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Well answer me this: Why did my headlight suddenly point to the ground???
 

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Don't know. But the preload is there to make the shock either softer or firmer. But it cant change the length ie the height. It will either squat down easier in the soft position or less squat in the hard position .
 

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A 'firm' shock will not compress the same as a 'soft' for the same weight. The rear therefore remains higher.
 
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Maxing out the preload will not raise the rear , its makes the spring harder to compress, but the shock is still the same length
It definitely raises the rear. The spring seat extends with the preload knob. You can see it happen when you adjust the shock. There are 5 adjustment marks that come into view the more preload you add.
 

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The spring seat in compressing the spring which is set in aa fixed length shock. The shock itself is not growing or shrinking in length. Put the bike on the centre stand and measure the distance the rear tire is from the ground without sitting on the bike. Turn the preload in any direction and the distance of the tire to the ground will remain the same.
 

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The spring seat in compressing the spring which is set in aa fixed length shock. The shock itself is not growing or shrinking in length. Put the bike on the centre stand and measure the distance the rear tire is from the ground without sitting on the bike. Turn the preload in any direction and the distance of the tire to the ground will remain the same.
Put the bike on the ground and watch the rear rise 😁. Your argument is that an air shock doesn't actually raise the rear of a truck because the overall length of the shock is the same. Nonsense
 

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And just for grins. Dr Google says


Some riders intuitively feel that these adjusters can be used to stiffen or soften the spring, but sorry, that ain't the way it works. The suspension may feel stiffer when preload is increased, but that's because adding preload compresses the spring, so it takes more pressure to move the suspension any further. Adjusting preload simply determines the motorcycle's ride height.
 

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oldjeep & hill100, Adjusting preload simply determines the motorcycle's chassis attitude?
Not exactly. It increases the resting height of the suspension, but also effectively makes the suspension stiffer by precompressing the soft portion of the spring.
 

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Well, whaddia want ? Ground clearance - or turn in?
I get it. Note my first post at top. But what do you two want to achieve with all the spring tweedling?

"Not exactly. It increases the resting height of the suspension, but also effectively makes the suspension stiffer by precompressing the soft portion of the spring."

Lets examine that more closely. Adding some preload raises the rear of motorcycle as it sits on the top of the spring - until you use up all the unladen travel.(sag) In addition, there is the rising rate curve built into the linkage and that resistance is initially softer, at the beginning of spring compression, gradually adding mechanical resistance . I thought the logic in all this was to alter the frame geometry but in a purposeful way. Right?
 

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It's a better handling bike than some sports bikes, particularly on lumpy roads and it feels a lot safer riding in the wet or on rough roads than a sports bike (More chance you'll save it if things get unpleasant). They will massacre you if there are decent straights though, you and the bike are taller and the wind drag kills your acceleration at speed more than lack of engine power.

Pick the right road and you can embarrass sports bikes but you probably won't do it on roads that suit them. That said there are some videos around of DL's doing quite well on track days.

Tips, raise the forks in the triple clamps somewhat, weight right forwards and rev that V twin. Normally it's a lazy mans bike, you don't have to shift much and I usually run relatively low rpm's, playing with serious opposition you really need to be using the bottom three or four gears. (And forgetting 5th and 6th even exist, if the speeds get high enough to need 5th, you won't be catching them).

Stock tires aren't up to it either, you'll probably need to replace those with something with serious grip.

Also, just a comment. I usually just wave anyone through if they can stick with me for more than three corners, after that I found I could usually stick with them and it was safer (for me) to just keep them in sight. Mixing it up with close riding is unpleasant because the handling and corner speeds at different points isn't the same as a sports bike. I stopped chasing them because of the number of crashes ahead of me which seemed to be triggered by "If that thing is STILL there I must be able to go faster"
 

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Not exactly. It increases the resting height of the suspension, but also effectively makes the suspension stiffer by precompressing the soft portion of the spring.
No, it doesn't. Force on the spring (weight) is all that determines how long the spring is. With the same weight all changing preload does is raise or lower the rear of the bike.
 

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No, it doesn't. Force on the spring (weight) is all that determines how long the spring is. With the same weight all changing preload does is raise or lower the rear of the bike.
This gives a pretty good description of why I say it makes the suspension stiffer.

While the rate remains the same, by adding preload to the spring in your suspension you are changing how the spring reacts to weight that’s applied to it. Whether it be through a rider’s movements, braking, cornering efforts, or the application of power.
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
Thank you everyone for the useful replies.

Re preload VS ride height: Where a rear spring has a linear rate. Random numbers, but say 5lbs will compress spring by 1mm for example. Adding preload means that for the INITIAL compression of the spring, it may need 8lbs instead of 5lbs to move for the first mm. But for the remaining travel, the rate of 5lbs/1mm remains unchanged, regardless of the preload setting. So, ride height does change when the bike is static. With the rider/luggage on, i'd say it probably makes no difference, but it depends on the spring rate and rider weight. If the spring is progressive, apparently things are a bit more complicated, but easy enough to understand. Preload changes the weight required for the FIRST movement of the spring, then it moves as per the factory spring rate at the point of travel.

The above does not take the linkage rates in consideration, so ALL of our opinions are now unsubstantiated! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Kind of a silly to try to draw comparisons between a sport bike and a Strom me thinks.

Does a Strom "handle" well, uh sure for what is. Long wheel base relaxed geometry 19" front it's fine. Compare it to similar not sport bikes. Can you ride it aggressively, uh sure that's on the rider.
Silly?? Guilty as charged :geek:

But as stated in the opening post, I am definitely not expecting superbike handling! I just don't have hours on the saddle of this bike to understand it, hence the requested info.
 

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You will find that compared to a sports bike, a V-Strom has a far more relaxed upright riding position, and if reasonably well set up a far more compliant longer travel suspension. They are better at eating up the miles and should be more comfortable over bumpy roads.
Its what we do when we no longer wish to ride while leaning on the front wheel. On a good day you can match many sports bikes - but probably not knee draggers. At the end of the day it is the nut holding the handlebars that dictates how fast you can go.
 

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Just an added thought. Of all the V-Strom models the 2002-12 is definitely the most problematic with off idle leanness, clutch chudder, and stator magnet problems being issues for some riders. Ask if any of these issues have been recified by the owner. However, many here have resolved all of those issues. Have a good look here
Not trying to put you off. When the 650 came out it proved to be a FAR better seller and better reviewed motorcycle. You just gotta rev it. Many reviewers at the time said it rode more like an 800cc bike that a 650.
If you do go for a 1st generation Vee, those 2004+ bikes are the pick of them.
 
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