Motorcycle suspension basics for beginners

Ohlins motorcycle shock absorber
The dirty Ohlins shock absorber on my Aprilia RSV4 Factory

Often overlooked but critically important, the suspension on a motorcycle helps soak up bumps and keep the tires firmly planted. Poorly adjusted suspension makes for nervous riding, but well-adjusted suspension can make every ride better, especially in the turns. This is our summary of motorcycle suspension basics for beginners, namely what you’d see on modern sportbikes or standards.

For excellent beginner bikes like those on our list of best beginner sportbikes for 2021, the suspension is typically not adjustable except for the rear shock absorber’s spring preload. This means you have to live with the suspension as-is, but the setup is generally soft and forgiving. Adjustable suspension components are costlier, so don’t expect to see them until you buy a more expensive motorcycle. But it’s still important to understand what the components do and what type of adjustments are available.

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Sportbike Tire FAQ

Tires are always a hotly debated topic amongst sportbike riders.  Fierce brand loyalty, strong opinions and even occasional misinformation can make it hard for newer riders to get helpful information from the forums.  Nobody knows everything about tires but there’s definitely a common base of knowledge you should have when thinking about your bike’s buns.  Here are some frequently asked questions I get along with my answers.

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