BOUCHERVILLE, QC, Feb. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ - Elka Suspension (www.elkasuspension.com), a shock absorber manufacturer, will be testing a composite spring prototype for off-road vehicles at King of the Hammers 2023, a preeminent off-road racing event held in Johnson Valley, California, February 5-11, 2023. This new technology will be tested on a Can-Am Maverick X3 driven by former King of the Hammers champions and factory racers Cody and Hunter Miller in the UTV Pro Stock category. "We see a great opportunity to benefit from our 20-year experience in racing to bring a high-performance product to market that will also have recreational applications and improve the driving experience for all types of users," says Jean-Francois Leclair, Director of Sales & Marketing at Elka.
Composite springs can be up to 30% lighter than comparable metal springs with the same rate. For a racing application, such as a UTV, this could lead to close to 14 pounds in weight reduction, half of this being considered as unsprung mass. The composite ability to store energy per unit mass is higher than what can be obtained from steel. That way, lighter springs can be achieved, without compromising durability nor performance. Furthermore, because of the stiffness to weight ratio, the natural frequency of the spring is also different from steel springs and may enhance the responsiveness and behavior of the suspension, combined with the unsprung mass reduction.
The product is expected to be commercialised in the Fall of 2023. After a successful validation of the prototype on the racecourse during King of the Hammers, various spring settings will be tested in the lab and in the field on different types of vehicles and in different riding conditions over several months. We expect testing protocols to be completed by the end of summer 2023. The first models offered will be on high-performance fully adjustable shock models designed for high-end UTVs.
The composite spring will be offered as an additional suspension option. Liberty Springs and Elka will continue to manufacture and offer metal spring products for all the vehicles covered in their shock absorbers line-up for both OEM and aftermarket.
Acquired in 2021 by Liberty Spring, a large-scale automotive spring manufacturer, Elka Suspension is leveraging in-house know-how and manufacturing capabilities to bring to market a fully integrated ready-to-install spring-shock combination with a composite spring. "Liberty Spring's experience in supplying OE manufacturers in the automotive industry joined with Elka's formidable craftmanship and capacity to tune products to perfection is what allows us to develop a product with large scale potential," says Martin Lamoureux, VP of Business Development at Elka.
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SOURCE Elka Suspension Inc.