New Vstrom rider, Suspension question - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL1000A - 2014-2016 DL1000A - 2014-2016 (L4-L6)

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post #1 of 13 Old 06-03-2017, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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New Vstrom rider, Suspension question

Hello all,

I have been riding motorcycles for 5 years now, started with 1994 Honda XR650L, then added 1978 Suzuki GS1000, and this year sold both and bought myself a new leftover 2016 Vstrom 1000.
So now I'm back to 1 bike, and hope that this bike will serve me for years to come. Pretty happy with the Vstrom so far, only rode about 450km, feels nice and comfortable with plenty of power for me.
I bought Canadian SE model which came with centre stand, side cases and handguards. Since then I added OEM engine guards, under cowling, fuel tank clear stickers for protection and a tall seat for more legroom.

Now onto the question. I am trying to adjust suspension to my weight, specifically preload, compression and rebound but not sure how to achieve desired results. What would be good settings for someone who weighs 235lbs riding gear included?

Thanks,
Mik.

P.S. attaching couple of pics, hope it works.
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-03-2017, 01:20 AM
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Preload sets the sag, the spring mount points, so the suspension is equally unlikely to top out or bottom out when you hit a big bump. It does NOT make the suspension stiffer or softer.

Compression damping adjustment sets how fast the (front) suspension compresses.

Rebound damping adjustment sets how fast the suspension extends.

So...a helper is a big help here. For the front, put a cable tie around an inner (lower on the DL1000A) fork tube. Raise the front wheel off the ground. Slide the cable tie up to the seal. You, in your riding gear, sit on the bike, wheel on the ground, jiggle a bit to settle the suspension, get off, raise the wheel off the ground, measure how far the cable tie was pushed away from the seal. We want about 40 mm. Adjust the preload and try again. For the rear, with the rear wheel off the ground, measure the distance from the rear axle to a point on the rear fender. Get on, jiggle, measure. Again, we want about 40 mm. Adjust the preload and try again. Make all the adjustments the same on both forks.

Front compression...turn the lower adjusting screws all the way to the right (max compression), then count the clicks all the way to the left (minimum compression). Go to the half way point. Ride on a bumpy road. Back off the adjusters two clicks at a time until the ride feels mushy, then tighten one click at a time until it feels good.

Front rebound...find the half way point. On the bumpy road back out until the suspension until it feels bouncy, then tighten one click at a time until it feels good.

Rear rebound...same idea as the front.

As the new suspension breaks in and frees up re-adjust your settings as needed.
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"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

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44 B.C.

Last edited by PTRider; 06-03-2017 at 09:58 AM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-03-2017, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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Great, thanks for the fast reply.
Haven't touched the compression and rebound yet, but have tried adjusting preload a few days ago and couldn't get it right.
I turned the fork preload up to mark number 1 as per owner's manual but the sag seemed to not change much and stayed at about 55mm. Maybe we're not measuring right.
I'll try again, using your method with cable ties.
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-05-2017, 06:31 PM
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Crap! the one time I forget to "select all / copy" before clicking submit... That whole post is gone now. I'll have to retype it in a few minutes, but in the meantime - does this post make it through?
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-05-2017, 07:19 PM
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OK, let's see if I can remember what I had typed...

I was having a similar trouble getting the sag dialed in. I could get the forks to sag 40mm pretty easily, basically the adjustment starting point in the manual. My trouble was with the rear shock. Perhaps I sit in a manner that puts too much weight to the rear, but I wasn't able to get 40mm sag even with the pre-load maxed out. It wasn't even close. Far enough off that it made me wonder whether or not I should leave the forks at 40mm or "de-tune" them to match what I could get on the rear. Is the balance front to rear more important than achieving the actual 40mm sag?

The cable tie on the tube method works quite well for the forks; however, I didn't bother lifting the wheel off the ground first to set the "zero", I just sat on it "jiggled" and then had my helper push the cable tie down to the dust seal while under load. Then carefully dismount (without pushing down on the front end) and raise the front wheel off the ground. Then take a direct measurement from the cable tie to the dust seal.

I pretty much used the method described in the owner's manual for the rear shock. Measuring from the top of the axle bolt to an obvious point on the luggage rack (without too much angle on the measuring tape). Do this both with the wheel off the ground and with rider and gear on it having "jiggled", being careful to use the same reference points for both measurements. Then take the difference for the sag.

I did notice that there was a lot of variation in my repeated measurement attempts without adjustments and so I tried different approaches to settling the suspension, aka: the "jiggle". Some recommended gently wiggling around a bit, others recommended bouncing. Both resulted in different measurements and both had "wider than I would like" variation within their respective sample sets. I'm not sure which is the more appropriate "jiggle" method, but neither yielded the correct sag in the rear even at the limits of adjustment.

