MX Z Adjustments

"Dear Ralph" December 27, 1996 0
Dear Ralph: I have a ’96 583 MX Z. It rides nice but it is quite tippy in the corners, especially if you have...

Dear Ralph:

I have a ’96 583 MX Z. It rides nice but it is quite tippy in the corners, especially if you have the front springs set heavy. I noticed that the swing arms have two mounting holes for the lower radius rods, the upper being the stock position. I have widened the ski stance out to 41.5″ and mounted the lower radius rods to the lowest hole to try to maintain the 0 degrees camber at stock stance. Then when the front is compressing it should get more negative camber thus helping to dig in, but in a minor corner 0 camber should help keep both skis on the ground. This sled was darting real bad, and I think the 0 camber should let it not hunt as much? Am I way out of line (or out of my mind)? Please reply –

Eric Enk

Yes and no. (What a politician!) The lower radius rod mounting hole on the trailing arms is primarily used by oval racers when they lower the front suspension, and should not be used for trail riding. Using this position is not necessary to get the camber to 0 degrees. This is easily accomplished by adjusting the ball joints on the end of the radius rods. True, adding negative camber will increase the “bite” of the wear bar during cornering because the weight shift in a corner is always to the outside, and the negative camber presents the wear bar at a more aggressive position for this weight shift. (Negative camber is when the top of the spindle is closer to the machine than the bottom of the spindle).

Trail riders usually set the camber at 0 degrees, while cross country riders may set it slightly negative (1-3 degrees) for better “bite”. You are correct in that 0 degrees camber is better for straight line tracking than negative camber, but ski alignment is the first place to look (set at 1/8″-1/4″ toe-out). As for keeping the skis on the ground, since you have already widened the stance I would try shortening the limiter strap, decrease the center shock preload, verify that the stabilizer bar moves freely, and possibly increase the diameter of the stabilizer bar.

We experimented with removing the stabilizer and increasing the front shock preload. This helped the skis to stay on the ground, but there was more body roll when cornering and the straight line ride quality was noticeably rougher.

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