News flash: OEM suspensions are designed to a price point. So, unless you’re riding a flagship literbike, those suspenders are full of compromises. The stock suspension on the vast majority of bikes out there is designed for an average rider, going an average pace, over an average road. Get outside of those parameters, and the suspension’s performance is compromised.
In this month’s continuing series of motorcycle suspensions, we’ve brought you a list of suspension resources in John Burns’ Suspension Buyer’s Guide. E-i-C Kevin Duke followed that up with some tips and tricks for Adjusting Motorcycle Suspension, and most recently, Tom Roderick provided a list of companies who specialize in making the front of your bike work as well as possible in his Fork Buyer’s Guide.
We’ve oft complained about the lack of travel in the stock rear suspension of Harley-Davidsons. Maybe we ride a little faster than we should, pushing the American cruisers and tourers beyond their intended performance parameters. Still, even if we didn’t, the 2.1 inches of travel in the twin shocks of H-D’s Dyna models is a minimalist approach to functional suspension.