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Discussion Starter #22
Where you at in WV Hillbelly? My friends and I are thinking about planning a trip to one of the Hatfield and McCoy trails. Have you ridden any of them and if so do you recommend any certain one? We're thinking a long weekend.
Thanks.
I’m in Morgantown but I ride the Hatfield and McCoy trails often. You really can’t go wrong with any of the trails. If I have to pick one as my favorite it’s probably bear wallow because I like the town and the trails they also have hotels and plenty of lodging. The only downside to bear wallow is it is not connected to any other systems but it is reasonably close to trailer to the others.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I ordered my Elka Stage 3s in July and had them delivered earlier this week. I live in New Zealand. They're fitted to a 2012 750, and I also own a 2017 750 for a direct back to back comparison. I'm 85kg (that's about 190lb for those of you in the 18th century), and I had them set up for trail riding.

When you get them you have to set the preload to set the ride height correctly, which I did.

I was expecting the King to ride more like the 2016 Outlander 650 that I also own, which just soaks up the smaller bumps. I've been on two rides so far on the Elkas, and both times I came home after 90 minutes or less after serious back pain.

These things are ****. They're absolutely rock hard, harder than my 2011 YFZ450R. It's like they're setup for MX, or they used concrete instead of oil in them accidentally. With all of my weight pressing down on the rear of the quads, I can compress stock by about 12cm. With the Elkas, I'm lucky if I can compress them 4cm, so I think the springs are far too highly rated or the shock oil is far too highly pressurised.

I ordered them though iShock in Los Angeles because Elka don't ship to NZ when ordering online, and Elka didn't reply to any of my emails or website messages when I tried to contact them about NZ shipping (should have been a warning sign). iShock is run by a bloke called Darren McGarvie who has been very helpful so far, and given me suggestions like increasing the ride height and setting the compression harder to make the ride softer - the theory being to reduce the travel to harder parts of the shock. It didn't work, in fact I think it made it worse (though that could just be my back saying "PLEASE STOP THIS MADNESS" - for context, I'm 31 years old with no back problems (until maybe now)). You can't set high speed compression on Stage 3s, which is where the main issues are occurring.

I was also told by iShock that the shocks need to be "broken in", which I suspect is total nonsense, but I'll try it anyway. It sounds like something you tell somebody when you want them to go away for a while and get used to the crap they've been given so that the shocks "feel" better over time. Since I own two Kings, that's going to be impossible, because I can compare them within seconds of each other on the exact same dirt.

I'll keep you guys posted on how things progress with iShock and Elka, but I would totally recommend that you hold onto your money for now. The stock shocks are better in every way in my opinion.

And to clarify, iShock have been generally great since before I ordered the shocks and have given some good advice. Very communacative post ordering with email updates each week on how far out the orders are, and Darren has been trying to help me set them up so that it doesn't feel like I'm running steel rebar underneath.

Radio silence from Elka. I don't think they care. They've already got my money.

View attachment 20400
Nothing worse than spending a bunch of money and not being happy. I hope you get it figured out. I’m still waiting for mine. I will let you know if I have any problems.
 

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Nothing worse than spending a bunch of money and not being happy. I hope you get it figured out. I’m still waiting for mine. I will let you know if I have any problems.
I'd be very interested to know the weights you supplied to Elka, and what springs are on them when they arrive. Mine have F5.4 on the rear, F4.2 on the front.
 

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I'm with you on the customer service from Elka. I emailed several times and called a few with no response as far as an update. I finally got a hold of them last week and they're supposed to be built this coming week. I hope I like mine. Did you try disconnecting the sway bar to see if that makes a difference? I may extend my links and see if that helps? Time will tell. I was hoping for something softer than stock.
 

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Sway bar won't make a difference to squat, only roll. I made a video so you can see how severe it is. I'd just rolled in from the trail so apologies for the amateur video and the butt crack!

 

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I hope they stand behind their product. Something definitely is not right! That suspension looks horrible! Looks like it would be unsafe to ride at nearly any speed on the trail. Nice video and thanks. Keep us in the loop and I'll let everyone know what mine are like when they get here.
 

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I’m in Morgantown but I ride the Hatfield and McCoy trails often. You really can’t go wrong with any of the trails. If I have to pick one as my favorite it’s probably bear wallow because I like the town and the trails they also have hotels and plenty of lodging. The only downside to bear wallow is it is not connected to any other systems but it is reasonably close to trailer to the others.
I don’t want to hijack the thread, but wanted to add this. Two years ago I took my son to Hatfield McCoy. We enjoyed the Pinnacle Creek trail. We spent three days riding and could have stayed another week. The locals are awesome, accepting and invited us to ride with them repeatedly. The only criticism I have to offer is the lack of switchbacks on steep descents. A couple spots were a bit sketchy at the time.


Sway bar won't make a difference to squat, only roll. I made a video so you can see how severe it is. I'd just rolled in from the trail so apologies for the amateur video and the butt crack!

Thanks for posting that video. I couldn’t imagine riding 100 plus miles in a day with a suspension that stiff. Something I really enjoy about the KQ is the hybrid blending Of comfort and performance with handling. I hope you rectify the stiffness .
 

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Just had an update from Darren at iShock. He's seen the video, he said "The video speaks volume huh? Looks pretty stiff!". I'm glad he agrees, because I'd have been pretty annoyed if this was how they are supposed to be.

