Polaris Debuts Fox Live Valve Electronic Suspension - Coming to Bikes Soon?
Fox invited me up to Scotts Valley, California, to ride their Live Valve electronic suspension system a number of years ago, when it was in the prototype stages. During that whirlwind weekend of riding their reactive suspension on mountain bikes, Fox walked me around a Polaris RZR UTV that was also wired with Live Valve suspension controls. After swearing to secrecy, the Fox Motorsports crew gave me the opportunity to drive some hot laps with the tricked out RZR on their test course to compare how the system performed when it was activated and not. It was impressive.
Without Live Valve, the Polaris suffered body roll in the corners and brake dive. Flip the switch, and the RZR chassis remained close to ride height, which flattened the car through the corners and maximized the available suspension. Fox and Polaris developed the system for the Popular RZR for more than performance reasons. Live Valve's ability to react to violent steering inputs and angular acceleration is intended to be a safety feature to minimize the potential for a high-speed rollover. Polaris calls it, "Dynamix Active Suspension Technology." – RC
Polaris RZR With Dynamix Active Suspension Technology PR
What About Live Valve for Bikes?
So, when does Fox Live Valve enter production on mountain bikes? The unofficial story is that Fox was ready to launch it for the 2017 season, and in fact, I've seen frames in production with ports and bosses to integrate the system. Reportedly, Fox decided to hold off on the official Live Valve release for at least one product season, presumably, to adapt the workings to "metric" shocks, and also to expand Live Valve's range of tuning to enhance the requirements of more aggressive riders. The video below shows how the OHV shock operates. The mountain bike Live Valve system controls the fork and shock in a similar manner, but the damping requirements are significantly different in order to provide firm pedaling and, simultaneously, unhindered suspension action. The benefits, however, are the same: supple or firm suspension, exactly when you need it, and a stabilized ride height for consistent handling.
How Fox Live Valve Works