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Hey Newbs.... Adjust your suspension!!!!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Warnsey, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. I had been thinking about it ever since reading my GS500F manual when I first got my bike. I never thought it would make much difference so I never bothered. While waiting for a mate to come around today to go for a ride, I thought I'll have a play. I moved it from a 3 to a 6 (I weigh 92kg and do mostly twisty riding). Oh my God, the twisties felt great and the bike felt much more planted.

    I'd recommend everyone at least have a play.

  2. What did you adjust?

    There are about 3 or 4 things on a 'fully adjustable' that you are able to adjust.
  3. I highly recommend against 'having a play'. If you're just fiddling with settings and unsure of what you're doing then you can make your bike handle like a pig, or even worse.

    Before you start changing settings, do a little bit of reading and understand what you are changing and why. Change one thing at a time, write down what was changed and by how much, then take it for a spin on a variety of surfaces.

    Also don't underestimate the effect of tyre pressure on your bikes handling. Tyre quality and life will also change how the bike handles.
  4. Sounds like he cranked the preload collar up a few steps. This is a good place to start and I'm not surprised that there was an improvement, there are some guidlines that can be used to determine a suitable setting.
  5. Yep agree with port, have a play but know what you are doing first.
    Make sure your tyre pressure is where it needs to be first though and if you leave it for a while then decide its not quite right, check tyres again, as you need to be adjusting from a common starting point. I have tried to adjust suspension for problems with tyres (such as squaring) and it doesn't work. It just stuffs up your settings for when you get a new set of tyres and you have to start from scratch again so be aware there are problems that won't be solved with suspension adjustment.


    This thread will tell you how to set up the basics. The rest is just about having a play and getting it to your personal preference.
  6. He rides a GS500, they only have adjustable pre-load on the rear.
  7. How the hell did you manage it? I had a look the other day on my GS500F and I couldn't even figure out where to stick the tool in, to turn the collar! Any advice accepted...

  8. Read your manual.

    You should have a tool like this

    You then hook it into the notches below the rear spring and turn. It probably will be stiff and hard to turn as it is increasing load on the spring.
  9. Even so, that would make a noticeable difference... I was just asking because I can't wait til I get to have a bike with fully adjustable suspension... I want to fiddle with it :grin: :shock:
  10. Just changed the preload from one to four (max is five) - I'm 101Kg with all my gear on (quiet in the stalls please :roll: ) and I simply can't believe the difference it made. The Ninja feels like a totally different bike, the ride is that different now. Loving it.

    (Also added S/S brake lines, wow, that's a HUGE difference, feels totally different)

  11. Hi, Arc I have the same bike as you and weigh around 60 - 65kg, how much should I get the suspension adjusted to? I am putting it in for a 6000km service and will ask them to do it.

    They are giving me a loan bike to use complimentary, they told me it is 500cc (LAMS approved) which should be interesting.
  12. You should try and get a total weight figure for you and your gear (plus any tank bags/gear bags you usually carry), I'm only 89.2kg and my riding gear is 11.8kg!! Makes a big difference. Best thing you can do is ask their suspension dude what he thinks it should be set to. I'd read that setting one for for ~65kg so you might be OK as is, best ask them though.

    Did you get the motech mirror extension bars in the end?

  13. good advice in this thread. I saw another noob riding around the city the other day with unadjusted suspension and it looked like his bum was scraping on the back wheel. :)
  14. Arc did not worry about mirror extenders, as I do a bit of lane splitting/filtering and don't want to scrape against cars. Thanx for the info, will print this out for the service this afternoon. They are lending me a 500cc loan bike, complimentary, should be interesting.
  15. Look...guys...stop fiddling around with stuff without knowing what you're doing and what for.
    Adjusting the spring pretension or "pre-load" on a bike is the FIRST thing you do, when you are trying to set the suspension up correctly. Both front and rear or just rear if that's all the adjustment there is.

    But STOP GUESSING! There is a very very simple method to setting it up preload correctly, which I am not going to mention on purpose, so that you will have to go looking for it and as a result will see other important suspension setup info along the way.

    Giving things a twist and noticing the "apparant" improvements is'nt giving you the full picture...ie.. is the bike within the specs required??...could it be better?..you'll never know unless you know the simple process for adjusting preload....and then the other adjustments that you might need to make, to properly advance the handing

    Really!...did I mention it's a simple process to dial it in "correctly"?! - without guesswork (the downside of which, may not be immediately apparant, and can have a negative effect on the other ares of handling)

    By all means have a play around with things, but you need to know the baseline, before you do so.

  16. Instructions for adjusting the rear shock pre-load (after you've calculated your sag) on a GS500 are here. It's a bit fiddly as there's not much room (at least on the newer models). Use the tool pictured earlier along with the extension, go in from low down on the right hand side (lie on the ground) and you'll have just enough room to turn it round a notch.