Eventually, I got tired of arguing with myself and just left it alone. Turn up the rear to max with a pax, back it down a few cranks when it is only me. I'm pretty sure that a proper setup would yield a better ride, so I'm starting to look into again. With my first round of attempts, I eventually figured that I just needed a higher spring rate on the rear shock. But back then nobody offered just the coil over spring. I found one company that sold a progressive spring, but they couldn't give me a definitive answer as to its "equivalent" spring rate. In the end they estimated that it was sprung similar to stock for the average 185lb ~ish rider. So, there wasn't much incentive to try it. A full replacement shock & spring, custom tuned to my weight was available from multiple sources, but cost around $800-$1000 for just the rear. Just too much $$$.

Maybe someone out there is offering a swap-out coil over spring with a higher spring rate now that the model has matured a bit... I'm surprised that the dealers don't have access to this type of thing from Suzuki, since Suzuki's customer base is widely varied.

I wish I could find someone in town here that specializes in motorcycle suspension setup to help or advise, or upgrade. I'm surprised I can't find one since there are two race tracks nearby and I know that at least one of them hosts motorcycle races. Perhaps the racers all bring their own crew for that type of setup work.
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-05-2017, 07:28 PM
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"I wish I could find someone in town here that specializes in motorcycle suspension setup to help or advise, or upgrade."

I need one of those as well. No matter how many times I read the manual or the threads on here I always feel more confused about how to do it. Yes, I know that I am mechanically inept, with both hands and brain, so I have just left the whole thing as it came from the dealer. I guess/know it could be better, but feel that with my "skills" I would end up making it worse.

Coops.

Some people are like clouds. When they go away it makes the day seem brighter.

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post #7 of 13 Old 06-06-2017, 12:45 AM
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Check local motorcycle suspension shops. Some will offer springs that suit your loaded riding weight.

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

Marcus Tullius Cicero
44 B.C.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-06-2017, 07:57 PM
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"What would be good settings for someone who weighs 235lbs riding gear included?"

Our bikes are not really "sprung" for that kind of weight(+luggage or a pillion). Yes, on the pavement it will be adequate if you have set the sag correctly. Eventually you may find the brake dive excessive and the changeovers mushy. The only answer then is a upgraded suspension including front and rear. Sasquatch or Daugherty Motorsports can help here for a very reasonable amount of $. I though my bike rode pretty good until I stepped up to the DMr suspension...I was wrong.

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post #9 of 13 Old 06-07-2017, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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Glad the topic generated some discussion

So I fiddled a bit more with suspension and using cable ties and help of my girlfriend was able to get front and rear somewhat equal in terms of sag.
Front is now at the mark number 1 as per manual, didn't have to change the setting since last time, just used a better measuring method I guess, sag at this setting is about 44-45mm.
Rear is 7 clicks out from all the way in, and at this setting sag is about 42-43mm. I'd say it's good enough for me at this time, if I go riding with passenger or luggage, will just turn it all the way in.

I did a bit of searching on this forum and found a similar thread about suspension settings, can't provide a link since I have less than 10 posts, but if you search "Suspension Settings" you should be able to find it.
So I used the numbers for compression and rebound from post #6 in that thread since the person seems to be roughly my weight. Not sure how he could get 32mm sag in the front though.
Front rebound left at stock: 8 clicks out. Front compression moved to 9 clicks out (1 out from stock). Rear rebound moved to 1 turn out (0.25 in from stock).

Professional suspension tuning would be great, but as you guys pointed out it's hard to find something locally, where I live there are no motorcycle suspension shops. Don't know how knowledgeable dealer would be to do this.

The brake dive actually is not bad on this bike, maybe it's just me though, since my previous bike was a dual sport. I'll keep in mind a possible suspension upgrade in the future, but at this time it doesn't fit in the budget.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-08-2017, 12:41 AM
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At your weight I'd err on a bit less sag than 40 mm rather than more, but still close to 40. You don't want to bottom out the suspension on a big bump. A passenger changes only the rear, not the front sag.

Don't fear doing your own adjustments on the compression and rebound damping. You know where you are now. Change two clicks on both sides, ride, and see how you like it. If it's good, go two more the same way. If not good, return to where you started and go two clicks the other direction. If that's good, try more. Keep track of your changes. Change one setting (both sides) on one end of the bike at a time.
Motor7 likes this.

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

Marcus Tullius Cicero
44 B.C.
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