Best motorcycle suspension upgrades and tools

Improve your bike’s handling, ride – and safety – with some suspension upgrades.

Adjusting motorcycle rear shock preload

by Jim Blackstock |

Forget about engine tuning or performance pipes if you want to make a dramatic change to your bike’s performance. If you’re looking for something that’ll affect every aspect of your riding, pound-for-pound, suspension upgrades make the biggest difference.

Whether your bike is brand new or a 20-year-old hack, a touring machine or naked, there’s always something that can be done to the suspension to either improve it or make it work better for you.

The trouble is, suspension is also something of a black art and commonly misunderstood, which is why so many turn instead to experts such as K-Tech or MCT to do it for them.

If you don’t want to go that far, however, there are a number of relatively simple things you can do – or buy – to upgrade your ride.

Related: Best brake upgrades for your motorcycle

If you’ve a relatively new, quality machine the first thing to do is to check the standard suspension is working correctly and, if adjustable, set up correctly for you and your type of riding.

However, if your bike is older, perhaps worn, or with more basic suspension, there are plenty of things you can do such as upgrade your front forks via a kit or even replace your rear shock with a higher spec, adjustable item that can give a dramatic improvement to your bike’s handling and ride – and your enjoyment and safety.

Here’s our pick of some of the best:

Yes, itu2019s pricey, but weu2019ve started with one of the very best replacement shock absorbers

u00d6hlins STX Street Shock Absorber

Yes, there are cheaper alternatives but we’d recommend only recognised brands and be wary of shocks costing under £100. Quality – and safety – costs. This STX 46 model is the perfect upgrade for sporty street bikes, comes with an internal or external gas reservoir and with a 46mm main piston.

Depending on the application, the shock absorber features hydraulic preload adjustment as well as adjustable compression and rebound adjustment.

These are for a Yamaha FZ8. Lowering the height of a motorcycle can be the difference between love and hate. Riding your bike at an optimal height for you is a must and will not only provide comfort but also increase the control and stability of the rider, especially at higher speeds. You can sometimes also get the reverse; linkages that raise the rear end.

If your bikeu2019s too high, and a rear suspension lowering kit isnu2019t sufficient, another

Progressive Suspension 10-2210 Drop-In Fork Lowering Kit

Pull up to two inches out of the front end of your bike without the hassle of disassembling the forks or even changing the oil and the whole process can be done with basic tools. Shorter springs and Progressive's new secondary compensation spring make short work of the formerly complicated act of lowering your front end. No special tools required.

A crucial component in how your motorcycleu2019s telescopic forks work is their damping oil and it

Laser 4946 Motorcycle Fork Oil Level Adjuster

Too little and the air gap alters its effectiveness. Too much and you risk blowing your fork seals. This British-made tool is a quick and accurate way to set and adjust fork oil levels on motorcycles.

The fork seals in your motorcycleu2019s telescopic forks are crucial for preventing leaks of

BELEY Motorcycle Adjustable Fork Seal Driver Tool

Hyperpro is another quality replacement shock absorber brand u2013 although not quite as pricey as

Hyperpro Rear Shock

It has a CNC-machine aircraft-alloy body, 50-click rebound adjustment, optional high/low-speed compression damping adjustment and an optional hydraulic preload adjuster. Hyperpro’s rising-rate progressive springs are used worldwide, as are its shock absorbers.

Also from Hyperpro is this front fork re-springing kit, which replaces the standard springs and

Hyperpro Front Fork Kit

Replacing your fork oil may sound messy but is one of the simplest u2013 and cheapest u2013 ways

Motul Fork Oil 10W

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