AT suspension setup for heavy riders - Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-28-2019, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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After 5 weeks of daily tweaking, I have managed to have a working suspension setup with stock springs and shock. I would like to share this information for us fatties out there! I experienced high speed wobbles, had to constantly correct myself in corners and had a lot of bumby front situations at lower speeds. Honda aimed the suspension for 75 kg / 165 lbs / 12 st riders. Unfortunately, I am 108 kg / 238 lbs / 17 st.

My setup:
- FRONT preload: 8 turns, starting from full SOFT.
- FRONT compression damping: 2 clicks from full TIGHT.
- FRONT rebound: 2 and a half turn from full TIGHT.

- REAR preload: Maxed out, turned anti-clockwise untill you hear the first click.
- REAR compression damping: stock settings (14 clicks from MAX).
- REAR rebound: stock settings (11 clicks from MAX).

Testing situation:
- Both my Tusk panniers, weighing 8 kg / 17 lbs total, have been removed.
- I have equipped a front crash bar of around 6 kg / 13 lbs
- Did a constant 160 kmph / 100 mph for about 20 km / 13 mi on the highway with a few fairly sharp exit lanes.
- I intentionally pushed against the handlebars to the left and to the right on the highway and I'm satisfied the gyroscopic effect corrects my path and keeps me in a straight line without the handlebars feeling twitchy or 'light feathered'.
- Did 50 kmph / 30 mph within city boundries, all on tarmac, both new and old pavement with tar snakes and speed bumps.
- I have done a couple of full turns on a roundabout and ONLY noticed a slight oversteer in the back when I had to correct my speed and lean angle a bit while taking the long turning circle.
- Road surface was wet. I can happily say I was really confident on cornering the bike hard for the first time since I owned it.
- My AT runs on Dunlop Trailsmart Max, front 2.0 bar and back 2.6 bar.

I really hope this information will help you sort out any discomfort or trouble you are experiencing with your AT. The rear shock is simply not build for our weight. I'm convinced that if you apply these settings, you will regain control and a good level of comfort!

Last edited by ronbosgra; 09-28-2019 at 08:33 PM.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-28-2019, 09:18 PM
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First off LOL if you think 238# is fat you gotta meet me I range between 260-270 lbs but that aside thank you very much for the info.. I’ve been seriously procrastinating on messing with and getting the proper set up in the suspension and this is a godsend or at the very least a sign for me to finally fix that issue.

GREAT POST!! Actually this would be a great start for us to post more of the setups and variables and setting used for OEM suspensions. Even if the rider is not the exact same weight and height it as least a great staring point and can be more easily tweaked from there...

“If necessity is the mother of inventions, then laziness is the baby daddy.” A.A.

Last edited by AT-Dragon; 09-28-2019 at 09:25 PM.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-29-2019, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AT-Dragon View Post
First off LOL if you think 238# is fat you gotta meet me I range between 260-270 lbs but that aside thank you very much for the info.. I’ve been seriously procrastinating on messing with and getting the proper set up in the suspension and this is a godsend or at the very least a sign for me to finally fix that issue.

GREAT POST!! Actually this would be a great start for us to post more of the setups and variables and setting used for OEM suspensions. Even if the rider is not the exact same weight and height it as least a great staring point and can be more easily tweaked from there...
You're welcome and yes, everyone should give it a try and post their feedback here for fine tuning.

