Forks or Shock which is more important?

Forks or shck?

  • I feel the forks are the most important.

    Votes: 245 44.3%
  • I feel the shock is the most important.

    Votes: 115 20.8%
  • I feel the forks more but think the shock is most important.

    Votes: 124 22.4%
  • I feel the shock more but think the forks are most important.

    Votes: 69 12.5%

  • Total voters

Jeremy Wilkey

Owner, MX-Tech
Ok here is the first REAL poll. I have found that many riders tend to isolate the front as the part of the suspension that makes the most diference to ride quality. Many of you might know how I feel but I'm intrested in your exsplanations. So file out the survey and post a reason if you like!


Ortho doc's wet dream
my only experience with what i consider to be awful suspension...i bought a new '90 honda cr 250 back in '89. the suspension was so bad it was almost unrideable. people laughed at me until i let them ride it, then they agreed. i sent it off to pro circuit. the shock came back with a night and day difference. the forks i couldn't tell any difference at all. but with the shock fixed, i instantly became a contender on that bike. the forks didn't really seem to matter that much as far as overall track speed.


Lifetime Sponsor
I can confidently break traction on the rear and never have it cause a crash (at trail speed). I can vary the load on the rear with throttle.

The front end needs to afford predictable traction or I am off the edge or in the bark. I can not apply more or less throttle to the front wheel.

And finally, my sissy wrists don't care (much) what the shock is doing.

Of course when I get that cheese valve in the shock my opinion may change.:cool:


I voted that I "Feel" the forks are most important but I suspect that in theory the forks and the shock are equally important. The forks play a huge part in what is transmitted through your wrists, arms and shoulders so you feel their input at all times. I am betting, however, that the shock plays a much bigger part in the stability and controlability of the bike than we realize.
Am I close to right? Are there any right/wrong answers to this?!
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Sponsoring Member<BR>Club Moderator
N. Texas SP
You have to have balance. However, the rear end must remain in contact with the ground to have tractablility. Without that, you are just spinning your wheel.


I would say the shock for me.

I only ride MX, and much of the time I'm on the throttle hard. The forks make zero difference here. Bad forks may feel a bit harsh when hitting bumps, but I assume make no difference in lap times on that part. A bad shock might make me lose control and cause me to let off the gas.

I'm not saying that the forks are not important. They make a difference in braking (I'm too bad a rider to take advantage) and in turns where you have to slow down or be on non-full throttle for a while.

My forks are shot (the mid-valve, probably) making them extremely harsh since they are most of the way through the stroke most of the time. I tried a friends YZ426 and man what a difference in plushness even with the thumpers fork compression set to 2 clicks out.

My shock is also valved too soft for my weight and bottoms regularly on big hits but works ok on small ones.

Both ends will be done when my vacation is over.
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Of course I agree witht the BOTH sentiment, but I voted for the forks. If the shock is a little off (as long as I can set the rebound damping) I don't worry too much about what the back end is doing. But if the front doesn't track, I crash. And when you finally hit one of those whoops wrong at speed, and sooner or later you will, if the fork doesn't absorb the impact well enough it becomes endo time.


I can feel what is going on more with the forks, But I think the shock is actually more important. The shock can affect the action of the forks a whole lot more than the fork affect the shock. Not only do shock adjustments affect traction, but the also have an impact with the way the forks react to terrain. If you change the shock's sag, compression, or rebound setting - you're going to feel a difference up front.


I say forks are more important. Think of it this way. Would you rather have a front flat tire or a rear? Jeremy....are you going to post the correct answer after a while?

John Curea

Lifetime Sponsor
The shock.......

A shock that is set up wrong will swap a rider all over the about entering a turn, hitting all those nasty braking bumps, and then its right out of the turn into a bunch of accelleration bumps, getting your shock to handle both of those extremes is like wanting your cake and eating it too!!

Not to mention blasting through a whooped out section without getting pitched off the bike ,or making the bike jump level without too fast rebound which will want to throw you over the handlebars

if your shock is all bad, you'll hate your bike !!

A shock lives in a very violent enviroment, add the enormous factor of chain torque, especially on a 250 2 stroke and you will have a recipe for dissaster !!

Of course ....there are ways to tame the beast.....:D


It is possibly (very hard, but possible) to spend the an entire race on only the shock. It isn't possible to spend all track time on your forks.


Apprentice Goon
I concur with motojunkie.


Moto Junkie
I picked "where's C" because I feel both are very important to me because I'm pretty light on a 125. Also - of course for the best possible ride - the two have to be working together.

But if someone said to me: "You can only have one side revalved..." I would choose for the front to be done. The shock seems to be a little easier to work with/tune for a decent ride (set sag and play with clickers). Forks not set up right for you seem to have more of an impact on a ride... harshness, front tire not sticking in the ruts in corners, barshake, arm pump, hard landings, tired upper body, coming off a jump awkward, etc...