Testing the Slicast suspension from Hygear

Hello everybody,

I would like to share with you my last test of the Slicast  suspension kit produced by Hygear  Suspension. I have been trying out different suspension adjustments since two years now on a MXZ X 1200 and I reached the point where I cannot be satisfied with any original adjustment.

I must precise what I wanted to achieve when I was trying to improve the handling of my snowmobile.

Firstly, I like to have a lot of ski on front of my machines, whether on icy surfaces, hard packed snow or fresh snow. It is a matter of safety and riding pleasure. In its original geometry, ski tends to sit only on its front part. I ran different tests by adding spacers between the ski and its leg to get a ski angle that would be parallel to ground; but over time, they get distorded or do not remain still… There is no original adjustment that allows this change (caster). Furthermore, carbide runners would wear out in a more even way.

 

Before                                                        After

Secondly, I wanted to eliminate darging. I tried different types of runners without real success but  with many compromises. The    kit allows us to adjust the caster and the camber, so this should let me make the required changes.

Finally, the A-arms mount bushings of my front suspension had to be replaced. Hygear  offers Heavy Duty models that are greasable, which is impossible with original mount bushings. Also, according to  Hygear , we can adjust their kit to the 2015 RAS 2 suspension. So, let’s do it!

Slicast specifications

The kit is offered at 299,00 $ US. These days, Canadian Dollar exchange rate is not to our advantage. Starting price is interesting, but the final cost surprised my. We must add this exchange rate, shipping fees and customs clearance. At the end, we pay around 450 to 500 $ CA, depending on the exchange rate or if you ask for express delivery. I must also say that this kit has been a back-order product during many weeks and some people cancelled their order. I had many conversations by email with Hygear   customer services and everytime, I got accurate and quick answers.

  • Kit includes 2 greasable upper A-arms made of powdercoated Chromoly. First quality painting and welding. 
  • HD mount bushings. 
  • Special ball joints. 
  • Rotating adjustment rings of the caster. 
  • Adjustment spacers of the camber. 
  • Installation guide.

Installation

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The included installation guide is filled with details and photos, in english only. On a scale of difficulty from 1 to 10, I would give it a 6 because of the ball joint we have to remove and to reinstall. It took me about 2 hours for the whole operation.

 

First step is to remove the hood so that we can reach the right nut of the upper right part of the suspension. The left nut is stuck in the structure of the snowmobile.

 

Then, the bolt at the bottom of the shock must be taken off to allow the upper part to slide outwards.

Now, the most delicate operation is to remove the ball joint. I did not have any propane torche to warm up the part; so, I had to use a ball joint extractor. This is not the best because as we must use some strength when we remove the ball joint, it is easy to scratch the ski leg… This is the last step before re-assembly.

 

 

 

 

 

Comparisons between  Slicast  kit and original equipment

One of the obvious differences is easy to notice : the height of the ball joint. Then, the adjustable ball joint for the camber and caster.

 

You can also notice the quality of the mount bushings compared with the original ones. And they are greasable…

 

Test on terrain

First kilometers have not been conclusive. At low speed or in straight line on even surfaces, there is no sensible difference. Differences appear when we speed up and when trail conditions are getting bad. The twitchy steering feel when we hit bumps has almost disappeared. Inner ski lift-up in turns tends to decrease and the difference is so important that I even had to review my type of piloting. I used to transfer on outer ski for support, but now, the snowmobile stays flat and at level.

Once again, for those who would like to get this kit, the difference is really obvious when pace increases. In touring mode, it will probably not be so advantageous compared with original geometry. However, those who keep up the pace in bumps and curves and like to play with adjustments for more stability and traction, they will be satisfied and they will be able to change the settings at pleasure.