Hardcore Sledder banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As a owner of a ZL with the Smart Ride (SS) Suspension...Do you think that it actually makes a difference ?
Thanks for your info .....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
949 Posts
Yeah, it makes a huge difference. I bottom out on my SS over everything, but I don't bottom out on anything when I ride a friend's ZR. It's WAY too soft. I can't possibly imagine how all the magazines and Cat could say that with the valve closed the smartride setup is stiffer than a ZR. Hopefully new springs will fix my problem, but I'm expecting that I'll be ripping out that smartride crap and replacing it with some fox shocks soon. <_<
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I have a 2002 SS 600. Of course it will bottom out on huge bumps. Normally, a suspension will bottom on occasion. This means you are using the full range of your suspension, which is what you want. I am in my second season of my SS and the suspension is excellent. It works exactly the way it should for its intended purpose. This is a sport trail sled, not a mogul basher, and it treats my back just fine. I have owned boths ZRs and this ZL SS, and I will tell you this suspension is better for most normal riding.

It should be remembered that this is not a ZR and never was intended to be. The gentlemen who wants to put fox shocks in his SS should have bought a ZR in the first place. The SS will cover a wider range of riding conditions than the ZR will. It just isn't designed to to to the extreme like the ZR. Arctic Cat explained all this when they unveiled the sled.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
25,555 Posts
I am the wife of red patriot, and I own a ZL SS 600. I cannot believe how nice the suspension is! I come back with no backaches- it only bottoms out on the large bumps. I can easily cruise along 50-60 on stutter bumps, and not feel it. I rode my friends ZR and could only go 30- 40 on it, without my back killing me. If you hqave any questions, feel free to ask!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
949 Posts
Originally posted by 600ss@Jan 23 2003, 04:44 PM
The gentlemen who wants to put fox shocks in his SS should have bought a ZR in the first place. .
You're damn right I should have bought a ZR. Buying the ZL SS was a huge mistake. I do nothing but trail riding. I don't go ditch banging, and I'm no Tucker Hibbert. All I ride is groomed trails... and I still bottom all day long. Everything from CAT said that it rides soft until the Smartride reacts and closes the valve in the shock... then it's supposed to be even stiffer than a ZR. If that's the case I'd never bottom it. I've never bottommed a ZR sled... ever. I ride agressively, but it's all on groomed trails.

Maybe I'll be singing a different tune when I get the stiffer springs on there. At least I hope so.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
You really need to check the suspension and all the electrical connections. Had a friend that had the same complaints and they found the main lead was not connected to the computer.
I have a 03 ZL SS and could not be happier. Sweet ride and awsome engine lets me go 200 miles without fatigue or pain.
Check your sled closely or have your dealer check it out, and I think you will find the "Smart" in your Suspension is not hooked up.
B)
 
B

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
I Love mine, but I had to upgrade the springs because it was always bottoming out. The shocks have nothing to do with bottoming out, thats the springs job. The shocks control the "bounce". I am 240 without gear, so with leathers, I am sure I am pushing (or over) 270. Basically how much does the machine settle when you sit on it? It shouldn't go down (from resting position) when you sit on it by more than about 4 inches, measured by the snowflap. Does your snowflap always drag on the snow? (Mine did) It dosent anymore. I have to come down pretty hard to bottom out now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
949 Posts
Shocks have plenty to do with bottoming out. If you don't believe me, pull the shocks out of your car and go for a ride. In addition to bouncing all over the place, you'll bottom out plenty. Shocks provide resistance to a sudden change in momentum, such as the compression due to hitting a bump. If you have a stiffer shock, it'll provide more resistance to motion. More resistance means less suspension travel. That's the whole point. If the only job a shock did was prevent the suspension from oscillating, there would be no need for the smartride suspension. The shock would simply be valved to match the spring rate sufficiently enough to prevent oscillations.

But anyway... I had quite a startling situation this weekend. About 20 miles into my ride, all of a sudden my suspension firmed up and I stopped bottoming constantly. I think that I may have felt my smartride actually work for the first time in the 1,000 miles that I've put on the sled. The dealer said that they fixed a faulty wiring harness at the beginning of the season, but I suspect that something still wasn't making contact. For a good portion of my ride, my sled handled the bumps beautifully. The point is... I think there's a short somewhere in the wiring that's now causing the smartride to work intermittantly.

