In the world of go-fast desert racing, bypass shocks are required equipment. Not because they look and sound cool, but because they offer precision control over compression and rebound damping. Simply put, bypass shocks allow you to go fast in the dirt. They do this by giving you the ability to fine-tune the velocity at which the suspension system reacts to the terrain in specific "zones" of wheel travel. King Off-Road Racing Shocks has been building racing shocks for over 14 years now. As such, King has perfected many of the variables that other manufacturers struggle with in terms of material selection and manufacturing ability. With this story, we will showcase how race-grade bypass shocks are built, and also show how they're tested-in this case, on an Ultra 4 desert racecar in Johnson Valley, California.
We recently toured King's Southern California shock-manufacturing facility. Read on to see what we learned about the way race-caliber bypass shocks are made.
On-Site Tuning Services
When a racer makes the decision to run King shocks, the product comes out of the box ready to run. Off Road Design opted to exercise King's on-site tuning services to test a set of King triple-bypass race shocks in preparation for The Best in the Desert (BITD) racing series. With this service, King sends out one of their in-house tuning specialists to help dial in the shock tuning to the specific racecar and/or terrain. The technician might make a few simple adjustments to the bypass tubes, or he may swap out coil springs to dial in a better spring rate. In some cases, the technician might even take the shock apart on location and re-valve it for better performance. We tagged along during Off Road Design's tuning session at Johnson Valley and documented the process. Here you can see Iribe making adjustments to the bypass tubes. Within a few minutes, he had ORD's Ultra 4 car running smooth and fast over some of the roughest whoops sections we could find.