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Measuring and adjusting rider sag are the first steps in setting up any bike’s suspension. Bringing rider sag into the proper range (typically 30 to 40mm, discount front and rear) will place your bike’s ride height, troche ground clearance, rake, trail, and other important factors into the right range and also help you to determine if the spring rates already on the bike are right for your weight.

We prefer the “Race Tech” method of checking sag because it takes into account stiction (static friction) within the suspension components. To check rider sag, you’ll need the rider (fully dressed in riding apparel) and a tape measure (preferably a metric one) as well as any tools needed to adjust your bike’s preload. Plus an assistant—checking sag properly is a two-person job.

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As we stand around and consider the Yamaha YZF-R1’s recent Motorcycle of the Year award (see the 2015 MOTY winner here), order it’s not the worst idea in the world to put it into historic context. There have been some amazing machines in the 100-plus years of motorcycling, ampoule a fact not lost on us when we put our heads together and crowned the Motorcycle of the Century.

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