Here’s a good one with plenty of potential in the snowmobile market – an electronically rider selectable suspension calibration with continuous damping control. Instead...

Here’s a good one with plenty of potential in the snowmobile market – an electronically rider selectable suspension calibration with continuous damping control. Instead of having to get off of your sled and make suspension changes, this system would allow the rider to input their changes electronically, which would make calibration changes on the fly.

Currently some snowmobiles include adjustable shock absorbers. These adjustments include spring preload, high and low speed compression damping and/or rebound damping. In order to make these adjustments, the vehicle is stopped and the operator makes an adjustment at each shock absorber location on the vehicle. A tool is often required for the adjustment.

polarispatent

From the September 2014 Issue of SnowTech Magazine (Aug 2014)

Some automobiles also include adjustable electric shocks along with sensors for active ride control systems. However, these systems are normally controlled by a computer and are focused on vehicle stability instead of ride comfort. The system Polaris has patented is for an improved suspension having continuous “on-the-go” damping control for shock absorbers and allows an operator to make real time “on-the-go” adjustments to the shocks to obtain the most comfortable ride for given terrain and payload scenarios.

The patent states the damping control system would include at least one adjustable shock absorber having an adjustable damping characteristic. The electronic shocks have a valve that controls the damping force of each shock. This valve may control compression damping only, rebound damping only, or a combination of compression and rebound damping.

The system also includes a controller coupled to each adjustable shock absorber valve to adjust the damping characteristic of each adjustable shock absorber, and a user interface coupled to the controller and accessible to a driver of the vehicle to permit manual adjustment of the damping characteristic during operation of the vehicle. Vehicle sensors may also be coupled to the controller to adjust the damping characteristic of the at least one adjustable shock absorber based on sensor output signals.

The controller can increase or decrease the damping of the shock absorbers based on user inputs received from an operator. Or, the controller can have several preset damping modes for selection by the operator. The controller may also be coupled to sensors on the suspension and chassis to provide an actively controlled damping system.

The system also includes a vehicle speed sensor, a steering sensor, an accelerometer, a brake sensor, a throttle position sensor, a wheel speed sensor and a gear selection sensor. The sensors have an output signal coupled to the controller. The controller uses the sensor output signals to adjust the damping characteristics of the adjustable shock absorber(s) based on driving conditions of the vehicle. Therefore, the system is semi-active and uses the manual user inputs from the user interface combined with vehicle sensors output signals to control the damping characteristics of the adjustable shock absorbers. For example, the controller may set a damping characteristic adjustment range for the shock absorber. The user interface then provides a manual adjustment of the damping characteristic within the damping characteristic adjustment range.

According to the patent the user interface provides several driving condition modes. Each driving condition mode has different damping characteristics based the type of trail on which the machine is expected to travel. The user input permits selection of one of the driving condition modes, and the controller automatically adjusts damping characteristics based upon the selected driving condition mode.

From the September 2014 Issue of SnowTech Magazine (Aug 2014)

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  • Alfred Zuehlke

    December 12, 2015 #1 Author

    I just reread the long term test report and noticed one of the crew is Karl Lueck, wondering if he is any relation to Larry Lueck. Rode with Larry afew times around Detroit Lakes area about 36 years ago, couldn`t catch him in the woods. If you don`t reply it`s okay, just curios. This was the only way I found to contact you. Thank You.

  • Alfred Zuehlke

    December 12, 2015 #2 Author

    Just wondering if Karl Lueck is any relation to Larry Lueck? Knew Larry about 36 years ago. Thank You.

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