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Enduro Suspension Tuning & maintenance of Enduro forks, shocks, etc


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Old 12-31-2008, 09:26 AM
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Krasi Krasi is offline
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Default What is what?

I'm starting with all the appologies in the world for the lame question I'll ask - which clicker does what?

Here are pictures of my suspension (09 EC300):

Pic 1 - Front Top


Pic 2 - Front Bottom


Pic 1 - Rear Top


Pic 2 - Rear Bottom



The explanations in the User's Manual get me confused, plus the pictures are for Marzochi (I believe) and mine is Sachs. I know all suspensions are similar, but this is the first time I actually fiddle with one. I read a lot but still am quite confused what is what and how it influences the operation of the suspension. I refer to the clickers. Rear spring preload, for example, is pretty straight forward and "common sense".


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Old 12-31-2008, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krasi View Post
...which clicker does what?

Here are pictures of my suspension (09 EC300):

Pic 1 - Front Top
This adjusts the rebound damping.



Pic 2 - Front Bottom
This adjusts the compression damping.



Pic 1 - Rear Top
There are 2 adjusters. The inner screw adjusts the low speed compression. The outer knob adjusts the high speed compression.



Pic 2 - Rear Bottom
This adjusts the rebound damping.

I added the clicker references under each title above.

Just remember...
Write down your current settings for a baseline. Count the number of clicks until the screws/adjusters are fully seated (inward). This will establish the "number of clicks" to return to your baseline setting. Most people refer to the settings as "number of clicks out from fully seated". Where fully seated would provide the maximum damping setting (slowest rate of rebound/compression motion).
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:04 AM
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This is excellent, any chance it can be pinned?
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:06 AM
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This is excellent, any chance it can be pinned?

PS: Krasi - Wash yer scoot!!
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:25 AM
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Thank you very much, Matt.

Let me elaborate a little more, if I may, just to confirm to myself I got it right.

So, the front bottom clicker (Pic 2) determines how fast/easy/"softly" the fork compresses, i.e. goes up, right? The "fully seated" position is the hardest setting, i.e. the fork is slower/more difficult/"harder" to compress?

The front top clicker (Pic 1) does the same, but for the extension movement of the fork, correct?
And there is no spring preload for the front springs (at least not on my forks)?

The same applies for the rear shosk too I suppose, but I'll need some help with the slow and fast compression.

P.S.
Dingo, believe it or not she is washed. I just forgot to "go down on her" and take care of the bottom side
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:30 PM
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Yes you are understanding everything correctly and hopefully someone will explain the rear low/high speed better as well. The GG manual is an absolute joke and uses many outdated pictures and no clear info on suspension clicker setting or explanations of what they really do. They should be ashamed passing that thing off as an owners manual.

.....and I'm not gonna touch that last comment

Why doesn't GG (Marzocchi/Sachs) provide nice rubber covers for the bottom of the forks to protect the damping adjuster from dirt and mud? Seems to be asking for trouble IMO.
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krasi View Post
So, the front bottom clicker (Pic 2) determines how fast/easy/"softly" the fork compresses, i.e. goes up, right? The "fully seated" position is the hardest setting, i.e. the fork is slower/more difficult/"harder" to compress?
You are almost correct, but made a slight typo above (see my red highlighted words). I will try to describe it another way...
Compression is when the distance between fender and wheel axle gets smaller/less. So, when riding the bike, this is when the wheel travels upward towards the fender or your bike is moving towards the ground (depends on your reference point). In any case, it is when you are squeezing the two ends of the suspension fork or shock together (i.e., compressing). If you continue to compress the fork or shock, you will at some point "bottom out" your suspension and the tire will rub the fender. The extension movement (also called rebound) is the opposite behavior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krasi View Post
The front top clicker (Pic 1) does the same, but for the extension movement of the fork, correct?

And there is no spring preload for the front springs (at least not on my forks)?
You are correct on both questions. While there is no "external" spring preload adjuster (like on KTM SX/XC forks), you can manually change the spring preload. If you remove the forks from the bike and remove the top cap (like you were going to change the fork oil), you can change the length of the plastic spacer that compresses or adds preload to the coil spring. You will have to do some slight disassembly, but the spacer length can be modified. A PVC water pipe from your local hardware store can be used as a substitute (just match up a similar diameter). Personally, I have not changed my front spring preload... only the rear spring preload.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krasi View Post
The same applies for the rear shosk too I suppose, but I'll need some help with the slow and fast compression.
I didn't want to provide too many details initially (keep it simple) but you want to learn... so here it goes:

The low and high speed compression adjusters are slightly misleading. The high speed (larger adjuster nut) is not really "high" speed... but rather it controls motion in a "higher" low speed range or mid speed level. Actual high speed changes are really done by a suspension tuner who revalves the piston and staging of the shim discs.

