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#1 HaulinAshe

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 06:48 PM

*
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Note - This post was originally made for a 2005 model. See subsequent posts for information on 2007 and later models.

So yesterday I serviced my forks, steering head bearing, put on a new tire and decided to do some tweaking on the suspension settings. But first things first...

If you have never checked your suspension settings (clickers) you should. If you don't have a service manual then take it to the dealer and get it done. Many dealers assume incorrectly that Yamaha accurately sets the suspension on every bike released. I've seen several brand new bikes, both dirt and street, that have clickers set wrong or worse, set differently from right to left forks.

Rickster recently posted a reply that contained this reference:
QUOTE
SPortRider.com shows for the FJR:

Front 2 lines
rebound 4 clicks out
compression 7 clicks out

rear preload - hard
rear rebound 3 clicks out
(rear compression is not adjustable on stock shock)


Now I consider those settings to be a bit "harsh". I especially don't like running the rear rebound that stiff. My personal experience is that anytime you adjust suspension clickers to near their limit, performance becomes questionable and the suspension behaves erratically. So I devised compromised settings as follows:

Rider weight: 183 lbs.
Typical Bike Payload: Yamaha side bags and top bag, 25 lbs. added cargo
Riding style: Moderately aggressive, frequent 3-digit speeds, rapid braking and acceleration common.

FRONT
* Preload, Line-2 (this means one line exposed above the cap, one line flush with the cap/adjuster). Stock setting is Line-3.
* Rebound, 6 clicks out. Stock setting is 12-clicks out. (this is the top adjustment)
* Compression, 8 clicks out. Stock setting is 12-clicks out. (this is the bottom adjustment that protrudes off the side of the fork)

REAR
* Preload - Hard (find the lever!)
* Rebound - 6 clicks out. Stock is 10-clicks out. (think of the rear rebound clicker as a right-hand thread)

OBSERVATIONS FROM TEST RIDE
Wow! The very first thing I noticed yet never expected, was that the bar vibration is reduced. Apparently a lot of the bar vibration comes from the suspension being so soft and allowing small, rapid movements in the fork tubes. The stiffer suspension settings seems to force the tire to soak up a bit more.
No more weebles! I've always hated that "weeble" feel when driving hard into corners, especially high-speed sweepers with elevation transitions. The front tended to "wobble and weave" with a washy feeling that I called "weebling". You know... Weebles wobble but they don't fall down. That somewhat freaky thing seems to be drastically reduced if not gone!
Dive Dive Dive no more! I can now roll hard to a stop and get a smooth return to the top. No more diving of the front end when tapping the brakes for a high-speed corner setup. Just tap the front and the forks settle into slightly lower position with no rebound. You can definitely feel the added wheelbase in the turns. This must be what the 06 guys feel all the time.
Perhaps less tire pressure? I normally run 40 rear, 38 front. I could easily see running 38 rear and 36 front, providing the tires don't do something stupid with mileage. This would give me a slightly better footprint and improved traction.

Overall the new settings have a much crisper, yet not uncomfortable feel. I don't have a lot of twisties to test around here. But this weekend I plan the NorthGA run and we'll see for certain how the new settings play. Yamaha has a well-earned reputation for flexibility in their suspension packages. I would encourage anyone interested in doing some careful experimentation. CHECK AND RECORD YOUR EXISTING SETTINGS, KNOW WHAT YOUR STOCK SETTINGS SHOULD BE, WRITE DOWN YOUR CHANGES. All it takes is two minutes and a screwdriver to set everything back if you don't like it.
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#2 dcarver

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 07:01 PM

Timely post Jeff. I've not even looked at my settings.. yet I tweak the MX bikes EVERY time I ride. sigh.

So, what you suggest if the rider was weight was 240 and all other parameters remained the same?
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#3 FJRay

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 07:16 PM

I have the rear shock out of mine and apart waiting for some shims to add. I found that the adjustment affects compression and rebound. Without the spring on the shock you can feel the diff. each click makes and it does affect both. I assume that the adjustment changes one valve and the oil goes through it both ways. Interesting find.
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#4 HaulinAshe

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 07:26 PM

QUOTE(dcarver @ Dec 4 2006, 10:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So, what you suggest if the rider was weight was 240 and all other parameters remained the same?


I would start with closing the front compression to 7-clicks out (from my personal settings). I really hate to close down the rebound as tight as SportRider recommends. You loose so much small object action in the suspension and also run the risk of compressing (squat) over ripples (road whoops biggrin.gif ).