My fiance is 60kg and rides on the back if the weather is exactly warm enough, moisture levels are within min/max and Saturn and the Andromeda galaxy system are aligned, so it'll be a while until I can test her added weight.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-29-2019, 06:47 AM
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If you need heavy springs I think you should just bite the bullet and get the correct ones, the stock suspension can be resprung and valved to make it a very good handling bike. The stock valving is not capable of controlling the existing springs so if you do upgrade them you will need that work done anyway. there is heaps of stuff that can help out on the web https://www.teknikmotorsport.com/ass...etup_Guide.pdf https://www.teknikmotorsport.com/Off...pension-Tuning
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-29-2019, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SkipD View Post
If you need heavy springs I think you should just bite the bullet and get the correct ones, the stock suspension can be resprung and valved to make it a very good handling bike. The stock valving is not capable of controlling the existing springs so if you do upgrade them you will need that work done anyway. there is heaps of stuff that can help out on the web https://www.teknikmotorsport.com/ass...etup_Guide.pdf https://www.teknikmotorsport.com/Off...pension-Tuning
Thanks for the link, I agree that if you really want it done properly, you should revalve it. Although, if anyone is happy with these settings, like me, you can save quit a lot of money.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-29-2019, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronbosgra View Post
You're welcome and yes, everyone should give it a try and post their feedback here for fine tuning.

My fiance is 60kg and rides on the back if the weather is exactly warm enough, moisture levels are within min/max and Saturn and the Andromeda galaxy system are aligned, so it'll be a while until I can test her added weight.
Lol she needs to meet my o’lady I’m sure between the two of them they would come up with a couple of more and then add “you’re always off on the bike and never take me”

“If necessity is the mother of inventions, then laziness is the baby daddy.” A.A.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-29-2019, 08:47 AM
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Glad you found a setting that works great for you! What I also noticed, was initially with the OEM tires, I had to fight the bike in the curves, it would have a tendency to go wide. When I changed the tires for Shinkos 804/805, it completely transformed the bike, the bike now falls into corners effortlessly. Insane the difference a tire can make.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-29-2019, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronbosgra View Post
You're welcome and yes, everyone should give it a try and post their feedback here for fine tuning.

My fiance is 60kg and rides on the back if the weather is exactly warm enough, moisture levels are within min/max and Saturn and the Andromeda galaxy system are aligned, so it'll be a while until I can test her added weight.
Lol she needs to meet my o’lady I’m sure between the two of them they would come up with a couple of more and then add “you’re always off on the bike and never take me”
Haha, It seems that you and I Iive the same life!
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-29-2019, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Speedo007 View Post
Glad you found a setting that works great for you! What I also noticed, was initially with the OEM tires, I had to fight the bike in the curves, it would have a tendency to go wide. When I changed the tires for Shinkos 804/805, it completely transformed the bike, the bike now falls into corners effortlessly. Insane the difference a tire can make.
Absolutely, I disliked my stock Aveon tyres. They were used for 11k kilometres and were cupped and squared. I was in a German mountain range for a weekend thinking I could get some last milage out of them before changing them having some thread left.

Out of nowhere we noticed that the rear tyre showed extreme wear randomly around the tyre, my center thread was gone and my carcass started to show at one spot. For some reason my insurance and my motorcycle road side service couldn't help because all shops were closing and I crossed a border. So we had to ride 350km back into The Netherlands over the Autobahn with no more than 90 - 100 kmph, sticking behind trucks while those crazy BMW's passed us at 200+ kmph. The most tense ride I ever did!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 12:31 PM
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I’m about the same size as the OP. Fooling with the stock settings made the ride “better” but the biggest problem IMO is the preload or lack of. There was no way I was only using 30% of the travel in the rear. More like 50% even with the preload all the way stiff

The problem when you don’t have proper preload especially in the rear is that it unweights the front. With a light front end it will drift, shimmy, and feel unstable. You need to get that weight ‘even”. I bought the correct weight spring from Cogent Dynamics and what a difference. The bike absorbs bumps better, it corners better and is more stable. I can also attain the correct preload for the rear of the bike even loaded. The spring was only. 150ish

The front swings are next. Suspension is always the first thing I invest in no matter what motorcycle I own or buy. It makes the biggest difference in how the bike feels.

I’m not saying don’t mess the suspension to get the stock set up better, but the right springs goes along way..

BTW, i ride 50/50 so YMMV
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