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WRX Suspension Setup

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Anyone have any suggestions for a decent setup on the WRX using only the OEM suspension? I am 220 lbs.

From the dealer the back end seemed very soft and springy so I maxed both the rebound and compression settings on the shock and it seems a lot better.

Haven't measured sag yet but that is next on the list.

Only other thing I have noticed with the original setup is a lot of front end dive on the brakes. Hopefully increasing the fork compression setting will help that.

Will likely get around to respringing it next winter but will have to live with the OEM springs for this season.

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X2 .. same boat as the man that started this thread. Any info from the collective would be much appreciated!

Same province too!!

:)

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Hmm... The three of us are all in the same area. We should get together sometime and compare.

I find my X has a really stiff front end. I actually decreased the damping when I had it out on the track last fall because it had that 'wooden' feeling. I'm starting to think I need softer springs. I weigh about 185 without gear.

The rear end is pretty soft though. I'm nearly at full compression damping and still may need more yet.

I have my settings that I was using recorded, but they're out in the shop right now. (actually I think I posted a thread on them on SMJ too.)

On the very plus side though, we got out for a quick spin tonight after work! :banghead: :banghead:

Only had one block of snow and ice to traverse to get to dry ground. :)

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Hmm... The three of us are all in the same area. We should get together sometime and compare.

I find my X has a really stiff front end. I actually decreased the damping when I had it out on the track last fall because it had that 'wooden' feeling. I'm starting to think I need softer springs. I weigh about 185 without gear.

The rear end is pretty soft though. I'm nearly at full compression damping and still may need more yet.

I have my settings that I was using recorded, but they're out in the shop right now. (actually I think I posted a thread on them on SMJ too.)

On the very plus side though, we got out for a quick spin tonight after work! :banghead: :banghead:

Only had one block of snow and ice to traverse to get to dry ground. :)

When you say track, you talking off road, jumps? The only time I hear the suspension is stiff is from guys taking it off road, even lighter guys. When I have heard people say "wooden" its usually in regards to damping. Try changing the fork oil, if you haven't already, people say the oil that comes in them sucks, I don't know enough to say that. That being said, I am running all original stuff, and my front end definetely dives under braking. I find myself shifting my weight forward and back to compensate. I have looked around for springs, can't find any. I ride mostly on the street, so wouldn't mind a stiffer setup, anyone know of any aftermarket springs that would work?

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I worked on setting my X up a lot last year; I'm 205-210 w/o gear so take it with a grain of salt. I didn't adjust the preload up front, but did adjust preload for the rear in addition to compression/rebound for both ends. The front end is still too mushy/vague for me, so I'd prefer some fork springs for my weight/riding style. Anyway, I'll go out and check the settings tonight when I get back from the office and post them for you.

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Is there any difference in the suspension from the R to the X?? That would be great if you could post your settings Ninja .. much appreciated!

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Hmm... The three of us are all in the same area. We should get together sometime and compare.

Not a bad idea .. I am sure you young dudes can show me exactly what I am doing wrong! I am just an old street rider trying to learn how to have some fun in the dirt!

:)

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I'm afraid you'll be disappointed there. I don't have much dirt experience myself. Still, maybe a newbie group of motards all learning how not to fall down in the dirt together could be fun. :)

I should have been more precise in my earlier post. My reference to the track was the road track at race city. I had the little bugger out there in the fall and it was fun. Turns 1 - 4 and the carousel are more fun on the little bike.

I haven't had a chance to try it on the motard track yet, so not much dirt and nothing you could call a jump.

Oh, and here are the settings I've been using. All references are using terminology from the manual.

Front: 12 clicks rebound, 12 clicks compression

Rear: 8 clicks rebound, 3 clicks compression, 12mm (1/2") thread showing on the spring preload adjustment

I'm also running fairly low tire pressure of 22psi/26psi F/R That seems to stick pretty well.

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Just so everyone is on the same page, damping settings are always measured from full hard (all the way clockwise). The manual also follows this pattern.

For example on the shock, I am at 1 click compression and 1 click rebound (from having the adjusters screwed all the way in.)

find my X has a really stiff front end. I actually decreased the damping when I had it out on the track last fall because it had that 'wooden' feeling.

That can be a function of the front-rear weight bias. By raising the forks in the triples and/or raising the rear ride height, we can transfer more weight to the front end and get it working better. This will also have the effect of taking weight off the back end. This is good cause the rear spring feels very soft.

I was hoping someone had already tried lowering the front end and raising the rear end and could tell us if it works. As well adding compression damping to the front end can reduce brake dive but it will also affect how the forks track over bumps.

Ultimately the solution is the correct spring rate for your weight and possible a suspension revalving to get the adjusters in the right ballpark. However we can improve the OEM setup by adjusting things as much as possible.

Not a bad idea .. I am sure you young dudes can show me exactly what I am doing wrong!

Young? I am over 40. :)

Z1 and I are both in Calgary.

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Just so everyone is on the same page, damping settings are always measured from full hard (all the way clockwise). The manual also follows this pattern.

For example on the shock, I am at 1 click compression and 1 click rebound (from having the adjusters screwed all the way in.) :snip:

The service manual says the maximum rebound setting for the shock should be 3 clicks out for full hard.

It doesn't say why it's 3 clicks instead of 1, but does say "Never go beyond the maximum or minimum adjustment positions."

For those of you that find your fork feeling stiff; be sure you are regularly bleeding the air pressure from the forks.

There is a screw on the top of each fork leg just in front of the rebound adjustment screw.

Back each off until it is completely out and you'll hear the pressure being released, then gently snug it back down.

