Xt1200z suspension settings

MattR

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Nov 16, 2019
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North Hampshire UK
When I bought my ST as a winter bike I was also confident that High Command would find it more comfortable than my zx14r on the back. Wrong!! She says it’s much more uncomfortable and that she feels every slight bump. She hates it. All of which leads me to think I have the suspension set up wrong. So my question is: I have the rear preload on the softest setting and the front fairly soft so what do I need to set rebound and compression damping to to make her happy on the back? I’m not worried about hustling round corners etc I just want High Command to stop swearing at me. Happy wife, happy life


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jrusell

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Aug 23, 2017
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354
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Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
Stock shock springs on all teneres (both es and non es) are far too soft for even the lightest solo riders.
With you preload on the lowest preload setting you are sitting very low in the rear. More preload does not make the spring stiffer. It only increase the ride height and lets you have more travel available.
Crank the rear preload to the max setting. It will not make the ride more harsh.
Max preload will give proper 30% sag to a rider who is approx. 175-180 lbs. Adding a passenger only makes the situation worse.
If you are over 180lbs preload on max all the time. Rebound 10-12 clicks out from fully clockwise

Solo riding -- Forks add 7 turns of preload from fully out. Go counter clockwise until the adjuster stops and them turn 7 turns clockwise.
Forks turn compression fully clockwise until it stops and then go 12 clicks out. (bottom of fork)
Rebound 10 clicks out from fully clockwise.

2 up -- more weight on the rear with a soft rear spring means the bike starts to sit like a chopper. In fact your front sag will be less with a passenger because you can't add any more rear preload to pick it back up. The front will in fact sit higher with a passenger or luggage if you can't increase rear preload to correct this. Remove 3-4 turns of preload from the forks to help transfer some weight back to the front and prevent the rear from sitting soo low.

Get a tape measure and measure and set your sag. 57mm rider sag is 30%. This is a good setting to aim for front and back.
Best advice is to get a tape measure and spend 30 minutes getting it set up. You will quickly see the rear spring needs work. There are stiffer springs out there to help fix your issue.
And don't believe all the ES fixes everything BS. ES version is exactly the same and harder to fix.
 

WJBertrand

Ventura Highway
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Jun 20, 2015
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Ventura, CA
At minimum preload and two up, you’re probably riding on the rubber snubber and not the spring at all. No wonder she hates it!


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Boris

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Dec 21, 2013
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midlands. UK
I’m with JR on this, although I only have experience with the Gen1, so can only comment on that.

The rear, definitely too soft. I only ever ride one up and my preload is close to the Max mark, with the rebound 6 out from all the way in. However, with panniers and top box it struggles and all goes a bit vague again. When touring I no longer use the panniers, preferring just the top box and a waterproof bag on the rear seat, which the rear suspension can just about manage. ( should point out that I’m about 17st in riding gear).

The front suspension I personally think is fine. Took a bit of trial and error with settings, but am happy with the front.

Rear Preload on the softest, two up, I guess it’s bottoming out everywhere, hence your lady feeling every bump.

I lowered the front of my bike by a few mm, as I wanted it to steer a tad quicker and hold its line better, whilst putting a little more weight on the front. For me, this made a significant improvement on the way the bike rides.
 
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bimota

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S Wales UK (Bridgend)
i couldn,r ride mine with wife and luggage on standard rear shock it would not cope so put a ohlins on with a 170 spring, massive difference, when wife gets on and luggage just 6 clicks of preload bikes perfect.

as others have said standard rear shock on gen1 is no good for 2 up

rob
 

Cycledude

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Jan 29, 2016
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Rib lake wi
Seems like most Motorcycles sold today get lots of complaints about springs being to soft. But complaints about soft springs never come from me.
its very rare for me to have a passenger but my panniers , top box and tankbag are always mounted . On the 2018 ES preload is usually set at 2 helmets mainly because at any less it can be difficult to find a spot to park on the side stand without having to worry about it falling over on the right side because it’s standing up to straight, if it wasn’t for that issue my Preload would be set at 1 helmet most of the time.
My previous 2013 preload was usually set at about 1/2 and if loaded heavy for a big trip I might crank it up to 3/4 or even full up.
Like most other folks have said your preload is very likely set to low and your wife is taking most of the beating from it, I have never ridden on the Tenere passenger seat but it sure doesn’t look very comfortable to me.
 
