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Guest rapsidy

Need Some Help With Suspension

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Guest rapsidy

Was wondering if you could give some suspension advice?

The problem is when i ride the 08 vfr in twisty stuff i feel every bump and the back end feels light and seems like it wants to get loose. To the point where i have lost a bit of confidence in it. I don't know how to adjust suspension or anything :beer:

what do you think could be the problem and how do i fix it.

any advice appreciated, thanks

i'm 6"3 and weigh 90 kg 198 pounds i think :unsure:

:thumbsup:

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Start with setting your static sag. There is a How To in the How To section.

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Was wondering if you could give some suspension advice?

The problem is when i ride the 08 vfr in twisty stuff i feel every bump and the back end feels light and seems like it wants to get loose. To the point where i have lost a bit of confidence in it. I don't know how to adjust suspension or anything :beer:

what do you think could be the problem and how do i fix it.

any advice appreciated, thanks

i'm 6"3 and weigh 90 kg 198 pounds i think :unsure:

:thumbsup:

Now this is a hard one because going on your size & weight plus the fact you sald you know nothing about suspension so it is still probably on factory settings I would think your rear would be a bit bouncy (soft).

When was the last time you inspected tyre pressures front/back?

If its an 08 which means you bought it new maybe your dealer may help you out with adjustment setings (this normally is unlikely) I would find a suspension tuner in your area & go have a chat, normally they will help you out with sag settings & explaining things for nothing but if you go to www.ozvfr.net as I see you live WA there maybe a member there willing to come help you out.

If you have some mechanical aptitude I can explain adjustments but allot easier to be shown.

Edited by zRoYz

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Guest rapsidy

zroyz

i pumped them up the other day so im pretty sure its not tyres, i just seem to feel every bump and yes it does seem bouncy. It would be factory settings i could have a chat with my dealer they are pretty good.

I learn fast but have only been riding 4 years had nothing to do with bikes before then and i don't like to fiddle with the bike if i don't know what i'm doing hate to ride off down the rode and the wheel falls off etc... :beer:

i like the bike but i have just come off a busa and that just was really planted a didn't feel like it was going any where so felt really confident on that. This bak end is just making me feel uncomfortable

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well from your description "feel every bump" as in a quick harsh hit or is it more like a loose pogo type bounce that sinks and bounces back up and down a little bit after the bump. Those would be opposite settings on your rebound - harsh I would recommend softening up the rebound a click, test it and soften it up some more till you get a stable compliant ride.

this would be after you have set sag correctly on your preload

read the "refrence faq" section on how to do sag.

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Ok somewhere to start,

I'm just going to go ball park as somewhere to start.

Tyres use these pressures 38psi rear & 36psi front & make sure you set these pressures when tyre cold.

If you look in tool kit you will see a tool that is curved with a small notch there are 2 like this the small one is for rear shock preload (spring tension) the large one is for adjusting rear hub for chain tension. Now if you look rear of bike at top of shock you will see a ring that has notches that sit in lugs on shock body & the notches on ring are at different levels that is the preload adjuster. If you use tool & turn ring you can add preload or decrease preload to your liking, higher notches add more & lower decrease preload. You will need a friend to help measure rear sag because you need to be sitting on bike to measure put bike on center stand & use a vertical line above rear wheel & measure. Use say hub axle edge as one point & stick a piece of tape on exhaust for the other so you can make a measurement (you need 2 points to make any measurement). Rear wheel off ground measure distance between your points & write it down then take bike off center stand & sit on it with feet on pegs (do next to a tree or wall & use one hand to support you & bike) friend then takes another measurement between the same 2 points as before. The difference between these 2 points should be 25-35mm, closer to 35mm if you like a softer ride & to adjust use preload ring increase/decrease.

