Motorcycle Suspension Problems And Their Solutions

Motorcycles have a suspension system that comprises a specific spring with retractable properties and prevents the frame and rider from road hazards. The system has shock absorbers that reduce the effect of bumps and potholes at high accelerations.

Motorcycle suspension problems include broken shocks, malfunctioning forks and bushings, dry and cracked struts, damaged seals, variable compression, and broken springs.

The motorcycle suspension comprises dual fork tubes and a pair of shock absorbers. It has a swing arm that regulates the effect of road bumps on the frame.

Motorcycle suspension problems Solutions
Broken shocks Replace shock absorbers
Malfunctioning fork and bushings Change the fork and bushings
Dry and cracked struts Apply grease or rebuild struts
Damaged seals Change the seals
Variable compression Reset the spring preload
Broken springs Replace springs or stabilize spring compression and damping

Broken shocks

The suspension system of motorcycles controls and regulates wheel stability. Its primary function is the continuous wheel contact with the road.

However, the shock absorbers break down due to clogging and corrosion. The dust particles accumulate inside the seals and different components of the shock absorbers.

The shock absorbers crack and lose their efficiency. In such circumstances, they cannot maintain wheel contact with the road surface.

The tires lose standard traction, and the rider loses control over the motorcycle handles and frame. The ride becomes bumpy at higher speed levels.

The tires undergo surface damage and internal cracking. They lose their balance and bounce when the shock absorbers malfunction.

You can clean the shock absorbers and stabilize the wheel alignment. Dirt, contaminated fluid, and excessive usage can damage the shock absorbers of motorcycle suspension.

The brake response changes, and you cannot stop the motorbike properly. The stopping time enhances the standard time, which is a dangerous condition.

Also, delayed brake response leads to collisions during different ridings. Replacement and repair of the shock absorbers can stabilize the brake response.

Replacing them is better because it can increase tire contact with the roads. Lifting the motorcycle frame can increase its height and make its replacement easy. 

You can put a wooden block under the rear wheel and increase the swing arm height. Unscrewing the fasteners can loosen the shocks.

You can remove the lower screws with a screwdriver. It can increase the support of shocks and swing arms.

Now, you can pull the old shock absorbers and put new ones in the mounts. Tightening the top faster and lower bolts can stabilize them in their mounting spaces.

Then, the wheels align and stabilize on the roads with maximum traction.

Malfunctioning fork and bushings

The most significant problem of a malfunctioning motorcycle suspension is a bumpy ride. Furthermore, the vibrations increase when the suspension system malfunctions.

The ride becomes rough, and vibrations increase when the suspension fork and bushings crack. Its fork can increase the tire contact with the road.

It can reduce bumps and vibrations and make the ride comfortable. The suspension fork has bushings that rely on lubrication fluid and provides movement of upper and lower tubes.

You can identify the two pairs of these bushings in each fork. The reduced level of lubricant and contaminated oil can damage these bushings.

It decreases tire traction and makes the ride rough. The worn-out bushings do not absorb the shocks and make the ride bumpy and uncomfortable.

You can fix it by removing the dirty, clogged, and damaged bushings from the suspension fork.

Removing the old and damaged bushes is possible with the flat screwdriver. You can pry off the lower bushing and remove it from the stanchion.

Removing the stanchion is better than pulling off its bolt and cover. Removal of damping cartridges and adjustment rods is essential during their replacement.

You can clean and lubricate the fork leg corners and install the new bushings. Tightening their screws with a flat screwdriver is better.

Dry and cracked struts

The malfunctioning motorcycle suspension produces loud rattling sounds. These sounds increase when you ride the motorbike on the road bumps.

The struts crack and produce clunking sounds. The oil contamination can increase the heat level, which damages the struts.

Their rebuild and replacement can fix the problem. However, their lubrication can decrease the rattling noises of this system.

These noises show the loosening of screws and damage to internal parts. The components move in both directions when the bolt loses from the attachment point.

In such circumstances, the strut moves up and down, and you can hear rattling sounds. The broken coil springs can produce these noises.

You can fix this defect by applying grease on both sides of the springs and lubricating them. Greasing the rubber isolator makes their movement smooth and reduces rattling sounds.

Damaged seals

The shocks comprise seals on the topside that prevents sudden oil leakage. But, the seal breaks because of variable spring compression and different valve functions.

Oil leak increases which is a significant problem for the motorcycle suspension system. Dirt traces and clogging can damage these seals, and oil flows out.

You can see greasy liquid in the surrounding area of the shocks and their shaft. You can repair the seals by applying the sealing material.

You can replace the broken fork seal and stop the unwanted oil leakages. Removing the fork from the suspension is better for maximum visibility and easy seal replacement.

Remove the old seal and add a new clip. Then, putting the seal from the top side of the fork is better.

Pushing it down on the clean fork allows its proper installation. You can fix the clip with a flathead screwdriver.

Then, pushing the seal over the clip fixes it and stops the oil leaks. Stabilizing the spring compression and stable lubricant replacement can reduce the chances of leakage.

Variable compression

The motorcycle sagging is the compression of suspension shocks and forks when the rider sits on the saddle. Broken and cracked shocks cannot withstand the weight distribution, which results in sagging.

The riding becomes uncomfortable, and the motorcycle leans in one corner during the parking conditions. Excessive shock compression leads to additional sagging.

It reduces the frame balance, and the rider can fall on the road. Cornering is challenging when the sagging increases and shocks malfunction.

The reduced sag indicates more spring compression. The high sagging shows the springs lose their preload.

It leads to rough riding and wheel bouncing. Street rides require sag of about 35 to 45 millimeters. Settlement and reset of the sag are essential to prevent sudden leaning.

You can fix this leaning and sagging problem by stabilizing the suspension. You can use a hammer for loosening and removing these bolts.

Manually turning the spring can reset the preload of the spring. You can check the movement of the preload bolt when you turn the spring.

Its tightening can stabilize the sagging of a motorcycle, and it does not excessively lean during parking conditions.

Broken springs

Motorcycle damping can regulate the frictional forces and removes the vibrations of the suspension system. Road bumps and potholes can cause these vibrations, but the damping effect can decrease these forces.

Corrosion and excessive load can damage the springs, and they do not retract. They can crack over time and loses their efficiency.

You can replace the springs by removing the shocks and using a compressor to retract them. Loosening the broken springs is essential for their removal.

You can loosen its retainer with a wrench and remove it. Installing the new spring in the mount requires skills, and you can add the retainer and tighten it.

Damping controls of the suspension system regulate the oscillation of the reliable built-in springs. The reduced damping can lead to excessive extension of the springs, which affects riding stability and comfort.

Low-quality suspension oil can increase the rebound damping. In such circumstances, the wheels get more traction.

Sometimes, the damping reduces, and the wheel bounces at higher acceleration. The tires lose their traction and standard control properties.

The suspension malfunctions and springs do not return to their position because the bumps affect their performance. However, you can reduce the excessive rebound spring damping by rotating the adjustment knob of the system.

You can spin it anti-clockwise and extend the shock absorbers faster. Rotating the knob clockwise makes the shock extension slow.

Rotation of spring compression and damping knobs can stabilize the rear shocks.

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