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Suspension Setup

  1. #1
    Member Chuck's Avatar
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    Suspension Setup


    Some of you have Ohlins suspension (front forks, rear shock, steering damper). www.ohlins.com gives good general info. regarding the basic setup/adjustment of these components. (look under "motorcycles" and then "brochures and manuals"). Soon I plan on holding a "Suspension Day". Roy and I have spoken quite a bit about this. Pretty much a nice run where we can stop frequently to make suspension adjustments, take notes, etc. Suspension is pretty much a complete package and needs to be done from the ground up, meaning, proper tire inflation is necessary (I run 32/34 in my Dunlop D207RR's) and if you have just installed new tires, wear them in a bit before getting too critical with suspension.

    There are no perfect settings. It's not an exact science, although some may claim that it is. What FEELS right to you is ultimately what you should ride with. Different styles of riding require different settings. Most often compression and rebound will be set front and rear, as will steering damper clicks, and not often changed. Although you may change these based on different rides or courses that you do, most people won't change them that often. Well, most people that ride wouldn't know if the damn thing was set totally wrong anyway. If you do hard sportriding/street racing you will probably notice minute differences of even a couple of clicks.

    I'll keep anyone that's interested updated.

    -------------------------
    Chuck
    2002 Duc 998S Bostrom

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  2. #2
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    Suspension Setup

    Chuck one question if you can help, On my FZR 1000 the bike is quite heavy in the front end, I notice that if I lean back and use the pegs to steer this bike it seems to corner a little better, I have noticed on some bikes that the front triple tree has been lowered to shorten the front rake of the bike and quicken the steering, this appears to be done on bikes that are light on the front end, The question, does this same theory work on bikes with a heavey front end, I have tried moving back and forth, but seem to like it almost at the end of its travel, Is there an adjustment in my riding style in corners that I should look at, I wear out a front tire as fast as I do the back, they are all cupped from pushing them through the corner..or is the the best I can expect from an old bike..Thanks Bob

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  3. #3
    Just Registered TLRMan's Avatar
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    Suspension Setup

    Geeez Chuck,
    Let me take your testosterone 998 for a putt, so I can see what real suspension is supposed to feel like! LMAO!
    I'm game to hang.....

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  4. #4
    Jon and Clara's Dad snaggle's Avatar
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    Suspension Setup

    I like to get involved in a suspension day. Keep us posted Chuck

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  5. #5
    Just Registered oreo_n2's Avatar
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    Suspension Setup

    i'm very interested. i really want to learn how to use and adjust everythinig on the suspension setup. it has confused me to this point.

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    Brent LRRS #772
    2006 KTM 560 SMR

  6. #6
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Suspension Setup

    Count me in. Got them nice purdy Ohlins and to this day haven't touched their stock settings, well, maybe just the rear preload, it has this realy cool big knob that you turn to adjust it, everyone seems to enjoy twisting that knob

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  7. #7
    Lifer GadgettR1's Avatar
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    Suspension Setup

    Sounds like a plan.. I'm in.. I've decided this is the year for me to play with my settings also...

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  8. #8
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    Suspension Setup

    Count me in as well. I have adjusting Front shocks and have now idea what benifit I'd get, by adjusting them.

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  9. #9
    Member Chuck's Avatar
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    Suspension Setup

    I'll keep everyone posted on a planned date, probably some Saturday, although I'd be willing to help anyone out that needed it anytime.

    Bob, I'm not familiar with the specific suspension components of the FZR1000, but a friend of mine who had an FZR1000 for several years is. I will speak with him and let you know. If the front forks have a preload adjustment you might want to increase the preload, especially if you are using the entire amount of front fork travel. I did ride an FZR1000 before and agree: the front end is very heavy and the bike seems bottom heavy as well, so it makes sense that using the pegs to help steer (although not ideal) would make sense. Some people adjust (steepen) the rake angle, which can be done by lowering the front end or raising the rear (or with a rake angle adjustment ala Ducati). This will give a faster turn-in and more twitchy steering, but will be less stable and make the bike more prone to tank slappers. From what I can tell your riding sytle seemed fine. Some tires are more prone to scalloping that others (Dunlop). What do you run for tire pressures?

