How to Soften ATV Shocks

Shocks that reduce spring pressure to better handle terrains that you are driving over makes for a softer ride on your ATV.

By softening your ATV shocks, you get a much smoother and cushioned ride over rough terrain. Luckily, ATV suspension is quick and easy to adjust.

We should start with the basics, as getting to grips on what shocks do and how they work gives you good standing on how to soften them for your application.

atv riding in rocks.jpg

How Does ATV Suspension Work?

Your ATV shocks are housed between the chassis and wheel assembly. They consist of a spring and a shock absorber that combine to absorb impacts and keep the ATV as level as possible. Shock absorbers consist of oil filled tubes and a piston. With valves being used to control the velocity of this oil which moves through the piston.

What are Clickers?

To adjust your ATV shocks for a smooth ride, a Clicker is used. It’s a small adjuster that looks like a knob, nut or set screw is usually mounted on the top of the shock absorber. The clicker adjusts the speed rate of the oil in the shock. As the name suggests, it clicks when rotating.

What is Rebound and Compression?

Compression is the term used when your ATV shock pushes in after landing a jump or over bumpy surfaces. It affects the softness, with less of the terrain’s imperfections felt by the rider.

Rebound is the opposite and occurs after the compression stage to control the ATV stability. It’s not common for all ATVs to have a rebound adjuster if they do it’s located at the bottom of the shock.

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How to Soften Your ATV Shocks

Use Correct Tire Pressures

Ensure your tires have the correct pressure. It’s not possible to adjust them properly if they aren’t. Soft ATV suspension can be combined with lower recommended tire pressures for more cushioning.

Ride Height Adjustments

Adjust the threaded collar/ snail cam on your shocks for optimal ride height. This collar info is in your ATV owner’s manual. Use this as a basis for the suitable height range you want to stay within.

Lift your ATV from the ground and undo the locking collar on top. Here you can loosen your collar for a smoother ride. If your ATV has a snail cam, change to a lower setting here for a softer ride.

Clicker Adjustments (High and Low Speed)

Start with your high-speed adjuster if you have both high and low. If you have single adjusters as the high-speed adjuster too.

If suspension fails to bottom out when riding over jumps, the clickers need to go two notches counterclockwise for a soft ride. Test again with a jump and loosen until your stiffness feels right. After you feel comfortable, adjust it two clicks clockwise and you have a suitable setup.

For low-speed clickers, test over smoother terrain quickly. If the ride feels wayward, it’s too soft. To stiffen the ATV shocks, adjust your low-speed clicker clockwise a few turns.

Adjustment for Rebound

Noticing how your ATV settles over jumps. If it rebounds slowly, loosen the rebound, if quicker tighten the rebound. The bottom of the shock, rebound is best loose at the beginning (turn counterclockwise). Turn the other way to find the best ATV rebound.

Soft ATV setups keep you in the best comfort and are ideal for less bumpy terrains.

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