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It’s taken about 47 years of riding and wrenching for me to learn enough about suspension to even think about giving tips to other riders. My ideas evolved on the often bumpy local back roads with plenty of corners plus quite a few 70 - 100+ mph sweepers that are typically smooth. I test and ride hard in both places and require a well damped suspension to keep the shiny side up. If I can help one other person know the joy of taming a misbehaving chassis then it’ll be worth the inevitable second guessing. For the forks here goes:

1. Start with the factory recommended oil weight and level. Make sure your oil is fresh.
2. Set sag.

Why start with those two? Those settings are so critical that the odds of making a few adjustments and getting it right are essentially nil if you don’t have a solid base to start from. You’ll never get worn out oil to damp properly and sag is equally important.

3. Compression setting - attach a zip tire relatively loosely just above the fork seal. Go for a ride. Do some moderately hard braking and measure how much your fork is compressing. If the manual says your fork travel is 5 inches you’re looking for roughly 3 - 4 inches of dive during hard braking. Reduce or add compression clicks to get the right travel.

4. Rebound setting - run through some 60 - 100 mph sweepers. If you get any bobbing around increase rebound. If you feel harshness / chatter reduce rebound. Note that the compression and rebound circuits have some overlap. When you increase rebound the overall stiffening effect might require a reduction to compression in order to maintain the proper amount of dive on braking. Bottom line - keep going back and forth between the two settings until you have no bobs and weaves and you are using most of your travel on a very bumpy road and/or when braking hard. You’re looking for a result that allows you to forget about the front end. It’s soaking up the bumps and jolts to the bars and the bike is tracking smoothly. The small bumps have disappeared and the big ones don’t knock you offline or cause any unwanted motion.

That’s it for the front end. Once you’re happy with the front you’ll be able to detect problems easier at the rear. I’ve found most modern rear shocks are of sufficient quality that setting sag then maybe tightening rebound to counter looseness is all you’ll need to do.
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