Guide: suspension / damping set properly, Part 1



Anyone who uses a targeted adjustment of motorcycle chassis can adjust the ride to their individual needs. But for this it is necessary to understand basic features of the suspension and damping.

Why, ask many motorcyclists, one should get lost in the seemingly impenetrable jungle of damping and spring settings clicks when the motorcycle actually quite passable driving? The answer is simple: Because it’s with a properly tuned spring system runs even better, even more fun and might be increased with the active safety.

To see whether the spring elements are within the tolerance range is measured in step number one, the so-called preload, the preload can be adjusted by the possibilities of the springs. This spring base ensures that the machine is in the position that the designer has provided for the steering and frame geometry.

Only when the steering head angle and consequent delay of the front wheel is positioned properly, the balance between maneuverability and stability is guaranteed. In addition, the swing arm, depending on the preload of the spring leg, the right angle to the horizontal must stand.

If the swing is too flat, the bike appears to strongly back during acceleration, thus worsening the spring comfort and convenience, because the anti-dive effect on the rear wheel goes down too low. In addition, the preload on the rear wheel also affects the steering geometry.

The negative spring travel is measured under two load conditions. Sag one (short: N1) results from the weight of the motorcycle in an absolutely vertical position. Sag two (short: N2) results from the weight of the bike plus rider in an upright sitting position.

From the difference of both values can be read out if the used spring (jargon: spring rate) depending on the rider’s weight too hard (small difference) or too soft (large difference). Example on the fork: If N1 and N2 with 25 millimeters by 45 millimeters, the spring would be too soft and should be replaced by a harder. The values do not apply to voting machines at race or race track suitable for carriages.

Very important changes in the chassis, keeping you in principle to the first information in the driver’s manual. Take one step at a time, and try out the effects on driving performance on a known distance from: whether you feel a difference in driving behavior, to feel comfortable and if the motorcycle can maneuver the way you want it.

If you are not satisfied with the setting, it goes back to the standard setting and try another way to get to the desired result. Finally, offer the options of the hydraulic damping nor the one or the other way for chassis tuning.

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