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Old 09-13-2012, 12:04 AM   #1
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tweaking suspension

been playing around with my settings for the last week or so. started at factory recommended, then upped rebound 1/4 turn and preload one full turn/one click. seemed to help but then i tryed fine tuning and now i can't make heads or tails of whether it's helping or hurting. any tips? i'm a pretty light guy i weigh ~140. the previous owner had the preload set way to stiff for me. now that's fixed it seems like the front gets a little sketchy under throttle leaned over in a turn. especially if it's a bumpy road.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:47 AM   #2
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Go back to the base line or where it felt the best, then change only one thing a click or two, and ride over the same section of road. If it feels better go a little more until it degrades.

Less rebound will make the ride feel better right up to the point it starts pogoing.

I like to run the softest compression settings I can for the average rough streets, and deal with the brake dive.

Is the sag set for your weight? Without that being done first you are in the wind.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:14 AM   #3
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House Of Paint.. offers free suspension adjustments.. btw..
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CombatM0NKEY View Post
House Of Paint.. offers free suspension adjustments.. btw..
Always good to get someone familiar with setting up a baseline, but you should always fine tune to your own riding style.

Also make sure whoever is setting it up is trained and knowledgeable about suspension, not just the cool cheap guy down the road.

It takes a couple people to get the sag set correctly, and that assumes you have the proper springs on the bike.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:19 AM   #5
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:00 AM   #6
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Preload is adjusted not based on what feels good, but to get the correct amount of sag. Sag is how far the suspension droops from full extension with you sitting still on the bike. This puts the suspension in its proper operating range. Too little sag, and you might not have enough rebound damping. Too much sag, and you might bottom out under heavy cornering loads or braking.

Rebound is adjusted to control the spring. Too little rebound and the front end pogos. Too much and the front and "packs up" (doesn't return to its optimal place, it stays compressed) over multiple quick bumps.


Compression is about the only one you can really play with, but only in a pretty limited range.





Your best bet is to cough up the $30 and have someone set it up properly for you. Record those settings, and then play with the compression adjuster a little to get the feel you want.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:10 AM   #7
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how much throttle and how much lean are you talking about here?
You talking maintenance throttle or heavy acceleration?
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:40 AM   #8
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Motorcycles Unlimited only charges 30 bucks to set it up for your weight etc. They did mine and I love it. Well worth it.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by barrytreynolds View Post
Motorcycles Unlimited only charges 30 bucks to set it up for your weight etc. They did mine and I love it. Well worth it.
Just make sure and state clearly how you ride. Racetrack settings on the street are too stiff except on the few smooth roads we have.

Keep in mind the stock springs in sport bikes are too soft for bigger folks to get the correct sag.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:40 AM   #10
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wow first off, thanks for all the responses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by texlurch View Post
Go back to the base line or where it felt the best, then change only one thing a click or two, and ride over the same section of road. If it feels better go a little more until it degrades.

Less rebound will make the ride feel better right up to the point it starts pogoing.

I like to run the softest compression settings I can for the average rough streets, and deal with the brake dive.

Is the sag set for your weight? Without that being done first you are in the wind.
i set the bikes spring preload according to what the factory specs said it should be for my weight(~150 w/ gear). i'll look into learning how to set up sag myself. hopefully that will help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by po-po 5.0 View Post
Preload is adjusted not based on what feels good, but to get the correct amount of sag. Sag is how far the suspension droops from full extension with you sitting still on the bike. This puts the suspension in its proper operating range. Too little sag, and you might not have enough rebound damping. Too much sag, and you might bottom out under heavy cornering loads or braking.

Rebound is adjusted to control the spring. Too little rebound and the front end pogos. Too much and the front and "packs up" (doesn't return to its optimal place, it stays compressed) over multiple quick bumps.


Compression is about the only one you can really play with, but only in a pretty limited range.