The best place to make a change for rider weight is on the rear compression and preload, but the stock shock is very limited there. Luckily the 57 pounds between us only makes a 7% difference in gross weight. So a minor change in front compression might do the trick?

Whatcha think?

QUOTE(FJRay @ Dec 4 2006, 10:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have the rear shock out of mine and apart waiting for some shims to add. I found that the adjustment affects compression and rebound. Without the spring on the shock you can feel the diff. each click makes and it does affect both. I assume that the adjustment changes one valve and the oil goes through it both ways. Interesting find.

What you refer to may the best kept secret in suspension. Yet, it is perhaps the most important piece of knowledge in setups. Rebound affects everything! Compression is a fairly independent function.

On motocross bikes I set preload and then test with rebound turned wide open. Compression is next to get the bike working without bottoming out. Rebound is last thing I touch and I only use as much as I have to, leaving it as open as possible without risking launching the rider from a full-compression hit.

Make sense???
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#5 dcarver

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 07:41 PM

QUOTE(JeffAshe @ Dec 4 2006, 07:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(dcarver @ Dec 4 2006, 10:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

So, what you suggest if the rider was weight was 240 and all other parameters remained the same?


I would start with closing the front compression to 7-clicks out (from my personal settings). I really hate to close down the rebound as tight as SportRider recommends. You loose so much small object action in the suspension and also run the risk of compressing (squat) over ripples (road whoops biggrin.gif ).

The best place to make a change for rider weight is on the rear compression and preload, but the stock shock is very limited there. Luckily the 57 pounds between us only makes a 7% difference in gross weight. So a minor change in front compression might do the trick?

Whatcha think?

QUOTE(FJRay @ Dec 4 2006, 10:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have the rear shock out of mine and apart waiting for some shims to add. I found that the adjustment affects compression and rebound. Without the spring on the shock you can feel the diff. each click makes and it does affect both. I assume that the adjustment changes one valve and the oil goes through it both ways. Interesting find.

What you refer to may the best kept secret in suspension. Yet, it is perhaps the most important piece of knowledge in setups. Rebound affects everything! Compression is a fairly independent function.

On motocross bikes I set preload and then test with rebound turned wide open. Compression is next to get the bike working without bottoming out. Rebound is last thing I touch and I only use as much as I have to, leaving it as open as possible without risking launching the rider from a full-compression hit.

Make sense???
Jeff - you are going to make me perform maintenance instead of riding.. Thanks Jeff.. biggrin.gif
Walked away Posted ImagePosted Image Is it really crashing if you don't fall down?--
I wouldn't change a fucking thing; I've lived hard, played hard, and I ain't done yet. I've paid some severe penalties along the way, but the rewards have been so much greater; even if for just have participating in the game of life with utmost abandon. It's not who rides the furthest in a day, but rather in a lifetime. CBA member #1, IBA #31845 and very proud of both.
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#6 HaulinAshe

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 07:47 PM

QUOTE(dcarver @ Dec 4 2006, 10:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Jeff - you are going to make me perform maintenance instead of riding.. Thanks Jeff.. biggrin.gif


Hey Don,
Have to do something to keep you behind me on the odo! I'm too damn old to outrun anybody anymore.
wink.gif
The older you are, the faster you used to be.

#7 twowheelnut

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 08:24 PM

I keep sayin' to spend time with the suspenders, but will anyone listen to me? NOOOOOOooooooooo!


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#8 Fred W

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 05:36 AM

QUOTE(JeffAshe @ Dec 4 2006, 09:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So yesterday I serviced my forks, steering head bearing, put on a new tire and decided to do some tweaking on the suspension settings. But first things first...

8< 8< 8< 8< 8< 8<

OBSERVATIONS FROM TEST RIDE
Wow! The very first thing I noticed yet never expected, was that the bar vibration is reduced. Apparently a lot of the bar vibration comes from the suspension being so soft and allowing small, rapid movements in the fork tubes. The stiffer suspension settings seems to force the tire to soak up a bit more.

8< 8< 8< 8< 8< 8<



Might I suggest that it was the steering head bearing work that you did that was responsible for the change in bar buzz? That would make more sense to me than the suspension...

