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I've ordered a set of stage 4 shocks for my 1000 and I can't decide if I should get the shock protectors for the fronts. If anyone who has them would give their opinion that would be great. I'm wondering whether they clog up with mud, leaves etc.
 

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they clog up pretty good
 
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I had them on my outty when I had Elkas and didn't have any problems. They kept the springs/shaft clear of any rocks chipping them. My Fox shocks already have several stone chips on them. But we tend to race a lot and a lot of rocks get thrown at the front of the machine when your riding the bumper of the guy in front. Other than racing when are you gonna have rocks getting thrown at the front of the machine?
If you race, get them. Otherwise theyre just for looks really
 
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front tires throw a lot of rocks at the rear too
 

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It looks like there are two types. A hard plastic and a bag slip on looking on. I would stay away from the bag on or anything like a shock boot since it holds mud and other things and causes the shock to rust.
 

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The shock covers (bag) are good if you like to keep the shocks clean, but you'll need to remove them every ride or every other ride to clean them and whatever gets caught underneath them. They will eventually wear the paint off the springs and make them look ugly also. I have a set for my 400ex for pure sand, like dunes, or if I know it's going to be VERY muddy where I'm going to be riding because they will keep out 90% of whatever you're riding through and keep it away from the seals and from getting between the cross overs and shock body. But I always remove them and wash them and the shocks after each ride with them. And if I'm riding in normal dry conditions I don't use them at all, they won't really help except for rock chips. The hard plastic shields are good for rocks chips to the main shaft, but that's about it.
 

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Shocks usually fade because they overheat and the oil in them "foams". If you add shock bags to any shock it insulates them and makes them overheat quicker. If you ride slow they are fine, but if you ride hard they are likely harming more than they are helping!
 

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Im in the same boat, just purchased a set of elkas and wanted the protection, does anyone that went with the hard covers have any more feedback negative or positive
 
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