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· Super Moderator
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Adjusting suspension

**On the 700SE models front shocks the bottom screw is rebound and top screw is compression. Its the same on the rear shock.**

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"....
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.

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)

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.

· Registered
7 Posts
I don't claim to be a expert on suspension but I have spent hrs & hrs adjusting and testing and adjusting and testing, well you get the picture. I was like you at first and though, great all this adjustable suspension and where the hell do I start. I think there are a lot of riders that will tweak the adjusters a few times and call it good and I can understand that as it can be a pain in the a** to really take the time and dial the suspension in for your riding style because most of it is trial and error.
So I though I would list my settings below and a few thoughts on the subject. Of course there are some variables here as in how much do you weigh and where and what kind of riding do you do. I weigh 200 lbs and do mostly woods riding and hit the dunes a couple times a year and mabe jump on an MX track and play around some. If you weigh 125 lbs and ride mostly dunes well then I might be wasting your time. I'm sure everyone will not agree with what I have to say and thats alright. I'm just stating MY opinions and settings and if it helps someone out great.

First-- make sure your suspension is broken in, I think it takes at least 10 hrs (mabe more) to work everything in well. If you try to dial it in before then you are wasting your time as it WILL CHANGE
------ Set the sag on the rear shock at about 35% of its total travel. don't bother trying to set the sag on the front shocks but do loosen up the springs to about 3 turns back in from there max allowed length (see owners manual).
------- I have found the back end wants to pogo/hop bad, the rebound is set way to fast from the factory. Use the adjuster screw on the bottom of the rear shock and turn it all the way in then back it out about 6 clicks.This will give you a good starting place for the rebound adjustment. I run mine most of the time at 4 clicks out.
------- Rear compression damping--set to stiff from the factory---top of the rear shock adjustment, turn the adjuster screw all the way in then back out 18 clicks
------- Rule of thumb is--use all of your suspension travel. Its ok to bottom out your suspension occasionaly. That tells you that you are getting all the benifit of your suspension.
------- Front shock rebound setting----turn adjuster screw at bottom of shock all way in then back out 9 clicks.
------- Front shock compression damping---turn adjuster screw at top of shock all the way in then back out 14 to 16 clicks
-------High speed compression damping --- at this time I have them at the factory settings
hope this helps someone out.

347 Posts
was hoping some one my size & similar style would post there setting :thumb: i'm gonna try that, i'm to damn lazy for all that trial & error stuff :banana: thanks fdp :hail:
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