Author Topic: sag adjustment for a light weight rider  (Read 1039 times)

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Offline Mike B

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sag adjustment for a light weight rider
on: September 25, 2020, 03:20:09 AM
Hi, I haven't been riding much for the last few years and not been on the the four for a long time.
I'd like to get back to it, but I think I need to adjust my suspension on my bike.
I'm having trouble understanding which direction to adjust my rear shock  (towards 1 or towards 9)
I think I need to increase sag since I'm short and light.
Can anyone tell me which way to adjust the shock?
Mike

Offline JMo

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Re: sag adjustment for a light weight rider
Reply #1 on: September 25, 2020, 05:40:20 AM
*Originally Posted by Mike B [+]
Hi, I haven't been riding much for the last few years and not been on the the four for a long time.
I'd like to get back to it, but I think I need to adjust my suspension on my bike.
I'm having trouble understanding which direction to adjust my rear shock  (towards 1 or towards 9)
I think I need to increase sag since I'm short and light.
Can anyone tell me which way to adjust the shock?
Mike

Hi Mike - You will add tension (preload) to the spring by rotating the preload adjuster clockwise (ie. turning it to the right), so if you need less preload to increase the sag, you need to turn it anti-clockwise/left towards 1.

Jx
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Offline Mike B

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Re: sag adjustment for a light weight rider
Reply #2 on: September 26, 2020, 06:01:14 PM
Thanks! I think I shrinking with age. The ground seems farther away and legs don't feel quite as stable. Mike

Online Martin

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Re: sag adjustment for a light weight rider
Reply #3 on: October 19, 2020, 04:20:10 PM
Apologies for reviving an old thread, but reading through other threads did not help me with the following:

I am around 63kg/138lbs and noticed that when I get on the bike it never sags at all. I set the standard shock (2017 model, UK) to "4" before a trip with maybe 10kg of luggage and that was fine. So I thought to make the suspension a bit softer and turned in down to "2" and the thing was horrible to ride on bad tarmac. The back was all over the place. Ended up having to stop & adjust it back to "3" (a bit better) and later "4" (relief).

That said, I obviously have zero sag on those higher settings. I did not notice anything either on "2". Am I missing something here or am I just too light to get any sag on this bike?

Offline JMo

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Re: sag adjustment for a light weight rider
Reply #4 on: October 19, 2020, 04:35:23 PM
*Originally Posted by Martin [+]
Apologies for reviving an old thread, but reading through other threads did not help me with the following:

I am around 63kg/138lbs and noticed that when I get on the bike it never sags at all. I set the standard shock (2017 model, UK) to "4" before a trip with maybe 10kg of luggage and that was fine. So I thought to make the suspension a bit softer and turned in down to "2" and the thing was horrible to ride on bad tarmac. The back was all over the place. Ended up having to stop & adjust it back to "3" (a bit better) and later "4" (relief).

That said, I obviously have zero sag on those higher settings. I did not notice anything either on "2". Am I missing something here or am I just too light to get any sag on this bike?

Hi Martin - people get hung up on sag numbers/percentages, but fundamentally you need a degree of sag so that the weight of the bike (and rider together) is floating somewhere between the two extremes of the shock travel - otherwise you're likely to top out (or bottom out) regularly over rough terrain and/or heavy acceleration and breaking.

Essentially any spring is meant to support you so the load is floating between the two end points so that you don't reach either end of the travel too regularly, and so the associated damping of the suspension can work to cushion any impact and rebound, again without having to cycle too far from the median point.

On a motorcycle (or any vehicle) the bias tends to be to offer more compression travel vs downward travel - hence the typical suggestion of 1/3rd vs 2/3rd, as generally speaking you tend to hit stuff sticking up - although with longer travel suspension (and particularly the kind you see of desert racking trucks for example) the balance can be even closer to 50/50, so that the wheels track the ground both up and down, while the vehicle itself stays level.

After that rather longwinded explanation, it sounds to me that if you're not compressing the suspension much at all when sat on the bike, then the spring itself is simply too stiff for your weight. Preload is only going to affect the ride-height (although on a basic shock and/or with a progressive spring or linkage, adding preload can have the effect of 'stiffening' the suspension as the shock is now sitting in a different part of it's stroke (with the spring compressed/under tension) and depending on where in the stroke the shock is, a basic damping circuit is also going to be affected by that.

The problem with the stock (basic) shock on these bikes is you only have a few 'clicks' of preload available, with doesn't offer much fine tuning - as you say you've tried position 4 and position 2 - which means you've only got position 3 as a compromise.

My only real suggestion is to fit a better quality aftermarket shock (one designed for this bike, not a bloody 2nd hand one off a GSXR ;o) with the correct spring rate for your weight, and you ought to find a significant improvement in ride quality, plus the ability to dial in the preload much more accurately (using a threaded shock body rather than stepped notches) and adjust the damping independently to suit.

Hope that helps...

Jenny x
Last Edit: October 19, 2020, 04:37:03 PM by JMo
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Online Martin

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Re: sag adjustment for a light weight rider
Reply #5 on: October 19, 2020, 05:27:44 PM
*Originally Posted by JMo [+]
After that rather longwinded explanation, it sounds to me that if you're not compressing the suspension much at all when sat on the bike, then the spring itself is simply too stiff for your weight.

...

The problem with the stock (basic) shock on these bikes is you only have a few 'clicks' of preload available, with doesn't offer much fine tuning - as you say you've tried position 4 and position 2 - which means you've only got position 3 as a compromise.

My only real suggestion is to fit a better quality aftermarket shock

...

Hope that helps...

Jenny x

Hi Jenny, thank you very much for that wonderfully longwinded explanation. That indeed helps a lot & I understand the basics a bit better now.

I just wanted a bit of a smoother ride without the back wobbling all over the place. Itís clear that can only really be achieved with a better quality shock. After 16k miles I guess the OEM shock has at least seen some good use!

Offline timur

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Re: sag adjustment for a light weight rider
Reply #6 on: October 19, 2020, 06:11:25 PM
*Originally Posted by Martin [+]
Itís clear that can only really be achieved with a better quality shock.
And most of all it should be made for your specific weight and riding style so you need a manufacturer that gives you this possibility. It will make the real difference  :169: 

Online Martin

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Re: sag adjustment for a light weight rider
Reply #7 on: October 19, 2020, 08:38:50 PM
*Originally Posted by timur [+]
And most of all it should be made for your specific weight and riding style so you need a manufacturer that gives you this possibility. It will make the real difference  :169:

Duly noted, thanks!

The short term solution for now would be to gain some weight... :008:

Offline Superplasma

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Re: sag adjustment for a light weight rider
Reply #8 on: October 20, 2020, 09:31:14 AM
Super post Jenny.

Superplasma.

Online Robbie-Box

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Re: sag adjustment for a light weight rider
Reply #9 on: November 02, 2020, 03:58:06 PM
I'm thinking that Mike's problem has little to do with Preload but more to do with the Dampening of the rear shock.
Bikes currently owned,1979 Honda CB550/4.
1988 Honda XBR500. 2003 Kawasaki W650.
2011 Kawasaki W800. 2016 Honda CB500X.