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I just bought mt bike only last week and have been playing around with the different modes in my garage.

When you switch from say, urban to enduro, I can hear the bach shock adjusting the ride height. I cannot hear the front . same when i switch into other modes etc etc, i can only hear the rear shock winding up or down but dont see or hear anything on the front.

Is mine not working properly or you simlpy just cant phisicaly hear the adjustments working??

Sorry for the dumb ass question, Ive never owned a digital bike before, only analogue ones:D

Dan
 

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the front/fork preload is not electronically controlled, it is adjusted manually via the blue hex nuts at the top of the fork tubes (disconnect the damping wires before doing so). i don't think the damping adjustment is audible either.
 

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the front/fork preload is not electronically controlled, it is adjusted manually via the blue hex nuts at the top of the fork tubes (disconnect the damping wires before doing so). i don't think the damping adjustment is audible either.
Correct. The only thing you will 'hear' is the rear preload adjustment IF you are changing to a setting with a different preload level. I.e. if you go from Sport solo (e.g. Preload = 10) to Sport 2+luggage (e.g. Preload = 16). If you went from Sport solo to Touring solo, and preload for that was level 10, you would not hear anything.

Nothing to worry about. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes you can clearly hear the rear shock adjusting the ride height. I know the pre-load\spring tension on the front is ajusted manually, but what about compression and rebound ??

Ive been riding \ racing ducatis for 20 years, and have always been able to adjust compression \ rebound on the forks and rear shock, which makes a HUGE difference with a few clicks of a screw driver
I know this sounds like a dick question, but does the computer do all this when you change the ride modes?

At the multistrada launch, someone said that when in enduro mode, it raises the suspention by 20mm, is this correct? front as well as the rear??

Ive never owned a digital bike before, this is all new to me. everything ive done in the passed was done with alan keys and a screw driver and a tape measure, but i just want to be sure everything is working as it should.

In saying that, I love the new age of motorcycling Its almost like hands free!!:D
 

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Yes you can clearly hear the rear shock adjusting the ride height. I know the pre-load\spring tension on the front is ajusted manually, but what about compression and rebound ??

Ive been riding \ racing ducatis for 20 years, and have always been able to adjust compression \ rebound on the forks and rear shock, which makes a HUGE difference with a few clicks of a screw driver
I know this sounds like a dick question, but does the computer do all this when you change the ride modes?

At the multistrada launch, someone said that when in enduro mode, it raises the suspention by 20mm, is this correct? front as well as the rear??

Ive never owned a digital bike before, this is all new to me. everything ive done in the passed was done with alan keys and a screw driver and a tape measure, but i just want to be sure everything is working as it should.

In saying that, I love the new age of motorcycling Its almost like hands free!!:D
The rear ride height is not changed when you change setting/modes. What you hear is the preload adjuster changing the preload setting on the rear.

The bike is electronically controlled for:

Engine mapping - 150 High; 150 Low; 100
ABS
Traction Control
'DES' - suspension .... Rear preload; Compression & Rebound damping, Front & Rear

You can set all these via the riding modes.. Sport; Touring; Urban; Enduro, and therefore have 16 preset settings for suspension (4 modes, each with 4 settings for Solo; Solo + luggage; Two up; Two up + luggage).

Only front preload is manual.

I heard something similar regarding Enduro mode, but don't know if it's true. It doesn't feel like it, and there isn't a ride height adjuster, so I can't see how it can! I'm open to correction here though...

In order to set the bike up to how you want it, you will still need that tape measure, and you will need to measure 'sag' front and rear, before setting your preload. Then you can move on to compression and rebound, front and rear. That's a whole different thing though.
 

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In solo, no luggage, mode, the enduro setting maxes out the rear preload, which will increase ride-height. By how much depends a bit on how heavy the rider is.

In Urban mode, preload is set to min. In sport and touring, to 6 (of 16).

Once you use the "plus luggage" setting, the stock presents max out the rear preload in every mode. So ride-height won't change. Same of course for "with passenger", and "with passenger and luggage".

Seems daft to me. Clear indicator the spring is too soft.

I will speculate that Ducati thought the modes would adjust ride-height across the board, but were stymied closer to production when Ohlins insisted on that soft spring for the shock.

