Softer suspension - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL1000A - 2014-2016 DL1000A - 2014-2016 (L4-L6)

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post #1 of 19 Old 04-08-2016, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Softer suspension

I have not messed with the suspension at all. I find it pretty hard on bumps and would like a softer ride. I am 225lbs with all 3 givi cases. How/what should I set the suspension too?

My previous buell ulysses had a suspension tuning chart in the handbook as to what it should be set to dependent on weight. No idea on the vstrom.
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post #2 of 19 Old 04-08-2016, 09:51 PM
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To do it the right way is a bit more involved than just a chart. Read up on SAG height and take it from there. Given the bags and your body weight I'm sure there's enough adjustability in the front and rear to make you happy.
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post #3 of 19 Old 04-09-2016, 12:29 AM
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Best to set the suspension preload based on actual loaded sag or ride sag. A general rule of thumb is 33% sag or around 53 mm compression max for a soft ride, that's like 2" of sag on my older DL1000. Maybe its the same with the newer bikes. I had to upgrade my springs, I had way too much sag. But I'm 258 pounds and like to haul camping gear.

Sounds like you can just soften up what you have, the newer bikes must be stiffer than what I started out with.

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post #4 of 19 Old 04-09-2016, 12:44 AM
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Yeh, I'm with you, a lightweight at 198 lb. But need a softer ride, perhaps it will ease up after more miles.
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post #5 of 19 Old 04-09-2016, 10:23 AM
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The spring rates on the new DL1000 aren't overly stiff, but the damping may need to be reworked for you to get the ride you're looking for.

On sag, 33% is generally too much in my experience. I typically set it to ~28%, which works out to 40mm on the Stroms

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post #6 of 19 Old 04-09-2016, 12:08 PM
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These posts are exactly why a chart is just a suggestion. Charts will get you in a range, but ultimately it's personal preference. There are loads of suspension threads out there. Just set your sag based on your research. I think I'm around 35mm but I did it a while ago. After setting the sag height, experiment with minor adjustments and notice how the bike handles and feels. Be patient and document everything you do, including where it is now. That way you have a record of your starting point and all the changes you make. Another very important point is to make 1 change at a time and live with it for at least a couple of rides. Too many changes at a time leads to confusion and frustration. You'll know when you're close to the combination of ride quality and handling you're looking for. Although suspension can be intimidating and a lot like voodoo science, once you find your best settings your bike will feel like it was made specifically for you. Most people don't bother because they're either intimidated or unaware of the positive changes in a stock bike you can make. The fact that the V2 has both front and rear adjustments is not by accident. It really lends itself to dialing in your bike.
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post #7 of 19 Old 04-09-2016, 12:56 PM
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How and where are you measuring sag?
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post #8 of 19 Old 04-09-2016, 01:43 PM
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The Science and Black Magic of Suspension Setup

Sag isn't going to affect suspension feel much unless the suspension is bottoming or topping out. A properly set sag will prevent those occurrences. Properly setting damping will affect ride quality more. That being said, don't expect a car like ride. Bikes have much more unsprung weight compared to sprung weight than cars as well as a significantly shorter wheelbase. The dampers, wheels, tires and brakes are a much greater percentage of the total vehicle weight on bikes. The Vee2 already has a better suspension design than other Stroms with its upside down forks.
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Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
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post #9 of 19 Old 04-10-2016, 02:27 AM
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Based on my experience with the Strom, at that weight you are going to need most of the "preload" (I hate that word...) capability to get near the appropriate sag ie "not too much sag

I think two of the main reasons for a hard ride are too much sag, in other words suspension compressed too much, and insufficient rebound damping - up to point.

In the first case, when the suspension is over compressed, the "steady state" position (where it is unless responding to a bump) is deeper into the rising rate area of the linkage. This effectively increases the spring rate (it's designed that way). I don't think the V-Strom is as sensitive as some other bikes to this effect (in other words the rising rate is gentle), but in principle it's nonetheless very important to have the correct sag on any bike, particularly one with a variable rate linkage to the shock.

Secondly, if the rebound damping is insufficient, the stored energy absorbed by the spring after a bump is fed back into the bike too suddenly, giving that "hit up the arse" feeling a few milliseconds after the bump. This needs to be tweaked out by increasing rebound damping, but not too much though, because over quickly repetive bumps too much rebound damping can cause "pack down" of the suspension, then you're back to the first problem. Keep in mind rebound damping can go off surprisingly quickly from new, so will have to be increased from stock as the bike ages.

Maybe ignore the naysayers who will post after me ( ) and try this experiment. As I said, I'm thinking that for a stock bike, you will need most of the reload adjustment for your payload. Don't bother with the finicky business of measuring the actual sag, just wind it up (carefully, gently and not forced) up to the maximum, then back it off one ring on the shock. This will NOT make your suspension "harder", in fact the contrary will occur. Then add 1/2 - 3/4 a turn in on the rebound damping from stock. I'd bet a jelly bean (colour of your choice) that puts you in a good ballpark for the sag. Go for a ride and see if there is any improvement. Those settings I've suggested are large enough to hopefully notice a change, (better or worse your call) but still allow scope to adjust each way. Fine tune to taste, else if you feel the need, go thru the process of setting sag by measurement...

Personally, I gave up on measurement a long time ago, it can be tedious and has a measurement error risk. As long as when I sit on the bike the suspension is compressed approximately one third ( or slightly less) from topped out I use that as a start point for fine tune by feel. My Strom done that way, and I've fixed up a couple of others by that method too, 'cos I couldn't get them off mine after swapping bikes! In both those cases the suspension was wound down to be lowered for better seat height, I get why people want that on the Strom, I just live with what I get from an appropriately adjusted back end...

Hope that helps.

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post #10 of 19 Old 04-10-2016, 05:46 AM
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Sorry, missed you were on the V2, but same thing still applies. I really think it's better to get up to the raised up end of the adjustment and head back down until you start to get a ride you are not happy with, then come back up a little.

"Between two evils, I'll always take the one I've never tried before..."

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