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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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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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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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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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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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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.:grin2:
 

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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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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.

chrs jc
 
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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.
 

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While I agree with much of what Zone5 spoke of, I always consider suspension adjustment as a balance between co pmfort and handling. Although I also want a softer ride I don't want to sacrifice how my bikes handle in twisties, so I compromise. Whatever method you use just make sure to note where you started from and the changes you make. Since getting to your desired settings is an experiment, it's highly unlikely you'll get it right the first try. Having settings written down with comments on your take of how it felt really helps if you if you need to return to a prior setting that you liked more after fiddling around.
 

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Didn't read every reply but was wondering if your bike is new? I have found every new bike is always stiff and softens with the miles.
 

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Thank you, triman, for your validation.

I would like to clarify for anyone reading this that setting the back of the bike higher to approach the correct sag will also contribute to better handling in the twisties. Also, do not fall for the idea that there is an inverse relationship between suspension compliance and "handling"... Even on the race track, and certainly on the road, you want the suspension set so that it uses its travel and doesn't quite bottom out on the worst hit it's likely to take. "Hard" does not equate to "handle"... Faster bikes tend to be set up a bit firmer so they can soak up the greater energy input from hitting the same bump at higher speed.

A common cause of poor cornering is, I believe, the mistaken idea that you make your suspension "softer" by backing off rear preload (you don't). As I described earlier, it gets firmer, less likely to "glide" over road irregularities and is thus more likely to be disturbed off line in a corner... Finally, it rakes the front end out to have back end low, thus upsetting Suzuki's lovely design geometry and making it corner like a dog... This is another reason for having the correct sag, it keeps the optimal geometry for the most time, geometry of course changing slightly with suspension movement.

On my bike preload is max, front end lowered 10 mm thru triple clamps and I think it's just right for my 85 kg (185 lbs?) with not much scope left to maintain that sweet cornering carrying too much extra payload.
 

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Thank you, triman, for your validation.

I would like to clarify for anyone reading this that setting the back of the bike higher to approach the correct sag will also contribute to better handling in the twisties. Also, do not fall for the idea that there is an inverse relationship between suspension compliance and "handling"... Even on the race track, and certainly on the road, you want the suspension set so that it uses its travel and doesn't quite bottom out on the worst hit it's likely to take. "Hard" does not equate to "handle"... Faster bikes tend to be set up a bit firmer so they can soak up the greater energy input from hitting the same bump at higher speed.

A common cause of poor cornering is, I believe, the mistaken idea that you make your suspension "softer" by backing off rear preload (you don't). As I described earlier, it gets firmer, less likely to "glide" over road irregularities and is thus more likely to be disturbed off line in a corner... Finally, it rakes the front end out to have back end low, thus upsetting Suzuki's lovely design geometry and making it corner like a dog... This is another reason for having the correct sag, it keeps the optimal geometry for the most time, geometry of course changing slightly with suspension movement.

On my bike preload is max, front end lowered 10 mm thru triple clamps and I think it's just right for my 85 kg (185 lbs?) with not much scope left to maintain that sweet cornering carrying too much extra payload.
I'm glad you mentioned raising raising the forks through the triple tree, which effectively is lowering the front end. That change alone can significantly improve the handling of the bike.
 

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So true, just as a "saggy" back end has a similar effect to raising front, probably to the detriment of handling.

chrs, jc
 

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I had the suspension set by a specialist. Both ends were improved but the rear preload was almost maxed out. I weigh 225 (lbs, not kgs or stones) and had no luggage on at the time. Since I take long trips with probably 40 lbs of stuff, I'm buying a new shock, plus progressive springs for the front. I have high hopes for an improved ride.
 

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Interesting stuff, suspension setup is such a personal thing. But from what I have established so far the suspension is probably optimised for the Japanese development rider (approx 70 -75kgs). Once we get up to 90kgs+ we start to get to the max parameters of the specs.
I have found that tweaking the rebound & compression settings has a fairly limited outcome. Compression controls the downward movement of the suspension & the rebound controls the upward movement.
I bit the bullet and fitted a aftermarket rear shock which provided a heavier spring along with low/high speed compression and a much more compliant rebound damping. This now gives me much more adjustment to tune to the rear end to my liking more. As a spin off it has shown up the front ends limitations. I have just received some fork new springs & valving from Cogent dynamics which I hope to have fitted up next week. Its not a cheap option but from past experience the results are very rewarding. If you want to really make your DL glide on rails Rick @ Cogent Dynamics is the guy to speak to.
I had previously used his expertise (along with Dale Walker) to refine my GSX1250FA and it turned a average bike into a great all round do all tourer.
Saying all the above, the DL1000A's suspension is ok but not great, so if you are happy with the stock parameters just play around with the settings then go out and ride the wheels off it!
 

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1-Set the cold tire pressures to 36F/41R. I like 39R, but I'm 45# lighter than you.
2-Set the sag, front & rear, to about 40mm. Put a cable tie around the front inner fork tube. Get the front wheel off the ground, push the tie up against the seal, get on, jiggle a bit to settle the suspension, get off, wheel in the air measure how far the tie was pushed down. Adjust the preload, try again to get 40 mm. Get a helper for the rear, wheel in the air, measure from the axle to the fender. Get on, jiggle, measure, adjust the preload adjuster to get about 40 mm.
3-Back the front compression damping adjusters (bottom of the forks) out 2 clicks. Ride. Back out 2 more clicks, repeat until it wallows. Tighten 1 click at a time until it feels good.
4-Back,out the front rebound adjusters 2 clicks at a time, ride, 2 more, until it feels bouncy. Tighten 1 click at a time until it feels good.
5-Soften the rear rebound adjuster a bit, ride, repeat until it feels bouncy, then tighten a small bit at a time until it feels good.
6-Repeat everything if it breaks in more.

Replacing springs is a pro job, even the fronts with the inverted forks. If you can't get the sag right, that might be needed, especially the rear with your weight, maybe heavy luggage, maybe a passenger.
 
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