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Discussion Starter #1
After enduring about 50 miles of washboard pavement on a recent ride I muscled the rear shock into a more comfortable setting. When I checked my work with an inspection mirror and flashlight I saw that I'm now in the softest setting possible. I have to admit that the ride is improved as far as comfort is concerned, but I also wonder if there is any disadvantage to riding it in such an extreme setting.
 

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I recently stiffened up the preload on my shock after some experimentation. When it was set softer I really noticed it in the turns. Especially those turns where i rolled on the throttle a little less smoothly than I should, it amplified the corrections I was making and sort of bounced through the turn, not an awesome feeling.

This feeling was compounded even more when riding 2up. I suppose it's something that one could get used to, and it wouldn't even be an issue when riding with fewer curves, or less aggressively.

TL;DR: The potential downsides depend mainly on your riding style.
 

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The problem with cruiser suspensions is that you can take off the preload to make them softer or stiff but you can not counter it with the other adjustments that a race suspension has.

Also, if you soften the back the way to help settle it is try to soften the front, the issue there is that many cruisers will not allow for that. Both front and rear springs need to compress at about the same distance give or take 1/2 inch.
 

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Suspension softer urges caution on curves, the bike floats when at high speed. Custom bikes are made for straight roads. I've used the pre load damper on 1st level and exaggerated the speed soon found that the curves were longer than they should, immediately returned to the factory setting is harder but more secure.
My bike Yamaha XVS 950. Have a nice trip
 

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Odd, I had to get my bike on the second hardest setting cause I was
bouncing around all over the place!
And as someone previously mentioned, I have found my control in
turns to be much better due to not bobbing around.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all of the replies, friends. Not being an aggressive rider, I have not noticed the handling problems that you mentioned nor have I bottomed out on the bumps. Nevertheless, the next rainy day that we have, I plan to return it to the mid-range setting due to the potential hazards that you cite. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and experience with me.
 

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I have mine set on the 2nd stiffest setting and I feel like its perfect. Especially since I lowered it 2"s. Now I'm down closer to the road and can really feel it hugging those turns. Must have a lot to do with riders weight etc. I'm 220lbs so I can move the shock easier than a guy at 160.

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You should have your pre-load (Spring Adjustment) set for approx. 1/3 of total suspension travel. Once the preload is set correctly you can set the damping adjustment (controls oscillation speed) to suit your preferences.

1. Go to your owners manual for travel limits of suspension.
2. On a Vstar 1100 its 4.5" rear travel and 5.5" fork travel
3. Jack the end of the motorcycle youre adjusting or the whole bike if you prefer to do both at the same time. Ensure that the suspension is unimpeded to the full extension of travel (ie don't jack by the swingarm or fork).
4. If you're adjusting the rear suspension measure from the Axle Nut to a fixed position straight above the nut. I used the lower edge of the chrome rail on the fender. If the front travel measure between the lower triple clamp and the top of the fender.
5. Take that dimension and subtract the 1/3 of travel for the rear wheel (1.5"rear 1.8" front.) So if your dimension was 11' minus 1.5" leaves you with 9.5".
6. The 9.5" is the dimension you should be trying to meet between the same two points previously mentioned, with the motorcycle back on the ground and the normal compliment of rider(s) and gear.
7. Adjust the nut on the shock to achieve this.
8. On the forks you will be adding to or removing length from the tube above the spring. Progressive gives you a piece of schedule 40 plastic pipe to achieve this. Put a washer on the top and bottom and you're ready to go.

Most bikes come preset for a 200LB rider.
 

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Most bikes come preset for a 200LB rider.
I have to disagree with that. I weigh about 200 and the stock suspension on mine (front and rear) was way to soft. Even with the rear shock preload set at max, the rear end wallowed all over.
 

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I'd have to agree with you that's what my dealer told me and I had to adjust mine too. Maybe there is something lost in the translation from Kilos to lbs. You may also have the wrong spring rate installed.

That's the rule of thumb per my chats with Progressive when setting up my bike.

I currently run a Progressive 465 on the rear and Progressive springs in my forks with GVEs.
 

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You should have your pre-load (Spring Adjustment) set for approx. 1/3 of total suspension travel. Once the preload is set correctly you can set the damping adjustment (controls oscillation speed) to suit your preferences.

