Suspension probably isn’t your first concern when thinking about motorcycles. But a motorcycle’s suspension is one of the most important factors affecting bike performance. Harley-Davidson® has developed some of the best suspension system tech around, and we here at Southern Devil Harley-Davidson® have put together this rundown for anyone wanting to know more about their Harley® bikes and motorcycle suspension in general.
If you’re looking for more info, come down to our dealership in Cartersville, Georgia, near Rome and Acworth on Highway 411. Our experienced staff is eager to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with you.
Parts of Suspension
Two different systems come together to form a bike’s suspension. The coil over system is most common in the rear and is similar to a car’s shocks. There’s a swingarm to hold the rear axle while it pivots vertically and allows the suspension to absorb bumps. The shock absorber can be connected to a reservoir to increase performance. Often the rear suspension is adjustable to accommodate riders of different sizes and shapes, with a tighter setting for big riders and a looser one for small riders.
The telescoping fork design in the front is common in most motorcycle suspensions. As opposed to the outside coil over system, the fork coil sits inside a metal shock absorber called a damper. The dampers are filled with low-viscosity oil with a plug that controls how much the oil moves around. This can reduce vibration while ensuring there is enough suspension to handle bumps. Additional bumpers inside the dampers prevent the suspension from bottoming out.
You’ll notice inferior suspension on other bikes if you’re used to riding a modern Harley®. A bad suspension can feel too rigid, making even the smallest bumps or patch of gravel feel like major road hazards. It can also be too loose and make you feel like you’re making constant dips and rises on what should be a straight, flat road.
Harley-Davidson® works toward the ideal balance to reduce bumps and vibrations while keeping your bike’s tires on the pavement. Suspension isn’t only about comfort, but a comfortable suspension will always allow you and your bike to have better performance.
Harley-Davidson® Suspension Innovation
Harley-Davidson® has a long history of innovation in the world of suspension. Their Softail® proved it with its hardtail look and hidden shock absorbers to give better stability. Modern Harley® bikes have rear emulsion shocks, inverted designs, and other new and improved features. With the release of the 2018 Softail®, Harley’s suspension takes things to a totally different level.
The Softail® now features a stiffer, stronger frame for improved handling and weight capacity while actually cutting down the frame’s weight by 13 pounds and further increasing performance. With improved damping, increased travel and pre-load range for comfort, and easy preload adjustment to optimize handling, Harley-Davidson® has left the competition sputtering in the dust.
From the Street Rod™ and Road King® Special, to the Electra Glide®, Harley® tunes their suspensions for the type of riding each bike excels at, making an even greater impact on how well these bikes perform.
While Harley® has a reputation for big, powerful engines, their suspension designs shouldn’t be ignored when deciding on a new motorcycle. And when you’re ready to take your dream bike for a spin, head to Southern Devil Harley-Davidson® in Cartersville, Georgia. We’re not just dealers, we’re also riders, and we understand the importance of friendly and expert service. Come join our Harley® family today and see why our customers come back time and time again!