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:
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.
* 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)
* 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.