Riot trenching

wwillf01

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Aug 12, 2012
2,522
419
83
40
Heber Ut
Without starting a short track/long track war here, question, would the Riot benefit from being a 129
To me you would be better off putting the 3 inch paddle on the 120.. I am in Utah though...

Sent from my SM-F900U using Tapatalk
 
Feb 18, 2009
208
135
43
Oh trust me, the riot is way more fun than the cmx (at least the 18 kits) but none the less a phenomenal kit you have.
LOL! Last year everyone is like "I don't want a light front end, it's unstable and bad in the backcountry" now TS comes out with the Riot and it's all about the light front end.

As for CMX vs. Riot you do realize the CMX is still mounted further forward right? The the skid can be setup to wheelie just as much as the Riot if you want. The CMX also hands down out performs the Riot in deep snow.
 
Feb 18, 2009
208
135
43
The single arm rear suspension was not designed to be a wheelie machine, the design goal was a rear suspension skid that would follow ground contour better than a two arm system. And, I think it has that potential, just got to find the right combination. I built 4 kits from scratch and under estimated the requirements for the shocks. I built the first 4 fox shocks for these kits with way toooo soft springing and valving, wouldn't really go through the snow that great but good for wheelies. We used 2013 cat skids for those kits and in the end had to use the same spring rates as the sleds when stock and even with crappy tracks we improved the through the snow go considerably.
LOL! You may want to look at TS marketing for the Riot...
 
Dec 20, 2007
598
265
63
49
Ive been preaching light front ends since my 2011 mountain horse kit. It had fox floats and I ran twice the pressure in the center shock than the rear. It only had 1.75" track but it out climbed my 14 lt every time because of the lighter front end didn't slow it down. The lt had coils and would bottom way too easy if I monkeyed with preload. The lt was the worse kit I ever owned. No fun at all.
I've been building my own kits ever since. Until now. My home made 137 wheelies MORE than the riot. It won't turn sharp in uphill deep snow without throttle chop or serious forward body position but it will float and climb like no other while it's ski is in the air. It might float better and go faster in 4th gear powder with more ski pressure (or ride a sled) but would be worse in steep trees creek's and deep dark places....
 

CATSLEDMAN1

Well-known member
Premium Member
Nov 27, 2007
2,462
1,011
113
71
Missoula, Montana
105 lb spring 9" long 1 7/8" diameter from southwest speed for $39 on the rear shock will end any questions about a RIOT jumping up on the snow and going like hell. I am impressed ! Wheelie king, not so much, more playful than an ARO, we thought so.

Big change, .............. with the stock 80 lb spring tunred at tight as possible, touch the throttle and the first reaction is ski up. 105 lb spring 1/2" preload, first reaction is leap forward, and yes the ski comes up easier that the two swing arm kits.
 
Last edited:
Dec 20, 2007
598
265
63
49
I found some snow over the weekend that was kryptonite to my riot. It was 3feet of virgin pow with a wind blown heavy layer on top. We stayed at a cabin in the middle of nowhere and rode in this snow for 3 days. The riot would never get stuck but it could go faster at 1/4 throttle than at full because it floated just fine at 1/4. I could Idle through the gnar trees and paddle with my feet but as soon as my powervalve opened the ski went up and the track went down. I mostly fixed the problem by preloading the rear spring all the way. Fun factor was reduced but it was a fair trade off for these rare no float conditions.

I am sure the stiffer rear spring "fix" will help float even more at the the expense of fun factor and ski grab safety. But I'm hoping to quell the trenching complaints though as to not give the factories the impression that the masses don't like the riot style handling. for the snow bike industry the riot is a BIG step in the right direction. It can be anything you want with minor setup changes. If you are more a sledder by nature get a longer track or aro 3 and setup for non wheelie high speed chute climbing.
 

CATSLEDMAN1

Well-known member
Premium Member
Nov 27, 2007
2,462
1,011
113
71
Missoula, Montana
My use of the 105 lb spring isn't just to take the wheelie out of the kit, I weight 210 before I put on my gear, I carry 3 gallons of gas, I have a good sized box of survival gear and my lunch on the back. Polaris didn't setup this kit for that kind of weight. I am only getting back to the engineers design for this type of suspension. Aro kits the same. Someone my weight and gear will have a better handling, much better climbing through the snow kit with heavier springs, we worked that out 2 years ago.
 

CATSLEDMAN1

Well-known member
Premium Member
Nov 27, 2007
2,462
1,011
113
71
Missoula, Montana
More riding and testing on my Riot.
105 lb 1 7/8 ID 10" long spring from Southwest Speed. Run 3/4 of preload, you have to compress this spring to put it on the shock but better than the 8" or 9" spring.

I have found with all my snowbikes, When I have the rear of the bike lifted off the concrete with my overhead hoist and then set it down, if the suspension compresses more than a 1/2", things are not going to work, going to be way toooo much static sag when I ride. I set my Riot so no sag when its sitting by itself. When you are riding up the trail in a couple inches new powder and you have a 1/3 of your suspension used up..........tooo soft. My riding partner and I have been taking turns observing the Riot suspension now that we have some bumps, stock rear spring way to soft for me. And bottoms all over the place.

