Project Workhorse Can-Am Outlander: Elka Shocks

Elka Suspension gets the rough spots out of the Workhorse

Jun. 25, 2007 By Ricky Sosebee

Can-Am Outlander 650 Max


Part Four

The greatest ATV's in the country are equipped with superior suspension systems and our Can-Am Outlander 650 Max is no different. But in the classic history of after market product builds we decided to go with a few more clicks above the stockers.

Elka suspension has been building suspensions for years and after a long discussion with Elka Suspensions marketing man Patrick Tellier we came up with the awesome combination of Compression and Rebound adjustable and quad rate springs. This would be the ultimate combination for our ""Workhorse"" project. I described our project as being a worker and hunter friendly utility ATV. The main use of this quad would range from farming and possibly plowing with the occasional hunting trip that would make any hunter happy to get out of the bunk before daylight.

The thought of riding our Outlander 650 on world-class suspension was truly exciting and when the boxes arrived on our porch I felt like a kid on a new bike. The garage was cleared of all other rides and once again The ""Workhorse"" took center stage. Removing the stock shocks was a cinch and one at a time we made progress.

Elka suspension had sent over a box full of goodies and the custom mounting hardware was the first thing we found. Two clamps and two custom rubber bushings per shock would allow us to mount the reservoirs and give them an anti-vibe protection to keep the hard hits away.

While installing each RR36CR custom shock we were able to get more familiar with the construction of these masterpieces. The first thing we noticed was the custom spring rates which the engineers over at Elka came up with after I explained what the ""Workhorse"" would be used for. There were also vehicle specific crossover spacers with each spring. The CNC machined billet aluminum was anodized to the classic Elka colors. Spherical bearings at both ends of the shocks make sure the suspension can move freely at all times. Body roll during cornering will forever be gone with the custom valving Elka has put into these beauties. And supreme comfort will be the end result with the ability to fine-tune our shocks.

Elka even Dyno's each of the shocks they build before they are sent to the customer so when it arrives you will know it has been tried out and will perform like you wanted it to when you ordered them.

With the shocks mounted on the ""Workhorse"" our next task was to mount up the rear reservoirs. The Outlander Max is a bit longer than a regular Outlander 650 and we had our concerns at first but Elka""s engineers had already figured this one out. The plastic coated steel braided lines had been extended a bit more for the length of our project. These guys think of everything.

So the new shocks were covered with Elka's super durable shock covers and it is ready to hit the trail. I took the Can-Am Outlander 650 max out to the woods and put it through its paces for an initial test session. The difference from stock to luxury was incredible. I'm sure once we get the RR36CR's really dialed its going to handle all of our demands.

 If you think you are ready for a great ride and extremely professional assistance in the shocking world of suspension give the guys over at Elka a ring.

Look for all your shock needs at

Check out our next project workhorse add-on in July's part five.

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