Now on the bottom of shock LHS of bike you will see a screw that can be turned with a flat blade screw driver (its just above triangle looking plate) that is rebound adjustment & you will see arrow markings pointing to H (harder) & S (softer) now its very hard to explain effect this has but in a nut shell it helps stop bounce & resists spring return (slows it down so doesn't go up/down like a bouncy ball). I suggest you set mid point with this setting & to do that wind it with no force (will turn to a stop both ways) in the S direction & once stops turning count the turns it takes to go in the H direction until it stops again & then turn back to the S direction 1/2 that distance. DON'T USE FORCE LIKE YOUR DOING UP A BOLT IT IS A CONTROL VALVE. Now go for a ride & if still bouncy add 1/4 turn more in H direction & then ride some more & add more if needed or go in S direction if you feel its to hard.

I won't go into fork setting as your not complaining about them but above is enough info to try some things yourself to see if you can sort your problem but the VFR will feel allot different in the rear to a busa so it also could be your still adjusting to difference in feel.

Edited by zRoYz

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I feel the rear end a lot too. I've adjusted the suspension a thousand times and it works for a bit but I think several members can attest to my endless questions about it. I swapped the rear shock out off my 5th gen (50,000 miles) for one with only 12,000 km on it and seemed to notice the difference. I know the shock is doing most of the work it's supposed to as I often mount a video cam and with the rearward view you can see just how much work it is performing... But I always seem to find myself saying that I really feel the sharp bumps.

The VFR stock shock isn't the latest and greatest in technology. As you will well know, there are aftermarket shocks with suspension DAMPING adjustments classified as "fast" and "slow" (sportier bikes tend to have them stock). The VFR just has the one damping adjustment so it's "generalized" so to speak. The words "fast" and "slow" are not referring to the speed you are travelling (although this will influence things) but rather to how rapidly (or otherwise) the shock is obliged to perform its compression and extension strokes. (Some shocks will even have compression damping adjustment.)

I always find that after adjusting my rear shock I'm happy for a bit... but I always get to the point where I feel it isn't enough. Even on my '03 6th gen. I too am 6'4" and weigh from 85 - 90 kg max. Thing is I have 4 slipped or slipping discs, one of which has been operated on twice. So obviously I'm going to feel the bumps more...

Get out your tool kit and try turning your preload up one notch. I'll try and explain it with words for now...

If you've got ABS you've got it easy, as you've a black adjuster wheel on the RHS in front of the passenger footpeg. Crank it up 3 or 4 clicks (clockwise). OK we are assuming it's in the stock position here, and perhaps it isn't... so unwind it all the way (anti-clockwise) and then crank it up 7 clicks. This is stock. So go up 3 or 4 more clicks. If you don't have ABS, you'll need the adjuster C-shaped wrench. Don't know if it came with your bike's toolkit under the seat. There is another one similar to this but it's for tensioning the chain. You can tell them apart by the number of teeth. The chain one has two teeth and is longer in the C-shaped part.

preloadwrenchul4.jpg

OK this comes with an extender which is valid for both C-wrenches. Join them together and put your bike on the centre-stand. Go to the LHS and crouch down to look below the seat. (If not, you can order them at your Honda parts shop or over the net.) At the top of the shock you'll see the adjuster

preloadharderbz9.jpg

Turn it with the wrench up one position. Stock should, in theory be on the second notch, so you're looking for the third notch. Careful to get the wrench on right as it tends to slip easily and you'll bust a knuckle. It requires a bit of force but you'll notice once it's gone up a notch, it's real obvious.

preload3rdnotchjw2.jpg

Now in theory with more preload, you should up your damper setting to offset the extra rebound. No I'm not referring to the good old jackaroo's campfire-baked bread... :beer:

I usually have my preload up one notch (= 3 or 4 clicks for you ABS types) and the damping setting one quarter of a turn less, out from full hard. The rebound damping adjuster is at the very bottom of the shockie...

preloadmanualdrawingrx0.jpg

You'll need a long flathead screwdriver, medium size head, but nice and long. You've got to get by the chain which is more or less smack bang in the way, but you'll work it out. OK, whenever you adjust this baby, according to the manual you first have to turn it to full hard... all the way clockwise, and then come back anticlockwise from there. I'll let the experts explain why, 'cause I've no idea...

reboundalwaysfromfullhaty1.jpg

Stock position is one and a quarter turns back from full hard. This little screw can turn exactly two full turns (720º) and comes to rest in line with the letter H (both at full hard and full soft), so if you go 3/4 of a turn more anticlockwise you should hit full soft. Try it, it can't hurt.

