Honda Africa Twin Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of July's Ride of the Month Challenge! Theme: Drop it like it's hot!
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just finished checking my sag settings front and back (on my own -which I'm quite proud of)
Couple of qualifiers first
I haven't yet bothered to make any alowances for stiction
Front sag was done in riding gear, back in normal clothes only
I weigh 174lb

Front sag untouched from factory setting provided
Static 57mm and rider sag 74mm

Rear sag (but 10 turns higher than it came (ie 18 turns back from fully wound up)
Static sag 46mm rider sag 79.5mm

Now on the face of it this looks pretty close, but in truth the springs are wrong for my weight and the type of riding I do (no pillion and no luggage). It would have been better if the front had been say 50mm static and 25mm extra for me (but it's OK). The rear isn't so good as it really should have been about 27mm static and a further 52mm for me.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Mine with the extra stuff like hard panniers, crash bars etc came in about 75mm sag with me on it in the front but a low 85mm in the rear. I am fine with the front but I will likely do a new spring for the rear.

For the record I am about 185lbs but the bike has all the goodies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have just had a brilliant ride through single track roads in the Yorkshire Dales and the suspension was so good it allowed me to go 10mph faster than on my NC750X dct (not that I was racing - just that it was so comfortable).
Anyway it got me thinking. 'Cos I have now got the rear preload up to 22 clicks and I think it's just about right - giving me the same deflection as the front with me on. And as someone else has said, that probably leads to really good balance in the bends.
Many people have said the suspension is OK but too much on the soft side. And if you look at my results - a 180lb rider one-up hardly any luggage and needing 22 clicks of preload, then that comment might seem right on the surface.
But Honda have clearly tried to make a very useful off-road bike. And if they had started out with a spring capable of handling two big people and two weeks of luggage then how would that have handled off-road - especially as hardly anyone would be taking a pillion off road, and in all likelihood most of the offroad playing would be done with hardly any luggage.
Instead they have started off wth a spring that can be adjusted for a 130lb guy (or girl) probably up to 210lb, and at a push that 180lb guy can take a pillion in comfort if he winds the preload up to 35 ... or a couple of weeks luggage on his own - maybe even cross country. And if you are a big guy or most of your time is spent two-up, then it's no big deal to get it resprung at the back - the front is probably OK as it is.
So in my book that's a big plus to Honda, because I have just spent 6 months trying to get a stock NC750X to behave like this AT - and only partly getting there.
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
743 Posts
Just finished checking my sag settings front and back (on my own -which I'm quite proud of)
Couple of qualifiers first
I haven't yet bothered to make any alowances for stiction
Front sag was done in riding gear, back in normal clothes only
I weigh 174lb

Front sag untouched from factory setting provided
Static 57mm and rider sag 74mm

Rear sag (but 10 turns higher than it came (ie 18 turns back from fully wound up)
Static sag 46mm rider sag 79.5mm

Now on the face of it this looks pretty close, but in truth the springs are wrong for my weight and the type of riding I do (no pillion and no luggage). It would have been better if the front had been say 50mm static and 25mm extra for me (but it's OK). The rear isn't so good as it really should have been about 27mm static and a further 52mm for me.

Mike
i recon Rider sag should be 73mm - 33% of assumed total travel of 220mm (8.7"). I'm 150lb nek'd, ~175lb with riding gear / backpack with water and tools. Empty tank bag on the bike.

I confirmed Factory spring setting then measured rear sag, accounting for stiction.
Static = 53mm (24% of travel)
Rider = 88mm (40% of travel)
I'll check the front next.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i recon Rider sag should be 73mm - 33% of assumed total travel of 220mm (8.7"). I'm 150lb nek'd, ~175lb with riding gear / backpack with water and tools. Empty tank bag on the bike.

