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Discussion Starter #1
Whilst I've often heard the phrase 'Suspension is everything' or 'setting up your suspension will reduce your lap times',it's not till fairly recently I decided to begin focusing on it after many years of motorcycle ownership. It's not that I've thought that it wasn't important. It's become obvious that as my skill and speed on track is advancing, the quality of the suspension is starting to require some attention. A front end wash out and lowside on a fast corner was the end result of poorly setup/maintained suspension pushed to it's limits with nowhere else to go.
Subsequently, back in the workshop, the air gap in the forks was checked and I found that it was greater than the Workshop Manual recommendation so I increased the oil level and reduced the air gap 10mm beyond the recommendation.
While I have the pre-load maxed out, this has prevented the suspension from bottoming out according to the cable tie's position on the fork's inner tube. The next step for the front is to purchase some springs to match my weight (100kg) a relatively cheap upgrade. Some more re-tuning when these are installed.
With the front end sorted for the time being I'm now working on the rear suspension. My 312r has the stock Sachs rear shock which has had little attention in the 5-6 years that I've owned the bike.
I've known for some time that the hydraulic pre-load adjuster was knackered(common problem) and had dismantled the adjuster and put in 1-2 neat fitting washers to push the piston down to gain some pre-load with some success.
Recently I discovered some vertical play in the rear wheel caused by a, pretty much, collapsed bearing in the top mount of the rear shock. I wasn't aware that there were bearings in there until I did some searching on the forum http://www.mvagusta.net/forum/showthread.php?t=33540
I had decided to look at purchasing a new unit at around the $1500-$1800 mark for something reasonable. This would take some time to achieve as I have a minimum budget to play with so in the mean time I would take it to a local bloke who I'd heard about but never had the need to meet. This guy is a whole other story but briefly, an ex WSBK bike mechanic pretty much retired, has a little run down, tucked away shed in the industrial area where he does restorations, complex work for people, if he likes the look of you. Keeps pretty quiet, hard to catch and I would kindly label him eccentric and genius.
We got on well and after a long discussion about suspension and it's(now obvious) importance I left it with him and returned the next day (several times to catch him). He seemed excited to show me what he'd done. The hydraulic pre-load system had been removed and replaced with a manual threaded lock-ring system which I was stoked about and he had re-gassed and serviced the shock, as in replace the oil, checked seals etc. The lock-rings showed signs of use but I didn't give a toss, as long as it functioned correctly. I was pleased with what he had done and payed him a bit extra(Total-$180) than what he quoted because potentially he had saved me having to buy a new shock.
I'm currently replacing the bearings in the top and bottom mounts (the above link for those interested) which has come to a halt as they have to come from Singapore which is a few days delivery time.
All will be revealed next track day of coarse but I'm sure it will be an improvement. Particularly in the area of adjustment and fine tuning.

What I've learnt so far is that the OEM suspension system supplied with the bike is very workable and of a reasonable quality. It can be pulled down, serviced and parts can be replaced or improved. Sometimes we can be all to quick to just go out and by a brand new system when a bit of time and interest can save you $$$. Its nice to have something new and shiny but in the instance of track days and racing it's interesting to see a bike that is an ugly duckling and on appearances to be worth $2000 fly past a bike that looks to be worth $20000 + like it's standing still:smile2:
 

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Yes, the MV suspension is not like the crap that comes on lesser bikes. Sounds like you found the "Go To" guy for service.

Obviously, you got used parts for your shock repairs, but that doesn't affect performance.

The old adage about fast race bikes is "look good from 50 feet at 50 mph'... up close standing still, not so much. Even the top factory race teams have some sketchy looking body panel fitments when you get up close.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Whilst I love the MV's form it's the function that I get the most kicks. The wisest decision I made was to turn it into a track bike. It's what they had in mind when designing it. The importance of the aesthetic value of the bike dropped away which was a relief in a way. Keeping it shiny and perfect was hard work. As a track bike it's bloody awesome and serious fun.
Really looking forward to seeing how the suspension work will improve confidence and lap times.>:):wink2:
 

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Any idiot can go fast in a straight line - going round corners is where it counts.

Money spent on suspension and, more importantly, time spent on setting it up is well worth it.

My advice now would be to bribe a mate with beer and spend an afternoon setting the sag and then ride. If you make any subsequent changes, change 1 thing at a time and keep lots of notes. So many people tinker with suspension settings and make it worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Funny that you say that, just got it sorted for next week when I’m back home again.
The fellow who worked on my shock has offered to help with the sag etc. And yep! Photo copied a spreadsheet from a suspension website with all the points down one side etc. to take to the track
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Got a question for the engineer types out there........ why are there spherical bearings in the rear shock mounts?
I would have thought that the the motion of the rear system being on a vertical plain that there would be virtually zero movement in any other direction. The outer caps fit firmly into the central circumference of the bearing further negating any movement of the spherical part, backing this theory up.
 

