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Discussion Starter #1
Is it true that harder suspension is much better for higher speeds/curves?

I just adjusted mine to the highest setting and went for a ride, the response was amazing. But what is soft suspension good for?

Also since I adjusted the rear suspension, do I need to do anything to the front?
 

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For cars on the track, fine tuning to the perfect setting between soft and hard is always situational and dependent upon the track itself.

Generally, harder suspensions give less way and therefore can offer more feedback and grip to flatter tracks. Additionally, it can cause more strain on your frame and lead to higher stress wear, not to mention your ass will be sorer. Harder suspensions can also tighten your accelerating and breaking because it will reduce the front and back swaying to a minimal degree, and so you get this overall general feel of a tighter response and ride. Riding stiff can have its drawbacks on bumpier roads, since tighter suspensions won't offload their tension as flexibly to dips in the road, which can lead you to wheel hopping.

Softer suspensions give more way and offer more sluggish feedback, but in return offer dampening effects to bumpy tracks for a more lenient ride--aka keeps your tires more glued to rough patches. Of course, the reverse effects of harder suspensions mentioned above will be true to a minimal degree at best.

For roadriding, going too hard is not recommended by your ass. And yes, if you want to do things properly, you would want to adjust your front suspensions as well to match your rear calibration, but honestly it won't be a big deal if you're not into tracking. But just be aware that it will change the dynamics of the bike and how it handles to a certain degree and that it won't likely be optimal until you take a look at the front presets--most likely would want to pick up ohlins to do things properly, but once again a huge investment not really worth it to normal riders.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's kind of what I figured. But let me ask you this. My top speed on the bike has increased since I adjusted the suspension.. How is this logical?
 

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You didn't eat at a buffet.



Uhh, if conditions were perfect, the top speed wouldn't be affected. The acceleration and braking would, but barely. I'm highly doubtful that it had an effect on your top speed--thinking crosswinds, slipstream, ambient temperature, weight differences by rider and by fuel in tank, etc. first before thinking it is the harder suspensions--but if I were to be super nerd here I would say that it could be possibly that you're on the right adjustment for flatter roads and so your tires are taking advantage of the tighter suspension and grip to the road better? I don't think hardening the suspension drops your ride height, which could then be aerodynamics.
 

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That's kind of what I figured. But let me ask you this. My top speed on the bike has increased since I adjusted the suspension.. How is this logical?
You know how when you get new shoes and you run faster? Just like that. :D The shoes don't make you run faster, you're just running faster! ;)

In all seriousness, depending on the type of road, you may feel the bike to be more stable at higher-speeds, and thus you feel more comfortable with higher speeds. Too stiff a suspension will feel kinda bad on bumpy stuff..and sometimes more compliance means more grip because the tire spends more time in better-contract with the ground. It's all about finding that balance between stiffness, rebound, compression-damping, etc. for your weight and riding-style (and the roads you prefer).
 

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Isn't that actually backwards? A higher preloaded suspension gives better cornering response on bumpy roads due to the spring being sprung tighter causing the tire to return to the pavement much quicker than a softer suspension. Used to have this nasty turn in AZ with my cruiser's suspension at 2 and in the middle was a pot hole that you HAD to run over to get through the turn. Every time I ran over it in 2, as the rear cleared the hole, the tire would slide laterally a quarter inch. Tightened up the suspension up to 5 and the rear didn't slide anymore. I just felt it a lot more though but handling improved quite a bit.

The lightly sprung preload absorbs energy and reflects/releases it much more slowly and gradually than the higher sprung one will. The result is an easier feeling ride for the rider. Both settings will absorb the same amount of energy. The difference is the rate at which it is done. The firmer suspension goes through the springing cycle much quicker than the softer one, and that suddenness is what you feel as a "harsher" ride. On the softer suspension setting you are still getting that bump to the ass, it's just the energy is spread throughout a longer period which your body is more able to absorb and distribute over the cycle than the firmer one. It's this quickness of a firmer suspension that gives the performance increase. Since it cycles energy faster, it is able to take more repeated and quick changes to forces without being overwhelmed than a softer one.
 

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The place which gravity forgot!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My bike's acceleration on a flat road gets super super sluggish at 107mph. Normally that's when I let off. But this time it got sluggish at 113mph. I've never been over 110 with this bike till today due to it nearly coming to a stop with acceleration at 107.

I don't know how to explain this. I know it sounds crazy but I might try to get film of it sometime this weekend. Soft top speed vs Hard suspension speed.
 

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It could have been something simple as less wind resistance that day. Maybe the day you did 107 was when you were in a light headwind or crosswind.
 

