Adjusting shock preload
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  1. #1
    Seasoned Member seapup's Avatar
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    Default Adjusting shock preload


    Not sure if anyone has posted pix of this before...

    Someone at Suzuki needs to have their head examined. It's beyond me why the preload alignment mark is not within easy visibility. The OEM alignment mark is 90 degrees to the right side of the bike on the shock housing... it should be facing straight down. It's almost impossible to see what your preload is set to without laying on your back with a flashlight peering through small gaps between suspension components. ::) I change my preload settings often to accommodate different riding styles to match anticipated road difficulty (yes, I need DLP's Air Ride). It's nice to be able to take a quick look under the bike to see what you're currently set at. Here's what I did to help...

    Whatever your most often used preload setting is, mark whatever number faces the ground. For example: when the shock preload is set at 4, the 7 mark faces directly to the ground. I took a black Sharpie and marked the 7 setting. Now I just peek under the bike and if the black mark is visibly facing the ground, I know the preload is set to 4.












    And for those who haven't seen an inexpensive "universal" preload spanner, here's an example. It fit's over a 3/8" ratchet. You can get it for ~$5 at a parts store or any cycle dealer that sells dirt bikes... this one is 65mm and works fine. You can probably get away with 60mm-85mm, but shoot for something around 75mm.






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  3. #2

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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload


    seapup
    Those are some terrific pictures and a very good idea. Taking it one step further, I wander if one of those tapes from a labeling gun would stay in place under there over the existing numbers.

    Bob

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    Radio Active Member rynosback's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    Thanks for the info Pup. I think I will mark mine. I just picked up a motorcycle lift and I have been told that it will make adjusting the rear shock a ton easier. I to change mine, mainly for when I ride 2 up. Not that often. Thanks again and great pics.
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    Very Active Member HONDO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    Great Pictures. Just wondering what are the differences between settings. My bike is set at 4. I had the 2.75 lowering bones installed and when i ride 2up the tire rubs on bumps. Solo no problem. So if I change the setting to 7 will i be comfortable riding solo at this ajustment?

  7. #5
    Seasoned Member seapup's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    Quote Originally Posted by RLS
    seapup
    Those are some terrific pictures and a very good idea. Taking it one step further, I wander if one of those tapes from a labeling gun would stay in place under there over the existing numbers.

    Bob
    That would be awesome, but I don't think the tape would hold considering the amount of heat under the bike. And rain...


  8. #6
    Seasoned Member seapup's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    Quote Originally Posted by rynosback
    Thanks for the info Pup. I think I will mark mine. I just picked up a motorcycle lift and I have been told that it will make adjusting the rear shock a ton easier. I to change mine, mainly for when I ride 2 up. Not that often. Thanks again and great pics.
    Unloading the shock with a lift will definitely make adjusting easier (as in less physical effort).


  9. #7
    Seasoned Member seapup's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    Quote Originally Posted by HONDO
    Great Pictures. Just wondering what are the differences between settings. My bike is set at 4. I had the 2.75 lowering bones installed and when i ride 2up the tire rubs on bumps. Solo no problem. So if I change the setting to 7 will i be comfortable riding solo at this ajustment?
    Man, unless you weigh 300+, riding on 7 solo will jar your kidneys over big bumps, your feet will come off the pegs and your eyeballs will literally rattle in their sockets over rough roads. Seriously, your eyes will be bouncing around so bad you won't be able to see. Been there. I weigh only 185, have a 1.5" drop, now use 3-4 for all-around riding and 5-6 for serious twisties. I can't wait to install the Air Ride so I can be done with manual adjustments, but my budget is keeping me in check until next winter.

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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    Quote Originally Posted by cbxer55
    I weigh 160 and have mine set on #1.
    It is great for all around riding.
    My friend has his blurple on 4, and swears mine is lowered.
    Have you ridden 2up @#1, what's it like? My 9's not lowered (yet) and it rides pretty damn stiff @ #4 1up & 2up, I weigh 175.

