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Setting Sag


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Ok the forums been quiet the last few days while ccs is on there east coast tour so I thought I`d ask you all this question.

 

I have never set my sag on any of the bikes I have bought until now, but only as I am educating myself on suspension setup I wonder how many other people are happy to keep factory settings, so for all of you guys and girls out there, when you get a new bike do stay with factory settings, do you run factory settings for a while to see what its like and then set your sag later or is setting your sag the first thing you do when you get your new bike.

 

cheers

B

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Ok the forums been quiet the last few days while ccs is on there east coast tour so I thought I`d ask you all this question.

 

I have never set my sag on any of the bikes I have bought until now, but only as I am educating myself on suspension setup I wonder how many other people are happy to keep factory settings, so for all of you guys and girls out there, when you get a new bike do stay with factory settings, do you run factory settings for a while to see what its like and then set your sag later or is setting your sag the first thing you do when you get your new bike.

 

cheers

B

 

Hi B,

 

We actually get our bikes from the factory, but what can happen at a dealership, if they aren't knowledgeable, paying close attention with the pre-delivery set up?

 

We did leave our bikes stock for a while, suspensions can take a little braking in too. For sure nothing wrong with checking the sag, and many bikes have needed new springs (we just did a school, and the rider's springs we checked were too soft in the forks for his weight).

 

It's a good starting point with any sport bike.

 

best,

Cobie

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Setting sag properly willl keep the suspension in the best part (middle third) of the suspension travel and it is the first thing I do. I also reset the sag for trips with luggage or for planned rides with a passenger.

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Set the sag. Unless you ARE the predetermined weight the factory feels is average, then the suspension is not set for you. The factories have to accommodate many different body types and weights and must make compromises. Take the time and set your sag. The best money you can spend is on a good suspension tuner at a track day to get your bike "dialed in".

(Other than going to school that is ;) )

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  • 4 weeks later...

I haven't tested my front with the ziptie method yet, but my friend helped me tighten my front suspension, and it felt much better dipping into the corners. I've been doing track for 10 months, and hadn't even tryed it. I forgot to change it back after the track, and my ride to work is like 15 minutes, and my wrists were killing me. I did get a wrench for the rear just today and am going to change it slowly and test it on tortilla flats, but I'm psyched about trying it. The track is closed in Phoenix till September with one date in August.

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how do you know when the springs are too soft for you body weight?

 

Springs are rated and manufacturers will sometimes publish a chart of weight range(s) and spring rates for their machines in the owner's manuals and/or service manuals. Especially for racing type motorcycles or factory roadracers. (Any suspension professional should also have access to prepared specifications for each machine.) Due to unique suspension design spec's, spring specifications may not translate from one machine to another, ie. the same spring rate for the same weight range from one machine to another. (The best spring for you on a ZX6 might not be the best spring for you on an Ohlins equipped Yamaha R6.)

 

Manufacturers generally install a spring for the average rider, say 150-160 lbs. If you are more than about 25-30 lbs above or below that, you probably would benefit from a different spring. Like if you weigh less than 125 lbs or more than 185 lbs. That's a very ballpark figure and I suggest you pose your question on a website dedicated to suspension tuning. I don't have time to Google up answers for you right now. Try Tony Foale or Max McCallister at Traxxion Dynamics.

 

That said, a professional international level superbike racer/tuner told me his "rule of thumb" was that the proper rear shock spring (rate) will require zero or near zero pre-load to achieve the proper or desired sag at the rear shock. I'd say that, in general, the less pre-load you need to add to put yourself in the middle of the fork/shock's travel, the more spring you are using effectively and the better off you will be. I participated in a good thread about suspension here not too long ago with harnois, et al. I'll try to find it when I have more time.

 

The nutshell bottom line... if you are bottoming out your suspension under spirited riding or need to max your damping adjusters to stop the wallowing, you probably need heavier springs. If you set the damping at zero and the suspension feels like a rock and the bike slides like crazy because it won't absorb bumps... probably too stiff. :P

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I haven't tested my front with the ziptie method yet, but my friend helped me tighten my front suspension, and it felt much better dipping into the corners.

 

What do you mean "tighten" your suspension?

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