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jrusell

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Aug 23, 2017
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354
Location
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
If you want a short term fix on the cheap you can make a 10-15mm spacer and install it with the stock spring.
If I remember correctly the stock spring comes with only 5mm of installed preload.
This is extremely small. The normal range for a shorter travel shock like on a sport bike with 110-120mm wheel travel is minimum 8 to 12mm installed preload. (with your preload adjuster at minimum adjustment)
Given our bike has 190mm wheel travel and longer shock travel than a sportbike, you should have more than 12mm and probably closer to 15-16mm installed preload with the hydraulic adjuster at minimum.
Find a piece of aluminum 10mm thick and make a big washer that fits above the black plastic seat the spring sits on. Take you time and get a nice snug fit around the shock body. Reinstall the stock spring and you should be able to get much better sag numbers and keep the bike from sitting like a chopper.

I was going to this a few years ago with a stiffer spring, but was lucky to find a used aftermarket shock for a fair price and never finished the project.
 

Boris

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midlands. UK
An aftermarket shock is probably the most sensible option, however they’re not cheap.

MCT near Stowmarket are highly regarded and do a full ride in, suspension check and adjust service, with an appointment. They’ll supply and fit a bespoke shock if that’s what you want.
 

bimota

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yer,

even with ohlins the shock comes with a 130 spring, i had tohave a 170 spring you got to get your calculations right or even a ohlins can be crap
lol
 

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jrusell

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2017
Messages
354
Location
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
yer,

even with ohlins the shock comes with a 130 spring, i had tohave a 170 spring you got to get your calculations right or even a ohlins can be crap
lol
Yep, see it all the time. People never do their research and just say get me something sprung for my weight. Shop sells them a shock with a spring hardly stiffer than the stock one. But hey it's gold so it must be good right?
 

MattR

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2019
Messages
334
Location
North Hampshire UK
Ok thanks all. Duly noted. I’ve used MCT before and he certainly a master. If the stick spring is not up to the job it looks like I need to book another visit to see Darren.

But I’ll try the suggested settings first.


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fac191

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Jun 22, 2016
Messages
693
Location
London
Ok thanks all. Duly noted. I’ve used MCT before and he certainly a master. If the stick spring is not up to the job it looks like I need to book another visit to see Darren.

But I’ll try the suggested settings first.


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Darren did my Tiger 800 with a Wilbers set up. Top drawer.
 

Old Scratch

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Mar 20, 2020
Messages
88
Location
Northeast Alabama
yer,

even with ohlins the shock comes with a 130 spring, i had tohave a 170 spring you got to get your calculations right or even a ohlins can be crap
lol
Is that a rear fender I see? If so, where can I find one? My google skills have failed me thus far. Thanks!
 

bimota

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S Wales UK (Bridgend)
Old Scratch,

a few people make them the one i have is from pyramid plastics

rob
 

bimota

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Kruzzin5

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Oct 14, 2019
Messages
264
Location
Newmarket, Ontario
Stock shock springs on all teneres (both es and non es) are far too soft for even the lightest solo riders.
With you preload on the lowest preload setting you are sitting very low in the rear. More preload does not make the spring stiffer. It only increase the ride height and lets you have more travel available.
Crank the rear preload to the max setting. It will not make the ride more harsh.
Max preload will give proper 30% sag to a rider who is approx. 175-180 lbs. Adding a passenger only makes the situation worse.
If you are over 180lbs preload on max all the time. Rebound 10-12 clicks out from fully clockwise

Solo riding -- Forks add 7 turns of preload from fully out. Go counter clockwise until the adjuster stops and them turn 7 turns clockwise.
Forks turn compression fully clockwise until it stops and then go 12 clicks out. (bottom of fork)
Rebound 10 clicks out from fully clockwise.

2 up -- more weight on the rear with a soft rear spring means the bike starts to sit like a chopper. In fact your front sag will be less with a passenger because you can't add any more rear preload to pick it back up. The front will in fact sit higher with a passenger or luggage if you can't increase rear preload to correct this. Remove 3-4 turns of preload from the forks to help transfer some weight back to the front and prevent the rear from sitting soo low.

Get a tape measure and measure and set your sag. 57mm rider sag is 30%. This is a good setting to aim for front and back.
Best advice is to get a tape measure and spend 30 minutes getting it set up. You will quickly see the rear spring needs work. There are stiffer springs out there to help fix your issue.
And don't believe all the ES fixes everything BS. ES version is exactly the same and harder to fix.
Just to make sure I am clear, riding alone on my 2014 ES, I should adjust the rear preload to two helmets? What setting do I do for the front?
 
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