How to Take Apart Motorcycle Shocks

Updated April 17, 2017

Some motorcycle shocks are not designed to be taken apart. Make sure to view the manufacturer's recommendations before proceeding. The greatest difficulty in taking apart any motorcycle shock lies in compressing the spring. This is usually done with a spring compressor tool, or with the assistance of a mechanical or hydraulic ram. However, it also possibly to compress the spring with the use of zip ties.

Remove the shock and pre-load adjuster from the motorcycle. Adjust the pre-load to its maximum setting. This will pre-load the spring. Thread 40 zip ties through the underside of the spring along the body of the shock. Leave the locking mechanism of the zip ties on the outside of the spring.

Tighten one of the zip ties as far it will go. Repeat this with one of the zip ties on the other side of the shock. Tighten the remaining zip ties, alternating sides.

Adjust the pre-load to its minimum setting. The spring should now be slightly loose. Loosen the set screw. Push the hydraulic housing in the direction of the spring. This will expose a circlip or snap ring. Pry out the circlip with a screwdriver.

Push the hydraulic housing and spring towards the base of the shock. This will expose a shock travel limiter. Remove the shock travel limiter. Unscrew the eyes from both ends of the shock. All of the pieces will now separate easily.


The spring will be under a lot of tension after it has been tied down. Use the strongest zip ties available.

Things You'll Need

  • Zip ties
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About the Author

Mike Davey has been writing and editing professionally since 1996. His work has appeared in "Owl" magazine, "Sposa," "STUDENTBody" and numerous B2B publications such as "Collision Repair" magazine, "Canadian Rental Service" and "Glass Canada."