Customizing a UTV is one of the best ways to increase your enjoyment. But keep in mind, your shocks are tuned based on original factory settings and how much your UTV weighs coming off the lot. We’ll provide better insight on how to get the best from your upgraded and personalized UTV.
Simple changes like increasing tire size, adding a cooler, speaker system or a roof rack means you’re changing how your UTV handles. Each UTV is also tuned with an average type of terrain in mind. If you’re like most UTV owners, average terrain isn’t your objective!
Wider UTVs are set up for open desert at high speeds and narrower UTVs are optimized for tighter trails, at low-to-medium speeds. After you’re done customizing, adjust your shocks to get the experience you want. Here are some basic recommendations to dial in your FOX shocks.
Adding weight requires suspension adjustments
When you add weight, it’ll cause your springs to compress more, which makes your UTV ride lower to the ground — and with a lower ride height, you’re more likely to scrape on rocks, struggle getting over obstacles, and lose traction in corners.
There are a few ways to fix this:
- If you’ve added quite a bit of weight, you’ll need to replace your springs for stronger ones;
- You should also increase preload (the amount of pressure exerted on the shock springs before the vehicle is placed on the ground). This setting is often adjustable by threaded collars on the shock body. Raising or lowering the preload collars will change the vehicle’s ride height, giving you more comfort and control in all situations;
- If you have a Dual Speed Compression adjuster, you can make low-and-high-speed adjustments. Add low-speed compression damping to control chassis movements while cornering, braking, and accelerating. And add high-speed compression damping to prevent bottoming out and also improve comfort during hard impacts and over high-frequency bumps.
Compression damping after customizing
By adding weight, your chassis will likely move during cornering, braking, and accelerating. And you may be prone to bottoming out during hard impacts like big rocks, jump landings and whoops. Fear not! This means you’ll want to slow down compression damping.
There are two types of adjusters your FOX-equipped UTV might have:
- In general, turning your compression adjuster clockwise will slow down damping;
- And if you have a Quick Switch 3 or Intelligent Quick Switch adjuster, use Mode 2 to add low-speed compression damping.
Again, this will control chassis movements while cornering, braking, and accelerating. As with most shock adjustments, don’t be afraid to try new settings and keep track of ones you’ve tried previously.
Like what you see? Check out all the FOX Academy videos for powered vehicles and mountain bikes here.