SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - NOVEMBER 2017

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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DESERT ROYALTY King Shocks Takes Its Success In Baja To Higher Levels With A New, Larger Facility By Dan Sanchez Photos by Dan Sanchez When Lance King founded King Off-Road Racing Shocks in 1996, he and his sons Ross and Brett decided that they would dedicate themselves to building the absolute best shocks for the off-road racing community. More than two decades later, King Shocks are used on most of the four-wheel vehicles in SCORE and have helped drivers and teams win numerous championships. “When we first started, our dad came up with some shock designs,” said company president and co-founder Brett King. “Since all we knew was how to machine parts, and had a good reputation in the off-road market, we decided to try and make a go of it. Before we built a single shock, we had 32 on order!” The company is the Official Shock of SCORE, and their success in Baja comes from their roots in desert racing. “Everything we’ve done was based on Baja desert racing,” said King. “We designed shocks to go to Baja from day one. It’s been our passion and enjoy that it’s more technically challenging to build shocks that challenge that terrain. We like that part of it. I’ve gone to every race over the past 30 years. Our experience shows on the vehicles we put shock absorbers on.” A major part of King Shock’s success is the fact that they are building products for the top-end of the off-road market, which means quality and reliability take preference over making millions of products. “We build shocks for the upper 5-percent of the market,” says King. “Therefore, we’re not trying to sell millions of shocks to everyone.” To that extent, the company recently outgrew its old building and moved into a new 55,0000 square-foot facility. According to King, the facility is perfect for their growing needs and efficiency. “The building was designed and built for us,” said King. “It was an engineered layout designed for what we do and how we manufacture shock absorbers. We were really tight before and it’s been a great move.” The facility houses all of King’s engineering, manufacturing, and assembly where the entire process of design, development, and even sales are all done at their new Garden Grove, California complex. King also mentioned that some new technologies are being developed here, including new ways to improve their racing coil-over shock designs. “We’ve been developing the use of internal bypass shocks on coil overs,” says King. “Our coil overs now feature internal position sensitive dampening. The external compression adjusters and anti-cavitation valves on our coil over designs have helped reduce body-roll. This makes the suspensions more rigid but not stiff, and provide more low-speed control.” King’s success with a variety of off-road racing vehicles has also led to their use on Side-by-Sides. “The tremendous growth in the UTV (side-by-side) market has dramatically helped our business,” says King. “Not only are there more UTV racers wanting to use our shocks, but recreational UTV owners also want that same performance when they hit the desert and sand dunes.” While King Shocks remains the top choice for racers, the company also realizes that off-road enthusiasts want to improve the performance of their daily driven vehicles. “We never really knew that off-roading would get to be as big,” says King. “We were really just a race-car company, but more people wanted our shocks for their standard Ford F-150, Toyota Tacoma, Ford Raptor, Chevy pickups and more. So we’ve recently begun making replacement OE shocks for those people too.” King’s OE replacement shocks fit into the factory locations without modifications and utilize much of the same racing technology for street vehicles that are used off-road on the weekends. “I see King making more products to replace factory shocks,” said King. “For many people, their daily driven truck is also their weekend toy,” says King. “Their vehicles have become dual-purpose, but the shocks we make for these vehicles, are modified versions of what is used in a modern Trophy Truck.” SJ

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