These two compression adjusters (low and high) are only changing the oil flow thru a bypass hole. So, when you turn the adjuster screw or nut fully seated, oil is being restricted from flowing thru this bypass hole. It now has to flow through the piston valving. Think of it as water faucet... when you turn the faucet handle closed/off, then the water stops flowing. For suspension, when you make the oil flow more slowly/more restricted... it makes the suspension motion slower and feels more firm.

Conversely, if you back out these adjusters away from fully seated, then you are "opening" the water faucet. Your suspension now has oil flowing more freely/less restricted, so it makes the suspension motion faster and feel more soft.

Well, this reply is getting a bit wordy now... sorry if I'm rambling.

Just a final note... I mentioned the 2 compression adjusters are like low and "higher" low speed adjusters. The best way to remember these are the following: if you want to help control/adjust small suspension motions (like roots and rocks) you will focus on the low speed screw. If you want to help control/adjust larger suspension motions (like whoops and jumps) you will focus on the high speed screw/large knob.

Also, a word of caution... adjusting the Rebound screw will also have some effect on the low speed "compression" motion. This may confuse you but the rebound adjuster controls oil flow thru the center of the shock rod (bypass hole). The center of the shock rod (bypass hole) is also active during compression motion. So, a rebound screw adjustment may also need to be combined with a low speed compression screw adjustment to counteract its effect. Sorry if this just confused everyone... but this is something to consider if you are making a rebound damping change... so only make small changes like 1-2 clicks of the rebound screw. Ride the bike over the same terrain, then make another minor adjustment, etc..

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidad View Post
...hopefully someone will explain the rear low/high speed better as well. The GG manual is an absolute joke and uses many outdated pictures and no clear info on suspension clicker setting or explanations of what they really do. They should be ashamed passing that thing off as an owners manual.
Hopefully, my lengthy post will provide some guidence that the manual lacks. This thread will stay "stickied" to be a quick reference for readers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidad View Post
Why doesn't GG (Marzocchi/Sachs) provide nice rubber covers for the bottom of the forks to protect the damping adjuster from dirt and mud? Seems to be asking for trouble IMO.
That's a good question. My old KTM had some plugs. My Husky and GasGas with Marzocchis (both of them) do not have plugs. So it is a Marzocchi vs. WP issue. Perhaps some WP plugs would fit our fork bottoms. I have not tried myself.
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:47 AM
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Once again, thank you very much, Matt.

Can we try a theoretical case study now? For example, a typical "problem" for me is that the front end bounces too much off rocks and roots at low speeds (bike wise). Especially on hill climbs. At least this is what I think, but after many hours of reading and watching instructions may be my body position was wrong...
Anyway, if I want to correct this I think I should reduce the compression damping by turning the Pic 2 clicker counter clock-wise. This is confirmed by this troubleshoot guide - http://www.kantaron.com/motorcycles/...g-Guide_27855/ (it's for street motorcycles, but it's also applicable for us too I hope)

http://www.brucessuspension.com/kb3.htm on the other hand states I should start with the rebound?

P.S.
I also found these articles on suspension setup:
http://www.off-road.gr/article17.html
http://www.off-road.gr/article11.html
http://www.off-road.gr/article18.html
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:06 AM
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First remember I am no expert!

When setting suspension I usually back compression off quite a lot. How much depends on your springs. I have harder springs than standard so I would start with compression wound right off to zero on the clickers. I'd then set rebound to stop bouncing - you can get it quite close just pushing down & releasing the suspension yourself and making sure it doesn't oscillate. Fine tune on a track so it neither packs nor kicks - whoops are a good test. Then set compression (high speed in your case) so it doesn't bottom very often on the bigger hits, small jumps etc. Low speed I would just try and get it to feel plush over small stuff.

I think you need to have the springs right first though. You also want to set the oil height and preload on the forks so you use a good bit of travel on the type of terrain you ride. Rear preload you can measure to set correctly (only works with correct springs) but my forks always seem to have too much stiction to be accurate setting sag by measuring. There's no one correct setting, depends on rider and terrain. Without a mobile workshop & test track like you race it's a lot of slow trial and error. I often run a larger air gap than standard (120mm on Marz 45mm) to use a bit more travel on my woodland terrain, I have very few big hits or jumps.
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