Dirt and Street

by Matt Wiley (with a little help from Paul Thede)


See your DVS Setup Sheet for specific recommendations.

  • The Emulator controls Compression Damping as the wheel hits a bump or dives on braking.
  • Rebound Damping is affected by oil viscosity (oil thickness). Use the DVS recommended oil viscosity.
  • The main tuning variables are; Valve Spring Preload, Valve Spring Rate, and the Number of Bleed Holes. The effect of all the variables overlap providing extreme tuning flexibility. 
  • ADJUSTING THE EMULATOR - To adjust the Emulator you must remove it from the fork. In many cases this can be done with the forks still mounted on the bike. Make sure the bike is supported with the appropriate bike stand. When you remove the fork springs, use a twisting motion to avoid oil drips. To remove the Emulator, use a parts grabber or telescoping magnet. 
  • BEFORE RE-INSTALLATION be sure the jam nut on the Emulator is tight. 




Valve Spring Preload

1/4 - 6 Turns

Overall firmness, controlls a mushy feel and the speed the front end dives under braking.

Measured from zero preload (no tension) on the Valve Spring. To find zero preload loosen the jam nut and back off the adjuster bolt until the spring just touches.

More Preload makes more damping and is stiffer.

Tune in 1/2 turn increments

If more than 6 turns are required increase the Valve Spring Rate.

Valve Spring Rate

26 lb Silver

40 lb Blue

64 lb Yellow

101 lb Red

Overall firmness and the ride on square shaped bumps, fast fork movements

Smaller lighter bikes and/or smaller fork OD (30-35mm) may prefer the 26 lb or 40 lb spring at 2-4 turns.

Larger heavier bikes and/or larger fork OD (36-49mm) may prefer the 40 lb or 64 lb spring at 2-4 turns.

101 lb Mini MX only

Valve Plate Bleed Holes

1 – 4 holes

Initial fork plushness, low-speed damping; small bumps, chatter, etc.

Adding additional holes (up to 4, same size as originals) will add plushness to low-speed fork response (small bumps, slow fork movement). This is a good way to address fork chatter issues you may encounter on the race track or harshness over small ripples and such on the street or trail. These holes control oil flow that is too low to open the spring loaded valve plate.

Bleed holes have little effect on high-speed damping (large bumps, fast fork movement).

Smaler OD forks typically 3-4 Bleeds, larger OD forks 2 Bleeds unless a very plush ride is desired

Oil Viscosity

5wt - 30wt
15w typical
by model

Oil viscosity is used to set rebound - the rate the suspension extends. This affects traction and stability.

Heavier oil slows the rebound.

Generally use the oil viscosity recommended on the DVS Setup Sheet.

Once oil viscosity is selected the Emulator is used to set compression. The Emulator does not affect rebound.

Oil viscosity varies by brand. Stick with the same brand if tuning rebound.

Oil Level

by model

Bottoming Control - sets final firmness in the last 1/3 of the fork travel. Tune in 10mm increments.

Measured from the top of the fork tube to the top of the oil with the Fork Springs out, Emulator in, and forks completely bottomed.

The Emulator and top of damping rod must be covered at full extension.

Do not exceed the maximum oil level as the fork will run out of compressable air space and will inhibit full travel.

Fork Spring Rate

by model

Holds up the weight of the bike and rider. Controls ride height, sag, dive, and overall firmness.

Fork Spring Preload

by model

Fine tunes Ride Height/Sag on street bikes.

Tuning increment for street is 2-3mm.



Adjust Fork Spring Preload with spacer length and/or washers.

We encourage experimenting to find your personal ‘sweet spot. Always take notes and record your changes. It is easy to go back to the original settings if needed.

‘The best you've ridden is the best you know!’

More on how Emulators work.