Talking Suspension With JPH’s Jason Hauns
Suspension is an important part of the bike that many riders tend to overlook, but getting your bike’s suspension systems professionally tuned is one of the most effective performance and safety upgrades you can do for your money. Your suspension is responsible for absorbing the deviations in the terrain or in the road and for keeping your wheels in contact with the ground. A personalized suspension set up will ensure your bike’s front forks and rear shock are doing the best job they can. After a suspension tuning, beginners, casual riders, competitive riders, and weekend warriors will find that their bikes enter and handle corners more smoothly and braking is more stable.
Jason Hauns is the owner of JPH Suspension, one of the Bay Area’s premier motorcycle suspension shops and the official suspension provider for Zoom Zoom Track Days and Pacific Track Time. In between a nonstop schedule of working, riding, and working some more, Jason carved out some time to answer a few questions we sent his way about suspension basics, what he does, and a little bit about himself, too.
Road Rider: What can a good suspension set up do for a rider on the street or offroad, or at tracks like Thunderhill and 408MX?
Jason Hauns: A good suspension set up will make it much easier and much safer for you to ride your bike. This will make the bike handle better and deal with the mistakes a rider makes with much less drama.
RR: When should the average dirt or street rider get their suspension adjusted?
JH: I feel the most important time for a set up on any bike is when you first get the bike, especially if you are a new rider, because a good set up will make your riding experience much more enjoyable and much safer. I feel there would be far fewer accidents if new riders had gotten their bikes set up before they went out and rode.
RR: Do competitive riders usually get a tune-up before every event?
JH: Yes. The set up depends on the track you are at as well as environmental and rider conditions. This is true for both street and dirt bikes.
RR: So how did you get into messing with suspension in the first place?
JH: I ride both dirt and street, and I got into suspension because I realized my bikes weren’t handling the way they should. I didn’t really understand why at the time and wanted to learn.
I’ve always had a very mechanical mind so I had a strong interest in figuring out the internals of suspension. Without there being any easy access to suspension schooling I looked to my local suspension guy, Phil Douglas of Aftershocks, and he allowed me to apprentice under him for many years. He taught me the basics and some more complex ideas of suspension. The basics stay the same but there is a lot of evolving technology in the sport and you are always learning new things. One of the biggest things I have learned is that you’ll never know it all – there is always more to learn.
RR: What bike(s) do you own?
JH: 1972 Honda 500; 1972 Honda 70; 2003 Ducati SS; 2002 Kawasaki ZX6R; 2004 Husqvarna 510; 2001 Yamaha YZ 250
RR: Has there been a particularly memorable or gratifying experience you had when working with a racer or rider?
JH: Anytime I can make a rider better than they were when they started working with me is a great feeling. Whether it be a street rider just starting out on their bike or an AMA Superbike rider, I feel excited making either of them better.
How To Contact JPH Suspension
JPH Suspension is a full service suspension shop that works on both dirt and street bikes and does everything from basic adjustments to aftermarket and custom revalve work.
They are located in San Jose and operate by appointment Monday through Friday and some weekends. Most weekends you will find Jason and JPH at Zoom Zoom Track Days and Pacific Track Time track days (click here for a complete, printable list of 2014 track days). You will also find them at many District 36 dirt races, AFM and AMA road races, and various other events throughout the year, including Road Rider events.
Call JPH at (406) 370-4128, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook page HERE.