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This may be a re-statement of the obvious, but I've noticed that when I'm riding solo with my fast friends in the twisties, setting up the ESA for two up riding delivers much quicker turn in responses from my bike.

The rear shock lifts the back end of the bike up quite a bit on this setting when you're solo.
Thus you're moving the CG forward, which is helpful on a bike this long.

I was able to ride Mt. Palomar (a very twisty road) much easier and faster with this ESA set-up.
 

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A "CG" kind of guy. I was right, an aviator! I'll try the ESA on the next flogging. Thxs
 

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No question about it. I weigh 175 lbs., and the first few times I rode the Palomar twisties I was dragging the pegs, brake and shift levers, and lower fairing. I set the preload up to "single rider with luggage" and the problem was solved.
 

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When I was in for my first service, the service manager ( who was a former professional racer) mentioned that the bike does indeed handle aggressive riding much better with the two up setting. He also attributed this to getting more load on the front end.
 

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furgetboutit said:
When I was in for my first service, the service manager ( who was a former professional racer) mentioned that the bike does indeed handle aggressive riding much better with the two up setting. He also attributed this to getting more load on the front end.
This may sound like a dumb question but does the ESA mechanically adjust both the rear and the front shocks?
I'm thinking only the rear shock is mechanically affected by the ESA which in turn affects the bikes overall geometry which in turn affects the load on the front end.
Am I on track here or what?
 

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The "luggage" or "two up" setting raises your preload. ie. it raises the ride height of the bike. Because it is higher, the mass is higher, the CG is higher, and you will "turn in" more quickly because all that weight is higher up. The disadvantage is the weight is higher and it is "more twitchy" and feels heavier. BMW designed the 55 degree slant to LOWER the mass so the bike would feel lighter and have a more stable center of mass. Of course, as a result, the feeling of lean won't be as dramatic.

The rear shock is sort of in the middle-middle/rear of the bike and I've never measured it, but it would seem to jack the rear up slightly more due to the arm/moment/mass but I doubt it's too much since it's still relatively close to the center. The weight it does transfer forward would put more load on the front wheel, and this can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing though when you are trying to get more weight on your rear wheel. TOO much load on the front will wash it out.

The "Sport/comfort/norm" setting adjusts compression and rebound damping on the rear, and rebound (not sure about this it may be compression) damping in the front (it doesn't do both in the front).

Of course, damping has more to do with keeping your suspension "compliant". Parks (FWIW to you) recommends in his writings to keep it as soft (compliant) as you can without causing dive during braking and lifting during accel. But he's really talking track type roads when he says this. How much damping will help you during aggressive riding ultimately depends on the type, size, and frequency of the bumps you are encountering. Too much damping will cause wheels to come off the ground and too little will cause bouncing (compression) or too much time for them to return once they've bumped (rebound damping).

So, really, ....what is the best setting for sport riding? ....it just depends.
 

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Catatafish said:
The "Sport/comfort/norm" setting adjusts compression and rebound damping on the rear, and rebound (not sure about this it may be compression) damping in the front (it doesn't do both in the front).
Rebound on the front.
 

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Jacking rear ride height up also reduces the trail on the front (angle from vertical of line between steering head and front axle). The smaller the trail, the quicker the bike responds in turns. The R has a smaller angle by design - the S will have it with more rear ride height. As I understand it, this has a lot more to do with the difference than a change in CG.

That's why racers jack up the rear and drop the front. Large trail angles make for a stable ride but slow turning, which is why choppers look good but are horrid to ride in anything but a straight line.
 
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