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Customizing Your RIOT Suspension Setup

Timbersled suspension diagram

The Timbersled RIOT snowbike system can deliver a variety of handling characteristics, ranging from planted (limited weight transfer) to playful (increased weight transfer), depending on how the suspension is set up.

From the factory, the RIOT suspension is set to deliver a ride closer to the planted end of the ride spectrum. With RIOT, the rider can make simple changes to explore what suspension settings work best for them.

The best suspension settings depend on many variables, including riding terrain and the rider's weight, riding style and individual preferences. Front (1) and rear (2) suspension adjustments are easy to make. Follow these simple steps:

1. Ride your snowbike. Ride on the type of terrain you most often intend to ride to fully experience the existing suspension settings before making any adjustments. Optimal suspension settings can change depending on the terrain.

2. Adjust the spring preload (3) to tune the vehicle balance for ski pressure and weight transfer. After riding, you should be able to determine if the snowbike needs more or less weight transfer and ski-to-ground pressure. In general, the more spring preload that is added, the less weight that will be transferred. The RIOT's front track shock and spring supports most of the bike's weight, while its rear track shock and spring primarily control ski-to-ground pressure. Caution: DO NOT exceed the min/max preload values (as shown in the following tables). Failure to comply may result in personal injury or damage to equipment.

Always perform shock spring preload adjustments with the weight of the vehicle removed from the shock and with the shock at full extension. Make spring preload adjustments in small (approximately 1/16th of an inch) increments and test ride quality between adjustments.

  • If your ride requires less weight transfer, decrease the front track shock's spring preload.
  • If your ride requires more weight transfer, increase the front track shock's spring preload.
  • If it feels like the ski-to-ground pressure is too heavy, making it difficult to steer, you can decrease the preload on the rear track spring.
  • If it feels like the ski-to-ground pressure is too light (the ski lifts from the ground too readily), you can increase the preload on the rear track spring.

For RIOT bikes with monotube shocks (shocks with NO clickers), the front track spring preload also can be decreased to decrease ride stiffness. It can be increased to increase ride stiffness and reduce bottoming out. However, for RIOT bikes equipped with clickers, using the clickers is typically the best way to adjust for these ride quality characteristics. Ski-to-ground pressure can be adjusted with the rear track shock clicker alone or in combination with spring preload settings.

3. Adjust the shock clickers (4), if equipped, to tune the ride quality for a stiffer or softer ride. For RIOT models with shock clickers, you can adjust the clickers to control bottoming, adjust for ride comfort and adjust ski-to-ground pressure. The clickers on the front track shock should be used to increase or decrease bottoming resistance and ride quality. The clickers on the rear track shock should be used to increase and decrease ski-to-ground pressure and weight transfer. Note: To learn more about compression and rebound damping with shock clickers, see the section on QS3 Shocks.

  • For a softer ride, turn the front track shock clicker counter-clockwise to decrease compression damping.
  • For a stiffer ride and less bottoming, turn the front track shock clicker clockwise to increase compression damping.
  • To decrease weight transfer, turn the rear track shock clicker clockwise to increase rear shock compression damping.
  • To increase weight transfer, turn the rear track shock clicker counter-clockwise to decrease rear shock compression damping.

4. Repeat as needed. Test ride the snowbike and continue making small spring and clicker adjustments until you achieve the perfect ride.

For improved handling and additional control of the front ski, the Timbersled TRIO front shock can be added to the front forks and spindle.

Timbersled IFP Shocks

I F P shock

All standard RIOT models have Timbersled Internal Floating Piston (IFP) Shocks for both the front track and rear track. Timbersled IFP shocks are only adjustable through the spring preload (1). They do not have clickers for adjusting compression and rebound damping. Although the factory spring preload settings are usually sufficient for most riders, if you find adjustment is needed, NEVER adjust the spring preload beyond the minimum and maximum spring preload settings. Note: A spanner wrench (part number 2871095-329) is needed to adjust the Timbersled IFP shock spring preload.

FOX® QS3 Shocks

Fox Q S 3 shocks diagram

All Timbersled RIOT LE models, including the Timbersled 3-Inch model, have QS3 shocks for both the front track and rear track. FOX® QS3 Shocks are spring preload adjustable (1) and have clickers (2) for adjusting compression damping. Remember to adjust your snowbike's spring preload first before moving on to adjust the clickers. if spring preload adjustment is needed, never adjust the QS3 shocks beyond their min/max preload values. Compression damping slows down (dampens) the shock compression that happens when the snowbike hits a dip, bump or other disturbance. The higher the compression damping, the slower the shocks will compress when encountering a disturbance.

QS3 clickers have the following three positions:

  • Soft: Turn the clicker all the way to its farthest counter-clockwise position to achieve a softer or more plush ride with the least amount of compression damping.
  • Medium: Turn the clicker one click from its soft position to achieve an intermediate ride (between plush and stiff) with a medium amount of compression damping.
  • Stiff: Turn the clicker two clicks clockwise from its soft position for a stiffer ride with the highest amount of compression damping.

When ascending steep inclines with the Timbersled RIOT LE, temporarily turn the rear track clicker on the QS3 shocks clockwise to its highest compression damping setting to help the ski remain in contact with the ground during the ascent.

Front Track Shock Spring Settings
Factory settings, combined with user adjustments to the front track shock spring, should be sufficient in providing the best riding experience for most riders. Always perform shock spring preload adjustments with the weight of the vehicle removed from the shock and the shock at full extension. Never adjust spring preload to an installed length longer than the factory length or shorter than the minimum length as shown in the following chart. Damage to the suspension could result. When decreasing preload, make sure at least two turns of preload are holding the retainer against the spring.

