Suspension tuning.
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Thread: Suspension tuning.

  1. #1
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    Suspension tuning.

    I'm going to be going through my new to me f4i this winter and one of the things I'm really wanting to dial in for maintenance and tuning is the suspension. Anyone have any good resources/tips?

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  3. #2
    Registered User Array bandito's Avatar
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    Do the fluids on the front and have a look at the rear shock. Those shocks aren't the best, I've got an 04 RR. The shock is pretty tired, it's best to replace
    with a 2nd hand quality unit that's rebuilt IMHO. Just do fluids and try to set it up and see how it goes. THe suspension on them isn't that bad to be honest. My
    newer GSXR 750 with inverted forks didn't seem to handle as well IMHO.
    BCSB Crash Reconstruction Team Member

  4. #3
    Moderator Array CoolDaddyGroove's Avatar
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    If I recal, you arent 200+lbs, so the stock springs should be ok for you. As Bandito says, change the fluids. As for tuning, honestly, the cheapest way is to do it yourself. Check out forums for the F4i, and see what other riders have set the rebound and compression at for a baseline. Setting your sag is pretty easy with a couple buddies. Plenty of videos online for that.

    One good technique is to take your bike out for half a day on a bumpy twisty road, and back off all the clickers (full soft), then do it again full hard, then start adjusting them little by little). Its boring, but you learn alot
    DON'T STUFF THE CAGERS!

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  6. #4
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    Thanks for these tips. I've been checking out a f4i subforum a bit on a cbr forum. But as with some forums there seems to be a lot to 'filter' through. From what I've read there's good odds that the rear shock isn't 'charged' anymore at this age. *Any thoughts on that?

    I am about 185 so with gear on I'm probably 200+. But not a lot more.

    I'll start I guess with servicing the forks and then trying to dial in the sag. *

    I'm finding it harder to stay 'quiet' on this bike compared to my r3. Im really focusing on being steady but any bit of input from me or the road seems to cause movement in the bike. Not real bad, but just moreso then the 3. I'm not ruling out that the bike is just more sensitive and my skill is lacking, that I could be travelling a little more quickly/aggressively with it, or that the suspension isn't really set up well for me and may have been neglected to be serviced. The previous owner indicated he had set it up for himself(bigger/heavier guy)with the bags loaded so he thought it would be somewhat stiff for me.*

    I guess it's time to start playing with the adjusters and seeing how the different settings feel. *

  7. #5
    Registered User Array bandito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squisher View Post
    Thanks for these tips. I've been checking out a f4i subforum a bit on a cbr forum. But as with some forums there seems to be a lot to 'filter' through. From what I've read there's good odds that the rear shock isn't 'charged' anymore at this age. *Any thoughts on that?

    I am about 185 so with gear on I'm probably 200+. But not a lot more.

    I'll start I guess with servicing the forks and then trying to dial in the sag. *

    I'm finding it harder to stay 'quiet' on this bike compared to my r3. Im really focusing on being steady but any bit of input from me or the road seems to cause movement in the bike. Not real bad, but just moreso then the 3. I'm not ruling out that the bike is just more sensitive and my skill is lacking, that I could be travelling a little more quickly/aggressively with it, or that the suspension isn't really set up well for me and may have been neglected to be serviced. The previous owner indicated he had set it up for himself(bigger/heavier guy)with the bags loaded so he thought it would be somewhat stiff for me.*

    I guess it's time to start playing with the adjusters and seeing how the different settings feel. *
    A stock R3 would have pretty compliant suspension. Most entry level bikes suspension I describe as riding a "wet pool noodle". It's more comfortable and
    it's like riding a recliner around... it does make inputs to the bike not respond in the same way, and feels like it's soaking up all the pavement undulations
    quite nicely.

    The 600 will have suspension that can be setup much more firm. It's not super advanced suspension, but it's definately got a reasonable range of adjustment
    for most folks. If the guy was heavy and carried around lots of stuff, he might have it setup very stiff. You'll want to figure out where it's currently set
    and record that information for some reference maybe, but find more neutral settings to start with. Check the sag, check where the forks are set in the
    triple clamps.
    BCSB Crash Reconstruction Team Member

  8. #6
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    The info shared has pointed me in the right direction. I think miraculously the bike is set up to stiff for me right now mainly in the rear.*

    Haven't had the time to start messing around with it. Between work, family, I've just been riding it instead when I have a chance. Soon though it's off the road for the winter. *

  9. #7
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    A sportbike properly setup will flow through the corners. It should not "turn in" too fast and you should not have to muscle it to turn. It's a delicate balance and once you have it, its a thing of beauty.

    I pay a guy who knows what he's doing and its the best investment I've made in my bikes.

