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Had to chime in here regarding the suspension... I, for one, found it to be far too soft, too deep into the stroke, and the high speed damping is extremely harsh. The problems with the suspension have become even more pronounced as I've added accessories or if I'm carrying luggage or a passenger. I have spoken with three different pro suspension tuners and even take my bike into one. The results were unanimous. The bike needs springs, at least, and re-valving wouldn't hurt either. I just picked up the Hyperpro kit for mine and will be taking it to Super Plush to get it installed and tuned.
 

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Had to chime in here regarding the suspension... I, for one, found it to be far too soft, too deep into the stroke, and the high speed damping is extremely harsh. The problems with the suspension have become even more pronounced as I've added accessories or if I'm carrying luggage or a passenger. I have spoken with three different pro suspension tuners and even take my bike into one. The results were unanimous. The bike needs springs, at least, and re-valving wouldn't hurt either. I just picked up the Hyperpro kit for mine and will be taking it to Super Plush to get it installed and tuned.
What do you do with your bike? Highway or dirt roads?

Before changing anything, you know the suspension can be adjusted in many, many ways, right?

PS - of course if you go to a suspension shop, they will tell you the stock suspension is sh.t and will sell you stuff. ;-) So far, and for the past 10 months this bike has been offered, most people only have great things to say about the suspension. :)
 

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I find the suspension works great for both rough dirt roads and aggressive road riding. Given its long stroke, there will be fork dive under hard braking but it can be mitigated through adequate use of the rear brake and also by using the strong engine braking. Put that slipper clutch to work!
 

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What do you do with your bike? Highway or dirt roads?

Before changing anything, you know the suspension can be adjusted in many, many ways, right?

PS - of course if you go to a suspension shop, they will tell you the stock suspension is sh.t and will sell you stuff. ;-) So far, and for the past 10 months this bike has been offered, most people only have great things to say about the suspension. :)

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.
 

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"I just picked up the Hyperpro kit for mine and will be taking it to Super Plush to get it installed and tuned"

Jason, let us know how the Hyperpro worked out for you if you wouldn't mind. I think the rear is far too soft too (when heavy loaded), front I find OK.
 

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Hi Maverick,

I agree with Jason and find the AT too softly sprung for both on and off road riding.

My understanding from the Honda people is that the AT is set up for a person weighing 80kg plus an additional 15kg for luggage. For people like me at 110kg plus 50 kg luggage, add-ons and accessories, the suspension is way too soft, even at maximum compression settings.

I have had the front and rear suspension re-valved and re-sprung for my weight and luggage by http://www.krooztune.com/ in Melbourne and it has made a huge difference to the safety and handling of the bike.

Krooztune also have a wealth of information on their website that riders can apply to their own circumstances. I found the setup tips particularly helpful, even after a lifetime on the bikes.
 

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For now mine is ok as I only ride solo on the AT. I will eventually go for a stronger spring but I will also have the shock revalved or have a heavier suspension fluid installed, as the current damping is already compromised and a stronger spring will exacerbate that aspect.
 

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I had a look at my stock AT sag today. I have Ractech's suspension bible and tend to follow there expert advise. They state that generally rider sag should be anywhere between 33-35% into the stroke. The Africa Twin's shock has 221mm of travel so that equates into an ideal sag of between 72-77mm. I am 95Kg's and when sat on the bike the race/rider sag reads 105mm that's 47.5% into the stroke. Now taking the rider out of the equation for a minute. With only the stock bike weight on the suspension the "free" sag is 67mm that's 30.3% of the total suspension travel gone before anything- rider, luggage etc, now not much left there to make the 33% target sag is there! All these sag measurements were with the suspension at default pre-load i.e. 7 clicks in from zero clockwise.

I'm waiting on the Hyperpro fork/shock springs to be delivered. Ive also had some feedback from someone else who has just installed the shock spring (+20mm). I think he was around 75KG's. Sitting on the bike with only 3 clicks of pee-load husband sag is 70mm around the 30% mark. Don his riding gear and he should be right in the 33-35% sag range and loads of pre-load to play with (31 clicks)
 

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I hope everyone understands that there are a couple of variables to consider when setting Sag - first is to remember that it will take 2000 miles on a bike to have a fairly consistent Sag setting. It's important to set it just after a couple of hundred miles, but you will need to check it a lot as the bushings, shocks & forks break it. When everything is tight, it will take more preload to get down to that 30% area than it will when its broken in.

Second is that personal preference takes precedence in the end. When its all said and done the suspension needs to be setup to what works for you.

Thus far with my ride I am at 25% sag in the front, 30% in the rear. For my 230lbs I am about 3 turns from full stiff on the front adjusters and I am about 5 clicks from full stiff on the rear preload. Now in order to have the 25% sag in the front I have lowered the clamps on the fork by 10mm, which offsets the weight bias of the 5% difference. Bike rides fantastic on the street, even with the Dunlops on it still.

I anticipate if I am doing any trail riding to just soften the dampening
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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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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 :grin2:
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 :p
 

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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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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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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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I have only had the bike for 6 days now and really enjoying the change. I part exchanged my 1290r superduke for the AT. Only slight off road experience so will probably only venture over rutted gravel.

But I have been a road rider for 47 years and have a good idea of how a bike should feel on the tarmac. To me the suspension is sort of like being on a small boat bobbing along. I am getting used to it and do not dislike it just a bit strange. I do have the little crf250l and ride that to the max getting it into some shapes.

But asking if the AT handles on the road I did have it cranked way over at weekend with the flat of my foot dragging on the floor whilst still on the peg. I found it to be very flickable and handle really well, the large front wheel tends to try and pull you out of shape. But once you get that under control and know how to compensate you have a well mannered flickable bike. One that is growing on me fast I can see a long time ownership with this bike.
 
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