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1603 final

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Bleed the air out of the

Bleed the air out of the forks every time you ride - Bleed the air out of your forks at the beginning of the day before you ride. Always bleed the forks with your bike on a stand and your front wheel off the ground. Air expands with heat and altitude so it is important to start your ride with no excess pressure. Maintain your suspension - Change your fork and shock oil every 20 hours and replace wear parts like bushings and seals every 40 hours. Oil breaks down and gets contaminated over time causing your suspension to fade when it heats up. Worn bushes are also a cause of leaky seals and friction because of excess play. Most modern dirt bikes specify the use of 5wt fork oil. Shocks run at higher temperatures and use lighter 2.5wt oil so they don’t fade and breakdown as quickly. Fork Oil Height - Adjusting the fork oil height alters the amount of air space in the fork and changes the damping characteristic in the 2nd half of the suspension travel. Adding oil stiffens the fork and increases bottoming resistance while removing oil softens the fork. Add or subtract oil in small 10cc gradients until you get your desired effect . You can add fork oil through the air bleeder with a small syringe. To remove oil, you will need to remove the fork legs from the bike and turn them upside down to drain oil out of the air bleed holes. Grease your linkage and headset - Clean and grease your pivot bearings to maintain performance and minimize wear. A properly maintained linkage will move more freely and have less friction so your suspension will work better. A headset that is properly adjusted and greased will give accurate rider feedback. Chain tension and length - Adjust your drive chain on a stand with 30-40mm of play so it will not bind when the rear suspension is fully compressed. Running a longer wheel base will offer more straight line stability while a shorter wheelbase offers improved turning. Running the axle forward lessens the leverage on the shock and stiffens the initial suspension movement. If you want softer suspension in the beginning of the travel, you can move the rear axle rearward to increase leverage on the shock. Gearing you bike higher with less teeth on the back sprocket will give for better traction because of lower engine speed. Troubleshoot your suspension -Learn to troubleshoot your suspension for better performance. Suspension that bottoms out too easily might need more compression from your clickers, more compression valving, a higher oil level, stiffer spring rate, or just need to be serviced. A rear shock that kicks up over bumps has a different set of problems than one that kicks to the side. When you are testing suspension ride the same lines around the track in order to determine if your changes are working. A good rider can avoid all the bumps on the track and make any suspension feel good. Bonus - Pneumatic spring fork tips - Adjust the air pressure every day before you ride with the wheel off the ground. Use a small dial pump with a good no loss air valve. 2 psi is the equivalent of 1 spring rate. The air in the fork will heat up and expand as you ride causing an increase in pressure. Nitrogen does not offer a significant advantage over air. 36 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2016 1603 DT Suspension.indd 36 2016/02/21 11:49 AM

1603 DT Suspension.indd 37 2016/02/21 11:49 AM