CRF1000L Suspension Too Soft? - Page 4 - Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Forum
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post #31 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-09-2016, 07:06 AM
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At 9000kms everything on my shock is well broken in as are the bearings/bushings.


I was always of the opinion that my Explorer (which is 70lbs heavier than the AT) is quicker than it over a given very rough road at speed. Recently I was following a friend on an ancient Caponord. He rode a very rough road at speed sitting down. I had to stand on the pegs on my AT on the same road in some sections or I would have otherwise have been involuntarily lifted off the saddle anyway. This is not good.


I have tried everything on settings but to no avail, and I know my way around suspension reasonably well.My Triumph is well set up on its Wilbers units by comparison and is a joy to ride in these situations. The AT is ok for normal road usage and is plush and comfortable. It simply cannot take big hits without responding poorly at the rear. There is clearly at least insufficient rebound damping . The low speed compression damping seems fine but I cannot make up my mind about the High speed compression damping aspect. The forks are excellent. Some folks are rebuilding the shock over on the ADV forums with mixed results. What is obvious is that nobody is raving about the rebuild, and simply reporting minor improvements.


For now I will get by with the settings that I have finally settled on, but for me, a complete change of shock is looming, as soon as I can afford it. One member over on ADV is of the opinion that the rebound clicker "does nothing but go 'click' ". Imho he is not too far wrong with this assessment. I have seen a clip of him riding over rough ground and sure enough the back is kicking up over big hits and the rear wheel is also leaving the ground
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post #32 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-09-2016, 07:23 PM
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I weigh in at 75kg with all my riding gear.
Front suspension 70mm static sag set at 8 out from fully in - OK.
Rear suspension original spring wound up to maximum static sag 73mm.
New Hyperpro s rear spring 25 clicks out from fully soft static sag 73mm - OK.
Hyperpro spring max compression static sag 66mm - OK.
Hyperpro spring two up with a 65kg fully kitted pillion static sag 91mm - failure!!
Conclusion: original rear spring too soft and Hyperpro spring still not stiff enough for two people let alone with extra gear.

Static sag numbers based on 30% of total travel equates to 69mm front and 66mm rear.

Last edited by Barry; 11-09-2016 at 08:13 PM.
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post #33 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-10-2016, 01:28 AM
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I personally think that the AT has awsome suspension and it is definitely suited for my 87kg weight (haven't had a pillion on the back as yet). I have spent lots of time and money on other bikes setting up suspension and the AT is great (for now)! Yes, I agree if you are a heavier build, you would need to invest on some springs to set up the bike for your weight. I need to add that I have adjusted ALL settings, and will continue to 'fine tune' them till I get them to my personal riding style. I rode last weekend in some VERY testing conditions and the bike handled way much better than my 990 with a whole new front end set up. My advice to anyone riding an AT is to play with the settings first, don't go spending lots of money on suspension until you have actually ridden the bike 'off road' (gravel and dirt roads don't count), then if you arn't satisfied, buy a set of decent springs, but talk to someone you can trust and has industry expertise. I am sure that in the future a new set of springs will be purchased and some further adjustments made, but for now, the AT has way out performed my expectations!
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post #34 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-16-2016, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by JasonPerryPhoto View Post
I take varying routes to destinations that often include some relatively easy going off road riding.

I have only been riding for 31 years now and racing for over half of that... Think I got that one figured out. The suspension guys I've talked to have all been people I know from the industry and have tried to sell me exactly nothing. They're just good people.

It's worth noting that you can change the suspension via the adjusters, but not drastically... The springs and valves are what determine the baseline for how the bike will ride, all the little knobs and screws are simply for fine tuning that ride.
I agree with your experience with tuners. And I also give a thumbs up to Super Plush. I live in Ohio, but sent my forks/shocks from my KTM 690 Enduro to Eric at Super Plush. Excellent work and great service.

I weigh 185 w/ gear. The suspension from factory is probably set for a guy of my specs. I haven't ridden one yet, but generally suspension is my first "Farkle", if you will.
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post #35 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 03:08 AM
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All this depends on your weight, how fast you ride, 2up yes/no, luggage.

I am super heavy (255lbs/115Kg). To be honest, not a lot of people of my size ride that fast in the dirt so I can't blame Honda for not having a Sumo wrestler as a test rider for their bikes
At least offroad I ride pretty fast, especially for a guy in my weight class. Furthermore I love to ride 2up with my wife (glad that she is below 100lbs). Oh yes, and I have always at least 20lbs+ of luggage with me. So this is a lot of weight and a closer look to the Honda instruction manual tells me I am super close to the maximum weight capacity of 392lbs/178Kg.

Surprisingly the AT is not unridable like this, but for sure it is impossible to get the sag setting right with the stock springs. There is no way to adjust without different springs. So this is an upgrade I will do some day. Not sure if I should just change the spring or directly get a better rear shock also. Maybe I should wait a bit longer, and when my rear shock gets weaker I can replace it with something better.

However, for someone with a weight between 155lbs(70Kg) up to 200lbs (90Kg) who mainly rides not 2 up I don't see a problem with the standart springs. But with luggage AND 2up even these people will not have the pefect sag setting.

P.S.: It is midnight here and just because I wrote this, I will go now to the gym to try to loose some weight. This is the best and cheapest suspension upgrade on the market
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Last edited by Swen; 03-08-2017 at 03:17 AM.
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post #36 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 03:36 AM
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I am nearly 90kg's and I have ridden my AT in some extremely technical terrain, including rutted tracks, boulder creek crossings, snooty up hills and other challenging off road riding. Most of my riding is done off road and I have clocked a little over 3000 km's so I am now at a point to make a judgement on the suspension, not similar to some journo who who thinks that a gravel road is somewhat challenging. Anyway, I am not saying that I am a expert rider, but I do like to use my AT off road and I have had many big and small bore bikes over the years to compare with. In my opinion, the suspension is quite good. There are lots of adjustments that can be made. I have wound up most of the settings to where I am almost comfortable, but will keep experimenting with the front.
I take my wife out from time to time, so the back spring needs a few extra turns to compensate, I leave all the other adjustments where I have set them. I think the standard settings are way too soft for my type of riding and I definitely bottomed out on my first ride!
I will definitely think about upgrading my suspension after a few more thousand km's but for now it's a great ride! Hope this helps.

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post #37 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 10:37 PM
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The Africa twin is an amazing motorcycle it does everything Honda design it to do. There isn't a motorcycle that's ever been made that someone finds something to whine about. There isn't and never will be a motorcycle that is perfect for everyone. I have modified and loved every motorcycle that I have owned and rated all of them the (best ever). This machine gives me an amazing performance on the pavement and in the dirt. Is there a better street bike(Yes) is there a better off road bike (yes) stop winning and enjoy the AT.
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post #38 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 02:59 AM
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I think you are missiing the point here.

Yes it is a great bike but it is also true that it would have been better for a lot of people if the springs were stiffer. I am of average weight but have the preloads nearly maxed out to get the correct ride. That tells me Honda did not use the correct springs for the western market at least. It is not a problem for me as I never ride two up or carry heavy luggage very often. Even if I did swapping the springs would be no big deal. However saying the the suspension is too soft is not whining it is a widely held truth amongst many AT owners, even if some do go overboard about it.
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