Pre-load, Compression and Rebound, oh my!


Donating Member
I'm going to the track with my toy to have some fun but don't know JACK about suspension settings. Well, here's all I know: you want stuff stiffer for tracks and twisties and for carrying a passenger. That's it. I read the manual, saw their little recomended settings chart, read some stuff on the net, but still don't get it. I find it hard to accept that I'm a moron, but will grow into that reality if need be. Pre-load, damping rebound and compression.. what's it all REALLY mean?

Is their 'stiffer' settings recommendation good enough for my first track day or can some one offer up some REAL WORLD numbers?? Normal riding Style: commute alot, do nice twisties here and there, some high speed, some passengers. I have always ridden twisties with factory settings, but I'm looking for advice specifically for the track. What about tire pressure? What color under shoudl I wear???
Anybody able to help? I am in the same boat.

Sorry WW, I cannot be any help.
no 1's gonna tell ya turn this 3 turns, set this, to that .
It really is an art . If yer set up for a pillion, yer NOT set-up for solo . The first thing is sag . Set that . Then ride . Then re-set . etc etc.
If yer lucky....someone has done all the work for ya .
You need someone with the same year busa . Someone with the same body weight(in riding gear) .

Tire pressure....huge topic too . Depends on compound.

yer after the easy way out . post yer weight/year/tire type

Maybe someone close to yer numbers can dial ya in .

It's REALLY that technical....but then again it isn't....

Depends on how much you plan on.......

"Droppin' the hammer ".

Good luck man .
It's all set at factory right now - thank God the manual actually LISTS the factory settings. In the future, I'm gonna set it up 1 count higher than their general table suggests, cuz I don't mind being stiffer. But with track day next Saturday, me only having the Busa for 1100 miles now, I'm gonna leave it at factory since that is what I'm used to. That would be safest for me I think. You are right, I was taking the lazy way out. I won't have time to tune/test tween now and then. And I'll probably never go to the track again, so why bother.

Anyway, I found this interesting tidbit:
Fair enough rubberside, BUT,

Can you or somebody at least explain what each adjustment does?




You know, what makes it firmer what will stop the front from bouncing off of small bumps?

Do I increase compression damping or adjust my rebound?

Just a basic intro to tweaking suspensions?

Been riding for quiet awhile but never bothered with the dirt bikes, Katana had little "clickers" on the top of the forks, so tweaking the suspension was either not an option or something I never felt the urge to mess with.

Would you mind?
I had a friend of mine at the dealership who was the same height and weight, who had his bike all dialed in for rippin' the canyons give me his settings. I was lucky, otherwise I would have to make an adjustment, then take a ride, make an adjustment etc. My mechanic has a race team he takes to Willow Springs every month so he helped me with the fine tuning.

Check this link at  it explains the settings better than I can.
Big O has a great article to explain the adjustments.

I read that one along time ago. It doesn't explain what to do with them however. You will be fine with the factory settings for your track day. That is what i used. It was fine. Even if you completely mangle the settings, it won't cause you to lose control. It will just feel uncomfortable and you will slow down. Stock is pretty good if you are a heavier rider. Go lower one click if youy are light.

Compression helps the springs resist the upward movement of the forks/shock when hitting a small rolling bump. Sharp bumps are not adjustable on our shocks. That is why you can't get yourself into too much trouble with adjustments.

Rebound controls the downward movement of the shock/fork. Slowing that can help your tire load up in a controlled manner and maintain even traction. Too much rebound adn the tire will not load up fast enough and result in reduced traction and slides. Too little may cause wheel hop.

Anyway the range of adjustment is very narrow and won't cause you to screw up much.
Thanks Big-O and the rest, Some reading and I should be in much better shape, Thanks...