Be sure to regularly bleed both at the same time and remember, the screw does not need to very tight.(1.1 ft-lbs)

As a point of reference; the standard setting for compression and rebound are as follows:

Fork Rebound

forkrebound.png

forkrebound2.png

Fork Compression

forkcompression.png

Shock Preload Measurement

shockpreloadmeasurement.png

Shock Rebound

shockrebound.png

Shock Compression

shockcompression.png

This information should give you a good starting point for making changes if you are currently used to the stock settings. :)

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I was hoping someone had already tried lowering the front end and raising the rear end and could tell us if it works. As well adding compression damping to the front end can reduce brake dive but it will also affect how the forks track over bumps.

See the link below, he raised his forks, to try to compensate for changing tire sizes. If you don't drop the rear too, you are going to a more aggresive rake/trail, less stable, but more agile. He did not talk about weight transfer, he did say it was more agile, quick steering. You can always PM him, see if he has anything to say about weight transfer.

http://www.supermotojunkie.com/showthread.php?t=77918

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Remember, I'm 205lbs without clothing and used to ride streetbikes (ZX6R, Speed Triple 1050, Sprint ST 1050) with super firm trackday settings for all of my street riding before this SuMo, so take this for what it's worth.

Fork:

Compression -- 8 clicks from full in

Rebound -- 12 clicks from full in

Shock:

Compression -- 3 clicks from full in

Rebound -- 8 clicks from full in

Preload -- 206mm (12 grooves showing)

I think the compression up front needs to be firmer. The fork is so soft (or maybe it's natural flex in the forks) that it's a struggle to get much feel from the front end; I just have to trust the front tire semi-blindly.

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I found a suspension shop in High River .. Enzo racing. I emailed him but haven't had a response yet. You young guys are probably much better at playing with the various suspension settings and actually getting somewhere, but at 220 lbs. , I am pretty sure that some sort of change to the spring itself and possibly revalving will be required. I learned a long time ago that my mechanical abilities and aptitude is minimal .. therefore I can save myself a lot of disappointment by leaving it up to the pros (or tinkerers)! Call me lazy ... :thumbsup:

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Dinosore, If you want to pay someone to respring and revalve your suspension I would highly suggest RMR Suspension down in Vancouver. He does excellent work. RMR used to be in Calgary but moved west last year. He does a ton of work with both streetbikes and motocross.

http://www.rmrsuspensions.com/

He is fairly quick so you could even get the work done now before riding season starts.

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I found a suspension shop in High River .. Enzo racing. I emailed him but haven't had a response yet. You young guys are probably much better at playing with the various suspension settings and actually getting somewhere, but at 220 lbs. , I am pretty sure that some sort of change to the spring itself and possibly revalving will be required. I learned a long time ago that my mechanical abilities and aptitude is minimal .. therefore I can save myself a lot of disappointment by leaving it up to the pros (or tinkerers)! Call me lazy ... :thumbsup:

Wasn't it a Clint Eastwood character who said, "A man's gotta know his limitations?" or something like that. It's good that you don't want to mess up your suspension; getting it right requires a lot of trial and error with emphasis on the error part. Sometimes the errors are so great they can cause a loss of control/confidence severe enough to lead to an accident.

BTW, I'm 35 and, while I'm new to this off road/SuMo bike style, I've read enough about suspension setup and tinkered enough on my road bikes over the last 10 years of riding to get a stock suspension "close enough" for me to enjoy riding without pouring loads of $$$ into aftermarket suspension pieces/components. $800+ for a quality rear shock/spring and $500+ for fork springs with valving mods is too steep for me given the relatively rapid turnover on my bikes (2-3yrs) and limited riding I get to do (commuting to office 99% of time), especially when I can get the suspension setup "close enough" for free. I suppose when I blow $12k+ on a Ducati or BMW, I'll be able to justify that expense to my MBA-developed fiscal mindset.

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If you have never had your suspension done properly and gotten it right then how can you say you are getting it "close enough" for free?

Until you have ridden a bike with properly setup suspension you don't have a clue what it feels like and how much an improvement it is. Suspension is probably the single most important setup or change you can make on a bike. the OEM setup is generally crap.

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Wow, I didn't realize that after a decade of riding I had no clue as to exactly what feedback I prefer from my bike in order to be a confident/fast rider, and more importantly, how to tune the stock suspension to get close enough to that optimum given the known limitations of OEM equipment.

I thought suspension tuning was an art requiring lots of understanding of the mechanics involved in riding a motorcycle, the mechanics involved when the suspension responds to the road conditions, and the all-important feedback loop from the rider as to what's happening at both ends of the bike when he's happy as well as when he's uncomfortable. I had no idea it was a science known only to professional tuners.

I figured the Pareto Principle (loosely translated as top 80% of desired results come from top 20% of effort/resources) would get me "close enough" for pleasureful street/track riding unless or until I to do the inverse to get that last 20% of desired results (while expending top 80% of effort/resources) to get me to that optimum/perfect setup.

Thanks for getting me squared away, though. Really. Not sure I can ever repay you. I'm going to put my bike back to the suggested settings in the manual for now and get to a professional suspension tuner as quickly as possible so I can get my bike set up perfectly. Thanks.

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Thanks for getting me squared away, though. Really. Not sure I can ever repay you. I'm going to put my bike back to the suggested settings in the manual for now and get to a professional suspension tuner as quickly as possible so I can get my bike set up perfectly. Thanks.

No problem, happy to help.

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Dinosore, If you want to pay someone to respring and revalve your suspension I would highly suggest RMR Suspension down in Vancouver. He does excellent work. RMR used to be in Calgary but moved west last year. He does a ton of work with both streetbikes and motocross.

http://www.rmrsuspensions.com/

He is fairly quick so you could even get the work done now before riding season starts.

I am going to have to drop him a line and see what is involved .. thanks for the info!

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