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Discussion Starter #1
PRELOAD
This adjustment is always found on the top of the forks. Clockwise increases preload, counter clockwise decreases it. The adjusters are usually integrated into the fork cap and are sometimes differentiated by color. The preload adjuster may have adjustment lines machined into it so that you can compare to check that they are even.

Preload is initially used when setting SAG. Preload can be added if the rider experiences the forks “diving” under hard braking. A more accurate way of assessing “dive” is to attach a thin zip tie on the slider tube (make sure that it slides easily but is not sloppy), or place an appropriately sized rubber “o” ring on the tube that slides into the fork leg (this will require one fork being removed). The zip tie/O-ring will allow you to see how much of the fork travel you are using. If the zip tie/O-ring is firmly against the dust scraper or axle casting, then the fork is bottoming out. In that case you need to add more preload, and then check the zip tie/O-ring again. If the zip tie/O-ring rests 5mm prior to the dust scraper or axle casting, this indicates that you are using almost all of the available travel.



REBOUND
The rebound adjuster is usually located in the center of the preload adjuster, and commonly requires a flat head screwdriver to be used for making adjustments (there are exceptions like Ohlins which require Allen wrenches). Sometimes the adjustments are measured in “clicks”, other times in degrees of turn. Usually OEM settings are in the middle of adjustment.

Firstly turn the rebound adjusters all the way in on both forks and write down how many turns/clicks there were. Then take the rebound adjustment all the way out on both forks so that you know how much total adjustment there is. With the adjustment all the way out, hold the front brake on to lock the wheel and then push down vigorously on the forks. As the forks begin their upstroke, let them move naturally and observe the action of the fork. The stroke may come back and then return into the downward motion once more, and may even return again on the upstroke (do not let go of the front brake while doing this!!).

Then adjust the rebound all the way in on both forks, repeat the pumping action with the front brake fully engaged and observe the difference in the range of motion –the forks will rise back up slowly. What you are trying to achieve is the fork rising back almost to the top of the first rebound stroke and staying there. You will need to work the adjusters so that they are always the same on both legs until you have the rebound action set correctly.



COMPRESSION
These adjusters are usually found on the underside of the fork or close to the brake calipers at the bottom of the fork facing the rider. They commonly require a flat head screwdriver to be used for making adjustments (there are exceptions like Ohlins which require Allen wrenches). Sometimes the adjustments are measured in “clicks”, other times in degrees of turn. Usually OEM settings are in the middle of adjustment.

Firstly turn the compression adjusters all the way in on both forks and write down how many turns/clicks there were. Then take the compression adjustment all the way out on both forks so that you know how much total adjustment there is. With the adjustment all the way out, hold the front brake on to lock the wheel and then push down vigorously on the forks. You will be able to feel the way in which the forks move through the downward/compression stroke, which will be fairly easily (do not let go of the front brake while doing this!!).

Then adjust the compression all the way in on both forks, repeat the pumping action with the front brake fully engaged and observe/feel the difference in the range of motion –the forks will compress more quickly and will not travel as far on the compression stroke up. What you are trying to achieve is the compression stroke allowing the fork to move without restricting the amount of travel in the fork, which causes the sensation of “packing”. You will need to work the adjusters so that they are always the same on both legs until you have the compression action set correctly.

NOTE: compression adjustment is very subjective compared to the rebound adjustment that is very easy to see. It takes a lot more feel when making adjustments, which will take time to acquire.

Also note that compression can be used in tandem with preload adjustment to help prevent the forks bottoming out. This is not the right solution to the bottoming issue, but one that helps in the interim.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
THis is for your rear shock

Not all shocks share the same adjustment characteristics, so please take a look at the shock to see what adjustment you have. Also note the shock can come with no oil/nitrogen reservoir (eg: SV 650), with a piggy back oil/nitrogen reservoir built into the shock (eg: GSXR’s) or with a remote reservoir (eg: Penske, Fox, Ohlins)

PRELOAD
In the SV650 and R6, it is a simple ramp adjuster that can be moved using the OEM tool. Clockwise increases preload, anti clockwise decreases it.

