Product: – Dura Blue Eliminator X-33 Ultimate Race Axle
Test Duration: – Long Term
Tested By: – Jim Anderson
Location: – Minnesota
Machine: – 2003 Kawasaki Prairie 650
Review Date: – July 2006
Well after some 2600 hard miles riding I have managed to bend my original rear axle on my 2003 Kawasaki Prairie 650. We have decided to put a Dura Blue axle to the test with ATVPT’s pro rider/product tester Jim Anderson (Yamihoo) Dura Blue has sent us their Eliminator X-33 Axle “Ultimate Race Axle” and billet hubs to be tested.
Lets see if this axle can meet or exceed the OEM axle on this model.
I have put about 2600 hard miles on this sport utility quad and unfortunately, I have managed to bend my rear axle. I suspect I probably bent the axle while taking some pretty considerably sized jumps. I have also put heavier after market tires on this machine, and whenever you apply aftermarket products to your machine, you risk the integrity of the original manufactures’ specifications.
What I mean by hard miles is besides putting this quad through the ringer with some heavy duty hauling and towing, I am a fairly aggressive trail rider. I tend to ride fast, take high speed corners and jumps whenever possible and of course while safe conditions allow me to do so. I decided to try this axle from Dura Blue hoping it will handle the type of riding I do better than the OEM axle. I told the Dura Blue sales dept. which model my quad is, and also what style of riding I do, and they recommend this Eliminator X-33 Ultimate Race Axle with Billet Aluminum hubs. They offer several types of axles to accompany many ATV models and riding types. When ordering, make sure you get an axle design that suits your riding style and machine.
I am quite impressed with the fit and finish look as well as the design of this axle. It has been made with a high strength proprietary heat treating process and has been polished and chromed. The X-33 axle uses the same superior material and heat treating as the Eliminator. The unique difference is in the design of the wheel hub mounting area. Standard design ATV axles neck down to about 1″ in diameter. A splined wheel hub slides onto the axle shaft and is retained with a hex nut. As most ATVer’s know, hubs loosen frequently. The X-33 changes all that. The wheel hub is clamped solid and driven by a pin on a 1-3/8″ diameter shaft. This axle is rifled to reduce weight near the rotational axis of the ATV. This axle comes with a very unique option of 2+2 for adding width and stability for certain riding requirements. This is an awesome feature that I am extremely interested in testing results with my riding abilities. In just a matter minutes you can easily customize the length of your axle for instant, big performance improvements.
The total weight of this axle with hubs matches the weight of the OEM with hubs, which is good to match power/weight aspect ratio. However, the Dura Blue billet hubs weigh half as much as OEM, and the remaining weight and strength is in the axle where it should be. The Dura Blue axle does have a larger diameter and added strength in key areas to increase axle torque load requirements.
I have now had this axle from on my machine for 5 months. In that time, I have put on 700 miles of riding through dirt, gravel, mud, rocks and swamp. I have put this axle through torture, riding fast on rough trails, and taking many jumps. All the while with over sized tires and wheels which are 30-40% heavier then OEM set up and believe I have put this axle through a very fair and yet grueling test. I am happy to report after this much time the axle is still straight and is showing no signs of wear anywhere. I will continue testing this axle for a full year and hopefully over another 1,000 or more miles and report back then.
Dura Blue is clearly a great aftermarket axle company that is an alternative to OEM. If your looking to match or exceed OEM quality and perhaps get some performance gains besides, I recommend you take a look to Dura Blue Axle.