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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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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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.

https://www.facebook.com/nicotraversoofficialpage/photos/a.734409700002663.1073741829.734362773340689/821231767987122/?type=3&theater
 

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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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Discussion Starter #8
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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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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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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Should be a non-issue. The suspension is fully adjustable, front and rear.

I know a lot of newer riders have some road bike experience, but when they first get on an ADV or dirt bike they think the suspension is too soft. As a rule, any decent off-road suspension will be softer, at least at the beginning of compression, and it's set up that way for a reason. It handles the rough stuff much better than a stiffer set-up. No, it's not like a road package, because it does very different duty. Learn how to adjust your adjustable suspension for your weight and riding style, and you'll come to love your bike (even more, hopefully!)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
2Sun, my experience comes from owning a 2007 Aprilia Caponord. I love the bike, but the front suspension is prone to dive when I grab a handful of brake. It's really annoying for street riding.
 

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I do not think the front suspension is too soft, It is perfect for all types of terrain.

Dive a little, but normal for a long-travel suspension, and fully adjustable, only has to be

adjusted for weight and type of terrein, soft/hard/road.....
 

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2Sun, my experience comes from owning a 2007 Aprilia Caponord. I love the bike, but the front suspension is prone to dive when I grab a handful of brake. It's really annoying for street riding.
Understandable... I don't know that model all that well; does it have adjustable compression dampening and/or adjustable spring pre-load on the front? Those are usually pretty straight forward items to adjust (assuming they are adjustable on your bike). If not, and assuming you like the bike otherwise and don't mind spending a little time & money on the suspension set-up, you could always step up in spring weight and change to a slightly heavier fork oil.

With regards to this thread, however, the AT suspension is definitely adjustable in all respects (compression, rebound and pre-load), so firming it up would take only a few minutes to do. Just remember to always record what adjustments you make, or you'll get in a snarl quickly, and have to go back to "zero" with all your settings and start over again.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just remember to always record what adjustments you make, or you'll get in a snarl quickly, and have to go back to "zero" with all your settings and start over again.
2Sun, good advice on recording the adjustments. It's very easy to lose track of where you started!
 

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Suspension

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!
Even off road different people have quite different ideas on how the bike should feel. For me I like a really plush ride in the dirt and the stock bike is way harsher than I would run in the dirt. You have paid for all that suspension travel you may as well use all of it. When you consider a typical desert express will have 300-340mm of travel (even a DRZ is about 300 the AT is quite constrained at 240mm. It takes 10 seconds to harden it up when you get back on the black-top and the same when you hit the dirt, you will have much more fun if you let the bike do the workout and not you. They have little punch marks on the settings so you know where it is before you start. Just go for a run on the bike and write down how much you wind the settings in different directions and take it a step at a time. You cant break it and you will find the different settings that you like in different conditions. Its a lot more enjoyable as you find out what the bike does as you adjust the suspension to the roads you are riding on. If you are just out for a cruise dont worry about it but if you are out for a bit of fun stopping for two minutes for a bit of a stretch and changing tire pressures and suspension settings for a bit of rough road I find to be a good idea. Generally the bike responds so much better and you have a much better day out for it.
 

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Everything Skip D said it great advice, and well worthy of note.

I have just one thing to add: Don't EVER ride it with the adjustments bottomed out all the way. Leave the oil no place to go, you'll trash that nice new suspension in a heartbeat.

Otherwise, play with it. Make those adjustments. Make note of what you've done, and you'll like it more than your first girlfriend once you get it dialed in properly for your ride.
 

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I'm quite a newbie to this off roading....... I just can't get my head around all this suspension talk, why can't I understand the termanology !!!!!
 

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After a long wait I finally got to test ride the Africa twin , I was suitably impressed to put a deposit down . I did find the front forks too soft for road use , at first I thought the brakes were not capable of slowing the bike down but it is the amount of front end dive that gives this impression . Touratech do a progressive fork springs which I might invest in . I found the rest of the bike fantastic and a lot more commutative to the rider then the BMW GS .
 

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I'm quite a newbie to this off roading....... I just can't get my head around all this suspension talk, why can't I understand the termanology !!!!!
Totally understandable. Start with these fundamentals, and you're on your way to getting it all down:

Preload
(Spring tension, based on your weight)

Damping
(speed the spring squashes and returns to normal )

Compression
(advanced damping control, speed the spring squashes)

Rebound
(advanced damping control, speed the spring returns to normal after been squashed)


Check out this website for more details on each...

http://www.gostar-racing.com/club/motorcycle_suspension_set-up.htm

Take a few minutes to read it, and maybe bookmark it for later reference. I found this to be one of the more concise web pages to describe the whole set-up and adjustment process for moto suspensions. There are plenty of sites to choose from, I just like the way this one is laid out, and it gets to the main points quickly without having to sift through pages of theory.

Key take-aways: Only change ONE thing at a time. That's really important. Record your changes. Test each time you make each a change. It may take a little time, but the rewards are fantastic. And if you can, work with someone who has done it before. They can help you get it generally dialed in as you like, and then fine-tuning it yourself later is a snap, once you understand what the cause & effect is of each adjustment.
 
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