Motorcycle suspension 101

December 30, 2017

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Motorcycle suspension 101 and basic suspension tuning tips are something that a lot of riders don't know, or at least that has been my experience over my many years working and teaching motorcycles.

 

As you know by now if you know my content, I'm not talking to professionals but giving basics to those that are new to the world of motorcycles, and this suspension top tip will not be different.

 

It is always very difficult for me to talk to anyone that says they made a great deal on a second-hand bike because it had a "prepared suspension". I have no reason to believe it doesn't, but does that make it a great deal?! I don't think so.

 

A prepared suspension is something all riders should have, the caveat? It needs to be prepared for you and you alone! 

Does anyone see the point in riding with the settings of Valentino Rossi or Jonny Walker if you are not riding at their level nor share the same personal feedback preferences? I don't.

 

That being said, the first step into taking the most out of your suspension should be to adjust the sag. That is a very basic suspension tune that we should all know how to do. I advise you to take a look at this very good explanation from the guys at MC Garage

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtzTyCKh5fY

 

The second step should be to take your bike to a suspension specialist. He can adjust the spring rates, oil to air levels and perform other kinds of "magic" that will make the bike act to your specifications and requests.

 

Now, wouldn't it be better to just buy a new and better aftermarket suspension before going to a specialist? 

Depends on your budget, but for the average rider and average riding style, if you tune your OEM suspension there is a strong possibility that you will never use it to the full of its capabilities, so an upgrade to your setup might just mean money out the window.

 

On the other hand, if you feel you riding above the limits of your already tunned suspension, an upgrade will be in order, and in that case, you will notice the difference. You will be more in tune not only with your suspension but also with all the little nuances that will allow you to get even more out of it when you talk to your suspension tuner. 

 

All and all, don't be fooled by big brand names nor by second-hand sales pitches of "prepared suspensions". Make sure you tune yours, learn from the experience, and move from there. You will save money, be better served, and your riding experience and knowledge will grow with it.

 

 

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Meet The Team

Zé comes from Portugal where from an early age he started walking in vineyards and getting a feel for the land. His first tours off road where all mountain biking and downhill, however only when motorcycles came into his life, did he felt the urge to ride the world.

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© 2016 by Tea2Wine

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Charlotte is an adventurous spirit that found that motorcycles and an around the world expedition where an exciting combination. She took her drivers license in September 2017 to depart on a 100.000kms expedition on a 200kg bike in March 2018. 

Charlotte