Suspension adjustment

Bushyar15

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

If you've got the stock suspension, its definitely doable by yourself. Just setting the preload (sag) alone will be a huge improvement..

Lance Holst, Editor for was it Motorcyclist Magazine? I rode with him in a group a few times with a few of the usual Sunday crew that rode around SoCal in the late 80s, early 90s... Along with Kent Kunitsugu, Steve Mikolas, Chuck Graves, and a few others..

shrekonwheels said:
I know I gotta Adjust mine damn it, Maybe I will take a run over to the Neighboring town and corner Lance Holst and make him do it damn it.

He did my ZX6r and OMFG that thing went form handling good to friggin amazing.
 

shrekonwheels

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

Bushyar15 said:
If you've got the stock suspension, its definitely doable by yourself. Just setting the preload (sag) alone will be a huge improvement..

Lance Holst, Editor for was it Motorcyclist Magazine? I rode with him in a group a few times with a few of the usual Sunday crew that rode around SoCal in the late 80s, early 90s... Along with Kent Kunitsugu, Steve Mikolas, Chuck Graves, and a few others..
Yup that is the one, I met him at one of his Suspension Clinics, I wish I had retained half of what he taught, if you dont use it, you lose it.
 

JMLUSA1

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

Ive been a busy boy! Set Sag best I could. It's close to correct. Dropped front end 10mm, adjusted dampening and rebound and took it out for a ride. Feels alot better. The front end drop was a GREAT Helo in turn-in feel and "flickability". Feels stable at all speeds I tried. Ill have my buddy Roger check it for me at my next track day. Ill post about that as well. Thanks for the great Posts!
 

bignick1972

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

It s possible that the rear spring is getting harder or softer depending on the weather condition?
I drove the bike today and I felt they the rear shock was harder, more stable.
Same preload of last week. The only difference was the temperature.
Today in the morning was 54F. And last week around 70 F.
 

Bushyar15

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

The short answer is going to be "no". If you look at the mechanics and physics, yes temp, does affect metal and therefore springs… But really aren't going be a factor in the range you talking about, all things being equal..

If temps affect performance its usually the shock/fork oil. but because shock/fork oil has an operating temp, viscosity, and add in friction from the damping.. temps are typically not a factor, only in extremes which are probably outside the typical norm of most people's riding...

Yesterday when we started our ride, I saw temps in the high 30s, on the way home it was in the 80s.. With temps changing as gained and lost altitude. I did not notice any changes in suspension performance…

As always - YMMV.. :)


bignick1972 said:
It s possible that the rear spring is getting harder or softer depending on the weather condition?
I drove the bike today and I felt they the rear shock was harder, more stable.
Same preload of last week. The only difference was the temperature.
Today in the morning was 54F. And last week around 70 F.
 

bignick1972

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

Bushyar15 said:
The short answer is going to be "no". If you look at the mechanics and physics, yes temp. does affect metal and therefore springs… But really aren't going be a factor in the range you talking about, all things being equal..

If temps affect performance its usually the fluid. but because it has an operating temp, viscosity, and add in friction from the damping.. temps are typically not a factor, only in extremes which are probably outside the typical norm.

Yesterday when we started our ride, I saw temps in the high 30s, on the way home it was in the 80s.. With temps changing as gained and lost altitude. I did not notice any changes in suspension performance…

As always - YMMV.. :)
Got it
Thanks
 

Guls

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

Finally got sometime to do the suspension adjustment, already feel the difference and I haven't taken a long ride yet either. Well tomorrow will be good test both highway and stop & go traffic.
No twisties here in Northwest Ohio.
 

low drag

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

I've been pestering Bushy over this and have been doing some digging. I found this link from Touratech on setting SAG.

They say you want it at 30% of entire travel. Per the Touratech page S10 has 190mm of travel, Yamaha site claims 7.5". These numbers tie out.

http://www.touratech-usa.com/Adventure/Blog/cAwZHo/How-To-Setting-Suspension-Sag

So SAG should be 2.25" or 57mm.

They say to measure it on the center stand with rear wheel off the ground, then with you & gear on it. Goal is to get the SAG to 30% of total travel with you and gear on it.
 

tomatocity

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

Fork Travel

What do I adjust if I want more fork travel? Adjustment direction A or B ?
 

Bushyar15

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

Short answer…. looking down at the fork preload adjusters, "Clockwise" or direction "A" in the user manual...

Amount of available fork travel is a function of the fork design. Setting preload correctly typically gives you more travel as stock suspensions are typically too soft, so too much travel is used up in static sag, let alone with rider, even worse with loaded panniers.

