Weight loss or suspension upgrade - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2019, 2:26 pm Thread Starter
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Weight loss or suspension upgrade

Hey everyone. There is so much plethora of info on suspension tuning for bikes. I'm still new to this, but doing my best to learn as much as possible.

A few weeks ago, I took my bike to Dave Moss. It was a great price for him to setup the the suspension here in SF. Long story short, Dave mentioned that he had to set the shock almost at the end because of my heavy weight (220lbs). Mind you, this guy is amazing, he literally pin-pointed my weight and height instantly just by looking at me. Additionally, he told me to set the PSI on my tires between 35-40psi--for road.

I am actually in the process of losing weight and have dropped 15lbs in the past 2 months on keto. I am still gunning on losing this weight I gained during marriage and a baby (no, my wife had the baby). It's crazy to me that Dave said, "You can either upgrade the spring for your weight OR you can get on a weight loss program and save money." This is insane because it made me realize how many guys (and gals) opted to upgrade the spring instead of losing weight.

Have any of you dealt with this issue before? Apparently, Dave said my weight also 'saved my life' because my weight dropped the bike when I hit bumps or potholes. If I was skinnier with the factory settings, he said I would've came off my seat in that scenario.

For you that lose weight, how often do you change the settings on your bikes?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2019, 2:36 pm
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Be sure to measure the sag with your gear on for riding - change the preload to match your weight loss. Might be a while before you really need to change any other setting, imho. Big difference in tuning between 135lbs and 175lbs - not so much for anything over 190lbs,...

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2019, 3:09 pm
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I see a spring change at about 20 lbs difference so there is a range where springs work their best and then there is trying to get a spring to react a certain way to achieve a specific feel. I find most riders have 2 springs that work in an acceptable range and that last decision is down to rider preference. Do you want as plush a ride as possible ir would you prefer more feel and feedback from the tires? everyone is different.

I did not notice what you bike is.

Some Ducati's have shocks that take about 15 minutes to change a spring others will take hours. since time is money you have to put it in dollars. if you can drastically improve you handling as well as your comfort for $150 that will be well worth the change even if you need to do it again in a year or two if you lose weight. If on the other hand you have a bike where the exhaust and swingarm need to be dropped to access the shock then you might want to try losing the weight to a ballpark range and start there as you may not want to pay that much twice.

Most customers say they are going to lose weight most do not, be honest with yourself on how realistic your goals are . I would 90% of the time rather be over sprung for road use than undersprung as most street bikes come. If Dave Moss is near you I feel it will be some of the best money spent in picking a realistic range to set new springs up to (yes you will likely need front as well), and then working with him with a goal to get the bike working for you as it should have come from the factory.

And fyi VERY FEW bikes come from the factory with good springs that fit the average rider. The rider that is close will seldom do the work but if you do set them up be prepared to understand why you will do it again on your next bike regardless your weight.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2019, 3:28 pm
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Well, it certainly costs less to lose weight. It will also extend your lifespan, so there's that.

I'm on the same quest. I'm healthiest at around 180 or so. I'm in the midst of changing over from narcotic pain management medication to non-narcotic means. The unfortunate side effect of the non-narco Rx is weight gain. And at 59 years old, most of the weight gain is belly/torso fat. I'm at ... (oh hell, I even hate to say it) 225 right now. I've always been rather muscular, at 15 years old I was 4'10" tall, weighed 85 pounds soakin wet, and could leg press over 750 pounds (seven hundred fifty). I credit that to BMX racing and dirt bike racing at night on a 175cc in the 250cc class racing against grown ass men.

The pic attached is me at 180, with my beautiful, wonderful, amazing wife (we're together 40 years this Oct). Yes, I blinked.

So losing the 45/50 pounds will increase the loaded power/weight ratio of my 1996 900CR from 1:7.75 (1 HP pushing 7.75 pounds) down to roughly 1:7.15 or so. That's a pretty large positive increase that would cost quite a bit of money to get there by adding horsepower or spending money on reducing the bike's weight by 45 pounds ..... lots and lots of money. I'll sleep better, my stamina will go up, my food intake will go down (as well as money spent on food), and my Dr. will be far happier. All net positives.

I'm waiting for the summer to cool off so I can begin riding my bicycle again ... I tone up pretty quickly when I bike ride so I'm shooting for 180 by December of 2019 or January of 2020.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2019, 4:05 pm Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RockAZ View Post
Be sure to measure the sag with your gear on for riding - change the preload to match your weight loss. Might be a while before you really need to change any other setting, imho. Big difference in tuning between 135lbs and 175lbs - not so much for anything over 190lbs,...
Hmm, I was thinking this as well. Maybe when I drop to an even 200lbs I'll have it re-done again.

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Originally Posted by ducvet View Post
I see a spring change at about 20 lbs difference so there is a range where springs work their best and then there is trying to get a spring to react a certain way to achieve a specific feel. I find most riders have 2 springs that work in an acceptable range and that last decision is down to rider preference. Do you want as plush a ride as possible ir would you prefer more feel and feedback from the tires? everyone is different.