OK, wind it up to full hard and then back it off just one complete turn (360º). Now you've a quarter turn less than stock, which means it will damp the extra rebound a little more. You may find you prefer it in stock position even once you've added one notch more to the preload.

Here's the extract from the manual:

preloadmanualdrawingrx0.jpg

What bugs me is the Honda manual is full of mistakes and ambiguities... like regarding the stock preload setting for ABS models for example... in the maintenance section it says 7 clicks from full hard:

preloadabserrorih6.jpg

While in the suspension-specific chapter it says 7 clicks from the lower (I assume softer) position:

preload7clickslowerqm6.jpg

This really bugs me, but basing myself on the non-ABS models I would say it has to be from full soft!! (The farkling chapter on brake fluid bleeding is even worse).

Anyway dude, hope this helps. Experiment a bit in the meantime while you hunt down someone willing to help you out!!!

I've just seen that our resident MAESTRO DE SUSPENSIONES has given you the same run-down while I was writing this up... :unsure: :unsure: Whatever he says goes... :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I also won't go into the fork preload settings, but here's the extract from the manual to guide you (it has no damping adjustment so if you do crank up the preload a bit, it can tend to rebound more... maybe try half a turn on each fork (180º) use a bronze coin (if you still have them in Oz) as the adjuster is made of a fairly soft metal and does score and scratch easily.

preloadfrontharderkj1.jpg

Edited by Auspañol
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Somebody on this forum provided me this info when I did the 929 shock conversion. Use this for guidance AFTER you have properly set sag.

LACK OF REBOUND DAMPING (FORK)

• The fork offers a supremely plush ride, especially when riding straight up. When the pace picks up, however, the feeling of control is lost. The fork feels mushy, and traction "feel" is poor.

• After hitting bumps at speed, the front tire tends to chatter or bounce.

• When flicking the bike into a corner at speed, the front tire begins to chatter and lose traction. This translates into an unstable feel at the clip-ons.

• As speed increases and steering inputs become more aggressive, a lack of control begins to appear. Chassis attitude and pitch become a real problem, with the front end refusing to stabilize after the bike is countersteered hard into a turn.

TOO MUCH REBOUND DAMPING (FORK)

• The ride is quite harsh--just the opposite of the plush feel of too little rebound. Rough pavement makes the fork feel as if it's locking up with stiction and harshness.

• Under hard acceleration exiting bumpy corners, the front end feels like it wants to "wiggle" or "tankslap." The tire feels as if it isn't staying in contact with the pavement when on the gas.

• The harsh, unforgiving ride makes the bike hard to control when riding through dips and rolling bumps at speed. The suspension's reluctance to maintain tire traction through these sections erodes rider confidence.

LACK OF COMPRESSION DAMPING (FORK)

• Front end dive while on the brakes becomes excessive.

• The rear end of the motorcycle wants to "come around" when using the front brakes aggressively.

• The front suspension "bottoms out" with a solid hit under heavy braking and after hitting bumps.

• The front end has a mushy and semi-vague feeling--similar to lack of rebound damping.

TOO MUCH COMPRESSION DAMPING (FORK)

• The ride is overly harsh, especially at the point when bumps and ripples are contacted by the front wheel.

• Bumps and ripples are felt directly; the initial "hit" is routed through the chassis instantly, with big bumps bouncing the tire off the pavement.

• The bike's ride height is effected negatively--the front end winds up riding too high in the corners.

• Brake dive is reduced drastically, though the chassis is upset significantly by bumps encountered during braking.

LACK OF REBOUND DAMPING (REAR SHOCK)

• The ride is plush at cruising speeds, but as the pace increases, the chassis begins to wallow and weave through bumpy corners.

