Racing is expensive, and off-road racing is even more expensive. It’s one thing to try and make a car go around a circle or in a straight line really fast, but ask a truck or buggy to go really fast over rocks, dirt, washouts, whoops, and mud, and the price just multiplies. The cool thing about all this expense is that it helps develop exciting parts for the aftermarket, stuff that trickles down to guys like us who just want to go wheeling for fun.
We attended the King of the Hammers race and noticed a variety of trick competition parts. A lot of these items are still heavy on the wallet punching, but just like many current and common parts found on the trail these are slowly but surely becoming part of our rec-wheeling world. With every $100,000-$375,000 race buggy that gets built a lot of $1,000-$3,750 parts are fine-tuned and made better for guys looking to have a good weekend wheeling, but not necessarily looking for a trophy.
IFS Race Buggies
Here are just a few of the buggies running an independent front suspension in the Ultra4 series. Though IFS is common in desert racing, it doesn’t usually have four-wheel drive, and KOH is pushing the 4x4 variants to new heights. The technology in strong IFS components like CV joints, half-shafts, and rack-and-pinion steering is growing fast, and the cars are going that much faster in the desert because of it. You should care because there are at least three times more IFS 4x4s available on the new truck market than solid front axles. Hopefully this tough new IFS technology will trickle down into the recreational IFS off-roaders. That said, even though the IFS trend is booming in Ultra4 the last two King of the Hammers races have been won by solid front axle cars.