I confirmed Factory spring setting then measured rear sag, accounting for stiction.
Static = 53mm (24% of travel)
Rider = 88mm (40% of travel)
I'll check the front next.
Very similar to mine then (considering I had wound on another 10 clicks of rear preload). I have since wound on another 4 clicks.
Was there much of a stiction effect?
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
I have just had a brilliant ride through single track roads in the Yorkshire Dales and the suspension was so good it allowed me to go 10mph faster than on my NC750X dct (not that I was racing - just that it was so comfortable).
Anyway it got me thinking. 'Cos I have now got the rear preload up to 22 clicks and I think it's just about right - giving me the same deflection as the front with me on. And as someone else has said, that probably leads to really good balance in the bends.
Many people have said the suspension is OK but too much on the soft side. And if you look at my results - a 180lb rider one-up hardly any luggage and needing 22 clicks of preload, then that comment might seem right on the surface.
But Honda have clearly tried to make a very useful off-road bike. And if they had started out with a spring capable of handling two big people and two weeks of luggage then how would that have handled off-road - especially as hardly anyone would be taking a pillion off road, and in all likelihood most of the offroad playing would be done with hardly any luggage.
Instead they have started off wth a spring that can be adjusted for a 130lb guy (or girl) probably up to 210lb, and at a push that 180lb guy can take a pillion in comfort if he winds the preload up to 35 ... or a couple of weeks luggage on his own - maybe even cross country. And if you are a big guy or most of your time is spent two-up, then it's no big deal to get it resprung at the back - the front is probably OK as it is.
So in my book that's a big plus to Honda, because I have just spent 6 months trying to get a stock NC750X to behave like this AT - and only partly getting there.
Mike
I think you are quite fortunate to get the sag you want at only 22 clicks. I am only 170 pounds and to get to the often quoted 30% sag I was nearly maxed out on the rear preload with no luggage or pillion.

On the other hand I didn't want a taller bike so I returned the preload to the factory settings. The spring didn't bottom out on any of the roads near me, and the bike turned OK so there was really no need to alter it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Willco - you may be right. I have not as yet remeasured the rear sag after increasing it to 22 clicks. I have just assumed it would be pretty close since it didn;t need much adjustment when it was set at 18 clicks.
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Suspension revisited

I have been playing with suspension setting for few days, but today I finally took the right approach to determine the rider sag front and rear. First off, the rear preload came from dealer set at MINIMUM, front as per factory setting, 5 turns from minimum. I am 200 lb guy, I always carry the top box with some gear in it, I always ride solo, no additional luggage and I do not go off road, just on bad road. As well, I am 31" inseam and I'd like to safely at least tiptoe when sitting on the bike. So I set the front preload 2 turns from minimum and rear preload 3 clicks from minimum. With this setting my rider sag is 87 mm = 39.5% front and 88 mm = 38% rear, way over what it should be. However, I never bottomed out so far and I can almost flat foot sitting on the bike. I am an older fellow, ride mostly secondary roads at 80 kms/h and comfortable ride is my first priority. Comfortable/pliable suspension was the main reason I opted for the AT.
So if I do not experience bottoming out, why should I worry about proper sag of say 30%? I want to be safe on the bike not only when I ride, but as well when I sit on it at intersection. If I crank up the preload where it should be, I'd probably need to buy riding boots with 2" soles...:smile2: Any comments, recommendations?
And BTW, I have rebound damping set as per manual, but compression damping 2 clicks front and 3 clicks rear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
743 Posts
I have been playing with suspension setting for few days, but today I finally took the right approach to determine the rider sag front and rear. ... . So I set the front preload 2 turns from minimum and rear preload 3 clicks from minimum. With this setting my rider sag is 87 mm = 39.5% front and 88 mm = 38% rear, ... Comfortable/pliable suspension was the main reason I opted for the AT.
So if I do not experience bottoming out, why should I worry about proper sag of say 30%? I want to be safe on the bike not only when I ride, but as well when I sit on it at intersection. If I crank up the preload where it should be, I'd probably need to buy riding boots with 2" soles...:smile2: Any comments, recommendations? ....
The AT appears to have good spring rates and damping for riders (with gear) in the range of 150 - 200 lbs. Heavier loads need stiffer springs to keep the suspension in a good working 'zone' but I don't think the stock dampers (compression / rebound) can handle much heavier springs without internal tweaking.

For clarity - did you set rear preload 3 clicks from minimum (full out) or maximum (full in) or are you referencing minimum as 'factory spec' which for the rear is 7-clicks in from minimum?
I ask because I've just checked my sag @ 2500km after riding some good 2-track at speed where I bottomed out on a couple of cross ditches.

My seated rider sag - i'm 150b necked, perhaps 170 with riding gear, water bladder and tank bag - at 16 clicks in from minimum is 88mm (40%). Standing rider sag, which is what I care about off-road, is a bit better at 80mm (36%). I've a 32" inseam and keep the seat in the low position. I can flat foot one side easily.

All that setting sag does, is get your suspension in a good zone for travel and proper bike balance. If the rear sag is too much the bike rides like a chopper - ok I exaggerate - it does impact steering but not the stiffness or plushness of the suspension.

