Tuesday was finally the day of testing my new dual-rate springs, which I installed over the winter in hopes of getting the ride I have been wanting and needing.
It has been 5 long months since the last time running the UTV, and there has been a lot of changes that needed testing.
Getting ready for the first day out of the year is somewhat stressful for a number of reasons:
Is everything going to work that has been changed, upgraded, etc.?
Getting the trailer ready to go, including washing with aluminum conditioner, setting all tire pressures, including the spare tire, and checking tires for the condition. Then hooking up the truck and checking that all lights are working properly.
Are all the spares in the trailer and ready to go?
Set UTV tire pressures and shock settings for the start of the day.
Fuel up the UTV and truck with gasoline. I have always been one who likes to get prepared long before the day comes to go on the designated trip. I think this has come about because my dad was just the opposite! He got ready about 7:00 P.M. on Friday night, and we more than likely would leave at 10:30 that night. About 1:00 A.M., we would pull into where we were going.
My friend, Pat, and I were heading to the dunes together to test both of our UTVs. Pat’s Polaris had a lot more upgrades, so we were anxious to make sure both machines were in great shape and ready for the upcoming season. My other blog post explains my experience with the first dual-rate springs, and this was a complete change compared to that set-up.
After getting to the sand dunes, with only two other trailers in the whole parking lot at Sand Mountain in Utah, we get all our gear and helmets, radio checks, and we are off to the test.
Pat & I first talk about how we will ride close to the truck and get some hard runs up the mountain a few times, and then get out and check everything over on our UTV’s.
After a short time, we stop and get out of our UTV’s and check over both machines – everything looks great! No leaks, no vibrations, all is working properly.
Now it is time to ride to the backside of the sand dunes and give it some good runs. So, off we go ripping through the dunes. Immediately I have noticed a big horsepower gain in my Polaris XPT and it is strictly due to my new 15” Sandcraft 3-piece lightweight wheels and 32” Destroyer paddle tires. This felt like a big bonus because I knew my stock turbo had been over paddle tires before. I was hoping to float more on top of the sand, but wow what a difference!
Getting to the most important part was how the suspension felt. It was like night and day! My machine now soaks up the small chops easily, and the shock adjustments made the large g-outs no problem. I am confident to say my passengers won’t be getting hurt in my UTV this year.
Pat’s Polaris worked great on all the upgrades we did to his XPT, and we felt like it was a great testing day at the sand dunes, now, we both have a great starting point for all our shock and spring adjustments.
My shock settings started at 12 turns in front and rear. After running the new spring set-up, especially on the backside of the dunes where the transitions are abrupt and fast, I adjusted all the shocks 5 more turns in. Now they are all at 17 turns in from soft front and rear.
This will be my starting point when we are heading to the sand dunes again, and I will adjust according to passengers, and sand conditions, and what area of the dunes we are riding in.
I really have a blast running the sand dunes and can’t wait to get out and do it all over!
Until we ride again.
Owner of UTV Service specializing in shocks and suspension.
I have always loved making cars and now UTV’s run and handle there best. I do not believe in taking short cuts and when something comes along that does not fit my values I will not sell or back that product.
Business owner for over 35 years. 3-Time Nascar short track champion at our local race track Rocky Mountain Raceway in Salt Lake City, Utah
2017 Polaris XPT 2-Seat Turbo-Current
2015 Polaris XP1000 -Sold
2011 Polaris RZR 800- Sold