Author Topic: Setting Öhlins rear shock  (Read 411 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Two Plugs

  • Founding Member
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2.963
  • Country: nl
  • XL1000V L'iseran 2012
Setting Öhlins rear shock
« on: August 30, 2017, 11:50:20 »
Guys 'n Girls
I'm aware that we already have a few shock & suspension topics here, but in this one I would like to narrow it down to the Öhlins HO 533 adjustable rear shock in combination with two Öhlins front springs.
The Öhlins have been debated here often as good quality, but very, very expensive compared to other brands.

But sometimes you are lucky and closed a very good deal (incl labour and front springs) for € 700,-; including trading in the original rear shock of my '12 Varadero. Normally the rear shock would cost me almost double that amount, without labour!
I'm still awaiting the bike to be returned (Frontsprings are in backorder and due to arrive this week) but first impressions with the HO 533 in the rear are good... it looks if the back of the bike has risen which is good for me, being 2,04m tall, lol.

The Q I have... what would be the ideal setting for the rear spring? I'll will be heading to Germany and the UK later in September for some proper testing (incl luggage).
Looking forward to your experiences!
Founder of VIM, that's why I am in!

MrKiwi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1.045
  • Country: nz
  • Africa Twin Tri-colour DCT
    • Motor Industry Association of New Zealand
Re: Setting Öhlins rear shock
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 14:04:46 »
ideally you should have the rear set up for your weight with little to no pre-load. This gives you max flexibility for winding up the pre-load when you start adding luggage.
MrKiwi
always thinking about my next ride

Bønne

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 272
  • Country: dk
  • VCIF/HARK.DK/XL-Forum.SE/HVRoN.NO/VUK
Re: Setting Öhlins rear shock
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 17:31:53 »
As you might remember, I mounted Öhlins on my Varadero a couple of years ago, and afterwards did some adjustments to it, so I´ve got some experience with it along the way.

The following is partly taken from the manual combined with my own experiences:

Well, first of all we´ll have to recognize the three opportunities of adjustment:

1: The Spring preload (the height of the bike); the knob with the cable.
2: The Compression (when the shock is compressed by loading the bike or hitting a bump); the knob on the top of the reservoir.
3: The Rebound damping (when the shock is extended after being compressed); the black plastic wheel at the bottom of the shock absorber.

Next is to know the standard setting for the Varadero (notice that all three adjustments will increase when turned clockwise, but what´s refered to as zero is different):

The Spring preload: turned fully counter clockwise (zero).
The Compression: turned fully clockwise (zero), and then 10 clicks counter clockwise.
The Rebound damping: turned fully clockwise, seen from the end/bottom of the shock (zero), and then 14 clicks counter clockwise.

The standard setting is set from some kind of average load, but compared to the actual load, it will need to be adjusted individual (riders weight, load of package, etc.).

So, then to the adjustments. It´s important only to do one adjustment at a time, and to write it down!

Start with the Spring preload, the height of the bike. What I did, was that I found a nice curve that I knew well, one I rode every day home from work. I found that at standard setting the bike was a bit understeering, it did a bigger curve than I´d expected. I then increased the Spring preload 1 click (clockwise), that did the trick, now the steering was neutral (I also tried one more click, but then it started oversteering). The reason why, is that when increasing the Spring preload, you rise the back of the bike a bit, but simultaneously makes the front fork angle a bit steeper.

When you´re happy with the Spring preload, then look at the damping. Of cause the damping is a combination of the Compression and the Rebound damping. If the bike feels unstable, loose or bouncy… increase the Rebound. If it feels hard or bumpy… decrease the Rebound. If it feels soft, low or bottoming… increase the Compression. If it feels harsh, hard or has bad grip… decrease the Compression. By increasing both the Compression and the Rebound, you´ll get a shorter and tighter movement on the spring and the bike will start feeling harder and more bumpy. By decreasing both the Compression and the Rebound, you´ll get a longer and softer movement on the spring and the bike will start feeling unstable, soft and bouncy.

So it´s all about feeling the bike, realize the way it moves, decide how you want it to react, and then find the right combination between Compression and Rebound that suits you best. Again, find a known piece of road, with different types of bumps on the way, again I used the way to and from work, as these 34 km has both some places with bad paving repairs, some quite serious speed bumps and some smaller bumps made to draw attention to a coming sharp (and nice ;o) ), curve.

I ended up with the settings (from zero): Spring preload: 1 click clockwise, Compression: 5 clicks counter clockwise and Rebound: 10 clicks counter clockwise. As you see, I have both more Compression and Rebound than the standard settings, but that´s what I feel works best for me. Of cause I can still feel the big speed bumps and the worst paving repairs, but the small attention bumps and the “lighter” paving repairs, I can´t feel anymore, the suspension eats them up.

At the same time, the bike is much tighter and precise in the steering, and the front doesn´t feel as heavy in the sharp curves as it sometimes did before.

When riding with either a passenger or with “normal” package, I increase all three adjustments 1 click. And with a passenger and “normal” package, or with full package alone, I increase all three adjustments 2 clicks.

Well, what else can I say? Good luck and enjoy!
Plan your ride, ride your plan.

XL 1000 VA8, Chevalier Silver Metallic

Two Plugs

  • Founding Member
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2.963
  • Country: nl
  • XL1000V L'iseran 2012
Re: Setting Öhlins rear shock
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2017, 11:36:46 »
Tnx Bonne, these are very valuable advices! I'll proceed that way. Will be heading for Winterberg (same hotel als last years VIM) for an extended weekend with my brother in two weeks from now, that will become the first big test!
Founder of VIM, that's why I am in!

Two Plugs

  • Founding Member
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2.963
  • Country: nl
  • XL1000V L'iseran 2012
Re: Setting Öhlins rear shock
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 19:29:56 »
Öhlins installed. Big test next weekend - 1.000km in the German Sauerland region (Winterberg). First impressions? Your suggested settings work scary good for me, Bønne 😁👍
Founder of VIM, that's why I am in!

Bønne

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 272
  • Country: dk
  • VCIF/HARK.DK/XL-Forum.SE/HVRoN.NO/VUK
Re: Setting Öhlins rear shock
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2017, 13:03:47 »
 VCIF_ThumbUp VCIF_varaGrey
Plan your ride, ride your plan.

XL 1000 VA8, Chevalier Silver Metallic

Two Plugs

  • Founding Member
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2.963
  • Country: nl
  • XL1000V L'iseran 2012
Re: Setting Öhlins rear shock
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2017, 12:07:34 »
First 1.000km (625 miles) have been done now in the Winterberg / Sauerland region in Germany. I can only say its bl* impressive. Had some comparising material on the ride, my little brother on his Triumph Trophy SE; with full electronic adjustable suspension from WP (same manufacturer which delivers KTM suspension). He couldn't keep up, lol.

Another big plus: the bike is (much) higher on its jiffy (side stand). Something to keep in mind when parking on a slight slope...   :o ;D

Founder of VIM, that's why I am in!