  11. #9
    Radio Active Member Zoom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    I run mine on #2 with 2 up, no bottoming and it rides nice. I weigh right at 200 pounds and my wife weighs 125 pounds. The spring may weaken and compress more later, but I've got a long way to go back up if it does.

    I found it a lot easier to see the marks and make the adjustment by removing the skid plate too. It's only got 4 bolts holding it on and comes off in a couple minutes.






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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    Great info and great timing. I was just looking at that the other day and was wondering whether it was on 4 or 7. Thank You

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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    Good idea, I normally use a mirror.

  14. #12
    Randirainbow
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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    From your picture, it looks as if you are set to #5 Disregard previous transmission.

  15. #13
    Seasoned Member seapup's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    Quote Originally Posted by Randirainbow
    From your picture, it looks as if you are set to #5
    Which is exactly why you should mark the bottom. It's at #4.




  16. #14

    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    This is a great post I need to set mine higher to stop all that draggen of my pegs
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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    seapup, thanks for the pic's. Now I know it is not that difficult to do. Will get the tool this weekend and set it to 1. I think it is on 4 and some bumps bounce my 200 lbs butt right outta my seat

  18. #16
    Jay-UMN
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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    Quote Originally Posted by mdconrad
    seapup, thanks for the pic's. Now I know it is not that difficult to do. Will get the tool this weekend and set it to 1. I think it is on 4 and some bumps bounce my 200 lbs butt right outta my seat

    Yeah, same here.

  19. #17
    Seasoned Member seapup's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    Quote Originally Posted by mdconrad
    seapup, thanks for the pic's. Now I know it is not that difficult to do. Will get the tool this weekend and set it to 1. I think it is on 4 and some bumps bounce my 200 lbs butt right outta my seat
    Words of caution... if you set the preload to #1, medium to high speed cornering and a slight dip in the road will get your bike wallowing, bobbing and bottoming out (especially if you lowered your bike). I tried running #1 through some twisties and found that it sucked the cornering stability right out of this bike. Even hitting a small dip on an Interstate exit ramp at speed had my bike wallowing. It was controllable, but very unnerving. I'd try one setting lower at a time, down to #2 at the most, unless most of your riding is sane, sedate and straight up.


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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    Quote Originally Posted by seapup
    Words of caution... if you set the preload to #1, medium to high speed cornering and a slight dip in the road will get your bike wallowing, bobbing and bottoming out (especially if you lowered your bike). I tried running #1 through some twisties and found that it sucked the cornering stability right out of this bike. Even hitting a small dip on an Interstate exit ramp at speed had my bike wallowing. It was controllable, but very unnerving. I'd try one setting lower at a time, down to #2 at the most, unless most of your riding is sane, sedate and straight up.

    BINGO!!! That has to be what my problem is. I thought it was the 280 tire that was causing the wallowing I'm getting in turns. Didn't have it with the stock tire. Mine is lowered 2" and had the preload at 1. Thanks seapup, I never would of thought that could do it.

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    Very Active Member T-Bone©®™'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    man I am starting to think 4 is too soft, think I will try 5 out... 3 is out of the question for me, if what you are calling wallowing is what I have been through, I agree very unnerving but controllable. I can't imagine 2 let alone 1



  22. #20
    Seasoned Member seapup's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bone©®™
    man I am starting to think 4 is too soft, think I will try 5 out... 3 is out of the question for me, if what you are calling wallowing is what I have been through, I agree very unnerving but controllable. I can't imagine 2 let alone 1
    Yep, I run #4 for general purpose riding. #3 for beach/boulevard cruising. #5-6 for pure twisties.

    Man, I sure could use an Air Ride. Or an affordable shock that has adjustable compression, rebound and preload. Will probably go Air Ride this winter.

    BTW... I ran #5 for about a month... the expansion joints on I-95 make you fly out of your seat. It's pretty brutal for highway riding around here.