I did not notice what you bike is.

Some Ducati's have shocks that take about 15 minutes to change a spring others will take hours. since time is money you have to put it in dollars. if you can drastically improve you handling as well as your comfort for $150 that will be well worth the change even if you need to do it again in a year or two if you lose weight. If on the other hand you have a bike where the exhaust and swingarm need to be dropped to access the shock then you might want to try losing the weight to a ballpark range and start there as you may not want to pay that much twice.

Most customers say they are going to lose weight most do not, be honest with yourself on how realistic your goals are . I would 90% of the time rather be over sprung for road use than undersprung as most street bikes come. If Dave Moss is near you I feel it will be some of the best money spent in picking a realistic range to set new springs up to (yes you will likely need front as well), and then working with him with a goal to get the bike working for you as it should have come from the factory.

And fyi VERY FEW bikes come from the factory with good springs that fit the average rider. The rider that is close will seldom do the work but if you do set them up be prepared to understand why you will do it again on your next bike regardless your weight.
Thanks for your feedback here, quality stuff. I have an 899 Panigale, forgot to mention that. As far as being honest, I am already on my way to lose weight. I was at a whopping 235lbs a few weeks ago, now I'm at 220lbs. I'm just modifying my diet and exercise at this point. In regards to your last comment, that's actually what Dave said. He mentioned that Ducati made these bikes with factory settings not keeping in mind an average rider. Europeans are usually much skinnier and taller, whereas, in the US we're a little bigger. So, factory settings will always be off.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2019, 4:10 pm Thread Starter
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Well, it certainly costs less to lose weight. It will also extend your lifespan, so there's that.

I'm on the same quest. I'm healthiest at around 180 or so. I'm in the midst of changing over from narcotic pain management medication to non-narcotic means. The unfortunate side effect of the non-narco Rx is weight gain. And at 59 years old, most of the weight gain is belly/torso fat. I'm at ... (oh hell, I even hate to say it) 225 right now. I've always been rather muscular, at 15 years old I was 4'10" tall, weighed 85 pounds soakin wet, and could leg press over 750 pounds (seven hundred fifty). I credit that to BMX racing and dirt bike racing at night on a 175cc in the 250cc class racing against grown ass men.

The pic attached is me at 180, with my beautiful, wonderful, amazing wife (we're together 40 years this Oct). Yes, I blinked.

So losing the 45/50 pounds will increase the loaded power/weight ratio of my 1996 900CR from 1:7.75 (1 HP pushing 7.75 pounds) down to roughly 1:7.15 or so. That's a pretty large positive increase that would cost quite a bit of money to get there by adding horsepower or spending money on reducing the bike's weight by 45 pounds ..... lots and lots of money. I'll sleep better, my stamina will go up, my food intake will go down (as well as money spent on food), and my Dr. will be far happier. All net positives.

I'm waiting for the summer to cool off so I can begin riding my bicycle again ... I tone up pretty quickly when I bike ride so I'm shooting for 180 by December of 2019 or January of 2020.

Lovely wife man, and congrats on losing the weight. I know exactly how you feel. About 4 years ago was the last time I was at my peak. I was weighing about 180lbs with 14% body fat, and was able to leg press 1k pounds. I attributed that to a lot of biking I was doing on a weekly basis (about 25mi every bike session). Haha pics for reference, had to hide my face because it's embarrassing seeing my body now. Thanks for the advice here, I'm definitely all about saving money and not purchasing another spring because I've been lazy to lose weight. Hopefully by the end of the year I can re-tune again!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2019, 10:59 pm
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I'll spare you guys the pictures, I don't want anyone to get sick. I was 235 lbs not so long ago. I started pedaling to help stop that whole muscle turning to fat thing. (it only half worked) I'm old too so that whole equation got a little longer. (I suck at math too)

I now pedal to work 3 days a week (14 mile round trip) so I get to work with my heart rate in fat burn mode. It stays there most of the morning. Then I pedal home in the afternoon so I get my heart rate back up so I burn fat all evening and into the early morning. At least on 3 days out of the week.

I try to ride a motorcycle the other two days though I do sometimes just say "it's too hot" and take the car. Only so I can wear shorts though, my AC isn't great....and even though I"m certified and licensed to do it, I'm just not motivated enough to spend the money and fix it.

Anyway, with all that, and eating a little better, I'm down to right around 210 lbs. I got down to under 200 but I felt ill and had no energy. I found my happy weight for now so 210 it is......sean

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2019, 7:50 pm
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210 means more than 10% off the old 235 weight, so not bad.

I tend to find suspensions too stiff. Maybe because I am 150 something pounds with gear.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2019, 10:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Monster4Lee View Post
210 means more than 10% off the old 235 weight, so not bad.

I tend to find suspensions too stiff. Maybe because I am 150 something pounds with gear.
You're a flat tracker. That body weight is ideal for flat track racers.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2019, 12:21 am
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A fact of life that used to piss my now ex-wife off was men can give up drinking soda for a month and drop 20lbs,....Men can do that with some modest exercise but women cannot!

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