When I put on the Zega-Pro2 bags with tools, spare tubes and other crap like clothes and bear spray, my seated sag is 95mm (43% of travel). Cranking in the adjuster to 32-clicks in I can get rear seated sag back to 86mm (39%).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
For clarity - did you set rear preload 3 clicks from minimum (full out) or maximum (full in) or are you referencing minimum as 'factory spec' which for the rear is 7-clicks in from minimum?
I ask because I've just checked my sag @ 2500km after riding some good 2-track at speed where I bottomed out on a couple of cross ditches.
I set the rear preload 3 clicks from minimum, e.g. bike at lowest height, actually, now only 2 clicks.
I took care of the front, however. Found out that by going to default 7 turns from zero preload on front, my rider sag is 70 mm ~30%, however the front goes up 10 mm in height. So, I raised the forks by 10 mm to compensate for this extra height. Now I have the right front sag, yet the same bike height as before.
I am thinking about doing the same for the rear. There is an adjustable lowering link available http://soupysperformance.com/soupys-honda-africa-twin-crf1000l-adjustable-lowering-link-kit.html that would work ideally for me. However, I am questioning the strength and quality of this "contraption". My friend had almost fatal accident when he broke the original link on his 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Attempting to set proper SAG on my AT DCT below are the numbers I came up with. It is my understanding full rear travel is 221MM and recommend SAG for an Adventure Bike is 30% of full travel which would put SAG at 66 with the Free SAG at 66 at Max Low Preload an Max High Reload Rider Sag is at 86 not sure how it is possible to get to a Rider SAG of 66.

I would appreciate any insight as to what SAG people are running and whether my numbers look correct.

Africa Twin Pre-Load Numbers
Rider weight 218 with no gear. Pannier racks on bike but no panniers otherwise stock.

Rear
Max Low Preload Free Sag 66 Rider Sag 104
Mid Preload 15 Clicks Free Sag 56 Rider Sag 96
Max or High Reload Free Sag 44 Rider Sag 86
Front
Factory Setting Free Sag 70 Rider Sag 86 Not sure
8.5 Turn in from Max Soft

Free sag is measurement from Bike on Stand to off stand just holding bike straight up.

Rider sag is me seated on bike feet on pegs with bike stabilized in a straight up position.

All measurements taken with a Motool Slacker Digital Sag Scale.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
Attempting to set proper SAG on my AT DCT below are the numbers I came up with. It is my understanding full rear travel is 221MM and recommend SAG for an Adventure Bike is 30% of full travel which would put SAG at 66 with the Free SAG at 66 at Max Low Preload an Max High Reload Rider Sag is at 86 not sure how it is possible to get to a Rider SAG of 66.

I would appreciate any insight as to what SAG people are running and whether my numbers look correct.

Africa Twin Pre-Load Numbers
Rider weight 218 with no gear. Pannier racks on bike but no panniers otherwise stock.

Rear
Max Low Preload Free Sag 66 Rider Sag 104
Mid Preload 15 Clicks Free Sag 56 Rider Sag 96
Max or High Reload Free Sag 44 Rider Sag 86
Front
Factory Setting Free Sag 70 Rider Sag 86 Not sure
8.5 Turn in from Max Soft

Free sag is measurement from Bike on Stand to off stand just holding bike straight up.

Rider sag is me seated on bike feet on pegs with bike stabilized in a straight up position.

All measurements taken with a Motool Slacker Digital Sag Scale.
Your rear settings same as me (and everyone else of course). Fitted HyperPro +20mm spring to compensate on the rear. You don't have to stick at 30% either, it is a good starting point to aim for though. 35% was my sweet spot which gave me loads more rear preload adjustment when adding pillion/luggage. Front and rear total travel differ a little so calcs will be different for each end. If you were riding on a billiard table in a vacuum you can have 90% SAG if you want, it's the relationship between the front and rear for the bike handling rather than an actual SAG setting. (except in a vacuum there is no air for your engine!). Excessive SAG isn't going to work for tough off-road environment of course, not suggesting it is.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Thanks for the reply. For now I have set my front preload with 12 turns in from low preload and have a free sag of 60 and rider sag of 70 for 34% sag. Going to work on loosing some weight as well!!!

I have the rear set at 3 turns in from Max Preload so 32 for free sag of 48 and Rider Sag of 88 40%

I may see if a suspension guy I know can get me a collar for the stock shock spring or if he can get access to the HyperPro +20mm springs. Is the HyperPro available in the US. Any other sources for alternate springs.

In an ideal world do you want the front sag to equal the back sag if not what is the preferred relationship.



Pete Donaldson
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
Some motorcycle manufacturers are prescriptive on SAG and publish recomended values as in a % or mm of travel, many others don't. I have never found any for the AT. In the absense of any values it would seem reasonable to go for an even amount front and rear, say your 35% value for instance, front and back. Then see how you like the ride and just alter the rear preload up and down a little for your personal preference.

