Riding motorbikes is a fun experience we all love and enjoy. Unlike the fun, not all riders know how to properly maintain the bike particularly in terms of suspension. Now, any motorbike enthusiast will tell you how important adjusting the suspension is. The suspension aids stability and ensures that the rider has a comfortable ride. Therefore, you must make the necessary changes according to your weight and height so as to achieve the right suspension.
Before delving deeper into the components that play part in suspension adjustment, it is crucial to inspect the chain tension, shock, steering-head bearings, and tire pressure/ treads for optimal performance of the bike. That said, here are the major components affecting suspension;
1. The Preload
The preload adjuster works by changing the shock or fork spring of the bike. Increasing it rises the bike while decreasing it lowers it on the suspensions. Another thing to consider while adjusting the preload is the sag. Don’t know what that is? Sag is the bike’s suspension with the rider on it. By adjusting it accordingly, that is, depending on your weight, you can be guaranteed of a stable and smooth ride. The sag can also be adjusted though the preload adjuster which is located at the fork tube.
2. Compression Damping
This function is responsible absorbing the impact once a rider hits a bump. As such, it is important to adjust it to secure your own safety and that of the bike’s chassis. You will not want to keep repairing the chassis all the time. When the compression damping is stiff, you will feel the impact and if it is insufficient, it leads to excessive compression of the suspension. However, exercise caution when turning the compression damping adjuster. Tightening it beyond the maximum will cause internal mechanism damage.
3. Rebound Damping
At all times, the rebound damping should restrict the tires to the ground after you jump over a bump. Hence this suspension function assists the bike to resume to its original position. If the rebound is too fast or too slow for both the front and rear, keep applying manual pressure and changing the setting each time until it takes not less or more than a second to resume position.
The bike’s trail is aimed at achieving proper steering balance. The Trail is measured in distance (inches or millimeters) between the point of the front wheel’s contact with the ground and a line drawn through the axis of the steering head. You want to avoid hard steers and fast steers as well. Failure to which, you could cause an accident.
Suspension adjustment largely relies on the above functions and one should record the setting before and after resetting, in case you want to go back to the original settings. After making the adjustments, take the bike for a test drive in a no-traffic area and see if the adjustments work.