Raptor Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
902 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A bud e-mailed this to me.

Remember compression adjustment is the one on top with the reservoir and rebound is on the bottom of the shock.

Finally !! The shocking story of how to "Tune your Suspension" !!!


Apr 1, 2000
By: ORC STAFF
ATV at Off-Road.com


Your probably just like most people. You go to your local dealer ,pick out your ATV, take it home and ride it. Did you know that you could and should adjust the comfort of that 4 wheeled beast by adjusting those shocks and thereby giving you the a more comforting ride that means you will be LESS fatigued at the end of the day ? HA ! I didn't think so !! Well here it is,The best advice around. Tune your Suspension . Don't know how ? Don't be afraid, we'll walk you through it,step by ahhhh,don't step there,that looks like something my dog threw up. First we'll teach you a few simple things about ATV shocks.
1) PRELOAD is when you adjust the length of the shock to match your body weight. The springs that you see on them controls PRELOAD.
2) COMPRESSION controls how easy or hard it is for the shock to squeeze together when you hit bumps.
3) REBOUND controls how fast the shock returns to its normal position after it has been compressed.
One note here, NOT all shocks on all ATVs have all these adjustments. Please consult you owners manual to determine which adjustments you can make.


Preload Adjustment
By turning the large nut at the bottom of the spring you can adjust the springs tension to suit your body weight. To properly make this adjustment you will need to .measure the "ride height sag"....
REAR SHOCK
1) lift the rear wheels up off the ground.
2) With the wheels off the ground, measure the distance from the top center of the rear axle to some point straight above it on the ATVs frame. Write this dimension down.
3) With all your riding gear on plop your butt on the seat with your feet on the pegs in your normal riding position. Then have somone measure the distance again in the same place as the first measurment. The difference between the 2 measurments is called the "ride height sag".
4) Adjust your preload so that your "ride height sag" is about 30% of your total suspension travel. Example: If you have 9" of total travel you should have about 3" of ride height sag.


FRONT SHOCK
Use the same procedure EXCEPT your "ride height sag" should be about 20% of your total shock travel.
Measuring with wheels off the ground

Measure again with full riding gear on

Compression Adjustment
Adjusting the compression of the shock determines how fast the shock "compresses" together. This adjustment should be made according to the type of riding you plan on doing. The real trick here is set the suspension at the point where you use all the travel of the shock without bottoming out hard .
With the setting too soft the suspension will feel "mushy" and you feel like it's "floating".
With the setting too hard, You'll feel every little bump you hit because the shock isn't absorbing the bumps like it should.
You can start by setting the compression at full soft. Ride the ATV for a short while .Then begin to ride over small bumps. Begin to adjust the shocks to absorb the bumps without feeling mushy. As you adjust the compression on the shocks, gradually begin moving up to bigger bumps and jumps. Every time you progress to larger jumps amd bumps readjust the shocks. Keep doing this untill you reach the point where you have reached YOUR personal limit of bumps or jumping safely while using all the travel in the shocks. (It's even ok if you allow the shocks to bottom out "slightly" as you land your largest jump)

Rebound
The rebound adjustment is the setting that determines how fast the shock returns to its normal position.
Setting the rebound at full soft allows the shock to return to full extension more quickly. At this setting the ATV may begin to experience a pogo effect. As the rider speeds over bumps, a shock that returns too quickly may rebound right back up and smack you right in the Butt,sending you right over the handle bars.
Setting the rebound at full hard slows the return of the shock to it's normal position. At this setting as a rider speeds over bumps the shocks may not return to position fast enough causing the shocks "pack up". The more the shocks "pack up" The less travel they have untill they have a chance to return to their normal position.
The best way to set the rebound on your shocks is to find a set of"whoops". A series of rolling hills two feet high and six feet apart.
With the setting at full soft, ride through the whoops at a slow pace at first . Then each time you ride through the whoops go through a little faster adjusting the rebound untill you reach your fastest comfortable speed and the ATV is returning to its correct position without bucking you off.