• This causes poor traction over bumps under hard acceleration; the rear tire starts to chatter due to a lack of wheel control.

• There is excessive chassis pitch through large bumps and dips at speed and the rear end rebounds too quickly, upsetting the chassis with a pogo-stick action.

TOO MUCH REBOUND DAMPING (REAR SHOCK)

• This creates an uneven ride. The rear suspension compliance is poor and the "feel" is vague.

• Traction is poor over bumps during hard acceleration (due to lack of suspension compliance).

• The bike wants to run wide in corners since the rear end is "packing down"; this forces a nose-high chassis attitude, which slows down steering.

• The rear end wants to hop and skip when the throttle is chopped during aggressive corner entries.

LACK OF COMPRESSION DAMPING (REAR SHOCK)

• There is too much rear end "squat" under acceleration; the bike wants to steer wide exiting corners (since the chassis is riding rear low/nose high).

• Hitting bumps at speed causes the rear to bottom out, which upsets the chassis.

• The chassis attitude is affected too much by large dips and G-outs.

• Steering and control become difficult due to excessive suspension movement.

TOO MUCH COMPRESSION DAMPING (REAR SHOCK)

• The ride is harsh, though not quite as bad as too much rebound; the faster you go, the worse it gets, however.

• Harshness hurts rear tire traction over bumps, especially during deceleration. There's little rear end "squat" under acceleration.

• Medium to large bumps are felt directly through the chassis; when hit at speed, the rear end kicks up.

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What a great site. Someone asks a question and multiple people take the time to give detailed answers. :thumbsup:

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A real interesting addition by Earthshake, as it describes each cause as a series of effects or symtpms, made even more interesting due to the fact that they are described in everyday layman's terms, and not in overly technical jargon which loses the average Joe's interest.

As far as looking at it in terms of the original poster is concerned (Rapsidy), it doesn't mention the peload issue and the VFR only offers the ability to adjust one of all of these damping features described, which I will mark in red (I don't mean the VFR doesn't have all the feature, but they can't be adjusted on the run, you have to perform "surgery", like swapping out valves in the forks or changing the fork oil density... etc):

Somebody on this forum provided me this info when I did the 929 shock conversion. Use this for guidance AFTER you have properly set sag.

LACK OF REBOUND DAMPING (FORK)

• The fork offers a supremely plush ride, especially when riding straight up. When the pace picks up, however, the feeling of control is lost. The fork feels mushy, and traction "feel" is poor.

• After hitting bumps at speed, the front tire tends to chatter or bounce.

• When flicking the bike into a corner at speed, the front tire begins to chatter and lose traction. This translates into an unstable feel at the clip-ons.

• As speed increases and steering inputs become more aggressive, a lack of control begins to appear. Chassis attitude and pitch become a real problem, with the front end refusing to stabilize after the bike is countersteered hard into a turn.

TOO MUCH REBOUND DAMPING (FORK)

• The ride is quite harsh--just the opposite of the plush feel of too little rebound. Rough pavement makes the fork feel as if it's locking up with stiction and harshness.

• Under hard acceleration exiting bumpy corners, the front end feels like it wants to "wiggle" or "tankslap." The tire feels as if it isn't staying in contact with the pavement when on the gas.

• The harsh, unforgiving ride makes the bike hard to control when riding through dips and rolling bumps at speed. The suspension's reluctance to maintain tire traction through these sections erodes rider confidence.

LACK OF COMPRESSION DAMPING (FORK)

• Front end dive while on the brakes becomes excessive.

• The rear end of the motorcycle wants to "come around" when using the front brakes aggressively.

• The front suspension "bottoms out" with a solid hit under heavy braking and after hitting bumps.

• The front end has a mushy and semi-vague feeling--similar to lack of rebound damping.

TOO MUCH COMPRESSION DAMPING (FORK)

• The ride is overly harsh, especially at the point when bumps and ripples are contacted by the front wheel.

