Progression of the rear shock tuning. I won't type out a bunch of shims sizes. It's not really important and it's tedious for no reason. Visual comparisons are all we needs.
Here's the nonsense Showa and Racetech started me out with. Stock on the right, RT on the left. Comp up front, rebound in back.
The RT setup was an improvement, but still too harsh under low speed compression and high speed rebound still bucked badly. RT had 12 shims in the first comp stage and I reduced that to 8. helped, but could be better. Left the rebound alone for now.
That's still a ton of metal to have to bend before fluid starts flowing.
Been talking with a guy who sent me these pics.
Insane difference in valving between year models. This explains why some guys will complain about harshness while other guys call them crazy.
The same fella also showed me his current compression setup.
Sounds like we have similar riding styles/ terrain. He said he considered his bike plush and was happy with it, but also admitted his external compression clicker is full open and figures he could have possibly gone with less comp damping. I decided to follow this lead, but with a twist. I copied his comp stack to the letter, but I split the first stage in to two stages. Instead of 6 shims like his first stage I split it in to 4 and 2, ending up with 3 stages. Ran a thin belt ( 1 shim) between stage 1 and 2 and thicker belt (2 shims) between stages 2 and 3. My logic was that I don't jump and don't need that much high sped comp damping. I want plushness and compliance foremost, high speed stuff can hang out in the shadows incase I do something stupid.
Looked like this.
On the rebound stack I loaded that sucker for bear. I'm done with conservative adjustments. I don't care if I go too far. I can always readjust and big changes make it easy to read what's happening. I did 3 stages on the rebound, too. I only have the rebound buck on high speed hits and didn't want to bike to suffer everywhere else. Slitting it in to stages helps it be more adaptive to the speed I'm wanting to run at that time. At least thaat's the idea...
Rebound damping like you mean it.
I'm very happy with this compression stack. Very plush now with no low speed harshness at all. I was riding over ditches in middle of 3rd gear and they felt like little ripples. rocks and roots are all but disappearing now. Any branch under 3-4" in diameter can hardly be felt when riding over it at any speed. I'm thrilled!
I'm still feeling some high speed rebound bucking, which is so damn annoying. It's improved, but only slightly. The linkage on these bikes is really unique and folds over itself in funny ways. I'm wondering how much is just inherent to the linkage design? I was running with the rebound clicker full open, so I'll play with external settings tomorrow and see what develops.
Interesting rabbit trail. Racetech suggested to run 10mm preload on the rear spring. Didn't say anything about a particular sag dimension, just 10mm preload. Decided to try it for poops and hahas and it gave me 105mm of laden sag, which is right where I was running it before, so that should not have affected fork rake any. Interesting part is the bike started shaking it's head a few times today. Not sure what's happening. Charge hard in to a corner, on the front brake and feel the forks load ( but not dive hard) and maintain steady throttle through the turn. Coming out of the turn I starting hammering on the throttle and the bike starts shaking it's head while I am straightening up. I tightened the steering damper a fair amount and it nearly cured it, but you can still feel some slight bar wobble exiting hard under throttle. I'm also trusting the front much more than ever before, which has me really getting up on the tank and loading the front in to corners. I couldn't do this before because the rebound was so always bucking, so I tried to keep weight rearward to keep the rear down.
I don't know if the forks are compressing and not rebounding quick enough, causing the rake to steepen and headshake- or- if I'm just on the throttle harder than normal and the front tire is floating. Might trying tightening up the comp clickers on the fork and loosening up the rebound to see what happens. But I'm going in to and out of corners so much harder, and sitting on the bike differently, that I'm dealing with new variables now.
I doubt y'all are interested in all this rambling. This suspension work is so much fun, but on top of the it's amazing how light it makes the bike feel. Thinking about spending a bunch of money on lightening a bike or making more power? Don't. Tune your suspension and you'll find power you never felt before.