Kawasaki Front Suspension

What You Need To Know About Your ATVs Shocks and Suspension

I can’t stand shitty suspension on my ATVs since it effects so many aspects of the ride including ride quality, handling, stability and the overall aesthetics.

The good news is – like any mechanical device – the shocks and suspension on an ATV can be improved!

So with that in mind, I wanted to share my insights on shock improvements you can make that get you the most back for your buck…

PLEASE NOTE:   Before making any changes it is absolutely vital to remember that the shocks and suspension form a very important part of the ATV and any modification or replacement should be done in such a way that it does not compromise with the integrity and safety of the ATV.

A broken suspension or shocks on an ATV can turn deadly quite easily.

Always seek the help of a professional so that all changes that are made enhance the capabilities of the ATV instead of turning it into a deathtrap.

Aftermarket shocks or mod of stock shocks?

Once you have figured out that your ATV needs an upgraded suspension, the next important question facing you would be whether to go for a complete replacement or a simple reworking of the stock shocks.

If going for after-market shocks the keep a few things in mind:

  • You get what you pay for, and depending on what you’re looking for, you may need good ones to make a noticeable difference.
  • Choose a reputed brand
  • If possible, try it out beforehand

Modding Your Stock Shocks

If you do not have the cash to splurge on an aftermarket replacement, don’t worry. You can take the cheaper yet still quite effective way of reworking the stock shocks that are already there on the ATV.

Most modern ATVs come with shocks and suspensions that have plenty of things on them that you can modify.

From the reservoirs to the compression and rebound rates, everything can be altered. The default settings can feel like you are riding on pogo sticks and this can be modified to enhance the characteristic that you want the most in your ATV such as feedback or stability or a host of other things.

Again, the important thing is to have whatever changes you need done by an expert who knows what they are doing. Look up for great companies on your local forums.

Are A-arms worth the price?

If you’ve been riding a while, you may have heard the term “A-Arms” (aka Double Wishbone suspensions), which are high performance shocks that can be fine-tuned by the rider to dial in the rigidity of the suspension at each wheel.

Generally-speaking descent A-arms can get very expensive and are not really intended for the everyday rider. A-arms are specifically meant for racing enthusiasts who want to take part in competitive ATV racing.

They are not meant for people who want to do some rough riding including getting big air often and for those looking to improve handling. You are better off going with reworking your stock shocks or looking for some other type of aftermarket replacement that comes from a reputable brand and is meant for the aggressive riders.

An A-arm should not be bought lightly as they can lead to a lot of headaches for ATV owners it is not meant for. Also keep in mind that all replacement should be carried out by qualified personnel only.

How to proceed further:

 ATV shocks aren’t something that can be just bolted on to the ATV and expected to work flawlessly right away. In fact, in most cases you will feel that the ATV has become worse.

As long as you have gone for a reputed brand or reworked the suspension by employing an expert, you are on the right track. Just keep riding the ATV and testing it to see what needs to change and get the setup altered accordingly.

Be very precise with your feedback so that the suspension can beset up just right with the least amount of hassle.

It sure is a long and slightly complicated road to getting better shocks or suspension for your ATV but at the end of the day, it is well worth the effort.

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About the Author

Fred Willlett

Fred is an off road junky from Memphis who, from the best of his recollection, was born on back of an ATV riding the trail north of Hotsprings, Arkansas. In addition for writing for a couple other ATV blogs including this one, Fred spends whatever money & time visiting Offroad hotspots throughout North America.

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