motorcycle shock absorbers

Should You Increase a Bike’s Shock Absorbers for Long Trips?

Are you planning on taking a long-distance road trip with your beloved bike? 

Perhaps you want to see the glory that is North Carolina’s Tail of the Dragon—or get a taste of hell on The Devil’s Highway in Arizona. You might be contemplating Route 1, California’s famous Pacific Coast Highway. Or maybe you’re attending Daytona Bike Week 2021, an annual motorcycle event that draws upwards of 500,000 people every year.

It doesn’t matter where you’re going; it only matters if you ride there in comfort.

Any long-distance bike trip needs to consider factors like the seat cushion or motorcycle shock absorbers, for example—otherwise, an enjoyable experience turns into an uncomfortable one. Speaking of shock absorbers . . .

In this quick but informative guide, we explain what they are, why you need them (or not), and more. Let’s continue.

What Do Motorcycle Shock Absorbers Do?

If you’ve landed here, you probably already know what this part entails. However, for those still learning, we’ll briefly cover the point of shock absorbers and why they’re on our radar.

Shock absorbers are part of your motorcycle’s suspension. Shock absorbers have a say in the smoothness—or not—of your ride. They quite literally absorb shock, allowing your bike to rebound from bumps in the road safely and smartly.

Your average trip around town probably doesn’t garner much attention when it comes to shock absorbers. But for longer trips, they’re a prime consideration. They can mean the difference between a bumpy ride or a seamless, polished one.

Should You “Increase,” i.e., Improve, Your Bike’s Shock Absorbers?

Not every ride is a candidate for an upgrade.

If you’re continuing to ride your bike intermittently and close-by, you could get away with your current suspension system (barring other issues). But as you prepare for a long drive, you’ll find improved shock absorbers a worthy update.

If your ride is jerky in any way now, that small annoyance as you ride in your hometown will become a major setback as you travel for miles on end. Your bike is a prime candidate for an upgrade if its suspension is unstable or not supportive enough.

Other Ways to Improve Your Bike for Long Trips

In addition to shock absorbers, seat padding is another thing you should be thinking about.

The best seat cushion for you does the following:

  • Distributes your weight evenly, reducing pain points
  • Promotes blood flow to stave off numbness
  • Considers ergonomics so as not to interfere with speed or balance
  • Has proper ventilation

Other things you’ll need to think about include backrests, heated and/or padded grips, or cruise control. You may also want to add tank or saddlebags to store your belongings conveniently.

Whatever you end up doing will largely depend on weather conditions, the style of bike you have, how long the trip is, etc.

Daytona Bike Week, Here You Come!

Motorcycle shock absorbers are there for a reason. Bikes didn’t always have a rear suspension, but thanks to highways, improved travel options, and increased speeds (among other things), shock absorbers became necessary.

Not only is your ride more comfortable and stable, but it’s safer, too.

We at Wild Ass specialize in comfort—for your own seat. When you undergo long-distance motorcycle trips, you’ll need to pay special attention to where you’ll spend hours of the drive: on your bum.

Click here to shop our wide range of ergonomic cushions!