Getting the best out of your suspension may not necessarily mean forking out any cash, rather some fork & shock-TLC. Oftentimes, this is one part which is typically overlooked given its subtle declination performance-wise.
Hypothetically put, it’s kind of like adoring your beautiful wife who has an underlying mental disorder which you’re totally oblivion to.
Lubricant is quintessential here; the fresher the oil, the better the damping. Thus, proper lubricating the insides of the suspension will help keep damping at optimum levels.
Heat is inadvertently the lube’s arch nemesis in this equation as heat alongside oxygen, causes the formation of sludge resulting in clogged tunnels. The presence of moisture is inevitable, thus, leading to corrosion in the long run.
- Forks & shocks
Clean your forks and shocks or your risk chrome damage thanks to all that grit. You want to really ensure the external bits are clean too. This will add longevity to your seal.
Pro tip: Sponge-dip oil onto both the internal and external scrapers on the fork seal.
- Sherlock-Holmes on worn out parts
Do away with any shabby fork bushes as this deteriorates manoeuvring precision. A worn fork bush translates to a wobbly wheel thus, leading to traction-loss.
Science has taught us that metal parts, when rubbed against each other, leads to friction. Again, we befriend oil here, wherein its viscosity helps protect parts which encounter each other.
Pro tip: Changing oils more frequently in this department to help safeguard the said part from wear.
- Frequent Servicing and Oil Changes
Goes without saying; It is the variation in damping features of the oil that will draw your attention to servicing it; the oil will slowly lose its viscidness leading to a reduced damping effect. The primary cause of declined or loss of viscosity is none other than Captain Heat, as mentioned earlier.
For Roadbikes; Replace oil in forks annually or 15,000 to 20,000 km. The scrubbing action of forks is the main culprit.
For Dirtbikes; a tad difficult in culminating a proper guideline here but let’s say about an odd 40 to 60 hours of gliding
Ultimately, paying attention to the way in which the shock functions and, certainly, the speed in which it begins fading, is key in determining when it’s time to service your shock. Oh and don’t mistake the smell of cat’s urine for well, cat’s urine as this a sure tell-tale sign of oil replacement your motorbike is yelping for!
Be sure to check your suspension before it suspends you!