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.