How Do I Adjust The New Polaris Rear Suspension?

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Dear Motorhead:

Just wanted to say I’m loving the mag this season and can’t wait for SnowTrax to return to TV.

Wondering if you have any good advice on suspension set up for a 2012 Switchback Pro R 800. I did the rider weight adjustment to the rear spring, but my concern is the front skid shock adjustment and front shock preloads.

I’m a little overwelmed with all the adjustments.

A big thanks for any and all advice.


Thanks for your email!

Here’s the deal. First – only worry about setting the rear end up precisely the way your manual instructs. Next, ride the sled and allow a few miles for the suspension pivot points to take a “set” – essentially break-in. This will remove any variables from “stiction” forces going forward.

Don’t mess with the front arm shock – period. This is pretty much a constant setup for a wide range of rider weights. However, the rear shock which you have already adjusted the spring preload on has a superb clicker for compression damping – use it a lot!

You should begin with it set at the softest position (#1). Ride the sled under varying conditions and don’t allow yourself to be fooled by early season riding which usually doesn’t involve harsh moguls. When you get into some gnarly bumps use the rear shock compression clicker to control ride quality and fend off bottoming.

It is always better to use oil rather than steel when adjusting for bumps. Literally – use the compression clicker before you go back and add spring preload. Up front you have the same versatility to set the sled up for bump compliance. Don’t mess with the spring preload up front until you rack up some miles.

Ride the sled and determine how it’s responding to impacts with your weight. If it feels too soft up front or the front is rolling over on initial entry into high speed turns try some compression damping first – don’t fiddle with the spring until you get the most out of the damping adjustment.

Your last tweak could be increasing or decreasing front IFS spring preload but I caution you to go very easy with preload up front.

The new Rush Pro-Ride IFS geometry is very forgiving and spring preload adjustments can do more to take away handling and ride quality than enhance it. Again, use oil, not steel.

Hope this helps!

Motorhead Mark

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