the bottom end. I was expecting more, but that's what it is. My next mod will be boring the TB and maybe a Mmad intake cam. Also the head will probably be coming off for some expoxy. That won't be till summer as our riding season is here and I don't want any down time. 
Also those numbers are with the Barker pipe. The Dasa pipe was .25HP-.50HP lower than the Barker. The Barker comes on sooner and lasts longer than the Dasa. Kind of glad I went with the Barker.

Note that we've got two versions of this pipe:  the 2004-2009 Carb Model YFZ 450 and the 2009+ EFI Model YFZ 450R

To read the entire thread on dyno results for the Barker's Yamaha YFZ 450R Full Exhaust click this link


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