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By: Robert Janis

Elka Susension
Elka Suspension Assures a Smooth Ride for Powersport Enthusiasts

Keeping the ride smooth for riders of ATVs as well as motorcycles is the mission of Elka Suspension. Based in Boucherville, Quebec, Canada, the company has been producing high-end shock absorbers for ATVs since 2000.

“At the time, the stock suspension on ATVs were not as refined as they were on motorcycles, which left a lot of room for improvement,” commented Patrick Tellier, marketing manager at Elka Suspension. “Besides that, aftermarket suppliers took several weeks to deliver a product that was high in quality, but also very expensive and not properly tuned to the rider’s individual needs.” He boasted that Elka Suspension delivers affordable high-performance custom-built products quickly that are backed by personalized customer service.

In the first years of the company’s existence it concentrated on making product for performance and racing ATVs. These included the Honda 250R and TRX400EX and the Yamaha Banshee. “We were the first company to offer separate external adjusters for high-and low-speed compression,” said Tellier. “By then (the year 2000) riders were mostly looking for more wheel travel and more adjustability from their suspension.”

Spring upgrade kit for Kawasaki Prairie 360/650, Brute Force 650 and Suzuki Twin Peaks.
Spring upgrade kit for Kawasaki Prairie 360/650, Brute Force 650 and Suzuki Twin Peaks.

Today the company offers products for sports-utility ATVs, side-by-side vehicles like the Yamaha Rhino, as well as for motorcycles and pitbikes. In addition, Elka Suspension recently introduced two models of steering dampers for ATVs, and the company plans to offer steering dampers for dirtbikes in the near future.

According to Tellier, the company develops new products in accordance to what their customers demand. They work closely with other aftermarket manufacturers of such components as a-arms and swingarms in order to offer compatible shock absorbers. “This tight relationship enables our company and the other companies we work with to optimize products to complement each other and provide even more performance,” said Tellier. However, Elka Suspension does not intend to make products for every ATV. “If a vehicle’s geometry will not allow enough room for improvement, we don’t offer products for that vehicle,” Tellier added.

Although Elka Suspension does not have any special agreements with ATV manufacturers to make products, manufacturers do cooperate. Tellier pointed out that if Elka Suspension products can help a particular manufacturer’s vehicle win races, that manufacturer benefits. “For example, when Kawasaki introduced their new KFX450, our engineers worked closely with their factory riders that we sponsor to improve on the OEM suspension for racing application,” said Tellier.

He added that the company has made agreements with pitbike manufacturers. For example, the company has joined with BBR Motorsports to develop and produce the BBR SuperShock, which is only available through BBR.

A key part of Elka Suspension is their research and development department. They receive input from the pro riders that they sponsor through an objective and sophisticated data acquisition system as well as from their customers. Using this information, Elka Suspension engineers develop new technologies that overcome various issues encountered in specific riding conditions. “This approach has led to the introduction of many successful products such as the Dune Edition and the TRACK System® and often enables us to improve existing products,” said Tellier.


Elka has some great side-by-side shock options

Moreover, R&D does extensive testing of products in real world conditions using riders who have diverse riding experience. Tellier boasts that during the testing process products are pushed to their limit, far beyond what most riders would do. This assures that the products not only satisfy the professional racers, but also meet the needs and expectations of every customer profile.

Currently, Elka Suspension sponsors 25 pro riders across the world in a variety of racing disciplines and supports hundreds of amateur riders each year at various levels. Elka Suspension uses these sponsored riders to get technical feedback which they use to improve products on a constant basis. Moreover, the company has a Referral Program that offers sponsored racers additional support from free goodies to free servicing on their shocks when they refer new customers to Elka.

In addition, Elka has a race support and emergency repair program. A race support rig and crew appear at national level races throughout North America, and offer free help to fine tune adjustments and set up suspensions properly so that the products can achieve optimum performance. The crew also performs emergency repairs for racers. Representatives are also on hand to provide the latest information on Elka Suspension.

Races and championships won by Elka Suspension riders include: ATVA Pro GNC Series #1, AMA Pro GNCC Series #2, ITP Quadcross #1, WORCS Series #1, World 4-Stroke ATV #1, Tecate Baja 1000 #1, Tecate Baja 500 #1, San Felipe 250 #1, Best in the Desert Series #1, Paris-Dakar Rally #1, Le Touquet 2004--France #1, Spain Championship #1, Canada Championship #1, Portugal Championship #1, South Africa Championship #1, Australia Championship #1, Yamaha Off-Road 2004 #1, 12 Hours of Pont-de-Vaux #1, Trophee de France d’Endurance #1, 12 Hours of La Tuque #1, Pike’s Peak #1, and Roof of Africa #1.

Elka Suspension sponsors the following racers: John Natalie Jr., Mike Cafro, William Yokley, Josh Creamer, Jason Luburgh, Wayne Matlock, Cyle Chislock, Levi Marana, Michelle Reiser, Adam Hodgson, Darrell Patton, Richard Pelchat, Shaun Gunther, John Mitchell, Chris Brenton, Zack Herrera, Mark Notman, Jasmin Plante, and Raul and Dani Vega.

A racer who wishes to get sponsorship from Elka Suspension can obtain an application from the company’s website (www.elkasuspension.com/company/sponsorship.html) and send the filled-out form along with a resume to Elka Suspension, 1585-M De Coulomb, Boucherville, Quebec, Canada J4B 8J7.

Elka Suspension also sponsors events including the WPSA ATV Tour, the AMA ATV-MX Series and the GNCC Series as well as hundreds of various racing and non racing events each year. They also give back to the community by sponsoring charity donations and social events such as the Annual South Dunes Cleanup in Glamis. “For us, it is more than having our logo displayed; it’s a way of promoting powersports at the base. We hope that our support can help the promoters put together events that will draw more participants every year,” said Tellier.

The company employs 50 suspension specialists. Each specialist has some kind of powersport background and many of them are racers in various disciplines.

Elka Suspension products are sold by a vast network of authorized dealers worldwide. Customers can also order directly from the factory. To be an authorized Elka Suspension dealer, a business must have a physical store front. The owner of the business must fill out a dealer application form that can be obtained from the company website (www.elkasuspension.com/company/dealer.html). If the business is not located too close to another Elka Suspension authorized dealership, the application is usually accepted quickly. Elka provides all the documentation required that allows the business to sell Elka products, and the company has internal representatives who are available to assist dealers.

Besides being able to obtain forms for applying to become a dealer or for racers who seek sponsorship, the company website offers information about the products Elka sells, provides event information, describes the services the company offers, and includes current news about the company. You can log on at: www.elkasuspension.com.


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