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2021 T4 2015 KX450F
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
satv arched arms+2” lift+30” xtr 370’s

400lbs of gear and riders. Mostly easy trails but we occasionally like mud and mild technical
Stuff.

What should our stock fox shocks be set at until I decide to change them out?
 

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2017 Kawasaki teryx4 camo
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6 Posts
I have the same setup , I have 800 lbs of gear and riders doing the same type of riding your talking about, I set my preloads way up ( backed off toward the top) till just about bottoming out and use my shock clickers ( 3-5 clicks for me) to stiffen it up and slow the rate and chance of me bottoming out. That seams to be my fix until I order Elkas.
 

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2021 T4 2015 KX450F
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Awesome. Thanks for the help. I’m bouncing back and forth between Elkas or Bandits. Bandits are back in stock and we have a 4-yr-old so it’s more of a comfort upgrade vs anything else so not sure We want to wait on Elkas
 

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I know your pain on deciding, they both seem awesome. And I have two kids that fall asleep in the buggy on evening rides so I have to go slower do to them being thrashed around. Aftermarket shocks with the added lift is my next add on for sure!
 

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2016 Teryx2, 2011 Brute Force, 2008 Vulcan Classic 1500
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There are a few things you can do to improve your ride besides setting the shocks softer, raising the spring collars or purchasing new shocks that may be more cost effective in the short run. Replacing the shocks is expensive and the stock Fox shocks really aren't that bad if you correct some of the underlying issues.

Option 1) Lower your tire pressure. Softer tire = softer ride. The stock big horns never need more than 10psi, and can often be run lower. I run my 28" Rock-A-Billy tires at 7psi. You can safely go 8psi on the bighorns and this can make a big difference. I put my original Big Horns on my ATV and I run those at 4psi! (But thats a much lighter bike)

Option 2) From the factory, the a-arms are often tightened to the point of excess, causing the arms to bind and be difficult to move. You might consider loosening them up a bit, or better yet, invest in some good nylon bushings to replace the stock rubber. Let your existing setup work for you, instead of against you. Without this fix, your new shocks won't make much difference anyway. If you want to test this, jack up your bike, take the bottom of the shock loose and try to move the arms up and down by hand. You will quickly see what I am talking about.
 

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2021 T4 2015 KX450F
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I appreciate everybody’s input. I def see where the stock bushings are working against me. After installing everything I had to use a jack to get the A arms to move at all. That’s at factory torque specs. I’m interested in the shock therapy approach. First time looking into it. We put 75 miles on it this weekend after installing the upgrades. Way more capable machine but the ride is terrible. Gonna adjust for now and keep researching
 

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Here my opinion regarding my '15. Keep in mind that the shocks were supposedly revised in '16 and were a little smoother.
I installed a Highlifter lift kit and then reduced the preload in an attempt to make the shocks softer without losing a lot of ground clearance. To be honest I noticed very little difference in ride quality with doing this but did notice the loss of ground clearance. Rode with a guy that had a 2" lift and same size tires, but had more ground clearance and he did noticably better on some obstacles because of this. Also played around with the clickers on the shocks and never really noticed a huge difference.
Went with Bandit shocks and they greatly improved the ride. The shocks are longer than stock so got rid of the lift brackets also, and have the preload adjusted up so the rig now sits higher than stock shocks and the lift brackets. Rides much better than stock. A good comparison is my dad has a Polaris Ranger and previously I thought it rode a good bit smoother. Now with the Bandits I think the Teryx rides a good bit smoother than the Ranger. The added ground clearance now on the Teryx is nice, and overall I think the off-road performance is better. Part of it is when climbing rough hills or any other obstacle it keeps the tires on the ground more, versus bouncing around, plus I can simply hit stuff a little faster and still maintain control.
I'm not sure on the whole a-arms and being overtightened. From personal experience and watching the videos the amount of force required to move the a-arms really isn't that much. On mine the first time I unbolt the shocks the arms would fully move and droop on their own, and it didn't take that much force to grab them and move them up and down. On the YouTube videos a person grabs them and can move them by hand without a lot of effort, but then tries to say how rigid they are because they don't just flop around. The amount of force that can apply to the arms by hand is only a fraction of the force they see actually in use as a 1,500+ machine hits bumps at 30 mph! I mean come on, you are applying maybe 10-20 lbs. of force by hand to move the arms and people say that is causing an issue, but in reality it is seeing hundreds if not thousands of pounds of force when running and cycling on the machine. Another way to look at it is try to compress the shock by hand and see how far you get! Then compare it to how much force it requires to move the a-arm up and down with the shock unhooked.
 

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July 2021 TOTM Winner
2020 Teryx4, Twin 2003 Honda 400s, 2005 Yamaha Wolverine, 1996 LT80
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Brute Performance 2" lift and ride improvement kit does pretty well. The rear was sagging under heavy loads so recently added Bandit "improved rate" springs. Overall I think the setup rides pretty dang good and now with the new springs I'm maintaining a good ride height even when loaded. Also disconnected the sway bar as most of my riding is technical trails rather than ripping around. It flexes much better over bumps and is smoother.
 
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