Of course, the soft spring gives best compliance for lightly loaded use. If they'd specced a spring that worked well two-up, reports from the press launch would have said the rear was typically Ducati harsh. :rolleyes:
 

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In solo, no luggage, mode, the enduro setting maxes out the rear preload, which will increase ride-height. By how much depends a bit on how heavy the rider is.

In Urban mode, preload is set to min. In sport and touring, to 6 (of 16).

Once you use the "plus luggage" setting, the stock presents max out the rear preload in every mode. So ride-height won't change. Same of course for "with passenger", and "with passenger and luggage".

Seems daft to me. Clear indicator the spring is too soft.

I will speculate that Ducati thought the modes would adjust ride-height across the board, but were stymied closer to production when Ohlins insisted on that soft spring for the shock.

Of course, the soft spring gives best compliance for lightly loaded use. If they'd specced a spring that worked well two-up, reports from the press launch would have said the rear was typically Ducati harsh. :rolleyes:
Ride height and preload are not the same thing!

You can increase preload to sit the bike 'higher within the spring setting' but it won't increase the length of the shock (between the mounting points) which is what 'ride height' does.

Ride height alters the geometry of the bike, and thus affects steering. You can get a mild effect by increasing the preload, but you will get a greater feeling of stiffness/harshness, which is NOT what you want. Suspension is supposed to be supple and soak up the bumps. All this 'harder is better' is simply nonsense. Suspension needs to be 'controlled' so that it keeps the tyres in contact with the surface you are riding on. If you are on perfect smooth tarmac (like a track), you can run settings that allow you to soak up greater forces because you will be travelling faster. If you used the same settings on a dirt track, the bike would feel unrideable as the tyres would be skipping and jumping.

Also, preload has nothing to do with the 'compliance' of the suspension. That is controlled by compression and rebound.

Simply put, Preload is 'where the bike sits' in the suspension stroke. You measure this in two ways....unloaded (static sag) and loaded with rider (and luggage/pillion, etc) (loaded sag).

Compression controls the rate at which the suspension is compressed (squashed).

Rebound controls the rate at which the suspension returns to normal (extends).

To get a compliant and controlled ride, you must set the sag to the conditions you will be using the bike in (I.e. what is ON the bike, e.g. Pillion, luggage, solo, etc). Then you set the rebound and compression.

The beauty of the DES is that it gives you 16 preset 'memory' options, so you can flick to a new setting at the touch of a button. Each of these can be customised to your own settings.

The rear shock spring is underdamped for most people. I'm 82kg, and have upgraded to the 100Nm spring. It makes a massive difference. I have also updated the fork springs to 7.5Nm. That makes a difference too.

To sharpen the steering, I have also dropped the yoke 8mm down the forks. This still clears the radiator. This geometry change is the same at 'raising the rear', except I would need a shim or something similar to extend the length of the shock (mounting point to mounting point...you can't actually lengthen the shock itself).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your help guys, I understand these digital bikes a little better now.
David d , do you work for ohllins or a race team?? Thanks mate
 

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While you can learn a lot from this forum, I also strongly recommend you read the manual that came with the bike. Then think about it. Go for a ride. Fiddle with the adjustments. Read the manual again. Fiddle then read the bits of the manual that you don't understand. It took me a full week to get the hang of all the intricacies and I still forget how to set the dash clock. :p

This is one of the very few machines that you really need to read the manual. It is actually quite well written and informative. It tells you pretty much all about the suspension adjustment.
 

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While you can learn a lot from this forum, I also strongly recommend you read the manual that came with the bike. Then think about it. Go for a ride. Fiddle with the adjustments. Read the manual again. Fiddle then read the bits of the manual that you don't understand. It took me a full week to get the hang of all the intricacies and I still forget how to set the dash clock. :p

This is one of the very few machines that you really need to read the manual. It is actually quite well written and informative. It tells you pretty much all about the suspension adjustment.
I couldn't agree more Tim! Absolutely spot on.

I don't work for a race team or Öhlins (unfortunately), but have always 'fiddled' with my suspension.

The thing is, the digital aspect of the Multi simply allows you to change things 'on the fly'. The basics remain the same.

Set preload to your needs, then rebound and compression to your preferred 'feel'. That's why you can't simply take someone else's settings and ride like Rossi! Different weights, conditions, riding styles, tyres...it all depends on what 'feel' you are looking for.

As Tim said, have a try and see what works for you. There are many good sources of information on bike setup, so read, absorb, and try it. Just remember to write everything down, and only make one (small) change at a time.

