hoser down at the Kawiforums was generous enough to post a glossary and troubleshooting guide to help everyone understand the suspension lingo, jargon that is out there along with solutions to suspension causing problems.
Every activity has its own language. Learning a new skill sometimes feels as if it requires scaling a linguistic learning curve that makes surmounting Mt. Everest seem like a day hike. To the uninitiated–not that any Sport Rider reader could be accused of this–the language of motorcyclists can seem just as daunting. So, to make sure we’re all standing on top of the same hill, peruse the terminology below to help speed yourself along to suspension enlightenment.
Here are a few terms from the glossary:
Bottoming (also called bottoming out)–when a suspension component reaches the end of its travel under compression. Bottoming is the opposite of topping out. Cartridge Fork–a sophisticated type of fork that forces oil through bending shims mounted to the face of damping pistons contained within the fork body. The primary advantage of cartridge forks is they are less progressive than damping rod forks. The shims allow damping control at very low suspension speeds while high speeds deflect the shims more–causing less high-speed damping than fixed orifice damping rods. The resulting ride is firmer with less dive under braking while simultaneously lessening the amount of force square-edged bumps transfer to the chassis.
Free Sag–the amount the bike settles under its own weight. Both streetbikes and race bikes require 0 to 5mm of free sag on the rear. The bike should not top out hard.
High-Speed Damping–damping to control fast vertical movements of suspension components caused by road characteristics such as square-edged bumps. High-Speed damping is independent of motorcycle speed.
Hit the jump to see some troubleshooting write-ups that hoser has done that involve the suspension of your bike. hoser seems like quite the intelligent guy and his write-ups are well done. Head over to his thread to see all of them and don’t forget to thank him for all his efforts!