In 1973, Works Performance Products began producing their own brand of unique off-road shocks. Their steady line of off-road performance shocks for motorcycles, ATVs, street bikes and custom cruisers have earned them a solid reputation for quality and craftsmanship in the suspension market.
NOT A ONE SIZE FITS ALL COMPANY
For over three decades that’s been the Works philosophy: build shocks for each individual customer. Each Works shock is built to order based on each rider’s weight, specific length requirements, chassis geometry and intended use.
“It sometimes takes a little longer to make them, as opposed to simply getting an off-the-shelf item, but we feel that the benefits in handling and comfort are worth the wait,” says Works Performance’s Ned Owens.
ENTER THE BLACK WIDOW
One of the latest shocks in Works’ arsenal are the new Black Widow series for high performance ATVs. We picked up a set for a Yamaha Raptor 700 and installed them to see how well this latest generation of Works Shocks performs.
Back in black. The latest Pro Series Black Widow Piggyback shocks look bad. Bad as in good. They come with high- and low-speed compression adjustment and low-speed rebound adjustment.
The Widows have large capacity oversized reservoirs, and massive 5/8-inch hardened, chromed alloy shafts, with four-stage compression damping. They also use a special Teflon fabric spherical bearing with a threaded spring pre-load adjuster.
The damper tubes are treated with an advanced military-spec coating that they claim dissipates heat better than bare metal and uses Works’ exclusive computer-generated check-ball and orifice damping. Suggested retail price for the Black Widow piggyback front shocks is $1039 a set.
There is also a “no pre-load” version of the Pro Series Black Widow Piggyback shocks available. It is designed to be set lower than the standard Widow, for improved cornering.
While the regular Black Widow shock is designed to sit low, the Stadium is lower still, and is intended for closed course Motocross and Stadium racing.
ON THE BACK END
To complement the Widow front shocks, we installed a Black Widow UltraCross shock on the rear of our Raptor 700. It also has both high and low speed compression damping adjustments, an 18-position rebound adjustment, and a large capacity, single line, remote reservoir with dual-rate springs. It sells for $839.
Works Performance makes a wide variety of aftermarket suspension and rebuild kits for sport and utility
ATVs. Their Black Widow shocks are their higher-end shocks and we bolted a set onto a Raptor 700R
recently to try them out.
BLACK WIDOW STRIKES
The front and rear shocks installed fairly straightforward and fit easily on our test machine. We were ready to ride in a little over half an hour. We had Works dial in our set for our test rider’s size, weight and riding skills. They offer their 30-day “Performance Guarantee” the ride and handling will meet your expectations or Works will re-spring and re-valve the shocks at no extra charge.
Once we hit the track, we were extremely pleased with the overall results. Formerly, our Raptor had wallowed and wandered in the rough stuff, especially at speed. In the whoops it wanted to kick and pitch sideways on square-edged kickers.
With the new Black Widow suspension, it felt much improved. You could wail through the roughest sections without it kicking or pitching sideways. The ride was drastically better. The overall suspension balance between the front and back ends of our Black Widow-equipped Raptor was also much better than stock.
We found you could drive the Widow-equipped Raptor into the turns harder, and get out quicker, under much better control. Translate that into repeated laps around a rough motocross course and you can see why good suspension is so important to going fast.
Overall, for a little under $2000, we got a set of front and rear shocks that made a significant difference in the handling on our Raptor 700. While it is not cheap, this is one suspension upgrade that does pays off where it matters most—on the track.
The Works Performance Black Widow shocks are available for a wide variety of sport and high performance quads, including the TRX250R, TRX400EX, TRX450R, LTZ/KFX/DVX400, KFX700, YFZ450, Raptor 660/700, and Can-Am DS650. There are also long travel versions available for Lonestar, Roll, and Houser A-arms.
CONTACT: Works Performance
(818) 701-1010 or