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Isn't that actually backwards? A higher preloaded suspension gives better cornering response on bumpy roads due to the spring being sprung tighter causing the tire to return to the pavement much quicker than a softer suspension. Used to have this nasty turn in AZ with my cruiser's suspension at 2 and in the middle was a pot hole that you HAD to run over to get through the turn. Every time I ran over it in 2, as the rear cleared the hole, the tire would slide laterally a quarter inch. Tightened up the suspension up to 5 and the rear didn't slide anymore. I just felt it a lot more though but handling improved quite a bit.

The lightly sprung preload absorbs energy and reflects/releases it much more slowly and gradually than the higher sprung one will. The result is an easier feeling ride for the rider. Both settings will absorb the same amount of energy. The difference is the rate at which it is done. The firmer suspension goes through the springing cycle much quicker than the softer one, and that suddenness is what you feel as a "harsher" ride. On the softer suspension setting you are still getting that bump to the ass, it's just the energy is spread throughout a longer period which your body is more able to absorb and distribute over the cycle than the firmer one. It's this quickness of a firmer suspension that gives the performance increase. Since it cycles energy faster, it is able to take more repeated and quick changes to forces without being overwhelmed than a softer one.
The difference is that I'm referring to bumpy vs non bumpy roads. Bumpy roads with a too-tight suspension in a corner is no bueno. Of course, the key is balance. You want it tight enough so it can receive the feedback of the road and stick tight without the sluggishness you'd feel on a softer suspension.

It's like a breaking point that I'm trying to explain. Tight is always going to give you a faster corner, until its too tight and you go flying from a bump. A perfect example of having to find the right balance is the crazy work mechanics do and trial runs they analyze at the TT

This is a ridiculously swayed example, but can convey the concept a bit:
. Now imagine he's on a track and theres a bump like that and he's going 80mph.
 

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It's mostly a rider discomfort thing. Your problem with a soft suspension is that on very bumpy roads, the soft suspension will be overwhelmed much quicker than the harder suspension. The soft suspension will still be in it's decompression stroke when it takes another bump and is back doing the compression stroke but still carrying energy from the previous bump still and very poor roads will mean that the suspension is now accumulating energy that it can't dump resulting in the suspension bottoming out. If you hit a bump in a turn that would un-ass a rider from hitting it, it wont matter what suspension setting it was on. The harder suspension will cycle much quicker and will be carrying over much less energy. It would take much more to overwhelm it. The major drawbacks to a firmer suspension will be that it will wear out much quicker. Springs can be sprung forever and not wear out. It's cycles of receiving and distributing energy repeatedly over and over that reduce it's life span. Not to mention that the quicker spring rates are harsher on the hydraulic shock absorber as well, so you may blow a seal sooner. The suspension firmness balance is more about what the rider is able to handle. A firmer suspension wont affect the bike's ability to maintain a turn, but the rider's ability to absorb and manage the sudden transfer of energy over a softer suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's not a wind or downhill thing. I've done just 107 about 10 times and it quits pulling everytime there. But today it just kept going and quit pulling at 113. Call me crazy but it's true! It's just a weird coincidence that it happens after I changed my suspension.. And for the 2nd time. I was going on a flat road and there wasn't any wind lol. Just like the other time's that I've gone 107! :b
 

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What was the temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and pressure altitude? All of these can effect the performance of an engine. It's what kept bugging me on the fuel octane thread where people would claim performance increases for swapping to higher octane yet don't even take into consideration of all of the possible external factors that play into a machine's performance that most people don't even think of.
 

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The adjuster on the rear shock is ONLY for setting sag.

If you need to adjust it to the highest setting in order to achieve the proper amount of sag then that's one thing but continuing to adjust it from a setting that provides proper sag will only result in an improper setup. You may THINK it is better but under many conditions you're going to risk a low/high side while riding.

Do yourself a favor and read up on proper suspension adjustments, what they change and why it's critical to have certain settings setup properly.

I understand that there is only one suspension setting throughout the entire Ninja 300 but learning suspension in general will give you a much better understanding of why even setting up proper sag is very important and commonly overlooked.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yea I was just playing around with the settings at first. I found that setting 4 will be best for me around curves and higher speeds. While the stock setting at 2 will be good enough for normal riding.
 

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Yea I was just playing around with the settings at first. I found that setting 4 will be best for me around curves and higher speeds. While the stock setting at 2 will be good enough for normal riding.
The best setting for you should be the one that creates the recommended amount of sag with you on the bike. 30mm for street riding, 25mm for track.
 
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