Kawasaki Concours Forum

Concours 1400 (C14) FAQ => C-14, aka Concours-14 GTR 1400 => Suspension => Topic started by: rtarp1 on October 03, 2011, 08:03:40 am

Title: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: rtarp1 on October 03, 2011, 08:03:40 am
2011 c14
  i want to adjust my suspension for sport riding , does anyone have any experience with this?

thanks
bob
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: jimmymac on October 03, 2011, 08:40:54 am
Stiffer is better than soft for sport riding. There's an art for setting a bike up perfect, and I'm not an expert by any means. I would stiffen up the preload and rebound front and rear.
Make one adjustment at a time, between rides. That way you know what you did  to make it that way.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: PH14 on October 03, 2011, 09:58:29 am
Stiffer is better than soft for sport riding. There's an art for setting a bike up perfect, and I'm not an expert by any means. I would stiffen up the preload and rebound front and rear.
Make one adjustment at a time, between rides. That way you know what you did  to make it that way.

Stiffer is better up to a point. If the suspension is set too stiff, the tire will not stay planted on the road. The suspension needs to remain compliant enough to allow it to follow surface irregularities and keep the tire firmly planted. There are articles out there on how to set the sag and dampening.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: jayke on October 03, 2011, 10:09:05 am
Probally more than you want to know:

http://www.gostar-racing.com/information/motorcycle_suspension_set-up.htm (http://www.gostar-racing.com/information/motorcycle_suspension_set-up.htm)

Set sag (preload) first, then work on the rest.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: rcannon409 on October 03, 2011, 01:59:52 pm
The stock suspension on the c14 is set up very soft for "sport riding"   My favorite canyon settings, for now, are a s follows.  I weigh 180 lbs in my mind (and bench press 345) , but the damn, lying scale says 205....weight and press.
Anyway, my last adventure was set up a \s follows.

Front..Preload with three rings showing.  Rebound damping set at three clicks out from fully bottomed.

Rear....preload all the way in, then three clicks out. Reb damn 1/4 turn out from fully bottomed.

This is a drastic change from stock, but from here its easy to fine tune for your weight and conditions.  Trying to adjust oen click at  a time at each end is difficult, if not impossible.  Sort of like dialing in a rifle scope for  a 1000 yard shot.  One click is hard to fee or notice, 10 not so tough.


These settings are stiff on a regular road, but control is amazing.

Here is where the aftermarket shocks have it all over oem. You can set these stiff and controlled, yet they remain much more compliant and controlled. 





Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: gonzosc1 on October 03, 2011, 02:01:51 pm
Probally more than you want to know:

[url]http://www.gostar-racing.com/information/motorcycle_suspension_set-up.htm[/url] ([url]http://www.gostar-racing.com/information/motorcycle_suspension_set-up.htm[/url])

Set sag (preload) first, then work on the rest.


yep! thats what I used and got me sportin around.  use as a base, then tweak away. 
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: rtarp1 on October 03, 2011, 02:25:01 pm



@rcannon409
Front..Preload with three rings showing.  Rebound damping set at three clicks out from fully bottomed.

  how many mm is this preload? 

thanks for the help guys.
bob





[/quote]
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: okxd45 on October 03, 2011, 05:30:06 pm
And then there is this that was posted in another thread.

Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: Shadowofshoe on October 05, 2011, 06:33:19 pm
And then there is this that was posted in another thread.

    My previous owner left a copy of this in my manual and it works pretty darn well and its simple. I guessed it was for about 165 lbs and adjusted from there.

              Mike
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: okxd45 on October 06, 2011, 04:20:19 pm
    My previous owner left a copy of this in my manual and it works pretty darn well and its simple. I guessed it was for about 165 lbs and adjusted from there.

              Mike

No I believe he said he was about 215 all geared up. Can't remember what the wife weighed.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: gonzosc1 on October 07, 2011, 02:06:07 pm


@rcannon409
Front..Preload with three rings showing.  Rebound damping set at three clicks out from fully bottomed.

  how many mm is this preload? 

thanks for the help guys.
bob

can't remember right off hand, but I think thats around 7-8mm's.
my regular cruise preload is at 9-10mm (I'm 185lbs). when I hit the dragon I just crank them two to three full turns and puts me right where I like it and control is sharp and fast.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: rcannon409 on October 07, 2011, 02:23:17 pm
can't remember right off hand, but I think thats around 7-8mm's.
my regular cruise preload is at 9-10mm (I'm 185lbs). when I hit the dragon I just crank them two to three full turns and puts me right where I like it and control is sharp and fast.

