lost weight, need tips to adjust suspension 2005 999 - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 2016, 9:46 pm Thread Starter
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lost weight, need tips to adjust suspension 2005 999

hi all! recently i underwent surgery and after lifestyle changes and changes in eating habits im down to 200lbs from about 228-230. i would like tips on adjusting the suspension front and rear to give me a somewhat softer ride. i do not track, strictly ride on the street. when i bought the bike last year the previous owner and i were about the same weight so i never changed anything. thanks!

1999 750ss, first Ducati. Gone but not forgotten.
2005 999, my liter streeter. Never tracked, never will.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 2016, 6:27 am
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I'd start with knowing whether or not anything was done by the previous owner to the suspension to match his weight, springs / valving / oil viscosity. That will help to give you an idea of which direction you need to go. Also determine if your goal is to lose more weight. If you are at your target weight, then step one is to determine if the springs are in range.

Use preload adjusters to set static sag. 10MM rear, 20-22MM at the front. Then check loaded sag. If the springs are correct, you should be able to get 30ish at the rear and 35ish (maybe even 40 for the street) at the front. If you can't find a good balance of static and loaded sag with your current springs, you should change them. For example. If with 20MM static sag at the front, when you get on the bike, if the front only drops another 5 or 10MM, you will likely need softer springs. If with proper static sag set, you get another 30MM drop at the forks when you get on the bike, you need stiffer springs. Cranking the preload to either max setting may get you the loaded sag, or close, but not the static sag. It's important to have both, ie correct springs, to get the best from the suspension.

Setting sag is step one. If you can't get it set, and you are serious about getting the suspension correct, you can't really move forward until you have it correct. It is a critical step. That being said, next step is to determine if you're going to do your own work or have a shop do it.

If yourself, there is a dizzying amount of info on the web for this. A couple vendors, like Race Tech Suspension can provide advice and all the parts and tools you need. There is even a bike / rider weight spring calculator on the site. Once the springs are correct, you will have to think about valving. If the previous owner had it changed to match stiffer than OEM springs, you may have to also have it changed if you go to softer springs. Maybe not, the compression and rebound adjusters are adjusters for a reason, BUT they shouldn't be maxed out in either direction to get the bike handling correctly. You have some ability to offset this with oil viscosity, but that's limited. You may be able to get low speed damping under control with oil, but it will also have an impact on high speed dampening, which really comes down to internal valving on the older bikes.

If going to a shop, they will guide you once determining you suspension goals.

Also, at this point it is almost a guarantee your bike's suspension NEEDS servicing anyway, so this is a good time to move forward with a proper set up, one way or the other. Few things will change a bike's character like properly set up suspension and serviced suspension.

The front is pretty serviceable at home if you are otherwise mechanically incline. The rear is harder, but also doable. If you have an Ohlins at the rear, all the better. I feel one of the reasons they are more expensive is the serviceability. They come apart easily and are clearly made to be service over many years. I rebuilt my rear Ohlins at home after downloading a service manual and calling Ohlins USA. They were helpful and I ordered all the parts over the phone. I didn't need to change the valving, so it was a simple refresh. Showa and Sachs do not seem as serviceable, and you are really better off having a shop take care of those. More important, don't forget the shock! Most seem ready to keep the forks serviced, meanwhile that poor shock goes on for years with nothing!

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 2016, 7:24 am
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...or if I completely misread what you want to do, and all that is was to make it a softer ride, simply start by opening up your rebound and compression adjustment. As little rebound as needed is best and just enough compression to keep stable in corners.

But, there is no way around getting sag correct. The route of all that is good or evil with suspension.

Where are your preload adjusters set now? All the way in, all the way out, middle? How much thread is showing on the rear shock above the collars? More than half of what's available?

It's also important to note that by adjusting the preload on your springs, you are not making the spring softer or stiffer. The spring as only as soft of stiff as it is. You are really just changing the resting point of the spring (translating into bike ride height) by adding or subtracting an amount of pre compression. If the spring is too soft or too stiff, it will still be no matter how much you crank the adjusters. Preload cranked in will make a harsh ride and still use too much travel for loaded sag effecting your handling and ability to not bottom out. There is a range of usable adjustability, I'm talking about being outside that range here.
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Dan. "Painfully mistaking my big talk for the truth" Samantha Fish.
2003 ST4s (The Truck)
1995 916 (Junk Yard Dog)
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 2016, 10:42 pm Thread Starter
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well my question is no longer valid as my bike sold tonight. but riding earlier a friend and i switched bikes (he has a 2013 848 thats been highly modified). my weight is now within 5lbs of his and i am two inches taller; since his bike was setup for him at the dealer plus it being lighter than mine it felt perfect for me also. in fact, after following me for a while when we stopped he remarked, "watching you ride my bike was awe inspiring! i know i cant ride it like that!'

so now im looking for a newer bike i guess.

thanks!

1999 750ss, first Ducati. Gone but not forgotten.
2005 999, my liter streeter. Never tracked, never will.
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