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wordsmith

GT suspension improvements

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Posted (edited)

I well recall my first 2015 Tracer, which – after being ridden home the 70 or so kilometres from the dealership – I HATED, chiefly because of the suspension; in fact I don’t think it had any, or if so from an 18th century ox-cart!   But thanks to good advice from this Forum I was quickly able to tame it to a degree, and did the same to subsequent Tracers.

Out-of-the-box the 2019 GT has that well-remembered harshness about it, which also requires fixing, which may or may not be made easier because of the extra adjustability of the suspension, meaning more variables and permutations of settings.

It might be useful for me to clarify what I’m seeking: not a magic-carpet ride (but I’ll take that if on offer!), but less of the bike leaping into the air like a bucking bronco every time we cross a shadow.   'Harsh' and 'unforgiving' are terms that understate the problem: my dentist bought a new luxury car on the proceeds from replacing my shaken-out dental fillings after a few outings!

My goal is increased seated comfort, not pin-point razor-sharp road-holding and handling, and for the record I’m a relatively lightweight 85kg (about 187lbs) or thereabouts fully kitted for the road.

My settings from the Gen1 Tracers were ignored for this exercise, which I commenced after much reading on the subject (still something of an art, it seems, rather than a science), contemplating my navel, and studying the entrails of a chicken.   As before, I was super-careful to write down every change that I made. 

At the first outing, it seemed that nothing had altered or improved.   Back to the drawing-board, making only small changes at any one time, and riding the same 32km varied outer-suburban road circuit to try to get the feel of the bike.   One local road – the well-named Double Jump Road – is pretty rough and corrugated, but by the time I had finished the tuning it was more than just bearable.   Other lumps and bumps in the roads around here also succumbed to my fine-tuning, until I have finally arrived at a very satisfactory state of affairs.

The rear of the bike shows no signs of wallowing on regular but shallow corrugations, but when the bike is (rarely) carrying loaded panniers and top-box I’ll dial-out a little pre-load on the shock.  

It may be possible to improve things a bit more, and I might even be at only (say) 80% of what’s achievable, but I don’t want to risk messing-up at this point.   The only other minor change I might make is to take a couple of millimetres out of the front forks pre-load to soften it a little.   The factory setting is now at 16mm, and the 18mm that I had on previous Tracers may just be right. 

Without being too precious about it, since YM may – and almost certainly will – V, I don’t intend to share my settings, as I think that much can be learned an owner by going about it in a systematic manner, learning (and discarding) as you go.   I'm sure it will be understood that my settings almost certainly wouldn't suit one of you well-nourished 220lb owners!     

With all my farkling and now this final suspension work I’m pretty sure that my GT is now about as accomplished a bike as it’s going to be for the time and money spent on it.   Good one, Yamaha!

Edited by wordsmith
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Wordsmith - a '39 model; bike - a 2019 Tracer 900 GT, Midnight Black and with many farklings.   Redland Bay, SE Queensland, Australia.

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18 minutes ago, wordsmith said:

 

It may be possible to improve things a bit more, and I might even be at only (say) 80% of what’s achievable, but I don’t want to risk messing-up at this point.

@wordsmith - Glad to hear that you got things sorted to your liking.  A little trial and error and persistence goes a long way.  The nice thing with suspension settings is everything is reversible if you don't like it, don't be afraid to experiment with one or two more clicks to see how it feels, if you hate it just set it back to where it was.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, wordsmith said:

 

My goal is increased seated comfort, not pin-point razor-sharp road-holding and handling, and for the record I’m a relatively lightweight 85kg (about 187lbs) or thereabouts fully kitted for the road.

 

 

I weigh about the same as you and I am seeking the same type of ride quality.  I think the bike handles plenty well for some spirited but not aggressive riding, but bump absorption is lacking.  It does well over some larger bumps but seems to constantly talk back to you about all the little ripples and small bumps in less than mirror smooth pavement, which is a bit annoying.  I waited until the bike had about 3500 miles before experimenting with settings so I am just getting started, but hope to be able to achieve what I want without expensive upgrades. Suspension tuning can be a good bit of hit and miss and I am taking my time, with one small change at a time. 

Don't get me wrong, I am overall very pleased with this bike but wish the suspension did not feel so busy.  Great bike so far!!

Edited by johnmark101
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There is noting like spending a day riding with friends in the grip of a shared obsession.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, johnmark101 said:

 

I agree totally with your analysis of the suspension shortcomings.   Future outings will now not carry that small fear of seat-of-the-pants discomfort that I've previously experienced! 

 

 

Edited by wordsmith

Wordsmith - a '39 model; bike - a 2019 Tracer 900 GT, Midnight Black and with many farklings.   Redland Bay, SE Queensland, Australia.

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Dave Moss has done a couple of interesting articles on the GT suspension.

he was running one on one of his trips to New Zealand, if your interested there well worth a read.

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4 hours ago, quetech said:

Dave Moss has done a couple of interesting articles on the GT suspension.

he was running one on one of his trips to New Zealand, if your interested there well worth a read.

I'd be interested indeed, as no doubt would many others  - any link(s) to the articles?   TIA...


Wordsmith - a '39 model; bike - a 2019 Tracer 900 GT, Midnight Black and with many farklings.   Redland Bay, SE Queensland, Australia.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, wordsmith said:

It may be possible to improve things a bit more, and I might even be at only (say) 80% of what’s achievable, but I don’t want to risk messing-up at this point.   The only other minor change I might make is to take a couple of millimetres out of the front forks pre-load to soften it a little.   The factory setting is now at 16mm, and the 18mm that I had on previous Tracers may just be right. 

 

The hypothetical '80%' above is not to be taken too literally: I may have got to 99% of what's achieveable, or much less, but the main thing is that judging by my built-in seat-of-the-pants-o'meter, the changes made have greatly improved the ride quality and removed a great deal of the harshness.   

So as mentioned above, I took a final step today and softened the ex-factory front fork preload settings (page 4-39 in the GT Owner's Manual).   The adjustment made was only 2mm, out from 16mm to 18mm, and to make it easier to see this tiny graduation I put a piece of blue tape across my steel ruler at the 18mm mark; it took only one-and-an-eighth of a turn to get there.   Will ride out later to see if there's any detectable improvement.  On my last Gen1 Tracers I found this small increment made a lot of difference..... 

P1050666.JPG

Edited by wordsmith

Wordsmith - a '39 model; bike - a 2019 Tracer 900 GT, Midnight Black and with many farklings.   Redland Bay, SE Queensland, Australia.

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Below settings from the article but he is recommending dropping the front end another 3 mm. Best to read the whole thing but you will need to subscribe.

Forks:

  • 3mm of fork showing above the upper triple clamp than stock
  • Preload at line #4
  • Compression at 6 clicks out
  • Rebound at 6 clicks out

Shock:

  • Preload at 25 clicks in clockwise from full soft
  • Rebound at 5 clicks out

*** These settings have eliminated static sag in the rear shock, so I know the spring is too soft for my weight 89 kilo, my pace and the luggage on the bike during such riding conditions. New spring needed!

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12 minutes ago, quetech said:

Below settings from the article but he is recommending dropping the front end another 3 mm. Best to read the whole thing but you will need to subscribe.

Forks:

  • 3mm of fork showing above the upper triple clamp than stock
  • Preload at line #4
  • Compression at 6 clicks out
  • Rebound at 6 clicks out

Shock:

  • Preload at 25 clicks in clockwise from full soft
  • Rebound at 5 clicks out

*** These settings have eliminated static sag in the rear shock, so I know the spring is too soft for my weight 89 kilo, my pace and the luggage on the bike during such riding conditions. New spring needed!

Did the article mention what rider weight these settings are based on?  He seems to be using a fair amount of spring preload on both ends.


***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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Posted (edited)

I'm 100kg.

Fitted 1.0kg/mm front springs. Was bottoming out the forks with stock springs.

Have 6 full turns of preload from full out (stuff measuring heights, counting turns is an easier measure). This gives me 35mm rider sag front. I aimed for less than usual sag for a little more ground clearance. 

Still have stock fork fluid, with such, achieving correct rebound damping in the front is at 2 clicks out. 

Next time I change fork fluid, I'll go with a heavier weight. While I can achieve correct rebound with stock spec fluid, as it is right on the end of the adjustment range, maintaining the stock oil weight/valving would require more frequent fluid changes. changing fluid for a higher weight is cheaper and easier than a revalve. 

Compression damping is set at 5 clicks out. 

 

On the rear, i am yet to replace the spring. With stock spring, to match the front sag preload is set at 1 click out from max, yielding no static sag.

Rebound is at 5 clicks out.

Works alright as is, but I need to pull my finger out and respring the shock. 

I'm a little concerned when I do, that the stock valving won't allow adequate rebound damping. Here's hoping I am wrong! 

 

Edited by StealthAu

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Yes I added the weight 89 kilo/195lbs

I checked my front fork travel and at standard settings I was using up pretty much all the travel and I’m 66 kilo, so I have increased the preload to raise the bike.

I have also reset the the compression and rebound but yet to to try lowering the bike in the fork clamps.

Article below also worth a read.

Yamaha_Tracer_YM18_P1221_web.JPG

Full test of the new Tracer 900 and 900GT from Mark Forsyth at...

 

Mike

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21 minutes ago, betoney said:

 Did the article mention what rider weight these settings are based on?  He seems to be using a fair amount of spring preload on both ends.

it is right there in the text you quoted. 89kg.

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I forgot to say the Dave Moss article was also with some luggage but I don’t know how much.

Mike

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8 hours ago, StealthAu said:

it is right there in the text you quoted. 89kg.

Yes, I read that @quetech listed his weight as 89kg, I was asking about the settings he listed from Dave Moss' article.

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***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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