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Doehle

Recommended Suspension Settings | 220lb rider

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Hey there everyone! :)

2020 Tracer GT

I am wondering what the 220lb range, riders have adjusted their bikes suspension to. I just got the bike on the weekend and have not dived into the manual yet / nor messed around with whatever the dealer set for the demo (don't even have the manual yet, as I am still riding the demo plates until the dealer opens up on Tuesday). I know for sure from messing around on my KLR650 that I am going to want to customize the bike's suspension for me, and a lot depends on rider weight, and riding preferences.

I am highway only, after stability as #1 (especially tracking in the wind), and will not be carrying a passenger or any cargo.

Appreciate your thoughts.

CheerS!

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1 hour ago, Doehle said:

Hey there everyone! :)

2020 Tracer GT

I am wondering what the 220lb range, riders have adjusted their bikes suspension to. I just got the bike on the weekend and have not dived into the manual yet / nor messed around with whatever the dealer set for the demo (don't even have the manual yet, as I am still riding the demo plates until the dealer opens up on Tuesday). I know for sure from messing around on my KLR650 that I am going to want to customize the bike's suspension for me, and a lot depends on rider weight, and riding preferences.

I am highway only, after stability as #1 (especially tracking in the wind), and will not be carrying a passenger or any cargo.

Appreciate your thoughts.

CheerS!

Welcome, since you have the GT, it comes with adjustable compression and rebound damping in the forks.  -If it were me- I would figure out where your settings are at right now so you have a reference point.  DO ONE LEG AT A TIME, count the clicks as you close the circuit CLOCKWISE and then turn it the same number of clicks back to where you started and write that number down.

The most important thing you can do it know what the clickers actually do.  Grab the front brake while standing to the side of the bike and press down on the bars several time to see how it feels, now, adjusting one leg at a time turn the clickers full clockwise and feel the difference and then fully counterclockwise and again feel the difference while pressing on the bars.  Now return the clicker setting to what it originally was from fully closed ie 9 clicks out or whatever and then do the same to the 2nd fork leg.  There should be a dramatic difference in feel between fully closed and fully open.  Open is Left, Closed is Right turns just like a water faucet.

Another thing to realize with the GT is each fork leg is independent, one leg controls how fast the fork compresses the spring and the other fork leg controls how fast the spring rebounds back to full extension.

THE VERY BEST THING YOU CAN DO is go out for a ride with a screw driver and adjusting one leg at a time, add or subtract +/-2 clicks at a time until it starts feeling better to you, it really is trial and error to suit YOU and YOUR riding preference.

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

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Welcome Doehle! 

I just finished setting the preload front and rear on my new tracer 900 gt two hours ago. I weighed myself with all of my riding gear on and was sad to see i was just over 200lbs😞   I was also sad to find that at that weight with nothing in the side cases I had to set rear preload to 20 clicks in(which is getting near the max) to achieve  about 40mm of sag, Same story at the front, I have the preload on the forks showing only two lines, again very nearly maxed out. After a quick test ride I was pleased to find the new settings improved ride and bump absorption, but I have very little leeway now for adding my pillion and some luggage. I guess the bike is designed to work best for someone a lot lighter than myself. If you are 220 with gear on you may have to go even further to max preload than I did.

Now i have to get working on adjusting the dampening front and rear, which will require more time and effort, though the factory settings seem pretty good to me so far.

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Thanks for that Basket, I suspected I would be close to the max, as I am on my KLR650. I will not ride with any passengers, so at least I have that going for me.

So 40mm of sag, is what I should be looking for on this bike for the rear?

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Yup. That is my story on my 2015 Tracer. I’m 220 with gear. Adding hard bags, pillion,etc places me over to the bikes max weight capacity. I replaced the suspension with Nitron’s adventure setup.  
 

I had close to max preload on forks. Rear was at max. It wasn’t that bad unless the bike was fully loaded (no pillion). 

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9 minutes ago, Basket said:

Welcome Doehle! 

I just finished setting the preload front and rear on my new tracer 900 gt two hours ago. I weighed myself with all of my riding gear on and was sad to see i was just over 200lbs😞   I was also sad to find that at that weight with nothing in the side cases I had to set rear preload to 20 clicks in(which is getting near the max) to achieve  about 40mm of sag, Same story at the front, I have the preload on the forks showing only two lines, again very nearly maxed out. After a quick test ride I was pleased to find the new settings improved ride and bump absorption, but I have very little leeway now for adding my pillion and some luggage. I guess the bike is designed to work best for someone a lot lighter than myself. If you are 220 with gear on you may have to go even further to max preload than I did.

Now i have to get working on adjusting the dampening front and rear, which will require more time and effort, though the factory settings seem pretty good to me so far.

