To help you understand why the Harley-Davidson® suspension is so much better, and what exactly it does, we've put together a short guide to explain it all. If you'd like to get one of these new bikes, or just want to get some service done to your suspension, stop by our dealership, serving Philadelphia and King of Prussia, PA.
How good your bike's suspension is the deciding factor in how well your bike performs. With only two tires, as opposed to four in a car, a quality suspension is twice as important in a motorcycle. The back of your bike is held to the ground by your suspension, which allows you to get traction, better acceleration, and easy braking. It also creates traction in your front tire, and helps you steer with better control.
Good suspension systems are able to be adjust for a rider's preferences. Your suspension is constantly under tension, and the amount of tension is called the preload. Too loose of a suspension reduces traction, but if you make it too tight, it's less comfortable and more bumpy. Different levels of tightness/looseness are necessary for different riders, as heavier riders should have tighter suspension. You can also opt for a tighter or looser suspension, though, to fit your preferences. Even if it's a little bumpy, you might want a sportier bike with a maximum traction to take tight corners and get better acceleration. On the other hand, for cross country touring, you can loosen the suspension a little to make those long trips more comfy.
Typically, front suspensions on motorcycles are built with the telescopic fork design. This is usually made up of springs and dampers. The springs are constantly under tension, providing the bike's support, while the dampers actually reduce the spring's function to make the springs bounce less. If your suspension didn't have dampers, you would continually bounce for a while after going over a bump. Bumpers are also frequently used in the suspension to provide cushion in case your suspension gives out. Another common design is the inverted fork design, which functions basically the same way, but with upside down forks and dampers on the bottom.
Most motorcycles use shock absorbers, like in a car, for the rear suspensions. Unlike the front forks with springs in the forks, the rear suspensions coils its springs around the outside of the shock. You can adjust the preload on these shocks, and they sometimes have an external oil reservoir.
The Harley-Davidson® Suspension
Because so many different riders have so many different styles, it can take a while to get a suspension that's just right for everyone. Harley-Davidson® is still hard at work though to make their bike's suspensions fit as many riders as possible, and the upgraded suspension in the 2017 models give maximum comfort and control. To really get a feel for a motorcycle with a premium suspension, stop into Brian's Valley Forge Harley-Davidson®. You'll see why Harley® motorcycles are a cut above the rest, when you see us come into our dealership. We serve Pottstown, Phoenixville, and Lancaster, PA.