Snowmobile Fanatics banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I hear a lot of people saying that they don't like the xtra-12. I also hear some people say that it's just a matter of tuning them. I understand that it's a reverse-rate suspension. But other than that, what are people's complaints about them? I have mine sitting on my trailer, as I'm replacing the slides on it. I was looking at some of the cantilevers and swing arms. Has anyone tried taking the front arm (which is just a suspension locator) and moving it back, removing the front shock, getting a smaller one and making it work like the rear? A few other things would have to be moved and changed (those metal bar things would need to be shortened, for one - and the mount holes on the tunnel moved) Anyone understand what I'm talking about? This summer I may try this, and mount it a little higher in the tunnel to see what I get out of it. Heck it's worth a shot.

Bryan

Bryan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,722 Posts
It is a great touring suspension but has some faults when pushed hard compared to a x10 or edge.

I think the biggest complaint in the early years was the high center of gravity. It was not much of a large mogul/jumping suspension.

It mainly had a hate/love relationship.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,626 Posts
Biggest reason I swapped my extra 12 for an extra 10 is the weight. You can really feel how heavy the 12 is when doing some aggresive riding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,729 Posts
The complaints I see are mostly a result of either not knowing how to tune a suspension (or be willing to put forth the effort) or not knowing the limitations of the suspension.

First of all, when the XTRA-12 first came out the stock setup was horrible, unless you weighed about 400 lbs. This resulted in the misconception that they gave a high center of gravity, or were tippy. For example, the stock rear track spring was a 200 lb spring. Well, Polaris recommends a 85 lb spring for riders up to 260 lbs. People couldn't (still can't) comprehend that the suspension should sag 4-6 inches when you sit on it. The service manual gives good information and good starting points for this suspension. Slight tuning will probably be required after that.

The XTRA-12 will bottom out. That is a fact. But occasional bottoming on a trail suspension is normal and acceptable. If it bottoms out on hard landings, that means the full travel is being used in normal conditions, which is good. The XTRA-12 is not meant to be set up stiff and used as an aggressive suspension. A poor ride and "tippy" condition will result.

A legitimate weak point about the XTRA-12 is the combination of the XTRA-12 front suspension coupled with the XTRA-12 rear. The front suspension has a lot of bump-steer and the stance changes drastically throughout the range of travel. The front suspension works best with low ski pressure (another reason it is good for trail applications and not aggressive riding). Tuning the rear suspension to work well, and provide low ski pressure takes considerable tuning and effort. It would be interesting to see how a XTRA-12 rear would work with the new IQ front end.

ibreakstuff, I understand what you are trying to say about modifying the XTRA-12. This post is long enough, and I need to regather my thoughts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
OK, good. It was a halfway attempt to explain it without pics. I'll try to get some pics of my extra-12 and photoshop them to give a better idea for anyone else attempting to comprehend what I'm saying.

I see the problem with the xtra-12 front. But machining a set of bellcranks wouldn't be that hard. And it would make a HUGE difference with bump steer and keeping the front end alignment correct. My front end on my Xtra-12 is getting a bit rusty so I'm taking it apart this spring to paint or powdercoat it. I might as well do some fiddling while I'm at it. I'm one of those kinds of people that aren't usually very happy with things as they are. If it all works well and makes a huge difference I may make a kit for someone to convert over to. It would be cheaper and better than an xtra 10 skid (seeing as you usually have to rebuild everything and this would keep most of your stock wearable parts), as this would fix the front end problem as well.

Bryan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,729 Posts
Originally posted by ibreakstuff
[br]I was looking at some of the cantilevers and swing arms. Has anyone tried taking the front arm (which is just a suspension locator) and moving it back, removing the front shock, getting a smaller one and making it work like the rear?
Basically, you would be replicating the geometry of the M-10 (true parallelogram). I do not think you would want to move the front swingarm back, though. On the M-10, the front swingarm is actually further forward than on the XTRA-12. How would you know what angle you would want the front swingarm at at full extension? I suppose you would have to measure the existing angle, and replicate it.

Originally posted by ibreakstuff
[br]A few other things would have to be moved and changed (those metal bar things would need to be shortened
Those metal bar things would be eliminated. Their only purpose is to move the bottom mounting location of the front track shock. They effectively lengthen the stroke of the front shock by moving the mount forward as the suspension compresses.

Originally posted by ibreakstuff
[br]mount it a little higher in the tunnel
I think it is mounted as high as you would want to go, already. Check the clearances.

We all are looking for ways to improve our machines. I love that. But, here is my main problem with doing all this. We all tend to think we are smarter than the people who designed it, tested it, redesigned it, tested it some more, etc. Sometimes, maybe we are. Most of the time, though, we are not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Like you said, I would be replicating something that is already in existence and is a slightly better suspension.

And although you are right - I don't have an engineering degree.. there are some crazy ideas out in production models that I wouldn't think to work, and they DIDN'T! AND there are designs I wouldn't think to work and they DID.

Please don't think I didn't think of a lot of what you had to say. I just put a shortened version of it up, I was eating lunch and didn't want to type too much. It would require a lot of measurements and math to keep the geometry of it correct; I know that. It was an idea I was tossing out there. Seeing if anyone tried it. Or thought about it. At the very least I'm changing the front to a bell-crank style like on my XCR. Can't go wrong there.

