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Old Jan 30th 2013, 01:47 AM   #1
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I Ride: R1, 675R, 1199s, 1199, TL1000R
Suspension and feel

Ok, a number of people have dropped me a line about suspension so I've decided to put together a thread about translating feel in to adjustment.

First sag. Rider sag for either base or S is Rear @ 26-28mm this is with the rider fully kitted in what ever gear he or she wares and half a tank of gas

Front @28-32mm, air gap in forks 190-210mm depending on riding conditions, 190mm road, 200 to 210 race. This will vary a little between base or S, but not much. I found both the base and S were potentially over sprung. Which is fine if ur racing or over 90kg.

So the bike had a tendency to rebound too fast, this is down to springs and light oil, the stock oil is 5 weight. The valving is ok but needs to be set at the high end where it feels stiff to combat the spring weight.

This translates in to the bike feeling like its squatting, it leads to the bike running wide. However if you are committed and push the front so the fork is in the middle of the stroke then its settled and will not rebound so quickly.

Some people will wind up the rear to try to load up the forks to stop this feeling. That leads to wheel spin and a feeling that the bike is unsettled.

At racing speeds the ohlins kit on the S/Tri and R is fine. For medium to fast road riding the bike feels like its fitting to get to the middle of the stroke where it needs to be at the apex of the corner just before the rider loads the rear by rolling on the throttle.

I've been getting back on the gas pre apex to combat this, which means I'm still loading the front whilst applying the throttle, stopping or reducing the impact of weight transition. So, its not so much that the bike squats, more that the front unloads too quickly. I set the electronic settings for the road using race rebound settings and road (sport) compression settings, this effectively rescued the speed at which the forks would rebound, trying to maintain the mid stroke movement.

The rear TTX is valved ok but sprung too heavy, the options are to run more rider sag on the stock spring but the impact of this will create pumping which will be exaggerated by the traction control. This forces the rider to stand the bike up before driving the bike hard from the corner, which in turn "tears" the tyre.

So spring weight is everything, once you've got the right weight springs the damping can be set to the conditions and riding style.

Finally, I want to just give thought to the technology, the system allows the owner to change settings, just because they are called race and sport doesn't mean they need to be set at race and sport, you can chose to have fast road and comfort, its a matter of getting the spring rate right and setting your modes to your style. Not all of you will take your bike on the track, but might run through the mountains on the weekend and then need to have a slower ride home, the electronic system allows you to have a setting for both... Race doesn't have to mean race...

I wish I'd had a pani when I raced the TT, or Bathurst, road racing on this bike would be awesome. Those of you who race and read this, feel free to add your thoughts, I've been rebuilding, setting and racing bikes but am still open to other thoughts around suspension.

Any questions ask away.

Bowdy
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Old Jan 30th 2013, 03:11 AM   #2
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I Ride: 1199 base (not abs)
Hi Bowdy69

I recently purchased a ttx MkII shock for my base model. I'm not a racer but enjoy doing a few track days a year. My question is I note you say the spring is too heavy on the s, I weigh 175lbs and ordered one from Dan Kyle and they recomended the 01092-31/95 one, do you think that will be to heavy for me ?. Appreciate any advice you can offer as I 'm just a track day rider and not an experienced racer. Pro Twins (uk) are going to fit the shock and set the bike up for me, Rob Jackson @ Pro Twins set my last bikes up and they were fine for me. Any advice?.

Thanks AC
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Old Jan 30th 2013, 10:10 AM   #3
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Thanks for starting this thread Bowdy

I don't know if you remember this infamous test rider, but it looks like his voice was loud enough for Ducati to setup all Panigales specially for him

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Old Jan 30th 2013, 10:19 AM   #4
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I am a buck 35, in order to keep the front end from pushing out, I had to compensate by raising the back with more preload than normal, and then opening up the dampers to get more travel, bike takes longer to settle in the turn, but at least it's good coming out.

Off the show room floor, feel like the suspension weren't balanced, front spring is stiff, back is too soft. Getting 90nm springs for the front, hopefull it'll sync up with the balance and get this thing working.
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Old Feb 1st 2013, 11:45 AM   #5
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Here's my issue/question:

I've read a lot in the past how to set up sag on a bike, but there is one part I never get. I always read that your first measurement should be to lift the bike up so the suspension is fully extended, and measure that so you can subtract your other measurement (how far the suspension goes down) from that and get your sag. But I've always wondered why you can't use the number for the shock? Like for instance, if the Ohlins front forks are 43mm forks, why can't I just use 43mm as that first measurement instead of trying to find a friend or two to help lift my heavy bike and measure the suspension?
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Old Feb 1st 2013, 12:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MacaveliMC View Post
Here's my issue/question:

