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Discussion Starter #1
I've got about 1500 miles on my Ranch Edition and have been shopping for new tires. And like everyone, I want more ground clearance. So then I went through all the hand wringing about how will larger tires affect the clutch, etc and went around in circles researching everything I could get my hands on. I just don't want to find myself 50 miles from my truck and broken down in the middle of nowhere. Finally I got some answers from a Yamaha dealer in the boonies an hour away in North Idaho. This area is rough country for riding, so these guys have seen it all. Long story short, I'll pass along what he told me and it may help some others.

No problem going up to 27" tires on my stock 12" rims. The Yamaha clutch can handle it fine, but don't get too crazy with tires that are exceptionally heavy or have huge lugs. He personally bought a Viking VI from a guy that had an EPI clutch that was 2 years old and was shot. He said nothing about the JBS and I know their products are pretty popular.
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He replaced it with the factory clutch and it has been flawless. He said the factory Yamaha clutches are waaaay better and tougher than people give them credit for. He also said that if you just clean and re-grease the clutches at least once a year, they'll last forever. Dust is a huge problem in the summer and fall months up here. Said a cleaning would run about $180.

I still haven's decided on tires. I put a lot of miles on gravel/rock forest service and rural roads and he recommended something closer to a truck-like tread for better control and traction rather than some big luggy pattern. Keep the tread depth to about 3/4"-7/8" or so. I'm thinking like the Terrabite or the Mongrel or something along those lines, but for sure, a radial. Hope this is helpful.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
The problem I discovered in my area is that dealers won't touch aftermarket clutch work and independent shops have no clue about clutch kits on an SxS. It's crazy,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
UPDATE - Ended up getting 27" Terrabite tires and keeping my 12" wheels and leaving my clutch the hell alone and the rig runs great. Definitely gained some ground clearance over the stock 25" BIghorns. Was wondering about a lift kit, but the flip side is the higher your center of gravity, the tippier the machine will be on a sidehill. The tradeoff is ground clearance. Just sayin' for those on a budget, just get 27" tires and enjoy the ride. It's a pretty good tradeoff in the mountain riding we do. Nothing's perfect.
 
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Beware, there are no true lift kits out there for the Viking. Companies will sell them as lift kits, but they're really just spacers you put on you shock springs to change the preload. But when you do that, your taking 2" of travel out of your shocks. You can spend $80-$120 on some kit, or you can buy some PVC pipe and cut it 2" long and slide it between the spring and the collar and save yourself the money.

I bought 814 shocks for my ride. But that's some serious jack. Worth the money, but still expensive.
 

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I went up to 27" tires on 14" rims. I noticed a difference in performance. I was having clutch issues and blowing belts. My employer has a portion of it's business that is a Yamaha distributor. They sell EPI kits. I purchase the kit that included weights, secondary spring, and new springs for the wet clutch. I'm ~4000kms on it and happy with my choice.

I'm sure the spendy options like JBS's ultimate setups are better performing.
 

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I have the JBS stuff on my ride. It's moves nice. My clutch is slugged too. It increases the grip on the clutch housing, and engages the engine at lower RPM, prolonging the life of the clutch pads. I'm happy with the JBS upgrades I made. I woulden't go to much beyond any clutch work if you want any better performance out of you Vik. It's just not worth the $$$.
 

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Worth every dollar.


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