Your best bet is to cough up the $30 and have someone set it up properly for you. Record those settings, and then play with the compression adjuster a little to get the feel you want.
yeah i understand what all the settings do(applied from cars) it's just trying to apply everything to a two wheeled vehicle thats 3000 lb's lighter.

so the factory settings(my starting point) felt too divey under braking, and felt like it rocked back too much on the rear under acceleration. so i guess my main worry is weight transfer.

and the way i see it, i'd rather learn all this stuff myself. give a man a fish, feed him for a day. teach him how to fish, feed him for a life time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by obed View Post
how much throttle and how much lean are you talking about here?
You talking maintenance throttle or heavy acceleration?
i call it a steady roll on. maintenance setting up to and leaning in, steady roll on to full throttle starting near the apex.

am i doing it wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by texlurch View Post
Just make sure and state clearly how you ride. Racetrack settings on the street are too stiff except on the few smooth roads we have.

Keep in mind the stock springs in sport bikes are too soft for bigger folks to get the correct sag.
spirited street riding i guess is what i'd call it.

lol i'm on the other end of the weight spectrum.

Last edited by brian1570; 09-13-2012 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:59 AM   #11
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Sounds like you are on the right track..

when you say the front feels sketchy, is it pushing or getting vague, wandering?

How does it feel on tip in, heading into the curve?

Since you are into learning, there is a ton of good info on these pages:

http://www.sportrider.com/motorcycle_suspension/

Search Dave Moss on youtube

If you can get a copy of the Twist of the Wrist II video there is a suspension setup short vid on there are well.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texlurch View Post
Sounds like you are on the right track..

when you say the front feels sketchy, is it pushing or getting vague, wandering?

How does it feel on tip in, heading into the curve?
tip in is a little weird, but i'm not sure this isn't due to the new tires. rider input on the bars seems harder. ie: counter steering on tip in. however when i put my weight into the curve the bike almost falls into the lean angle. it caught me off guard the first time haha. but now i love it. then upon exit the bike hardly wants to stand up. i really have to flog the throttle to get it up right again. btw my tp is 38f/40r.

in the corner, the bars seem to walk over bumps. as in lots of side to side movement, where as i thought it should be more up and down.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:04 PM   #13
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Buells are usually known for quick handling; I would take a look at rear ride height and swingarm angle, which also affects sqaut on acceleration.

What brand/size tires?
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:09 PM   #14
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ok after reading through that link i think i need to play with my fork height in the trees.

i went out and measured my forks and they are set at 3/4" or like 19mm. which is way too much from everything i'v read. OR i measured wrong haha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by texlurch View Post
Buells are usually known for quick handling; I would take a look at rear ride height and swingarm angle, which also affects sqaut on acceleration.

What brand/size tires?
pilot road 2's. 120/70 and 180/55. stock size

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Old 09-13-2012, 02:15 PM   #15
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You measure from the top of the triple to the top of the tube; not including the cap or adjusters

If you are really 19mm, sliding them down will slow the steering even more.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texlurch View Post
You measure from the top of the triple to the top of the tube; not including the cap or adjusters

If you are really 19mm, sliding them down will slow the steering even more.
yeah i need to slide them up. the most i think it should be is about 13mm. and probably more like 10. and yes that's where i was measuring, i can go double check though.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:21 PM   #17
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this is the article to compare what you are feeling to which screw to turn..

http://www.sportrider.com/tech/146_0006_susp_trouble/
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:25 PM   #18
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sweet, missed that one. thanks.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:49 PM   #19
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..
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
On your current setup can you see the 2 lines that look a bit like scribe marks on the fork tubes that are above the top triple clamp?, those are the lines i am referring to. The first line is 10mm down from the bottom of the fork cap, the 2nd line is 13mm down from the bottom of the fork cap, the 2nd line (13mm) is the factory set position, I set mine at 11mm from the bottom of the fork cap with the Pirelli's, works pretty good. Obviously you have to loosen the triples to slide the forks 2mm, then retighten/torque the triple clamp hardware and your done
^answers that question. tells me my bike is in the factory postion still, and i was measuring the wrong spot. also tells me i could move my forks 2mm, like i thought, and it could improve things.

BUT i still have to find the correct preload, rebound, and compression.
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