now that you know the different adjustments, pay a visit to your service manual and start wrenching. dont be afraid to mess around with different settings.Dialing in your shocks
Today's shocks are adjustable so you can dial them in to perfectly suit your riding style and terrain. So load up your newly suspended ATV and head out to your favorite track or riding area for a couple of hours of testing and adjusting. Take your time and be sure to only change one setting at a time. Here's a handy explanation to improving your ride...
Preload is how stiff the spring is on the shock. At the top of the shock there are two nuts. The one at the bottom is the adjustment nut, while the one at the top is the jam-nut; it locks the adjustment nut in place. Tightening the adjustment nut will increase the preload, allowing for a stiffer ride. To provide a softer ride, back-off the adjustment nut up on the shock, thereby decreasing preload.
Compression damping is the amount of force the shock will absorb. A harder compression setting should be used to soak up landings from massive jumps, while softer compression should be used while riding over less aggressive terrain. The compression adjustment is on the gas remote reservoirs just turn the knob to the softer or harder position. Most shocks today have an 8-position adjustment knob. Position 1 is the softest, while position 8 is the hardest. In the event there is no indicator, unscrewing the dial will allow a softer compression, while screwing the dial in will make for a harder compression setting.
Rebound is how fast the shock returns to its original position after being compressed. For a riding area with lots of jumps or whoops in a row, a faster rebound should be used. A smooth riding area such as a TT track will allow the opposite. To adjust the rebound, look for an adjuster near the bottom of the shock. To adjust for a faster rebound simply unscrew the adjuster, to allow for a slower rebound, screw it in.
Tender Spring Crossover
The "tender spring" is the smaller, upper spring found on today's dual-rate shocks. The tender spring crossover height is the most significant handling change you can make using the shock's external adjustments. Increasing the tender spring crossover height makes the suspension stiffer. While decreasing it makes the suspension softer. The crossover height determines when the stiffer main spring takes over in the suspension range of motion. Remember, your suspension should bottom out at least once somewhere on the track to ensure that you are using all of the shock's available travel.