Motorcycle Suspension

Your motorcycle suspension plays a vital role in the performance of your motorcycle as well as your safety when riding.

The purpose of motorcycle suspensions is to absorb bumps in the road while at the same time keeping the wheels on the ground while isolating the rider and motorcycle from the resulting effects of the bumps. This is accomplished by the suspension component that compresses and extends when needed.

As per data shared by ThrottleBuff, a website dealing in motorcycle accessories, the suspension system of any motorcycle is essentially a shock absorber that makes riding more comfortable and safer. The goal of your front and rear springs is that when you push down on the foot pegs with the majority of your weight, both ends of the motorcycle should go up and down evenly.

The adjustment of your motorcycle’s suspension is dependent upon the type of riding that you do. Obviously, a competition rider will have different suspension needs than that of a typical street rider. For someone who mostly does street riding they will require that their motorcycle suspension absorb rough roads with comfort being the primary goal. There are some basic rules for tuning the suspension on your motorcycle.

Before you make any adjustments to your suspension system is important to check a few other areas to make sure that your motorcycle is in proper working order.

  • First of all, check your chain adjustment. Chain tension can have a significant impact on suspension performance.
  • Secondly, check the alignment of your front and rear wheels. You want to get your front and rear wheels lined up as closely as possible. You can check the alignment by running a string from the top of the front wheel to the rear. You will notice that the rear wheels position can be altered with the adjuster.
  • Thirdly, tire pressure can affect how your suspension reacts. With regard to tire pressure you should start with your manufacturer’s recommendations. It is important to remember that tire temperature increases tire pressure. You should initially check your tire pressure when it’s cold and then go for a ride for an hour or so. If following a ride the tire pressure has increased less than 10% on the front and 20% in the rear you should remove air from the tire.

Suspension Adjustment


The front sag should typically be anywhere from 30 to 35mm and the rear sag between 25 to 30mm. The best way to measure your sag is to do it without your weight on the bike. If it measures between 0 and 5 mm then you should be in good shape. When the bike is standing on its own without your weight on it you should be able to lift the rear just a little before it tops out.

Rebound Damping

In order to check rebound damping push on the triple clamp and when you let go the suspension should rebound to its original position fairly quickly but it should not go beyond. If it takes several seconds for expansion to return then less rebound damping is probably needed. If the shock extends beyond the free sag and then compresses again you need more rebound damping.

Compression Damping

You really cannot properly set your compression damping without riding your motorcycle. You need to feel how the suspension is performing. You cannot judge the springs with your bike standing still.

It is recommended that you set your compression adjusters toward the midrange and go for a ride. Experiment with softening or stiffening the damper until you achieve the desired results.

Please keep in mind that this information is to give you a general idea how the suspension system of your motorcycle works. For detailed information on the proper adjustment of your motorcycle’s shocks please refer to a motorcycle suspension adjustment manual or see a professional technician.

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