CRF1000L Suspension Too Soft? - Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Forum
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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CRF1000L Suspension Too Soft?

Having read everything I could about the new AT, I did come across an amateur review by a guy who said that he didn't like the new AT because he thought the suspension was too soft both for offroad and onroad riding. Can anyone who has ridden the CRF1000L chime in about whether they thought the front and/or rear suspension was too soft? Did you encounter the shocks bottoming out over rough terrain? Did you notice any excessive front end dive? Were the shocks too soft to be sporty in the twisties? I see that Touratech is offering a new rear shock for the AT. Is that because the rear shock is not adequate under heavy loads or hard off-roading? I'm trying to figure out which adventure bike to get and the cost of having to upgrade the suspension on a new bike figures heavily into my decision.Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 02:32 PM
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I think having ridden two up which is mostly what I would be doing when touring, the front end is ok and I wont be doing much to it that the available tuning adjustments wont be able to compensate for.. the rear shock is also surprisingly good with a few tweaks. It took a few experiments with preload to get it riding nice and level loaded up with gear, but its using most of the available preload, so all in all it will be okay for now. It certainly doesn't feel like a budget shock but I think down the line, and say in about 20K I will change the rear shock for something like a Wilburs. if the AT was just for me then all would seem good and to get it much better would be at least couple of grand further down the line..but then its mostly a one person bike anyway.. but surprisingly good for two.

This is IMHO of course!
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 02:45 PM
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I'm 70KG - for me the standard suspension was great on the road up to around, ahem, reasonable speeds. It didn't dive much under normal breaking and wasn't too bad when I wanted to really test the brakes. The bike was basically a brand new demo so might slacken up a bit later on of course. My other half is 50KG so we shouldn't have too many problems (unless she brings every pair of her shoes and all her toiletries).

Not gone off-road on one yet but can't imagine all the journos would have missed this if it were a problem.

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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-14-2016, 03:36 AM
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I recall reading that amateur review too, key word being amateur.

Commonly a motorcycles suspension come setup from factory to accommodate an average adult of around 80kg(excluding kids bikes naturally). Anything above this will require a bit of tuning if it is capable of being tuned.

I weigh around 95kg and one of the reasons I never bought a F800GS was precisely the fact the front suspension was not adjustable(ludicrous for an adventure bike IMO). In my experience most of the bikes I've owned only needed the front suspension hardened if it was just myself on the bike otherwise it would dive a little too much for my liking under heavy braking.
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-14-2016, 06:29 AM
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Yeah, I wouldn't believe what one guy says, when every professional journalist whose work I've read on it so far has acclaimed it highly
I had a brief off road on one when I borrowed a demo before ordering mine, and it seemed fine, but I'm far from an off road king
Perhaps the guy thought it was too softly sprung because he's a 150kg donut chomper
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-14-2016, 02:39 PM
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This came across my Facebook feed the other day, written by some guy called Nico Traverso

In Italian..
la nuova Africa mi è piaciuta tanto, è leggerissima, le sospensioni sono molto meglio di quanto uno ci si aspetta da una maxi Enduro di serie e si possono anche migliorare ulteriormente perché sono completamente regolabili. Comoda, second...See More
Auto translated...
Lucia Maurizi the new Africa I liked it so much, it's very light, suspensions are much better than one we would expect from a maxi enduro of series and you can also further improve because they are fully adjustable. Comfortable, according to @Letizia piacenza the passenger is also better than on the GS 1200. The engine is fluid, never settles in crisis and if the gas by walking .
It is very very agile and the traversi are very good
He looks to be some kind of enduro rider and was part of the Italian team for the 2014 BMW GS Trophy, so it seems fair to say he is a better rider than all of us. The auto translation isn't so good but you at least get the idea that he likes it.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-14-2016, 07:43 PM
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The stock suspension should be fine unless you plan on jumping over large bumps with it. I think there's a picture somewhere on this forum where you can see the suspension post jump. It looked like it almost bottomed out.
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-14-2016, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by graeme4130 View Post
Yeah, I wouldn't believe what one guy says, when every professional journalist whose work I've read on it so far has acclaimed it highly...
Gaeme, I thought the same thing too, but then it occurred to me that these professional journalists who do the reviews might water down their criticisms lest they not be granted access to future motorcycle road tests.
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-14-2016, 11:42 PM
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For what it's worth, a journo friend of mine commented that Honda have done an excellent job of the suspension. On my test ride I tried a few humps and bumps out and it handled my weight well without any problems.
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 01:30 AM
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I'm 86 kg and 1m87. I've tried my AT on and offroad for about 750 km now. Definitely NOT : the suspension is freat. It is very progressive, which means that it is soft in de first cm's of travel. At the bottom end it's very though, and even adjustable. To me it seems impossible tot push it to the end, even in jumps etc....
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