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Yamaha Tech Originally the Yamaha XT600 Tech Forum, due to demand it now includes all Yamaha's technical / mechanical / repair / preparation questions.
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Old 16 Mar 2007
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Suspension settings

Hi all,

I am under the impression that, as a rule of thumb a bike should use up one third of its suspension travel when the weight of the bike plus rider compresses it.
Can anyone confirm this?

I had a custom rear shock absorber made about 6 years ago, but for a variety of reasons have only recently got around to fitting it. It was supposed to have been made with a firmer spring to cope with a lot of luggage but when I try to set the 'Static sag' as above, I have to wind the spring preload 80% of the way to wards its maximum setting, and this is with no luggage fitted.

Does this suggest that the spring that is fitted is of too low a spring rate?

As always, any thought on this are appreciated,


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Old 26 Mar 2007
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You are spot on.
30% sag is the perfect setup for the bikes weight and riders weight on the bike.
The sag should not exceed 50% fully loaded.

A custom made rear shock should ideally give you:

30% sag (bike + rider) with the preload set to or near minimum if you want to have a "hard" setup for lots of luggage, two up or hard riding.

or 50% sag (bike + rider) with the preload set to or near minimum if you want to have a "soft" setup for comfortable riding one up with little luggage and being the hooligan of the town commuting to work.

I assume you did not pick up weight over the last six years :-)

Have you disassembled the shock or unloaded the spring and checked the spring's free length? Unlikely as it should not happen to a good quality aftermarket spring but it might have set whilst sitting in the box if it was fitted to the shock and preloaded.
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Old 11 Apr 2007
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Thanks for your reply.

Looking at my notes, when I made my measurements I used Yamaha's quoted rear suspension travel, but this is undoubtably not measured between the same points that I was using. I will have to have another go, but this time removing the saddle and using a ratchet strap to fully compress the rear shock.

If I get similar results, I will contact the supplier but I don't know how they will react to me 6 years after purchase!

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