Suspension question - BMW S1000RR Forums: BMW Sportbike Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Suspension question

OK...stupid question. I say that so nobody will feel the need to label it as such after reading it, and will just answer objectively.

I've never set the preload from factory setting on my '17. I weigh about 160 with full gear. The bike is allegedly set for a 187 pound rider.

I've never felt the suspension was giving me a bad ride, and the bike, in fact, really handles well in the canyons. I now have about 11,000 miles on the it.

If I go to a suspension guy to help me set it for my weight (I don't have anyone at home to help with this), will I see any serious improvement in ride? What would I notice most? Or can I leave it alone, since it's worked for 2 years now just fine (at least I think so).

Thanks.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 06:32 PM
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You're probably fine with your current sag.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyryder View Post
OK...stupid question. I say that so nobody will feel the need to label it as such after reading it, and will just answer objectively.

I've never set the preload from factory setting on my '17. I weigh about 160 with full gear. The bike is allegedly set for a 187 pound rider.

I've never felt the suspension was giving me a bad ride, and the bike, in fact, really handles well in the canyons. I now have about 11,000 miles on the it.

If I go to a suspension guy to help me set it for my weight (I don't have anyone at home to help with this), will I see any serious improvement in ride? What would I notice most? Or can I leave it alone, since it's worked for 2 years now just fine (at least I think so).

Thanks.


I’m in the same boat, fly......I weigh 148, maybe 160 with gear on. I just run stock settings, without any clue if it can be improved WITHOUT going to lighter springs and tuning (for more money than I want to spend)....since I just ride street.

I don’t know enough about suspension to tinker and I don’t know anyone who does, either. I should’ve asked the dealer if they’d adjust it to lightest preloads, but never did.

Runs fine on the street and light canyon carving.....holds it’s line fine....a bump is a bump, lol.

.

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2013 K1600 GTL

Last edited by Erion929; 07-17-2019 at 01:39 AM.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by flyryder View Post
I've never set the preload from factory setting on my '17. I weigh about 160 with full gear. The bike is allegedly set for a 187 pound rider.
160 lbs vs 187 lbs = about 2.5 mm difference in _rider sag_ with the same preload setting.
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Last edited by speedfinn; 07-17-2019 at 05:23 AM.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Erion929 View Post
Iím in the same boat, fly......I weigh 148, maybe 160 with gear on. I just run stock settings, without any clue if it can be improved WITHOUT going to lighter springs and tuning (for more money than I want to spend)....since I just ride street.

I donít know enough about suspension to tinker and I donít know anyone who does, either. I shouldíve asked the dealer if theyíd adjust it to lightest preloads, but never did.

Runs fine on the street and light canyon carving.....holds itís line fine....a bump is a bump, lol.
If you want the suspension to feel just a bit softer, decrease compression damping.
If you want the suspension to feel just a bit stiffer, add more compression damping.
You can not do any harm with stock compression adjusters even if you use minimum or maximum setting. So you can fiddle them as much as you like.
And you may, hopefully, feel a small difference between min and max setting.

If you change springs, you will not feel any difference.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 07:56 AM
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I Disagree

I disagree with the statement "If you change springs you will not feel any difference."
When you change the fork springs for example to a lighter/softer spring.You are allowing the forks to compress more putting more weight on the front tire. Which increases the handling/better turn in.
And opposite effect when you increase the fork springs to a heavier rate.
Preload and Sag play BIG part on the motorcycle handles.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 08:49 AM
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I disagree with the statement "If you change springs you will not feel any difference."
When you change the fork springs for example to a lighter/softer spring.You are allowing the forks to compress more putting more weight on the front tire. Which increases the handling/better turn in.
And opposite effect when you increase the fork springs to a heavier rate.
Preload and Sag play BIG part on the motorcycle handles.
So you say that YOU feel that 2.5 mm change in sag.
Most of the riders do not feel that...

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Hey...great answers everyone...and thanks. I've been happy with the stock settings on my RR over the 11,000 miles I've ridden on it. I do run the DDC settings at -4 all around and find I still have enough firmness at my weight to have excellent stability in the twisties (I ride only in mountain canyons and highlands) and enough softness to be comfortable. But I had to ask...

Thanks again.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 09:52 AM
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Minor suspension changes can make a handling difference.
2.5 mm change?Hmmm possibly. Riding the motorcycle is the only way to make that determination.

Tom Sykes,Jonathon Rea, Valentino would probably feel a difference.
Myself,let me ride before and after before I make my Guess.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclesailor955 View Post
Minor suspension changes can make a handling difference.
2.5 mm change?Hmmm possibly. Riding the motorcycle is the only way to make that determination.

Tom Sykes,Jonathon Rea, Valentino would probably feel a difference.
Myself,let me ride before and after before I make my Guess.
When we talk about a average (s1k) rider, 99(?)% of them does not understand the basics of suspension. And that is why they do not know how the suspension actually works and which behaviour is connected to which part (spring, damping, geometry, etc).

I agree that "Minor suspension changes can make a handling difference.", it always does. But the real question is does it make any real noticeable difference for the (99%) rider, or were there originally any need to make any changes?

Then there is also this thing that bike is a hobby. And that creates a need to make changes, just because it makes the owner more happy. So for example if you change springs one step softer, that is 5% (that is 5/100) softer (and rider sag is 2.5 mm smaller), and owner is really happy! Because now the rider sag is perfect!

It does not matter if the rider notices any change in handling (he does not) because the money he spent makes him more happy every time he rides the bike, and that is a very good reason (not rational) to change the springs.

If we think the tehnikal side of the suspension; bike weight is 440(?) lbs and spec rider 187 lbs, so rider is only 30% of the total mass (I'll skip the sprung vs unsprung mass). And if rider mass changes +-27 lbs (160...214 lbs), that is only +-4% of the total mass. That is why you do not need to change springs/ stock springs are good for wide variety of rider mass.

And if you want to keep the OEM factory stock settings, but fine tune preloads to be more suitable for a 160 lbs rider. Take out 2.5 turns (1 turn is 1 mm) of preload from front. And 1.25 mm preload away from rear shock (rear linkage is about 2:1, that is why 1.25 mm at rear shock is about 2.5 mm at rear axle).
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