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Suspension Setup Tips

The following list contains many useful tips for adjusting the
suspension system on your motocross bike.  For definitions of terms,
check out our
suspension glossary.

  • The most important tip – Always, always test ride your bike
    with caution after making any suspension changes.

  • Read your owner’s manual so you fully understand which
    suspension settings your bike comes with, the location of the
    adjusters and the limitation associated with each adjuster

  • Before using the Suspension Assistant, print out the Bike
    Suspension Setup Form and record your current suspension
    settings.

  • Suspension adjustment is not an exact science and generally
    requires a compromise.  Solving one problem with a certain
    setup may create a different problem.  There is usually an
    advantage and disadvantage associated with each change.

  • For many suspension problems there is no exact answer.  For
    example, loss of rear traction can be caused by very stiff
    rebound as well as well as very soft rebound.  For many
    situations there is a fine line and finding the perfect setting
    can be difficult.

  • When working on suspension setup, pay close attention to
    what the bike is doing on specific sections of the track.  
    Concentrating on the bike’s behavior will help you know which
    problem area in the Suspension Assistant to select.

  • Correct suspension settings vary from rider to rider.  They
    depend on many factors such as weight, skill level, type of
    bike ridden, type of tracks ridden and the condition of those
    tracks.  Because there are many variables involved with
    suspension setup, the Suspension Assistant should be used
    only as a guide.

  • If your suspension setup is completely incorrect, the
    Suspension Assistant’s suggested adjustments may not
    help.  In this case, return to the manufacture’s suggested
    setup and start over.

  • Make small changes!  For example, change compression
    clickers two or four clicks at a time and rebound clickers one
    or two clicks at a time.  Test the new setup!  Based on the
    results, make the next change.  When the suspension setup
    is close, limit changes to one click at a time.  

  • Make sure the rear preload is correctly adjusted before
    starting.  You’ll notice when using the Suspension Assistant,
    rear preload is usually the first adjustment in the change list.  
    It is very important that the rear preload setting is correct.

  • If after diagnosing a problem with the Suspension Assistant,
    the problem is not solved or becomes worse; you may have
    selected the wrong problem area.  Undo the changes and
    start over.

  • Remember, different tracks with different conditions may
    require suspension changes.  Becoming faster, slower,
    heavier or lighter may also require suspension changes.

  • Videotaping can be a very useful tool.  Watching your bike in
    slow motion can help you understand and see what your bike
    is doing on jumps, bumps, whoops, etc.
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