Tech Notes Extra: FOX iQS adjusts instantly on the fly

Our sneak peek at FOX’s new suspension system
RELATED TOPICS: TECH NOTES | SUSPENSIONS | SNOWMOBILES
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FOX has always been known for its state-of-the-art suspensions. It is a name that is synonymous with quality, durability, and now advanced technology. With the introduction of iQS (Intelligent Quick Switch), it is the first electronically controlled suspension for snowmobiles.

■ In the field with iQS
We had the opportunity to spend a day with Fox learning all about this advanced tech, as well as getting out on the snow with several sleds equipped with the suspension—the only way to get a real feel for how it works, of course!

And it works with stunning ease. With an iQS control switch mounted next to the handle grips on your sled, you can control the suspension on the fly with the touch of a button. No more getting off the sled and chipping the ice away to get to the control knob.

In a world of instant gratification, this tech certainly hits the mark. As riders, we often want to do suspension adjustments, but don’t bother, since dealing with the frozen track and suspension knobs just isn’t worth it, especially in ever-changing terrain. iQS solves this problem.

■ A lot for a little
Making adjustments on the fly, quickly without even slowing down is impressive. Rick Strobel, Fox Race Manager, explained how they gained inspiration using technology from their bicycle and off-road departments and developed an electronic system with a handlebar mounted switch that adjusts dampening on all four shocks.

The options on the iQS include: a lockout for steep climbs; Mode 3 for aggressive riding, railing corners or for increased load carrying capacity; Mode 2 for everyday riding; and Mode 1 for comfort riding, easy side hilling, and steep descents.
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These settings take less than a second to initiate from the time you press the button, which is all made possible through a central control unit that synchronizes all four shocks electronically into four preprogrammed modes.

“In the past, riders had to pick between a heavy ski pressure suspension setup or a light playful suspension setup. They can now get the best of both worlds and control it right from the handlebars,” Strobel says.

Our test riders appreciated being able to use the lockout mode on steep climbs. Strobel concludes:“The lockout function is really useful for riders on high horsepower or shorter track machines as it helps keep the front end down during climbing, making the snowmobile a lot easier to control.”

When riders take to climbing steep terrain, the iQS is especially helpful in maintaining control of the sled with the lockout feature. In this mode, Fox has anticipated that the rider will be aggressively scaling a hill, and tuned the suspension to provide the best possible setup for success.

As all four shocks are hooked together, the lockout mode has been formulated to set the front shocks to soft (Mode 1), the center shock to medium (Mode 2), and the rear track to firm (Mode 3). This setup transforms your sled into a mountain-eating machine, and gets the rider to the top without wetting their pants. Which is always a win.

While all sleds will benefit from the lockout mode, some might find it especially appealing. Strobel explains: “The lockout function is really useful for riders on high horsepower or shorter track machines as it helps keep the front end down during climbing.”

The ability to adjust your suspension while riding, although revolutionary now, is something I’m sure my kids will take for granted in the future; and getting off our machines to make those adjustments will be like watching TV without a remote, or doing homework before the ease of being able to Google anything and everything. Welcome to the future!
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