Dialing in your Suspension




1.   How to set the proper rear suspension sag?


This takes two people to do!  You need to have the bike setting on level ground , like concrete.  Make sure you have on the tires you will be racing with and the air pressure is up on all 4 tires!  With the rider in full gear sitting in the position most used on the quad, have the other person measure from the ground to the bottom of the frame just in front of the footpeg.  Then measure just behind the front A-arm before the frame begins to curve upward.  You want the rear measurement to be lower than the front measurement.  To adjust the sag, loosen the jam nut on the top of the rear shock and run the adjuster nut up to lower the rear end and down to raise it.  These are the recommended starting points for each bike:


TRX400EX – ¼”

TRX450R – ¼”

YFZ450 – ¾”



2.   How to know when to change the Main rear spring?


The top spring on the rear shock is rarely changed!  After setting the sag, if the spring is compressed more than ½” by the adjuster nut to achieve the proper sag, then the rear main spring is too soft.  Or, when you lift the rear tires off of the ground and the rear springs are able to be moved up and down, then the rear main spring is too stiff.


3.   How to set the compression?


Every track setting will be different!  The compression adjuster is usually located on the top of the shock or on the remote reservoir if equipped.  Adjust the compression setting at half way out.  To set the compression go out and hit the track as hard as if you were racing.  If the suspension bottoms  out harsh, turn the compression adjuster clockwise to slow it down.  Remember, you want the suspension to LIGHTLY bottom out at least once per lap.  This assures that you are completely using all of the available suspension travel.


4.   How to set the rear shock rebound? 


This varies per track, but not as much as compression.  The rebound adjuster is always located on the bottom of the shock.  The best way to set your rebound is in a set of whoops.  Go through the whoops as if you where racing.  If the rear end is wanting to swap from side to side then the rebound is set too slow.  To speed it up turn the rebound adjuster counter-clockwise.  The cause of this is because the rear shock can not return back to its normal position before you hit the next bump, which eventually leaves you with no travel at all.  This is know as “packing up.”  When going through the whoops and the seat hits you in the rear, the rebound is set too fast and needs to be slowed down.  Turn the rebound adjuster clockwise to slow it down or on aftermarket shocks you would screw the adjuster upwards.


5.   How to set the front shocks rebound?


This adjustment shouldn’t vary as much as other adjustments from track to track.  Once you get this set I would recommend leaving it the same all the time.  You don’t want it too fast where your front end jumps off the ground.  And if your rebound is set too slow your front end will want to push in the corners.  Remember that the crossover height may effect the rolling in the corners.  Too little crossover height on the top spring will cause the quad to roll in the corners and you will also feel breaking bumps easily too.  It is suggested to only increase these by 1/8” at a time.  The best way I have found to adjust this is to hit a jump that has a flat landing with no down ramp.  If the tires are bouncing off of the ground when you land then the rebound is set too fast.  You want it slow enough where your front tires don't jump off the ground when landing, but fast enough when going through a rough corner the tires will drop into the holes and not loose traction.





Some basics tips:


1.   Muddy conditions require a little more sag to get the weight to the rear tires for more traction.

2.   Muddy conditions require more compression to compensate for the extra weight of the mud.

3.   XC and MX race sags should be close to the same height at between level  to ½” lower in the rear.

4.   Make sure to set your sag with the tires you will be racing on.

5.   When setting you're sag, do so with all of your riding gear on, don’t forget your helmet!

6.   If the quad is wanting to 2 wheel very easily, try raising the rear tire pressure or lower it if you are losing traction too easily.


If you have any questions, feel free to ask away.  That's what I'm here for: andy@maultechatv.com



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