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lightweight rider: suspension settings

4422 Views 17 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  aren
I weigh 135lb. and have all the factory settings. The factory settings seem to be dailed in for a heavier rider. The bike feels too stiff for me. Can anyone with around the same weight post their suspension settings and tire pressure? BTW, I've had my RR for about a year now. The better I get, the stiffer and unbalaced the bike feels.
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Hey man, I can't give you any help on the actual settings. But you are correct. A few weeks ago at Pocono I had my rear tire step out on me big time. So I went and had the suspension adjusted by TPM's guru. Everything was 100% stock at the time. I wiegh about 160lbs and he told me it was definitely too stiff. He made a bunch of adjustments front and back. It has made a world of difference. I had another day there yesterday and the bike now feels superb. So it might be worth it to find a local place that will set it up for you. Anyway, good luck with everything. ;-)
I was going to say try the settings from Sport Rider or Performace Bike but I know for sure that the Sport Rider (which I have now) is super stiff; Performace Bike is softer. I am getting used to it but planning on softening up some.

Topshelf, do you mind sharing your settings (since I am about 160lbs as well)?

Rippey, to be completely honest with you I don't have any idea what the settings are. I don't even attempt to adjust suspension myself cause every little change affects everything else. If there is an easy way for me to find out the settings, let me know, and I'll be happy to figure it out when I get home tonight and post it up for you guys.
You will need to take out the preload front and rear. This is a limited adjustment so you may need to go all the way down and check the sag.

I posted this:

People tend to look for the magic settings but you have to set the sag first.

Always make adjustments with full gear on and correct tire pressure.

You will need a friend and a tape measure.

If you can't get the proper sag with preload adjustments, you should get stronger springs for too much sag (or lighter for too little sag).

The rebound damping depends on the preload (set via the sag). More preload => more damping to avoid bounce.

With the sag set, when you hit the front brake hard at low speed and release, the bike should come up to the sag height in about 1 sec and not go past and settle down (bounce). Add more rebound dampening if it goes past and settles down. If it goes down and stays down you have (jack down) to much rebound.

Test your rear with your butt for the same thing. The rear should compress and return to sag height in 1 sec without going past the correct height.

If the front dives really fast on braking, add compression damping to suit your preference. Too much and a bump in the road will be transmitted right to you arms.

The rear should squat down slowly under throttle, too little compression dampening and the transfer of the weight to the rear will upset your line in a turn. Too much and you'll come off the seat when you hit a bump.
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look, if you want to get the most out of your bike, adjust your own suspension. it is so easy its not even funny, yet people are scared of it. are you the rider that rode and got the sport rider settings? NO! you don't ride like him, you don't weight the same, you don't need the same settings. YOU need to go out and play with stuff untill you find what works for you, then keep playing to find what doesn't work and what it feels like. so that way you can change the right thing to get your desired result. so here is what i recomend:
SET YOUR SAG! 1.25" front and rear. its not hard
take a day at your favorite track or canyon road, ride the bike at 80% your normal pace. hard enough to feel the bike at speed, but easy enought to pay attention to the bike. start playing with the compression adjustment in the forks, get it right slowly. get the forks rebound set right. get the shocks compression right and then the rebound right. now make sure you have it all written down, and go full hard on the compression. ride it. then full soft, ride it. then halfway hard to your good setting, ride, then halfway soft to your full setting, ride. do this for all your adjustments. now you know what they do and how they feel. ride with your "good" settings and make little changes. come back and thank me because i just dropped 3 seconds off your lap times.
if you need help actually adjusting stuff, i'll email you a PDF about how to do it.

