Jun 21, 2000
Hi guys,
I'm looking for a suspension tuning guide. There used to be one on MX tech website, but now it was changed and is only for off road. I had the old tuning guide but I lost it. Would someone know of a thread or link to help me know the order in which to start. Should I start with hi or lo speed comp?..etc.

I'm good at adjusting rebound for the shock and compression on the fork. I have a hard time finishing with the other ones.

Thanks alot!!


Jan 15, 2000
Here you go, I think this is what you are looking for, I've been saving it for a while.

Set-your sag!
Then start with the shock:
Setting the rebound:
1.) Find a relatively fast straight with braking bumps leading into the entrance of a corner. Reduce the rebound dampening until the rear end begins to hop or feel loose. Finally, increase the rebound dampening 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.

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 dampening should be reduced! (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. (If this fails soften the rebound two clicks.)

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. But avoid going too far, as small bump ride will be sacrificed in the trade. Remember that the adjusters have a primary effect on the low speed, so even a large change in setting may only effect bottoming resistance slightly. Keep in mind, 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.

Getting started, forks:
Setting the compression:

Note: if your forks were shipped or laid on their side they need to be pumped about ten times to replenish the cartridge.

1.) The forks should react to all track variations. If the forks seem harsh on small bumps or holes, soften the compression. If they aren't, stiffen 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 dampening 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, front and rear to help get maximum wheel contact and plushness.

Sand tracks:

(Non-square edged bumps); more low speed compression and rebound are necessary.

Start by adding 1-2 clicks of rebound and as the track gets rough, add compression 1-4 clicks. (Supplementary sand set-up techniques). Harshness is a result of packing in forks. Remember to add compression to help keep the front end from packing. The rear suspension will exhibit packing by swapping. To eliminate swapping begin adding compression until the bike tracks straight and then add rebound 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 on the suspension (2-6), clicks and in some circumstances raise oil level and/or change to stiffer springs.


Head shake:

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. This can not 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.
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