Worst case scenario? I put it back to the way it was and ride it. But I had fun trying!

Bryan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,729 Posts
Originally posted by ibreakstuff
[br]Please don't think I didn't think of a lot of what you had to say.
Don't get me wrong. I am sure you have put a lot of thought into it. I didn't mean to belittle your idea. I just typed out my reaction to it.

If you decide to modify the XTRA-12, I would love to hear your ideas and progress. And help out any amount that I could.

When you talk about modifying the steering, do you mean going to a rack style? I thought the bell crank was what they had already, with the arm in the center that the two tie rods attach to. The rack style I am thinking of has an idler arm and shorter tie rods that attach to a center link.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Originally posted by JD
When you talk about modifying the steering, do you mean going to a rack style? I thought the bell crank was what they had already, with the arm in the center that the two tie rods attach to. The rack style I am thinking of has an idler arm and shorter tie rods that attach to a center link.
You are 100% correct. Bellcrank is what it has, and the rack style is what I want to put on.

I guess we'll see what happens in the spring.

Bryan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
Ok,

I put in a How To on the Xtra-12 because I think it is a superior suspension. I am removing it and replacing it with an xtra-10. Why?
According to the Polaris service manual, I should have a 275#/in. rear shock spring and a 90/150#/in. front shock spring. I put those on the skid ($100.00), and it rode like a cement truck. I had only enough preload on the front track shock to keep the spring retainer on. I even stood in my cargo rack with a five gallon jug of gas (275#), and all it did was lift the front end.
I replaced the rear shock spring with a 90# unit, turned up the torsion blocks to high, and dialed in 1" of preload. It isn't too bad. If I had all the preload available, I could probably have a good ride. But as soon as I add my gas jug, I am back to hitting the bottom on the bumps.
Long and short of it, it can be tuned, but for me, I cannot afford $800.00 worth of springs to dial it in. There are a total of 6 front track shock springs, 5 rear shock springs, and 4 torsion springs for a total of 120 possible combinations. Obviously, the lightest can be excluded, but it still leaves roughly 30 combinations I could try. The local dealer is tickled to have someone trying to tune something, it means more money for him. The torsion springs are $80 each and the shock springs are $70 each. There are no salvage yards here. I have to order from Outside, and it costs 1/2 the cost of the item to get it here. If I lived in the Lower 48, it would be a simple matter of going to a larger dealership and testing the springs, or spending a couple of afternoons at a larger salvage yard to dig up the springs.
I am going to go back to the xtra-10 'cause it worked, and I find it an easier skid to tune. The early xtra-12's have 13.1 inches of vertical travel. Skids nowadays still have only about 10 inches or so under the butt, but are more refined. You would think all Pol needed to do would be to extend the arms 2 inches and add longer stroke shocks and there would be more travel. All I can say is I spent alot of money on this skid, I still think it is a great skid, but I am being costed out.

I looked at the FAST m-10, but all my research points towards it being a skid with a narrow weight range, roughly 50 pounds or so. If you add weight, you have to recalibrate it. Besides the initial cost.

Oh well.

So there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,729 Posts
Originally posted by GotMud
[br]Biggest reason I swapped my extra 12 for an extra 10 is the weight. You can really feel how heavy the 12 is when doing some aggresive riding.
I wonder what the actual weight difference is between the 10 and the 12. When you look at them, the 12 should not be a lot heavier. Slightly longer torque arms and slightly longer shocks. TheKuskokid, maybe when you swap back to the 10, you could get your bathroom scale out and weigh each of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,626 Posts
Originally posted by JD
[br]
Originally posted by GotMud
[br]Biggest reason I swapped my extra 12 for an extra 10 is the weight. You can really feel how heavy the 12 is when doing some aggresive riding.
I wonder what the actual weight difference is between the 10 and the 12. When you look at them, the 12 should not be a lot heavier. Slightly longer torque arms and slightly longer shocks. TheKuskokid, maybe when you swap back to the 10, you could get your bathroom scale out and weigh each of them.
I have one of each on the garage floor. I'll weigh them tonight! I've been pretty curious the actual weight difference just never taken the time to weigh them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I was kind of wondering why they didn't make the 12 just like the 10, but with longer arms and shocks. Seems kinda cooky to me. All the extra time and money into that skid. Oh, the 12 came out first didn't it?

Bryan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,257 Posts
A chicken and egg question. Actually the xtra-12 started off as the extra-14. Pretty radical, a 14" travel skid in the early to mid 90's. They couldn't get it to behave so they shortened it up an released the xtra-12 as we know it. I liked my xtra-12. I just rode it a little harder than it would take.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
So im confused what #spring came with the sled from the factory?I have a 98 x12 and it sags quite abit and im 220# so maybe I can get a bigger spring to hold my a** up a LITTLE higher
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
Go to the dealer and ask to see the Service Manual Volume 3 specifications for your machine, it'll rell you everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,626 Posts
Ok so I didn't get a chance to weigh them.[V]
I threw the extra 10 in so I could go for a ride instead.[:D]
I will weight he extra 12 tomorrow though, does someone else have an extra 10 they can weigh?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
There is no such thing. There are 4 different torsion springs, 5 different front shock springs, and 4 different rear shock springs available. The guy needs to take the time to do some research.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top