He's trying to source some new springs and he's going to get back to me. I don't know who's going to wear the cost of that; me, iShock or Elka. I'd rather it not be me obviously because I didn't really get what I paid for in the first place (usable suspension) and in my opinion iShock are just unfortunate middlemen, so I hope Elka owns it and ships out new springs. I'll still have to pay to have them fitted because I don't have a spring compressor that small, but at least I might end up with suspension that's worth the $1600 USD plus import duty and taxes that I paid to have them made and delivered to NZ!

For those of you waiting on Elka suspension, maybe call up Elka to confirm exactly what springs and valving they'll do to yours. For reference, the springs on mine are F4.2 on the front, and F5.4 on the rear. Unless you have 3 chins and wear XXXL pants, make sure they use something softer! Happy for you to refer them to my video as the reason why!
 

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Thanks for the updates. Mine were supposed to be shipped so I hope they're ok. Time will tell. I know Elka is not easy to get a hold of. Let us know if they stand behind their product. Good luck!
 

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Hillbelly,
You ever get your shocks? I still haven't received mine and no email response from them at all. Just an automated one that says someone will get back to me.

ITWarrior,
Any updates? Adjustments you made or anything? Just curious how it's working out? Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Hillbelly,
You ever get your shocks? I still haven't received mine and no email response from them at all. Just an automated one that says someone will get back to me.

ITWarrior,
Any updates? Adjustments you made or anything? Just curious how it's working out? Good luck!
They just came today and I just got done putting them on. The front went on easy but I had issues getting the old ones off the rear. The old bolts had a ton of loctite on them and I only have a 1/4 gun which wasn’t enough to get them off. So I messed up the bolts a bit. I ordered new bolts off Rocky Mountain and I have Lowe’s bolts on there now probably not suited for riding. So I’m going to wait to test ride but they are on and I like what I see so far. Right now I lost about 3/4 of a inch in ground clearance from what they sent me from elka. Once I ride I will see if I want to adjust the preload. They feel soft and nice just buy bouncing on them and pushing on them. Also in the front I cut away some of the plastic to keep it from rubbing on the reservoir very little though no big deal. Right now just looking at it I’m happy with my purchase but
20428
only time will tell. I would order new nuts and bolts though for the rear at least just in case they’re all gummed up with loctite.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
They just came today and I just got done putting them on. The front went on easy but I had issues getting the old ones off the rear. The old bolts had a ton of loctite on them and I only have a 1/4 gun which wasn’t enough to get them off. So I messed up the bolts a bit. I ordered new bolts off Rocky Mountain and I have Lowe’s bolts on there now probably not suited for riding. So I’m going to wait to test ride but they are on and I like what I see so far. Right now I lost about 3/4 of a inch in ground clearance from what they sent me from elka. Once I ride I will see if I want to adjust the preload. They feel soft and nice just buy bouncing on them and pushing on them. Also in the front I cut away some of the plastic to keep it from rubbing on the reservoir very little though no big deal. Right now just looking at it I’m happy with my purchase but View attachment 20428 only time will tell. I would order new nuts and bolts though for the rear at least just in case they’re all gummed up with loctite.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Hillbelly,
You ever get your shocks? I still haven't received mine and no email response from them at all. Just an automated one that says someone will get back to me.

ITWarrior,
Any updates? Adjustments you made or anything? Just curious how it's working out? Good luck!
Also I called them a week ago and gave them my order number and they said they were still in production and it would be a couple more weeks. Then at the end of the week I received an email saying they were shipped. Hopefully everything works out with yours keep us posted.
 

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I will. They look nice on there. Thanks for the heads up on the loctite. Also, thanks for the info on the H&M trails. If I have trouble with them coming off, a little heat helps to soften the loctite so I may try that.
thanks again.
 

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To update on my situation, it's looking like Elka is standing by the product and have shipped out new springs to iShock, and iShock sent these out to me yesterday so I'll probably get them in a week or two. Both companies have covered the respective postage, which I'm pleased with. So good on them for that.

The new springs are supposed to be 30% softer than the ones on it, so I hope that's going to be soft enough. We'll find out soon I suppose.

Hillbelly, what are the numbers written on the side of your springs, and what weight info did you provide to Elka? I'm still mystified about why mine were so rock hard as I never got an explanation out of anybody, so I guess somebody made a mistake somewhere. I haven't pushed too hard for an explanation, I'm just thankful to be getting new springs that will hopefully be much better.
 

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I would consider that good service. Hopefully it works out. The info I gave was a 220lb rider (I'm 210) and I stated a max of 25 lbs on the back rack while trail riding which should compensate for riding gear, compressor, extra tools , and beverages. I told them the front has a winch and aftermarket bumper and aggressive trail riding with stock sized tires. Not much jumping. I'm kind of nervous about the rear weight I told them. Might be too much?
 

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Finally got UPS confirmation that my shocks got shipped today. I just tore my clutch apart last night and shipped it to Coop this morning. I can't believe how dirty my clutch was for 500 miles. I'll let you guys know what my thoughts are but I don't expect my clutch parts back until next week.
 

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Got my shocks and they look good. Fronts have dual rate springs and rear are single. I'm guessing because of the winch and bumper up front. Has anyone used torque sticks on their impact gun to tighten the primary clutch sheave before? Parts won't be back until next week but just thinking ahead?
Thanks!
 

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I don't think it would matter as long as the bolt is torqued correctly. There's enough room to use a regular torque wrench.

What spring rates did they use?
 
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