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 07-24-2005, 21:49 Post: 113864
brokenarrow



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I need a lesson on suspensions and reasons for this. I will start by saying I am NOT a mechanic, never was and never will be. After you read this you will see what I mean. I have a little Honda recon 250 2wd. At the time I bought it my kids were younger and I needed transportation. Hence a recon was a perfect choice. Small enough for the kids to learn on yet large enough to get me in and out of the woods. Actually, I have never got stuck and have gone thru as much as my bud on his 500 polarus 4x4. Only thing is clearance and deep snow that will stop her but in small muddy water holes it runs right thru! Anyway the jist of this post is not that.
I am looking into buying anouther wheeler so I can trail ride with one of the kids and (of course) one of the kids can take the recon.
My recon gives me a very rough ride. You feel every bump and I mean feel it.!!! Why is it that the larger wheelers I have drove are very smooth over bumps? I alwys thought it was the independent suspension? Am I correct? If so then why is it that when I look up Hondas and the recon has the same front suspension as the larger ones?
Have they changed since I bought mine or what?
Guess what I am asking is how big do I have to go to get a semi decent ride? I like the 350's and the 400's I really do not want anything larger if I can get a decent ride with a cheaper smaller one. I am a small guy and dont care to muscle the large bulky atv's around.
Thanks






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 07-25-2005, 09:33 Post: 113875
shinefeak

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Broken,
I have a Wolverine 350 and a Prairie 650. Although I am sure there are design differences between the two suspensions, I believe the primary difference in the plushness of the ride is the weight.
Even with the 650 ( a 600lb. machine), depending on surface and speed, the only way to not take the bumps is to get your butt out of the seat. You can then use your arms and legs to smooth things out.






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 07-25-2005, 17:54 Post: 113885
dsg

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 suspensions information needed

Brokenarrow, Check out the link below. It's a Honda with a smooth rideSmile

David






Link:   Honda Rincon 

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 07-26-2005, 13:11 Post: 113912
Iowafun

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There are multiple reasons for ride differences. I'll appologize now if I go long, I used to work on off-road vehicle suspensions as an engineer.

First things first, a bigger ATV is typically heavier. Force equals mass x acceleration. So the heavier the machine, the less influence a bump will have on it (everything else being equal). A sport type ATV will have springs and shock valving designed for a more aggressive rider which happens to be a bit on the stiff side to handle jumps, etc. A non-sport ATV will typically have a softer ride due to the focus being more on ride quality than sport.

Another thing to consider is that ATV's have the springs and shocks set for a typically sized rider. It may vary and I don't know what it is. But it probably is around 160-180 lbs. So if you are 130, the ride would feel stiffer because you have less mass impacting the suspension. If you are a lighter rider, you can test this by attaching a weight close to where you sit and going over bumps you are familiar with and see the difference.

Now for suspension types. An ATV with independant front and rear suspensions will typically be a softer ride than one with a swing-arm rear suspension. That way each wheel is move according to it's terrain and not transfering it too much to the other wheel.

Ok, nice info, but what can you do about all this?

First, some machines have adjustable spring preload. If yours does, reduce the spring preload to soften the ride. But if you do, jack up the machine when you are done adjusting so the suspension fully hangs down. You want to make sure the spring does not come unseated from it's holders. That would be bad!! Meaning, you go over a jump, suspension fully lowers, spring moves, you come back to the ground and bad things happen that cost you lots of money to fix.

Well, if you buy a machine, look into what options are available for it from your dealer. Some manufacturers offer optional springs for the suspension that can be weaker or stronger than the stock springs. This is one way to soften up the ride if it's too harsh. These options were intended for female riders as they tend to be significantly lighter than the target male. But lighter weight males can also benefit from the lighter springs.

Another option is adjustable shocks. I'd focus on the rear as that will have a big impact on your ride. Some manufacturers use adjustable or rebuildable shocks on the rear suspension. If your machine does come with adustable, you can dial down the shock valving so the ride becomes softer. Just be aware if you do, you are also more likely to bottom out the suspension. But it sounds like you are not that likely to jump it off a 5 ft ramp. If the shock is rebuildable, you can take it to a shop that does shock rework and they can take it apart and put softer shock valving in it. If you get the shock valving adjusted, describe what your problems are to the tech. For exaple, if it passes on a lot of groud vibration to your butt and that causes problems, he can adjust for that. Or if it's the big bump that jars you up bad, he can adjust for that. But the tech would need to know what is ailing you.

If the shocks are not rebuildable or adjustable, you may need to buy aftermarket as they are typically adjustable and rebuildable. Not a cheap option, but it may get you what you want especially if you plan on logging significant miles on the machine.






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 07-26-2005, 16:38 Post: 113925
brokenarrow



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dsg
Yes, I just heard that this is the only really smooth riding atv honda has out.
Shinefeak
How do you like your 650? A buddy has a prairie and loves it but has had it back in the shop twice under warrenty in a very short time frame but he say's he still loves it!
Iowafun
Thank you for a great explanation, with many ideas I would of never even thought of asking about!
Since all the hondas except for the rincon have a straight back axel I think (from your explanation) I am stuck with the ride you get with that form of rear end suspension? I want to stay with honda. My friend has a 500 sportsman. I love the ride it gives, smooth as a babies butt ,but! it has had many mechanical problems way earlier than it should have (imo).
Thanks for the answers from all of you!
Looks like I will be looking into a 350 4x4 es.






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 07-27-2005, 09:56 Post: 113956
shinefeak

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I love my 650. A lot of power, smooth ride. It is large machine and can take some effort to steer in 4 wheel, but in 2 wheel it has the power to break the rear free and turn on a dime.
Did have the 4/2 wheel actuator go after almost two years. Was replaced n/c under warranty. I thought the plastic should of held up better ( or maybe I just abused it clearing an acre with it before I wised up and got a tractor). Looking at the dealer I think they have improved the plastic for latter models
I would recommend this machine, but as with anything rider tastes matters, ride before you buy. I bought it new for $7k and bought the wolverine 350 for $2800. Aside from pure speed/towing capacity, I have 95-99% the fun riding the wolverine for a lot less money.
The Prairie is belt drive vs semi-auto for the wolverine. Both have +/-, it is great to trade off between and get a different ride depending on mood.
I am no suspension expert, but Iowafun's comment about having the the shocks adjusted for rider weight is a good one. From your first post I think looking in 400-500 class you could find something with enough mass to smooth out the bumps but still not be too big for your taste.






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 07-27-2005, 12:12 Post: 113962
Iowafun

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Brokenarrow - yes a solid rear axle swingarm style rear suspension may never be as plush as independant rear suspension, but you can make it better for you by messing with spring preload, spring rates and the shock. Look into what options are available for the machine you want. A new shock can be expensive, but if it means you aren't wiped out after riding for 2 hours and can walk the next day, it is probably worth it.

I'm not getting any younger and can better appreciate spending a bit to get better ride quality.






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 07-28-2005, 21:46 Post: 114038
brokenarrow



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WHEN would you think the dealerships would start running out of being able to get the year old models? Or even 2 year old ones?






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > All Terrain Vehicles Forum

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brokenarrow 3 | dsg 1 | Iowafun 2 | shinefeak 2 |




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