Author Topic: New bike Suspension questions.  (Read 877 times)

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Offline MadHunky

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New bike Suspension questions.
« on: August 08, 2019, 01:03:35 pm »
I just took posession of a new 2016 concours. It has just over 125 miles on it after a couple days of cummuting to work and joy riding. New to the forum, but not a new rider. Happy to be here, tons of great information.  I'm a larger rider at 6' 1" and 230 pounds. I notice that the bike is a little squirrely in the rear end around higher speed turns, 40-50 mph range. When I commute in it I usually carry a small bag that may weigh 25-30 pounds in one of the side bags. I want to play a little with the suspension and try and dial it in, but not sure which way to start. I have been riding with the KTRC on to get used to the power at first.  I've been watching some videos online, but figure I'd go to the source with some pointers. Everything on the bike is stock. Thanks for any insight.

Offline Staylo

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2019, 02:47:38 pm »
Unfortunately, there’s no dialing in that rear suspension. It is hopelessly under-sprung for “average” sized riders, and for a bigger fellow it’s even worse. There’s just not enough spring rate on the shock to stop the wallowing in the corners that you described. At the very least, you’re going to need a properly rated spring for your weight, and even better would be a replacement shock. The Penske 8983 is the most popular upgrade for the c14, But it’s a pretty big pill to swallow at nearly $1000, plus installation if you can’t do the work yourself. It will, however, completely transform the ride and handling of the bike, and in the long run it will save you money in replacement tire costs, as a poorly set up suspension wears  tires unevenly, and more quickly.
Lancaster County, PA
'11 C14

Offline MadHunky

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2019, 02:59:20 pm »
Thanks for the information. I figure in the mean time while I'm breaking it in, and getting more comfortable on it I will just keep turning it a couple clicks clockwise and experiment with it. Of course I could just go on a diet.

Offline Staylo

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2019, 03:20:46 pm »
Of course I could just go on a diet.
Unfortunately, the factories seem to spring these bikes for 12-year-old Japanese girls. No amount of dieting is it going to help.  They design bikes to be ridden with the luggage full and a pillion passenger, and then they put a spring on that isn’t even strong enough to support a single rider with empty bags. *shrug*
Lancaster County, PA
'11 C14

Offline MtnRider

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2019, 03:38:08 pm »
Is there a properly rated spring that can be used with the stock shock? Not ideal but I can't do the Penske...
2015 Black C14
So, after hearing the trash can getting the H beat out of it, we're looking at the dinner plate size bear tracks in the snow. My wife says, "Why don't you go down and see if it's still there?"!!!

Offline connie_rider

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2019, 05:02:12 pm »
I'm in the same boat.
$1000 is just too many $$ and guess I'm not a good e'nuff rider to notice that the rear is that bad.
I adjusted sag, adjusted damping, and it seems to me that handling improved.
Seems I recall that Traxxion offers a stiffer spring?

Ride safe, Ted
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Offline MtnRider

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2019, 06:13:29 pm »
Well, I went looking. Traxxion doesn't show just a spring. Racetech has one for $135 with an adapter collar needed for $20. https://racetech.com/ProductSearch/12/Kawasaki/Concours%2014%20ZG1400/2008-17
2015 Black C14
So, after hearing the trash can getting the H beat out of it, we're looking at the dinner plate size bear tracks in the snow. My wife says, "Why don't you go down and see if it's still there?"!!!

Offline antibus

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2019, 11:03:28 pm »
Many people on this forum like Traxxion for the front and Penske for the rear, and that is likely the best set up. Two years ago I had adventure power sports in Idaho spring and valve my stock front and rear suspension with race tech valves making the rear shock serviceable. This cost around $1000 total. For an aggressive skilled rider this is likely not the best upgrade, however for me it was incredible. I love the feel of the bike touring on winding roads and on interstates as well as riding errands around my town. I don't ride fast or aggressive, however I ride a lot and like the product adventure power sports provided. For my money it is perfect.
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Offline gPink

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2019, 12:40:22 am »
I just took posession of a new 2016 concours. It has just over 125 miles on it after a couple days of cummuting to work and joy riding. New to the forum, but not a new rider. Happy to be here, tons of great information.  I'm a larger rider at 6' 1" and 230 pounds. I notice that the bike is a little squirrely in the rear end around higher speed turns, 40-50 mph range. When I commute in it I usually carry a small bag that may weigh 25-30 pounds in one of the side bags. I want to play a little with the suspension and try and dial it in, but not sure which way to start. I have been riding with the KTRC on to get used to the power at first.  I've been watching some videos online, but figure I'd go to the source with some pointers. Everything on the bike is stock. Thanks for any insight.

