Author Topic: Setting up your suspension  (Read 6791 times)

Offline Kiwi Graham

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Setting up your suspension
« on: March 29, 2012, 05:00:50 pm »
Not sure where this should go mods so put where you think it best fits (sticky?)


Suspension;

Lots of questions get asked about suspension choices for the Concourse so I’ll try and explain this black art of suspension set up for you to try. The important thing to remember is once adjusted to a base setting only adjust one thing at a time and write what you have done down. If you adjustment didn’t work you can go back and start again otherwise you will be going around in circles.

Firstly the bikes standard suspension components add up to a compromise,  they are chosen to suit a wide variety of riders and conditions so to set up the standard package perfectly will be hard to achieve but it can be improved over what you have now.

First step is to set the static sag of the machine. To do this means adjusting the ‘pre load’ adjusters both front and back. For the front this is by turning the hex nut on top of the suspension tubes at the top triple clamp and for the rear using the remote pre load adjuster by the right passenger footrest (check the owner’s manual if unsure).

Increase or decrease the pre-load until the static sag is between 23 -28 mm. 23 = firmer 28 = softer and everything else in between gives you options between both.

To measure static sag you need another person ideally. Take all the weight off the suspension by pulling up on the bars until the front suspension ‘tops out’ and take a measurement from a fixed point such as the front axle and the first part of the ‘moving’ suspension such as the dust seal. Note it down and set the machine down. Bounce the front suspension up and down a few times, have someone hold the bike upright without influencing the weight on the bike and do the same measurement again from the same points……this is your static sag measurement for the front. Increasing or decreasing the front pre-load will adjust this measurement and you will have to go through the above process to accurately re measure after each adjustment.

The same principle applies to the back suspension, remove all weight of the suspension and measure from a fixed point on the swinging arm or shaft and a part of the rear bodywork, and note it down. Bounce the suspension a few times and re-measure from the same points, this is your static sag measurement for the rear.

Now to adjust the compression and rebound clickers.

The aim is to set the clickers to control the flow of oil in the suspension to dampen the effect the road surface is having on the suspension. Too much damping and the wheel will not have enough time to react to the next bump that comes along if it’s too slow to recover from the last. Too little and the wheels will react uncontrollably to bumps.

Compression damping front (top clickers on the front forks) Take a note of where they are now by winding them all the way out counting the number of clicks and note it down. Wind them both back in exactly the same amount a few clicks at a time stopping to ‘bounce’ the front suspension up and down until you feel there is sufficient damping in the down stroke so not to allow the front to ‘blow though’ the stoke uncontrolled. Notable resistance should be felt but should allow full suspension travel (this can’t be tested until you actually ride the bike). Compression damping works in the same way. Again wind the clicker all the way out and not the number of clicks (should you need to go back and start again) wind them both in exactly the same amount of clicks a few at a time stopping to bounce the suspension. You are look for a controlled rebound to the static sag point, too little damping will allow the spring to return to quickly in an uncontrolled manner. To be fair the stock settings on the bike for compression and rebound damping are pretty good.

The rear follows the same principals with the rebound damping clicker mounted on the shock; again you are looking for a controlled return to the static sag position.

These settings will be fine for solo riding, should you load up and add a passenger rear pre-load being added should all be that’s needed to accommodate the extra weight.

Any reputable bike shop or suspension tech would be able to do this for you inside half an hour if all this is too daunting to consider yourself.

Offline VirginiaJim

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Re: Setting up your suspension
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2012, 05:13:17 pm »
It can sit here for now...
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Offline Fearless

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Re: Setting up your suspension
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2012, 09:37:20 pm »
Your bike has compression damping? What model do you have?
2008 C14 - Flies out, Area-P full system, PCV

Offline basmntdweller

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Re: Setting up your suspension
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 07:50:20 am »
Just to clarify, is the rider is supposed to be in normal gear sitting in regular riding position when measuring and setting the static sag?

Matt
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'98 DR-350
'11 Suzuki C50T wife's ride since she hates my Connie
'03 Honda CBR600RR track bike

Offline Kiwi Graham

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Re: Setting up your suspension
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 01:30:00 pm »
I have a late 2011 model.

Yes static sag (with rider) you should be all dressed up as if your riding.

Offline wipfel

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Re: Setting up your suspension
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 02:15:03 pm »
Is this something that normal dealer's shop should be able to?  Or is this take a more specialized skill set to get right?
--If I could be anywhere right now, I'd still be out there, on my bike, in the wilderness.

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Offline BackInTheSaddle

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Re: Setting up your suspension
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 02:26:16 pm »
Is there usually someone at the National Rally who can help with suspension and other technical questions?  Vendors, Kawi rep, etc.?
Don, Apple Valley, MN
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Previous bikes 2001 Kawi C10 (RIP), and 1981 Honda CB650
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Offline gonzosc1

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Re: Setting up your suspension
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2012, 09:50:02 pm »
ah was not aware that compression damping was added on the 2011's.
may have to swap forks on my 09

Offline VirginiaJim

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Re: Setting up your suspension
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2012, 07:44:55 am »
I rather doubt it.  The front forks have two adjustments that I'm aware of....spring preload and rebound damping.
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Offline Slideways

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Re: Setting up your suspension
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2012, 06:29:43 am »
Yes static sag (with rider) you should be all dressed up as if your riding.

I would add that if there is typical gear in a bag that is commonly traveling with you and would add more weight then your keys and cell phone load that up as well.
If it can't be fixed with a hammer you can sure as hell teach it a lesson.
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