Dear Ralph: I read your magazine all the time and was wondering if you guys got any seat time on the Polaris 2012 Rush...

Dear Ralph:

I read your magazine all the time and was wondering if you guys got any seat time on the Polaris 2012 Rush Pro R. I own a Rush Pro R 600 and the front track shock stock from my dealer was set at 1 1/2” but the owner’s manual said it should be only 1”, then Polaris sent out an updated bulletin that said it should be 2”. With the crappy winter I only put 349 miles on it and did not get to make any adjustments on it but thought the ride was a bit on the rough side. So if you guys made adjustments (and kept records of them) could you tell me what settings you liked on the FTS and the rest of your findings for an all around good ride? I weigh 185 pounds and like to ride semi-aggressive. Thanks for your time and any info you can suggest.
Joe Heiser

From the October/November 2012 issue of SnowTech – published in September 2012

The Polaris RUSH features a progressive rate rear arm and it is uncoupled from the front arm. By virtue of having the coil-over spring directly on the rear track shock, they are going to have the same “progressive” rate. This makes it better suited for aggressive riding and is not going to be as supple as a cruiser suspension. It is designed to be a high-performance suspension and the RUSH seems to work fairly well in its performance window, but some riders have commented on it being somewhat stiff through the stutters when used for plain old trail riding. Being un-coupled means the front arm is not able to borrow rate from the rear so it will bottom more than on coupled suspensions, but being un-coupled also takes away the typical abrupt shift from compliant to stiff at the moment of coupling. If you keep the RUSH on its tail it works pretty good, but get into the bumps where the front arm is getting hammered and this is where you might find the need to crank up the front spring preload.

If you were riding with us I would first set the rear shock spring for your weight and to get the right amount of sag from the suspension when you sit on it and I’d set the remote reservoir clicker adjustment to the lowest setting, and work your way up on the clicker as needed. Most groomed trail riders will find the rear track shock valving to be on the firm side and will run the clickers down on the low end. For your weight of 185 pounds, the preload should be set lower than what the little gauge from Polaris would indicate, that has been our experience. Based on our experience we would set you for more like 160 pounds for starters and see what kind of sag and ride height we end up with.

Your question is more about the front track shock. This tends to be more of a handling adjustment and less of a ride quality adjustment, and the change from 1.5” to 2” is likely in response to bottoming of the front arm since the front arm is not coupled to the rear arm. It is acting all by itself and can not borrow spring and shock action from the rear arm during compression. The progressive rear arm lets you find the limits of the front arm. I believe a coupled arrangement is better for use on groomed trails to keep the skis on the ground and to control the rail angle through the bumps. When you want to get the skis up out of fresh snow then going uncoupled makes more sense. We also have a pretty good suspension question in the last issue’s Dear Ralph, I believe there will be more additional information that you should be able to use to help your reach your expectations as well.

Originally published in SnowTech Magazine’s October / November 2012 print version. SnowTech is published 5 times a year and is available as a subscription here, or available on your local newsstand.

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