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Buell Forum » 1125R Superbike Board » What the fork? My spring preload was molested at the dealer « Previous Next »

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Demoniktriple6
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 02:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Sent my 1125 in to have a safety and recall check done post-storage, it was gone overnight at the H-D dealer and had fluids and brake pads as well... I came back to pick her up and HOLY F, the front forks are beyond stiff, as well as the rear spring preload adjusted way up. The dealer is super far from home and I rode home like I was about to blow my spleen through my butthole and lose my dental work from the front forks not giving at all over any bump. (well, not much) (tire pressures are fine)

I need to get some quick info from you guys, as it's been forever since I've had to remember how to figure out the finite details on my settings.

OK, so I remembered that I had a little baggy with a post-it and kept my favorite settings on the suspension settings on it:

Rear spring was "3" for my little ass. I backed it down from "7". I have the shock back at that, as well as rebound and compression set now.

Front forks rebound and compression screws are fine now too, HOWEVER, WHAT THE FORK??!! It seems like they just screwed in my front fork spring preload all the way and I didn't record a setting for that. It's tight as a drum. If I ride it, it is like almost chattery it is so stiff.

I'm afraid to really dial it just randomly. Can I just spin in (or out) the red preload nuts and count back out (or in) so many turns to a certain setting so I can work my way back to a normal setting again?

THIS SUCKS. SIGH.
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Demoniktriple6
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 03:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Oh - fork fluid was also changed as part of the service
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Two_seasons
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 04:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I would back down the fork springs preload equally to minimum and adjust from there equally after several short rides.

Weight of fork fluid is more important if you are racing.
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Demoniktriple6
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 04:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

How will I know when I hit minimum on the forks? Will there be a stop? I was going to spin those babies, but didn't want any caps to come off. Obviously, I wasn't going to spin the big nuts, but there is little resistance to the smaller ones and I didn't want to just get all in there gung-ho.
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Ratbuell
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 08:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Set screws have to be turned either full firm or full loose (I forget which) when forks are disassembled, otherwise the bits don't come apart or reassemble correctly.

Yes, there are stops at the ends of travel. Generally though settings are measured as turns out from the "full in" position...
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Thefleshrocket
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 10:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Fork preload primarily affects ride height and suspension geometry. If you're really light, max preload might keep the fork or shock topped out even with you on board.

However, the damping settings have a much greater affect on handling and ride quality than preload does. In my self-taught experience, rebound damping primarily affects performance and compression damping primarily affects comfort.

When tuning suspension, I first try the bike with the damping settings at extremes--full soft, and full stiff--so I can get a feel for how it feels. I then dial back everything to mostly soft and ride again. (For me, that's always too soft. If you're of smaller stature or like softer suspension settings, you might be fine with "mostly soft".) I dial up rebound damping until the bike no longer feels wallowy in corners. I then dial up compression damping until the suspension feels too harsh when going over bumps, and then back it off a little bit.

Whoever adjusted your suspension after changing the fork oil was probably a big(ger) guy who liked the damping set firm.

When backing off the damping settings, just turn the adjusters counterclockwise until they don't turn any more. That's full soft. When firming up the damping settings, you can turn clockwise until the screw won't turn any more, and then back it off a quarter turn. If you go all the way to where the adjuster stops, you might end up closing the fluid orifice entirely, which would make it a LOT firmer. Also, be gentle with the adjusters--if you go full stiff using gorilla hands, you might damage the tip or the hole.

For reference, I am using Spectro 10wt fork oil. Factory is 2.5wt, I think, and even with the fork set to full stiff, it was still too soft for me. I've been fine with the stock shock, though.
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99buellx1
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 11:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

And while I hope this isn't the issue, if the fluid level is too high it can cause lack of travel also.

Back out that preload and see what that does for you.
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Araignee
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 01:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

For what it's worth, the owner's manual does have instructions on which way the various adjustments need be turned to increase or decrease their effect.

The manual is not all that clearly written, but the chart of settings by rider weight is a good place to start. Thefleshrocket's advice on getting to know how the different settings feel and on making adjustments incrementally echo my experiences.

Remember your weight includes all your riding gear, and to adjust for any modifications to your bike that reduced or increased it's weight. I took about 30 lbs off my 1125R, and that's enough to make a difference in suspension settings.

Kevin Cameron's book "Sportbike Performance Handbook" (ISBN 9780760331835) is a good reference, and Bernt Spiegel's "The Upper Half of the Motorcycle" (ISBN 9781884313752) is a great resource for understanding how good riding skills are developed and learned. Both books can be a bit technical at times, with Spiegel's being the most wonky of the two. Gostar-racing.com also has some decent ideas on bike set-up.
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Zac4mac
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2017 - 09:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

You're on the right track
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Demoniktriple6
Posted on Saturday, July 29, 2017 - 12:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Thanks for the info guys, I think I'm back close to where I need to be. I had never set spring preload on the forks before and I thought maybe if I spun those suckers too far, they would come apart! Literally no book from Buell said anything about it having a stop in there.

I had a ziplock baggie under the seat with settings in it on a post-it for weights and my favorite settings when I was either touring to sturgis, riding in the canyons or just by myself on the street, but never recorded or changed my front fork preload.

It will take a little more tweaking, but I'm damn close. I have a little bit of nose dive than I'd like on braking and I'm a little soft, but I'm working my way back up each time I ride.
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