without a doubt the most common questions we get asked here at snow tracks all relate to suspension how do I set it up why does my sled not ride good and how do I properly make adjustments apparently modern snowmobile suspensions aren't quite as simple as some people think they are no kidding today's snowmobile suspensions are complex feats of engineering the way they function almost boggles the mind when you add current shock technology into the mix it's not hard to get lost but you don't need to call Steven Hawkings to get your sled to ride right you just need to follow a few simple and Universal steps the first thing you need to do after you pick up your new scooter is verify the shock settings believe it or not many snowmobiles come right from the factory with uneven compression and rebound settings making sure they're all set to about halfway will at least get you started uneven ground the next step is one most people overlook and it can have as big an effect on the overall ride of your sled as getting your clicker set to where you want them you need to get your ride height set to the manufacturer's suggested level shocks and suspensions are designed to work most efficiently and effectively within a specific range of their travel this is different for every brand and every style of suspension so read your manual to find out where your ride height should be set ride height is adjusted using the springs and despite what many believe this is the primary purpose of the springs both front and rear their job is to hold the sled at your preset height and return it to that height after the suspension has been cycled measure your ride height as per your manuals instructions and take your measurements with the rider on board some shocks have cam style adjusters with only a few settings others have threaded colors that are infinitely adjustable whatever the case may be if you find you can't get your spring set tight enough to achieve proper ride height don't worry your dealer can order and install heavier Springs the next step in your suspension setup journey is again one most people just skip altogether you need to start at zero for full soft under compression clickers most sharks come from the factory with the compression set at about 50% the problem with starting your set up at this point is that it's hard to get an accurate reading of what effect your changes up or down are actually having starting with your compression set at zero gives you a baseline to work from now we get to the fun part once your ride height is adjusted and your clickers are set to zero it's time to go riding find a realistically bumpy section of trail and ride through it at the speed you would normally ride if you feel the sled bottoming add in a few clicks of compression but don't touch the springs repeat this process until the sled is resisting bottoming but remaining plush enough to still be comfortable keep in mind your sled should bottom on the biggest bumps that way you know you're using all the travel you paid good money for and you'll want to get your money's worth once your compression is set for your average rotting situations you can use the compression clicker knobs to fine-tune the ride for different trail conditions if you can feel the trail getting rougher and you're bottoming more than you think you should simply spin up a few clicks of compression when the trail gets smooth again turn the knobs back to your original settings now that you've got your ride height and compression settings taken care of you may need to tweak the rebound settings just a bit and this is where most riders get overwhelmed just give up rebound is what controls the speed at which the shock extends back to your ride height after it's been compressed an optimal rebound setting is one that lets the skid frame or the skis follow the contour of the ground at average trail routing speeds but doesn't let the shock extend too quickly which would make the sled feel like a pogo stick or too slowly which would make the sled feel overly stiff slow rebound causes a condition called packing up if the suspension can't rebound fully before it hits the next bump your suspension will continually get shorter until the sled is essentially riding on only the last few inches of travel taking away some rebound damping but once again allow the suspension to extend back to your static ride height before it absorbs the next end once you have your ride-height compression and rebound dialed it's a really good idea to make some notes of where it's set that way if you ever have to remove a suspension component for maintenance or reset up your suspension to carry more weight or for different riding conditions you can find your way back to your optimal setup far more easily

Adjusting Your Snowmobile Suspension

17 thoughts on “Adjusting Your Snowmobile Suspension

  • July 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    bro just jean smashed that suspension hard lol

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  • July 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    I have a Polaris switchback xcr 800 and I have messed with compression in every way but I still have to much ski pressure no matter what I do and it darts all over the trail. I am afraid to mess with the springs, because I cant find any info on the recommended ride Hight is for a xcr.

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  • July 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    If the design of these shocks is anything like a motocross, you actually tune the rebound first as there is always some compression free bleed pass the rebound needle. Meaning each time you adjust the rebound, you slightly soften/stiffen the compression a bit as well.

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  • July 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    But with bumps continously changing or not hitting the same bump in exactly the same place or soeed how can you ever hope to understand what to do? No wonder people get lost…..waaaay too many variables. Constantly changing variables. Even day to day co dirions change. The fact that ither sleds…..constantly changing the trails you ride on let alone the groomer how on earth are u to figure this out? I prefer the old days where all u had to worry about was wethwr u were bottoming out. Way to confusing and im pulling my hair out trying to wrap my head around it. Throw in a sore back into the mix and ya…..good freakin luck. I hate my suspension in my 06 apex gt…….can not figure it out. Almost makes me not want to ride any more.

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  • July 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    Thats all pretty good advice! Just should have made note that out on clickers is always faster or softer, and in is slower or stiffer.

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  • July 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    I get what you are saying, but how do i setup/test them if i ride mostly on powder? I have KYB -suspension, front and back.

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  • July 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    How do I adjust the front end width on my 2014 switchback assault ? thanks you . Jim .

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  • July 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    what if you have an old sled like me . I have a 1997 mxz 670 and i want to raise the front end

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  • July 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    Can you do a video on the lynx boondocker suspension setup ? pps skid, and kyb pro 40´s fronts

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  • July 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    U guys should do a set up tips on the 2015 Rush & Switchback, seems the book doesn't really give u a ride hight to start or maintain. Just gives u spring inches they want between the adj collar and shock base. Would help since i see a lot of guys over cranking spring to where its rubbing shock body and they say it rides like crap.

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  • July 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    I'm guessing on an older sled ie a zx chassis, you're just limited to spring rates, and can't adjust your shock settings?

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  • July 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    MY snowmobile suspension? GIMME BACK MY RIDE

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  • July 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    Almost every newbie that sets up suspension think the back bottoms at full hard, but its the center. It's very common around here!

    Just one thing i'd mentioned if i was to make this clip.

    Center is by far the most difficult damper to get good things out from if you don't have charts or some good knowledge since earlier.

    These new rider forward models realy do rely alot more on the center spring and damper imo.

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  • July 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    DAMN IT!!! i got second!

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