Blog 3 - Independent vs. coupled suspensions

by Al Halfaker

In the last blog entry (see Blog 2 - Bump Course Design), I gave you a rundown of the test track I build. In this article I will give you a basic explanation of the difference between coupled suspensions (M-10 and M-20) and independent suspensions (all other suspensions on the market). It's important to understand how they move over a bump differently and what results to expect from these differences. With this knowledge you will better understand what is happening to the rider and snowmobile suspension as they ride over uneven terrain.



Independent suspension Coupled suspension
testimonial/independent.png

Independent suspensions have a front trailing arm with a rear scissor arm. The arms can compress independent of each other while riding over bumps They have 15% coupling or less
testimonial/coupled.png

Coupled suspension arms compress simultaneously with solid connection at slide rail. There is a slip joint installed on the rear arm to allow for some independent movement. The suspension ends up over 60% coupled.
testimonial/independent_front.png
testimonial/independent_rear.png

Arctic Cat, Yamaha, Polaris, & Ski Doo suspensions all use Independent design
testimonial/coupled_front.png
testimonial/coupled_rear.png

TeamFast's M-10 and M-20 use coupled suspension that can be fitted on all Arctic Cat, Yamaha, Polaris & Ski Doo


As the front arm compresses over timber, the rear scissor arm does not compress and stays on ground. In second half the video the rear arm compresses and the front arm does not compress and falls down to the ground


Front and rear trailing arms are 60% plus plus coupled together at the slide rail. This eliminates most independent arm movement


As the front arm compresses over timber, the rear scissor arm does not compress and stays on ground. In second half the video the rear arm compresses and the front arm does not compress and falls down to the ground


Front and rear trailing arms are 60% plus plus coupled together at the slide rail. This eliminates most independent arm movement


Understanding the different design performance characteristics between the two types of suspensions is necessary to understand the substantial differences in performance in the test videos when riding over the three bumps on the test track. In the next blog post (see Blog 4 - Suspension demonstration videos) I'll present the bump track videos I'm compiling so that you can see what this means for a moving sled and its rider.

02-08-2011

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