Originally Posted by The Evil Twin
The settings you mention are for the compression and rebound settings, not the preload. When you adjust the preload on the ESA there is a noticeable difference in seat height because it spins a collar down on the spring. In theory, ideal sag and preload could not be adjusted perfectly unless your load was nearly the same at every trip. That said, if the OEM spring is not the right Kg/cm then adjusting preload will not do much good but it can mask the symptoms of a poorly tuned suspension. I don't know if, by starting out with the correct spring, the sequential ESA adjustments would be better when the bike is loaded. I will say this; I ignore the nomenclature (sport, comfort, etc) and preload indicators. I just play with it until I like it. For me, I have found that the "Sport" setting for valving and 1+ luggage for preload work really well.
Of course, YMMV
I've owned enough KTMs and Husabergs to know that there is no subsuite for the correct spring rate. But that is not how BMW choose to address the problem. And the problem is the same when you load the bike.
Without getting the proper static sag numbers one can still hit the ride sag numbers. That is what I am looking to do.