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New suspension settings


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#241 Aasland

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:42 AM

The rebound adjuster should be easy to adjust with your fingers. The resistance should be constant until you're at the last one, then it will obviously become more diffident to increase the rebound and that's when you should stop. If you need or use a tool, you're applying too much force and run the risk of damaging the needle's seat inside the shock. At this point you may need a new shock.

Don't confuse the preload and rebound adjusters. Most shocks need some sort of tool to adjust the preload, as it turns the collar against the (usually hefty) spring force. There are usually like special wrenches. Shocks which use a tool to adjust damping (rebound or compression) are usually screwdrivers or allen wrenches, and they should twist very easily (i.e. not much force it required).

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#242 kamal

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 10:10 AM

Many thanks for reviving this topic.

As this bike is 'new to me', I have no idea what the previous owner has done or not done. I've only had a chance to ride it twice, making a mental list of things to check.
The rear suspension settings were OK, but the front was WAY out. The left fork was 4 lines out, 12 Rebound & 12 Compression clicks, while the right was 3.5 lines, 9R & 12C - WTF.
Anyway, adjusted to HaulinAshe's recommendations and test rode. Amazing difference - no more diving under braking and chattering on rough surfaces.
I'll do a fluid change, spring/seal inspection later.

Thanks again.

Al
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#243 Jon_PDX

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 11:56 AM

blrfjr,

Soft or hard setting (the lever on the side just under the seat) is up to you. Some set it on hard and leave it there. Others only set it on hard for 2-up riding.

As far as the adjuster on the bottom of the rear shock, it controls the rebound. Rebound controls how how fast the shock extends back to normal ride height after being compressed.

I would start at 12 clicks out (the stock setting) and if the rear of the bike feels like it is returning to quickly (seat springs back up to fast) after hitting a dip in the road then start adding more rebound by turning it in.

I don't think I explained that very well but hopefully you got an idea of what I'm talking about.

If you read back through this thread you will see what others have set both the front and rear to. Only make one change at a time so you know what the overall effect has on the bike. Once you start changing the settings you will get a feel for what needs to change for the type of riding you do.

Jon...

Edited by Jon_PDX, 25 March 2012 - 11:57 AM.


#244 blrfjr

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 08:05 PM

one more question, what does the soft/hard lever actually do? Is it just adjusting ride height, I did feel a little bit higher off the ground. or.....

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#245 Jon_PDX

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:16 AM

Regarding the soft/hard lever.

If I remember correctly there are two springs on the shock and setting it to hard adds the second spring to the mix. Kind of like adding a helper spring to a car/truck so you can carry a heavier load.

I don't have my service manual handy to confirm that's how it works so I'm going off my memory.

The bike may feel higher off the ground when you sit on it because the back of the bike will not compress (sag) as far with the stiffer spring setting.

Jon...

#246 stevet

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 07:48 PM

Posts 232-235 regarding 48 clicks on the rear shock. I have a 2010 (bought May 2011) and the shock on mine also has a range of 48 clicks. I am the first owner of the bike, rolled out the door with 0.0 miles and 15 clicks out on the rear shock. I finally reset my front and rear following this thread. But I did not go with the 6 clicks out at the rear as suggested, I set it at 10 clicks out figuring this was similar to the 6 clicks on the older shocks. Am I wrong? Why would 6 clicks out on the 48-click shock be the same as 6 click on the 20'ish-click shock? I realize it's all subjective from rider to rider, but...

At 10 clicks out the rear is stiffer than it was at 15 clicks out, and along with the front end changes I imagine my bike handles like one of those magnet trains.

Thoughts on settings for this 48-click rear shock?

I'm 210 pounds Au-naturale, 6' tall, 29" inseam.

#247 DENCOUCH

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:39 PM

This thread piqued my interest!

I set the fork springs from 4 to 2, and both the compression dampening & rebound dampening to 8 clicks up from bottom (hard setting).

I have to agree, I almost feel like I have a new bike now, as the operation is firmer, and appears more "business-like" in the way it handles turns at speed. The ride feels firmer, but not kidney-jarring on the bumps.

I believe I am going to ride it this way for a bit & get more accustomed to what I now have.

200lbs of me.
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#248 DENCOUCH

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 06:28 AM

This thread piqued my interest!

I set the fork springs from 4 to 2, and both the compression dampening & rebound dampening to 8 clicks up from bottom (hard setting).

I have to agree, I almost feel like I have a new bike now, as the operation is firmer, and appears more "business-like" in the way it handles turns at speed. The ride feels firmer, but not kidney-jarring on the bumps.

I believe I am going to ride it this way for a bit & get more accustomed to what I now have.

200lbs of me.


I am going to leave it at these settings for a while longer... it seems way too nice now to go looking for improvements elsewhere. I just may attempt to adjust the rear dampening... that is still untried as of yet.
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#249 Pat L

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 06:23 PM

This is excellent information. Thanks to all who have contributed!