Other shocks may have two rings, the upper serving as a lock ring. The lock ring can be moved using the OEM tool and the second ring can be moved clockwise or counter clockwise to adjust preload accordingly. Should the OEM tool be missing the trusty mallet and flat blade screwdriver will work to loosen the lock ring and adjust the second ring. Spray some lubricant onto the threads on the shock body to ease movement (eg: WD 40).

Some shocks require the use of a specific tool (eg: Penske) that must be present for any preload adjustments to take place.

Preload is initially used when setting SAG. Preload can be added if the rider experiences front forks becoming light or getting a “headshake” under hard acceleration. This causes the bike to squat on the rear wheel and alters the weight distribution on the front and rear wheels. Preload can be added to reduce this problem.



REBOUND
The rebound adjuster is usually located in the center of the hasp locating the shock to the rear suspension linkage, and commonly requires a flat head screwdriver to be used for making adjustments. Sometimes the adjustments are measured in “clicks”, other times in degrees of turn. Usually OEM settings are in the middle of adjustment. Other rebound adjusters are rings at the bottom of the shock shaft that turn clockwise and anti-clockwise. Check to see what system you have!

Firstly turn the rebound adjusters all the way in and write down how many turns/clicks there were. Then take the rebound adjustment all the way out so that you know how much total adjustment there is. With the adjustment all the way out and the bike comfortably balanced between your legs, compress the shock vigorously by bouncing on the seat and applying all your weight to this motion. As the shock begins the upstroke, let it move naturally and observe the action. The rebound stroke may come back very quickly to cause the shock to top out (maintain the balance of the bike while doing this!!).

Adjust the rebound all the way in, repeat the same action with the bike comfortably balanced between your legs and observe the difference in the range of motion –the shock will rise back up slowly. What you are trying to achieve is the shock rising back to the top of the first rebound stroke naturally, not quickly or not too slow (or the rear end will “pack” in causing removal of weight from the front wheel) and staying there. You will need to work the adjuster until you have the rebound action set correctly.



COMPRESSION
This adjuster is usually found on the upper section of the shock and it commonly requires a flat head screwdriver to be used for making adjustments. Sometimes the adjustments are measured in “clicks”, other times in degrees of turn. Usually OEM settings are in the middle of adjustment.

Firstly turn the compression adjuster all the way in and write down how many turns/clicks there were. Then take the compression adjustment all the way out so that you know how much total adjustment there is. With the adjustment all the way out sit on the bike and balance it between your legs, then push down vigorously compress the shock. You will be able to feel the way in which the shock moves through the downward/compression stroke, which will be fairly easily (keep the bike balanced while doing this!!).

Then adjust the compression all the way in, repeat the compressing action with the bike balanced between your legs and observe/feel the difference in the range of motion –the shock will compress more quickly and will not travel as far on the compression stroke. What you are trying to achieve is the compression stroke allowing the shock to move without restricting the amount of travel of the shock shaft, which causes the sensation of “packing”. You will need to work the adjusters until you have the rebound action set correctly.

NOTE: compression adjustment is very subjective compared to the rebound adjustment which is very easy to see. It takes a lot more feel when making adjustments, which will take time to acquire.

EXCEPTIONS
For shocks with remote reservoirs, there are differing ways to adjust compression. Some have high and low speed circuits separated by different controls, or one control mechanism. In instances such as these, you may want to refer to the manual provided by the manufacturer, or contact the manufacturer for guidance.
 

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my pipe's bigger than urs
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THANKS! this was very helpful for getting my bike just right for the switch backs near home again after some crew chief adjusted my suspension for streets of willow.
 

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Registered
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Really helpful and while i knew a fair bit about it from my downhill mountain bike days, its great to get someone who knows the definitions to spell it out for the R6

Its what makes this forum so great!
 

