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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 2010, 2:27 pm Thread Starter
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Suspension settings.

A bit of an introduction, if I may.
I have a question about suspension settings for a non-ESA k13s. Basically, I need some guidance about how to setup suspension (damping and preload) for track/twisties kind of riding. I took the bike to a track day at Mid-Ohio a few weeks back, had a blast, rode relatively well comparing to other novices. Well, good enough to develop an addiction. I don’t have ESA and I had no idea how to setup suspension and all I did is I tightened up preload a couple of clicks. At my level or riding I didn’t think the correct suspension setting is yet that important as I was only covering basics of body positioning, track riding lines, overall “look and feel” of a track day, etc. Now that I’m planning of heading back in late July-August, I think I should start thinking about things like tires, suspension, etc.
On top of that, I went riding in twisties with a group of other riders the other day. All of them were on sport bikes (600 and litter bikes), but kind of, give or take, same level of riding experience. I could not keep-up with them even close. They’re just carrying too much speed through the corners to my level of confidence. I did almost drag knees at the track, I don’t think I’m that worse of a rider then they are (though if that’s the case I will be the first to admit that) but at this point I’m still thinking that I could’ve prepped my bike better for the twisties. First of all, when I came home after the ride I’ve realized that I left suspension setting on a plush level from a ride before, which was an easy mid-Sunday cruising through nice hills. I am not thinking about riding in terms of suspension setting/tire wormers/after market rear sets quite yet, but I think I should start to.

So, I suppose my questions are: what is your experience with suspension settings for track riding? In general, what does pre-load really does for riding? What does really damping do? What are actually the mechanics of a turn with different settings? What should I be looking for when trying to adjust these? What settings do you use? I am 6’, 180lb.

Thanks.

2009 K1300S
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 2010, 4:03 pm
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Check out this post, it should give you what you need.

http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showpo...98&postcount=9

James

’06 K1200R Corbin w/ smuggler, Wilbers shocks, PCIII, Factory Pro Dyno tuned, CC Suspension plates, Vario levers, Dual Evo filters, Leo Vince SBK, V1, Zumo 550

’02 WR250F Stock

’99 SV650 GSX-R front end, Aftershocks suspension, Penske shock, 41mm FCR flat slides, Bridgestone slicks, M4 exhaust, Vortex clipons, Woodcraft rearsets, Hot Bodies race bodywork, Factory Pro clutch cover, Total Loss ignition, BRG relocated battery, APE Adjustable Cam sprockets, JE 13:1 pistons, mild porting, balanced crank, Sunoco 110 race fuel

’98 KLX331 Race Tech suspension, 331 Stroker big bore kit, 33mm pumper, Tag bars, Stroker exhaust, IMS desert tank, tall seat foam w/ Stroker cover, Open air box, KX clutch
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 2010, 7:40 pm
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Sharkbait's link is a good synopsis and is applicable to both front and rear, assuming the non-ESA front is adjustable. (My Wilbers on my K12RS is fully adjustable both front and rear and that makes a world of difference for heavy bikes like it and even the K13S). As far as what difference it makes having the 'right' suspension settings, you will feel like the bike is, as they say, on rails when it the suspension is right. Too stiff and it does not accomodate bumps, too soft and it wallows around in the corners and the bike feels unstable - because it is. The faster you go, the more force you put on the suspension and the stiffer the spring needs to be to control the movement and keep from bottoming out. The damping is there to assist in controlled compression and rebound of the spring. Rebound is what you will have control of and it keeps the spring from overextending on its way back up to where it started, thus avoiding the pogo effect.

Jim Douglas
'00 K1200RS >135,000 mi, '09 K1300S sold @ 22,232 mi
'93 K1100RS traded up @ 78,000 mi, '85 K100RS sold @44,000 mi, Kawi 650 track bike - sold
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Last edited by Y2K12RS; Jun 28th, 2010 at 8:07 pm. Reason: more info
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 29th, 2010, 8:07 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkbait
Check out this post, it should give you what you need.

http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showpo...98&postcount=9
Cool, thanks, that looks like a good start. I've already seen articles like this for default settings on the net. But are those settings described the default settings for the road? How do I know what to do for the track? Trial-and-error with testing until I have the best feeling? Is there a more systematic approach? A 20 minute track session will be over by the time I'm done twicking settings after each lap or two.

