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post #1 of 10 Old 05-15-2005, 3:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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Suspension Tuning - understanding

Hello

I have read all the threads about the rear shock being too hard and the front being too soft.

Firstly I am by no means a quick road rider - I err on the side of caution too much to go that quick. I hardly if ever do track days so arguably most of the 954s advantages are lost upon me but I love the bike so keep it.

I had the rear ohlins shock installed with the standard front end. This was a relatively expensive proposition but I wanted to see what the difference was. Admittedly it may not be perfectly set up but the difference to me from stock was subtle and I am not clear worth the money (for my riding skills).

However, everyone here says the bike handles much better with the front done as well. When you all (guys and gals) say that how do you quantify handles better? Am I likely to benefit from going to say the springs, fresh oil set (I really dont thing revalving is going to do much for me) given the limits of my riding ability and risk aversiveness?

I have attached the front ziptie and I guess I am roughly an inch from the bottom of the fork leg, the front seems to handle pretty much ok to me but I don't know if I am missing a trick or not?

In case anyone asks I have done the search and am looking for the manner in which the bike handles better and I guess any value judgements.

thanks

sam
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-15-2005, 7:39 PM
 
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Re: Suspension Tuning - understanding

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsblade
However, everyone here says the bike handles much better with the front done as well. When you all (guys and gals) say that how do you quantify handles better? Am I likely to benefit from going to say the springs, fresh oil set (I really dont thing revalving is going to do much for me) given the limits of my riding ability and risk aversiveness?
Hi Sam.
What the front end upgrade has done for my bike is to give the forks more useable travel which translates to a ride less affected by bumps.
The stock springs meant that the forks at rest with me on the bike had about 50mm or more of sag. This meant that the forks were always closer to bottoming out than they are with the upgraded springs. So if I hit bumps mid corner the forks would not be compliant enough to fully absorb the bump. The resulting impact would unsettle the bike and throw it off line. I've noticed I can now attack bumpy corners with more confidence that the bike is going to ride through the bumps. It also means that I can brake hard from high speeds with less risk of bottoming out although this is probably something that is more critical on the track. Revalving and reshimming has meant that the damping is more tuneable or so my suspension guy tells me. Whatever, the bike feels a lot better than it did before on bumpy roads.

If you only ever tootle about on the speed limit and take corners at the posted speeds then you probably could get by quite happily with stock forks.
But if that is the case, how much would you like for your Ohlins?

my bike
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not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.

Last edited by RPinOZ; 05-15-2005 at 7:44 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-16-2005, 5:47 AM
 
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Re: Suspension Tuning - understanding

Your bike is unbalanced with the Ųhlins. Send it to me

just joking. I probably need to get at least springs to my front. It's a quick change and easily done.

Only question is, that how is the bikes ride height changed. If I change to stronger front springs, should I put washer to the rear shock adjustment to compensate.?

Jake
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-16-2005, 7:11 AM
 
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Re: Suspension Tuning - understanding

Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeT
Only question is, that how is the bikes ride height changed. If I change to stronger front springs, should I put washer to the rear shock adjustment to compensate.?
Jake
The short answer is yes, you will need to play with rear shock shims and fork leg raising.

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post #5 of 10 Old 07-25-2005, 11:30 PM
 
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Re: Suspension Tuning - understanding

Finally got off my arse and raised the forks in the triple trees.
This has already been done to some extent (3.2mm) as part of the suspension
upgrade but the back had been raised around 18mm to counteract the stiffer
springs which must have raised the front by even more because I still had the
feeling that the bike required a little too much input or hanging
off to stay on line in a corner.
So I jacked up the rear preload a notch just to see if altering the attitude
would help with ease of cornering and it did improve things a little.
So last night I raised the fork tubes another 4.5mm.
I haven't tested the bike in a serious blatt yet but it seems much more willing
to stay on line.
I'll probably post more details of my impressions after the weekend.

Should one of my goals be to have the bike accept any line and hold it with
no further bar input?

my bike
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-26-2005, 1:01 AM
 
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Re: Suspension Tuning - understanding

Hi RPinOZ,

the suspension on my 929 is all standard, but I have spent quite a while trying to get it set-up so I get the best out of it...

anyway, I have raised my forks 5mm in total for a pretty good result in terms of steering/turn-in etc. (from memory the sag up front was around the 35 - 40mm mark and my rear shock is on pre-load notch 7). Have you raised yours 4.5mm or 7.7mm in total ?? - If it's 7.7mm overall be careful "testing" this weekend as with a rear end raised 18mm the bike could be a bit of a handful...