My suspension feels stiff but very comfortable. Goes through the snow. NO g outs, maybe bottom once or twice a day on something. Climbs through drifts and steep hard snow better than stock by a good margin.

So Riot is lighter, rolls better, better track than my 16 track, goes through bumps better than my old set........ all good.

Next is a little more rebound dampening on the rear shock.
 

G-Force

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Nov 21, 2002
863
189
43
Kamloops BC
CatSled.. have a link to the heavier springs? I'm in same weight range as yourself, and think between having an advanced waistline, and then add the gas can, backpack, all gear etc..
I reckon "ready to ride" I have exceeded the OEM spec by 50-60 lbs, which is daily significant...
 

G-Force

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Nov 21, 2002
863
189
43
Kamloops BC
Also, after looking through my manual, and not finding the info, what is the recommended strut length?
 
Dec 20, 2007
598
265
63
49
Forget about the manual for strut length. Too many variables. You need to start out so the front of track touches just before the rear when you set it down lifting from the rear bumper. That will be close enough to work well most conditions if you aren't good enough to fine tune yourself. Then on the mountain you can slide forks up or down and adjust preload to fine tune.
If you want better float/less trenching then slide forks down and add preload to rear spring. If you start to feel like the ski is riding deeper in the snow you went too far. If you have clickers do that last to tune in harder snow bumps. The rear lockout can only be turned on as needed in soft steep climbs.
 

CATSLEDMAN1

Well-known member
Premium Member
Nov 27, 2007
2,462
1,011
113
71
Missoula, Montana
Also, after looking through my manual, and not finding the info, what is the recommended strut length?
I set my Riot so the track is absolutely parallel to the Floor., measure with caliper or machinist rule, what looks parallel often isn't so, Then a 1/2 turn longer on the strut. On the trail that's a little busy, so I increased my front shock preload to get back to abut a neutral handling situation.

As mentioned, to buy the springs, go to e bay and search: 1 7/8" id 10" spring, scroll down to the Southwest Speed 39,99 for spring and 9 shipping, they will arrive in 3 or 4 days in Montana. You just need to look down to their description and send seller a note with the correct spring you want.

I run 3 inches shorter fork than stock on KTM for an overall lower more agile snow bike, my partner runs 2 .5 " shorter on his big bore KTMSx so our strut lengths would not be a direct crossover to other bikes.

Even with stiffer rear spring last sat in heavy wet old snow,/ go up anything snow, climbing it might be more wheelie than my old kits, but certainly of no concern.
 

cbc76am

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Dec 5, 2016
255
95
28
42
Woodinville WA
I don't think it would. The riot is amazing. Handle bar remote lockout would definitely be the end all. I climbed a log ridden 45+ grade on it yesterday in both soft and hard rear setup. The ski was off the ground the first half and I was sitting on the gas cap trying to control it. Locked it out one of the times I was crashed... Hammered up another 2k feet like a boss. I'll start working on a remote lock out next weekend.
 
Dec 20, 2007
598
265
63
49
Did the lockout cause a crash in the logs? I always like the safety factor of wheelie mode. Get the ski in the air and never worry about catching on anything! I was riding in October in 6 inches of snow. Dirt bike single track log hoping on snowbike: Pull back, throttle, hop, unweight the pegs and chop throttle just when the track hits the log.
 

SteepNdeep450

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Jan 1, 2014
264
74
28
Bozeman, MT
Looking for some tuning help, I bought the standard Riot so I can only adjust preload.
I've been feeling like the skid isn't climbing up on top of the snow it feels like its more plowing into it, so yesterday we were out on an extremely deep day. I let some preload out of the front spring and it seemed to bottom out in some g outs in a trail we packed in. I'm 195 before gear, I'm wondering if I should put more preload back into the front spring. I was with a few 16 ST and a 17 RAW and they seemed to be getting around so much better, I kept digging down on taking off. Very different from my 13 ST and 17 Raw I had. Later in the day I had just got unstuck and sat further back than neutral on the seat and the thing took off, seemed like it had way more traction. Does this mean I should mess with the rear shock preload? I'm a total novice in this type of suspension. I thought giving the front shock less preload would also handle the whoops on the trails better but I don't feel like its working near as good as the demo bike I road last year. That was one of the things of that demo ride that impressed me, also that it seemed to get around as good as my 17 Raw if not better.
 
Dec 20, 2007
598
265
63
49
If you are getting stuck on take off that has nothing to do with float, you need to get the weight off the ski and on to the track to get moving first. Try adding the preload back on the center shock and reduce preload on the rear. Is your strut short enough so the front paddles barely touch down before the back?

