Yeah, we know some of the things we write seem a bit “off-the-wall” sometimes, but there’s more than a little truth to this rumor.
We’re very sure at least one OEM has been experimenting with a remote adjustable air suspension for the front shocks on prototype sleds.
Although remote adjustment isn’t a new thing in the industry (Ski-Doo has used an adjustable-from-the-handlebars setup on its touring sleds for years), it’s always been focused on improving the rear suspension ride and not the front.
These systems deliver an almost uncanny ability to smooth out bumps and make the riding experience better.
Usually an onboard pump is employed and a gauge is used on the dashboard to monitor settings depending on the terrain the sled is being ridden over or the weight of the passengers and cargo onboard.
The difference here is a very similar setup being used on the front end of, not a touring snowmobile, but a performance sled.
Apparently the upside is the immediacy of recalibrating the suspension to handle different types of terrain while you’re in motion.
You can literally be riding smooth trails in comfort one moment, hit a bunch of deep whoops and barely lift off the gas while adjusting for the rougher trail – everything controlled by your left thumb. Get past the rough section and go back to the softer, plusher setting again instantly.
Another twist to this type of adjustment is being able to sync the front and rear air suspensions simultaneously or separately with two different controls.
For cross-country style riders this would be a distinct advantage and the benefits of a fully adjustable on-the-fly front and rear suspension would more than offset the extra weight of the air pump.
Front air shocks are certainly not new-tech (both Cat & Yamaha offer them) but on-the-fly adjustability could be a really big deal.