Suspension adjustment AND dampening (NON ESA)

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Suspension adjustment AND dampening (NON ESA)

Postby 8b » Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:08 pm

For those uf us without the Electronic suspension adjustemnt (ESA), we
must adjust suspension AND dampening. (and they must be in synch- per manual), ie not hard on dampening yet soft on suspension. I ride mostly one up around town, and weigh 150. What should I be set at, what are others doing, and how does this interplay with tire pressure (whole other string on that topic!). Thanks!
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Postby Skippy » Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:01 pm

As you weigh in at almost the perfect figure I would start at setting the rear shock(there aren't any more shocks to set on the r1200r;-)) to the settings discribed in the manual(even if you haven't touched the suspension at all check if they are set like manual suggests). Then you can decide to up the preload a bit as I find the shock to be kinda soft(but I like the suspension firm on my bikes). Then adjust rebound damping accordingly(also see manual).

If you wanna do it all right though you must set the preload by measuring the sag of the rear shock(as the front isn't adjustable there's not mutch point in checking that) and then adjust the pre load accordingly. If this is done you then start making adjustments to the rebound damping.

Here a link on how to set the sag on your shock:

You do need a hand though to measure things.
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Postby deilenberger » Sat Nov 03, 2007 11:49 pm

Actually - I've done it singlehanded..

For the rear - you can use a tape measure, hooked into the hollow axle on the right side and measure up to one of the bag mounts.

Full extension is with the bike on the centerstand. Static sag is off the centerstand, balanced on the tires with no one on it, and dynamic sag is with my butt sitting on the bike. Ideal dynamic sag (what really counts) is 1/3rd the travel of the rear suspension.

The stock front doesn't have a preload adjustment - but almost any aftermarket shock does.

The measurement on the front is pretty easily obtained with a tie wrap snug around the fork slider. With the front wheel off the ground - press it down to the top of the fork slider (the rubber lip) - then gently take the bike off the centerstand and allow it to settle - put it back on the centerstand - and measure the distance it moved. That's your static sag. Dynamic sag - measured the same way.. but it will not be as big a difference as the rear static/vs/dynamic since the majority of the riders weight is going to the rear wheel.

BMW does give the travel for the suspension in the manual. It appeared fairly accurate based on what I measured as the stroke of the shocks and the lever ratios from the suspension pivot point to the shock mount to the actual load (the wheel axles.) If you put on shocks to lower the bike (as I did) - you have to compensate for the shorter shock stroke (which results in less suspension travel) in your measurements.

The rebound damping (the only adjustment on the stock rear shock) should be set so the bike doesn't have a floating feeling on high-speed sweepers. The front stock shock has no adjustment for damping. Aftermarket shocks usually do have lots more adjustments to setup, but that's a tad beyond this discussion.
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