The guys from Dirt Wheels and Race Tech take us through some basic suspension set up tips for sport quads.


While working with ATVs, what we're looking for is a ride height number. One of the ways we do that is we actually physically put the rider on the bike. Then what he will do is he will stand up on the foot pegs. We'll do the same thing like we do on a dirt bike, and we'll measure from the bottom of the frame to the ground with him standing on it.

The two places you want to take that measurement is you want to take that measurement right underneath the foot pegs, and you want to take the measurement right at the front motor mount, right where the chassis is still flat before it tips up. Once you've taken those two numbers, on a sport ATV that you are running motocross, we typically look for numbers right around 7.25 at the foot pegs, 7.5 at the front motor mount.

Some of the scenarios that we tend to see with ATVs is chatter in the front end, chatter in the rear end, lack of traction, divey front end. Those are most common scenarios. Fixing some of those scenarios, typically if you're having a chattery front end, small, hard-packed, slick condition, lack of traction, and a lot of chatter. Typically what we'll do is we'll either soften or more commonly just speed up the rebound on the front end.

As far as the rear end's concerned, same type of scenario. If you're exiting a corner, and you're hearing a lot of chatter, lack of traction, and you just can't get any drive, typically that's sign of slow rebound. The tires cannot reach the ground, so they just chatter. That's where you would actually speed up the rebound.

If you're coming into a corner where the rear end is light and you are getting chatter on deflection of small bumps, that's typically where you will also speed up the rebound, and you will also soften up the compression for that scenario. You want to keep the bike as soft as you possibly can. At the same time, you want to have bottom rear resistance. Those are some of the changes that you'll need to make.