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Thanks, and a further question, suspension settings

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by hornet, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. First of all thanks to all those who offered their advice on my need for new tyres for the mighty Hornet.
    I ended up paying $487.00 including fitting and a Tyre Disposal Levy, for a Bridgestone 020 rear and a Bridgestone 014 front. I took the bike out yesterday and gave them a scrub, and hopefully they'll give me a good balance between grip and durability; (they'd better at that price!!)
    Now for a further question; I'm around 90ks weight, and I have no idea what the proper settings are for the suspension. I believe the front forks are not adjustable, but with 57,000 ks, should they have a service of some sort.
    And what should be done regarding pre-load etc to the back shock?
    AND, while I'm at it, what's the fuss about braided brake lines; are they really necessary for normal sports/touring riding?? (In the words of a famous Australian politician, please explain)
    I DO listen and appreciate the collective wisdom of the forum.

  2. hi hornet ;)

    i just played with my suspension (in a methodical way) until i
    arrived at settings that gave me the smoothest ride. i'm a
    small bloke, on a big bike, on bumpy roads, so i have
    lightened everything up to almost the lowest settings.

    the only maintenance i can think of is replacing the fluid in
    them. if you wanted to be through, i would follow your
    maintenance schedule.... but other than that, i wouldn't
    worry about them unless fluid starts leaking out of the
    seals, or they feel spongy (which would only happen
    with 10+ year old bikes).

    i've only ever had to do front fork maintenance once on
    a bike, but that was due to them getting damaged during

    experiment a little.

    set one setting.. and ride around for a week. change settings
    again (one increment only), and ride around for another week.
    you'll arrive at your most preferred setting.

    > while I'm at it, what's the fuss about braided brake lines; are they really necessary for
    > normal sports/touring riding??

    dunno. sounds like that special fluid called halogen that
    is advertised on channel 7 in the early hours between the
    adult match maker and crazy horse ads. you top up your
    head lights every now and then when they get a bit low.

    see ya ;)
  3. If the bike has never had the forks serviced I'd say they are well knackered.

    Change the fork oil at least. There are some places that do re-valveing etc to make these mid rate type folks better. Up to you.

    I can't comment on the suspension settings, because I am not model knowledgable, but set the preload to a higher setting and adjust the compression and rebound until it feels best. Start at the midpoint and expect to go harder.

    I disagree with the one step at a time thing. You may not notice and it will become frustrating. Go 2 or three steps then fine tune from there. (preload is OK in single steps.)

    As for the braided lines, they give a more direct connection to the caliper. So if you think your brakes are a bit spongy fit them. Otherwise don't.

    I have them and I like them, as they allow me to brake right to the limit.

    I suppose there is an arguement for not fitting them as you can grab a handfull in an emergency and not neccessarily lock up.

    Good on you for the high K's too. It's good to see modern bikes are not as disposable as they sometimes appear.
  4. Not a bad price for tyres. They are excellent tyres and I run them on my Duke.

    I used to run a 600 Hornet as a courier bike and by memory there isn't many suspension settings to play with. 57,000Klm's is a long way and fork oil will really need to be replaced. I don't know how adept you are with maintenance but the Hornets forks are of the conventional type and you can do one of two things.
    1) You can replace the fork oil yourself and someone with a reasonable knowledge of forks can do that.
    2) You can take the forks out of the bike and take them to a mechanic or suspension specialist and have them do it. Cheaper for you if the forks have been removed already from the bike.

    Quantity of oil in the fork and the fork oil weight makes a difference in the forks performance. I think the Hornet runs 15 weight oil. Forks also rely on the air gap between the top of the fork oil in the fork tube and the underneath of the top sealing cap. I would either put in an oil 5 weight heavier (The heavier the fork oil the stiffer the forks will become) or decrease the air gap ( the less air between the oil and the top of the fork cap reduces the bounce so less air will make it less springy) between the top of the oil and the top side of the fork top cap. I wouldn't do both, do one or the other( Puts too much strain on the fork seals). Forks specifications will specify a volume of oil and also how far the level of oil is from the top of the fork. If you were to increase the level I would't do more then say 10 or 12 mm.
    As I am a big bloke and a lot bigger than you, I used to raise rear preload all the way up and drop the fork tubes through the triple clamps which in affect does the same thing as preload. A properly setup bike should sit level when you sit on it so adjust either end keeping this in mind.
    Standard brake lines are mostly made of rubber and are flexible, so they will expand during heavy applications of the brake. Braided brake lines are still made of a rubber but have a metal braid over the rubber line that doesn't flex so when you squeeze the brake lever the rubber line can't expand so all the brake fluid moment is directed straight at the brake caliper so not losing braking performance through brake line flex.

    Hope this helps
  5. I am printing out these responses for action, thanks folks.