ASK THE MXPERTS: THE REALITIES OF CLICKERS
Are MXA’s recommended suspension settings really transferable from bike to bike? On two stock, brand-new bikes, will eight clicks out on compression give the same result on each bike? Or, would manufacturing variances result in two different settings being needed for the same effect?
You are correct in assuming that no two bikes will respond exactly alike to the same clicker settings, but that is more than just a product of manufacturing tolerances. There will be bigger differences within the exact same shock based on its temperature (early in a moto and late in a moto), the age of the oil (oil thins out as it gets used) and the flexibility of the shim stack (the shims fatigue over time. All the elements of suspension tuning make for better or worse performance. The perfect clicker setting on your shock will do you no good if you don’t adjust the race sag for your weight. More important is that even though the Kawasaki KX450, CRF450 and RM-Z450 use the exact same 49mm Showa forks, they all have proprietary valving from each brand’s R&D departments that gives each fork the feel that the corporate test riders developed.
On WP XACT air forks, the air pressure is just a replacement for the coil springs. If you have too much air your forks they will be too stiff and if you have too little air, the forks will hang down in the stroke. The clickers can’t help when you get the air pressure wrong.
MXA’s clicker numbers are just settings that MXA recommends as good starting points—based on a median of settings used by test riders of different skill levels. We assume that the rider will make adjustments (in or out) for track conditions, riding style, his weight and his speed. Our goal is to give the average rider the best possible median settings to start from. Faster riders, heavier riders and smoother tracks will demand adjustment.