MO Wrenching: How To Adjust Suspension Damping

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By Evans Brasfield

Modern sportbikes are impressive handling machines. While their rigid chassis and weight distribution have a lot to do with this, the fully adjustable suspensions can take much of the credit, too. Although many stock suspension components offer quite a bit of adjustability, many aftermarket units will give you even more flexibility. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, the plethora of suspension settings can be a double-edged sword that turns your state-of-the-art machine into a bucking bronco if you make ill-advised adjustments. Because of this, you will want to keep a record of any changes you make any time you step away from the manufacturer’s recommended settings. You’ll want to be able to go back to previous settings if you make changes you don’t like.

MO Wrenching: How To Set Suspension Sag

Before set up your bike’s damping, first start with the sag properly set. If you don’t, you won’t get a good baseline. Also, consider the condition of your suspension components. If it’s been a few years since the fork oil was freshened or you’ve got a couple of hard seasons on your shock, do that maintenance first. Similarly, if you’ve squared off your tires with the daily commute or your last three-day sport tour, spoon some new rubber onto the rims. Trying to tune damping on poorly maintained suspenders or worn-out tires is a time-consuming exercise in futility.

You’ll typically find the compression-damping adjuster on the bottom of the fork.

Begin by setting your bike’s damping adjusters to the factory-specified positions. They probably won’t stay there, but the settings should get you in the general area. Damping adjusters measure their settings one of two ways: clicks or turns. If your bike uses clicks, turn the adjuster all the way in (clockwise) and unscrew the adjuster the number of clicks recommended by the …read more

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