Project WideOpen YFZ Elka Long Travel Suspension

Jun. 01, 2005 By Justin Waters

One of the most important modifications a racer can do to his quad is change the suspension. I raced in the Expert and A classes for almost a year on my YFZ before changing my whole suspension. At that point I was competitive, but never quite able to pull off that win.

I was ready to start winning some major races, so we looked to Elka Suspension for their help. Elka Suspension specializes in the manufacturing of high-performance shock absorbers for recreational and race vehicles. Elka also designs and manufactures quality replacement parts for most shock absorbers used in motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and sport vehicles.

Elka shock absorbers are assembled with high-quality springs manufactured from chrome silicon steel. They are available in dual rate or in triple rate with the "Self-Sagging Device" (SSD). The SSD gives the suspension maximum traction and stability at the beginning of the stroke while ensuring excellent impact resistance at the end of it. This feature lowers the height — and therefore the center of gravity — of the ATV, resulting in easier turns and better weight transfer.

Every Elka shock is custom-designed for rider weight and ATV use. Whether it be for cross-country, motocross, desert, TT, or just the recreational rider. Plus they are compatible with any aftermarket frame and/or a-arm setup. Although the setup from Elka would already be very effective, we chose to send our shocks to Allen White at Precision Concepts Racing for additional tuning.

Allen White is an expert in the industry and has much experience in this area. Pro Racers like Kory Ellis, Jeremy Schell, and Wayne Matlock all send their shocks to him to be set up. Allen does a few more precision changes to the suspension that Elka doesn't do for just anyone straight from the factory. Although Allen does this, your suspension is going to need some adjustment every once and a while.

One problem I have seen with some of the people that buy the high-dollar suspensions for their ATV is they never take just a little bit of time to learn a little about how to adjust their own suspension. They put them on, and let's say maybe something changed in the setup during the shipping process - then they don't work very well so they automatically assume that the shocks aren't very good. But in fact, they may work great with a little personal attention.

The suspension comes with a manual that explains everything you can adjust and what will happen when you adjust it a certain way, along with supplying you with the tools required to do it. Read through this book, then I recommend you write down what everything on your shock is set to. The first time you have a chance when you're riding, change a setting a couple clicks one way and try it, then go back the other direction. You might be able to find a setting that you feel more comfortable with than how Elka sent them to you. If you are a racer, your suspension setup might need to change from track to track. Or I have noticed too that they might need a little bit of adjustment depending on what size of tires you are running. I have started a notebook with all of my settings from each track that I go to. It includes every setting on my shock, the track, the track condition, what tires I run and a few other things. This will make it much easier if I go back to a track to setup my suspension for there.

Elka Suspension is a great change for any rider no matter what you do. I have definitely seen results with my new suspension. Since the upgrade to Project Wide Open YFZ I have won three WORCS Semi-Pro races in a row, and finished in the top 3 in the Production A class in 3 out of 4 races.

In addition, Elka is one of the quickest companies shipping wise - no three or four month wait for your suspension components, when you need them NOW for a race. Professional quality shocks on your front step in a short amount if time.

1585-M, De Coulomb, Boucherville ( Quebec ) Canada , J4B 8J7

Tel: 1-800-557-0552

Precision Concepts
26860 Jefferson Ave.
Murietta CA 92562
(951) 894-6117

Or Precision Concepts
1675 N. Johnson
El Cajon CA 92020
(619) 593-7473


Project Sponsors:, Yamaha, Adapt Racing, Douglas Wheels, Elka, Epic Suspension, GYT-R, Kenda Tires, OMF, Precision Concepts, Rossier Engineering, Quadtech, Spyder, Streamline Performance Braking, Tag, Team Industries, TM Designworks, UM Performance, WebCam, Zip-Ty
Racing Sponsors:, CYCRA, Motorex, MXCulture, Scott, SkorBordz

Send us Email about Project WideOpen YFZ Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!