Also remember the simple rule...keep compression and rebound as 'soft' as you can. The idea is that the suspension 'suspends' and the tyres 'grip'. You don't want your tyres doing any of the work the suspension is doing. ...and this is exactly what happens when you set things too 'hard'. Suspension 'feel' goes, and the first time you know the tyres are loosing grip is when it's too late, and you're on your backside! ;-)
 

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By the way.
This is probably the bike I have ever has to read the owners manual. Most I have never opened. This one is a must.

If you don't already know Ducati make the manuals available on the web. Much easier to read on a screen and you can use the "find" feature in teh PDF file as a search functiuon.

To get a PDF copy, look here: Ducati Multistrada 1200
 

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Don't want to confuse here, but since we are seeking to help somebody who has sought advice, a couple of clarifications might be worth posting.

On the ride height thing: while it is certainly true that ride height and preload are not the same, preload can and usually does affect ride height. Indeed, that is the primary purpose of adjusting it. If you have the ride height where you want it for a given load, then by adjusting the preload on the rear spring you can maintain that desired ride height for greater or lesser loads.

However, the spring preload will also affect at what point in its stroke the shock sits under a given load. Given that there will be an optimal point for that, ideally you will not be using the preload adjuster to raise or lower ride height as well. That is, ideally you will be adjusting ride height by lengthening the shock through a screw mechanism (which the Multi does not offer), or through an adjustable rod in the suspension linkage (which the Multi also does not offer - AFAIK the shock is bolted directly to swingarm and frame).

However, the Multi does have unusually long rear suspension travel for a road bike - 170mm. Therefore, it is less critical at what point the shock sits in its stroke than on a typical road bike with only 125-135mm travel. So, Ducati and Ohlins have sought to use some of that extra travel to offer adjustments to ride-height via spring preload in the different modes.

On the solo rider setting in Urban, the default preload setting is at minimum, bringing the rear of the bike down a little under the rider's weight, making it easier to flat-foot and taking the edge off the steering. The assumption is that at typically low urban speeds, the loss of available bump travel will not matter.

Similarly, on the solo rider setting in Enduro, the default preload setting is at maximum. The idea, I imagine, is to raise the bike under the same rider's weight, lifting the sump a little further off the ground and increasing the travel available for absorbing bump shocks. The shock will top out more easily, and the steering will be sharper rather than blunter - the opposite of what you really need on soft surfaces. But that is the compromise the designers have reached.

So there is an attempt to adjust ride-height over the mode settings by adjusting preload. The designers have had a go, and their attempt has made its way into the PR material. Ideally, yes, they'd be extending the shock instead. But then, we'd have even more to go wrong.

My point about the stock spring being a bit soft probably wasn't very well made. I intended simply to point to the default preload settings' failure to distinguish between rider with luggage, rider and passenger, and rider and passenger with luggage.

In other words, if the default 16 preload for solo rider with luggage restores your desired solo no-luggage ride-height, and re-optimises the point in the shock's travel where the suspension sits under that load, then you've no adjustment left to compensate for greater loads - because the preload is already maxed out. If you add a passenger, you're stuck with too much sag at the rear.

Only way around that is a stiffer spring. Which of course has drawbacks for riding with neither luggage nor passenger.

I hope that makes sense. (Must be bored. :rolleyes:)
 

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Don't want to confuse here, but since we are seeking to help somebody who has sought advice, a couple of clarifications might be worth posting.

On the ride height thing: while it is certainly true that ride height and preload are not the same, preload can and usually does affect ride height. Indeed, that is the primary purpose of adjusting it. If you have the ride height where you want it for a given load, then by adjusting the preload on the rear spring you can maintain that desired ride height for greater or lesser loads.

However, the spring preload will also affect at what point in its stroke the shock sits under a given load. Given that there will be an optimal point for that, ideally you will not be using the preload adjuster to raise or lower ride height as well. That is, ideally you will be adjusting ride height by lengthening the shock through a screw mechanism (which the Multi does not offer), or through an adjustable rod in the suspension linkage (which the Multi also does not offer - AFAIK the shock is bolted directly to swingarm and frame).

However, the Multi does have unusually long rear suspension travel for a road bike - 170mm. Therefore, it is less critical at what point the shock sits in its stroke than on a typical road bike with only 125-135mm travel. So, Ducati and Ohlins have sought to use some of that extra travel to offer adjustments to ride-height via spring preload in the different modes.