Thats about right. Sorry I missed this earlier. Its awkward to get my micrometer in there to measure, but 7-8mm is very close.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: gonzosc1 on October 07, 2011, 03:07:05 pm
Thats about right. Sorry I missed this earlier. Its awkward to get my micrometer in there to measure, but 7-8mm is very close.

yeah it is a PITA to measure. need to find a small measuring device.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: VirginiaJim on October 08, 2011, 05:55:59 am
I use a small metal metric ruler.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: JS_racer on October 08, 2011, 06:13:33 am
rcannon, your sag is good at those settings ?? my guy was shooting for 1.5" front and rear. I'm about 210+gear.
found the adjustment curve on the rear shock blows, far from linear. now my front i have a ton of spring taken out of it, sag is great, i think more fluid had been added( fork oil change, head bearings greased). my 09 has been stripped and put back together. amazing, ride is great, pounding twisties the "ride height" is very stable. no nose dives braking or anything. soaks up bumpy roads very well. front springs and valves are on my shopping list, possibly a rear shock too.
mainly do 400+ mile twistie days with sport bikes, now if only i can get tires to last. fronts go about 6k miles, rears about 4500 miles.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: rtarp1 on October 09, 2011, 08:52:09 am
i left the preload stock and put the damening only i click tighter and the rear dampening 2 clicks tighter.   any more than this and i find the bike jarring and harsh on ny bumby roads.  maybe if i was on the track it would be different but worrying about getting bounced from the bike all the time is annoying.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: redbarber on November 10, 2011, 09:39:24 pm
I gotta be honest here.  I'm pretty heavy.  Most days I'd go on the far side of 275 nekkid.  I've read everything I can find on this forum regarding suspension settings.  It's not easy, because even the sticky threads just meander around and get hijacked over and over.  There's the spreadsheet, which of course I've printed out.  And there are the "golden" settings for pre-load, which NOBODY seems to be able to agree upon.  15, 11, 16, 14mm on the sheet, but then other "experts" say they run 6-7mm, and weigh under 200.  When somebody of greater weight asks what we should do, there are several types of reply, mostly along the lines of "lose 50 lbs", "lose 100 lbs" (thanks for all of you sensitive types), and the ever sincere "use the 2-up settings".  Really?  Does anyone really think that a 300 lb rider, sitting up against the tank and leaning over the handlebars has weight distribution ANYTHING like two 150 lb people on the same bike?  (only if the passenger is sitting on the driver's shoulders).  So again I have come up empty handed.  My front pre-load was at 10mm.  I don't remember how it got that way, maybe the dealer's prep-man took a look at me and said "better crank up the suspension for this fat slob".  Maybe I was having problems with nose-dive and bottoming out on bumps and cranked it down there myself.  Either way, it was with much nervousness that I followed the 2-up chart and tried to get it up to 14mm.   I'm no racer, don't do track days, and my goal here is to make the bike as safe and stable in the corners as possible.  Harsh ride is not to big of an issue for me, and I never have a passenger.  Rear pre-load was way soft, about 4 turns in. 
So, I finally settled on my own compromise mix:  Front preload 12.5mm, Front dampening 3 clicks from all-in.  Rear preload 22 clicks from all-out, dampening 1.25 turns from all-in.  I'll try this weekend to see how it feels, but I'm not sure I'll even know what to feel for. 
Gotta go for now, Domino's is at my door, and I like my three large surpreme pizzas nice and hot.  Till later...
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: wildnphx on May 04, 2012, 08:53:21 pm
The stock suspension on the c14 is set up very soft for "sport riding"   My favorite canyon settings, for now, are a s follows.  I weigh 180 lbs in my mind (and bench press 345) , but the damn, lying scale says 205....weight and press.
Anyway, my last adventure was set up a \s follows.

Front..Preload with three rings showing.  Rebound damping set at three clicks out from fully bottomed.

Rear....preload all the way in, then three clicks out. Reb damn 1/4 turn out from fully bottomed.

This is a drastic change from stock, but from here its easy to fine tune for your weight and conditions.  Trying to adjust oen click at  a time at each end is difficult, if not impossible.  Sort of like dialing in a rifle scope for  a 1000 yard shot.  One click is hard to fee or notice, 10 not so tough.


These settings are stiff on a regular road, but control is amazing.

Here is where the aftermarket shocks have it all over oem. You can set these stiff and controlled, yet they remain much more compliant and controlled.

