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Motorcycle Suspension: A Troubleshooting Guide

Motorcycle Suspension: A Troubleshooting Guide

Solution of suspension problems.

Fit Locations: Forks

The rebound adjustment (if applicable) is located near the top of the fork. The compression adjustment (if applicable) is located near the bottom of the fork. The spring preload adjuster (if equipped) is usually a hex style and is located on top of the fork.

lack of bounce

Symptoms:

o The forks are plush, but increasing speed causes loss of control and traction

o The motorcycle rolls over and tends to spread wide out of a turn, causing loss of traction and control.

o When cornering at high speed, you experience vibrations at the front end, loss of traction and control.

o Aggressive entry into control lessons speed and chassis attitude suffers.

o The front end does not recover after an aggressive entry on bumpy surfaces.

Fix: Insufficient bounce. Increase rebound “gradually” until control and traction are optimized and vibration disappears.

too much bounce

Symptoms:

o The front end feels locked, resulting in a harsh ride.

o Suspension folds up and doesn’t come back, giving a rough ride. Usually after the first bump the bike will jump over subsequent bumps and want to flex the front end.

o With acceleration, the front of the tank will bang or jerk violently due to lack of contact with the front wheel tire.

Solution: Too much bounce. Decrease the rebound “gradually” until you optimize control and traction.

lack of compression

Symptoms:

o Severe frontal dives, sometimes bottoming out over heavy potholes or during aggressive braking.

o The front end feels soft or vague similar to a lack of bounce.

o When bottoming out, a thud is heard. This is because the end of the fork’s travel is being reached.

Solution: Insufficient compression. Increase “gradually” until control and traction are optimized.

too much compression

Symptom:

o The front end rides high when cornering, causing the motorcycle to veer too much. You should keep the default buckling, which will allow the steering geometry to remain constant.

Solution: Lower the compression “little by little” until the bike doesn’t bottom out or wrinkle a lot.

Symptom:

o The front end vibrates or shakes when entering turns. This is due to incorrect oil height and/or too much low speed compression damping.

Solution: First, check that the oil height is correct. If correct, decrease compression “gradually” until the chattering and shaking stops.

Symptom:

o Shocks and waves are felt directly into the triple clamps and through the frame. This causes the front wheel to bounce over bumps.

Solution: Decrease the compression “gradually” until you regain control.

Symptom:

o Driving is generally hard and becomes even more difficult when braking or entering turns.

Solution: Decrease the compression “gradually” until you regain control.

Fit Locations: Rear Shock

The rebound adjustment (if applicable) is located on the bottom of the shock. The compression adjustment (if applicable) is located on the reservoir. The prelude spring is located at the top of the shock.

Shock: lack of bounce

Symptoms:

o The ride will feel soft or jerky and as speed increases the rear end will want to wallow and/or weave over uneven surfaces and traction will suffer.

o Loss of traction will cause the rear end to jump or vibrate due to the shock coming back too quickly out of a turn.

Solution: Insufficient Rebound – Increase rebound until rocking and weaving are eliminated and control and traction are optimized.

Shock: too much bounce

Symptoms:

o The ride is rough, suspension control is limited and traction is lost.

o The rear end will pack up, forcing the bike wide in corners, due to rear squat. It will slow down the steering because the front end is so high up.

o When rear end piles up, the tires will usually overheat and jump over potholes.

o When stepping on the accelerator, the rear end will tend to jump or jump on the inputs.

Solution: Too much bounce. Decrease the rebound “gradually” until the rough ride subsides and traction is regained. Decrease the rebound to prevent the rear end from packing up.

Shock: lack of compression

Symptoms:

o The bike will not turn when entering a turn.

o When bottoming out, control and traction are lost.

o With excessive rear squat, when accelerating out of corners the bike will tend to drift a lot.

Solution: Insufficient compression. Increase compression “gradually until traction and control are optimized and/or excess rear-end squat disappears.

Shock: too much compression

Symptoms:

o The ride is rough, but not as bad as too much bounce. As speed increases, so does roughness.

o There is very little back squat. This will cause loss of traction/skidding. The tire will overheat.

o The rear end will want to kick when going over medium to large bumps.

Solution: Decrease the compression until the harshness disappears. Decrease compression until slippage stops and traction is regained.

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