Preload setting: Front 1 from full soft; Rear full stiff -
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-21-2006, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Allan Gibbs's Avatar
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Location: Phoenix, Ariozona (formerly Montrose, CA)
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Thought on preload settings: Front 1 from full soft; Rear full stiff

Well, I've been playing with my MV's settings (meaning riding in the canyon 1/2 mile and then stop and repeat). I think I'm fine with the compression/ rebound settings and I found a front and rear preload setting I like but I think it's ususal. My goals were: 1) balance the front and rear of the bike (one piece movement); 2) Quicken the steering by lowering the front end. Also, I like the low wrist and high ass feel.

So, my preload settings are:
1) Front: One full turn from full soft. At full soft it feels like I'm riding with wooden forks. On the other hand, I don't like the bar height any more than one or two turns from full soft.

2) Rear: Full stiff! Any less that full stiff and the rear feels too low.

3) Compression/dampering is set to factor stiff to compensate for the lower front. I may ease up on compression on the rear -maybe two or three clicks.

On thing I'm trying to avoid is to change the ride height on the rear. It's beyond my abilities and I don't have the tools for it (tool box is in Phoenix). But it would probably makes sense to raise the rear ride height so I can ease up on the rear preload. But is there any way I can avoid that? Lessen front end compression maybe?

Also, does this set up sound abnormal? Would I have any issues running it that way?

Thanks again for your help. I think I've come a long way from were I was a week ago -which was "Pro Italia help me."

Last edited by Allan Gibbs; 11-21-2006 at 12:29 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-21-2006, 12:58 PM
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Alan, The first thing you need to figure out is what is the sag. You will need somone to help you out with this as it is a 2 person job. I can get it pretty close by myself but I am able to comfortably touch the ground and am not worried that the bike will fall (no offence intended, it is just a bit precarious if you cannot reach both feet down easily). With all your gear on have somone hold you and your bike up in the riding position, you will need an o-ring or a zip tie on the fork leg to measure progress, allow the bike to settle into position without bouncing! Carefully get off the bikeand measure from the bottom of the slider to the zip tie. Next extend the front end as far as possible, you need to top out the suspension, and measure from the bottom of the slider to the top of the slider. I use a front lift stand (lifts from steering stem) to extend the forks but you can also use the kickstandand lever the bike so the front wheel is off the ground; a big friend helps! Now compute your sag (extended lenght minus compressed length with rider = sag), typically sag should be about 30-36mm for most bikes but there should be a figure in your owners manual.
Now repeat for the rear. Sit on bike, with gear in a riders crouch. You will probably need a third person for this. Have one person balance the bike from the front, you sit on the bike and have somone measure from the center of the axle to a fixed vertical reference point on the tail section. Make sure you pick an easily repeatable point. Once you have that measurement, you need to extend the rear until it is topped out. again measure from the axle to the same reference point. Compute sag as before, typical rear sag is usually 20-25mm but check the owners manual.
That should be your starting point.
Now the clickers, write down where you start so you can get back if needed.
I like to remove all the compression damping first to set the rebound. Starting with the forks push down hard on the bars and watch the fork travel.
Too little rebound--the forks will rise rapidly above the static position and then settle.
Too much rebound--the forsk will slowly rise to the static position.
You are looking for the first adjustment where the bike rises to the static position without going over, approach it from the too little rebound side because too little rebound is actually safer than too much.

Repeat for the shock.

Compression. I like to run just enough compression to prevent bottoming. As far as a baseline setting I simply work on getting the front and the rear to work together giving the bike a neutral feel. Have someone (again a big guy helps, I have a 270 lb friend who helps me ) push down on both the triple clamp and the seat hard but with equal force. Make sure tha bike compresses equally also watch the way the bike rises. It should come up at an equal rate front to rear. You should be pretty close with the rebound settings but may need to change a click or two to get them equal.
once you are satisfied go out for a spirited ride. Take it easy at first, but find a fairly bumpy road to test. When you stop notice how much travel you have used. Ideally you want to use most of the travel without bottoming out. Make compression adjustments equally front to rear in order to keep the front and rear suspension working together! This is the more subjective part of set-up and requires seat time.

Things to remember:
the worst thing to have is either too much rebound or too much compression. Too much rebound will result in the bike packing down over bumps resulting in bottoming. Also too much rebound will not allow the suspension to extend to meet the low spots quickly enough. It is better to err in the direction of too little rebound. The bike may feel a little unsettled, but the suspension will track the road.
Too much compression will cause the bike to deflect off bump edges instead of absorbing them. The tire will leave the road surface which is not good.
Bottoming is not good either for the same reason as too much compression. If you lke the ride quality but are still bottoming you can increase the oil level.

Attitude adjustments should always be made either raising the rear ride height or raising the forks in the trees, never with preload.
Hope it helps Allan.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-21-2006, 01:26 PM
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What he said. Excellent advice Rob.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-21-2006, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again Rob. No offense taken on my hieght. It's the main reason I went with a 999 in 2005.

Setting the sag (extending the forks specifically) is going to be the most challenging thing for me (tools again). With the MV, I don't think the sidestand is capable of carrying the MV's full wieght. I some times worry about it carry the weight of the bike when parked. (I had a side stand snap on my old MV when I parked it on a hill!). I may need PI's help on this one.

In terms of compression/rebound, after reading your post, I think I have too much compression. "Deflecting" is a good word to desribe some of the bumps I hit. I'll ease off gradually.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-21-2006, 02:00 PM
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As recommended set your sag first, front and rear. I find that sag around 35mm is good for street riding.

Then adjust the compression and rebound very slightly until you find what feels right.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-21-2006, 03:32 PM
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Be carefull with the front rebound, I took someone's settings and applied them and all I got from the front was what I take is chatter, grip/slip/grip/slip
I soon put it back! From memeory it was down to about 2 0r 3 clicks from full stiff.

I gave up in the end and got Maxton to make me a rear shock and valve the forks, you know, I have never felt the need to click or twiddle a thing since!!

I just need to get rid of the Super Corsa's now.......................

(This reply has not been checked for punctuation, grammar, or spelling mistakes and is devoid of any big long cleverwords or condescending manner)

MV's all gone now, still have a soft spot for MV's, waiting for MV to tick all my boxes again.
Previously (and about 40 others)748SP, S4, S4R, 98R1, 2000 F4, F41000S, F41000R, 08R1, 09R1, S1000RR, RSV4 Factory aPRC in Garage now
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