Dirt Bike Suspension Tuning – How To Adjust The Sag

Adjusting the sag of your dirt bike is key to its performance and an important part of dirt bike suspension tuning. Different riders adjust the sag of their bikes according to their own preference, depending on how they want their bike to behave. While that is one side of the story, knowing how to adjust it is another. Let us discuss how you can adjust the sag of your dirt bike so that it handles just the way you want.

What Is Suspension Sag?

In simple words, sag refers to the point at which the bike settles on the rear suspension from full extension. In the biking world, there are two measurements of sag. The first is race sag and the other is static sag. The race sag refers to the point at which the bike settles while the rider is on it, whereas the static sag refers to the point at which the bike settles on its own weight. If the bike were to have too much rider sag, it will feel lazy as it will have the bike sitting too far into the suspension. However, if the sag happens to be the opposite, the steering can be both too nervous and quick.

How Is Sag Measured?

Setting the sag isn’t that complicated as you think. You just need a bit of information, tools, and a couple of helping hands to assist you. To begin with, you will be needing a tape measure or a sag scale that gives you the exact measurement instead of doing the math. Furthermore, if you tend to own a Japanese bike, you might need a hammer and punch for spring adjustment as well. In addition to that, if you have a European bike, you will need the correct size Allen to loosen the adjuster clamp and the hammer and punch to move the spring adjuster.

First, place the bike on a stand and, using the measuring tape, measure the distance from a point on the rear axle to the rear fender. While measuring the sag, use the same spots throughout the bike so that you achieve consistent measurements. You can use a sharpie to mark and measure it in millimeters while noting the measurements down.

Once you are done with the bike on the stand, take it off and rest it on flat ground. Sit on it and ask someone to hold the bike for you so that you are able to put your feet on the pegs and hands on the bars. Moreover, position yourself in the center and neither too forward nor backward. An extreme in either direction will provide inconsistent measurements. Furthermore, you also need to wear your biking gear including helmet, gloves and backpack, etc. as every pound is going to make a difference. Now bounce the bike a couple of times to find the final settling point and measure the distance between the two points. Then, subtract the measurement of you on the bike from the measurement while it was on the stand. The difference is going to be the race sag.

How Do I Adjust The Suspension Sag?

To adjust the suspension sag, tighten the preload adjuster accordingly. If you wish to have more preload and reduction in sag, you will need to tighten it, whereas if you want less, do the opposite. Once the rider sag is set, you need to measure the static sag. Repeat the same procedure of measuring the spots while the bike rests on the stand and flat ground afterward. Once the correct rider and static sag are achieved, tighten the preload adjustment locker. After this, you can do further dirt bike suspension tuning tasks.

Final Word

And there you have it. Adjusting your dirt bike’s suspension sag is not rocket science. You just need to do simple math and in a couple of minutes, you will have a bike that offers optimum handling and performance each time you take it off-roading.