One tuning trick is to watch your forks when you first let out the clutch, if you are set up right you should see the forks extend when you let it out. Your comment "leaning back makes it better" is key that you don't have enough weight on the track for traction. Forget about floating that doesn't happen until 2nd gear or higher. Get it to go first then tune for float speed as conditions permit. Grease those threads on the rear shock and leave the lock nut loose and you can adjust it on the fly just as easy as clickers on the LE.
 

SteepNdeep450

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Jan 1, 2014
264
74
28
Bozeman, MT
If you are getting stuck on take off that has nothing to do with float, you need to get the weight off the ski and on to the track to get moving first. Try adding the preload back on the center shock and reduce preload on the rear. Is your strut short enough so the front paddles barely touch down before the back?

One tuning trick is to watch your forks when you first let out the clutch, if you are set up right you should see the forks extend when you let it out. Your comment "leaning back makes it better" is key that you don't have enough weight on the track for traction. Forget about floating that doesn't happen until 2nd gear or higher. Get it to go first then tune for float speed as conditions permit. Grease those threads on the rear shock and leave the lock nut loose and you can adjust it on the fly just as easy as clickers on the LE.
I haven't checked my strut length like that, I set it at the recommendation in the book. I will check this when I get home. I'll be sure to look for the forks next time I'm out. When it did seem to have enough traction to take off, it was an awkward position to be hanging on. I'd be sitting between the neutral part of the seat and the back. About where I'd be sitting to do a pivot wheelie on dirt. I'll try these few things. Thanks for the help.
 
Dec 20, 2007
598
265
63
49
I had a bucket of springs laying around so I decided to try a stiffer one in the rear as Catsledman suggested earlier. The closest one I had was much stiffer but no idea what rate. My goal was NOT to improve float (my riot floats as good as a 120 should) but I wanted to improve ride quality in hard snow and stop the rear from bottoming in g-outs. I didn't what to ruin wheelie mode too much so I tried it first with no preload. I also wanted be able to run more sag in the center shock by helping more with the rear mid stroke. A stiffer spring with less preload can have less initial force and more final force than the stock rear spring preloaded over an inch.

It worked as planned and with zero preload it didn't ruin wheelie mode. It lifts the ski just as easy but doesn't lift quite as far. (That's good).Then just for giggles, I preloaded it a half inch more and it instantly became an Aro. Float speed was slightly improved but it was pushing my ski down into the snow like an old school snow bike and I felt like I needed to buy a Trio to hold the fork up and level the bike out.

So if anyone does have buyers remorse after buying a riot you could easily convert it to aro mode by buying a stiffer rear spring. My guess is just get an aro spring or go at least 30% stiffer with something custom then preload as needed. It can be anything you want it to be.

I'm still going to try to tune for better bump absorption in the spring but my testing on float is concluded for now. Any thing you do to keep the ski on the ground will help float speed to a point but after that you are just making a heavy steering /front heavy bike. The sweet spot is wider on the riot than any other kit because the long swing arm keeps the full throttle forces from adding to ski lift. The Riot will float and still wheelie just enough to cover a pretty wide range of snow conditions.
 
Last edited:

CATSLEDMAN1

Well-known member
Premium Member
Nov 27, 2007
2,462
1,011
113
71
Missoula, Montana
Worth the money to get 105 LB spring, doesn't bottom on g outs yet has more front ski lift, easy to tune so throttle action is forward motion first, then sit back just a little and loft ski some with throttle.

Note about the rear shock:

I just added more rebound dampening to my riot rear shock and yet to try it. I added one 1.250 x .008 shim to rebound stack.

Every time I take apart the next years Fox ACT shocks some thing changes.
Unlike the ARO, no bleed shim ? Well a different bleed spacer on the compression stroke, but nothing on the rebound.
Unlike most previous FOX no bleed hole in the piston
Unlike ARO, back to an aluminum floating piston with piston ring but no bleed screw, ARO has plastic piston with no piston ring or bleed hole. Piston is so tight in the shock body had to drive it out with a hammer and wooden dowel????? So you hit a bump this piston has to move...........so in this shock as stock no chance for good compliant suspension movement on small bumps...............until the shocks wore out.
Bleed groove cut in piston bushing cap threads so you can assemble the shock but must have piston up tight against the cap as you assemble...........works at the factory because they use a vacuum chamber to bleed shock, tough to bleed for regular mechanic.

To gas the earlier ARO SHOCKS you have to disassemble the bottom cap eye/spherical bushing and keepers and buy a special needle ( hard to find ) and go up through the bottom of the shock eye to penetrate the rubber pellet to add nitrogen. This setup was also used on the first couple of years of shocks on 11/12 TS kits.

Riot back to a conventional needle bleed port..........I know Pol/Fox caught a lot of crap from servicing dealer about the end cap pellet fiasco When I service the ARO shock, I drill and tap for RACE TECH's allen pellet screw made to change KTM's even more moronic Nitrogen charging fiasco. Then its back to easy service. You could always tap for reg valve stem also.

Any way, always a new wrinkle.
 
Premium Features