Are you carrying that weight in the right or left bag?

Offline MadHunky

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2019, 12:28:45 pm »
When I noticed the issue I had nothing in my bags, and was out on the back winding roads. But normally I carry in my back left bag. I have since turned my rear suspension 5 clicks, and notice a big difference. Thanks for all the information here.

Offline connie_rider

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2019, 12:33:48 pm »
Madhunky, 5 Clicks ain't e'nuff. I suspect you have way to much static sag.

Do a search for "setting spring sag" and follow those instructions.
I would find it, but have to leave for a time. Will try posting instructions later, or maybe someone else will attach them.



Ride safe, Ted

Update; Here is 1 video. There are many to look at on You Tube..
             https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtzTyCKh5fY


« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 06:43:26 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline Bill

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2019, 09:33:54 am »
I have to agree with Ted, do the sag adjustment first, then fine tune it and write down the settings so you know where you are at. I finally did the SAG on mine and it made a world of difference in handling and tire longevity.

Bill

Offline Nickrides

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2019, 12:41:39 pm »
I have a black 2014 that I'd like to check the Sag setup
I'm 5'11" 220 lbs
Bike handles OK
But I'd like to check it and try to make it better
I did a search and came up blank
Can anyone provide a link to the Sag setup please
Thanks in advance!

Offline connie_rider

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2019, 01:36:08 pm »
There is no exact number of clicks etc....
Many are posted, but don't all agree. {imagine that}   :truce:

Follow the steps on the video I posted and set your sag at 35 - 40 mm.

Ride safe, Ted
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2019, 05:02:27 pm »
Of course I could just go on a diet.
Unfortunately, the factories seem to spring these bikes for 12-year-old Japanese girls. No amount of dieting is it going to help.  They design bikes to be ridden with the luggage full and a pillion passenger, and then they put a spring on that isn’t even strong enough to support a single rider with empty bags. *shrug*

I have a question from the suspension Guru's.
I called Traxxion last week and asked him about installing heavier springs on my stock C-14 shock.
He said that he felt the springs were pretty close on a stock shock. {This surprised me as we all think it is too soft}.
Said he thought that he had measured one and it was 740.
He has a 750 or an 800 available.
Does anyone know what the stock spring is, and do you think an 800 would work for me. {220 without gear}

Ride safe, Ted
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Gone but not forgotten; 87 and 00 Connies..

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Offline Staylo

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2019, 10:22:41 pm »
Of course I could just go on a diet.
Unfortunately, the factories seem to spring these bikes for 12-year-old Japanese girls. No amount of dieting is it going to help.  They design bikes to be ridden with the luggage full and a pillion passenger, and then they put a spring on that isn’t even strong enough to support a single rider with empty bags. *shrug*

I have a question from the suspension Guru's.
I called Traxxion last week and asked him about installing heavier springs on my stock C-14 shock.
He said that he felt the springs were pretty close on a stock shock. {This surprised me as we all think it is too soft}.
Said he thought that he had measured one and it was 740.
He has a 750 or an 800 available.
Does anyone know what the stock spring is, and do you think an 800 would work for me. {220 without gear}

Ride safe, Ted
I’ve always seen spring rates listed in kg(a middle of the road spring would be something like 13.5) so I’m not familiar with the pounds ratings.  I would also be surprised to learn the stock spring is close to correct, but I don’t have a suspension dyno and would not argue with a guy who does.  I’ve tried to find a definitive answer to the stock rate and have been unable to find it. The part that surprises me is that I was unable to properly set the sag with the stock spring(190 lbs without gear), and that is a function of spring rate. I bet Penske would be able to confirm the stock spring rate.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 10:26:02 pm by Staylo »
Lancaster County, PA
'11 C14

