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Discussion Starter #1
Hi to all, just got myself a 2012 monster 796, thought about tuning the rear preload for my weight. find confusing bcos i weigh almost 200 lbs and from what I read that 796 springs are on the soft side but I find the ride too stiff and harsh for my liking. Every road bumps I feel and sends the bike hopping. Checked the screw for the damping/rebound or compression adjusters and it is just 2 clicks away from being fully closed turning it clockwise. Read on the manual that the stock setting should be on the middle like 8 clicks before being fully closed. So my question is, will I set the screws on what the manual says and start tuning for the preload for my sag? Thanks in advance
 

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comrade moderator
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Other opinion: Set the compression and rebound to where the manual says and go from there. Definitely get you spring sag sorted but don't be afraid to turn the adjusters and see what does what.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the quick response guys! Looking forward this weekend for adjusting my suspension. Hope I will finally sort it out, would like to ride this bike comfortably and at the same time I can also ride it aggressively!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Adjusted the monster suspension yesterday, I still find it's ride on the harsh side. First was I set the compression or rebound screw to stock specs at 8 clicks out from the fully closed position. Figures are

Bike's own weight without rider:
Front: 157.48mm Rear: 528.32mm

With Rider:
Front: 134.62mm Rear: 502.92mm

Difference of (sag)
Front: 22.86mm Rear: 25.4mm

Too much rear squatting when applying throttle especially coming out from a turn, so made 4 clicks more on the setting. Did better but overall it is still a harsh ride.
So I was thinking if I start all over again in setting it up. Question is, if I start again with the rebound and compression fully closed, and set sag and preload will effect would you think will happen? And if I start the other way around in which I will open the rebound and comp fully then set sag.
 

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Old Wizard
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The Monster's rear shock absorber min. and max. compression forces vary depending on what the rebound valving is set at.

Since the compression damping is generally too stiff to filter the bumps, set compression full soft, then the rebound adjuster should be set full soft and subsequently increased until compression doesn’t kick you in the butt over bumps, nor squat under acceleration.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The Monster's rear shock absorber min. and max. compression forces vary depending on what the rebound valving is set at.

Since the compression damping is generally too stiff to filter the bumps, set compression full soft, then the rebound adjuster should be set full soft and subsequently increased until compression doesn’t kick you in the butt over bumps, nor squat under acceleration.
Thanks for the reply Shazaam. I have a monster 796, apart from the preload adjusters, I only have one screw adjustment am not sure if what it is for, compression, rebound or damping for the rear and no kinda adjustments on the front forks. I do weigh 200 lbs.
 

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I think you need to take out some dampening and add some preload to the springs. if you fully extend the shock and forks, then add bike sag plus rider sag, it should be 35rear, 40front.

Sounds like your bike has no adjustment in fork, so measure and set the rear for 5mm less than the forks total sag.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The Monster's rear shock absorber min. and max. compression forces vary depending on what the rebound valving is set at.

Since the compression damping is generally too stiff to filter the bumps, set compression full soft, then the rebound adjuster should be set full soft and subsequently increased until compression doesn’t kick you in the butt over bumps, nor squat under acceleration.
So putting it simply, I will start with the screws set on the softest then adjust my preload, then ride it and turn the screws in to make it tighter?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think you need to take out some dampening and add some preload to the springs. if you fully extend the shock and forks, then add bike sag plus rider sag, it should be 35rear, 40front.

Sounds like your bike has no adjustment in fork, so measure and set the rear for 5mm less than the forks total sag.
Too confused now, hahahaha! True the front forks has no adjustments, it is what it is. Have only to fiddle the rear! Would try to do what Shazaam said next weekend. Ill just ride the bike for a week and observe. thanks for the insights! safe riding to all!
 

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Yes, you've got it. But I would like to pass along the advice from a heavier rider myself, use a more gentle touch on the throttle while trying to dial the suspension in. Abrupt changes will leave you confused over the effect of changing the settings because I assume you are not dialing in on the track but the road with all of its extra variables. Work on smooth.
 

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Old Wizard
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Start with the damping set to full soft. The single damping click adjustment modifies the damping at a ratio of 90% rebound / 10% compression. 10% effect on compression may sound like very little, but it feels like quite a lot. You need the higher 90% effect on rebound to prevent the spring from extending the rear wheel too fast.

The damper click setting only affects slow suspension movements. Fast movements (like when you hit a pothole) are controlled by the fluid flow through the internal shim stack.

Rebound damping should be set so that the bike takes about one second to rebound after being pushed down. It should simply return to static position, it shouldn’t move higher and then come back down. Too much rebound damping can make the suspension “pack up” and feel hard on a series of bumps. The spring eventually ends up compressed to the bump stops because rebound was too slow to recover.