It's not brain surgery
The MOST important thing to remember is...........ONLY MAKE ONE CHANGE AT A TIME !!!!! Doing one change at a time will allow you to get a better feel for how your suspension is responding to the changes. Making more than one change at a time will just confuse you because you won't know which change made a desired or undesired effect. Tuning in your suspension to suit your needs will make you a much happier camper.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BuckNasty

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,688 Posts
Thanks for the detailed write up, I do have to adjust my preload, I called Elka yesterday and you are right, you both agree that a mushy front end means not enough preload. I'll post after I ride it, I hope it improves because other than that it rides like a new Cadillac ! :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,694 Posts
Re: Suspension set-up - You just brought her home - the first thing you should d

Great info. thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,688 Posts
I have adjusted my preload and now I can punch it and swing the back end around without feeling like I was going to roll the quad. Too mushy shocks up front is dangerous and can allow the quad to roll forward in cornering. IMO too much preload (stiffer) is better than not enough (mushy)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
This topic is great. I feel the mushy ride myself but was never sure what to do about it. I've rode a bike set up for a 300 pound + guy and I felt every little bump, it had way to much preload for me.

Thanks for the great info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
LOL, well i'm one of those 290 lb guys and actually chose my rappy bc it was a much more comfy feel than the 450 i was riding. But anyhow, would anyone have any "close settings" for the suspension for my kinda weight, or should i just make all adjustments at the park?
 

·
Are Ya Jealous
Joined
·
393 Posts
im wantin to adjust my rear preload jus for when i take my girl friend riding, i tried moving it with a big screw driver and 3lb sledge lol i know not too bright, but that would be an all day job. is there an easier tool to use besides the one that you can get thats made for the job??? if not what do those wrenchs usaully run price wise???
 

·
Are Ya Jealous
Joined
·
393 Posts
yeah yeah i know man, but ya still didnt answer my question....guess i'll jus buy one instead of tryin to do it with something else....makes sense sorry about the waste of space!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
Its almost never wasted space, somewhere/sometime someone will have the same question... I've used adjustable pliers for my front pogo's (non-nut type)... as far as the nut style I've used a punch and a 10oz ball peen hammer, nothing too crazy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
744 Posts
The correct tool of course is the shock spanner wrench, cheap ones are around $10, good ones are $20 or more
While the fronts are relatively easy to adjust,
the rears often have to be removed in order to adjust them.
This of course takes the fun out of 'quick' adjustments.

This is what Air Shocks Like Fox are good for.
The preload adjustment is handled thru a pump.

And yes - I too have used a large screw driver and a hammer when I could not find the right tool.


http://www.bikebandit.com/search-products?q=Shock+Wrench&ch=2&sc=10
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
744 Posts
LOL, well i'm one of those 290 lb guys and actually chose my rappy bc it was a much more comfy feel than the 450 i was riding. But anyhow, would anyone have any "close settings" for the suspension for my kinda weight, or should i just make all adjustments at the park?
I'm 250 myself, If I recall correctly the stock 700 is spring for about 200lbs.
This is where custom shocks or custom revalve and spring jobs are handy.
For a few hundred dollars you can upgrade your stock shocks to better valves and correctly sized springs.

I'm sure a few people in here can recommend good shops for revalve spring jobs.

Here is an Elka manual that does a good job of explaining the basic steps in correctly setting up suspension. Everybody's final settings will be different depending on terrain, tires, riding style etc.
This manual steps you through what to change to address what you are feeling when you ride.
http://www.elkasuspension.com/files/Manuals/ATVOwnersManual.pdf
Start from here and take some tools with you the next time you head out to ride, spend an hour testing and tweaking your setup and you will reap the rewards in less arm fatigue and better times.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,966 Posts
I adjusted mine yesterday for a race, cranked down my front suspension preload. I jumped it and she bottemed out in the front and killed my wrists. So being looser in the front actually did not bottem out. There's got to be a line somewhere, cuz I figured it there too soft it would bottem out easier. But the theory of tightening it up made it worse.
craig
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
587 Posts
saved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Great instructions! Now just have to get to the rear preload adjustment nut, I assume pulling the seat and airbox is the best way?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,642 Posts
Great instructions! Now just have to get to the rear preload adjustment nut, I assume pulling the seat and airbox is the best way?
I would just reach under the seat thats how i did it. That way you don't have to take anything off, taking the airbox out would be a huge pita
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
625 Posts
I got my rear preload adjusted some but it was a pita. Im still a bit more then 30% rider sag but its closer then what it was. I had the weight off the spring and still had a hard time adjusting the collar down. I even tried to compress the spring but didnt have much room. I might have to adjust the compression and rebound some now also. Is it hard on the threads if the spring is fighting the adjustment?
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top