-Fred W        nerd.gif


 


#9 HaulinAshe

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 06:22 AM

QUOTE(Fred W @ Dec 5 2006, 08:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Might I suggest that it was the steering head bearing work that you did that was responsible for the change in bar buzz? That would make more sense to me than the suspension...


I would agree except my steering head was tight and smooth before the maintenance. No issues there. It was just "time" to do it.

Also, I may be describing the change in the bars incorrectly. The "buzz" from hi-freq engine vibes is still there. But the palm-pounding, what you might characterize as mid-frequency vibrations are definitely reduced.
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#10 FJRMGM

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 07:17 AM

I suggest it's the newer front tire that is really making all the difference. The old tire's rubber was getting thin and work-hardened and the new is still thick, soft and compliant.

But - you are right, suspension settings can make a big difference.

I now live in motorcycling paradise - NW Arkansas!!


#11 Bounce

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 10:25 AM

QUOTE(twowheelnut @ Dec 4 2006, 10:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I keep sayin' to spend time with the suspenders, but will anyone listen to me? NOOOOOOooooooooo!

they thought you meant these:

http://tinyurl.com/y2p7lx
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#12 twowheelnut

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 10:27 AM

QUOTE(Bounce @ Dec 5 2006, 10:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
they thought you meant these:

http://tinyurl.com/y2p7lx


Obviously. rolleyes.gif
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#13 Grumpy

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 04:51 PM

QUOTE(JeffAshe @ Dec 5 2006, 12:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(dcarver @ Dec 4 2006, 10:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Jeff - you are going to make me perform maintenance instead of riding.. Thanks Jeff.. biggrin.gif


I'm too damn old to outrun anybody anymore.
wink.gif


Yeah, that's what I'm talking about!
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#14 Rickster

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 05:17 PM

Also, try: Clicky
for suspension advise



added your settings to the bin-o-facts for 06...
Regards, Rick
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#15 rbcollins

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 04:52 PM

Went on a 300mi run yesterday through the hills of NC and noticed handling wasn't as smooth as I'd have like with lots of nose diving and not as easy to control as I'd like in the twisties. Switched all my settings over to JeffAshe's last night and went out for a couple hours today and wow what a difference. I highly encourage folks to put on his settings as a starting point to your own tuning vs. starting @ stock. I'll still adjust a bit, but more than half the work's already done by starting at those settings.

Thanks Jeff!

#16 Cdogman

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 06:04 PM

Jeff was fakin it...... He may seem popular here but he is really considered to be ummm................ super slow... Be careful who you listen to........


Oh,,,,,,,, Jeff,,, Dude.,,,.. Sup homey,,, tongue.gif
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#17 xharleyrider

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 06:43 PM

I guess today must of been adjustment day for suspension. I pretty much followed the above guidelines.

Amazing! Here I was thinking the bike performed great in corners at the dealer settings, but reading the forum and talking to some of my buds who ride sport bikes, they said wait to you make those adjustments you will not believe how much better your bike will handle. Since this is my first sport touring bike, I am learning a lot from this forum on improving performance!




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#18 HaulinAshe

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 08:11 PM

QUOTE (Cdogman @ May 4 2008, 10:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Jeff was fakin it...... He may seem popular here but he is really considered to be ummm................ super slow... Be careful who you listen to........


Oh,,,,,,,, Jeff,,, Dude.,,,.. Sup homey,,, tongue.gif

Hey! I've always been popular in all the wrong places.
smile.gif

Couldn't believe it when I saw this thread resurrected. Wazzup Robin???
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#19 keithaba

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 05:40 AM

Just out of curiosity, since the thread is resurrected now. Was this posted back when you had your GenI?

Edit* Guess it would only matter if the changed the suspension from GenI to GenII, which I do not know the answer to.
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#20 HaulinAshe

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:34 AM

QUOTE (keithaba @ May 5 2008, 09:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just out of curiosity, since the thread is resurrected now. Was this posted back when you had your GenI?

Edit* Guess it would only matter if the changed the suspension from GenI to GenII, which I do not know the answer to.

Yep, this is from the Gen-I (2005). I run close to the same settings on the Gen-II(2007). Right now I'm running the front clickers at 8,8, preload at three lines, and I can actually use the rear at SOFT most of the time.

But I think my suspension changes from Gen-I to Gen-II have as much to do with improved riding habits as suspension changes. The springs on my 2007 are definitely stronger and better, but I've worked hard this past year to greatly minimize my lean angles, especially when two-up fully loaded.

The older you are, the faster you used to be.