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Bought a sports bike lately ? Check your Suspension Settings

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by V8cressida, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. Recently bought my first real bike.2001 GSX R 1000 Thought it was the ducks nuts till today!
    I'm a bit of a mechanical fiddler from way back, saying as much I have never owned a vehicle with fully adjustable suspension.

    So armed with knowledge I have gleaned from Netrider, the web + the Suzuki service manual I corner my bike in the garage armed with a spanner and flat blade screwdriver. (The poor thing had no chance really).

    Following instructions I set out to check/adjust front and rear Pre-load, compression and rebound dampening. I figured I would set things up as per "Factory standard" to cut this ramble short it turns out my bike was not within a bulls dangling bits of factory settings. Now of course that doesn't mean that it was set up wrong, if somebody who knew what they were doing, had done it then it may have been correct.

    The proof of the pudding as they say, is in the eating. Before I comment further, here were the old settings versus new.

    Pre-load : Factory 4 lines out. Was wound right out
    Compression: Factory 10 clicks(backed off from full clockwise). Was 15 clicks
    Rebound: Factory 6 clicks(backed off from full clockwise). Was 6 clicks

    Pre-load : Factory 21mm thread showing from top lock nut. Was and still is (dont have a spanner for it yet!) 12mm
    Compression : Factory 8 clicks (backed off from full clockwise). Was 18
    Rebound : Factory 7 clicks (backed off from full clockwise). Was 14

    Those who know what part each setting plays in the big picture (which I really don't yet, i'm a beginner) probably already know the difference the new "Factory" settings made.

    I set off for an hour (so I told the wife) ride along local country type twistys in my area. And the difference? Well three hours later I came back! I could not believe it, before it was blancmange over the bumps and around corners compared to now. The ride is a bit more teeth chattering in places, but the bike seems to be feeling every bit of the road, inspiring me to lean over more than I ever dreamt of (for my humble and lowly riding technique). Particularly loved sweeping corners, before today the back end seemed to be doing it's own thing!

    I am even more in love with riding now!

    The moral is? Get out there and check your bike suspension settings particularly if your bike is a new member of your family.

  2. I was discussing suspension setup with one of the mechanics at my dealer and he said that his job would be a heap easier if bikes didn't come with adjustable suspension. His argument was that because riding on the street is always going to mean varied conditions and compromises there are very few circumstances where anything other than factory settings will be ideal.

    I must say in light of your discovery I find it hard to disagree with him.
  3. Yeah every sportsbike-owning gino thinks that "super fooli sik sports riding" needs maximum stiff suspension maaaaate. When I bought the ZX9 the dildo who sold it had everything on max. I did the same thing, went back to standard and adjusted from there, made a huge difference.
  4. Yeap settings are so important they change the bikes characteristics dramatically. The 900 is known to be soft from the factory, hardened her up bit by bit and now she love to lean and feel the road. That said I would soften up the settings on a long road ride as it can get annoyingly bumpy after a while
  5. yea setting it to your liking or riding style makes a world of a difference. My zx6 was factory settings but then i took it to someone to adjust it to my weight and style and all i can say is that its a whole new bike. Cuts corners like a sharp razor blade and more nimble for high speed riding.
  6. It should be one of the 1st things done on a newly acquired bike.
    Every bike I've ever owned has had the suspension brought back to 'factory' then adjusted for my riding, Sometimes this is a quick process other times it takes a few rides to get it just right :)
    Then I go through the whole process again to set up for 'two up' riding, then its just an easy adjustment between the two :cool:
  7. You guys have got it easy. Try taking a motocross bike and getting it to handle on the road. Change the front from a 21" wheel to a 17" and the rear from a 19" to a 17" completely fcuking with the geometry, wind your preload up on the rear so bloody much the rear gets jacked up another 40mm again, and then stiffen the rebound and comp damping to the point where it slows enough without bouncing or packing down. Ya still end up with a pogo'ing but harsh ride that handles like shit on the dirt and wallows like a hippo on the tarmac.

    :LOL: A complete rebuild is on the shopping list.
  8. They come from the factory with settings for a about a 65kg rider. :shock:

    I had to play with the 12 settings and i have done so on the 14.. Although i think i may be a little to hard in the front settings..

    It makes a huge difference though..
  9. Hmmm so most bikes have adjustable suspension. Mine seems really floaty. Any way to stiffen it up. Im a fairly heavy guy on a small bike lol.
  10. Some bikes dont have adjustable suspension, if thats the case you can play around with fork oil weights and stiffer springs