Motorcycle suspension can be a perplexing topic. From spring rates to damping force, from compression settings to static sag, it’s hard to identify and address a suspension issue if you’re unclear of the basic parts and operations. Like any complicated matter, going back to the fundamentals makes it easier to understand.
In one of his latest videos, YouTuber Spicy110 breaks the subject down into easily digestible terms and demystifies suspension for us all.
Some people are auditory or hands-on learners, but YouTube videos are perfect for those of us that prefer visual learning. Unlike reading books that cover suspension, the video format allows Spicy110 to disassemble a conventional fork and describe the function of each component. Most motorcyclists know that front end suspension consists of stanchions, springs, and damping rods, but few know how they work in unison. Reassembling the fork leg not only exhibits the location of each component but also clarifies the role of suspension oil, fork seals, and springs.
Out back, the YouTuber goes over the core functions of the rear shock. Covering sag, preload, and signs of wear, the video doesn’t dwell on the rear end before returning to the front end for a more advanced course. Using a DR-Z400SM as an example, he points out the location of both the compression and damping clickers. We should note that Spicy110 doesn’t (and can’t) cover specific damping and compression settings. Aside from different makes and models featuring more or less adjustability, the rider’s weight and riding style will determine the final configuration.
To wrap up the tutorial, the YouTube creator returns to the disassembled fork and illustrates the importance of equal fluid levels and fork seals. Luckily, Spicy110 already published an instructional video for changing fork seals correctly so viewers can take their education a step further. Chances are, you know the feeling of a bottoming, wallowing, or over-stiff suspension, but Spicy110’s video should help you understand where the issue originates and how to address it.