Like the exhaust line or the motorcycle engine, the suspension is an essential element for the handling of your Harley Davidson. It maintains contact between the ground and the motorcycle wheel.
Besides, not every rider can talk about the suspension system alone. It appears that in fact, the shock absorber spring combination must always be considered. Thus, the latter influences the behavior of your two wheels as well as their performance.
Also, the combined spring / shock absorber allows on the one hand the suspension thanks to the spring, and the damping, on the other hand, thanks to the damping.
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First of all, your Harley Davidson motorcycle does not fall on its stops thanks to the suspension spring. Indeed, the latter, called Softail (rear suspension system with springs or hidden shock absorbers), is generally manufactured in metal (steel or titanium) and helical form. On the other hand, the spring can also be pneumatic.
Furthermore, the spring often has constant stiffness thanks to its linearity. As a result, it allows homogeneous resistance from the start to the end of the race. Effectively, each millimeter of depression follows a reaction by an identical opposite thrust.
On the other hand, a progressive spring allows a flexible suspension. The latter can also be obtained by the reduction of the suspension (rocker and rod kits).
Finally, the pneumatic spring guarantees a comfortable attack and road-holding quality, particularly for large touring.
Front suspension / rear suspension
For good guidance and braking of your H-D motorcycle, the latter incorporates the Springer spring fork, a link between the wheels and the ground. This system absorbs shocks due to the condition of the road. Thus, it guarantees the longevity of the engine and the frame.
It appears in fact, models from the 1950s incorporate a classic telescopic fork. However, the inverted telescopic fork was created in 1985 to integrate road and sports cars over 750 cc.
Besides, bikers will find the cartridge fork in sports cars, some large GTs, and some off-road motorcycles. On the other hand, the parallelogram fork fits into the Glide models.
On the other hand, not all Softail models have a silent bloc. However, these use a counterbalanced version of the Twin Cam engine. Thus, the engine vibrates less, unlike the engine of the Touring and Dyna models. In short, the Twin Cam has given way, for the 2018 models, to a variant of the Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight engine.
The parts of a motorcycle suspension
Thus, the suspension contains several distinct elements:
The fork: front suspension and guidance system
The shock absorber (s): complementing the oscillating arm, it acts exactly like a fork, reducing the guidance functions.
The swingarm: placed at the rear of the motorcycle, it acts as a lever arm by completing the fork
Steering: combines with front damping to allow directional movements to steer the bike
The shock absorber spring assembly
In principle, the spring suspension works by compression. Indeed, the latter absorbs the shock of a bump in the road by compressing itself. Then it returns to its original length to restore much of the force absorbed. Thus, it returns this energy in the form of oscillations.
On the other hand, oil damping compensates for oscillations by breaking them hydraulically. Then, it compensates for these with the oil circulating in a tube. The latter includes a sliding rod with a valve mounted at its end. Finally, the passage of oil slows down thanks to this same valve.