I have dialed in my settings to this at the moment:

Front: 8,8.2,5
Rear: soft, 5

The bike feels so well balanced for me now!
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#250 Pat L

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 06:45 AM

This is excellent information. Thanks to all who have contributed!

I have dialed in my settings to this at the moment:

Front: 8,8.2,5
Rear: soft, 5

The bike feels so well balanced for me now!


Forgot to say that I'm 195 plus gear, setting up for 1-up mostly, and brisk but not aggressive riding.
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#251 MajBach

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 10:06 AM

I'm going to throw a bit of a curve ball in here but I am glad a few are interested in talking about suspension as I recently started playing with mine (the suspension settings!:P) and noticed a stark change.

So last year, shortly after buying my FJ and reading this post, I made the changes to the suggested settings and yes, noticed a big change, mostly when I came to a stop and how rigid the bike now felt. But, I hadnt the experience on this beast to appreciate the handling changes.

While at NAFO, I couldn't help but notice how the majority of riders all had a little sticker from Portland on their front forks. I also had to contend with the humbling reality that I hadn't a hope in hell of maintaining pace through the twisties in Kaslo to New Denver with a couple of riders half my size and twice my age. Graciously, several people pointed out that it wasn't so much my riding ability as it was legendary skills of Petey and Griff as well as their tuned suspension I was trying to match.

Nevertheless, I decided to really read up and experiment with my stock suspension ( now pushing 25,000 miles) after that event.

I am 6' 4" and with my gear on I am easily 275 pounds. Ive always found it difficult really leaning the FJ over on a tight turn and I have never scraped a peg. I am also very unbalanced and hesitant in slow speed u-turns or parking lot maneuvers. You'd think someone with my leverage and weight wouldnt find this so difficult. So, borrowing from what I've read here and from "Suspension 101" that Steve at NAFO provided, I started experimenting.

I changed the suspension settings from what they were too full soft and rode around for a day. I then went to the opposite end of the spectrum. I wanted to make sure I experienced a full range of riding conditions but also wanted to ensure that I wasn't fooling myself in believing a change in bike behavior in one direction or another simply because I was expecting to notice a change in one direction or another.

I then proceeded to change ONE adjustment to the more extreme setting on the opposite end of what the rest were (despite reading Haulin Ashe warn about how this can lead to unpredicatable results) simply to see if I could observe how THAT particular setting changed things. I fiddled with settings over the course of a week or more. Often I would change one or more setting after a ride knowing I wouldnt be back on the bike for a couple of days hoping that I would forget what I had changed and wanted to see if I could really notice it. I suppose I was concerned that much of my observations were from preconceived ideas of what should happen. This technique actually DID work pretty well.

I found that rebound and compression settings were very subtle to observe except when coming to a stop. I could visually see the rebound settings by how long it took the bike to settle but it was subtle. No way would I notice if someone surreptitiously changed the dial on the bike say 5-8 clicks in one direction or another.
Compression was as much of a feel, especislly during braking and stopping, but again, not something I would notice if someone changed the settings a moderate amount without me knowing it. I also didn't notice an unbalanced feel when one was set to really stiff and the other to really loose.

The preload on the forks and the swing arm really made a difference though. And this is where Steve's explanation along with reading some sites that really described the science of bike suspension helped me to understand why. Up until now, I wasn't having a lot of success in experimenting with settings which resulted in an appreciableg difference, save going to extreme soft settings all around. (By the way, my rebound adjustment has 25 "clicks", my compression has 37 and my rear preload has 50). When I had adjusted these to all the way soft, not surprisingly the bike had a very 'floppy' feel to it and there was no doubt it was noticeable. It wallowed and didn't track straight through a curve. It was also spongy/bouncy on uneven surfaces. However :search:, the FJ seemed to WANT to turn now. It liked leaning and whats more, it didn't want to straighten itself up. I wasn't expecting that. I also noticed the vibration in the grips much reduced ( I recalled thinking 'that seems weird' when I first read how others noticed vibration was reduced when stiffening the suspension). Despite the drastic change to the feel, the bike was obviously too spongy in this configuration and I ended up putting the preload back to 2 on the front and 8 or 10 on the rear and continued to make subtle adjustments each day as well as experiment with the "HARD-SOFT" lever. After a week, I was beginning to get frustrated experimenting with different settings and still not finding something that gave me the feel or confidence to bring the bike over enough to drag a peg. I figured I was just going to have to make a trip to Portland.

