Setting up Suspension
By: Jeremy Wilkey at MX-Tech
Setting the rebound:
1.) Find a relatively fast straight with braking bumps leading into the entrance of a corner. Reduce (Turn clicker out) the rebound damping until the rear end begins to hop or feel loose. Finally, increase (Turn clicker in) the rebound damping until the sensation goes away.
2.) Find a jump that tends to launch the motorcycle out. The rear end should absorb and then smoothly lift the motorcycle into the air. If the rear end bounces up, add rebound. (Turn clicker in)
3.) Find some large whoops. The motorcycle should track straight through the whoops with the rear wheel extending to the ground before the next impact. If it does not perform as described as above, it is packing and the rebound damping should be reduced! (Turn clicker out) (Please note the guide for sand set-up, as these rules don't apply for sand.)
Setting the compression:
1.) Find a corner with acceleration bumps on the exit. The rear of the motorcycle should follow the ground. If the rear end "breaks up", soften the compression. (Turn clicker out) (If this fails soften the rebound two clicks.) (Turn clicker out)
2.) Find some rough sections, a large jump and a couple of "G-Outs". The shock should bottom on the roughest section but it should not be a slamming sensation. Add compression to fight bottoming. (Turn clicker in.) But avoid going to far as small bump ride will be sacrificed in the trade. Remember the adjusters have a primary effect on the low speed, so even a large change in setting may only affect bottoming resistance slightly. Remember bottoming your suspension is not necessarily a bad thing. You should strive to bottom off the biggest bottoming load obstacle on the track. If you don't you're not getting maximum plushness from your suspension.
Setting the compression:
1.) The forks should react to all track variations. If the forks seem harsh on small bumps or holes, soften the compression. (Turn clicker out) If they aren't, stiffen (Turn clicker in.) until they do feel harsh and then turn back a click or two.
2.) Now find the rough part of the track again. The forks should bottom over the worst obstacle. If harsh bottoming occurs, add oil in 5 mm increments.
Setting the rebound:
The rebound damping is responsible for the stability and the cornering characteristics of the motorcycle.
1) Find a short sweeper. When the forks compress for the turn, the speed at which the forks return is the energy that pushes your front wheel into the ground. If the forks rebound too quickly, the energy will be used up and the bike will drift wide, or wash. If the rebound is too slow, the bike will tuck under and turn too soon to the inside. Find the appropriate balance for each track.
2). With the bike turning well, the wheel should return to the ground quickly yet not deflect off berms or bounce off jumps.
Going to different tracks:
For hardpack to intermediate:
Set the compression softer, (Turn clicker out) front and rear to help get maximum wheel contact and plushness.
(Non-square edged bumps); More low speed compression and rebound are necessary. Start by adding 1-2 clicks (Turn clicker in.) of rebound and as the track gets rough, add compression 1-4 clicks. (Turn clicker in.) (Supplementary sand set-up techniques). Harshness is a result of packing in forks. Remember to add compression (Turn clicker in) to help keep the front end from packing. The rear suspension will exhibit packing by swapping. To eliminate swapping begin adding compression (Turn clicker in) until the bike tracks straight and then add rebound (Turn clicker in) to keep the rear following the terrain of each whoop. Don't be concerned if your clickers are nearly maxed out in sand conditions. Unless of course you had your bike revalved for sand.
(G-load, curb hits); G-loads produce slow piston speeds. This means that less dampening is produced by the shock and forks in a situation that causes more of a bottoming load. To set your bike up for Supercross adjust the compression stiffer (Turn clicker in) on the suspension (2-6), clicks and in some circumstances raise oil level and/or change to stiffer springs.
Adjust the forks lower in the triple clamps.
Excessive rear end kick:
Check for packing, which is identified by kick to side in hard to loam conditions. If you observe packing, soften rebound. (Turn clicker out.) This cannot be avoided if you brake improperly and lock the rear wheel up and/or pull in the clutch, on the entrance to corners.
*Keep a record of the different settings if you race different tracks. That way you can start at a point that worked well the previous times.