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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, looking for someone who is awesome at suspension setup in the Orange County California area who can help dial in my 848. I've been fiddling around with various settings but frankly I have no idea what I'm doing. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I'm in the process of upgrading my rear suspension with an Ohlins TTX36, Ducshop flat link, and ride height adjuster so I need an expert to help get the best out of this new setup and this mediocre rider.

Thank you!
 

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Since you asked for "any" recommendations and you are new to this forum I offer a few bits I've picked up over the years.
You probably have this but the adjustment advice starts on page 11


1) There is no magic setting that some guru will bestow upon your bike by either alchemy or experience with exactly your bike using this shock, but generally speaking the softer settings are more forgiving on the street as they resist upsetting the bike reacting to sudden suspension movements. This will make the bike a bit more bouncy, slower to react to turning forces from the handlebars, -mushy,... but it will reduce scary behavior over rough pavement which most sport bikes (including the 848) are known for.

2) Set the sag height correctly at both ends, and then start with the rebound adjustment at the stock recommended level. No - this is not the end of it, but it is a critical start point. In the long run you will want to use as little rebound damping as possible, so as you go on to other changes be sure to set the rebound back to stock/neutral if you changed it on a previous trial so you can properly judge the newest adjustment. This rebound setting is critical, it can make a fool of you trying to adjust around it.

3) Get a book, or better yet, find videos on riding technique. Witness veteran riders insights on how seemingly small inputs from the rider affect handling and how turning a screwdriver won't overcome bad form or reactive habits. I like Keith Code but there are plenty others equally savvy.

4) Ah, now that enlightenment has pierced the frustrating cloud you carry, get a notebook and write down the subtle changes you make to the adjustments and your thoughts on how you feel the adjustment affected your satisfaction with control of the bike. It's OK to say you didn't feel a change, (half the settings are there only for journalists to have something to fiddle with when they write test ride articles) but write down exactly what you did change. Include tire pressure, the temperature and your best guess on the road surface temperature. Include notes like your confidence that day, the level of aggression you were putting into cornering and whether you were riding with others in traffic or open road.

*It's a hard thing to put into words or nail down your thoughts on this matter of confidence in handling, because it means different things to everyone. For instance, me, I don't mind pushing the front tire, sliding it until I'm ready to hook the rear around but I've been told many times it frightens the beejeezus out of people following behind me. It can work for me even though it is not my go to every time style, but its within my comfort zone. What they see is that I make a deep late entry and more of a "V" or an upside down "J" turn instead of the classic smooth arc to apex to exit around a sharp corner. My apex is not their apex and I spend very little time leaned over but up quick on the throttle out of the exit. The result is that I like more compression damping on the rear shock and I often feather the rear brake exiting a corner under heavy throttle to keep the rear end high enough not to drag the exhaust or pack down the shock to its bottom. Someone once told me that I was like Jed Clampett (of the Beverly Hillbillies tv show) - only he could hit what he aimed at with his antique bent rifle. It's actually a compliment on how well I know MY bikes setup and limitations. I grew accustomed to this style from using bias ply tires on cold asphalt with too much power, factors I would never wish for anybody to learn on, sticky radials for the win.

5) In the last step you overlooked how you changed your rider input - you did not keep that a critical constant. By that I mean body positioning primarily but also throttle control and braking efforts. Any change in your technique or riding behaviors invalidates any changes you made with a screwdriver or wrench or fork oil level or viscosity or ride height on the flat link, angle of the fork tubes in the triple clamp,... this is, I think, where you are now and why you asked for advice.

6) FUCK ! It's too complicated on the street because every curve, every moment throws change at you and you can''t get a good baseline on so many variables. You never get the same situation twice!

7) Get thee to a track day, and start over taking better notes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much @RockAZ for your detailed reply. I was being a bit tongue in cheek when I wrote that I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to suspension setup. I definitely understand the fundamentals and know enough to be dangerous. I also understand that there is no silver bullet setup that will all of a sudden fix everything. Suspension setup is an iterative and ongoing process. What I need is an expert who understands the complex interaction and tradeoffs between rake, trail, offset, ride height, damping, etc and can translate my layman's feedback into a logical approach to adjusting my suspension to get the best out of my bike and me. I dont know what I dont know so that is the advice I am looking for.
 

