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This is an interesting procedure submitted by Matthew Patton that details his suspension setup routine.

Proper suspension setup (submitted by Matthew Patton)

SETUP: Static sag: front = 20-30mm, rear = 5-10mm
Rider sag: front = 30-48mm, rear = 30-40mm

Static sag is measured thus:

  1. Unweight the suspension completely and measure distance between 2 fixed points along vertical axis thru axle. (A)

  2. Allow bike to settle on suspension. press down firmly to compress one end (eg. front) and then allow to rise (but not bounce). Measure the same reference points as before. Lift the same end and allow it to gently settle. measure again and split the difference. (B)

  3. Change spring pre-load (spacers, fork caps or cam) to arrive at proper values

  4. Do the other end (eg. rear)

  5. Recheck the other end (eg. front) to make sure it's still within spec.

  6. Have a buddy stabilize and measure (may need another set of hands) while you sit fully on the bike with all gear on and measure those same 2 points. (C)

    B-A = static sag
    C-A = rider sag
  7. Adjust preload if necessary to get proper rider sag. If the spring rate is correct for your weight you shouldn't need to change preload. If you do, strike for a compromise between rider and static sag to keep them both within the proper range. If you can't that means you need lighter/heavier rate springs. Install and then start again with step 1.
CONCLUSION: When most riders complain about uncomfortable riding it's because the suspension is not set up correctly. Typically they are set way too soft which often results in harsh and bumpy rides.
OTHER TIPS: ---change your fork oil annually. It's the only relevant factor in damping characteristics

---consider installing RaceTech Gold Valve emulators ($120)

---Adjustable fork caps (size 41mm eg. from Honda's CBR F2) make the fork preload adjustment process a walk in the park. Only cost ~$50 a set from salvage shops.

---Consider alternative shocks from the likes of Works Performance, Progressive (series 18 is good), or Ohlins (HO232, maybe HO505, HO506).

Text contributed by:
Matthew Patton

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