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Thread: Suspension, cornering and confidence?

  1. #1
    Baby Twin
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    Suspension, cornering and confidence?

    Hi,

    Just wanted to ask for some advice regarding cornering and the set up of my RSVR ('04-'08 model) suspension. Last year I switched the original wheels for new PVMs, but I have struggled with cornering. Now I don't know if it's me or the bike, but I found that the bike tips in quickly into corners and feels very 'solid' at the front which I found a bit unsettling. No problem with grip and I haven't had any slides or anything daft, but the different feel of the bike has knocked my confidence. I am 5'7" tall and weigh 13st, so I know I need to move more on the bike, but I think I need more feel from the front without creating masses of dipping under braking. Currently the suspension is set at the factory settings, but if anyone has any thoughts about how to improve the feel of the bike into corners, any help would be much appreciated.

    Cheers all,
    Mark

  2. #2
    One Liter Duc Eater Carbon Kid's Avatar
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    sometimes with light wheels you need to back off the suspension somewhat, I found this was the case with my BST's, they do tip in quick as you say though and are relatively tall bikes, you will get used to that, not sure but mebbe prev owner has jacked up the back somewhat
    ck

  3. #3
    Baby Twin
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    I've been reading a lot about suspension settings, but must confess to being slightly confused. With these lighter wheels, do you think then that I need to reduce the front forks rebound damping (the screw adjustor at the top of the fork), just to soften the feel, leaving the fork compression damping the same because the dip I get when breaking at the moment is spot on?

  4. #4
    Superbike Twin Leepants's Avatar
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    I know Spalding is a fair way form Watford(ish), but I HIGHLY recommend these guys. http://www.pdq1.com/contact.php
    For a simple set-up / tweak it shouldn't cost more than 40. I had mine lowered and tweaked and it made a HELL of a difference! And they will listen to what you want it / don't want it to do and set-up accordingly. I went on teh recommendation of a load of blokes from work, one of which had a brand spankers GSXR750, and ALL had absolute glowing praise

  5. #5
    One Liter Duc Eater Carbon Kid's Avatar
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    sumat like that mate, as been said a suspension set up should be on the cards, it does make a huuge diff, as we all ride differently.
    I do know that when my full cf mille was built I had to back off the suspension as it weighed 175kg's kerb weight
    kc

  6. #6
    One Liter Duc Eater SteveR's Avatar
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    Why did you fit lightweight wheels if you didnt want the bike to turn faster? They aint cheap.
    Factory settings is all well and good for damping. But preload settings should be governed by the weight of you in your riding gear, which is more than likely more than the test rider who established the factory settings.

    Preload is used to get the desired "sag" Which is where the suspension settles with you on it upright feet off the floor. And this is set among other things to make sure the suspension is using its amount of travel properly. EG rider A) who weighs say 10stone will be sitting much higher in the available suspension travel than rider B) who weighs 14stone, meaning rider B) would have less supsension travel available to slowly transfer the weight and momentum during braking (for eg) than rider A) before bottoming out. (one example and the reverse applies as in this example during braking rider A would have more chance of "topping out at the rear during braking, as he is neutrally sitting closer to the top of his shocks travel)

    Get this (Rider sag) right, and just put all damping settings (front and back comp and rebound) to stock and it wont be far off. Almost every bike I`v ridden isnt far off for normal to quickish road use on factory damping settings once sag is properly set. (with the possible exception of the 08 R6! But everything else isnt more than a couple of clicks off either way). Its free and wont take you more than 15mins max with a friend to hold the bike up for you, and a cuppa in hand.
    If you like I can find you a video on how to do it?

    Also you may want to look at your tire choice and pressures, higher pressures and steeper profile tires will not only make the bike turn faster but will actually give less feedback at half lean than full lean ( this is because they are designed to have max contact patch at max lean).
    Make sure you aren`t running a 180 rear as this will speed turn in aswell as reduce contact patch at the rear, you want a 190/50 (as opposed to a 55) if you can to slow down turning and make things more predictable, also maybe run slightly lower pressures, but for a fella your size not needed.

    You say it feels solid at the front, thats the main thing. Just at the moment it sounds to me that you have a bike set up to suit someone who throws their bike from full on the left to full lean on the right as quick as they can, but it wanted it done faster.
    Theres no science to suspension really when you break it down.
    Preload is for your weight, and damping controls how fast the suspension moves from or back to its neutral point either way(which is a matter of preferance)
    Hope that helps!

  7. #7
    One Liter Duc Eater SteveR's Avatar
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    Actually here you go

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK3flKxf41U

    This bloke knows his stuff. Few points though, you wouldnt ideaaaaally want to do it quite like this, as that front stand is making the weight ditribution of the bike sit more on the rear, so you may end up setting the rear too hard and front bit too soft if that makes sense...

    And like I said dont worry about rebound and comp damping at the mo, just get the sag sorted. And let us know how it feels and how far out it was (if at all). Also what tires and sizes your running.