Too little rebound damping gives the bike a baby-buggy or pogo stick ride. It'll make the bike feel unstable, loose and rather bouncy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, you've got it. But I would like to pass along the advice from a heavier rider myself, use a more gentle touch on the throttle while trying to dial the suspension in. Abrupt changes will leave you confused over the effect of changing the settings because I assume you are not dialing in on the track but the road with all of its extra variables. Work on smooth.
Upon changing the settings, I twist the throttle gently for the feel, then along the ride I will try to ride a little bit aggressive but am still careful making right turns and to feel if it will be stable. thanks for the insights.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Start with the damping set to full soft. The single damping click adjustment modifies the damping at a ratio of 90% rebound / 10% compression. 10% effect on compression may sound like very little, but it feels like quite a lot. You need the higher 90% effect on rebound to prevent the spring from extending the rear wheel too fast.

The damper click setting only affects slow suspension movements. Fast movements (like when you hit a pothole) are controlled by the fluid flow through the internal shim stack.

Rebound damping should be set so that the bike takes about one second to rebound after being pushed down. It should simply return to static position, it shouldn’t move higher and then come back down. Too much rebound damping can make the suspension “pack up” and feel hard on a series of bumps. The spring eventually ends up compressed to the bump stops because rebound was too slow to recover.

Too little rebound damping gives the bike a baby-buggy or pogo stick ride. It'll make the bike feel unstable, loose and rather bouncy.[/QUOT

I will try to set it up again this coming weekend, will just use the bike this week on it's present settings. Just to be sure, First thing I will do is turn the screws counter clockwise to the full, then I will start setting my preload/sag. Then try to road test the bike and go from there in adjusting the screws clockwise for the damping? Thanks again for the tips.
 

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Riding style really affects how the suspension performs, smooth transitions to on throttle, gently bedding the brakes initially followed by a smooth release as it settles into a turn all are big factors in the perception of "handling". What I am talking about is matching the brake release to the suspension loading with cornering forces, trail braking I think it is called which you can see I am doing in the picture below. Abrupt hard 90 degree turns started by chopping the throttle, hard on the brakes and then a sudden WOT out of a turn will make nearly every bike made feel sloppy in the suspension. I suppose dirt bikes are designed for that style of riding.

Not saying you are riding like that, but as a heavier guy myself, these lightweight bikes are challenged by the top heavy weight shifts we produce so I feel it is important not to add unnecessary challenges to the suspension. I worked hard practicing keeping my feet planted on the pegs (and using them to turn/lean) along with squeezing the tank firmly with my thighs (and belly!) to get the effect of my weight down lower on the bike. Good technique might possibly save you thousands of dollars in suspension upgrades,...

I dialed mine in at modest speeds running over and over the same mountain turns until it is where I can live with it - working with its limitations instead of against them. The rear rebound dampening in turns over little "staccato" bumps was the hardest to get right, eventually I found lightly loading the rear brake under slowly increasing throttle keeps the rear end from packing up when one second is too long to recover between the little bumps. Heavier fork oil helped a lot to reduce front dive, and some have recommended a different set of fork springs but I think I already have those installed by the previous owner.

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Riding style really affects how the suspension performs, smooth transitions to on throttle, gently bedding the brakes initially followed by a smooth release as it settles into a turn all are big factors in the perception of "handling". What I am talking about is matching the brake release to the suspension loading with cornering forces, trail braking I think it is called which you can see I am doing in the picture below. Abrupt hard 90 degree turns started by chopping the throttle, hard on the brakes and then a sudden WOT out of a turn will make nearly every bike made feel sloppy in the suspension. I suppose dirt bikes are designed for that style of riding.

Not saying you are riding like that, but as a heavier guy myself, these lightweight bikes are challenged by the top heavy weight shifts we produce so I feel it is important not to add unnecessary challenges to the suspension. I worked hard practicing keeping my feet planted on the pegs (and using them to turn/lean) along with squeezing the tank firmly with my thighs (and belly!) to get the effect of my weight down lower on the bike. Good technique might possibly save you thousands of dollars in suspension upgrades,...

I dialed mine in at modest speeds running over and over the same mountain turns until it is where I can live with it - working with its limitations instead of against them. The rear rebound dampening in turns over little "staccato" bumps was the hardest to get right, eventually I found lightly loading the rear brake under slowly increasing throttle keeps the rear end from packing up when one second is too long to recover between the little bumps. Heavier fork oil helped a lot to reduce front dive, and some have recommended a different set of fork springs but I think I already have those installed by the previous owner.


Thanks again for the riding tips. Coming from an inline 4, I feel there is a big difference on the powerband and maybe I am twisting the throttle too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Have a question, Is it a rule of the thumb when setting up the suspension that it would be the best if the front fork sag is equally the same as the rear sag? That will make the bike in a straight level front and back. Or would it be be better to have a little less sag on the rear. say if the front sag is 30 can I get away with a rear sag of 25 that would make the rear slightly higher?
 

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Well, all of those numbers are within range - there is no magic number for every bike/rider.
Get the unladen sag, then the rider sag, you will need a person to help and some sort of way to lift the bike one end at a time. When riding your settings changes, be sure to keep the tire pressure constant - makes a big difference on some bikes. And yes, take a lot of notes because you will forget later what setting you liked better as you adjusted into a range you don't like. Its nice to be able to adjust for having a passenger and then going right back to where you were for riding solo without having to start over from scratch.

Here is a web page with pretty pictures, they seem to know what they are talking about and they answer your last question in some detail.

Motorcycle Suspension Set-up
 
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