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Old 06-04-2017, 08:12 PM   #16
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Formula 1 cars have controls on the steering wheel to adjust shit like swaybar stiffness, shock stiffness, wing angle, etc. They don't just "set it and forget it".

Last edited by Reli; 06-04-2017 at 08:14 PM..
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Old 06-05-2017, 05:11 PM   #17
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Regarding suspension setup; there is not an "infinite" number of settings. In fact, for rebound and compression, there's a working range for both: usually about 4 clicks either direction from the factory setting (where the clickers are set stock). Once you get outside that range, there is no more adjustment. Fluid is either fully flowing or locked down. More clicking does nothing.

The proper way to set a bike up is have a professional like Dave Moss, Mike Castro, Mike Canfield, Rob at Evolotion, etc set up your baseline. Here's how the whole mystics of suspension are made clear:

First: let your shop help you determine the correct spring rate for your bike, front and rear.

Second: With the correct springs and any new parts (cartridges, revalve, etc), set the sag on the bike. Either have a shop help you, or do so with a friend on your own. It's pretty easy once you do it a few times.

Third: Take note of the setting and write this down in a notebook. That means turns out/ in for preload, rebound, compression front and rear. That is your baseline, should you ever get lost.

Fourth: while in a wheel chock, play with the front compression from fully stiff to full soft. Bounce on the bike and see what it does each time. Next, do the same with rebound. Put the clickers back to where they were when you started.

Next, go ride the bike. Either call the shop with your determination of what the bike is doing and what you'd like it to do better and have them help you tune it over the phone. Keep whatever tools you need to adjust with you on your ride. To put things simply:

Rebound: controls the return stroke of the fork/ shock. Less rebound (turning the clicker out, to the left) means a quicker/ harsher return stroke. More rebound means a softer and slower rebound stroke. This can allow the fork to "pack in" and not return to its full operating length range, decreasing the travel of your fork/ shock. Turning the clicker in, to the right closes the rebound valving down and slows the return action of the fork/ shock.

Compression: Controls the initial impact/ up stroke of the fork/ shock. Turning the clicker out to the left softens the compression stroke and gives less control over bump resistance. The fork/ shock will be more compliant, but have a more muffled feel. Turning the clicker to the right will stiffen the compression valving. The fork/ shock will feel sharper and firmer. Compression can be used as a band aid for too light of a spring rate, but the drawback is a harsher suspender.

Preload: adjustable preload (not installed which is fixed and not adjustable with a nob/ remote adjustor) changes the effective weight on one end of the motorcycle. To put more weight on the front of the bike, take out preload (turn to the left).

I'd start with that and also recommend you only work on one side of the bike at one time. It's best to keep track of what you don't like that the bike is doing and what you want the bike to do. It's not that hard once you become resolved that changing clickers is always reversible. It's also a good way to learn about suspension...there's nothing you can screw up by changing clickers, except the ride quality (momentarily).

Don't be afraid to try things. Call us at any time for any questions and we'll do our best to educate and steer you right!
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Last edited by Holeshot; 06-21-2017 at 09:59 PM..
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:55 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by GP Suspension View Post
Regarding suspension setup; there is not an "infinite" number of settings. In fact, for rebound and compression, there's a working range for both: usually about 4 clicks either direction from the factory setting (where the clickers are set stock). Once you get outside that range, there is no more adjustment. Fluid is either fully flowing or locked down. More clicking does nothing.

The proper way to set a bike up is have a professional like Dave Moss, Mike Castro, Mike Canfield, Rob at Evolotion, etc set up your baseline. Here's how the whole mystics of suspension are made clear:

First: let your shop help you determine the correct spring rate for your bike, front and rear.

Second: With the correct springs and any new parts (cartridges, revalve, etc), set the sag on the bike. Either have a shop help you, or do so with a friend on your own. It's pretty easy once you do it a few times.

Third: Take note of the setting and write this down in a notebook. That means turns out/ in for preload, rebound, compression front and rear. That is your baseline, should you ever get lost.

Fourth: while in a wheel chock, play with the front compression from fully stiff to full soft. Bounce on the bike and see what it does each time. Next, do the same with rebound. Put the clickers back to where they were when you started.

Next, go ride the bike. Either call the shop with your determination of what the bike is doing and what you'd like it to do better and have them help you tune it over the phone. Keep whatever tools you need to adjust with you on your ride. To put things simply:

Rebound: controls the return stroke of the fork/ shock. More rebound (turning the clicker out, to the left) means a quicker/ harsher return stroke. Less rebound means a softer and slower rebound stroke. This can allow the fork to "pack in" and not return to its full operating length range, decreasing the travel of your fork/ shock. Turning the clicker in, to the right closes the rebound valving down and slows the return action of the fork/ shock.

Compression: Controls the initial impact/ up stroke of the fork/ shock. Turning the clicker out to the left softens the compression stroke and gives less control over bump resistance. The fork/ shock will be more compliant, but have a more muffled feel. Turning the clicker to the right will stiffen the compression valving. The fork/ shock will feel sharper and firmer. Compression can be used as a band aid for too light of a spring rate, but the drawback is a harsher suspender.

