The radius arms are simple devices that clamp to the axle housing and attach to one point on the chassis. Generally made of stamped steel, these arms are located on each side of the solid axle and help maintain forward traction.
The use of two or four arms in this set up is to help prevent the axle housing from rotating and binding under power. One issue many will note with radius arms is the tendency for the front end to unload when force is applied. Now, when you are in a Polaris RZR or a Can-am Maverick X3, the front end will lift when power is applied.
But in UTV with radius arms suspension, like a Polaris RZR or a Can-am Maverick X3, this is particularly noticeable and will cause traction issues when climbing (or in any other situation when the front end is elevated). Despite the design used to prevent the axle from rotating freely, during articulation, it is possible for the shaft to roll, which will cause issues. However, unless it’s under extreme conditions, this roll is considered insignificant.
On the upside though, “With radius arms, they’re fixed arms. You put them on, and that’s that,” says Naugle. Simple to make, simple to install, and simple to operate. Additionally, radius arms take up extraordinarily little space under the rig. Because of this, they will not run into binding issues with the exhaust or the oil pan—both of which are problems for vehicles that come stock with 4-links, such as the JK.
Personally, I feel that the manufacturer sees fit to run components for a reason. If something did not work, OEMs wouldn’t use it. Radius arms have been known to perform well on off-road applications and manufacturers do offer aftermarket options.
There are a lot of brands, quality and prices that will play a factor into what product you should choose, and we recommend that you ask a professional before you purchase. Radius Arms aren’t cheap and we want to ensure that you are getting exactly what you need for what you use your side by side for.
Visit us today to have all of your questions answered!