Fundamentally, ride height is the distance between the skid plate and the ground on your vehicle (also known as ground clearance). Because you’ll most likely need to adjust it at some point –– even if you only ever run with stock suspension –– you might as well familiarize yourself with why & when you might need to check or change your ride height. The Importance of Adjusting Your Ride Height.
After Adding Accessories
Whenever you significantly alter the weight of the vehicle, whether by changing the accessory setup, or by adding extra passengers –– especially in the case of 4-seaters, it’s important to check and adjust your ride height. Due to the location and respective weights added to the vehicle will have varying effects on ride height, small ride-to-ride changes in weight will not be worth compensating for, while some accessories (e.g., rear spare tire, cooler, winch, etc.) will have a more substantial impact due to their leveraged position on the vehicle.
A best practice for those who run stock springs would also be to check ride height after every couple thousand miles of driving or so. Since stock springs use lower grade materials, the vehicles they support have a tendency to sag/settle over time. For a temporary fix, you can increase your ride height when this becomes an issue.
Nevertheless, if repeated sagging and ride height adjustments have been necessary for you historically, it might be time to consider upgrading to a Dual-Rate Spring Kit –– whose higher grade materials don’t necessitate repeated adjustment, even after driving long distances, unless the weight of the vehicle itself has been altered substantially as outlined above. Shock Therapy has Dual-Rate Spring Kits for most popular UTVs and they tailor the spring weights for your specific situation taking into account how much the driver and passenger(s) weigh. Spare tire? Cooler? Tools? Winch? Windshield? Aftermarket cage, etc. Additionally, they also look at where and how you ride most of the time to combine that all together for a spring kit that is best for your specific circumstance.
Notable features of the Shock Therapy dual rate spring include:
- Custom Tailored to your machine
- Increased ride height
- No Sagging
- Smoother ride quality over chop and chatter
- Increased bottom out resistance
- Reduced bucking
- Lifetime warrantied springs
- Springs manufactured in the USA
Does Ride Height Matter All That Much?
When your vehicle sags or sits too low, your shocks compress more than normal and move closer to the bump stage, where valving inside the shock compensates for what it expects to be a more significant compression event –– treating small bumps as though they were large, and stiffening ride quality overall.
Also, if you’re running Dual-Rate Springs, you may be sitting closer to the crossover ring. As a result, the suspension will transition to the lower and stiffer spring too early –– even just for small bumps. The result is a ride that is very harsh and a skid plate that hits obstacles more than it should with adequate ground clearance.
How-To Check and Adjust Ride Height
A Can-Am Maverick X3 with 32-inch tires should have 16-inches of ground clearance and if you have a 2021 or earlier with 29-inch Big Horn tires, you should have about 15 -inches of ground clearance.
For more in-depth information on how to measure, adjust, and where to get the information to set your ride height –– based on the accessories that you’ve added to your vehicle –– FOX and Dustin Jones have some great information that everyone should watch: