Driving off-road isn’t just about the best SXS accessories you can find or the techniques you use on how to conquer a steep climb. In the end, it’s all about the way you condition your car to conquer the beaten path. One important aspect of your vehicle is the suspension. When it comes to off-roading, you have to be familiar with these 5 concepts.
Anti-squat pertains to the transfer of vehicle weight when you accelerate or brake. The more anti-squat your suspension has, the more sensitive your vehicle is to throttle inputs. As an effect, the traction of the rear tires increase, because of the weight shift during acceleration. More anti-squat reduces your control over steering, though.
Camber means the vertical angle of your tires. The typical settings range between -2 to 0 degrees on both the front and rear tires. It’s never advisable to use a positive camber on tires. This is because a positive camber reduces steering control and tire traction.
Drivers have more flexibility with the caster, which is the king pin’s angle on the steering block. A negative caster (leaning towards the front) decreases stability while driving in a straight line. On the other hand, a positive caster improves straight line stability.
The ride height is all about the distance between the ground and your vehicle. This is important, because the ride height affects the weight transfer of your vehicle and its suitability to different terrain.
Your vehicle’s damping speed is highly dependent on the quality of your shock oil. The lighter the shock oil, the more traction it gives your vehicle. Heavy shock oil, on the other hand, makes vehicle jumps easier to do.
These are just five things you need to know about your off-road vehicle’s suspension. When you want to master the art of driving in rough terrain, you have to master these basics first.