That’s right, a plastic rear suspension from AD Boivin, makers of the SnowHawk “snow bike” and the Expert X rear suspension. Called the ZX2, the rails and swingarms are all made of a plastic composite material, said to be very robust, very durable and free of “weldings”.
The swingarms and wheels (including four 8 in. (200 mm) wheels on the rear axle) are made from UHMW polyethylene (just like plastic skis), and the rails are made from a very special UHMW composite, with both plastics coming from PPD in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
AD Boivin also indicates the composite construction acts much like a plastic ski in that it has the unique ability to absorb vibrations and improve the ride experience. The composite is also permitting a certain flex on bigger bumps and turns, helping eliminate bad feedbacks to the rider.
Available in five different colors (black, yellow, red, blue and green), the ZX2 will certainly provide a unique and modern look to your sled. Depending on its length, the weight (ready to install) varies between 53 and 56 pounds, which represents a weight saving up to 20 pounds for certain models, and is said to be the lightest aftermarket snowmobile suspension available. It is also claimed to have 50% fewer parts than any other suspension on the market. While AD Boivin’s Expert suspension has 152 parts, there are only 51 parts on the ZX2. Of those 51 parts, 12 are identical bolts.
SnowTech test riders have not been given the chance to ride this latest version of the composite rear suspension, but did evaluate an early prototype several years ago. Denis Boivin came up with the idea back in 1998 and has been working on it, on and off, ever since.
Of interest is the fact this is a two-arm suspension, not a single swing arm like the Expert and Expert X suspension. Curiously, both of the shocks are located side-by-side on the rear arm, with no shock at all on the front arm! This arrangement is likely to afford a great amount of ride quality, with the front arm linked to the rear arm (coupled) to keep it from bottoming harshly. There is, however, a limiter strap on the front arm.
One unique feature is the “Revolver” quick-adjust system, which allows you to quickly and easily change the shock leverage ratio for weight transfer and ride comfort adjustments. The plate at the rear of the suspension has five holes and two pins. Two of the holes are for a weight transfer adjustment; the other three vary the moment of “coupling” between the front and rear swing arms.
Spring preload on the two rear shocks is adjusted using an included wrench in the openings on each rail to reach the preload ring (7 positions) of the springs.
The ZX2 includes two KYB shock absorbers that have a positive sensitive system called “G-Force” technology. This custom valving provides a real dual-behavior to offer comfort for the majority of the ride and an anti-bottoming zone for more security and to suit aggressive rider needs. The first 75% of the shock stroke is comfy, with the remaining 25% of the stroke reserved for anti-bottoming.
AD Boivin also indicates the ZX2 does not require lubrication (grease) like other suspensions, as the composite material has the unique ability to lubricate itself. Another slick feature is that snow won’t stick to or build-up on the composite parts, either.
Pricing for the composite ZX2 starts at $1,199 for a black 121â€ version, and $50 more for colored ones. The pricing goes up for the longer-track suspensions, to $1,349 for black and $1,399 for colored, all the way up to 162″ mountain sleds. You also have to buy the appropriate mounting kit that fits your model, or buy the universal kit at $149. For more details go to adboivin.com.