I had no idea the smartride wasn't working until it actually started to work. The first 1,000 miles on this sled absolutely sucked, but this weekend I had a nice handling sled for a little while. This week when I put my new springs in, I'm going to go over all of the wiring with a fine toothed comb and with any luck I'll uncover some sort of obvious problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Jim, there has to be something wrong with your suspension.....mine is a 02 and works great. How much do you weigh?? You may need the stiffer springs. I weigh about 170 and had the springs set on the middle position for the 1st 1000 miles. It rode fantastic unless I hit a "g-out" type bump (those slower hits like coming to the bottom of a hill), where it would bottom out. I believe the shocks react to shaft speed and close the valve when it senses a big hit. If the hit does not create enough shaft speed to close the valve (like a g-out hit), the valve will not close and it will bottom.....at least thats what it feels like to me.

As far as groomed trail performance.....the wife has a std ZL I use for comparison......we would switch off frequently to compare the ride in different conditions. I could not believe how the smart ride would smooth out the typical trail chop or stutter bumps compared with the std zl......my only complaint was the g-out stuff. This season, the trails locally have been real rough....so I set the rear springs to the stiffest setting....all I can say is, that is where they will stay! This thing handles anything I can throw at it now and takes the stutters almost as well as before. I love this sled!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,141 Posts
The SS shocks can and must be serviced just like other ACT shocks. At that time the valve stacks can be changed to improve/increase the compression and rebound damping rates. Then install some stronger springs (all AC's seem to be sprung for 150 pound riders lately) and you should have a nice set-up.
Good Luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
949 Posts
Ron... I realize that there's something wrong with it. That became apparent when it suddenly stiffened up over the weekend. I also realize that I need stiffer springs. I ordered springs last week and I'm waiting for them to come in. While I've got the sled inside to change the springs, I'm going to go over the wiring with a fine toothed comb and make sure that it's making solid connection.

I just love the idea that for the first 14 months I had a sled that didn't work, and now I'm fixing it myself instead of the dealer getting it right. :blink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
I agree.....that sucks!

Whats puzzling to me is that the default (no power) condition for the shocks is supposed to be closed or stiff. If your shocks were always soft before, that means they had to be getting consistent power and there was a problem with the internal electronics???

Good luck.......I think once you do get that thing fixed and install the stiffer springs, you will love it!

Ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
949 Posts
I was told (by more than one person) that the shock defaulted to the soft setting when not powered, which makes sense considering how incredibly soft my sled is when it's not running. I can easily compress the hell out of the suspension when the sled isn't on. If it gets fully stiff when it's not getting power, I'll just unplug the smartride and be done with it. ;)

Hopefully I'll get to learn a little bit about it this week when I screw around with it. Now that I'm out of warranty and the POS hasn't worked anyway, I'm going to forget about my hands-off philosophy and dive head first into this sled and learn what it's all about. There's not much I don't understand about cars (except maybe the valve body of a 700R4), and sleds aren't half as complex as cars. It's just a matter of learning what's there.

Which brings up another question... is there any *good* information available about these shocks, like the electrical schematics or maybe an in-depth analysis of the control module?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Jim,

Glad to hear your shocks came to life! You had me worried about my new sled.

In preparation for last weekends trip, I maxed my spring preload L3/R3. It still bottomed on huge compression bumps, but seemed too stiff for everything else. I also got lots of pogo action (I'm 195 without gear.) With the saturday crowd trashing the trails, I ended up lowering the tension to L1/R3 and found it got alot more comfortable on the washboard bumps. It didn't seem to bottom any more than the stiffest setting did.

On the next trip, I'm going to try and test different settings over the same section of bumps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I've got a 2002 zlss800 . I have found that l1-r2 works the best and I'm 200LBS . Though my dealer put heavier oil in the shocks . He also installed a lenco cross shaft and removed the coupling blocks . The cross shaft increases the rear travel to 16.5" . It rids pretty good now . Dealer said SS models rode better if you hug the tank . I'm 6'1". Tall people had problems . I do find even now on certain conditions hugging the tank makes it work better . Sled works pretty good with this setup . :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Originally posted by ptzrt@Jan 28 2003, 07:55 PM
....He also installed a lenco cross shaft and removed the coupling blocks . The cross shaft increases the rear travel to 16.5"....
I'm with you on hugging the tank, it seems to help on stutter bumps taller than 6 inches. anything less, and sitting toward the back helps.

Where does the lenco mount? Does it replace something? Did removing the coupling blocks help you hook up better? I can't get my 600 to hook up off of the line. (I've got 120 woodys 1.375" gold diggers.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
The lenco cross shaft replaces plain shaft in front of rear scissors. I have not had any problem hooking up and doe's not lift skies . Also lenco shaft is adjustable. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,846 Posts
Originally posted by ptzrt@Jan 28 2003, 07:55 PM
The cross shaft increases the rear travel to 16.5" .
It does not increase travel to 16.5". It allows the rear bumper to move over a stroke that is 16.5" top to bottom, but the travel of the suspension is limited by the length and stroke of the shock. I'm sorry, but that Lennco part is a gimmick and does nothing for performance.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top