Installing a Motorcycle Shock Absorber

When you are installing your motorcycle shock absorber, there are some things that you want to keep in mind to help keep the process as simple and smooth as possible. As you work, make sure to wear safety glasses and work gloves for your own safety and protection.

Know Your Parts

Before you start, be aware that there are many different types of shock absorbers and therefore many different ways to install them. Know which kind you have, what you need and how you need to get it done, so that you don’t find yourself halfway through the project and realizing that something is not adding up correctly. Know whether you have twin shocks, mono-shock, etc. on your bike prior to beginning work.


Since you can’t work with your bike on the ground, you will need a jack/lift. The lift needs to be placed toward the rear of the bike with a jack under the swingarm to support the weight of the back of the bike. This allows you to better reach the area you’re working in, and better adjust and line up your shocks.


It is always a good idea to work with clean areas. You should clean the area of the motorcycle that you are working with free of any dirt, debris or oil before you begin your work.


Some parts on a motorcycle will be difficult to get off, but others can come off remarkably easy. It is important to move carefully and slowly when you are removing anything so that a piece does not fall away before you expect it to as that would risk loosing the piece. Also keep in mind where everything goes and the order you removed them so you don’t get halfway through the reassembly process and realize you missed a step.

Supporting the Shock

When you have reached the final bolt between you and your shock absorber, use your free hand to support the shock. When you have removed that final bolt, the shock will have nothing other than your hand to support it.


Always be sure to grease your bolts. You do not want to flood them with the grease, but you want to be certain that they will turn and run smoothly. Try greasing only the smooth portion of the shock while being sure to leave your threads ungreased.

Tighten and Adjusting

When putting bolts and other various fasteners back on your motorcycle, it is important to always be confident that they are attached as tightly as possible so that they do not come loose or even fall off later on. Make sure all torquing is done according to factory specifications. If working with dual shocks, it’s essential that damping on both shocks is the same. Failure to do this can result in dangerous handling and braking.
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