How to adjust SxS shocks on my Can-Am vehicle?

Shocks are the unsung heroes of maintaining traction on the road. No matter the weather or terrain you encounter along the way, shocks make sure you’re in good hands; they keep you comfortable during your ride and control how the vehicle interacts with the ground when you step on the brakes or take a curve. 

To maximize your comfort and handling, you’ll need to adjust your shocks depending on the situation. This article will run you through the basics of setting up your suspension for a safe, satisfying and thrilling ride.

When should I adjust my shocks?

There are almost as many reasons to adjust your shocks as there are types of riders. For instance, adding cargo, riding with a passenger, adopting a unique riding style and even certain types of terrain can all require adjustments.

Shock absorber settings

Modifying your shock absorber settings will affect your vehicle’s handling. Keep in mind that depending on the type of shock installed on your vehicle, some of the adjustments mentioned below may not be available to you.

Spring preload:

This setting determines your ride’s comfort level. A shorter spring will provide less suspension travel (for a firmer ride) while a longer spring will increase the suspension travel (for a smoother ride). This setting is determined by the vehicle’s payload, which includes occupants, cargo and accessories.

Compression damping:

This is the amount of force absorbed by a shock, which opposes the compression or “bump” movement of the suspension. Excessive compression force will make for a firmer ride and keep the suspension higher in its stroke on bumpy surfaces.

Rebound damping:

This is the force absorbed by a shock, which opposes the suspension’s extension. If there’s not enough rebound damping force, it will make for a “loose” ride and can even cause vehicle instability.

What is preload?

The preload setting determines spring length. A longer spring will react even when there’s less force applied by the road, making for a softer ride that’s great on bumpier terrain. If you increase preload, which shortens the spring, you’ll end up with a firmer ride. This works best for flatter surfaces to prevent body roll when going around corners, braking and accelerating. It also helps reduce excessive vehicle movement when the vehicle is carrying passengers and cargo.

How to adjust your SxS suspension

Let’s make it easy. Start by grabbing the adjustment tool provided in your side-by-side kit and reverting to factory settings. Look at your vehicle’s operator’s guide for the proper instructions.

Next up is the spring preload, which is responsible for the spring length. This is what determines how high the vehicle sits relative to the ground and the force required to make the spring compress. A shorter spring makes for a tighter, more aggressive feel, while a longer spring creates a smoother and softer feel.

Depending on the type of vehicle you drive, there are two ways to adjust your suspension: with a five-setting cam or a lock ring. On vehicles that use a lock ring, you can adjust your compression damping (three settings available) and rebound damping (12+ settings available).

Understanding your suspension settings

Oil shock:

This type of shock absorber uses a five-position cam to adjust the spring length. No other adjustments are possible.

HPG shock:

The high-pressure gas shock absorber offers riders a few different types of adjustments:

– Spring length and crossover adjustment using the lock ring
– Compression damping using the button control at the top of the shock (some shocks also have two specific adjustments, marked HIGH and LOW)
– Rebound damping using the adjuster at the bottom of the shock

WARNING: The left and right shock and damper adjustments for the front and rear suspension must always be set to the same setting. When they are uneven, they can cause poor handling and a loss of stability.

For more information on which type of shock absorber is installed on your vehicle and the associated factory settings, refer to the “Tune Your Ride” section of your operator’s guide.

If you have dampers installed: Turn the piece clockwise to increase the damping, and counterclockwise to decrease it.




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