How they guar­an­tee a smooth ride

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

There are three main types of shock used on bikes. The sim­plest is an emul­sion shock where a vol­ume of ni­tro­gen and damp­ing oil in­side the shock body is mixed to give it a vis­cos­ity that al­lows it to flow through valves con­tained within the shock at the right rate to soak up the en­ergy from a bump.

Next are float­ing pis­ton de­signs that keep the ni­tro­gen and oil sep­a­rate for more con­sis­tent per­for­mance. Some have a sep­a­rate reser­voir for the ni­tro­gen, ei­ther ‘piggy-back’ on the shock body, or mounted re­motely with a hose con­nec­tion for bet­ter cool­ing.

Fi­nally, there’s the twin tube

shock de­sign, pi­o­neered by Öh­lins, which keeps the oil cooler for more con­sis­tent per­for­mance. In­stead of a pis­ton run­ning up and down the shock body with a shim stack to con­trol the damp­ing rate, you have a solid plunger with two tubes, one in­side the other, with by­pass holes at each end. The plunger pushes a slug of oil through valve hous­ings in­side the shock body, which have ei­ther shim stacks or nee­dle by­passes for ad­just­ment. From there it flows around the out­side of the tube to the other side of the plunger, then as the shaft comes out of the shock body it pulls the oil back the other way.

Re­mote ad­justers make for easy set-up changes

Depend­ing on the link­age, the spring rate can be lin­ear or pro­gres­sive 1 2 3

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