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Hard / soft compression and rebound settings?

Old 06-07-2010, 08:17 PM
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Default Hard / soft compression and rebound settings?

Mentioned in another thread the previous owner of my bike mentioned stiffening the suspension. Preload was set to stock so I figured he played with the compression and rebound settings.

I hadn't really thought much about it till recently. Been taking turns I know harder and faster. Lately on those turns it's felt like the tires were kinda bouncing on the pavement. There are irregularities in the road on these turns. But like I said, I know them and know exactly where they are. And how deep / weird they are. I'm figuring he set the suspension too hard for uneven roads. I've set the compression / rebound back to stock front & rear and will see how she reacts.

If I'm still getting the same feeling in the turns, should I consider a softer setting? Take her to the shop and have it set 'professionally' (). Or is it something I'm missing in my riding. Near as I can tell, my throttle control is perfect and I'm nowhere near the lean limits. Tire pressure is 36 / 42 +- 2 cause of wacky weather (check every Sunday with the air compressor). And the tires may as well be brand new.

Only other possible is I'm getting into the chicken strip area. Wondering if the untouched rubber starting to actually touch ground may be having an effect
Old 06-07-2010, 11:57 PM
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Look through these links and they should help you to dial in your suspension. The first video has really helped me. I made my own wheel chock and I'll be tuning mine later this week.

Setting Sag is the first order of Suspension Business

Suspension Setup Guide
Old 06-08-2010, 09:16 PM
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If you have a few heat cycles in your tires, the chicken strip area won't have any effect on your traction. the idea of having to scrub your tire in came from a long time ago when release agents had to be used to release the tires from the molds. Most higher end tires no longer use release agents on the tred portion of the tire because the mold making process has become so advanced, the molds are so smooth, they don't need release agents anymore, only on the sidewall where they need a crisp clear lettering to show. So, an unscrubbed portion of the tire will grip just as good as the scrubbed portion. But, if your wary of it, just get rid of the chicken strips...

As for the setting, you can actually go too soft and get the same effect as going to hard. But, if you experience a bouncing, I'd almost suggest you weren't stiff enough, or your rebound is too low. Try a softer compression, but higher rebound. that should allow the bike to settle, but eliminate the bouncing..

The other thing to consider, depending on how far over your leaning. The futher you lean over, the less the suspension actually works. Your suspension is made to work vertically, but as you lean, your bike is less and less vertical, and your frame, swingarm and forks will actually be flexing and acting as a suspension. Don't get me wrong, your suspension still plays a huge role when your tipped over, but it has less effect the more you lean over.

Just a suggestion though. If your going to start really taking to the curves, Id suggest dropping your tire pressure a few lbs. It will help conform the road and increase your grip. It all depends on how heavy you are, but I can't imagine your anywhere near the max load.

also, pay close attention to your body position. If your not leaning off the bike at all, and are just sitting in the saddle, or worse, leaning the oposite way, it can upset the bike and give you all sorts of wierd feelings. For example, next time your talking a corner, move your knee a few inches in or out and you will feel your bike react. I'd suggest getting your butt on the corner of the seat towards the inside of the corner and dropping your head a bit to the inside of the tank. Even if your not aggressive in corners yet, getting your body postion correct will help a lot in stabilzing the bike throughout the corner.

Last edited by justasquid; 06-08-2010 at 09:20 PM.
Old 06-08-2010, 10:02 PM
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RoadiJeff: Gonna assume the sag is good since my understanding is the stock setting is for a 5'8 140lb Japanese dude. I'm 5' 10" but round the same weight. If it doesn't work, I'll find someplace to pick one up and give it a go myself. Unless you want to post a How To on yours

justasquid: When I said it felt like the tires was bouncing, I meant like the entire bike was. Felt like the suspension wasn't reacting at all to the road. I set everything back to stock settings and it felt okay but I need to test it more. I checked the rebound after doing so tho. Bike settles correctly when I tested the settings, doesn't keep bouncing up and down.

I'll get it nailed down. Was checking to see what I was about to start messing with before I did
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