“Digging deep into the YXZ1000R SE FOX 2.5 Podium X2 Suspension”
Photos courtesy of Yamaha
Buying a Special Edition side by side these days gets you not much more than exclusive graphics, sporty wheels and maybe a winch or power steering. However with the Yamaha YXZ1000R SE with FOX 2.5 Podium X2 shocks you get one set of items that really make the world of off road come alive. Yamaha sought out a very different suspension dampening system for their latest pure sport machine and designated FOX suspension with the task of making it so out of the ordinary that it would remain an exclusive addition to the SE models.
FOX, as we all know, has been building fluid dampening devices for many different applications but this particular shock system actually had a mini-me in the form of a Mountain Bike shock. Garnering much attention in the world of harsh off road bicycling FOX engineers thought it would be a great idea to develop this for a much larger scale vehicle. This is where the two companies came together and made a deal for the YXZ1000R SE.
A new level of performance and comfort are achieved by creating completely independent high and low speed compression and rebound adjustment, combined with huge 16.2-inches of front and 17.0-inches of rear travel. Additional features of the X2 shocks include dual adjusters on the upper cap and twin tube structure, dual springs with coupling and crossover adjustment, position sensitive damping, and more.
We had a chance to dig deep into the world of the FOX Podium X2 shocks and just how intricate they are at the Sand Hollow State Park near St. George Utah. This adventure would be a mixed bag of trying several different suspension set-ups and determining just what each driver felt to be the best for their driving or riding style. Several things that make these shocks unique are the ability to adjust high and low speed compression as well as high and low speed rebound. If that’s not enough then you have preload adjustability and the fact that you can adjust the crossover’s as well. Of course we could not forget the internal bypass system tucked inside the outer shell of the shock itself. This fluid motion inside the shock is incredible and it seems to mimic the valves in your heart to a degree.
So the day was pretty much planned out for a crash course (no Pun intended at all) of Fluid Dynamics and Yamaha along with FOX had tweaked four vehicles to get our eyes open to the magic in the shocks. Each SXS had a particular setting from Stock, as from the dealer, Comfortably soft, Comfortable and then the harsh high-speed set-up. Marking each vehicle with colored tape the guys at Yamaha took us out and allowed us to drive the YXZ’s one at a time to get used to the type of ride setting we were in. Switching up to different cars allowed us to really see and feel a fast difference in the settings. This gave us a fast forward peek at just how dynamic the tuning capability of these systems were and it was pretty evident which setting we really liked for the conditions and speeds at Sand Hollow.
Yamaha YXZ1000R SE FOX 2.5 Podium X2
- Stock Settings: Standard Shift model YXZ1000R SE.
- Blue: Comfort with spring preload taken all the way out. This one was not on the clicker card we received but was introduced to us during the ride.
- White: Comfort with factory spring preload setting.
- Yellow: Aggressive suspension / High Speed
Our choice for the most versatile setting would be the “White” designated car and this would be a Comfortable setting. The YXZ seemed to be stable in the corners and handled the rough sections of rock and hidden stone ledges pretty well even when they snuck up on the driver.
The Softest or “Blue” designated YXZ1000R SE was just a little too soft as it also allowed the YXZ to push some in the corners at speed. The “Yellow” car was just a bit to harsh for the speeds we were riding. I’m sure that if the speeds were much faster then the harsher settings would be more favored but for causal fast runs or simply enjoying the trails at a spirited pace the shocks just did not feel comfortable.
Our take from this fun day of riding was that the shocks on the Yamaha YXZ1000R SE are incredibly adjustable and it seems that you wouldn’t have to re-valve or re-spring the machines suspension at all. The changes made to the shocks were also very minor to get an incredibly different handling vehicle. Just a few clicks apart from each preset made the entire suspension feel noticeably different. Even though the settings are seemingly technical I would say that it was pretty easy to understand when it comes to adjustments. Tuning your shocks for you is something that just needs to be tried on. In the manually shifted Yamaha YXZ1000R SE the settings from the factory generally are where most owners will leave them but when you get a feel for just how good it can be you will be looking for the clickers and tuning these beasts yourself!