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Thread: Suspension

  1. #1
    Flirting With The Redline Joseph Hanna's Avatar
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    Suspension

    Took my Street Triple to a suspension specialist here in the Valley today. It took two or three rides for them to hone in on things and Iím not positive weíre 100% there yet. (The cost of the service includes a year of adjustments if required). As with every other bike Iíve previously had professionally set up the difference is genuinely profound. I took it into the canyons and the changes were as far from subtle as possible. I would think it would be very, very high on the list of things beginners would want to address, providing of course the bike allowed for it.

    Iíve long come to the conclusion suspensionís are the single greatest mechanical influence on any motorcycles performance. Both from a ďgetting the mostĒ out of a bike (performance) as well as a safety perspective. Brakes and tires a close 2nd and or 3rd.

    What difference!

  2. #2
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    So what was their finding?
    Your bike was under sprung for anything more then a 140 pound rider?

  3. #3
    Flirting With The Redline Joseph Hanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trials View Post
    So what was their finding?
    Your bike was under sprung for anything more then a 140 pound rider?
    Close......rear under, front over. Front substantially.

  4. #4
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    Well, in that case it's sprung perfectly for me.
    When life throws you curves, aim for the apex
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    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Hanna View Post
    I would think it would be very, very high on the list of things beginners would want to address, providing of course the bike allowed for it.
    I had changes made suspension changes to three of my bikes. All made much more dramatic improvements even noticeable at my limited skill level.

    Replaced and adjusted front and rear shocks 1992 softail
    Adjusted shocks KLX 250S and DRZ400S

    I have not done anything to Versys shocks

    All very noticeable improvements. Most noticeable was the 1992 Softail. Of course that was an improvement from horrible to just really bad. Still, that change made a significant difference.

    None professionally dialed in for me. So I have a few questions:

    1. My kids and I are all between 5' 8" and 5' 10" and between 155 and 170 lbs. We all ride all the bikes and we are not going to change the adjustments from one rider to another. Since we are all similar size, I am assuming that the adjustments from one to the next would not make much of a difference.
    2. We are all novice riders. I am wondering if a rough guesstimate adjustment by a mechanic gives us 80% of the benefit of professional adjustment. Especially since it needs to be adjusted for all of us.
    3. Are there adjustment considerations that are different for safety versus performance? I am thinking that for braking, it would be important to have the front shocks adjusted properly. But I am also wondering if the optimal braking setting would be different from the optimal cornering adjustment.
    4. I would assume that the optimal adjustment would vary by riding style as well has height and weight. Softer setting for more mellow riders and firmer settings for more aggressive riders?

  6. #6
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Is a pretty safe bet that most Japanese manufactured bikes intended for street or dual sport riding are under sprung, most also lack a means to easy adjust the suspension characteristics other then spring preload (or changing the fork oil weight) because the manufacturer was trying to save money and optimize profits. They sell you on price or how well it rides rather then how well it performs or how adjustable it is.

    Italian supersport bikes and Spanish motocross models that are intended to see competition often have extremely strong rear spring rates fitted to world class shock absorbers. They typically source brake and suspension components from big name specialty companies instead of throwing together something in-house.

    Honda owns Showa <- they only put the Showa suspension components on their top of the line performance bikes, everything else gets spring holders. If your Honda has Showa branded suspension at least you probably have something to work with including a means to adjust the suspensions dampening characteristics.

    Everybody can benefit from superior suspension components but few ride their bikes to the limit of the suspension and brakes unless you are using it in competition. If you want your suspension set up professionally :/ you probably want to start by having a professional rider of roughly your same size test ride your bike and provide input as to what they found lacking or excessive.

  7. #7
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trials View Post
    Everybody can benefit from superior suspension components but few ride their bikes to the limit of the suspension and brakes unless you are using it in competition.
    I have no desire to get anywhere near the limits of my brakes and suspension. I just want to make sure I am not riding the bike in a set up that would dramatically impair the performance in normal riding conditions or in reacting to an emergency.

    I am thinking that at my skill level and riding style, I would not notice the difference between a bike that was set up in the ball park and one that was professionally dialed in for me.

  8. #8
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    The difference between a properly dialed in suspension and one that's in the ballpark is subtle. Most street riders probably can get by simply with adjusting the static sag. In fact most budget bikes won't allow much more than rear sag. If your bike doesn't have front sag adjustment your options are to change fork oil viscosity or by respringing.

    Beyond that, you're chasing rebound and compression settings which often requires repeated adjustments and track or street laps to get proper results. The benefit is not only better control at the limit, but also more even tire wear; less feathering or cupping at the edges.

    Unless your pavement is racetrack smooth ... though some tracks aren't. A Properly dialed in suspension, or even one that's close, gives you better control under cornering when the bike hits bumps and dips. Helps the bike avoid that mid corner skipping or diving sensation. On the street that's more valuable than lap times on a track.

    That's the two main takeaways for the street rider: tire wear and control.
    When life throws you curves, aim for the apex
    [sigpic][/sigpic]
    08 Spyder RS SM5 "big Bird" \ 12 S'TtripleR "stripper" \ 02 VFR800 "big red" \ 09 KLX250-S
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  9. #9
    Flirting With The Redline Joseph Hanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asp125 View Post
    The difference between a properly dialed in suspension and one that's in the ballpark is subtle. Most street riders probably can get by simply with adjusting the static sag. In fact most budget bikes won't allow much more than rear sag. If your bike doesn't have front sag adjustment your options are to change fork oil viscosity or by respringing.

    Beyond that, you're chasing rebound and compression settings which often requires repeated adjustments and track or street laps to get proper results. The benefit is not only better control at the limit, but also more even tire wear; less feathering or cupping at the edges.

    Unless your pavement is racetrack smooth ... though some tracks aren't. A Properly dialed in suspension, or even one that's close, gives you better control under cornering when the bike hits bumps and dips. Helps the bike avoid that mid corner skipping or diving sensation. On the street that's more valuable than lap times on a track.

    That's the two main takeaways for the street rider: tire wear and control.
    The rear on the Triple would skip, uncomfortably so. That became a big enough issue for me to get off my butt and get the suspension tuning process at least started. I think it'll be a "process" in the end but for now the difference is really noticeable!

  10. #10
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    Dave Moss is the guru when it comes to suspension tuning. https://davemosstuning.com/ His youtube videos gave me a greater understanding of the process and objectives. It made the black art of tuning less mysterious. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYm...-UeV7U10_48rqw
    When life throws you curves, aim for the apex
    [sigpic][/sigpic]
    08 Spyder RS SM5 "big Bird" \ 12 S'TtripleR "stripper" \ 02 VFR800 "big red" \ 09 KLX250-S
    Sold: 97 Ninja 500R / 03 SV650N / 01 Ducati 750SS / 73 CB350-Four / 03 BMWF650GS / 08 Gixxer600 / 09 KLX250S "Gumby" / 06 Thruxton "crumpet" / 91 VFR750 /03 Gixxer6 the bass boat
    my Facebook, SpeedShotsPhotography
    MITGC #22

    "I have seen fat kids on Segways go through corners faster."

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