I went ahead with theses adjustements and going on a 2 day 700 mile ride with my sport bikes friends we shall see how she does... In just the short test ride I did it is allot stiffer then factory settings which is a good thing since I weigh in at about 240...   But like the op said I can make adjustments from this point cause at least I'm in the ballpark as before I was not even close.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: brooklyn on June 13, 2012, 08:17:20 pm
Are the rings on a C14's front preload indicative of an actual millimeter measurement, i.e. 3mm?
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: VirginiaJim on June 14, 2012, 04:12:52 am
I don't think so.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: dankelly64 on July 07, 2012, 05:32:43 pm
  2011 C-14

Can someone school me on this?

Rear pre-load - Is adjusted by the little black knob by the left passenger footpeg.  The owners manual says you increase preload by turning clockwise and decrease preload by turning counterclockwise; but the chart on page 230 says the stock setting is "13 clicks counterclockwise from the fully seated 'weakest' position". Wouldn't the weakest position be the point where you could not turn it counterclockwise anymore - how can you go 13 clicks counterclockwise more from there?

Also I don't hear any clicks or feel any detents on the rear pre-load adjuster when I move it - so what do they mean by clicks?

How would get back to the stock setting?
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: VirginiaJim on July 07, 2012, 07:32:50 pm
Oy Fey!  Too much thinking tonight.  It's not a click, more of a detent feel and you need to nearly rotate it 360 degrees to get one of them.   Imagine you are trying to open a safe....be one with the adjuster.  You will feel it grasshopper.

Good luck on getting back to stock whatever that is.  Depends on the jap tech that adjusted it at the factory.  If it was the guy that did my lights it could be anywhere.   Don't worry about what it was at stock...it's probably wrong anyway.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: Brian_TN on July 15, 2012, 03:41:13 pm
Hey dankelly64,

I'm still trying to figure out the manual's reference to rear spring preload adjustment, too.  I agree that the fully seated position (clockwise) would be the strongest, not weakest, position.

Has anyone clarified this yet?

I have the Service Manual and it seems to explain this better (ie correctly).  It states

"The standard setting for an average-build rider of 68 kg (150 lb) with no passenger and no accessories is the 12th click from the 1st click of the fully counterclockwise position."

It also has a chart that states as the number of clicks increases, the suspension gets stronger/harder and is better for heavier loads.

This would confirm that fully counterclockwise is the weakest postion.

I think the info in the owner's manual was not translated correctly or is just wrong.

It's also interesting that the Service Manual shows 23 as the highest number of clicks.  I have seen charts and adjustments going up to 28 from full counterclockwise/out/soft.





Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: VirginiaJim on July 15, 2012, 05:08:27 pm
My 08 manual states 'Turning the adjuster clockwise increases the spring preload, and turning it counterclockwise decreases the spring preload.'.   Seems pretty clear to me.  So fully counterclockwise no spring preload.  Fully clockwise is full preload.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: Brian_TN on July 15, 2012, 08:37:51 pm
Too bad Kawasaki couldn't keep it this straight forward in subsequent model year manuals.

Glad it's clear to you.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: VirginiaJim on July 16, 2012, 04:22:45 am
I'd be interested to know what the later manual states...
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: Daytona_Mike on November 27, 2012, 07:04:31 pm
It is a common mistake to confuse the word  'preload' with spring rate (soft or hard) Pre-load  has nothing to do with soft or hard.
When I see this:  'Rear pre-load was way soft, about 4 turns in.'
and this:  It also has a chart that states as the number of clicks increases, the suspension gets stronger/harder......
and this: This would confirm that fully counterclockwise is the weakest postion.
and this:  any more than this and i find the bike jarring and harsh on ny bumby roads.
I know this setting is being misunderstood.

Pre Load means: The ride height or the geometry of the chassis of the bike.
Turn the preload  adjuster in for more Pre-load and the bike rides higher (rises). That is all it does and nothing more. It is designed to maintain proper ride height for added weight (or weight change).  If the spring rate  cannot hold the bike up to its proper ride height  due to extra weight with full pre-load  then the spring (s) needs to be replaced with a stiffer one(s).  You would have exceeded  the Sag settings (chassis geometry)which is done using the pre load adjusters.
 There is no other option. You cannot make the bike ride harder and softer  or the springs stronger by increasing pre-load.
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: VirginiaJim on November 28, 2012, 04:15:51 am
Excellent!
Title: Re: Need help with suspension settings.
Post by: rcannon409 on March 14, 2013, 10:28:03 pm
Preload gets even more odd due to the progressive   linkages the bikes = use.  When you increase preload, you raise the back end (obviously) but, when this happens, it also sets the suspension linkage into more of the top of the progression curve...a softer position.  You often end up with  a bike that will ride "softer" due to where the linkage position is.