In our previous post, we talked about what to consider when adjusting your motorbike suspension, and in this segment, we would like to elaborate more on how rebound and compression damping works.
1. What is Damping?
Simply put, damping is what influences and controls the compression and extension (or rebound) of the suspension system. Unless a damper mechanism is coupled with a suspension system, the fork and rear suspension will extend and compress without control until it comes to a stop; pretty much making your ride a very uncomfortable one. A damper is basically a shock absorber with a piston and hydraulic fluid (commonly oil) mechanism, where during compression the piston moves downwards compressing the fluid in the lower chamber of the damper, and during extension the piston moves upwards compressing the fluid in the upper chamber. Compression damping and rebound damping work hand in hand to make your riding experience a lot safer and better. Here’s how:
2. Compression Damping
Compression damping assists the suspension system in absorbing bumps, impacts, or any kind of irregularity on roads. It reduces the severity of the wheel upward motion by dampening and controlling and limiting the suspension compression, subsequently helping you control your motorcycle better. There are essentially two kinds of compression damping; low speed damping and high speed damping. Speed here is not in reference to the motion of the bike, but rather the compression motion of suspension.
3. Low Speed Compression Damping (LSCD)
LSCD refers to a lower speed at which the compression happens, and is the basic compression damping circuit that is available on all range of motorcycles. It serves as the initial line of compression dampening, mainly to control the suspension compression cause by the sprung weight of your motorcycle, including your own bodyweight. It also regulates the suspension compression during braking and when going over uneven roads. It is not however as effective when riding over bigger or more angled bumps, and higher drops. For that, you’ll need a High Speed Compression Damper.
4. High Speed Compression Damping (HSCD)
HSCD is used to dampen more drastic compression motions like after a bigger or more angled bump on the road, or a deep pothole. Serving its purpose as the LSCD, the HSCD circuit regulates the compression motion when there is a high speed compression. So instead of experiencing a sudden drop of sprung weight towards the ground, the circuit controls the drop and stabilizes the compression speed. Both LSCD and HSCD are adjustable circuits.
5. Rebound Damping
Rebound damping on the other hand controls the extension of the suspension system as it returns to its original position after a compression. It is a different circuit altogether and the reason why they are separated is because both rebound and compression damping require different levels and mechanisms of damping. Similar to compression damping, a rebound damping circuit relies on oil moving throughout the circuit to assist with regulating and controlling the speed of the suspension rebound. It does more work than a compression damper because it needs to regulate the suspension kick-back, while supporting the sprung weight of the bike, hence making it slightly different from a compression damping circuit. Rebound damping is also an adjustable circuit, and a huge factor in riding comfort and safety.
When making adjustments for your compression and rebound damping circuits, be sure to consult a professional because you will need to find a balance between too much damping and too little damping. You don’t want a suspension system that is unstable and bounces too much, or something that is too rigid. We at Kratos Motorsports offer professional suspension tuning, and with our K-Tech technology, riders can make compression damping, rebound damping, and preload adjustments to match their riding requirements. Get in touch with us to enhance your riding experience!