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Discussion Starter #1
So, i'm not sure if it is just me, or this is just the way the 950 is designed.

I was out on a ride with my club on Sat. Four bikes. Two Harleys (don't know models) and a Honda Shadow 750. I was following the pack.

I found they were taking the corners a little fast. In some, and in particular Round a'bouts I was dragging my boards where they appeared not to be. Now i was taking the same line as they were, and nobody was doing any hanging off, just sitting upright.

So i started to question to myself.... Am i doing something wrong, since I was slowing down more to take the corners to avoid dragging the boards.


Now i don't mind dragging the boards now and then, but i don't want to be always pushing to perhaps the limits???

So, my question is.

Is the V star 950 just that much less clearance than many other bikes in that the lean angle would be much less? Thus taking corners should be slower than many other bikes?

Or

Is there something I'm doing wrong?
 

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I think the 950 scrapes easily.

Since you are new on this bike, you might be leaning on the outside of the bike without realizing it.

To keep the bike from scraping (staying more vertical) shift your weight to the inside of the curve. Even just a little, leaning your head in and moving your upper body into the turn will move the center of mass of you and the bike over, allowing the bike to stay more vertical.
 

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Might check and see if the rear shock preload is set to a lower number (lowers the bike). You can bring the back of the bike up a bit by setting it higher.

Also have to ask if you are taking the outside inside outside path thru the curves? If the other people are, and you are not, then you are cutting the curve tighter.
 

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In addition to what KCW said about the preload on the rear ,you can check the sag height of your forks. On my 650 I found it was about an inch too low. Since I put it longer spring spacers I haven't scraped the floorboards once!
Have heard that the 950's scrape easily but they shouldn't be worse than any other cruiser. After all they are far from a sport bike!
 

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The rear shock pre-load makes more difference than you think it would. However, the 950 does scrape the boards easily. Since I set the pre-load I only rarely drag the boards. (even when riding with Harleys. :) )
 

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2010 Vstar 950. Candy Red.
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Discussion Starter #9
I have my preload set to i believe factory 3. Which for 1 up i thought should be correct setting?

How does one know if this should be adjusted? And will it make ride more rough/bouncy/stiff depending on adj?
 

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I would suggest to set at least on 4. Spring preload is weight dependant, so you have to try a couple of different settings to see what works for you. Below is screen shot of owners manual.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Maybe mine is at 4, don't remember exactly. I believe last i checked it was a the normal.

BUt is there some sort of measuring to find a more accurate setting? Measure seat height before sitting on it? Measure after? Should drop by 'x' inches?
 

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there is a lot of confusion about setting the preload on adjustable springs and shocks.

What the adjustment does not do is make the spring stiffer or softer - it does not change the spring rate

all it does is move the bike up and down when there is someone sitting on the bike.

For example: if you weigh 200 lbs and you set the preload to the default number for a 200 lb load, then when you sit on the bike the spring will be compressed half way between top and bottom.

When you hit a bump the spring will have half its travel down before it will bottom out, and when you hit a crest and your weight is tossed up, it will have half the travel before the spring tops out, and your back wheel comes off the ground.

If you then crank the number higher so the bike sits higher, the back wheel will lose contact easier (on a smaller crest). Imagine hitting a crest on a curve and having your back tire come up off the pavement!

and if you crank the number lower the spring will bottom out on just about every bump you hit.

Both things will make the bike very squirrely when they happen, and should be avoided.

There are lowering kits that drop the bike without messing up the suspension. If you think your bike is sitting low, check and make sure a previous owner has not lowered the bike with a suspension lowering kit.
 

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Yes you want to measure from the axle to a point on your fender or another place ,easy to get to above the axle. Measure with the suspension completely unloaded. Then measure with you on the bike. Someone may have to help you as it's hard to read the tape measure while you're balancing the bike, and keeping your full weight on it. The difference between the two is the sag. The sag should be between 25 and 33 percent of full rear wheel travel, which you can find in the bikes specifications . Some may question the 25 to 33 percent figure, but that is what most race machines use. On my 650 it works to about 26 percent when it's just me on the bike and about 31 percent when loaded for a trip.
 

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outdoor, if you're seriously concerned about ride height and will take the time to adjust the rear don't forget to check your forks as well. Most OEM springs are lame and will fatigue rather quickly which means your front end will sit lower now than when new and that affects ground clearance, especially when you start bombing through corners which loads the front end. I can't stress that enough but it's something a lot of riders gloss over because it's not as easy as clicking the preload on the rear shock(s).

Last year when I was fed up with the ill handling and lousy ground clearance of my XVS650, I replaced the stock fork springs with Progressive Suspension springs because the OEMs ended up measuring 2 inches shorter than they were supposed to be and their spring rate was comically wimpy. The result in handling was the difference between night and day.

OEM (top), Progressive Suspension (below)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
How do you measure what the correct sag etc... should be on front? What are those measurements?
Is it difficult on V star 950 to change springs? ANd are they expensive?
 

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Even easier to measure sag on front. Sit on bike and have someone mark on the forks at the bottom of the outer cover, then get off the bike and measure the difference. Paint thinner on a rag to remove mark.
 

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load up the shocks or springs till it bottoms out

then sit on it normally - you dont want the springs loading up more than half of their bottom-out range
 
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