1. Go to your owners manual for travel limits of suspension.
2. On a Vstar its 4.5" rear travel and 5.5" fork travel
3. Jack the end of the motorcycle youre adjusting or the whole bike if you prefer to do both at the same time. Ensure that the suspension is unimpeded to the full extension of travel (ie don't jack by the swingarm or fork).
4. If you're adjusting the rear suspension measure from the Axle Nut to a fixed position straight above the nut. I used the lower edge of the chrome rail on the fender. If the front travel measure between the lower triple clamp and the top of the fender.
5. Take that dimension and subtract the 1/3 of travel for the rear wheel (1.5"rear 1.8" front.) So if your dimension was 11' minus 1.5" leaves you with 9.5".
6. The 9.5" is the dimension you should be trying to meet between the same two points previously mentioned, with the motorcycle back on the ground and the normal compliment of rider(s) and gear.
7. Adjust the nut on the shock to achieve this.
8. On the forks you will be adding to or removing length from the tube above the spring. Progressive gives you a piece of schedule 40 plastic pipe to achieve this. Put a washer on the top and bottom and you're ready to go.

Most bikes come preset for a 200LB rider.
This was literally jibberish to me. What are u talking about? The only thing i messed with after i lowered it 2" was turned the spring to 2nd stiffest setting. What's all this other stuff?

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When you sit on your bike the springs compress this is your preload. You want to have this adjusted so that it compresses approx. 1/3 of your total travel on both the front end and the rear end. You adjust the big spanner nut on your shock with the funny looking C wrench in your toolkit. Under your fork caps there is a piece of tubing you may need to shorten or lengthen this dimension to achieve your front preload adjustment.
You usually have to remove a bunch of stuff to adjust the rear shock.

The setting you changed is for the dampening this controls the speed that the shock travels in and out or oscillations.
 

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You may also have the wrong spring rate installed.
From the factory, yes the spring rate is wrong. The Road Star rear shock has a 725 lb, spring. My current Progressive 465 has a 900 lb. spring. Factory fork springs are .70 kg/mm. The now installed Race Tech fork springs are .95 kg/mm. I also have the emulators in the forks. Suspension is much improved over the crappy OEM setup. :D
 

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It makes a big difference in the suspension to have it set up correctly. I love the ride on mine now.
 

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I have to disagree with that. I weigh about 200 and the stock suspension on mine (front and rear) was way to soft. Even with the rear shock preload set at max, the rear end wallowed all over.
I'll agree with FT, most bikes sold in the US are set at the factory for a rider approximately 200 lbs.....the key word there is "most".....not to be read as "all". If you have your bike set at the stiffest setting and are still getting wallowing......there very likely could be another issue.

Also keep in mind that a ZX6R stock suspension is going to feel 100% different than a Road Star when both are set for a 200 lb rider.
 

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I'll agree with FT, most bikes sold in the US are set at the factory for a rider approximately 200 lbs.....the key word there is "most".....not to be read as "all". If you have your bike set at the stiffest setting and are still getting wallowing......there very likely could be another issue.

Also keep in mind that a ZX6R stock suspension is going to feel 100% different than a Road Star when both are set for a 200 lb rider.
You may know a good bit about an 1100 but apparently your knowledge is lacking when it comes to a Road Star. From the factory, the Road Star is seriously undersprung for even a 200 lb rider.

As far as comparing a ZX6R to a Road Star, I don't have any idea why you brought that into the discussion. No one else has mentioned comparing any cruiser to a sport bike.
 

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When you sit on your bike the springs compress this is your preload. You want to have this adjusted so that it compresses approx. 1/3 of your total travel on both the front end and the rear end. You adjust the big spanner nut on your shock with the funny looking C wrench in your toolkit. Under your fork caps there is a piece of tubing you may need to shorten or lengthen this dimension to achieve your front preload adjustment.
You usually have to remove a bunch of stuff to adjust the rear shock.

The setting you changed is for the dampening this controls the speed that the shock travels in and out or oscillations.
So I didn't adjust the distance my spring travels? I just wanted to avoid bottoming out since I lowered it and I thought by stiffening that spring...I was doing it right.

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You may know a good bit about an 1100 but apparently your knowledge is lacking when it comes to a Road Star.
Maybe so, but that is exactly why I made a point of saying "most" ... not "all". Most bikes that I have had ridden do not have the issue that the Road Star does.

Also...when I am using the term BIKE I'm am not referring only to a Road Star. If you go back and read FT's original post...it just says most bikes, again, not specifically Road Star. He did not say just cruisers, or just Yamahas, he said most bikes. In my mind hat encompasses hundreds of models and submodels.

Just wanted to make it a little more clear.

Now, what kind of bike were we talking about in this thread again?
 

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Sometimes it's just a compromising choice the manufacturer makes when building the bike. Striving for a softer float ride will make the bike wallow when ridden aggressively.
 
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