Preload: adjustable preload (not installed which is fixed and not adjustable with a nob/ remote adjustor) changes the effective weight on one end of the motorcycle. To put more weight on the front of the bike, take out preload (turn to the left).

I'd start with that and also recommend you only work on one side of the bike at one time. It's best to keep track of what you don't like that the bike is doing and what you want the bike to do. It's not that hard once you become resolved that changing clickers is always reversible. It's also a good way to learn about suspension...there's nothing you can screw up by changing clickers, except the ride quality (momentarily).

Don't be afraid to try things. Call us at any time for any questions and we'll do our best to educate and steer you right!
Thanks for the post

When I say infinite settings... it really does feel that way sometimes. For example... a fork with 28 compression clicks, 28 rebound clicks, and 10mm of preload. That's 7,840 combinations. Even if we take your suggestion of 4 clicks in either direction - that's still 640 combinations. Which one is the correct setting?



Let me be clear - I'm not saying fully suspension is technically worse. Of course it has potential to be better, but the psychological implications for tinkerers, engineers, or obsessive compulsive riders are severe.

Last edited by kuksul08; 06-05-2017 at 07:03 PM..
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Reli View Post
Formula 1 cars have controls on the steering wheel to adjust shit like swaybar stiffness, shock stiffness, wing angle, etc. They don't just "set it and forget it".
Formula 1 always gets brought up as being the pinnacle of technology or the "best" in any category. It really has no relation to riding motorcycles on the street. F1 cars are purpose built to do one thing very good. Thousands of hours of engineering are put into each race course to determine the best setup for each specific turn. There are just too many variables on a street bike - and that's where having too many adjustments can be confusing to most riders rather than helpful.
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:33 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by GP Suspension View Post
Compression: Controls the initial impact/ up stroke of the fork/ shock. Turning the clicker out to the left softens the compression stroke and gives less control over bump resistance. The fork/ shock will be more compliant, but have a more muffled feel. Turning the clicker to the right will stiffen the compression valving. The fork/ shock will feel sharper and firmer. Compression can be used as a band aid for too light of a spring rate, but the drawback is a harsher suspender.
That's the high speed circuit, How about the low.
My working analogy is that the HS is the wheel moving up and compressing the shock from the bottom when hitting a bump. The LS is the weight of the rider pressing down on the shock like when bottoming a hill.
One is a fast thrusting action and the other is a slow(ish) pressing action.

Am I in the ballpark?
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Last edited by KazMan; 06-06-2017 at 06:07 AM.. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:49 PM   #21
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You might think that fully adjustable suspension is a cool thing to have. Low and High speed compression, rebound, and spring preload. Lots of shiny anodized adjusters and 32 clicks of range. However I've found that it is actually a curse, and it comes down to a mental thing.

When I ride a bike with too many available adjustments, I constantly think about how to change them and what could need adjustment to fully optimize the setup. It's a never-ending game of clickers and tweaking things back and forth trying to achieve perfection on a variety of road surfaces.

However, with a non-adjustable bike, I must accept that the suspension is the way it is and learn to ride around it. That way, I am focusing on my riding techniques rather than the machine. It's somehow nicer...


I was reading a review on the S1000XR vs Multi and they said despite the Multi having 10 adjustable settings for all the suspension features and traction control, the BMW's 3 or 4 settings really simplified things and worked fine. Too many options, and it gets overwhelming... how do you know what is the best?

Anyone agree?
no. once you have a base setting, base road & pace you can actually start dialing it the way you want for the given context. It takes time and special attention but its not all overwhelming.
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:55 PM   #22
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I disagree, one reason I got the Multi over other option is that while there are still 4 presets, you can customize them.

And I have, making the Sport settings harder for track use, and actually softened up Touring for backroads. And changed preload in all the modes. And TC, even the ABS settings.

That was after renting the 1190 and GSW and being annoyed by their inability to customize.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:14 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by kuksul08 View Post
I was reading a review on the S1000XR vs Multi and they said despite the Multi having 10 adjustable settings for all the suspension features and traction control, the BMW's 3 or 4 settings really simplified things and worked fine. Too many options, and it gets overwhelming... how do you know what is the best?

Anyone agree?
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You can adjust the suspension independently, as long as the "coding plug" is installed.
BMW keeps taking the S1000RR stuff and putting it on similar bikes. Makes sense, since they made the R&D investment. And yes, too many choices can be too many. However. I find my S1000RR suspension most useful on the street because of it's electronic adjustability while riding.
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Thanks for the post

When I say infinite settings... it really does feel that way sometimes. For example... a fork with 28 compression clicks, 28 rebound clicks, and 10mm of preload. That's 7,840 combinations. Even if we take your suggestion of 4 clicks in either direction - that's still 640 combinations. Which one is the correct setting?........
Four clicks from factory may work sometimes. Other times it won't. I have a bike that runs all but 1/4 turn from closed on fork rebound and 1/2 turn from closed on compression. And another bike runs 1/4 turn from fully open on the shock. These are all way off from factory settings that were 2-2 1/2 turns from full closed. So who knows.

