2.3 Front Suspension & Wheel Bearings

Information Method of Inspection Reason for rejection
It is important to distinguish between play in the suspension and that in the wheel bearings.

Some smaller machines are not fitted with dampers on the front suspension.

Some fork arrangements rely on the bracing incorporated in the mudguard fixings to maintain their alignment. A mudguard insecurely fixed to the forks may therefore adversely affect the handling of the machine.

Light misting causing a thin film of fluid on a suspension damper is not a reason for rejection.

Pitting of a fork stanchion is not a reason for rejection unless damage to damper seals has occurred. It may be necessary to pull back any rubber gaiters to conduct this examination if it is possible without dismantling or damage but they must be correctly refitted.

Anti-dive front suspension

Some machines are fitted with an anti-dive system which restricts front suspension movement when the brake is applied. In these cases, the front wheel will need to be placed against a solid object when checking the damping.

Light rubbing contact between a fork leg or damper body and its shroud is acceptable

1. Check the condition, alignment and security of the front suspension assembly.

2. Check condition of suspension springs

3. Check shock absorbers for oil leaks

4. Check for wear in the front suspension assembly.

5. With the front wheel raised check that the wheel and it's associated fixing and locking devices are present and secure and that the wheel bearings are not excessively tight or do not have excessive free play. Spin the wheel and listen for roughness in the bearings

6. Observe the freedom of movement and the effectiveness of the damping by applying the front brake and depressing the front suspension several times as far as possible. (see information column ).

7. Check the security of the front mudguard and look for evidence of it having been in contact with either the wheel, the tyre or any fixed part of the machine.

8. Check condition of steering and suspension with regard to corrosion, distortion and modifications.
1. A suspension assembly component which is missing, loose, cracked, or excessively bent, misaligned or corroded.

2. A road spring

a. incomplete, cracked or fractured

b. worn or corroded so that it's cross sectional area is reduced such that it is seriously weakened;

c. repaired by welding.

3. Oil leakage indicating failure of the seal.

4. Excessive wear or free play in a front suspension component.


a. a loose wheel spindle or securing nut(s) or locking device missing or insecure

b. excessive roughness, tightness or free play in the wheel bearings


a. fouling between fixed and moving parts which affects the movement of the suspension

b. excessive stiffness in the suspension movement

c. inadequate damping effect.

7. An insecure mudguard or one able to easily contact the wheel, tyre or any fixed point of the machine.

8. Deliberate modification which significantly reduces the original strength, excessive corrosion, severe distortion, a fracture or an inadequate repair of a load bearing member or its supporting structure.
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