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Old 11-02-2008, 09:02 PM   #46
Bayner
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Call them and find out. I'd love to get an 800 but this suspension business seems a little hokey to me. Kudos to itsatdm for sorting it out yourself.

I'm watching this thread closely!
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Old 11-03-2008, 12:42 PM   #47
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In the discussion on this thread are we confusing "harshness" with bottoming?

Where is the suspension harsh? Top of stroke? Mid stroke? or is it packing in the lower part of the stroke?

I'm asking because as a dirt focused rider I didn't feel any harshness on or off-road. I felt a very undersprung and underdamped bike that is very heavy on the front wheel but with light steering input required. So you feel a lot more through the bars, but it is not a harshness in the fork, it is a chassis ridigity and handling sensation. And if you ride it hard at all off road, you will bottom it quite easily and soon after have bent rims.

I suggest slowing down and remember what you are riding, a street bike that can go off-road, carefully.

I think it could use (for more off-road applications) stiffer springs and more damping on compression, especially in the mid to end of the stroke (more oil volume will help) to make the bike plusher. But it will never be a dirt bike and you'll never be able to ride it "hard" off-road. Just like a 1200 GS or any other heavy adventure bike.

I think BMW was correct in leaving the adjusters off the fork as for the average customer of the bike, it would only mess them up. Compared to the cost savings, at least. Most guys who buy MX bikes with all the adjusters never touch them!

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Old 11-03-2008, 12:51 PM   #48
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And then if you get the forks to work, what are you going to do about the "matching" shock!?!

I almost forgot about that and surprised there isn't more concern there?

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Old 11-03-2008, 01:11 PM   #49
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Thanks for weighing in, Jimmy.



My feeling is that most folks are commenting on the "harshness" on small amplitude stuff. Hard-edged pavement irregularities, smaller rocks embedded in dirt roads, etc. I could be wrong, though.




What would you aim for in terms of baseline sag settings on a bike like this? (Assuming "adventure" use as the primary goal).







BTW, Brad Zerbel says:
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:23 PM   #50
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Talking

maybe you could replace the suspension with that of a weestrom?
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Old 11-03-2008, 02:45 PM   #51
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I cranked the one I rode full stiff. To get the most use of the stroke. maybe this also loaded the front better so the bike I rode was not harsh?

I did not notice any harshness on small bumps, at least suspension harshness. There is chassis ridigity that you can feel, for sure.
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Old 11-03-2008, 03:08 PM   #52
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What %range of total travel do you recommend we aim for with regard to fork spring weight? Same as for a dirt bike?


Edit: BTW, did BWM say whether the bikes you guys had were stock (other than protective bits)? Thanks,
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:01 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Lewis
I cranked the one I rode full stiff. To get the most use of the stroke. maybe this also loaded the front better so the bike I rode was not harsh?

I did not notice any harshness on small bumps, at least suspension harshness. There is chassis ridigity that you can feel, for sure.
Did you ride an "off the showroom floor" new F800GS or a BMW demo fleet bike or press bike?

Typically, as you know given your Dirt Rider experience, press bikes are carefully set up, so are in effect, Ringers. BMW are famous for this. I've tested several new press GS's since the R1100GS among other bikes.

Maybe take a ride on a typical customer bike, might change your mind. Otherwise, someone on this thread is BS'ing! BTW, I trust your judgement/opinion completely but press bikes don't always resemble the average F800GS.

But the BMW guys should not be surprised by this. My GS riding buddies, pretty serious riders all, all do street and have full on dirt bikes too .... all have got Ohlins front and rear. (12GS's).

So get used to it guys. If you want Plush, you gotta pay.
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:13 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Django Loco
Did you ride an "off the showroom floor" new F800GS or a BMW demo fleet bike or press bike?

He did his riding here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=394192

not sure of the prep level of the bike, though.

I'll take his word about this bike over anyone else's. Congrats on the win, Jimmy.
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:14 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PackMule
Edit: BTW, did BWM say whether the bikes you guys had were stock (other than protective bits)? Thanks,
Stock Mine had 1400Kms on it when I first saw it. All had some; Some had more, some less. I dont think they were special press bikes in any way.
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:34 PM   #56
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I'm 90% sure it was stock suspension and I asked a couple of times. They were not ringers, or if they were they were not set up very good.

I disagre about the press bikes being ringers, maybe perfect stockers, but that is it. There is a difference and since I've seen the process of the press bikes getting set up (I was working on HP2 project and some other things at BMW NA shop in Ontario) they don't really have the time or staff do do anything other than get the break in miles on the bikes and get them on the truck to the intro. (My wife actually logged a lot of the break-in miles on some of the bikes as a contract rider.)

