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Hey guys,

I have a question about the preload and dampning. After riding scott's bike i decided to fool around with it. I set my preload to 6 and dampning to 3. when i took it for a ride, it seems to wallow a bit more at slower speed with a passenger on the bike, and it is more noticeable solo. i am wondering if this is because the rear is more stiff than the front and causing more sag in the front forks.

I would appriciate any tips on these settings, i would like to try and get the steering a little more stiff. I plan on doing the pvc upgrade to the front forks soon, but would like a better understanding of how the rear setting affect the bike.

thanks
 

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hey desert :)

first things first, check your tire pressure. i run 36psi front and rear which i think is what is recommended. in general less pressure gives a smoother ride, more gives better traction and handling. but don't go crazy, a couple of pounds either way can be VERY noticeable.

next, adjust one thing at a time. leave the damping on 2 (recommended for a guy about your/my size) and adjust the preload up and down. ride for a while at each setting to get a good feel. i find running through bumpy corners is a good test as is a good long ride. once you've got a preload you like try adjusting the damping up and down to feel the difference.

third, yep you got it, adjusting the rear really stiff makes the soft front more apparent. all your movement is now happening at the front which changes the steering geometry as your moving. ick! one of the things i liked about stiffening the front was that it brought it up to a point that i felt was more equal to the rear.

for your reference, the rear shock is stock, the front is stock oil (10w) and springs with 3/4" pvc spacers. i'm 180 and my girl is about 140 (tell her i said that and you die!) for two up i run preload 4 and damping 3. solo i run preload 3 and damping 3. i was running damping 2 but since i switched to 3 i'm liking it better. i haven't really wrung it out in the twisties yet so i may still switch back to 2.

in general, higher load, higher speed, more performance = more preload and damping. slower speeds, bumpy roads, comfy ride = less preload and damping. this is all laid out in the owner's manual.

hapy trails :)
scott
 

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It's such a pain changing the preload that I now just leave it on 6 (I think), and fiddle with the damping setting (2 when solo and 4 with passenger). Makes things a bit bouncy but it's still smoother than my car (Nissan Pulsar SSS with sports suspension - great for the driver, horrible for the passengers).
 

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less pressure gives a smoother ride, more gives better traction and handling.



In winter/spring I run 32psi front and rear. This works the tyres harder on the rim so they flex then get hot and sticky. Summer is coming so I might UP the pressure to 33-34psi. This will actually let the tyre run a little cooler in our (hopefully) 35-40c summer.

Running 36psi and hard settings would have the thing sliding at the back wouldn't it :eek:

:)
 

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Hi Doug,

The only problem I see with installing 01 springs into a 00 is that the dampening would still be too weak, although it might be able to be improved with different fork oil.

If you look at the Kawasaki's web site you can see that the spring as well as the damper assembly, and spacer is different between the 00 & 01.

Andy
 

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titomike you make an interesting point. in colder temperatures lowering pressure would cause the tire to flex more and warm it up faster but the sidewall flex also makes more flex in your contact with the road. as an exaggerated experiment drop your pressure to 20-25 pounds and go for a low speed spin in an isolated area. the bike will handle *radically* differently, falling into corners and feeling very squishy. so while lowering the pressure can helps warm up the tires a bit it could also cause more trouble than it solves by making handling unpredicable.

i had my bike at 36 psi the other day when it was around 40F/4.5C and had no problems with slide but i have noticed that i can tell when the pressure is low by even 3 or 4 pounds just by the way the bike handles. in that situation i'm not comfortable pushing the bike hard. it doesn't handle as predictably.

also, higher speeds (freeway) and agressive cornering are going to heat the tires up no matter what the outside temperature is, though it wil take longer to get them warm if it's colder. you definietely get less traction when the outdoor temp is low but once you ride a few miles the tires warm up enough to still give plenty of grip.

a few pounds up or down is prbably ok and can help tune the bike to under/oversteer the way you like. dropping a few pound is probably appropriate for better traction in cold temps on short rides but if you ride more than 5 miles on most trips and hit freeway speeds (like i do) you're probably be better off going easy on the bike for the first few miles while the tires warm up and keeping the pressure at 36.

incidentally, race compound tires take notably longer to warm up since they're desigend to be pushed very hard and run at higher temps. if you get them never push them too hard until they're warm. martin got a higher pefromance rear and notices that it take a few miles to warm it up compared to his original.

eek! hope this isn't too much to read ;)

scott
 
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