— 12 ways to improve your UTV’s suspension —
Proper suspension setup is ever important in the off-road world, and your UTV is no exception. There are a handful of options for setting up your stock shocks, but it’s pretty hard to beat a brand-new pair of shocks built just for you! Most manufacturers fit their UTVs with shocks that only offer one compression adjustment, while shock suppliers offer DualSpeed Compression (DSC) adjustments plus rebound, and some offer true Dual-Rate Springs (DRS) with adjustable cross-over rings. Here are some of the best options for really improving the ride quality and handling of your ride.
BILSTEIN 8125 SERIES
Bilstein has been building championshipwinning off-road shocks for longer than you can imagine. Desert Molding Concepts, or “Desertcraft,” is distributing their latest 8125-series shock that has been developed and dialed in specifically for the RZR XP 1000 and XP Turbo. Bilstein’s shocks feature a patented “digressive” piston and valving design that is claimed to work competitively with the higherpriced and more complex internal bypass shocks on the market. The 8125 features aluminum bodies with a case-hardened piston and rod, and 5/8-inch spherical heim bearings for all-out strength. Sold as a complete kit, ready to go for any stock geometry XP 1000 or XP Turbo.
Contact: www.desertmoldingconceptsinc.com or call them at 760-955-1409
ELKA 2.5 STAGE 5
Elka’s latest 2.5inch Stage 5 shock was developed for more than two years and their answer to the full-race XP 1000, Wildcat and Maverick. The Stage 5 allows a less-restricted massive oil flow for arguably the smoothest-feeling shock ever made for a UTV. The Stage 5 is designed to provide a firm and planted feel without sacrificing bump absorption. The 2.5-inch Stage 5s feature high- and lowspeed compression adjusters, as well as externally adjustable rebound, spring preload and an adjustable cross-over ring.
Price: $1999 pair
ELKA 2.0 STAGE 5
The 2-inch Stage 5 shocks feature all the high-flow/ low-friction technology and hi/lo compression and rebound adjusters as the 2.5-inch, only in a slightly smaller 46mm body. These are ideal for the Maverick, XP 900, and many other performance UTV applications.
Price: $1349 pair
Contact: www.elkasuspension.com or call 800-557-0552
EXIT SHOCKS X2 SERIES
The X2-series shock by Exit is a 2-inch shock with high-flow pistons to keep them cool and consistent. The X2 features dual-rate springs, adjustable preload and piggyback reservoirs with 24-click compression and 30-click rebound adjusters.
Price: $2300 starting at for a set of 4
Contact: www.zbrozracing.com or call 435-753-7774
FOX SHOX PODIUM INTERNAL BYPASS
The Fox’s Internal Bypass shocks come in 3-inch for the rear and 2.5-inch for the front. They feature a dual-coilspring setup with DSC and adjustable spring crossovers. The shafts are 7/8inch made from hard-chrome-plated 17-4 H900 stainless steel, and the bodies are smooth-bore seamless alloy. The Internal Bypass series features seven compression stages and four rebound stages.
Price: $2197 (pair)
FOX 2.5 PODIUM RC2
The 2.5-inch Podium RC2 is available with a full-race setup that includes dual-coil springs, DSC adjustment and bottom-out control. The 2.5-inch body is Kashima-coated to eliminate contamination and friction. Along with DSC, they also feature a wide-range rebound adjuster and threaded spring preload and crossover.
Price: $3995 (set of four)
FOX 2.0 PODIUM QS3-R
The QS3-R is a 2-inch shock designed for the sport UTV crowd and tuned for trail and rock-crawling comfort. Its Quick Switch gives the user a lever to toggle between three soft, medium, hard compression adjustments, and it features the wide-range rebound adjuster and adjustable spring preload for further dialing-in ability. Like all Podium shocks, the 2-inch body is Kashima-coated for ultra-low friction.
Price: $1195 (set of two)
Contact: www.ridefox.com or call 800-369-7469
JRI SHOCKS ECX3
The 2.5-inch ECX3 is JRI’s most innovative and advanced shock for the UTV market. The three-way-adjustable ECX3 is aimed at the higher-horsepower, longer-travel performance UTVs with an unbelievable range of adjustment with high- and low-speed compression and rebound. JRi claims that, unlike an internal bypass-style setup, their valving allows you to change freely between tire sizes without negatively affecting suspension performance.
Price: $3299 set of 4 on sale now!
Contact: www.jrishocks.com or call 980-434-3056
KING IBP INTERNAL BYPASS
The King Internal Bypass shock offers precisely tunable, velocitysensitive and positionsensitive damping, as well as a hydraulic bump stop all in one shock. The IBP is built to the same standard as King’s top-ofthe-line Pure Race-series shocks, only combined into one single shock versus having a separate bypass and bump stop. The IBP is King’s answer to the race classes that limit you to one shock per corner, which is currently every UTV class.
A position-sensitive shock means that you can adjust for a softer, smoother ride at your initial ride height, and then have stiffer, adjustable valving in a bottom-out situation. The King IBP does this with a tapered metering rod that protrudes down from the center of the top cap, and as the shaft moves into the shock during the compression stroke, its opening is closed off by the tapered pin restricting and diverting the flow of fluid through the primary piston valving. This creates an infinitely adjustable compression damping and finally a suspension-arresting hydraulic bump stop. Available in 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 with remote or piggyback reservoirs
Price: $1400, 3.0; $1000, 2.5
KIng 2.0 DIRECT REPLACEMENT
Even at its simplest form, the non-adjustable King UTV shocks are built with the same high-quality materials and strict precision tolerances used in their Baja-winning Trophy Truck shocks. The King shocks are easily serviceable and can still be externally adjusted via nitrogen pressure and ride height.
Price: $840 pair starting
Contact: www.kingshocks.com or call 714-530-8702
KING 2.0 ADJUSTABLE DIRECT REPLACEMENT
The Adjustable King UTV shocks feature a wide-range compression adjuster that gives you 20 clicks to precisely adjust compression—from super soft to super firm—with just a twist of the knob. King Direct Replacement shocks are available for all popular UTV models in stock lengths, or with custom lengths and valving options.
Price: $999 pair starting
RADFLO DUAL-RATE SUSPENSION SYSTEM
The Radflo shocks are available in both 2-inch and 2.5inch bodies for most UTVs. They all feature a revolutionary velocity-sensitive valving that automatically adjusts to terrain. Twenty-three-setting adjustable reservoirs are available, and all Radflo shocks are valved specifically for the customer.
Price: $2260–$3760 (set of four)
Contact: www.radflo.com or call Jason at 714-965-7828
WALKER EVANS RACING VS2.FIVE
The newest 2.5-inch Velocity-series shocks have been developed specifically for the two-seat RZR XP 1000. The new VS2.FIVE features a stepped needle and a positioned piggyback or remote reservoir for more controlled resistance, higher bottoming resistance, and a smoother, more compliant ride in the choppy bumps. The stepped needle improves upon Walker Evans’ original Needle Valve technology shock with multiple stages of internal bypass for additional compression and rebound control. The VS2.FIVE is externally adjustable for high- and low-speed compression and ride height.
W.E.R. 2.0 & 2.5 NEEDLE SHOCKS
Available for XP 900s and Mavericks, these position-sensitive needle shocks allow for racestyle valving attributes without compromising low-speed handling. They also feature a 16-way compression-adjustable reservoir and 3/4-inch, micro-alloy steel, chrome-plated shock shafts.
Price: $676, 2.5; $577, 2.0
Contact: www.walkerevansracing.com or call 888-933-7223