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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a bad back and want a smoother ride. So what number should I go towards? I think looking at it is at 4. Just smother regardless of weight. should I go up or down? I have read all the posts about it and still not sure which way I should go to not feel every rock on the road. Oh, I am talking about rear shock.
 

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Higher is stronger/stiffer, lower is weaker/softer.
Factory is set at 4, which I believe is based on a single rider at about 75kg or around 165lbs.
I'm a good bit past 165, by about 20lbs and at least 20yrs :D so mine is set at 5.
Even with my wife on the back (which we haven't done much of) I've yet to bottom out on the rear wheel.
Generally, for a 'smoother' ride you'd look at dropping the tension on the shock, but at the risk of bouncing the wheel off the fender housing when going over dips.
I feel your pain regarding the bad back; much more than an hour in the saddle and I'm literally in pain (or numb).
Which is why I'm looking at upgrading that saddle :)
 

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Higher is stronger/stiffer, lower is weaker/softer.

Factory is set at 4, which I believe is based on a single rider at about 75kg or around 165lbs.

I'm a good bit past 165, by about 20lbs and at least 20yrs :D so mine is set at 5.

Even with my wife on the back (which we haven't done much of) I've yet to bottom out on the rear wheel.

Generally, for a 'smoother' ride you'd look at dropping the tension on the shock, but at the risk of bouncing the wheel off the fender housing when going over dips.

I feel your pain regarding the bad back; much more than an hour in the saddle and I'm literally in pain (or numb).

Which is why I'm looking at upgrading that saddle :)


Wrong, the rear shock adjustment is based on preload only


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Both are correct. Preload is the only adjustment available, and depends on weight. The owner manual does not cover this very well, except to explain how to make the adjustment, and it does NOT explain why you need to make the adjustment except for payload weight. Basically, the lighter the weight on the bike, the less preload needed. More preload DOES increase the stiffness of the spring (and suspension), because it increases the compression of the spring.

So I would say, back off the preload by one setting, then go out and ride it and see how it feels. There are formulas for rider height, percentage of available suspension travel, etc, but the owner's manual covers none of this. It only says the higher the number setting, the stiffer the spring (i.e. the more weight the bike can carry). I would not go down in setting by more than one. The factory setting is 4.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
So your saying go to 3? Or up 1. I got the mustang seat and 4 up 2 back riser and it helped a lot. Also, the backrest is a winner.
 

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It isn't hard to adjust the preload, just take the weight off the rear wheel and turn the shock. I am a svelte 260lbs and have the preload up to max. The only time I have bottomed out was when I was 325lbs and hit a pretty severe bridge joint. Kawi could have spent a couple more bucks and put the hydraulic dampner adjustment (like the V2K) on the 9's, which makes a huge difference.....:nerd:
 

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As jbiggers suggested, I'd be inclined to recommend dropping by 1 notch from it's current setting of 4 down to 3.
But I'm a bit leery about providing any further advice for fear of being told I'm wrong without the benefit of the one making that assertion actually backing it up.
FWIW, I don't think you'll notice much difference regarding ride comfort as you've already gotten the most bang for your buck with that seat.
Then again, I could be wrong. 😉
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'll try different settings and see which one I like. Yes, the seat was an improvement but was not a cure-all. Never be afraid to give advice because I learned a long time ago everybody knows something!
 
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