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Yamaha Blue in any color
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3,253 Posts

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FastForward Performance
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961 Posts
Fork PRELOAD

Preload is initially used when setting SAG. Preload can be added if the rider experiences the forks “diving” under hard braking. A more accurate way of assessing “dive” is to attach a thin zip tie on the slider tube (make sure that it slides easily but is not sloppy), or place an appropriately sized rubber “o” ring on the tube that slides into the fork leg (this will require one fork being removed). The zip tie/O-ring will allow you to see how much of the fork travel you are using. If the zip tie/O-ring is firmly against the dust scraper or axle casting, then the fork is bottoming out. In that case you need to add more preload, and then check the zip tie/O-ring again. If the zip tie/O-ring rests 5mm prior to the dust scraper or axle casting, this indicates that you are using almost all of the available travel.
This description can be a bit misleading. Preload does not affect spring rate, so it does not directly affect bottoming resistance. Increasing preload will alter ride height which will allow more available travel. But if you are happy with your sag setting and the way the bike handles, why would you want to alter your handling because the front end is bottoming out?
There are several ways bottoming can be remedied, but just one that will not affect the way the bike handles elsewhere. By raising your fork oil level, the front end will resist bottoming but not affect the way the fork reacts for the majority of the rest of the stroke. This can be done in small increments, several ccs at a time.
A stiffer rate spring will resist bottoming, but it will change the entire travel so it is not a preferred option. The compression adjuster has the same drawbacks.
So, IMO the proper way to deal with bottoming is with oil level. Tdub
 

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make it a double
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Any chance we could have a picture beside each description so guys like me that have zero suspension knowledge can more easily identify what it is?

I realize theres many different types and bikes but even just an average or most common picture would help. Thanks!
 

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sportbike noob
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626 Posts
Any chance we could have a picture beside each description so guys like me that have zero suspension knowledge can more easily identify what it is?

I realize theres many different types and bikes but even just an average or most common picture would help. Thanks!
Anyone have pics?
 

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Stunt Rider
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7,981 Posts
Need some help guys.

So I've lowered my bike and my front tire is rubbing against my radiator cage. If I stiffen my preload will that help avoid the problem?

It's currently showing 5 lines. I was going to adjust it to 2 visible lines.
 

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When in doubtThrottle out
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5,058 Posts
Need some help guys.

So I've lowered my bike and my front tire is rubbing against my radiator cage. If I stiffen my preload will that help avoid the problem?

It's currently showing 5 lines. I was going to adjust it to 2 visible lines.
Most likely it's because even though the take is pretty vertical on the R6 it's probably drawing the front tire to rearward into the radiator.

Unless it's only hitting when the forks are compressed which preload would help but would ruin both rideability and traction of the front tire.
 

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Stunt Rider
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Most likely it's because even though the take is pretty vertical on the R6 it's probably drawing the front tire to rearward into the radiator.

Unless it's only hitting when the forks are compressed which preload would help but would ruin both rideability and traction of the front tire.
Yes, only during compression. I'm rolling stoppies. When the tire hits the rad cage it causes me to wash out. Pretty scary at 30-40 mph.
 

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When in doubtThrottle out
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5,058 Posts
Yes, only during compression. I'm rolling stoppies. When the tire hits the rad cage it causes me to wash out. Pretty scary at 30-40 mph.
It potentially could help but the tire may not follow the contour of the road being made so stiff. Which would also effect braking traction to initiate the stoppie.
 

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Stunt Rider
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It potentially could help but the tire may not follow the contour of the road being made so stiff. Which would also effect braking traction to initiate the stoppie.
I'll make some adjustments tonight and see what works.
 

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Newbie Racer
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5 Posts
Re: THis is for your rear shock

Thanks a lot, this really helped me dial in suspension settings. It's great how you fully explained everything so well and the precise location of each setup. Thanks again.
-Mike
 

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Premium Member
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4 Posts
Anybody no what size the spanner wrench is for the rear shock. Seller of the bought I just got didnt provide the tool kit with the bike. Thanks.
 
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