2009 K1300S
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 29th, 2010, 2:26 pm
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For the track you'll want less sag, set it at 1.25" then follow the settings for adjusting the rebound. Yes you will lose some time on your first session tweaking the settings but then you'll have another 5 or 6 sessions of riding with it working as best as the stock suspension can. You may end up doing some fine tuning between sessions also.

Bring a notepad and keep track of your settings so you can see what changes you've made and how it affected the ride. This will also help you get back to that point on your next track day. I like to keep notes on my tire pressure and tire wear in addition to the suspension settings. With a little experience, you'll start to see the wear pattern on your tires change as you make suspension changes.

I would be interested to hear how the geometry on the K13S handles the track. The stock K12R geometry is aweful for the track. With the suspension plates and my Wilbers shocks I was able to get it dialed in nicely. Two clicks of compression would make the difference between holding a line and drifting wide on the exits. I got it to the point that I could almost use cruise control while dragging a knee in medium sweeping corners then I got a track bike. lol

James

’06 K1200R Corbin w/ smuggler, Wilbers shocks, PCIII, Factory Pro Dyno tuned, CC Suspension plates, Vario levers, Dual Evo filters, Leo Vince SBK, V1, Zumo 550

’02 WR250F Stock

’99 SV650 GSX-R front end, Aftershocks suspension, Penske shock, 41mm FCR flat slides, Bridgestone slicks, M4 exhaust, Vortex clipons, Woodcraft rearsets, Hot Bodies race bodywork, Factory Pro clutch cover, Total Loss ignition, BRG relocated battery, APE Adjustable Cam sprockets, JE 13:1 pistons, mild porting, balanced crank, Sunoco 110 race fuel

’98 KLX331 Race Tech suspension, 331 Stroker big bore kit, 33mm pumper, Tag bars, Stroker exhaust, IMS desert tank, tall seat foam w/ Stroker cover, Open air box, KX clutch
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2010, 9:21 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkbait
For the track you'll want less sag, set it at 1.25" then follow the settings for adjusting the rebound. Yes you will lose some time on your first session tweaking the settings but then you'll have another 5 or 6 sessions of riding with it working as best as the stock suspension can. You may end up doing some fine tuning between sessions also.

Bring a notepad and keep track of your settings so you can see what changes you've made and how it affected the ride. This will also help you get back to that point on your next track day. I like to keep notes on my tire pressure and tire wear in addition to the suspension settings. With a little experience, you'll start to see the wear pattern on your tires change as you make suspension changes.

I would be interested to hear how the geometry on the K13S handles the track. The stock K12R geometry is aweful for the track. With the suspension plates and my Wilbers shocks I was able to get it dialed in nicely. Two clicks of compression would make the difference between holding a line and drifting wide on the exits. I got it to the point that I could almost use cruise control while dragging a knee in medium sweeping corners then I got a track bike. lol
Yeah, that's what I'm think about also: should I bother with the K13S setup and also risk crashing it (I don't think insurance will cover it on the track) or just get a 3k 600cc gixxer or something like that just for the track and not bother with registration and insurance...

2009 K1300S
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 2010, 5:33 pm
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Most insurance companies won't cover a crash on the track although there are a couple that will. Some companies have exclusions that won't even cover damage to your car/truck if it's parked in the parking lot of a race track when it's damaged. There are a lot of little loopholes that insurance companies use to get out of paying claims. You need to read your policy for these exclusions. Calling someone from your Insurance company and asking doesn't cut it either, it's what is written in your policy that counts not what someone tells you over the phone.

If you are thinking about getting a track bike, there are ususally some good deals to be had in the winter months after the racing season is over.