RIOT 120 Timbersled IFP 250 8½" 8¼"
RIOT 120 LE FOX® QS3  250 8½" 8¼"

Rear Track Shock Spring Settings
Always perform shock spring preload adjustments with the weight of the vehicle removed from the shock and with the shock at full extension. If adjustments to the factory installed springs are not sufficient for riders over 300 pounds (136 kg), optional stiffer springs are available through your Timbersled Dealer. To find a dealer near you, use the Dealer Locator.

RIOT 120 Timbersled IFP 80 8½"


RIOT 120 LE FOX® QS3 80 8½" 7"

TSS Shock Tuning
The TSS suspension system is intended to work in harmony with the in-track rear suspension to create a dual rear suspension feel that is unique to a Timbersled snowbike. It is not intended to have a soft squishy feel like the stock motorcycle rear suspension, and it's important that you do not try to tune it to feel this way. For maximum suspension performance, follow the tuning instructions.

The TSS shock is preset from the factory with 260 psi. Use a FOX® Float air pump to adjust the spring rate and preload of the TSS shock. Your shock will have a sticker on it with the minimum, maximum and factory pressure settings. The suggested TSS pressures can be found in the following table.

Setting PSI
Minimum Setting 200
Factory Setting 260
Maximum Setting 400

To tune the TSS shock:

1. Take the weight off the shock by lifting the bike from under the engine or tipping it on its side.

2. Remove the shock's silver valve cap.

3. Thread the pump onto the shock's valve stem until the pump pressures up and you are able to see the supplied pressure on the gauge. When the pump pressures up, the shock instantly loses 20 psi from the volume it takes to fill the pump hose. You will need to compensate for this when checking pressures.

4. When finished, unthread the pump. You will hear a release of air when unthreading the pump, but this will not affect the exact pressure you gave the shock. When tuning your TSS shock, it is best to add or subract air pressure in increments of 25 psi at a time. Be very careful to not get snow or water inside the valve system, as this can cause the shock to leak air.

5. For a more refined tuning method, you may use the TSS shock O-ring, which can be found on the outer shock body. The O-ring is designed to be a gauge for measuring the amount of shock travel you are using when riding.

To measure the amount of shock travel:

1. Slide the O-ring down to its lowest point.

2. Ride the snowbike for approximately 10 minutes.

3. Stop the bike and measure the amount the O-ring has moved. To do this, measure the distance between the O-ring's starting point (when moved down to its lowest point) and the O-ring's current location after a 10-minute ride.

The O-ring movement equals the amount of TSS shock travel. The TSS shock has a max travel distance of 1.5 inches to bottom out. It is recommended that the targeted amount of shock travel be about 1-1/8 inches of stroke.

4. Tune the TSS shock in increments of 25 psi to reach the targeted amount of shock travel (1-1/8 inches) and accomplish perfect calibration. Each time you make a pressure adjustment (of 25 psi), slide the O-ring back down to its lowest point and ride for approximately 10 minutes before rechecking your shock travel distance.

Timbersled TRIO Kit

The Timbersled TRIO is an accessory front shock. To change the air pressure, first use the supplied shock pump to set the air pressure in the EVOL chamber. To do, locate the lower Schrader valve and attach the supplied pump. See the chart below for the recommended setting. To ensure proper ride characteristics, always set the pressure in the EVOL chamber first. Make sure the ski is off the ground so the shock is not under load and is fully extended before setting air pressures.

EVOL chamber P S I settings

Next, set the air pressure in the main shock chamber. To do so, locate the TRIO’s uppermost Schrader valve and attach the supplied pump. Pump to the recommended setting shown on the chart below.

Main chamber P S I settings

Ensure all tools are accounted for and all steps have been completed. DO NOT exceed maximum pressures. Contents of shock are under pressure. Never incinerate or puncture and never disassemble without consulting your service manual. Any of those may result in serious injury or death.

EVOL air chamber tuning tips:

  • The infinitely adjustable pressure setting in the extra volume (EVOL) air chamber regulates spring rate in the final portion of the stroke and controls the bottom-out characteristics of the shock. Increasing air pressure in the EVOL air chamber will give a more progressive spring curve to protect against harsh bottom-outs. Decreasing air pressure will provide a more linear curve to maximize usable travel.
  • When combined with the infinite adjustability of the main air spring, the EVOL air chamber allows the shock’s spring curve to be tuned for any conceivable ride weight and/or terrain condition. The pressure in the EVOL air chamber is adjusted to control the bottom-out characteristics of the shock.

FOX® Float tuning tips:

  • Your TRIO main shock chamber is a FOX® Float shock specifically designed for Timbersled to increase spring rate, maintain ride height and improve the overall ride and handling characteristics of the snowbike.
  • For Timbersled TRIO shock applications, the recommended main chamber air pressure settings shown above are unique to the Timbersled TRIO application and should be followed to achieve the best overall ride characteristics.
  • The spring rate is controlled by air pressure in the main body. Air pressure is infinitely adjustable, making Float the most progressive and adjustable air shock on the market.

For more information about TRIO, see the installation instructions for the TRIO kit.
More maintenance information can be found in your Owner's Manual.
To view diagrams and find replacement part numbers, view the online parts catalog.

FOX® is a registered trademark of Fox Factory Inc.

Keyword(s) suspension , setup , shocks , springs , riot , tss , ifp