What Is FOX Live Valve?

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Live Valve is one small step for shocks, and one giant leap for suspension system technology.

Live Valve is our most advanced electronically-controlled suspension system for UTVs, trucks, and mountain bikes. When we say, electronically-controlled, we don’t just mean you control it through a remote (although you can still select modes on UTVs and bikes). We mean the Live Valve system does the work for you in real time. 

How would you experience Live Valve in a UTV? Check out this video with our Director of Powersports Engineering, Grant Skognes.

// ridefox.com/livevalveutv

On UTVs and the Ford Raptor, Live Valve uses four sensors (inertial, steering, braking, and acceleration) to gather data and determine what the best shock setting is for that moment in time. The Live Valve system then simultaneously adjusts shocks within hundredths of a second so that you can have the most ideal shock setting multiple times per second.

But before you think, “Hey, I don’t want all my shocks to have the same setting!” Let’s talk about how this happens in context. 

Imagine a mixed sand and gravel flat right handed turn nestled between two red rock faces. Up ahead is a river crossing. You’ve been rallying through the trail, your dust cloud never far behind you. See it? Good. You enter the right hand turn in your UTV and as soon as you turn:

  1. Braking sensor: records brakes being released (because like a good driver you try not to turn and brake at the same time)
  2. Steering sensor: records the angle change of the steering wheel, rotating right
  3. Inertial sensor: records vehicle body roll slightly to the left
  4. Acceleration sensor: records 60% throttle

With all these data inputs at this moment in time, the Live Valve system knows you’re turning to the right. So it sends out settings to each shock at the same time, but each shock gets different settings. In this scenario, the Live Valve system would tell the left front shock to firm up for stability and to prevent body roll, but have the right front shock be more open and comfortable for traction. It would be similar for the rear shocks where the left would be firmer than the right, but both would be a little firmer than the two front shocks because you’re accelerating and need the support to prevent back end squat.

But keep this in mind: that is one 0.030 second instance of the Live Valve system gathering data and sending shock adjustments. How many of those instances would you have in a minute? In an hour? In an entire drive or ride?

// ridefox.com/fordraptorlivevalve

Do you still find yourself wondering what’s going on inside the shock when all this is happening? Check out this video below.

Now on the mountain bike side, Live Valve functions similarly, but has three sensors: one on the fork, one on the rear axle, and a third gyroscopic sensor in the control unit. If you’re interested in learning more about how this functions on a ride, here’s a video.

// ridefox.com/livevalvebike

Before Live Valve, every shock system made by FOX was considered “modal.” There are various types of modal shock systems: GRIP2 forks and X2 shocks with four ways of adjustability; FIT4 forks and DPX2 shocks with three positions and a LSC adjustment; iQS UTV application with three modes adjustable via an electronically-controlled switch; and the list goes on.

There are two key aspects to a “modal” shock system:

  1. It has a select number of settings. For instance, eight clicks of the high-speed compression adjustment on a GRIP2 damper or four modes on the iQS snowmobile application.
  2. Arguably more important, a modal shock system is selected by the user. Unless you choose to make an adjustment, the shock stays in the same setting it was placed in.

This is why we keep talking about the thousands of data points the Live Valve system analyzes. Why we keep mentioning how shocks are adjusted according to the complex interpretation of these data points within 0.030 of a second. Why we keep talking about shocks being adjusted simultaneously and independently. 

As Mike Kim, one of our top race tuners says, “Live Valve gives you the team of little shock tuning minions, always working to give you the best setting, even multiple times a second.” It gives you the ride you’ve always wanted — and even everything you didn’t know you wanted. 

Did we already mention it does all this better than anything before it and faster than the blink of an eye?

Like what you see? Check out all the FOX Academy videos for powered vehicles and mountain bikes here.