On the solo rider setting in Urban, the default preload setting is at minimum, bringing the rear of the bike down a little under the rider's weight, making it easier to flat-foot and taking the edge off the steering. The assumption is that at typically low urban speeds, the loss of available bump travel will not matter.

Similarly, on the solo rider setting in Enduro, the default preload setting is at maximum. The idea, I imagine, is to raise the bike under the same rider's weight, lifting the sump a little further off the ground and increasing the travel available for absorbing bump shocks. The shock will top out more easily, and the steering will be sharper rather than blunter - the opposite of what you really need on soft surfaces. But that is the compromise the designers have reached.

So there is an attempt to adjust ride-height over the mode settings by adjusting preload. The designers have had a go, and their attempt has made its way into the PR material. Ideally, yes, they'd be extending the shock instead. But then, we'd have even more to go wrong.

My point about the stock spring being a bit soft probably wasn't very well made. I intended simply to point to the default preload settings' failure to distinguish between rider with luggage, rider and passenger, and rider and passenger with luggage.

In other words, if the default 16 preload for solo rider with luggage restores your desired solo no-luggage ride-height, and re-optimises the point in the shock's travel where the suspension sits under that load, then you've no adjustment left to compensate for greater loads - because the preload is already maxed out. If you add a passenger, you're stuck with too much sag at the rear.

Only way around that is a stiffer spring. Which of course has drawbacks for riding with neither luggage nor passenger.

I hope that makes sense. (Must be bored. :rolleyes:)
We must all be bored! ;-)

No, they are not the same...ride height and preload. If you re-read what you wrote, you will notice that you say the same thing yourself!

Anyway, without being pedantic, you ARE right that adjusting preload is a crude way of affecting ride height...very crude. And it is a big compromise.

You said it yourself, you run the compromise of topping or bottoming out, all for "changing" the ride height.

The Mutli has been compromised because it is trying to cover multiple bases, and the shock is too weak for most, hence putting a "heavier/stronger" spring in (front and/or rear). What this does is move you into the "sweet" spot of the suspension stroke, so that small adjustments in preload don't make you bottom or top out.

The compression and rebound in modes which carry more weight have been adjusted to compensate for the "weakness" of the springs. The back is much "worse" than the front. Look carefully at the stock settings for compression and rebound, and you will see what I mean.

Let's add a caveat here....this applies to ME. I'm 82kg. If you are 70kg, you may not have a problem!

This is where we go full circle, and end up measuring sag and setting the preload.

Just because I, or anyone else says "the spring is too weak" or blah blah blah this setting or that, doesn't mean it is right for someone else.

So we go back to basics. Set the preload (by measuring), then set the compression and rebound.

Caveat #2: Only do this if you don't like how the bike handles or you want to see if you can make it better. Don't do it because someone else did. Which is why I say you can't really use someone else's settings.

Bottom line....the electronic wizardry of the Multi gives you options, 16 options.

Read the manual (as Tim says), read some information about suspension adjustment (from a good source), and as Moronic says remember that Ducati compromised. Oh, and remember that the front preload is set manually! ;-)

Then just ride the thing.....that always works.
 

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We must all be bored! ;-)

No, they are not the same...ride height and preload. If you re-read what you wrote, you will notice that you say the same thing yourself!

Anyway, without being pedantic, you ARE right that adjusting preload is a crude way of affecting ride height...very crude. And it is a big compromise.

You said it yourself, you run the compromise of topping or bottoming out, all for "changing" the ride height.

The Mutli has been compromised because it is trying to cover multiple bases, and the shock is too weak for most, hence putting a "heavier/stronger" spring in (front and/or rear). What this does is move you into the "sweet" spot of the suspension stroke, so that small adjustments in preload don't make you bottom or top out.

The compression and rebound in modes which carry more weight have been adjusted to compensate for the "weakness" of the springs. The back is much "worse" than the front. Look carefully at the stock settings for compression and rebound, and you will see what I mean.

Let's add a caveat here....this applies to ME. I'm 82kg. If you are 70kg, you may not have a problem!

This is where we go full circle, and end up measuring sag and setting the preload.

Just because I, or anyone else says "the spring is too weak" or blah blah blah this setting or that, doesn't mean it is right for someone else.

So we go back to basics. Set the preload (by measuring), then set the compression and rebound.