  10. #8
    Registered User Array Squint's Avatar
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    If your rear tire is a bit more flat than round, that will also affect turn-in.*

  11. #9
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    I'm not having troubles turning in. I'm having troubles with bumpiness/smoothness. I think any road imperfections are really getting magnified by the rear being set to stiff. The tires were like new when I got it.*

    The front seems to soak things up decent but the rear is like a bit of a catapult.*

    Tomorrow is my last day of insurance and then I'll have all winter to go over things. *I may try to soften the rear some tomorrow and try that out if I get a chance. *Might have to work though.*

    im not ruling out paying someone to set it up for me. If I knew of someone I was confident in.

  12. #10
    Original Pirate Material Array TMR's Avatar
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    All great advice here. Another invaluable resource is the Dave Moss Tuning videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/CatalystReactionSBW

    Guy is a wizard for setting up bikes, you'll learn a lot from his videos. The paid content is well worth it.

  13. #11
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    Super cool vids.*

    Interesting to me as I head down the rabbit hole that my gut instinct from riding it was correct, maybe a lucky guess but still somewhat validating that I can 'feel' what is going on.

    I have zero rear static sag and barely any sag at all, have no one to help me measure but it's barely moving under my weight. Rear spring is one notch away from maxed out. I won't have a chance to really test things out this year. But I'm going to try and get things dialled in a bit atleast for sag and swap the fluid in the front forks. Should be a better starting point for the spring.*

    Thanks again everyone for all the advice/input. I'm starting to just scratch the surface and see the light of how having a properly setup suspension will really transform this bike for me. Glad I'm starting to learn a bit and not just blundering on adjusting my riding to a improper setup.*
    Last edited by Squisher; 10-22-2018 at 03:31 PM.

  14. #12
    Registered User Array the bartender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squisher View Post
    I'm not having troubles turning in. I'm having troubles with bumpiness/smoothness. I think any road imperfections are really getting magnified by the rear being set to stiff. The tires were like new when I got it.*

    Tomorrow is my last day of insurance and then I'll have all winter to go over things. *I may try to soften the rear some tomorrow and try that out if I get a chance. *Might have to work though.*
    It's not likely you can adjust to 'softer' suspension. The Hydraulics are going to slow it down or speed it up. the preload is just changing height. Unless the valving is closed its most likely a mechanical problem - you need a softer spring (current isn't moving enough) or stiffer spring (current is bottomed out)

  15. #13
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    I'm clearly missing something here. Doesn't preloading the spring make the suspension stiffer? Same as adjusting the speed of the valving would make the suspension softer or harder? If it's all just speed of the valve or the spring is the spring what are the adjustments for exactly then?

    In Dave moss's vid on setting rear static sag he talks about it being dangerous having no static sag due to the preload causing the bike to launch you out of the seat over bumps. *He describes it over and over to riders with no static rear sag on there bikes. It's like a 30min vid where he adjusts rear sag on countless bikes and describes what difference the adjustment will make. Within reason there would seem to be some adjustability within 'springs'. Only one rider did he describe being to heavy and needing a different spring and that the adjustment he was doing was merely a bandaid fix. And obviously that riders suspension was to 'soft' for his weight. Seems unlikely that at my weight of 185 I would need softer then stock suspension. From researching the f4i I should be heavy for the stock springs, to heavy by most all accounts. And outwardly atleast my suspension appears stock, same yellow spring on the rear that I've seen on all other f4i's in my searching. My rear spring is setup one step from as preloaded as it can go. *From what I saw on that vid it seems reasonable to me to adjust it down say two steps and see where my sag is at. I don't even really want to start playing with the valving until I have a further grasp on things. But the adjustment has a range of s-h, which i had assumed was soft to hard?

    Maybe I'm using the wrong terminology, which wouldn't surprise me. Refer to my 'catapult' comment from earlier. That is exactly what I'm experiencing and I have zero static sag and barely any rear weighted sag either. Seems I'll be able to make a note able improvement by lessening my rear spring preload. Which I maybe wrongly translated or described as softening the suspension. *I'm just scratching the surface on all this I fully realize but somehow or other my bike is set up stiff. The rear is incredibly stiff and the front seems fairly stiff too although I haven't even been trying to wrap my head around the front end yet.*
    Last edited by Squisher; 10-22-2018 at 06:34 PM.

  16. #14
    Registered User Array the bartender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squisher View Post
    I'm clearly missing something here. Doesn't preloading the spring make the suspension stiffer?
    no. it just raises or lowers the height of the stack.

  17. #15
    Registered User Array the bartender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squisher View Post
    Same as adjusting the speed of the valving would make the suspension softer or harder? If it's all just speed of the valve or the spring is the spring what are the adjustments for exactly then?*
    Unless the valve is closed (which i mentioned above), all hydraulics is doing is managing speed/energy.

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