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Really to get the end result you are looking for I would suggest enrolling in a 2-3 day riding course. They will cover all of that knowledge and most will let you use your own bike. These questions are not something you can just drop off at a shop on Monday and expect it to work by the weekend. IMO, you have to develop these answers for yourself with guided practice, it's just too rider and bike specific to do it any other way.
 

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There is a place not too far from you known for their excellent seminars on suspension along with being a very good shop for tuning: Seminars
 
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Once we exit the current closures, do a track day that has a suspension person on site. Dave Moss is a regular at many track days and for an additional $50-60, he does an initial base set for your weight and will fiddle with it all day after each session based on your feedback. Besides upgrading suspension bits, this is the best $ I ever spent on Any of my scooters.
 

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Check out Ducati Newport Beach. The guys there know what they're doing, I'm not sure currently who would be the "go to" for suspension setup but I'd at least give them a call.
 

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Hi, looking for someone who is awesome at suspension setup in the Orange County California area who can help dial in my 848. I've been fiddling around with various settings but frankly I have no idea what I'm doing. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I'm in the process of upgrading my rear suspension with an Ohlins TTX36, Ducshop flat link, and ride height adjuster so I need an expert to help get the best out of this new setup and this mediocre rider.

Thank you!
Why spending a LOT of money on hyper trick suspension pieces meant for racing when you've openly admitted you're not a good rider? I mean, you're already having trouble just setting up the stock shock, an Ohlins isn't going to be any easier (probably more difficult). You'll never see the benefits of all of that money spent back there until you ride better, as well as rarely (if ever) presenting the bike with a situation that warrants all of that big cash back there ... y'know, riding very aggressively at some track day thing or the like. Best I can tell those items you mentioned total up to roughly $1,500 bucks, plus whatever you're going to pay someone to set it all up properly. What about the front end? ... you'll have a $1,500 rear suspension and stock front suspension. So let's add some Ohlins up front while we're at it? Another $3k+. Why? I mean I'd guess you're not even using 50% of the stock bike's capability as it was delivered from the factory.

I've no idea what the stock shock on that year/model is like, but I do know that there are some really sharp members here that can offer help on (perhaps) doing a rework/respring on the stocker ... same goes up front.

I'd reckon a guess that 90% of the motorcycle owners out there on public roads (or tracks) have their suspension setting completely AFU and don't even understand what in blazes they're doing with all of those shiney adjusters and trick shocks. I've often felt less is more when it comes to suspension adjusters that the mainstream motorcycle owner can access.

In the end it's not my money or my motorcycle. So you gotta do you ... y'know?

Best of luck. Lots of great folks around here and they're always willing to help.

:)
 

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Hi, looking for someone who is awesome at suspension setup in the Orange County California area who can help dial in my 848. I've been fiddling around with various settings but frankly I have no idea what I'm doing. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I'm in the process of upgrading my rear suspension with an Ohlins TTX36, Ducshop flat link, and ride height adjuster so I need an expert to help get the best out of this new setup and this mediocre rider.

Thank you!

try contact dave moss he is the best
 

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Obviously, I'm new to the Duc world and have all of 3 days on my 1198S. On prior track days at Willow Springs I did have Dave Moss set up my ZX10r. I noted those settings in my record book and use them when I go to the track. But for riding off the track I back things off significantly to save my back! Here's some cool Duc trivia. At a track day probably in 2007 or so when Dave Moss was setting up my suspension Doug Polen (remember him?) happened to be at the track doing some personal coaching. So he walks over, slaps the solo seat cover on my ZX10r and says nice bike and cracks the mounting point on the ABS. He didn't know. I noticed it later when I was prepping for the next group. But I think of him when I look at it. As good as a signature!
 
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