Dear Ralph: I have a 2004 MX Z REV 600 HO and I’m having a hard time turning it (steering effort). Is there something...

Dear Ralph:
I have a 2004 MX Z REV 600 HO and I’m having a hard time turning it (steering effort). Is there something I can do to take some ski pressure off, and if so, how?
Bob Graham

Absolutely. One result of moving the rider forward is having to deal with extra ski pressure, and excessive steering effort. There are many things that can be done to gain a more suitable balance with reduced steering effort. We will assume the handlebars turn easily with the skis off the ground (to eliminate any physical binding cause). We can use less aggressive carbide runners, change the type of skis, increase the preload on the center spring (of the rear suspension), decrease ski spring preload, and lengthen the limiter strap. These will all have the desired effect. I’d suggest starting out by adjusting the handlebars back slightly to pull your body weight back off the skis some, and set your ski springs to the lowest setting. Verify the center spring is high enough for your weight (per the set-up decal on the clutch cover) and even try one setting higher. Also, make sure the rear torsion springs are not set too high for your weight, this can also have a profound effect on steering effort.
I would reserve lengthening the limiter strap as a last resort, but this will definitely lighten the steering. This is where infinitely adjustable (threaded) limiter adjusters are so very handy, but most sleds have bolts and holes with rather large increments between each setting. Before we do that, if the above didn’t get you where you want to be, try a different carbide runner arrangement or a different set of skis. As the carbide runners wear on our Precision skis, we will install two new ones and rotate the rest; new runners on the outside edges, with the better of the four old ones on the inside edges and we discard the two in the worst condition (often the two left runners, being in Minnesota). Having two new runners and two old ones makes the skis less aggressive, with less steering effort. A different set of skis that has a keel curvature to the bottom or ones with shorter runners will reduce the steering effort also.
Somewhere in all of this you should be able to set most any sled to your liking in terms of steering effort, without taking away the responsive handling. This approach pretty much applies to most every sled. Another thing to keep in mind is what happens if there is excessive pressure at the rear of the skis. Watch carbide runner length behind the spindle, this can really make steering effort increase, as if for some reason the rubber blocks between the skis and spindles are pushing down on the rear of the skis you will see the same effect.

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