ATV Nerf Bar Usage and Installation
Nerf bars are an attachment used to improve the foot peg area of an ATV. Nerf bars provide a wider overall footing area which is useful when your ATV bounces and your foot comes off the peg. They are also easy to install as described below and offer several advantages over stock foot pegs. A solid bar around the outside edge of the nerf bar also acts as a barrier to keep the tires of another ATV from getting jammed between your ATV's tires. Nerf bars are widely popular on sport ATVs.
Nerf Bar Installation
There are two typical types of ATV nerf bar mounting systems. One involves re-using existing mounting brackets and the other is much less common since it does not. I'd like to cover the less obvious method here first, picture credit goes to Alba Racing.
The first step is to pass a mounting bar through the frame of your quad and attach it with the c-clips and bolts you see in the picture above. Don't tighten any of the mounting hardware fasteners until the nerf bars are properly in place.
The next step involves removing plastic heal guards or other stock foot protection and the quickest way of doing that is usually to cut them off. You won't be re-using stock components so remove their bolts from the foot pegs as well.
Slide the front side of your new nerf bars over the mounting rod and line up the rear of each bar with the holes left behind by the stock footguards. Use a 3/8 drill bit, carefully line up your nerf bar with the foot peg, and use the mounting bracket holes as a guide on where to drill a new bolt hole. When complete test fit your new bolts and leave them loose until you've completed the same steps on both sides. If you've completed this step properly your new nerf bars will have the same angle as the stock foot pegs did.
When you have completed drilling on both sides of the frame tighten the rear bolts securely and then fasten c-clips, as seen in the image, on the bottom of your ATV securely. Adjust the straps to your liking and stand on the nerf bars to see if you feel comfortable on them.
Double check that the bolts have remained tight after your next ride and that's it, you're all done installing your new ATV nerf bars. The tubing gauge is likely to be thicker than stock so expect to feel increased rigidity and, ultimately, more control while riding your ATV.
Nerf bar usage, and why you need them
The nerf bar pictured here is manufactured by BlingStar and is available with a black or polished finish. It is made using 6061 T1 aluminum and includes the signature ‘Extreme Peg' for better cornering control. The nets on this Yamaha YFZ 450 nerf bar have the BlingStar logo embroidered onto them and the name plate is riveted on to make sure it still looks great after riding your ATV hard. No peeling stickers or rubbed off nerf bar logos allowed.
I used the Blingstar nerf bars as an example but there are several companies that manufacture and sell quality nerf bars, these just happened to be part of the ‘DC Racer' brand that I prefer. DC are the initials of legendary ATV racer Dana Creech. Here is a summary of common features designed into any quality nerf bar:
- Extended peg ends for outside weighting and improved cornering
- Durable and light aluminum construction
- Securely fastened name plates
- More than one color available
- Fast free shipping, of course
- Great customer support and return policy, demand no less
Why should I use nerf bars?
You can ride an ATV without nerf bars but I want to explain why you should strongly consider getting a set if you ride hard on the trails or track.
Handling: An increased surface area for your foot to plant on means that you can shift your weight more securely. Because nerf bars add some extra size they also add some extra leverage and top riders use that to their advantage, you can too.
Safety: On a traditional sports ATV if you lose contact with the peg your foot can become trapped under the rear wheel. The burn of a tire rubbing against the back of your leg is reason enough if you do anything more than casual riding. Quality nerf bar models make it virtually impossible for that to happen.
Other considerations: Weight is a consideration when buying nerf bars, the lighter the better so long as they are structurally sound. My favorite nerf bars are strong and constructed of light weight materials. Price is another consideration and my tip concerning cost is to avoid paying a premium for a brand name if the price is obviously marked up but the quality is questionable.
Conclusion: A sport ATV with a rep for tearing it up on the track is a good candidate for adding nerf bars, if not already installed. I wouldn't recommend doing THIS without nerf bars!