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You have the answer in your question. The swingarm flexes and has some lateral movement especially when racing
 

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Tuned side flex is a critical element in racing chassis/suspension development....at high lean angles suspension cannot react to bumps in the track...chassis and suspension flex is what absorbs the bumps.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bearings arrived (ex Singapore!) a few days ago. I've pressed them in with the vice and suitable socket followed by installing the seals and pressing the outer caps in then re-installed the shock.
Installing the manual spring preload lock rings and spacer has increased preload by 5mm compared to the hydraulic system and is quite noticeable. Clickers are set to Track Specs in the manual.
I stumbled across a 'How to service your Ohlins Steering Damper' link in the 'Tech Tips and Resources For All' section on the forum so I've done that too in the mean time. http://www.mvagusta.net/forum/showthread.php?t=41145
 

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Hopefully the guy who is offering to help set sag has the reference tool for your bike...which I have to assume is an F4 312R.
 

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Hopefully the guy who is offering to help set sag has the reference tool for your bike...which I have to assume is an F4 312R.
Yup:
"My 312r has the stock Sachs rear shock which has had little attention in the 5-6 years that I've owned the bike."


Why oh why can't everyone please list their referencing bikes in their signatures?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Why oh why can't everyone please list their referencing bikes in their signatures?
Fair Call... I do mention the bike involved when I begin a post but yeah, I needed to tidy up my act.
Done!:grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hopefully the guy who is offering to help set sag has the reference tool for your bike...which I have to assume is an F4 312R.
This is something I don't have Chuck. What's the best way to get one?
I'm assuming it's the tool that you bolt to the frame to get correct seat height, that you are talking about?
 

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As a track bike it's bloody awesome and serious fun.
Really looking forward to seeing how the suspension work will improve confidence and lap times.>:):wink2:
I live up in Perth, and I want to take my 2005 F4 for a track day, where do you go? Collie? Are you using TrackDayz or someone else?

I had Justin at ProTwin fix up a few oil leaks so she can pass scrutineering and he says it is well enough prepared for a track day.

I also visit Denmark quite a bit, family has a holiday property at the western end of Mt Shadforth Rd.
Cheers, David.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I live up in Perth, and I want to take my 2005 F4 for a track day, where do you go? Collie? Are you using TrackDayz or someone else?

I had Justin at ProTwin fix up a few oil leaks so she can pass scrutineering and he says it is well enough prepared for a track day.

I also visit Denmark quite a bit, family has a holiday property at the western end of Mt Shadforth Rd.
Cheers, David.
Gidday David,
There are a few organisations that deal with track days in WA- Trackdayz, RideDays WA, Champions RideDays, TrackAction and Historic CMCWA.
There Links are
https://www.trakdayz.com.au/
https://mcrcwa.com.au/cms/index.php/ride-days
https://championsridedays.com.au/
https://www.trackaction.com.au/
https://www.historicracing.asn.au/
I have been up to Barbagello with Track Action but find it a bit costly so most of my Track Days have been at Collie through the Historics Club or Champions Ride Days. I have always had a fat time and found it to be the safest way possible to go fast. Great bunch of people having a blast on a newly renovated track, which in my opinion the better of the two. You are able to camp at Collie also which is awesome.
If you are down this way give me a shout.
 

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This is something I don't have Chuck. What's the best way to get one?
I'm assuming it's the tool that you bolt to the frame to get correct seat height, that you are talking about?
Wow, Steve...I can't believe I missed this post.

Yes, I am talking about the frame mounted tool that you measure from as a reference.

DSCN5712r.jpg


I have one that I have sent to various locations around the world. You pay postage and return it, and I'll send it to you.
 

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Wow, Steve...I can't believe I missed this post.

Yes, I am talking about the frame mounted tool that you measure from as a reference.

I have one that I have sent to various locations around the world. You pay postage and return it, and I'll send it to you.
I think there is a different one for 2010 and later....I think. Just throwing that out there.
 

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Yes, the configuration for 2010 and later bikes is different.
Mine is for pre-2010 bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wow, Steve...I can't believe I missed this post.

Yes, I am talking about the frame mounted tool that you measure from as a reference. I have one that I have sent to various locations around the world. You pay postage and return it, and I'll send it to you.[/QUOTE]



View attachment 470379

Hey Chuck, no worries mate.
What a great idea. Something to consider when I drag my 312r out from under the covers. I’ve had to park her up for a while and focus on other things. One of which is my daughters upcoming wedding.
I’ve got it pretty sorted though as my last track day was a blast with some significant confidence in the stability and handling. I decreased the air gap a little further in the front suspension and adjusted the compression and rebound on the day.
The rear shock has improved significantly without having to adjust anything on the day.
I think as I get quicker the forks are going to require heavier springs as they start to work harder under braking etc.
 
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