Picture this – You go into your favorite dealer, spend $9000-$10,000 on your dream motorcycle, and take it to your favorite track or trail for a ride. Then, you ride and come back and get asked “How do you like it?” 9.9 times out of 10 your answer is going to be, “WOW, it’s great, I love it.” You will think you have gone to heaven…
However, halfway through the season, you try out someone else’s bike, perhaps someone who has had their suspension properly setup. After trying, you admit it’s nice and say nothing else, but in the back of your mind you’re thinking, ‘wow, I just over jumped that double and didn’t feel anything. Also, going into the left hander with the breaking bumps the size of stadium whoops and it just sucked it up. I’m pretty sure I was going faster because I passed the guy that usually beats me. WOW!”
There is a quote by Paul Thede, “The best you know is the best you’ve ridden”.
It is so true.
If you didn’t or don’t know your bike can be made better then you are ultimately lost. The problem with suspension is that a manufacturer tries to make a bike for a wide range of riders as well as terrain. Sometimes the suspension is good out of the box, but in most cases the suspension and handling can be made far better. You have to be honest and ask yourself, “Why can’t I go faster?” Is it because you back down from uncertainty when the track gets rough, you get arm pump, or because you start to think too much about line choice?
This is where properly tuned suspension comes in.
Getting a bike sprung and valved for you is a BIG DEAL. When suspension is setup correctly, you should feel more at home, confident, good bottoming resistance, less arm pump, able to charge the whole race, and have good traction on the front as well as the rear. You need to make sure you’re getting the proper balance in order for the bike to get through corners fast. CORNERS ARE THE KEY.
The ‘whys’ of setting a bike up for each individual rider, is critical. We hear it every weekend in Super Cross and outdoors, “We were doing testing and found some new settings and I’m feeling more comfortable.”
Don’t be afraid to move your compression and rebound clickers (usually not at the same time), and when you do move them do it 2-3 clicks at a time to feel the difference.
If you find that the bike feels better the way you are going and you get to the end of the range, then it’s time to invest in your suspension and get it upgraded.
If you are unsure about your suspension or even if you just have a few questions, give us a call and we'll walk you through the process of improving or upgrading what you ride.