Once you have your new rear spring, if that is what you do, and you have mangaed to setup your 35% SAG you will find you can just adjust your rear preload only for changing loads and leave the front as is. It doesn'y have to be bang on. If you just adjust up and down a couple of clicks on the rear have a ride, see how you feel, stop in a layby and do it again and feel the difference either way. Try it town riding and open road riding, just changing the rear. You may then find that 35% front and 38% rear suit you or 35% front and 32% rear or even 35%/35%.

Hyperpro seem to be represented in the USA according to their where to buy webpage. http://hyperpro.com/where-to-buy/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
My ride weight is about 240lbs. I consulted with my suspension shop who offered me three stages of options. Being wired the way I am.....a serial over-killer.....I decided to just jump right to option 3 and had them fit me for an Ohlins 646.

Ohlins offers a standard 95nm (542lbs/inch) spring on that shock, which is about 17% stronger than the stock 8.3kg (465lbs/inch) spring......However, for my girth Ohlins also conveniently offers a 105nm (600lbs/inch) spring which is 29% stronger than the OEM rotini. The big boy Ohlins is on the way. I'll note that I have a full Ohlins setup on another bike and I am so happy with it that it was, without question, a big factor in my decision to jump right to option 3.

With that noted, I will share what my shop told me......The OEM shock is a surprisingly solid and capable OEM unit. With the proper spring and some adjustments to valving, the OEM shock will perform at a very high level. They have dyno tested the stock shock with those adjustments and they were very impressed. It's a very good shock.

Now with all that out of the way.......I have a question that I have yet to find a good answer. Given the old standard for static sag is in the range of 10% of total travel, why did Honda set up the AT with static sag in the range of 20%+ of total travel? I have never had a bike sag so much just sitting there. Even at full preload the static sag is huge. Can someone shed some light on it?

Thx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just finished checking my sag settings front and back (on my own -which I'm quite proud of)
Couple of qualifiers first
I haven't yet bothered to make any alowances for stiction
Front sag was done in riding gear, back in normal clothes only
I weigh 174lb

Front sag untouched from factory setting provided
Static 57mm and rider sag 74mm

Rear sag (but 10 turns higher than it came (ie 18 turns back from fully wound up)
Static sag 46mm rider sag 79.5mm

Now on the face of it this looks pretty close, but in truth the springs are wrong for my weight and the type of riding I do (no pillion and no luggage). It would have been better if the front had been say 50mm static and 25mm extra for me (but it's OK). The rear isn't so good as it really should have been about 27mm static and a further 52mm for me.

Mike
Just done the measurements on my recently purchased 2018 bike.
Front static is 60mm and rider sag is 80mm
Rear static 43mm rider sag 82 (probably about the same as last bike as the preload was only 14 turns back from fully wound up.
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
I set my rear last night with the help of a friend to measure. I do have an upgrade from Cogent of a shim and 575lb/in (10.27 Kg/mm). Data on my adventure sport with Tusk Panniers and 20lbs of always on (Tools, first aide, and rain gear):

Adventure Sport
601 lbs with full fuel
Myself in full gear about 225 pounds
25 clicks on pre-load.
78 mm/ 32.5% sitting
70 mm/ 29,2% standing on pegs.

I figure that the other 10 clicks should give me what I need for most travel applications, and if I take it on a serious back-country trip will get one more step up in the spring for the extra load. I will not be riding this 2-up, and have actually removed the pillion pegs.

I have not attempted to set front yet, but do have a set of .80 kg/mm springs in the forks with 10w fork fluid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
just got my 2017 AT and tried to get my rider sag down to 30% of total travel. I picked two points on the wheel and frame with the the bike on Center stand, took that measurement, and did the math to get the 30% sag measurement. Sat on the bike and could not get it down as far as the numbers said it should be before i was out of turns. I’m 170lbs and currently only ride with essentials in a small backpack.

help?

Some motorcycle manufacturers are prescriptive on SAG and publish recomended values as in a % or mm of travel, many others don't. I have never found any for the AT. In the absense of any values it would seem reasonable to go for an even amount front and rear, say your 35% value for instance, front and back. Then see how you like the ride and just alter the rear preload up and down a little for your personal preference.

Once you have your new rear spring, if that is what you do, and you have mangaed to setup your 35% SAG you will find you can just adjust your rear preload only for changing loads and leave the front as is. It doesn'y have to be bang on. If you just adjust up and down a couple of clicks on the rear have a ride, see how you feel, stop in a layby and do it again and feel the difference either way. Try it town riding and open road riding, just changing the rear. You may then find that 35% front and 38% rear suit you or 35% front and 32% rear or even 35%/35%.

Hyperpro seem to be represented in the USA according to their where to buy webpage. Where-to-buy - Hyperpro
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top