Is Suspension Worth the Cost?


Suspension is undoubtedly one of the most critical aspects to your motorcycle, and many people talk about upgrading their suspension.  However, since the cost can be up to $7,000, it’s important to know what upgraded suspension can do for your motorcycle, and whether you should invest in an upgrade.

There is a narrow weight window for stock suspension, which is around 180lbs (rider and gear together).  Some people believe if they add preload and get the motorcycle up to proper sag, they’re in good shape.  However, that may provide for a rough and unstable ride.  It’s most important to have the right spring for your weight and riding style.  Manual adjustments to suspension are only important when you start riding aggressively on the street (in curves) and into dirt that challenges the bike.  Any upgrade to suspension from OEM will be a significant improvement for most people.

@ 12:45.  Process of measuring sag on your motorcycle with a second person.

@ 19:15.  Damping discussion

@ 31:45.  Rant on trail braking

Guest:  Jake Fry owns a BMW R1250GS and wants to know whether he should spend the money to upgrade the suspension on his motorcycle.  He recognizes the importance of suspension and wants to set the bike up correctly for the riding he does.

Discussion Points:
1.  Is it worth the money to upgrade my suspension?
2.  What is stiction?
3.  How do I adjust sag?
4.  What is damping?

Key Takeaways:
– People believe if they add preload and get up to the proper sag, they assume they’re in good shape. That’s not always correct.
–  As good as traction control is these days, we still need to stay in-tune with what the technology does and also what it hides.
– Riders don’t realize the importance of having a riding style that prevents you from running too wide in a corner.
–  Never, ever ride faster than you can see.

References Made:
Woody’s Wheel Works

Touratech Extreme Shocks
Tractive Suspension
Race Tech Suspension
Race Tech’s Motorcycle Suspension Bible (Thede/Parks)
Wilbers Motorcycle Suspension Technology
Trail Braking Presentation in New Zealand