I don't think anyone is BSing, I think there is some general confusion about what riders are feeling and how they are describing it, hence my origional question. I'm sure the guys are feeling something, but fork harshness most likel isn't it. I'd bet it is the fork packing and getting harsh before it is actually too stiff. Going softer, as suggested in this thread might make it worse, but I haven't tried this and I wouldn't know for sure unless I tried. If it were me, I'd try stiffer springs.

And I have Elka stuff on my 1200 GSA. Because I tend to wear the stock stuff out too quick, and that isn't by beating it up, just use. Just extreme use. And I really like the performance of stock stuff. Elka is better and way adjustable. Ohlins it typically to wallowly and needs to be revalved from the standard setting IMO.

JIMMY
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:38 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Flagger
He did his riding here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=394192

not sure of the prep level of the bike, though.

I'll take his word about this bike over anyone else's. Congrats on the win, Jimmy.
Probably a component of the story is how you ride the bike. The WP suspension on the original ATK's felt harsh to most C and B riders. The harder you rode it the better it worked, and the standard Bill Woolman (San Jose dealer) reply to customers who complained about fork harshness was "you are not riding it hard enough".

Be that as it may, I cannot believe Jimmy did not notice the "clacking" sound made by square edged hits. Not mentioning it makes me believe the suspension on the bike(s) he rode were "breathed on" or maybe he has it dialed out of his consciousness from the HP2's he has ridden.

Nonetheless, JL is certainly a very qualified observer so I will try stiffening up the rear to see what that does.
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:56 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Lewis
In the discussion on this thread are we confusing "harshness" with bottoming?

Where is the suspension harsh? Top of stroke? Mid stroke? or is it packing in the lower part of the stroke?

I'm asking because as a dirt focused rider I didn't feel any harshness on or off-road. I felt a very undersprung and underdamped bike that is very heavy on the front wheel but with light steering input required. So you feel a lot more through the bars, but it is not a harshness in the fork, it is a chassis ridigity and handling sensation. And if you ride it hard at all off road, you will bottom it quite easily and soon after have bent rims.

I suggest slowing down and remember what you are riding, a street bike that can go off-road, carefully.

I think it could use (for more off-road applications) stiffer springs and more damping on compression, especially in the mid to end of the stroke (more oil volume will help) to make the bike plusher. But it will never be a dirt bike and you'll never be able to ride it "hard" off-road. Just like a 1200 GS or any other heavy adventure bike.

I think BMW was correct in leaving the adjusters off the fork as for the average customer of the bike, it would only mess them up. Compared to the cost savings, at least. Most guys who buy MX bikes with all the adjusters never touch them!

JIMMY
I first read this and I thought "Wow" am I going in the wrong direction. My second thought was your bike can"t be stock.
I am willing to learn though, so teach me.
I am an old intermmediate rider weighng 200#. On the stock suspension this is the stuff driving me nuts.
Good old hardpacked gravel with small inbeaded rock. I can't ride it too fast because of the curves, maybe 25 mph. The felt impact through the bars is enough to hurt your wrist.
Fully extended the front fork measures 9 ". My 200# compresses it to 7 on stock springs and 7.5 with my aftermarket springs. Both seem close for proper sag.
I have added a zip tie to check if I have bottomed the fork and do not believe I have.
Playing with various weights of oil and volumne have shown little to no improvement. The best setting is the one I have now, 5# oil, 70mm of air gap and Hyperpro springs. It is actually quite pleasant on the road and these types of bumps are now felt but not the harsh impacts felt previously.
I was running the rear with no preload but per your instruction I have cranked up the rear to 1.5 turn off full hard, which seems the best and it what BMW recommends.
So what am I doing wrong and how do I fix it?.
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:55 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by itsatdm
So what am I doing wrong and how do I fix it?.
Do you stand on the pegs when you ride off-road?

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Old 11-03-2008, 06:57 PM   #60
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I ride a lot slower and smoother than everyone thinks, the slow part will really surprise you and the smooth that comes with it makes me seem faster. I could clank (bottoming) the suspension easily and did a few times and I knew I was going to do it before it happend. Every time. So I stopped hitting stuff like that beacuse it was more than the bike (or me) could take. A lot of guys on our trip hit a lot of stuff and the rims showed it.

Our bikes did have some Touratech part to raise the fender off the tire for mud clearance. The clacking (if not bottoming) could be the fender slapping the fork or something but I did not hear it or feel anything from this. I also felt the disk rotors slop, but only when stopped.

Now onto tire pressure and the tires you are using. We were on Metzeler Karoo IIs and ran from 30-40 PSI (the bike felt like s stiff pile of crap in the dirt) down to around 20-25 (huge improvement).

So, is it tire pressure?

JIMMY
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