TEN TIPS FOR YOUR SUSPENSION
You can have great suspension but if its not matained and have the basics in check its not worth much. Before your next ride follow these simple steps to improve your suspension and get the most out of your bike.
1. Maintain your suspension
Change your suspension fluids every 30-35hrs. Oil breaks down and gets contaminated over time causing your suspension to fade when it heats up.
2. Tire pressure
Begin by making sure your tires are inflated corectly. A bike with too much air in the tyres will be harsh and deflect off obstacles while an under inflated tire will destort under load and not give good rider feed back. Take note of the track conditions and change accordingly. If the track is hard pack or has a lot of rocks use a higher pressure. A good idication to the correct air pressure is the clean patch on the rim left by the tire. The clean pactch should be between 1-3mm. Different tubes and different tires require different pressures so this is a great indicator.
3. Proper spring rate and sag
Your springs hold the bike and rider up in the correct part of the stroke and is one of the most critical aspects. Please use your manual or .......... to ensure you have the correct springs.
4. Bleed excess air from your forks
Every time before and during your days riding you should be equalising the air pressure in your front forks. This changes with temperature, altitude and if your seals are getting weak. If you notice the pressure is increasing every time you ride its a great indicator your fork seals are on the way out and will begine to leak soon. First make sure your front wheel is off the ground, not weighted and most definitly not tied down, (Yes i have witnessed this 1st hand) remove the bleed screw and let the the pressure equalise then refit. If you have fork bleeders then push the button. I do not like the fork bleeders as i have found them to leak. If you still have the factory screws i would reinstall them.
5. Grease your bearings and seals
You should be cleaning and greasing your suspension linkage, swing arm and steering bearings at a minimum of 20hrs with the lower shock bearing every 5hrs. If any of these bearings or bushes show any signs of wear or rust they must be replaced. Steering bearings should be cleaned and kept at the correct tension to keep your balance on the bike is not affected. If you are using a pressure washer the service intervals will have to be shortened.
6. Chain tension and length
Adjust your chain with the bike on a stand with the rear wheel off the ground. Always refer to your owners manual for correct tension but as a gneral rule 30-40mm of free play just behind the rear of the chain slider. Running a longer wheel base will offer more straight line stability while a shorter wheel base offers improved turning. The further back you run the axle the softer the intial portion of the stroke will be due to the increased levergae ratio on the shock.