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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    I am going to take the leap of faith and adjust mine to #2 wish me luck.

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    Default Re: Adjusting shock preload

    i lost my spanner wrech. :(

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    Very Active Member GeorgiaRoller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seapup View Post
    Not sure if anyone has posted pix of this before...

    Someone at Suzuki needs to have their head examined. It's beyond me why the preload alignment mark is not within easy visibility. The OEM alignment mark is 90 degrees to the right side of the bike on the shock housing... it should be facing straight down. It's almost impossible to see what your preload is set to without laying on your back with a flashlight peering through small gaps between suspension components. ::) I change my preload settings often to accommodate different riding styles to match anticipated road difficulty (yes, I need DLP's Air Ride). It's nice to be able to take a quick look under the bike to see what you're currently set at. Here's what I did to help...

    Whatever your most often used preload setting is, mark whatever number faces the ground. For example: when the shock preload is set at 4, the 7 mark faces directly to the ground. I took a black Sharpie and marked the 7 setting. Now I just peek under the bike and if the black mark is visibly facing the ground, I know the preload is set to 4.












    And for those who haven't seen an inexpensive "universal" preload spanner, here's an example. It fit's over a 3/8" ratchet. You can get it for ~$5 at a parts store or any cycle dealer that sells dirt bikes... this one is 65mm and works fine. You can probably get away with 60mm-85mm, but shoot for something around 75mm.




    Great point and info! This is just the information I was looking for. 7 is pointing straight down on mine so I guess I'm running at 4. I think I'll leave it where it is. Thanks.

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    Radio Active Member rynosback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgiaRoller View Post
    Great point and info! This is just the information I was looking for. 7 is pointing straight down on mine so I guess I'm running at 4. I think I'll leave it where it is. Thanks.

    Rise of the zombie thread.............I know.
    At least you looked and found the info instead of starting a new thread and asking.

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    Last edited by rynosback; 02-21-2010 at 07:45 AM.
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    Just because I like this information & more people need to see it. Here's a bump. This is GREAT information to have and a great idea on marking the bottom when your setting is where you want it.
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  28. #26
    Very Active Member skindiver's Avatar
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    Default Preload

    If you do any kind of google search on settting preload all articles absolutely insist that setting the preload does not imply stiffening up the bikes suspension or softening it up at all.

    They insist that setting the preload only adjusts the starting height of the suspension in the shock stroke with the idea being to avoid topping or bottoming out according to your weight.

    Why do so many people say that adjusting the preload makes the suspension stiffer or softer when those functions are supposed to be in the domain of compression and rebound screws ?

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  29. #27
    Very Active Member CBR1000DUDE's Avatar
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    Default Height only adjustment?

    I've read the same, but for some reason, on these bikes, it seems to both raise the height of the rear, and stiffen the shock. Perhaps it's the angle of the shock combined with the geometry of the components.
    I run mine on 7, but it rides fine to me. The 250/160 tire combo really soaks up bumps better than the stockers. I just like the extra cornering clearance, and no wallowing this set up gives me.
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    I have a motorcycle lift table and even with that, its a pain to see the marks, not alone, being on the floor. Oye
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  31. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by skindiver View Post
    If you do any kind of google search on settting preload all articles absolutely insist that setting the preload does not imply stiffening up the bikes suspension or softening it up at all.

    They insist that setting the preload only adjusts the starting height of the suspension in the shock stroke with the idea being to avoid topping or bottoming out according to your weight.

    Why do so many people say that adjusting the preload makes the suspension stiffer or softer when those functions are supposed to be in the domain of compression and rebound screws ?

    skin
    The above is totally correct. The stock shock is a piece of crap that allows you to set static sag only. ie no compression no rebound damping adjustments at all. Throw it away and fit a Ohlins or similar quality unit. The difference is like comparing chalk to cheese.

  32. #30
    Very Active Member Big-B's Avatar
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    What is the stock setting from the factory?

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