I ride a country road which is a series of tight twisty (and bumpy) corners and find with my set-up the 929 is pretty neutral, requiring little input once commited - I have problems with lifting the rear under heavy braking which I'm sure I could fix if I spent some money on the front end, but once the bike is in the corner I can change lines pretty freely (clearance allowing) and accelerate out hard enough to make the front fairly light and twitchy (no steering damper as yet - I just get right up over the front with my chest on the tank to hold it down as much as possible).

I don't know if neutral handling in a corner is where it's at, but I prefer to have it set-up that way. The most important thing is to get your bike set-up so it feels exactly the way you like it - its all just good clean fun after that !

Cheers, Spanky.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-26-2005, 1:27 AM
 
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Re: Suspension Tuning - understanding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
Have you raised yours 4.5mm or 7.7mm in total ?? - If it's 7.7mm overall be careful "testing" this weekend as with a rear end raised 18mm the bike could be a bit of a handful...
I've raised it 7.7mm total but I think it is now at about the same attitude as
I had it before the suspension upgrade when it steered quite well but had excessive
sag. I'm quite stability conscious and have experience a tankslapper on
this bike which is why I have fitted a Scotts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
I ride a country road which is a series of tight twisty (and bumpy) corners and find with my set-up the 929 is pretty neutral, requiring little input once commited - I have problems with lifting the rear under heavy braking which I'm sure I could fix if I spent some money on the front end, but once the bike is in the corner I can change lines pretty freely (clearance allowing) and accelerate out hard enough to make the front fairly light and twitchy (no steering damper as yet - I just get right up over the front with my chest on the tank to hold it down as much as possible).
It sounds as if you have got your set up as good as you can without upgrading
which is about where I think I had mine.
What the upgrade has meant for me is the ability to attack bumpy corners
faster with less deflection off line. I haven't had the bike on the track since
the upgrade but I'm assuming it is going to mean I can brake later and harder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
I don't know if neutral handling in a corner is where it's at, but I prefer to have it set-up that way. The most important thing is to get your bike set-up so it feels exactly the way you like it - its all just good clean fun after that !

my bike
I'd like to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandpa
not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-27-2005, 12:04 AM
 
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Re: Suspension Tuning - understanding

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPinOZ
What the upgrade has meant for me is the ability to attack bumpy corners
faster with less deflection off line. I haven't had the bike on the track since
the upgrade but I'm assuming it is going to mean I can brake later and harder.
Yeah, based on my experience of involuntary stoppies when I get a bit over enthusiastic on the brakes into a corner I'm sure you're right - for me, I make a big effort to push myself upright and as far back on the seat as I can...

Let us know how you get on after taking the bike for a blast this weekend.

Cheers, Spanky.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-04-2005, 12:08 PM
 
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Re: Suspension Tuning - understanding

The latest litre(ish) bikes put out by the Big Four are all vastly superior to the skills of most riders here - yeah all the riding gods on the board will remember our names when they're racing against Rossi, et al - . They have incredible frames, brakes & motors; where they are the greatest flawed is in their OEM suspenion components. This is where the Bean Counters are able to weild their greatest power in keeping cost down. Thus for us owners it is the area with the greatest possiblities to improve our bikes .

The shock on every litre bike of your choice is the single weakest link, and a change in this area will reward the rider the most; followd by sending the forks off to be re-worked, or replaceing with a set of R/T. What these change(s) reward is with greater safety, control & gain in speed through out corner. True, with these possibilities the desire to push a bit further than previous is essential .

Your new pipe & PC-III; BMC, air box mods are great, but if you can't get the power down to the ground, and down to the ground in a usable fashion it really is all just show.

It's been said many times by others, ultimetly the best modification to riding faster, quicker, safer is in oneself: track days & riding schools .

Cheers
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-18-2005, 4:23 PM
 
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Re: Suspension Tuning - understanding

I would say on my 929 the Front has made a huge difference. RP in OZ has explained it about perfectly. The 929/954 weak link in my opinion was the front suspension. I re-valved/sprung/fluid my forks and the difference was pretty noticeable. But I tend to rail around the back curvies quite a bit and do a few track days a year. I still have stock suspension on the back and it has worked out just fine after I re-did the front.

Given a choice...$$$....??? I would spend it on the front of a 929/954 before dropping heavy $CHING$ on the back
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