  8. #8
    Evil Twin theruck's Avatar
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    if you are tall and heavy running on the factory settings is insane on a track i would say. when i wanted to setup my driver sag i needed to turn the fork springs to the max and still i got 30mm of sag.
    measuring the sag on the video is quite lame. you wont be able to pick up the fron of the rsv to measure it you need to lean it over to the sidestand to be able to measure it.

  9. #9
    Evil Twin RSV Stupid!'s Avatar
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    Steve you speak far to much sense man, LOL (did you get a charger??)

    Mark, only adjust one thing at a time as steve says otherwise you could make a mess of it completely. once you think you have sag right, make small further incremented adjustments with a test ride inbetween that way you will find the right place. Only then do you leave this part and move to the next step. It can be done very quickly when you get going. Just set up sag at home best you can and then on sunday if nice go for a long ride out and make all adjustments every few mile or so. I was lucky as mine was set perfect when purchased as the guy was same height and weight with similar riding style so tips in very fast and solid last minute and i can out flick an 07 R6 round the twisties. You'll get there buddy but you shouldnt really have put the wheels on dude!

  10. #10
    Baby Twin
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    Big thanks to everyone who has replied to my query so far, some brilliant advice. The PVM wheels were fitted after I had an issue with the rumble strips coming out of the 'Bomb Hole' at Snetterton last year. Classic mistake of riding too long and got too tired. Word to the wise for anyone on a track day, when your inner voice sais "your tired time to go home" you need to listen. It was an abolute brilliant day, and my riding came on leaps and bounds, up until the last session, but paying for new wheels, tyres and transport home made it a whole lot more expensive than it should have been.

    I have Dunlop Sportmax SportSmart tyres front and rear (190/50 rear). Can't fault these at all seeing as most of my riding is a 60mile daily commute to and from work; decent wear and good grip in dry and wet.

    I sat on the bike last night trying to figure out the 'sag' and the bike barely dropped under my weight, so if I'm understanding this correctly the first thing to do then is to change this because it is too hard and I need more 'sag'? I have read that the 'sag' should be set at 25-30mm front and 10mm rear, is this correct for the RSVR? Now, how is it best to measure this, and at the risk of appearing even more stupid, surely the bike should not be dropping up to 30mm when I sit on it?

    Once again all you fellas on the 'zone' are making good sense, and I really appreciate it.

    Mark

  11. #11
    Baby Twin
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    Please ignore any 'stupid' comments in my last thread. I have just had time to follow the links and watch the videos recommended in previous threads, and all has become clear.

    Kind regards and much thanks to everyone who checked out the thread and made comments. A big thank you to Steve R, RSV Stupid and Leepants for the info. The light bulb has been switched on! It all makes so much more sense when you can see what's being talked about and what to do.

    Keep an eye out for falling leaves!
    Mark

  12. #12
    Evil Twin theruck's Avatar
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    you measure it just like on the video.
    you bring the wheel to the air and make the measurement
    then you put the bike to centered position and make the 2nd measurement
    then you do the same measurement with the driver+his leathers+helmet for the 3rd time

    2-1=static sag
    3-1=driver sag

    driver sag is more important than static sag
    it should be as you stated 25-30 on front but 10mm sag on back is usual only on 2stroke light bikes. on rsv you will gona need 25-30mm as well

    either way check this out
    it will answer probably most of your suspension questions

  13. #13
    One Liter Duc Eater SteveR's Avatar
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    Theruck- You can lift the front mate, because you dont lift the wheel off the floor, so your only lifting the front "sprung" weight. so your not lifting any of the weight of the front wheel, discs, tire and lower forks. And as long as the bike isnt pitched forwards (like having it on a rear stand only) You will be able to extend it easily.
    They dont take the front wheel right of the floor incase the bike has "top-out springs", as it isnt bike specific. I`m not actually sure if the RSV has top springs, before you ask, but that method works either way
    And yeah like you said with factory settings, I`m actually very light, and had to totally wind out the front preload on the last R1 (which is actually a sign It may be worth fitting lighter springs).

    RSVstupid- I scare myself sometimes dude :/ (i`m just making it all up )
    Oh and no I didnt! but gonna have to get one today, why?? Because had to abandon the bloody thing at my matyes last night, after three fail bumpstarts and three 11ft darkies down the hill by his place.... Doh!

    Mark- Your welcome matey, hope it helps!
    As RSVstupid says, once you have set sag just focus on each of the four damping aspects in turn (front comp, rear comp, front rebound, rear rebound). I have a feeling that once you have set sag your gonna be lot happier, if its too hard then it will feel you havent got much grip because you havent. The more travel your suspension is using the more distance it has to absorb the forces and weight transfers applied to your tires, and the more mechanical grip you gain ontop of the final grip from your tires. Use a cable tie on the front fork to see how much travel your using, this can help.
    Good luck, let us know how you get on.
    Last edited by SteveR; November 7th, 2011 at 06:35 AM.

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