Caveat #2: Only do this if you don't like how the bike handles or you want to see if you can make it better. Don't do it because someone else did. Which is why I say you can't really use someone else's settings.

Bottom line....the electronic wizardry of the Multi gives you options, 16 options.

Read the manual (as Tim says), read some information about suspension adjustment (from a good source), and as Moronic says remember that Ducati compromised. Oh, and remember that the front preload is set manually! ;-)

Then just ride the thing.....that always works.
Dave I'd write that up in some sort of notes section; that information is invaluable to us MTS pilots mate!
 

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I didn't want to start a new thread, but can someone please explain to me how to set DES with luggage??

I am able to go into the SETTINGS mode and can cycle through the menus/options, but every time I click on TOURING>DES>"+LUGGAGE" it goes into the spring / pre-load setting and that's it. The luggage option is not selected.

What am I doing wrong...?

Thanks!

PS - I'm going on a ~2K mile trip and would like to utilize this option, if anything, just to see if there is a difference...
 

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Just a point. I 'complained' earlier about the front feeling 'skitish', (light, NOT 'firmly planted'). The front pre-load is set from the factory very near max...which may be fine to get the required sag for you more heavily built guys. I backed off the preload three turns....giving me a sag of about 35-38mm. I also dropped the front tyre (tire?) pressure to 33. (PR3's). I have to say, these two things have made a significant difference to how the front feels. (I am 72 kgs with all my kit on). I am now generally very happy with how the front feels.
 

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I didn't want to start a new thread, but can someone please explain to me how to set DES with luggage??

I am able to go into the SETTINGS mode and can cycle through the menus/options, but every time I click on TOURING>DES>"+LUGGAGE" it goes into the spring / pre-load setting and that's it. The luggage option is not selected.

What am I doing wrong...?
What you're doing wrong is failing to read the bloody manual!!! :think:
 

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I didn't want to start a new thread, but can someone please explain to me how to set DES with luggage??

I am able to go into the SETTINGS mode and can cycle through the menus/options, but every time I click on TOURING>DES>"+LUGGAGE" it goes into the spring / pre-load setting and that's it. The luggage option is not selected.

What am I doing wrong...?
Well, as TimOz said earlier, and also Kitesurfer (above), you haven't read the manual...and you really need to!

However, press and hold the grey 'cancel indicator' button on the left hand switchgear...that should then bring up 4 symbols in the smaller circular display. They represent solo, solo + luggage, etc. Then select the setting you want and press/hold the same button to confirm your choice. Done. When you then change modes, it leave the setting as you chose it... I.e. you were in touring and set 2 + luggage, then swapped to urban....it will still be in 2 + luggage..

But read the manual and take it or a PDF version with you...there are lots of little things that aren't intuitive. You either know them or you don't.
 

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Just a point. I 'complained' earlier about the front feeling 'skitish', (light, NOT 'firmly planted'). The front pre-load is set from the factory very near max...which may be fine to get the required sag for you more heavily built guys. I backed off the preload three turns....giving me a sag of about 35-38mm. I also dropped the front tyre (tire?) pressure to 33. (PR3's). I have to say, these two things have made a significant difference to how the front feels. (I am 72 kgs with all my kit on). I am now generally very happy with how the front feels.
Nick, you are MUCH lighter than the 'standard' Ducati test pilot...from memory I believe the test riders were about 75Kg, with 45kg or 50kg pillions... That means the 'standard' preload will be too much for you! That will give you a 'skittish' feeling (front and rear) almost as it you were riding on ice...it feels like the tyre is just slipping and you have no grip. In a way, you don't.. or rather is it reduced.

I'd not advocate dropping your tyre pressures (unless in track) but definitely you will want to reduce preload (front and rear).

As an example, I was 83.5Kg (accident, so put on weight) and had upraised the springs front and rear (7.5Nm and 100Nm). I've now lost almost 6kg since June, and have found the same as you...a skittish feeling. I have reduced front preload to ZERO and rear preload to position 5 (touring), but the front is still a little skittish ...what to do? (I can't lessen preload any more) ...well, for me, I will swap back to original front springs in a couple of weeks, when the fork shims are installed (they have to strip the forks to do the work, so changing springs is no cost to me at this time).

When I have the standard springs in, I will measure and reset the front preload, and all will be fine again.... It just shows that you have to be aware!
 

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Be careful not to confuse spring rate with spring preload. There have been a stack of similar debates spawned from threads just like this one.
 
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