If you cannot get correct sag settings for your weight, you definitely will not get it set correctly for luggage and a passenger.  You will need to get the correct spring rate for your weight as the factory springs are for some "average" rider around 160 lbs.

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

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36 minutes ago, Doehle said:

Thanks for that Basket, I suspected I would be close to the max, as I am on my KLR650. I will not ride with any passengers, so at least I have that going for me.

So 40mm of sag, is what I should be looking for on this bike for the rear?

40mm sounds right for the 142mm rear suspension travel. For the front I would do the zip-tie method to maximize suspension travel. It is a better method than measuring IMO as you won't have to deal with stiction throwing off readings.

Congrats on the new bike.

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canada.gif.22c5f8bdb95643b878d06c336f5fe29f.gif - IBA #66956 - 2015 Yamaha FJ-09

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I weigh the same as the OP. I set the preload on the forks to max and still had 50mm or a little more of sag. 

Set the rear to match the front. Had a few extra clicks in the rear, but rather keep it balanced. 

Set the rebound front and rear to where it needs to be, push down on the bike and it comes back up without bouncing. 

Kept dialing in compression damping to try and stop the forks bottoming out every ride until it became uncomfortable to ride. Just couldn't get it to work. 

Installed new springs, to my weight, front and rear. Made all the difference. Enjoyed riding the pants off it for the last 10,000km.

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19 minutes ago, StealthAu said:

---> Installed new springs, to my weight, front and rear. Made all the difference.<---

😎👍

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

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I'm excited to try and dial in the suspension, and/or get new springs.......... as the bike itself is already light years ahead of what I am used to, and rides epic already. :) I'm almost scared to mess with it.

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If you pay someone else to do the spanner work, get them to change the oil in the right fork to 5w.

With springs for your weight, stock 2.5w oil the rebound will be towards the limit of adjustment, good for a bit over 10,000km. 5w oil will move your settings towards the middle of the range, extending your service intervals. 

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5 hours ago, StealthAu said:

5w oil will move your settings towards the middle of the range, extending your service intervals

I agree with you about viscosity affecting the orifice settings but not sure about 5w lasting longer.  For every stroke of the fork you are still moving the same amount of fluid through the internals.  No?🤷‍♀️

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

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on my 2019 GT, I am 230 without luggage. Like everyone has said, I have maxed out the preload nearly on the front and back, I saved a  couple of clicks just for the sake of it. Bike rides pretty good like this, but if I don't sell her this year, I will upgrade springs and oil in front, and go aftermarket on the rear shock.  The bike is completely rideable as it is - but it could definitely be better for us heavier guys.

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just to add......you dont have to set the compression or rebound to one of the indent stops. You can set the damping between the clickers stops. Sometimes the righting dampening is between the stops. Little changes have a big effect

The springs on the GT are progressive meaning  the spring rate changes as the spring compresses. If you add preload, you are changing the what the starting rate is for the spring.

The static settings are just a starting point. The type of roads you encounter play a important part in setting up the suspension as does how fast you ride.

Where I ride, you can have a variety of road surfaces to deal with.  It took alot of trail and error to get mine setup for all the different road surfaces I can encounter on a ride. I can go from silkly smooth black top to a wash board type of road, just by making a turn.

One criteria for setting up my bike was how well it soaks up bumps at a lean and a fast pace.

It took doing one change, then several rides on the different roads to get a true feeling for what that change did.

I weight bout two hundred in gear and still have the stock suspension.

 

 

 

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54 minutes ago, Bytor the Snowdog said:

on my 2019 GT, I am 230 without luggage. Like everyone has said, I have maxed out the preload nearly on the front and back, I saved a  couple of clicks just for the sake of it. Bike rides pretty good like this, but if I don't sell her this year, I will upgrade springs and oil in front, and go aftermarket on the rear shock.  The bike is completely rideable as it is - but it could definitely be better for us heavier guys.

This it totally the thing for me. The bike, driven with my ability (I am NOT a pro by miles, total rookie), feels epic.

It felt epic when I rode it with the factory settings.

Last night I turned the pre-load up on the rear to the max. I had help and measured, trying to hit 40mm of sag when I sat on the bike. Got close, at 37mm. I then turned up the forks to 5mm, not the max at 4mm.

For the rebound and dampening................. I set it to stock (7 clicks), for all settings. I assume I will have to ride around changing settings a lot to find what feels nice for me.......... although the bike feels great.

I feel the bike handles better with the higher pre-load, and I understand why it is set there for my weight. I am nervous about changing the other settings as I would like a plush ride, but do not want to leave the bike at a compromised setting if I hit a large bump or other varying road surfaces (as there is LOTS of that were I live). I am more about rider safety than comfort, as I seem to have an excess of comfort on this bike.

CheerS!

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