I agree with your premise. One can spend a lot of time trying to find the "perfect" settings. And once things get out of synchroization, you can really waste a lot of time trying to figure out what the hell is going on. At least for me, because I am a dummy when it comes to this stuff. And often forget what I REALLY liked better.
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Old 06-06-2017, 06:12 AM   #24
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Nice write-up GP Supsension

For my race bikes/team, we tune for each track on that given day, with the goal to only make changes when we are at fastest pace so that we are not chasing tuning suspension for first session practices. Of course, that could change if ambient temp is way different.

For my everyday commute bike, I have tuned it for the most all around conditions (even if it's the stock suspension of '14 FZ-09 and we all know how that is) and then I learn to ride around the limits of that setting. If it's super smooth, super bumpy, super goaty, in my mind I understand what this suspension can do and seek to make my lines crisper, smoother, or ride within the suspension range or use my legs/body to make up the rest. Kinda like riding a 1970's street/dirt bike mentality But then I lived through that so it's in the neural archives
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Old 06-06-2017, 06:39 AM   #25
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i disagree w/ the original points for a few reasons. all IMO of course.

1. theres not all that much extra to be learned from riding on a bad setup. u might actually be learning bad techniques by riding around the suspension issues.
2. non-adjustable bikes generally come w/ shit suspension due to cost savings. damper rod forks, mismatched springrates, useless damping curves, etc etc. the same issues can exist on adjustable bikes, but at least u can usually get it closer to an acceptable baseline.
3. the exercise of learning what suspension adjustments do and how they feel is something every rider should experience.
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Old 06-06-2017, 06:57 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GP Suspension View Post
To put things simply:
Rebound: controls the return stroke of the fork/ shock. More rebound (turning the clicker out, to the left) means a quicker/ harsher return stroke. Less rebound means a softer and slower rebound stroke. This can allow the fork to "pack in" and not return to its full operating length range, decreasing the travel of your fork/ shock. Turning the clicker in, to the right closes the rebound valving down and slows the return action of the fork/ shock.

Compression: Controls the initial impact/ up stroke of the fork/ shock. Turning the clicker out to the left softens the compression stroke and gives less control over bump resistance. The fork/ shock will be more compliant, but have a more muffled feel. Turning the clicker to the right will stiffen the compression valving. The fork/ shock will feel sharper and firmer. Compression can be used as a band aid for too light of a spring rate, but the drawback is a harsher suspender.

Preload: adjustable preload (not installed which is fixed and not adjustable with a nob/ remote adjustor) changes the effective weight on one end of the motorcycle. To put more weight on the front of the bike, take out preload (turn to the left).
Well, shit. This is awesome! I was thinking about starting a post asking this
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Old 06-06-2017, 07:59 AM   #27
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i disagree w/ the original points for a few reasons. all IMO of course.

1. theres not all that much extra to be learned from riding on a bad setup. u might actually be learning bad techniques by riding around the suspension issues.
2. non-adjustable bikes generally come w/ shit suspension due to cost savings. damper rod forks, mismatched springrates, useless damping curves, etc etc. the same issues can exist on adjustable bikes, but at least u can usually get it closer to an acceptable baseline.
3. the exercise of learning what suspension adjustments do and how they feel is something every rider should experience.
Pretty much this. I've owned too many bikes that needed work to get the stock crap to do its job. SV650. Bandit 1200. Tuono.
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:01 AM   #28
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....
3. the exercise of learning what suspension adjustments do and how they feel is something every rider should experience.
I completely agree with this point. The educational aspect is a benefit of fully adjustable suspension, although it can lead down a rabbit hole. This is also why it bugs me when people say "take it to a pro and leave it there".
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:42 AM   #29
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Pretty much this. I've owned too many bikes that needed work to get the stock crap to do its job. SV650. Bandit 1200. Tuono.
Well, your needs and level of expertise is far higher than most people. O.P. didn't really talk about suspension that needs replacing, just the number of choices to make it the best that it can be with stock equipment.

If you don't understand motorcycle geometric dynamics and corresponding trail, wheelbase, ride height, etc, you can waste a ton of time doing nothing but getting frustrated. In that aspect, I agree with the concerns expressed in the original post. I think it is more useful to explain to a experienced person your feelings and have them set up your bike. Then you have some baseline that will be appropriate, and can go from there with experimentation.
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:48 AM   #30
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I completely agree with this point. The educational aspect is a benefit of fully adjustable suspension, although it can lead down a rabbit hole. This is also why it bugs me when people say "take it to a pro and leave it there".
or "the factory knows best" and leaves the adjusters in the stock setting

suspension pros arent infallible. sometimes they make mistakes. sometimes their recommendations arent great. sometimes they dont actually know what they are doing. its taken me years to vet suspension pros until i found one whose general philosophy fits my riding style and who is capable of working on a bike at my level. "set it any forget it" just didnt work for me ever and i doubt itll work for many other riders looking for performance.
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