Finally, I stopped to get gas (Premium unleaded of course! :blush2:), and decided to make one last tweak. I brought the front preload down to 3.5 and softened the rear from 10 to about 25 (clicks out from all the way in). Then it happened! Somehow I stumbled upon a balance I hadn't before and - no word of a lie - it was like a different bike. Just when I was about to concede that all this suspension fiddling was nonsence and more of a placebo effect, I found a setting that allowed me to drag a peg - easily!
The change was so drastic that within miles, my driving style even changed - if that makes sense. The bike wanted to go into a turn but, it tracked through it. Vibration was gone. It even felt significantly different under hard acceleration. It felt smaller, tamable and made me feel more in command. Most noticable was maneuvering at really slow speeds. I no longer felt like I had to drag my boots on the ground fo fear of the bike suddenly wanting to fall. I did notice the bike had a bit of a bounce when encountering dips in the road and, when I acquired a passenger, it was too soft feeling and had a bit of a wallow in turns - even when I switched over to HARD with her on the back. But overall, I am much happier with the bike in this configuration. I am still going to tweak around with the settings and consdier aftermarket shocks eventually, but for now I will continue to enjoy my 'new' FJ.
My point to this tome was to not only desribe my recent experiences with stock suspension settings but to also remind riders experimenting with theirs not to get hung up on an idea from someone else so much so that they lose objectivety. Ive been riding around for a year with settings that seem to be the 'norm' by most users that post here and that acceptance caused me to dismiss experimenting and realizing there was a better setting for me. I still don't understand why this seemed to work so much better. You'd think with my high center of gravity and extra weight, my bike would need to be that much stiffer than others but its not the case.
I doubt I'd be able to keep up with Petey and Griff now, but I would certainly have a lot more fun trying. :thumbsupsmileyanim:

Final settings:
Front pre-load = 3.5 of 6
Compression = 17 of 35
Rebound = 12 of 25

Rear = 25/50
SOFT

#252 rbn

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 08:39 AM

Greetings FJR Riders, new guy here.

I'm really curious as to what settings, rebound and dampening settings that will make this bike feel a little bit more settled or free from the wallows and sway that I am currently experiencing.. I too own a stock '05 FJR 1300 non ABS and I carry a few odds and ends in my bags and have a top rack.

I weigh approx 230-240 lb range at 5'10 and 32 inseam. I've been riding for 25+ years and I have found the FJR as being a little less than confidence inspiring at it's current set-up where I have no idea where it's set other than I've used the soft and hard settings. The 'hard' settings seem a little chattery and work fairly decent in the twists and the 'soft' is mushy and feel really crummy once hitting the freeway speeds of 70mph onwards. In fact, the bike takes on a "drifty" kind of feeling and I can't really explain it. I am fairly aggressive but on the flip side of the coin I like the open road where I can take the bike for 500+ mile days when needed.

The front end of the bike just had new fork seals replaced and I'm clueless to what any of the preload and dampening settings are on them or my rear shock- both are factory stock.

Bike was checked through and through and is flawless and needs nothing however I will emphasize.. .

The front end feels a little too excited and needs to simmer down a bit. I don't know exactly what I'm trying to say but the bike feels like a sloppy mess when it comes to holding straights, sweepers and tight twisties both slow and fast. Air pressures are perfect, tires are 2k new with out any problems Mechanic said it just needs to be tuned in and fork braces are really not necessary for the riding that I do

Before this bike I was on a Bandit 1250 and it was perfect at all speeds it really had that settled in feeling that gave me oodles of confidence whereas the FJR is very strong but has a "disconnected feeling" I really don't like it. My bike before that was a BMW R1150GS and it tracked through corners like it was on a rail and the same goes with my Zuke and I'd really really appreciate ay expert help from you guys to regain that good feeling that is not only important for the safety aspects but my riding experience as well

Thanks for your help!

#253 Donal

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 09:19 AM

No intention to be rude but.... have you read this thread from page 1? Haulin Ashe's initial post gave his recommendations for a 2005, suggest you start there, dial in his recommended settings and see where that takes you.

Don

Look before you leap may be good advice - but if you really intend leaping, don't spend too long looking...........


#254 IAGeezer

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 06:42 AM

Sticky! I used this thread before going Wilbers, and it is still a great reference. Once again, thanks Jeff!

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#255 TwilightZone

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 07:48 AM

>"tires are 2k new "

What sort of tires are they?

#256 rbn

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:17 AM

>"tires are 2k new "

What sort of tires are they?


Bridgestone BT 023GT's

At certain speeds the bike feels like it takes on a hydroplane feel. It's strange?

#257 TwilightZone

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 01:37 PM

>"Bridgestone BT 023GT's At certain speeds the bike feels like it takes on a hydroplane feel. It's strange? "

Proably should check tire pressures too. Quality gage... put 40 to 42 lbs in each tire. See what happens.

Beyond that, I don't have a lot if time on my FJR, so I can only recommend the tires I have.
Michelin PR2's (Pilot Road 2). Nice, good traction, stable, IMHO: pretty long wearing, and with no bad handling characters.

#258 FjrSwed

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:59 AM

Hi

I had to try this after reading all posts.

Here's my settings before the adjustment on a 2006 model, and me at 172 pounds.

3
5/4?...might missed one ;)
9/9
10

It was the easiest thing i ever done on a bike, well maybee lowering the front seat was easier. :crazy:
I'm driving to work tomorrow getting back with feedback.

If anyone has ideas for improvment on this settings please reply. The roads here are pretty bad, no smooth tarmac here.Roads get pretty damaged winter time.

Thx for a great Topic !
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