Trail riding on an ATV offers thrills, but the key to a smooth and controlled ride lies in having the right shocks. Whether you're navigating rough, rocky terrain, speeding through smooth paths, or slogging through mud and sand, the best ATV shocks can dramatically improve your experience. Here’s why upgrading your ATV shocks is essential and how to choose the perfect set for your adventures.

Understand Your Terrain and Riding Style

Different terrains require specific shock characteristics:

  • Rough & Rocky: Opt for shocks with ample travel and bottoming-out resistance.
  • Smooth & Fast: Prioritize responsiveness and high-speed damping.
  • Mud & Sand: Focus on shocks that manage stability and prevent wallowing.

Your riding style is equally important:

  • Aggressive & Sporty: Look for high and low-speed compression adjustments for fine-tuning.
  • Casual & Recreational: Seek shocks that offer a comfortable ride with adjustable preload for weight management.

Types of ATV Shocks

  1. Standard OEM Shocks: Basic and cost-effective but limited in performance.
  2. Coil-Over Shocks: A popular upgrade offering adjustable preload and sometimes rebound damping.
  3. Reservoir Shocks: Provide superior performance with improved heat dissipation and extensive adjustability, including piggyback and remote reservoir options.
  4. Air Shocks: Highly adjustable through air pressure but require frequent maintenance.

Adjustability is Crucial

Adjustability in preload, rebound damping, and compression damping (both low-speed and high-speed) allows you to fine-tune your shocks to match your ATV's weight, the terrain, and your personal riding style, ensuring maximum control and comfort.

Budget and Maintenance

Balancing cost with features is key. While premium shocks offer extensive adjustments, assess your true needs. Remember, shocks and springs work together; ensure the right spring rate for your ATV and riding conditions. Consider shocks that are rebuildable to extend their lifespan and maintain performance.


Investing in the right ATV shocks transforms your riding experience, enhancing both safety and enjoyment. By understanding your specific needs and the capabilities of different shocks, you can make an informed choice that elevates your trail adventures. Ready to upgrade? Explore our top recommendations for the best ATV shocks for trail riding and take your off-road experience to the next level!