What Type of Suspension is Best for ATV/UTV? | Hunt or Shred

One of the most essential components for a UTV or ATV rider is the suspension, which is why it’s critical to know which type of suspension is best.

ATVs and UTVs are typically equipped with either an independent suspension system or a solid rear axle-dependent suspension system. The independent rear suspension is the best option for both ATVs and UTVs because it provides more flexibility and balance when driving off-road.

The suspension system is used to provide stability and control over the ATV or UTV. This guide will provide a brief overview of the different types of suspensions that are available for ATVs/UTVs.

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What Type of Suspension is Best for ATV/UTV?

There are many different types of suspensions for ATVs and UTVs. These suspensions are designed to provide a more comfortable ride and to make it easier to go over rough terrain.

The suspension systems you choose will depend on the type of terrain you will be driving on, the weight of your vehicle, and how often you will be using it. With that being said, we can analyze the two primary suspension types.

This includes an independent suspension system and a solid rear axle or dependent suspension system. Let’s see which works best for ATVs and UTVs.

Independent Suspension System

An independent suspension system allows each wheel to work and function independently without support from the other wheels. This means the wheel can work on the same axle but move independently.

Typically, a traditional sport ATV will use an independent rear suspension because it allows tires to crawl over rugged terrain and handle bumps without losing balance. The same is also true for UTVs.

This suspension system is also easier to maneuver, especially for riders with less strength or flexibility. However, they are known to provide lower-weight support, so larger utility ATVs or UTVs may have a solid rear axle instead.

Used in ATVs and UTVs, independent suspension systems allow the vehicle to move on uneven ground without tipping over. The system comprises numerous components, including shock absorbers, springs, and a stabilizer bar.

Dependent Suspension System

A dependent suspension system has springs and shock absorbers that are connected between a frame member or axle, so they only allow one wheel at a time to move up or down relative to the other wheel.

This helps keep both the vehicle's wheels on the ground for traction but is less comfortable for passengers because it does not level out when going over bumps.

The beam or axle connects wheels together at the front and back. This eliminates independent movement for each wheel, but this suspension system provides better weight and towing capacity.

How Does The Suspension Work For ATV/UTV?

ATVs and UTVs are both off-road vehicles that use a suspension system to help them navigate uneven terrain. The suspension system helps the driver maintain control of their vehicle while driving on difficult terrain.

The suspension keeps the vehicle stable while absorbing bounces with springs and shocks. They can be adjusted based on rider height, so the compression is balanced enough to keep the ATV or UTV grounded.

Overall, an ATV or UTV suspension's primary objective is to smoothen the ride. The shock absorbers will make this possible, and the presence of oil eliminates too much compression, so the springs and shocks function properly.

Shock absorbers are responsible for reducing vibrations. The springs support the vehicle's weight and keep it level on uneven terrain. Struts keep the body from bouncing excessively while driving over bumps or uneven terrain.

When compression is controlled, there is no extra bouncing while driving over bumps, hills, or rocks. This is why an ATV or UTV is much less comfortable to ride if the springs or shocks are old and worn.

Types Of Suspensions Used For ATVs And UTVs

The suspension system is a key component of the mobility of an ATV or UTV. It is responsible for providing the vehicle with stability and control when traveling over uneven terrain.

ATVs and UTVs are usually driven over rough terrain, which makes their suspension wear out faster. The tires also wear out quickly on these vehicles, which means that the suspension has to work harder to keep the vehicle up.

The average UTV and ATV suspension is typically made up of springs, shocks, and struts. Some of the suspension types include the following.

Standard Non-Adjustable Shocks

This is the most common shock and suspension on most ATVs and UTVs. While it does lack adjustability, it has stronger springs to deal with bumps and vibrations.

Preload Adjustable Shocks

This suspension type is for beginner ATVs and smaller UTVs. They have preload settings with a locking mechanism that allows the suspension to operate more consistently.

Fully Adjustable Piggyback Reservoir Shocks

This is an advanced suspension type with adjustable shocks. They are typically on much newer and premium-priced sport ATVs and some sport UTVs too.

Do ATVs And UTVs Use Different Suspensions?

Suspension is a critical component of an ATV or UTV. It provides the balance and control that is needed for the vehicle to operate safely and effectively.

The suspension system also helps with traction, which is crucial when driving on uneven terrain or over rough roads. But how does an ATV suspension compare with a UTV suspension?

ATVs and UTVs are versatile, off-road vehicles with four wheels and a seat. They are designed to carry a driver and one or two passengers.

The main difference between the two is that UTVs are designed for carrying cargo in addition to passengers, so they have a box behind the seat which can be used for storage of goods or equipment.

However, the suspension designs are similar and will provide plenty of shock absorption and compression resistance.

How Long Does An ATV/UTV Suspension Last?

On average, an ATV or UTV suspension will last 20,000 to 30,000 miles or about five years.

An ATV has a suspension that is made of springs, shock absorbers, and other components. The suspension is the component that allows the vehicle to move smoothly over rough terrain.

The lifespan of an ATV/UTV suspension will depend on many factors, such as how often it is used, what type of terrain it is used on, how much weight it carries, and how well the vehicle is maintained.

The suspension on an ATV is more like that of a car. It provides more stability and comfort for long rides and makes handling difficult in rough terrain or off-road situations.

The suspension on a UTV is more like that of a sport bike or dirt bike. It provides less stability than an ATV, but it can handle rough terrain better because it has less contact with the ground.

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Key Takeaways

  • The two primary types of suspension used on an ATV or UTV are an independent suspension system and a solid rear axle-dependent suspension system.
  • On average, an ATV/UTV suspension will last for five years or between 20,000 to 30,000 miles depending on how the vehicle is used.
  • The suspension for these vehicles works by using springs and shocks to absorb bumps for a smoother riding experience.




41 years old. I'm a freelance writer that specializes in informational blog posts. All my articles are detail oriented and well researched. I'm a huge Arizona Cardinals fan!

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