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Adjust your suspension preload!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by RuKu, May 10, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    I've had my bike for about three months - I am going for my full licence in a few days. Today I made an adjustment that made it feel like a different bike!

    I have been getting more familiar with the mechanicals of the bike as I learn, and last night I went right through my owner's manual checking things like suspension, idle speed and battery.

    I discovered that the rear suspension preload had been set to a really hard setting by a previous owner - 4 out of 5, where it suggests just 1 for a normal person and 4 or 5 for rider plus pillion.

    Today I adjusted the bike to 2 out of 5, and the thing rode really really differently. I'm amazed. The slightly lower seating felt much much more comfortable than previous, and I really felt much more control over the bike.

    I found I could corner much better and tighter!

    So make sure you have a play with these settings. Perhaps your newbie discomfort is not all due to you, perhaps your bike's settings are playing a part, too.
  2. i hope you took sag measurements when you made these preload adjustments.

    its to adjust how much travel the bike uses when you are sitting on it in a static position. allows the wheel to drop into bumps and not to 'top out' and cause instability.
  3. I've run out on the back. And if I wind it up on the front it pushes like a dime dealer
  4. when you say pushing, do you mean up to the apex or out of it?
  5. Reducing weight transfer to the front should also reduce frony grip, so I would expect the answer to be pushing on corner entry
  6. #6 Ljiljan, May 11, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    I don't believe suspension does anything to reduce weight transfer, though it can change dive.

  7. I've tried to look at this a number of times but from what I can tell you need to measure different setting when you are sitting on the bike and adjust them not only to your weight but apprently with consideration to your riding style, which in itself is a term I have trouble in defining with respect to suspension set up.

    I suppose you can always go the trial and error method but I've always chickened out and just stuck with the manufacturer settings.
  8. I have a simple naked bike and the rear preload is the only suspension adjustment on the bike. I'm pretty sure that the setting it was on is not the manufacturer setting, since that seems to be for heavy loads (e.g. with pillion). And so I adjusted it to be a bit softer just to see how it felt.

    I think that's what they mean by riding style - ride it the way you usually would and see how it feels for you. Honestly the rear preload adjustment is easier than refueling.

    I guess I should do the sag measurements, but I think it is still within bounds for a single-setting adjustment for a naked bike.
  9. Anytime I touch the throttle it goes wide. Under hard it almost feels like it jumps. It does have that very lean on off throttle that Viffers have.
    The front has never inspired confidence in me.
    While the rear chock looks very basic it does seem ok. It would be a lot cheaper option to go a new Ohlins rear than trying to fit a decent USD front end in it.
    Basically I need a firmer rear spring/shock and heaps more dampening in the front I think
  10. Yeah that reads like front rebound damping. I'm not sure what you are riding exactly and if it is adjustable. If it's not adjustable it's time to experiment with some heavier weight oil.
  11. #11 raven, May 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    It actually depends Lilley. In my case, both on the blade and more so on the 675, by decreasing the rebound damping a click or two I was able to free up the shock a little more. This allowed weight to transfer more readily onto the front. As a result, I was/am getting more bite out of the front tyre, allowing me to hold a line more easily. That extra extension on the rear shock also allowed me more options on how I tackle a corner.
    Too much rebound damping on the rear and it won't turn in, nor hold the line coming out.
  12. I wasn't questioning that, it was just a comment on terminology. The effect that suspension will have on weight, or rather, load transfer is minimal. The main role of suspension is to distort and dissipate energy transmitted between the bike and tyres. Load will still be transferred. If not, our whole understanding of motorbike dynamics would have to be rewritten.
  13. Ahaa. Ok then. I misunderstood. :)