If you happen to be lucky enough to be in the weight zone the stock suspension works for, cranking up the preload beyond recommended sag, may gain you more travel but at the expense of handling in other areas…

During my Saturday ride, my suspension worked great. I did hit a couple really big rocks that had my forks bottom twice. You can't tune for every bump, you tune for the majority of them…


tomatocity said:
Fork Travel

What do I adjust if I want more fork travel? Adjustment direction A or B ?
 

Mzee

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

I changed fork oil and installed progressive springs and what a world of difference
 

tomatocity

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

Bushyar15 said:
Short answer…. looking down at the fork preload adjusters, "Clockwise" or direction "A" in the user manual...

Amount of available fork travel is a function of the fork design. Setting preload correctly typically gives you more travel as stock suspensions are typically too soft, so too much travel is used up in static sag, let alone with rider, even worse with loaded panniers.

If you happen to be lucky enough to be in the weight zone the stock suspension works for, cranking up the preload beyond recommended sag, may gain you more travel but at the expense of handling in other areas…

During my Saturday ride, my suspension worked great. I did hit a couple really big rocks that had my forks bottom twice. You can't tune for every bump, you tune for the majority of them…
So adding Preload would give me more travel?
 

Bushyar15

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

Yes it can IF your preload/sag isn't properly set…

For example… Let say you have 10" of total travel. Lets say you want to use 25% of that travel for preload/sag; so that would be 2.5" Which should leave you with 7.5" of travel. Okay so thats what you are shooting for… You measure preload/sag and you find that you are using 5" or 50% just on preload/sag. You've effectively used half your travel leaving you only 5" of travel.

So you adjust to that 25% preload/sag. You effectively gained 2.5" of travel…

Again, the above is just an example in round number that makes it easy for me to do the math. Now my post when you first asked makes a little more sense; You really can't "create" more travel than what the design of the forks allow. You can gain or lose travel within that range of travel…



Regarding the fork oil change… Maybe its the engineer in me and I over-think things. But I'm going try to over-simply my thought process… If you are thinking replacing the oil with the same weight oil will provide you some noticeable performance change, it probably won't. Changing the oil viscosity up or down may make a difference that you'll notice but we start getting into an area that you (third person) can really need to be able explain what the forks are doing or not doing and you have a pretty good baseline set-up…

Your stock oil can be affected by how dirty it is, which would make the damping rate feel different. Also as it breaks down it could change the damping rate.… I don't know what the recommended maintenance interval is for the fork oil, but I'd follow that.


tomatocity said:
So adding Preload would give me more travel?
 

Juan

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

After reading a lot on suspension on this forum, I decided to experiment with the front fork and rear shock. I have no problem understanding the physics of preload and compression damping. However, I'm totally lost on rebound. My understanding of the various posts on this forum is that for paved, uneven roads with a few potholes, the rebound should be harder, i.e. a lower number of clicks from full hard, compared to settings for good paved roads. After several trials (again on paved but uneven road), I get a smoother ride if the rebound damping is softer, i.e. a higher number of clicks from full hard.

Any help in understanding the matter would be appreciated.

Juan
 

ejy712

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

Juan said:
After reading a lot on suspension on this forum, I decided to experiment with the front fork and rear shock. I have no problem understanding the physics of preload and compression damping. However, I'm totally lost on rebound. My understanding of the various posts on this forum is that for paved, uneven roads with a few potholes, the rebound should be harder, i.e. a lower number of clicks from full hard, compared to settings for good paved roads. After several trials (again on paved but uneven road), I get a smoother ride if the rebound damping is softer, i.e. a higher number of clicks from full hard.

Any help in understanding the matter would be appreciated.

Juan
Your front forks damp motion in both directions, when they are compressing, and when they are expanding.
- Compression damping is used to damp the motion of the forks compressing.
Compression damping absorbs energy when the wheel hits a bump/rock/etc.
- Rebound damping is used to damp the motion of the forks expanding.
Rebound damping can keep the wheel from bouncing by not allowing fork expansion past
the normal sag length.

Let's run through a cycle to see how this works. The wheel hits a quick change in elevation forcing it up. This is countered by the fork spring pushing down and the compression damping which is fighting the fork compression. Eventually the fork compression stops. The fork spring, now compressed, starts to uncompress which forces the wheel to start down. This downward motion is opposed by rebound damping which slows the fork expansion. Set up correctly the fork expansion stops when the fork has reached its proper sag length.

Here is my strategy to adjust preload and damping for an adventure touring motorcycle (YMMV):

1) Record your current preload and damping settings so you can return to them if this strategy fails to work for you.

2) Adjust preload to achieve proper sag.

3) Start with compression damping set to minimum. If your forks bottom out easily, increase compression damping to absorb the energy of bumps until the forks no longer bottom out.