DO NOT BE SCARED OF YOUR SUSPENSION! it is actually much simpler to make big improvements here than in your engine. the difference is you can't just cheat and use someone else's powercommander map, you make your own map for suspension. but it makes a world of difference.

i think the sport rider guys should be caned for posting "recomended" suspension settings. what asses.
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You know how long it would have taken me to get my bike setup to be as good as it is now by playing with each and every setting like that? There is soo many options I may never have found it. For $20 it was done in under 30 minutes and the results were instant. If I spent $150 on a track day, then spent the entire day messing with every setting on the bike and still didn't like it I'd be very pissed. Find a local shop and have them do it for you. Even if it's not the single greatest setup known to man, it will be a hell of a lot better and at the very least a great starting point to make small changes from. Everyone is free to do what the want, but to me, suspension is not the place for unknown fiddling. :roll:
FOX, I definitly hear you on your points. I think the SR and PB settings for some can be a good starting point. I do agree that those setting should not be called recommended or anything like that but at least for me got me in the right direction.

so how do you know how to make changes now? can you pick out to much compression damping from the front forks? of course not. all you know it the front wants to wash out on you. now you can't even tell the guy you pay 20$ what is wrong with the suspension, all you can say is "the bike is trying to kill me." do what ever you want, its your bike. but a day spent doing this will make a marked inprovement in your riding for years and years to come.
if you don't know what to ask your shop for its like going to a restraunt and just asking for what is good. then not liking and only saying its not good. you might like frog legs, while your suspension tuner is handing you a porterhouse. the point is that it isn't unknown fiddling. damn man, its 2 little screws, how difficult is it?
but do your own thing for now, when you get serious about getting faster or get fast enough to notice the caracteristics of improper suspension settings (all though i don't see how you will if you never adjust them) then come back to this post and follow my advice. till then ride your bike and have fun man. what ever makes you happy.
oh, one more thing. as your riding improves (as i hope track days would improve it) you should be able to take advantage of more agressive suspension tuning. never adjusting anything, you'll miss out on the improved feel that you will gain from matching your bike to your riding.

Mrrippey- that is a fine idea as long as you at least try to adjust your suspension, or fine tune it if thats what you want to call it. but you paid money for those adjusters. use them! know your bike.
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oh, and doing what i just described is just the begining. different tires will require different suspension settings, different conditions in track composition and weather, and that doesn't even touch ride height front and rear.
Well thanks FOX, I never realized I was a complete morin until today. :roll: As soon as I get home I'm going to completely ruin all my suspension settings. Forget that fact that the bike feels great right now and that I'll be at VIR for 2 days in 3 weeks. I'd be much better off going down there and spending the weekend saying "Yep, that feels like ****. Let me pit in again and make some more changes." Instead of enjoying one of my favorite tracks. Thanks for all the helpful info.
FOX, Topshelf is not trying to mess up what he considers a good set up at this point. You are right, it is actually not that hard to change the setting but it takes time and understanding of what those settings actually do. I spent a better part of two weeks learning what does what before I even touched the settings (and when I did I started with a baseline, in my case the SR settings). Many people are intimidated with the suspension and leave it stock (and want to go faster by getting full systems and PCIII's and the like). That to me is kinda odd but to each their own.

I think to be a very good rider, you have to know all aspects of your bike, not just bolting on some $hit and rev to 13 grand, that makes no sense to me. Topshelf, if you are cool with your setting, great but I think you should at least know what they are because as you get better, you may want to change certain aspects of it (maybe you will want it stiffer, etc)

All gravy though, as long as you keep the shiney side up fella's

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yeah, you know what i didn't call you a moron, but if you want me to i will. moron. all you have to do is write down where your bike is at right now. then you can go back to it whenever you like. but if you feel that your suspension is perfect, then by all means stay with it there. but all i was suggesting was that you take a little time (i didn't say you had to waste a track day. do it on a canyon road if you want, i don't care) to find out what each adjuster does.
the only thing i ever said to you was that you could be faster and more educated about the bike if you know what it does. but do your own thing, and i hope more people do your thing to. it will just make the trip to the front of the pack easier for me.
You know what Fox, there's a saying about arguing on the net. So instead of continuing this highly intellectual debate. I'll just say I'm done with this entire thing. I'm gonna go have fun riding and learning and enjoying my time out there, and you can go on adjusting your nuts thinking your the fastest rider at your events. Douchebag :roll:
thats cool man. go have fun. like i said before, you'll be happy with it till your fast. then you'll be posting something stupid about adjusting your suspension and i'm going to laugh at you. oh, and i have something for you:
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adjusting nuts?

is that preload or rebound?

and where on the bike can I find it?
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