How to Adjust Motorcycle Suspension to Your Weight?


Before you can make any significant changes to your motorcycle suspension, you should know what your bike’s preload, Compression damping, and Fork preload settings are. There are some very important details to consider when tuning your suspension. The best way to learn the difference between these settings is to experiment with your bike and understand how the tweaks affect your ride. Listed below are some of the things to keep in mind when tuning your motorcycle suspension.


Using a multimeter or measuring tape, measure the weight of your rider and adjust the preload and rebound of your motorcycle’s suspension to the proper setting. Most bikes are preset with a low preload for solo riding. You can increase the preload to make the handling firmer or lower it if you’re riding with passengers. Once you’ve measured the weight of your rider, take measurements of your bike’s handling, and write them down.

Compression damping

Motorcycle suspensions vary a lot, but a basic motorcycle will have only basic damping. Without the ability to adjust the amount of damping, your bike will bounce all over the road and never settle into a comfortable position. Most motorcycles have adjustments for both rebound damping and compression damping. Rebound damping adjusts how much the suspension resists re-expansion and compression, and is a vital part of the motorcycle’s ride.

Fork preload

The first step in how to adjust motorcycle suspension to your weight is to determine the exact amount of force that you want the bike to take. Depending on your weight and riding style, you can adjust the springs by upping or decreasing the preload. Increasing the preload will change the amount of force that the forks push straight back up after compression. This adjustment is called rebound. If you find that the front end of your motorcycle is loose, you may want to reduce the rebound to make it settle straight away.

Rebound damping

The rebound damping system in your motorcycle’s suspension is the component that varies how quickly and how smoothly your bike bounces back after a crash. The rebound damping system in your motorcycle must find a sweet spot where the shock returns to its initial position while not buckling around or breaking traction. If the rebound is too soft, your bike will bounce back too quickly after a crash, and too stiff, you’ll feel the bumps and uneven pavement.

Checking for slop in components

Preload and sag are important terms to know when adjusting your motorcycle’s suspension to your weight. Sag refers to the amount of sag that you’ll feel as you sit on the bike. Preload adjusts the weight of the bike to give the rider better handling. Although these terms don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, both are important. The preload should be within a certain range. Before adjusting the motorcycle’s suspension to your weight, take measurements of both the front and rear components.

Checking for sag in components

To check for sag, lock your front brake and depress the front forks several times. The forks should return to their settled position, and you should measure the rider’s sag at this reference mark. You can further fine-tune the motorcycle’s suspension by adjusting preload or sag by hand. Before making any adjustments, you should consult the motorcycle’s service manual.

Changing fork preload

The spring preload on a motorcycle is an important aspect of motorcycle suspension. It controls how the fork settles after compression. Changing preload can correct a loose front end or make a bike feel stiffer. The preload adjustment on the top of the fork adjuster controls how much mechanical compression the spring experiences. To adjust the preload, simply turn the adjustment screw and check the spring’s compression rate.

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