Trouble Shooting

Suspension
Setup Tips

TROUBLE SHOOTING

Various tracks or trail systems may require slightly different settings. Changes made in settings should be done 1-2 clicks (LS Comp./Rebound) or 1/4 – 1/2 turn at a time (HS Comp.).

COMPRESSION

Compression damping controls how soft/hard the fork or shock is when compressed. Some machines have only a Low Speed Compression adjuster on the shock. The Low Speed Compression damping is “usually” adjusted
by clicks. Other shocks today also have a High Speed Compression adjuster in which the damping is adjusted by turns. Many of the 85’s are adjusted by turns.

Low Speed & High Speed Compression are terms that relate to how fast the fork or shock is being compressed. High Shaft Speed creates more damping and is not necessarily relative to motorcycle speed. High Shaft
Speeds can be created at low motorcycle speed. Examples of High Shaft Speed obstacles: square edged bumps, slap down landings, lipped out jump faces, logs. Examples of Low Shaft Speed obstacles:rolling bumps/whoops, steep jump faces.

REBOUND
Rebound damping controls how quickly the fork or shock comes back up after being compressed. The Rebound damping is usually adjusted by clicks.

BOTTOMING:

FORK – Bottoming is caused by lack of compression damping or too soft of a spring rate. Correct by adjusting the compression damping stiffer until bottoming is under control. If you run out of adjustment and bottoming still exists consistently, a stiffer spring rate may be necessary. If the spring rate is correct, running the compression adjusters too stiff can cause harshness in the forks. The oil level can be raised to increase bottoming resistance. Generally 10cc/10mm increments (consult a Factory Connection Technician or your shop manual for oil level ranges).

SHOCK – Bottoming is caused by lack of compression damping or too soft of a spring rate. Correct by adjusting the compression damping stiffer until bottoming is under control. Note: If the components have a lot of time on them, bottoming or a soft, springy feeling can be an indication that a service or rebuild is necessary.

HEADSHAKE / HARSHNESS:

FORK – Is generally caused by too much compression damping in the forks. Soften compression 1-2 clicks. Lighter riders for the size bike you are riding may find it necessary to change to softer fork springs. Too much rebound damping can also cause a “packing” situation in which the damping holds the forks down in a stiffer area of the travel than is needed. Soften rebound damping 1-2 clicks. Other causes can be:

a) improper fork installation or binding of the fork.

b) improper shock set up which causes the fork to ride too far into the stroke.

BACK END KICKS SIDE TO SIDE:

SHOCK – Generally caused by too much compression damping on most types of terrain. Too much compression damping on square edge terrain can cause the back end to kick side to side and/or lose traction. Also, too much rebound damping will cause this because the back end is held down in a stiffer area of the travel which in turn makes it too stiff for the bumps it’s hitting (packing).

BACK END KICKS STRAIGHT UP:

SHOCK – Generally caused by too little or not enough rebound damping. Slow rebound damping 1-2 clicks. Note: In some applications rebound affects compression damping. Adding too much rebound stiffens the shock damping, decreasing rebound too much softens the shock damping.

 

Jason Raines Offroad

Jason Raines in the woods Offroad

VARIOUS TRACKS / TRAILS / AREAS

HARD TERRAIN / BLUE GROOVE TERRAIN
Generally adjust compression as soft as possible to handle square edges while still having some control with bottoming.

INTERMEDIATE / LOAMY TERRAIN
Generally adjust a little stiffer for the softer terrain, jump faces and bottoming. Optimum settings still should be on the softer side for square edges and rutted corners.

SOFT / SANDY TERRAIN
Generally stiffen fork compression and shock rebound. You want the bike to ride on top of the terrain, allowing the forks to ride up a little higher.

ROCKY / ROOTY TERRAIN
Generally you need compression very soft to absorb the sharp hits. Rebound is generally softened to provide a very responsive feel and ride.

If you have any questions feel free to call our technical support line 866-498-6357 (USA only 48 states) or 603-664-2221 (International) and we’ll be glad to help!