I've read a lot in the past how to set up sag on a bike, but there is one part I never get. I always read that your first measurement should be to lift the bike up so the suspension is fully extended, and measure that so you can subtract your other measurement (how far the suspension goes down) from that and get your sag. But I've always wondered why you can't use the number for the shock? Like for instance, if the Ohlins front forks are 43mm forks, why can't I just use 43mm as that first measurement instead of trying to find a friend or two to help lift my heavy bike and measure the suspension?
I think the 43mm is the diameter of the fork-nothing to do with sag.
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Old Feb 1st 2013, 12:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by AlohaMark View Post
I think the 43mm is the diameter of the fork-nothing to do with sag.
Baaahahahaha, wow I'm more or less a complete moron......though I do still wonder why they can't tell u what the fully extended length is.....
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Old Feb 1st 2013, 12:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by AlohaMark View Post
I think the 43mm is the diameter of the fork-nothing to do with sag.
yep.

the static sag (where the bike settles the suspension by it's own weight) is not the same on each bike. that's why it needs to be measured as well.
it's not about shock length, but about how much the bike settles vertically. shock travel is different, due to the ratio of the linkage.

on the forks it's almost 1:1, as the motion is linear and the angle has minimal influence.
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Old Feb 1st 2013, 12:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Xbox View Post
Thanks for starting this thread Bowdy

I don't know if you remember this infamous test rider, but it looks like his voice was loud enough for Ducati to setup all Panigales specially for him

That's Stoner - I'd know that helmet anywhere.
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Old Feb 1st 2013, 12:58 PM   #10
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God that's funny,

Ok, the static sag figure or top out is important, it also changes depending on spring weight and oil height, however it's rider sag that makes the real difference here.

A few things I've noticed about the pani, the bars are almost too pushed out, I've considered pulling them back a little to stop the cramp, I'm going to test this on the spare S I'm riding this weekend. Let u all know the difference.

The base wheels are considerably heavier and make a marked difference to the way the bike starts its initial turn in, to combat this we drop the forks through the triple clamps by 3mm. And yes 3mm makes a difference.

The biggest issue or challenge any rider will have on this bike is the complete lack of balance this bike has between the front and rear. It's almost like the S has been set up for racing from the factory or you need to weigh 95kg before u put ur gear on... Its always a compromise with the builder of a motorcycle, I am becoming more surprised that companies like Ducati don't offer a set up service where at the first service they change the spring weight to suite the rider, by the time he or she has completed the first 1000km its clearly evident what needs to change.

More and more people want to understand how to get the best from their ride, it's not hard to keep a small number of springs in stock and change them out.

Back to the set up and feel...

So, the real challenge on the pani when riding on the road is the way the bike transfers from loaded to unloaded on the front, many riders have felt this and said the bike is squatting, you can load up the front by making the rear harder but this actually makes the bike unstable at speed and hides the real issue which is rebound on the front.

The base has what I would consider a better front end set up from factory, only in the fact that the spring rate feels more suited to the road, heavier wheels do make a difference too.

There is an issue with the build quality of the base forks, its evident on the forum with a number of people having issues, but if they are rebuilt with the right valving and oil height they are very very good...

The rear ohlins requires setting up, sag here is hugely important, it will tell you if the rear spring is too hard, as I've mentioned the valving is ok for 90% of riding including track riding, the spring however is not good if u are under 90kg, it overpowers the damping capability of the shock and needs to be really used in anger to give the feel a rider needs to get confidence in the bike... That said its a very good unit, and anyone riding at fast track speeds will get some benefit from it even from the factory setup.

The simple change is an 8"5kg rear spring or if you don't have the option for a spring change running slightly more sag and using more compression damping to control squat.

As for the ohlins forks, .95springs are a must for the road. It's just far to over sprung for most riders, nearly every post I've read about handling says the bike transfers weight, its assumed by riders to be squat, its NOT! It's the forks unloading, this pushes you wide on exit, stops feel from the apex of the corner, its stops the fork operating in the middle of the stroke, it can be adjusted out to some extent by balancing comp and rebound damping settings, but will not be ok until the spring, oil and air gap is set up for the rider. Valving is ok for most people for most situations, leave it alone... Have your suspension guy change springs, fit 7.5 weight oil and run a 200mm air gap in the forks.

If ur using the base forks, keep the springs, have the valving changed to suit you and run the same 7.5 weight oil and same 200mm air gap, for track and racing this changes but I change springs and oil levels depending on surface, tyre, type of track. I run a 1kg in one leg and a 1.1 in the other... This changes depending on wet, dry or tyre...

It's not easy getting a one setting suits all, however base settings are very important, the team are considering racing at Daytona this year, if we do we are thinking of running a one day suspension and set up day for pani owners, let me know if this would be of interest to owners in the US, other riders will need to get over to Aus... But we have a Mr Baylis here that knows a thing or 100 about ducati's .... If we have enough interest we (might) be able to beg him to come over...

Hope this helps those who are not quite getting the bikes set up

Bowdy
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