Telescopic Fork Upside Down Fork

Motorcycle Forks — Upside Down or Telescopic Fork? Which is better?

You can see most of the manufacturers market Upside-down fork as a premium state-of-the-art feature, so as to attract more people to buy their bike. But, the question is, does it really help the rider?

Let us talk about Upside down fork and telescopic fork in detail and see what each of them has to offer.

What is motorcycle forks?

A fork acts as the front suspension of the motorcycle. It has a spring and a damping unit. The springs absorb and release energy as the fork compresses and extends and the damper unit controls how quickly it does this.

Forks need to be as rigid as possible to function as a shock absorber and as light as possible.

Telescopic Fork vs Inverted Fork – The Differences.

The bottom hollow part (sliders) of a telescopic fork are attached to to the axle of the front wheel, while the heavier, slimmer part (Stanchions) are at the top. While in case of inverted forks, as name suggests, the stanchions are attached to the axle of the front wheel.

motorcycle forks
Stanchion, Fork Sealing Rings and Sliders, from Top to Bottom.

Another significant difference is, the sliders are longer in case of an inverted fork as compared to telescopic fork. They have more overlap – the length stanchions protrudes into the sliders.

Thus, inverted forks are stiffer and heavier. They require more force to start sliding against the slider. The stiffer, the better in case of shock absorption.

Can you feel any difference while riding?

I have ridden both types of bikes, not as much as to form a solid opinion, but what I have read and heard from professionals is that, there is no noticeable difference on road. You can never tell one from the other.

Inverted fork is superior to telescopic fork only on a racetrack. Because of the lesser diameter of the sliders, inverted forks give more maneuverability to the rider. So much so, that racing bike come with a steering damper. We will talk about that in a different blog.

Why is inverted fork installed then?

Its more like someone installed them in a superbike and the trend caught up. So if you are confused whether to go for a telescopic fork or inverted fork, I would say it doesn’t matter that much.

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