Offline antibus

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2019, 10:57:26 pm »
I do not know what the stock spring rate is, however when I was having my front and rear suspension set up for me and my riding style I also heard that the stock spring was pretty close. Ultimately I went with stiffer springs in the front, however not by too much as I recall.
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Offline Staylo

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2019, 05:10:32 am »
If you can get ALL of the sag numbers set within range with the spring that is on the bike, then you are at least close to having the proper spring. The problem is, just about any spring that is weaker than the proper spring for your body weight can be set up to give the proper LOADED sag by cranking in a lot of preload, but what happens then is that you completely eliminate free sag, which is the sag with no rider on the bike. When free sag goes to zero, the bike starts to feel like it has no suspension at all in the low speed bumps, and feels rigid, and it also reacts more harshly to high speed bumps. The less preload a spring requires to get both the free and the loaded sag numbers into the proper range the more comfortable and plush the suspension feels when you ride it, while at the same time properly absorbing bumps.  A properly rated spring will give very little resistance to low speed bumps (think your normal road imperfections) which is what gives it a plush feeling, while very quickly increasing resistance for high speed bumps (think potholes). A spring that is too weak, which has had a bunch of preload cranked into it, requires a bigger input into the suspension (i.e. a bigger bump) before it will even begin to start to move. That makes the ride field harsh. Of course, there is also one other thing that affects suspension performance, and that is the condition of the fork or shock itself. If your shock seals are blown, or you’ve lost your gas charge in the case of a gas charged shock, then you have no damping properties, and you just bounce around on the uncontrolled spring. That could also give the rider of the false impression that the spring is too weak.
Lancaster County, PA
'11 C14

Offline connie_rider

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2019, 01:07:33 pm »
Thanks Staylo. That is some forgotten information that I needed reminding of.
On my bike I have {I think} 12-14 clicks cranked in to get the sag setting I wanted. I was able to get 40mm and quit there as 35 mm seemed unreachable.
   So, I had to use a lot of preload. {whish makes me feel the spring is too soft and the preload to great}..

Next question is; if his 740 lb/inch for a stock spring is correct, does his 800 lb/inch seem like too much or too little?
                          {I'll try to get him to do a conversion to Kg}

NOTE: "He" stated the front springs are very close to correct on our bikes, and {as it happens} I did not have to crank in a lot of preload when I did them....
{My apologies / forgot the guys name from Traxxion (?)}

Ride safe, Ted
         
« Last Edit: August 26, 2019, 06:43:26 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline MtnRider

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2019, 08:49:40 pm »
Ted, did you talk to Max?
2015 Black C14
So, after hearing the trash can getting the H beat out of it, we're looking at the dinner plate size bear tracks in the snow. My wife says, "Why don't you go down and see if it's still there?"!!!

Offline AmphibSailor

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2019, 09:52:51 am »
800 lbs/in² = 56.245507 kgf/cm²
740 lbs/in² = 52.027094 kgf/cm²
 
kgf=kilograms force

The conversion factor is ~14.223

Thanks Staylo. That is some forgotten information that I needed reminding of.
On my bike I have {I think} 12-14 clicks cranked in to get the sag setting I wanted. I was able to get 40mm and quit there as 35 mm seemed unreachable. So, I had to use a lot of preload.

Next question is; if his 740 lb/inch for a stock spring is correct, does his 800 lb/inch seem like too much or too little?
                          {I'll try to get him to do a conversion to Kg}

NOTE: "He" stated the front springs are very close to correct on our bikes, and {as it happens} I did not have to crank in a lot of preload when I did them....
{My apologies / forgot the guys name from Traxxion (?)}

Ride safe, Ted
       
« Last Edit: August 26, 2019, 04:32:49 pm by AmphibSailor »
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: New bike Suspension questions.
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2019, 06:46:50 pm »
Thank you AmphibSailor!

Now, does anyone know what the stock spring is and what is being installed on the aftermarket shocks?

MtnRider, I don't recall his name. Could have been Max. {?}
                 I think she transferred my call to the shop..

Ride safe, Ted
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Gone but not forgotten; 87 and 00 Connies..

If your not already a COGger, "consider becoming one".
Help us make "OtP" possible again!!