    Chuck
    '02 Duc 998S Bostrom

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  10. #10
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    Suspension Setup

    Chuck I run with the preasure recommended on the tires, I have played with lowering the front forks, The bike I bought from Karaya 1 came with the forks 6mm lower than how I run mine, I tried his settings figuring Dave would know a lot more about adjusting the the rake than I did, I have never seen him ride so I don't know how our riding style compare, This is why I mention the part about looking into my style, I also have Dunlops on now, I have a pair of Metzlers that I am going to mount next week, I was concerned that with the front tire cupping so bad that I must be pushing the front thru the corners, You are correct about the bike being very stable, I do not have to worry about tank slappers on this bike and I think it is one of the reasons the bike can be pushed so hard. I have had tons of bikes go thru my shop and have had the chance to ride a lot of different bikes, I still have not found one that is a predictable as the FZR, I do not know enough about the setting up the supspension to know were I stand as far as what would work best, I have it now set as hard as I can and still make the bike comfortable to ride, any information would be appreciated,,Thanks Bob

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  11. #11
    Member Chuck's Avatar
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    Suspension Setup

    Geometry of the bike is such that it does tend to cup tires. I would have first thought that increasing tire pressure might help, but mfr. recommended pressures are high. Dunlop's are notorious for cupping. I wouldn't adjust the rake angle, rather you should check the suspension settings, specifically, the static sag. Check your manual, for Ohlins front fork static sag should be 25-30mm. I'm planning on holding the Suspension Day this Saturday at MM. Can you make it?

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  12. #12
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    Suspension Setup

    Map and go says it is 384 miles to the MM,from my place I might be there, we will see, it would be tough to do in one day, I would have to see what Sunday weather is,, could you please explain what static sag is..Thanks

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  13. #13
    Twin Addict Half Squid's Avatar
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    Suspension Setup

    I am interested in this as well. I have stiffened up the rear, but have not touched the front and feel that definately needs adjustment. I just have no clue what I need to adjust to???

    Anytime after May 14th is good with me!

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  14. #14
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    Suspension Setup

    Where is MM?

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  15. #15
    Just Registered oreo_n2's Avatar
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    Suspension Setup

    Moto Market is out on 2A, a little past Acton. I think, heading west, its like 4 miles past the junction of 2 and 2A. I'll show ya if ya want to go out there.

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    Brent LRRS #772
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  16. #16
    Member Chuck's Avatar
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    Suspension Setup

    Half squid quoted:

    "I have stiffened up the rear" umm, too much info. dude. LMAO Front settings are generally considered more critical than rear. We'll cover all the necessary adjustments.

    Bob, static sag is the amount the bike "settles" under its own weight. To measure it (you will need 2 or 3 people), stand the bike up straight and have someone take a measurement of the distance from the bottom of the outer fork tube to the top of the attachment at the bottom of the fork (basically the lenght of the amount of fork tube showing). Next, pull up on the bars, either you can do this or you and another person can. Have someone take the same measurement as above. The difference between the 2 numbers is the amount of static sag. This should equal 25-30mm. If it does not, you will need to adjust it. This measurement is perhaps the most critical to bike suspension and needs to be set properly before adjusting compression or rebound.

    Finally, the Suspension Day will take place this weekend (see the following post). If this is not convenient for some, I will be glad to help you set up your suspension at some other time that works for you, just need to let me know.

    Chuck
    '02 Duc 998S Bostrom

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  17. #17
    Member Chuck's Avatar
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    Suspension Setup

    SUSPENSION WEEKEND
    Dates: Saturday, May 4th & Sunday, May 5th, 2002
    Time: 9AM-12PM
    Place: Motomarket, Rt. 2A/119 (481 Great Road) Acton, MA
    RSVP appreciated

    In the parking lot we can do front and rear preload (static sag) setup and get everyone's bikes set to factory stock settings (or whatever starting point you'd like). For those with steering dampers and adjustable length rear shocks, we can adjust these too. [we should be done with these adjustments around 10:30AM and will leave MM then].

    After those adjustments have been made we will need to find a road that has small and large bumps as well as tight and open turns. (Basically a twisty shitty backroad). The best such road is Rt. 62 through Hubbardston, MA. (although it's pretty far from MM) It reallllly sucks!!! I think this is the worst road in the state. Rt. 27 through Acton was lousy for a while, but they repaved it (not good for our suspension setup needs). Let me know if you know a suitable road closer to MM than Hubbardston. We will adjust front and rear compression and rebound settings while taking notes and making runs back and forth on the selected road.

    Make sure to get your tires properly inflated prior to starting the suspension tuning. I run 32 front 34 rear in my Dunlop 207RR's. Pressures higher than 36psi might make the tire last longer, but do nothing for ride comfort or contact patch maximization, so reconsider running pressures that high if you do.

    Please bring:

    your tool kit (since you may need specific wrenches and sockets to adjust your particular components)

    your owner's manual (so your bike can be initially set to stock factory settings)

    Properly inflated tires (hopefully they aren't down to the cords)

    A full tank of gas (this will alleviate the need for you to bring a tankbag full of junk and will get the preload set to proper weight-bearing).

    Your NORMAL riding gear. (Again, so that preload is set to proper weight-bearing).

    There will be hand-outs for your to take home with you so you can tweek the fine tuning with proper guidance any time you'd like. : )

    Finally, please RSVP if you are planning on attending this event(and on what day), since I need to get an estimate of how many hand-outs to print out.

    -------------------------
    Chuck
    2002 Ducati 998S Bostrom

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