James

’06 K1200R Corbin w/ smuggler, Wilbers shocks, PCIII, Factory Pro Dyno tuned, CC Suspension plates, Vario levers, Dual Evo filters, Leo Vince SBK, V1, Zumo 550

’02 WR250F Stock

’99 SV650 GSX-R front end, Aftershocks suspension, Penske shock, 41mm FCR flat slides, Bridgestone slicks, M4 exhaust, Vortex clipons, Woodcraft rearsets, Hot Bodies race bodywork, Factory Pro clutch cover, Total Loss ignition, BRG relocated battery, APE Adjustable Cam sprockets, JE 13:1 pistons, mild porting, balanced crank, Sunoco 110 race fuel

’98 KLX331 Race Tech suspension, 331 Stroker big bore kit, 33mm pumper, Tag bars, Stroker exhaust, IMS desert tank, tall seat foam w/ Stroker cover, Open air box, KX clutch
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 2010, 1:32 am
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For all sorts of reasons from don't know to don't care your average biker doesn't know a shock spring from a bed spring,it's a learning process that takes time,that will involve not only how a shock works but what you want/like need,BMW worked that out hence the ESA,the concept is great,the result is pretty basic,Ducati's Multistrada has a much more advanced setup,which no doubt will come in time on the BM's,although i find i go for a stiff set up on a bike and stick with it no matter what,so a variable ajustment has no interest to me.

If you have read any end of season race bike test by the journos you will see that you can have two bikes from the same team, set up totally different and yet getting the same results,there's a classic golf swing but there are plenty of great golfers who don't have one,this suspension lark isn't a one size fits all,it's what you want/need and getting it dialed in.

You will never make a silk purse from a sows ear as they say in the UK,the K bike is just too big a bus for that,but the first thing i'd do is put a set of jack up plates on, there are various versions,it won't make it handle any better but will quicken the steering up no end.

If you go aftermarket check the spec, with the exception of Ohlins,that spec can vary depending on price,having used Ohlins for years on bikes,I got my fingers burned buying a secondhand set of Wilbers expecting the same spec,but in stock trim they come without the compression ajustment,so the reality is,i'm unable separate the speed of which the shock compresses from the speed it rebounds which is a pain,on Wilbers it's an extra.

That being said,Wilbers will make a shock to your wieght and riding style so you will hit the ground running so to speak,unless you buy your Ohlins from a decent supension shop you'll be lucky if they even ask,if your bigger than the average guy you'll need a stiffer spring.

As has already been said,best piece of kit is a pen and paper,at first make big ajustments,for no other reason so that you can feel what is going on,it's just a learning curve.

Last edited by chriscanning; Jul 3rd, 2010 at 3:42 am.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 2010, 11:08 am Thread Starter
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Well, I thought I might provide some feedback on my findings. I appreciate everyone's comments, which helped immensely. I spend the last month on the twisties and changes to suspension as guided indeed make it night and day. It all culminated on the track yesterday. It went very well (not counting what happened at the end, described here, but that’s off topic). I think I squeezed everything I could out of the settings but then it became once more clearly apparent: K1300S is too much of a sport tourer for the track. I'm ready to move out of the Novice group to Intermediate after a track day or two (according to instructors) but not on K13S, I need a sports bike. I may do one more track day on the S but the longer term plan is to get a 600 of some sort and bit the crap out of it on the track. K13S is a keeper, but not for the track.

2009 K1300S
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 2010, 1:01 pm
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I'm glad that the suspension settings worked out for you and your excursion didn't turn out bad at all. I'm curious what tires you were using and what was your cold tire pressure set at for the track day?

James

’06 K1200R Corbin w/ smuggler, Wilbers shocks, PCIII, Factory Pro Dyno tuned, CC Suspension plates, Vario levers, Dual Evo filters, Leo Vince SBK, V1, Zumo 550

’02 WR250F Stock

’99 SV650 GSX-R front end, Aftershocks suspension, Penske shock, 41mm FCR flat slides, Bridgestone slicks, M4 exhaust, Vortex clipons, Woodcraft rearsets, Hot Bodies race bodywork, Factory Pro clutch cover, Total Loss ignition, BRG relocated battery, APE Adjustable Cam sprockets, JE 13:1 pistons, mild porting, balanced crank, Sunoco 110 race fuel

’98 KLX331 Race Tech suspension, 331 Stroker big bore kit, 33mm pumper, Tag bars, Stroker exhaust, IMS desert tank, tall seat foam w/ Stroker cover, Open air box, KX clutch
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