How to Adjust Dirt Bike Suspension to Your Weight

Dirt bike suspension plays a vital role in riding at a faster speed with better hill climbs and control on whoops and rocky terrains. If you feel that your ride has become softer with less traction, causing the rear end to get down, you should know that your dirt bike suspension has gone bad. In such circumstances, all you must do is adjust your dirt bike suspension according to your weight. Adjusting the suspension of your dirt bike is certainly a tough grind if you are untrained. Though, after going through this article, it will be a cinch for you to adjust the suspension of your bike.

Tools Required for Adjustment

You will not be needing any special tools or instruments for the adjustment of the suspension. All you will be needing is a

  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Dirt bike stand

You will also need another person to help you. Now, after utilizing all the tools mentioned above, let us start adjusting the suspension of your dirt bike.

Setting the sag

The first question that many people commonly ask is:

What is a Sag?

Sag is how much the bike settles on the rear suspension from full extension. Rider sag is usually between 95-115mm (about the length of the long edge of a credit card) on full-size bikes. There are two measurements of sag:

  • First is race sag: This is the amount the bike compresses when the rider is on the bike.
  • The second is static sag: This is the amount of compression when the bike sits on its weight.

Now that you know the basics about a sag, let us get on setting up the sag. Do not worry because the steps are easy, and you will be able to set it up in a matter of minutes.

Steps for Setting the Sag

Firstly, keep your bike in a standing position. Take measurements from a spot on the rear axle to the rear fender using a tape measure. Make a mark with a marker and note the measurement in millimeters. This is free sag.

Now let your helper sit on the bike with someone holding the bike to stable it. The rider will need to wear additional gear to add some extra pounds of weight to the bike. After a couple of bounces, measure the distance between the rear axle and the rear fender. Note the measurement in millimeters.

Subtract both the measurements and the value you will get will be your rider sag. You will be needing the rider sag to be 100mm, about the length of the long edge of a credit card. If it exceeds or subceeds the number, you must adjust the sag.

If the rider sag is more than 100mm, you will need to add more preload. However, if the rider sag is less than 100mm, you will need less preload. According to this, tighten or loosen the preload adjuster. Knowing that every full rotation changes the sag about 2-3 millimeters may help rotate the sag accordingly.

Once you measure the rider sag correctly, measure the static sag. Balance the bike off the stand position and measure the two points. The static sag should be around 30-50 millimeters.

If the measurement is more than 50, it means you need a softer spring for your bike. Whereas, if the measurement is less than 30, then you need a stiffer spring. After adjusting both the rider sag and the static sag, tighten the preload adjustment locker.


A properly adjusted sag changes the suspension of your dirt bike and allows excellent handling of the bike. After the better adjustment of suspension to your weight, you will feel the difference for sure. Enjoy the thrill with your friends and share this guide with them.

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