• Bumps and ripples are felt directly; the initial "hit" is routed through the chassis instantly, with big bumps bouncing the tire off the pavement.

• The bike's ride height is effected negatively--the front end winds up riding too high in the corners.

• Brake dive is reduced drastically, though the chassis is upset significantly by bumps encountered during braking.

LACK OF REBOUND DAMPING (REAR SHOCK)

• The ride is plush at cruising speeds, but as the pace increases, the chassis begins to wallow and weave through bumpy corners.

• This causes poor traction over bumps under hard acceleration; the rear tire starts to chatter due to a lack of wheel control.

• There is excessive chassis pitch through large bumps and dips at speed and the rear end rebounds too quickly, upsetting the chassis with a pogo-stick action.

TOO MUCH REBOUND DAMPING (REAR SHOCK)

• This creates an uneven ride. The rear suspension compliance is poor and the "feel" is vague.

• Traction is poor over bumps during hard acceleration (due to lack of suspension compliance).

• The bike wants to run wide in corners since the rear end is "packing down"; this forces a nose-high chassis attitude, which slows down steering.

• The rear end wants to hop and skip when the throttle is chopped during aggressive corner entries.

LACK OF COMPRESSION DAMPING (REAR SHOCK)

• There is too much rear end "squat" under acceleration; the bike wants to steer wide exiting corners (since the chassis is riding rear low/nose high).

• Hitting bumps at speed causes the rear to bottom out, which upsets the chassis.

• The chassis attitude is affected too much by large dips and G-outs.

• Steering and control become difficult due to excessive suspension movement.

TOO MUCH COMPRESSION DAMPING (REAR SHOCK)

• The ride is harsh, though not quite as bad as too much rebound; the faster you go, the worse it gets, however.

• Harshness hurts rear tire traction over bumps, especially during deceleration. There's little rear end "squat" under acceleration.

• Medium to large bumps are felt directly through the chassis; when hit at speed, the rear end kicks up.

Edited by Auspañol

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Rapsidy, keep in mind that my suggestion to up the shockie preload one notch and the fork preloads half a turn each, plus taking the rear shockie rebound damping screw all the way clockwise and backing it off 360º, is all based in the fact that we weigh the same and have the same height (= weight distribution) , unless of course you wear a size 48+ shoe and have a pinhead!!! :unsure:

ONly adjusting either the rear or the front suspension isn't the same as knowing how to set them both up, as nothing o the bike works in isolation.

Setting your sag right would be the ideal thing to do, but I made my suggestion as an easy adjustment to test out which takes less than 5 minutes.

Note that with my settings you aren't moving too far away from stock positions, and definitely aren't taking them to either extreme so you won't have any dramas with any nasty unexpected surprises or anything.

If you do try my idea and it doesn't work for you straght up, sort out your sag and then make minor adjustments from there based on the principals discussed here... and enjoy the learning!!!

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Guest rapsidy

Thanks all for this information and the time taken to post this much appreciated :thumbsup:

This will take sometime to sort through but will let yon know how it goes

must print these replies off :unsure: first other wise i will be back and forth to the computer

thanks again

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Guest rapsidy

Well i tried the advice and had a quick :joystick: meself :unsure:

And will talk to dealer this week for a bit more advice, see if their willing to adjust a few things?

Now i don't know if i am having a PLACEBO effect but the bike did feel better going around corners, although it was a realatively short ride and rode surfaces pretty good, but it did feel better :thumbsup: . The bumps just felt like bumps without me feeling the bike was going anywhere.

i adjusted the preload to the 3rd click it was on the 2nd it isn't abs. And the dampner thingy to full hard then back 1 full turn.

Will keep ya updated , thanks for help :thumbsup:

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Also consider that the basically unadjustable VFR suspension was set up to try and cover a huge variation of rider weights and skills which tends to be under sprung and over dampened.

Setting SAG for your weight is the single biggest effect you can have on the overall feel of the bike, checking tires pressure is a must and all stock rubber is only adiquate if you don't push our heavy beast.

