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Multistrada Skyhook Spring Replacement

Love my Multi 1260S, except the front suspension is too soft. Sachs has been using the same front spring since 2013 on the skyhook. It was too soft then, and the Multis have only gotten bigger and heavier since.

I’m 210 lbs before putting on gear, which was WAYYY too much for the stock springs. I had the preload cranked down 100% and it was still too soft. With the suspension set to hardest, I would regularly bottom the fork when hitting the brakes moderately hard. With that much brake dive, you run the risk of endoing when you do a panic stop.

A visit with Dave Moss (a modern guru if there ever was one) confirmed my suspension suspicions. Stiffer springs were the only cure.

If you’ve ever tried to work on Sachs Skyhook suspension, it’s basically impossible. Sachs doesn’t share ANY information about their setup with customers. Nada, nothing. There’s no information on the Ducati forums about anyone doing stiffer front springs that I could find.

Long story short, Race Tech eventually made me a custom spring that’s 50% stiffer. The specs were: outside dimensions 43.4mm, length 285mm and the rate’s .91 kg.

In order to install the springs, the special tools you need are a 50mm shock cap remover tool, a universal motorcycle fork spring compressor tool kit, 2x 20mm and 1x 17 cone wrenches (narrow wrenches) and some allen wrenches. The removal can be done with the bike on the center stand.

You can disconnect the skyhook suspension without taking any bodywork off. You remove the handlebars and set them on a towel on the gas tank. Loosen the top triple clamp bolts, remove the plastic cover on the skyhook wire, and unscrew the fork caps. Lift the front wheel with a 6” stool or whatever you have handy. Use the spring compressor tool kit to expose top cap nuts.

Skyhook leg is easy to change the spring out. Use the cone wrenches to loosen the fork cap, change out the springs, then reinstall the top cap. In order to get the spring in there, you need to pry open the top of the spring and wind the wire through like changing keys on a key ring.

981636


For the dummy leg, use the universal fork spring tool to push the spring spacer down, and loosen the fork cap with your cone wrenches and change out the spring. Putting it back together would be super easy with two people, but is possible with just one. You just gotta jam the cone wrench under the universal tool to screw the top cap back on.

Button everything up and go for a test ride. Suddenly the front end holds itself up under braking. It’s a miracle. I really don't understand all of the people saying the springs are somehow attached to a calibration for the skyhook. Look at the wires coming out of it. There's two connectors in there, ground and live. There's no way for data to go in or out, that can only monkey with the settings. I have to believe the Skyhook is reading info off the IMU to do shock valve adjustments. If you look at the new V4S, those shocks have 4 wires coming out of them, they can do live shock reading.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Thoughts on stiffer front springs in the Multi 1260S-

- Obviously, more precise steering. The front end’s not super sloppy like it was.

- Easier to change direction. While the Multi’s a big girl, she doesn’t feel quite as cumbersome linking turns together.

- Rebound’s fine. I was concerned a 50% stiffer spring was going to be too fast for the shock valving. Seems fine.

- Now the rear spring’s too soft. Gonna talk to Dave Moss (I swear he doesn’t pay me, I’m just a true believer) about what rear spring should go on there. Thinking of going with a grey or black or maybe red spring. The stock yellow is literally the only yellow anything on the entire bike.

- Now my rear brake actually works. Before the rear was mostly ornamental, it would lock up before any real stopping occurred. Now, the front end isn’t diving so much so there’s still some weight on the rear tire.

- Last, and most important, she’s a fun dank whooly machine. Power on wheelies are much more controlled and much easier now that the front doesn’t have quite so far to pick up.

In the end, I highly, highly recommend upgrading your springs. Well worth the effort and expense.
 

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Thanks for the write-up, I think there are quite a few of us who would like to do this, but have avoided it due to a lack of available parts or information.

Have you spent enough time with it to comment on how well the rebound/compression damping work now? I've always been told you shouldn't change the spring rate on shocks/forks by much without re-valving the entire system, because valves & shims that work for a 200# spring may be outside a useful adjustment range if you swap in a 400# spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Seems fine.

Previously, I needed the fork set on hardest with the preload maxed. Now, I’ve got a tiny bit of preload and the adjustment set to medium and it’s comfortably sporty. Hard and hardest are too stiff.

Previously, on high speed bumps the fork would be bouncy and wallow, now it doesn’t seem to have that problem.
 

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Great work on the front pit00.
I think it will be on my to do list.

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
 

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Thanks ronnieq!

So for the Eibach spring install, did you just need the spring and the bush?

What is this part and where did you source it?

 

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Hey pit00 the spacer in question compensates for the spring being to short 8" v 8.5" free length.

Please note my Multi is 2017 1200s so check the shock is the same as the 1260s .

It was supplied with the spring from the Racetech guys here in Australia "Terry Hay Shock Treatment".


I do believe it is a Racetech item not 100% sure though, they are available from Racetech or you could probably purchase it from Terry Hay. If you have one made as per my very ordinary drawing make sure you get it hard anodized.

It also allows for a bit of fine tuning, as it puts preload on the spring during assembly it can be machined down to to "soften" the spring if it is too heavy.

I found mine to be pretty close to perfect it just feels so stiff compared to the original, but sag is where it should be.

Regards Ronnie Q

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Thanks for the write up. At 175lbs my 1260 is fine in sport mode but feels undersprung in touring mode. I’ve thought it needed stiffer springs since day one.
 

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Thanks for the write up. At 175lbs my 1260 is fine in sport mode but feels undersprung in touring mode. I’ve thought it needed stiffer springs since day one.
Hey Donkl
Just asking if you know you can change the rear spring preload for "Touring Mode" by going further into the settings menu.
It still surprises me the number of owners who don't know what can be changed.


Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
 
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