Tippy Sled

"Dear Ralph" January 2, 2009 0
Dear Ralph: I’ve noticed in the past few years how you talk about the longer travel suspensions adding to the tippy handling. Like your...

Dear Ralph:
I’ve noticed in the past few years how you talk about the longer travel suspensions adding to the tippy handling. Like your old 1997 Yamaha SX700, lower to the ground and it corners like it is on rails. What can a guy do with a newer sled that sits taller with all of this suspension travel (too much for plain trail riding any way) to make it handle better?

Ron G.
Mequon, WI

There are a few things that you can do to combat the “extra” suspension travel found in most of the recent sleds if you prefer to have flatter cornering instead of enough travel to swallow bumps the size of a small shed. For starters, think “ride height”. Anything you can do to lower the ride height will help. We will usually run our front suspension shocks at their lightest spring setting for trail use. There are some good kits from AD Boivin that will relocate the shock mounts and lower the ride height on many sleds from the past few years as well. Making sure the rear suspension is set as light as possible will help some as well to bring the overall ride height down. Some riders have even went as far as relocating the rear suspension in the tunnel to bring the sled down some, but try this only if you know what you’re doing. Adjusting the limiter strap on the front arm of the rear suspension will also bring the sled down some, and add ski pressure, and this adjustment should be used by everyone on every sled to make it work the way they want it to. I much prefer the infinitely adjustable ones over the simple four holes in the strap arrangement. I’ll even drill some new in-between holes to get more adjustability.
The other approach you can take is to widen the front end, either through shock and arm/radius rod changes, or the easy way is to add a set of dual runner skis that place the runners on the outside edge of the skis. Think about it; instead of having your carbide in the middle of the ski, having one on the outside edge of each ski effectively increases your width by several inches. Get a set of Simmons skis and bolt them onto any sled that is tippy and you’ll marvel at the improvement this alone will afford. That’s why Simmons has defended their ski design so vigorously, they knew how well it worked.

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