The VFR is an amazingly stable platform especially on smooth road surfaces, but as speed and bumps increase you soon find the limits of the bikes stability. BTW very few suspensions handle square/sharp edge bumps well.

After setting sag and checking tire pressures, you can play with the feel of the bike by adjusting the rebound settings of the rear shock which I think also seems to effect compression a little too. Outside that if you want a little quicker steering, you can always raise the fork tubes in the triple trees(LOWER FRONT END) 5-10mm to taste.

If you like and ride twisties more then commute, I suggest a set of Michelin Pilot Powers when you wear out your current set of tires as they transform the VFR abilities in the twisties. :thumbsup: (most new sport rubber will)

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Set the sag, Pilot Powers and play with the air, bump the rebound on the rear, pull the tubes up through the trees a little...........been there, done that...makes a world of difference in a VFR................ :thumbsup:

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Mmmmmm Pilot Powers... bit like Goodlop Q.P. Radials

goodieslx3.jpg

So good, you could just eat them all up!!!

Edited by Auspañol

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Good post guys! :thumbsup:

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This is exactly what I was looking for, thanks. You guys are awesome.

I guess I have to buy that adjuster tool.

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Guest rapsidy
Set the sag, Pilot Powers and play with the air, bump the rebound on the rear, pull the tubes up through the trees a little...........been there, done that...makes a world of difference in a VFR................ :thumbsup:

Skutter can you please explain what pull the tubes up through the trees mean :goofy:

forgive my ignorance :unsure:

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Set the sag, Pilot Powers and play with the air, bump the rebound on the rear, pull the tubes up through the trees a little...........been there, done that...makes a world of difference in a VFR................ :thumbsup:

Skutter can you please explain what pull the tubes up through the trees mean :goofy:

forgive my ignorance :unsure:

Pull the fork tubes up through the triple clamps (aka trees). It will quicken the steering somewhat. Refer to Post #15.

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Set the sag, Pilot Powers and play with the air, bump the rebound on the rear, pull the tubes up through the trees a little...........been there, done that...makes a world of difference in a VFR................ :thumbsup:

Skutter can you please explain what pull the tubes up through the trees mean :unsure:

forgive my ignorance :blink:

Pull the fork tubes up through the triple clamps (aka trees). It will quicken the steering somewhat. Refer to Post #15.

Triple "trees".......Old School.................Triple "clamps"........correct New School........THANKS............... :P ........ :thumbsup:

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Set the sag, Pilot Powers and play with the air, bump the rebound on the rear, pull the tubes up through the trees a little...........been there, done that...makes a world of difference in a VFR................ :thumbsup:

Skutter can you please explain what pull the tubes up through the trees mean +1.gif

forgive my ignorance :goofy:

Lowering the front. You move the forks up through their supports (triple trees or "yolk"), in effect the handlebars are closer to the ground and the screw caps where you adjust the front preload stick up further than they do now.... pictures tell a thousand words...

triplestubesrn2.jpg

Edited by Auspañol

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Guest rapsidy

Oh okay

I took bike to the dealer and they were great, the mechanic stopped what here was doing, had a play, adjusted things took for a ride and said try it see how it goes.

And yes he did pull up through the trees :thumbsup:

He put the preload to about the 5 notch, and the front you can see 4 lines :warranty: (you can see my knowledge shining through) :goofy:

But it seems a lot better and i feel more relaxed now, was very impressed with how helpful they were. Maybe because i have bought 3 bikes off them :thumbsup:

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Oh okay

I took bike to the dealer and they were great, the mechanic stopped what here was doing, had a play, adjusted things took for a ride and said try it see how it goes.

And yes he did pull up through the trees :thumbsup:

He put the preload to about the 5 notch, and the front you can see 4 lines :warranty: (you can see my knowledge shining through) :goofy:

But it seems a lot better and i feel more relaxed now, was very impressed with how helpful they were. Maybe because i have bought 3 bikes off them :thumbsup:

Great! Glad things got worked out for you and your happier with the bike now! :thumbsup:

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