Guys and Girls,
I missed the communications regarding your bike setup!
Where can I have mine done?
Any idea what the costs are involved?
Time frames of doing it?
My trip is this coming weekend with Warren.
Frans, there is no need to run off and have work done on the bike. You can do most of the setup yourself and even during the ride you can adjust things to your liking.
What bike do you have, and what do you feel needs setting up?
If I recall correct someone mentioned the setup being very important for of road trips.
I did not read the complete write-up but it was mentioned that it should be done by someone competent!!!! And that's......not me!!!! .
Hence my reason for asking.
At the Country Trax training they do a short bit about setup, and typically it involves setting the suspension to be quite firm, and letting down the tyre pressures. I can cover some basics here.
Other things to consider is raising the handlebars if they are too low for you when you stand (and you should stand when riding tricky bits at slow speed). I am not tall, and for me it was sufficient to roll the handlebars forward a bit so that they were a bit higher (and further forward, which is also good).
- Preload has absolutely nothing to do with the 'hardness' of your suspension. The hardness is determined by the strength of your spring, which you cannot adjust other than by fitting a different spring. Preload is about adjusting the sag of the bike depending on the load (rider weight, panniers, pillion etc). Bear in mind the bike standard setup is for a rider of about 75kg. If you are lighter than this, leave the rear preload on the normal setting.
- If you are heavier, turn the preload on the rear suspension to be a bit harder. The Country Trax suggestion is often along the lines of '5 turns back from maximum', but that is a bit extreme and does not apply for lighter riders. The preload should be set so that the back of the bike sags by about 30% of its full travel when riding on a level road.
- The front typically gives great offroad qualities on the second-softest setting - but if you are heavy then use the middle (3rd softest).
Only the rear suspension has a rebound damping screw. This is at the base of the rear shock where the shock attaches to the swingarm. You need a long medium screwdriver to get to it.
- Rebound damping controls how quickly the bike bounces back when the shock is compressed. It is designed to prevent the bike from oscillating after you hit a bump, but having too much damping makes the back wheel stiff and unresponsive (it will jar when you hit a bump, and bounce in the air instead of following the shape of the ground).
- Typical settings are around 2-5 turns off the closed (maximum damping) setting, but this is quite sensitive and one usually makes adjustments a quarter turn at a time.
- Test the rebound damping by holding the bike by the tail (have a friend stand on the side of the bike to catch it should you lose control), and press the tail down sharply, and see how long the bike takes to come up to the normal position. It should be set just so that you can barely notice a slight retardation in the speed with which it comes up.
- On my bike, which is quite old and has a fair level of damping due to age, my rebound damping is turned almost fully open, and it has transformed the handling of the bike. In my salad days I had too much damping and the back was too hard and jumped all over when going over rough ground.
Tyre Pressure for Offroad
- Around 1.5 bar front and back for most conditions
- In sand or mud, down to 0.8 - 1.0 bar
- In sand with occasional rocks, keep it a bit higher (1.2)
KTM riders will often say that they don't believe in letting down their tyre pressures. Ignore them - BMW recommends it, and it makes a big difference to your traction and the number of bits that rattle off your bike. The KTM has a progressive spring suspension that soaks up the little bumps, and the BM uses soft tyres to do the job.
On the ride will be riders who can help you, and most of them will have the tools to do minor adjustments on your setup as you go along.
I am sure that it is not only me that is benefitting from this unbelievable email and information!! Thank you very much!!
Exactly why I should have asked!! As I am "heavy" (fat in normal terms ) I am sure that settings will be important.
I am looking forward to discussing this settings with the experts over the weekend!!!
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