4) Start with rebound damping set to minimum. Increase rebound damping until the bike no longer bounces or wallows. The trick here is that you have to work with the rebound damping on both the front and the rear suspension. Increase rebound damping on whichever end is bouncing or wallowing. If you over do the rebound damping the suspension will load up. This happens when successive bumps compress the spring faster than it is allowed to decompress.

Following this strategy will give you a plush ride which will keep the wheels on the ground. If the wheels are on the ground you will have better control, and less unwanted traction control activation.

Suspension setup is almost always a compromise. Some people ride on bumpier terrain than others. And sometimes you will hit circumstances you aren't adjusted for.

This is what works for me. I'm sure that there are suspension experts on this forum who have different, perhaps better strategies to tune an adventure touring motorcycle suspension. I would be very interested to hear them...
 

Juan

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

Thank you ejy712 for such an elaborate explanation.
I'm still rather confused on rebound. Let's please not talk of minimum or maximum as this seems to be the problem for me. So if we speak of number of clicks from full hard (i.e. from full clockwise turn on the forks, or direction 'a' on the manual), your point 4 below (on Rebound damping) should read "start with rebound damping set to 1 click or 10 clicks"? As per the manual, 1 click denotes 'maximum hard', whereas 10 clicks denotes 'minimum soft'. I suspect your intention is to start with 1 click (maximum hard) which rebounds the fork very slowly. Is this correct?
Thanks again.
Juan
 

ejy712

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

Juan, I can understand your confusion. Let me see if I can convert the strategy above into a procedure. It might be more understandable that way. We'll see.

How to tune Super Tenere Suspension:

[list type=decimal]
[*]Adjust preload front and rear to set sag per other excellent articles on this forum. This will assure the best use of suspension travel. If you can't set the proper sag you will have to compromise or get different springs.



[*]Record current settings (so you can return to your current setup if this procedure doesn't work for you):
Tighten to the stops (hardest setting) all damping adjustment screws, record the number of clicks as you tighten each adjustment:
1 rebound damping adjustment dial on the bottom of the rear shock assembly
2 rebound damping adjustment screws, one on the top of each fork
2 compression damping adjustment screws, one near the bottom of each fork
Note: when you make these adjustments think of tightening a screw INTO the shock.
  • As you tighten the screw you are hardening the damping.
  • As you loosen the screw you are softening the damping.


[*]Back out all damping adjustments to the softest setting:
Unscrew the damping adjustments to the following values:
1 rear rebound damping dial - unscrew 20 clicks to softest setting
2 front rebound damping adjuster screw - unscrew 10 clicks to softest setting
2 front compression damping adjuster screw - unscrew 13 clicks to softest setting


[*]Take a ride. Take a screw diver along.
Go slow at first because your motorcycle will bounce, porpoise, and wallow.
Make adjustments as needed per steps 5 and 6 below.
Note:
  • The number of clicks on the fork rebound damping adjustment screws should always be the same on the left and right.
  • The number of clicks on the fork compression damping adjustment screws should always be the same on the left and right.


[*]Adjust rebound damping harder on front or rear as needed to stop bouncing, porpoising, and wallowing. Increase rebound hardness only one click at a time, and only on the front or the rear, then test. As the ride smooths out from adjustments increase your speed and find bumpier roads to test. The trick is to figure out which wheel (front or rear) is bouncing and needs adjusting.


[*]If you bottom out the front forks:
  • Adjust front fork compression damping one click harder.
  • Adjust front fork rebound damping two clicks softer.
  • Then go back to step 5.


[*]When you have achieved the ride you want record all damping and preload settings.

[/list]

You will have to increase the rear preload and adjust the rear rebound damping harder as you add weight to the rear (pillion, luggage, or both). A good starting place is to adjust damping for the rider alone, set sag for the new load by adjusting preload on the rear, then go to step 5 above. I did not have to adjust the front preload and damping once they were set. But I don't add weight to the front (no tank bag or crash bar bags). Record all damping and preload settings for each situation you make adjustments for (for example: rider, rider and luggage, rider and pillion, rider and pillion and luggage).

Remember, you aren't adjusting just any old suspension. You are adjusting the suspension on your bike for you to ride. Your final adjustments are likely to be different than mine.

Once you get a good suspension setup I found that the ride is fantastic - the bike feels like it's almost floating over most roads/terrain.

Have fun experimenting with this...
 

Juan

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

EJY712 - that's a fantastic writeup. Now I got it. You had to spoonfeed me. Thanks for this.
Juan
 

ejy712

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Re: Do Yourself a Favor and Adjust Your Suspension.

Juan said:
EJY712 - that's a fantastic writeup. Now I got it. You had to spoonfeed me. Thanks for this.
Juan
You are welcome!

I reformatted the procedure using the provided editing aids because some people use narrower web browsers...
 
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