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Cal 1400 Suspension Thread

Discussion in 'Cal 1400 8V' started by GT-Rx®, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. GT-Rx®

    GT-Rx® Administrator Staff Member

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    This thread will track modifications and adjustments to the suspension for your Custom and Tour. Please feel free to post/share your findings and settings that work for you.

    1400 Custom

    SHOCKS


    STOCK INFO:
    Front travel: 120mm / 3 = 40mm target total sag
    Rear travel: 110mm / 3 = 36.6mm target total sag

    Stock Settings
    Front
    Sag: ?

    Rear:
    Sag: ?
    Reb:

    Notes:
    My info: My weight is ~190 lbs in street clothing.
    The ride is somewhat compliant over general smooth road surfaces, harsh/edged bumps are horrible. Bike sits through most of it's travel even with corrected preload. Feel when riding it in the sporty mindset, produces non-compliance and little damping. I've slid the front end at times as the rear brake lever comes in solid contact with the paving. Downright scary IMO for any Sport Touring with any significant load or rider over say 170 lbs.

    1400 Tour

    Thanks to Rudy below...
    Rear Shocks:
    Static (only): 28.5mm
    Laden: ?

    RT Piggybacks:

    [​IMG]

    As delivered/set by RT:
    Unladen: 380mm
    Static: 370mm
    Laden: 347mm
    Total: 33mm
    Comp: +2 turns in from flush adjuster (not indexed)
    Reb: +47 of 62 clicks

    Notes:
    The ride over stock is night and day as the stock suspension (even with the preload set correctly) is further through the stroke and far less compliant with just my 190 lb frame aboard. Add a passenger and it's downright dangerous IMO. The RT PB's offer an amazingly compliant ride that soaked up nearly everything except the sharp-edged bumps. Touch down of the floor boards comes much later, and I have yet to touch down any hard part outside of the small replaceable nub on the bottom of the board brackets. They are very well balanced with the Matris F12S Cartridge Fork Kit below. Click >HERE< for purchase info.

    Matris M40KC Piggybacks:

    [​IMG]

    As delivered/set by Matris:
    Unladen: 368mm
    Static: 362mm
    Laden: 349mm
    Total: 19mm
    Comp: -18 turns out from max
    Reb: -20 turns out from max

    Notes:
    Firm but compliant ride that soaked up nearly everything including the sharp-edged bumps. These are top shelf suspension components, and the ride reflects this. If you want the best, this is at the top of the list. They are very well balanced with the Matris F12S Cartridge Fork Kit below. Click >HERE< for purchase info.

    Matris M40D Standard Twin Emulsion Shocks:

    [​IMG]

    As delivered/set by Matris:
    Unladen: 371mm
    Static: 360mm
    Laden: 347mm
    Total: 24mm
    -4 full turns rebound: Total: 32mm
    Reb: -18 turns out from max

    Notes:
    Soft and compliant ride that soaked up nearly everything except the very sharp-edged bumps. Ride over the stock shocks is almost unbelievably better. They are almost on par with the RT's above. Very well balanced with the Matris F12S Cartridge Fork Kit below. Click >HERE< for purchase info.

    FORKS

    Matris F12S Cartridge Kit:
    Installation is very straight forward outside of the fork cap removal, noted below. Drain the fork oil and remove spacers, springs and bottom bolts to remove cartridge internals.
    Install the S Kit per the included instructions. *A THIN (~4mm or less) 19mm open wrench required*

    Unladen: 390mm
    Static: 370mm
    Laden: 350mm
    Total: 40mm - Target
    Oil level w/fork tubes compressed and only valve installed (no springs or spacers): 120mm
    Preload: 20 clicks = 10 full turns (instructions say +12 clicks) *28mm 6 pt. socket required*
    Comp: +2 turns in from full soft (instructions say +20)
    Rebound: +4 turns in from full soft (instructions say +20)

    Notes:
    Impressively compliant low speed damping for bumps. The ride is MUCH better in feel and feedback from the front tire. Encourages spirited riding with zero concern for bumps, mid corner corrections, etc. Really makes the bike feel lighter and far more stable. I would say in comparison to stock, the OEM forks feel like they have half the oil in them, and the springs are clearly improperly spec'ed for any solo rider above 170 lbs in gear. These coupled with any of the above shock options really makes for a balanced bike that allows you to enjoy it, and encourages you to ride it quicker, no matter how fast you go.

    Fork Cap of the F12S Kit, spring preload and compression adjust on one, rebound on the other.

    Cal14-F12SKit.jpg

    Removal of the stock cartridge fork cap as shown below. Compression of the spring required to access:

    Cal14ForkCap.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  2. GT-Rx®

    GT-Rx® Administrator Staff Member

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    Matris twin shock info added above. I still need stock sag info to post. Thanks in advance to anyone that can help me with them.
     
  3. abbienormal

    abbienormal High Miler GT Famiglia

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    Unfortunately I don't have the sag numbers for a custom for you. I have a Touring and my shocks are set at the next to the stiffest setting. I weighed in at 175 pounds as dressed when I checked this. With all my riding gear on I run about 190. I measured bolt center to bolt center with one saddlebag off. I also only have a tape measure to do that kind of length. 12" are my longest calipers.

    As it sat - 13" on the money
    With me on it 12.75"
    With the rear wheel off the ground 13.5"

    If putting them back to minimum would help you I can still do that. I'll have to remove the other saddlebag which I will be doing soon. I can't do the front as I have the bike clamped in my Handy lift for tires again plus suspension upgrades.
     
  4. abbienormal

    abbienormal High Miler GT Famiglia

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    Ok Todd. I may have some better numbers for you. From the axle center to the center of a trip trunk mount bolt almost exactly above the axle with the shocks on the OEM lowest preload position.
    Fully extended 16.625.
    Weight of bike with no rider 15.50"
    That means almost 26% sag before I put my fat butt on there. Unfortunately I did not have an assistant to measure it with me on there. I had been riding it with the shocks on the next to stiffest position because I was bottoming them a bit often as it came. Now I think I know why.
     
    GT-Rx® likes this.
  5. Touringman

    Touringman Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Todd, I installed the new Matris M40D's yesterday and took it out to play. The bike tracks through corners SOOOO much better, much more stable. These are really nice!!
    A couple of questions: Look at the recommendations above...is it -4 turns on the rebound or -18? Mine was delivered at 40 clicks from full closed. Are you calling "max" fully closed or fully open?
    Lastly what brand of adjuster do you use to adjust the spring preload? It will take a "pin" type I think since the ring has no notches, only holes. I am going to have to back off the preload a bit as the initial static sag was only 4mm.
    Thanks!
    Kirk
     
  6. GT-Rx®

    GT-Rx® Administrator Staff Member

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    Kirk, glad you like them. You'll like them better once they are properly adjusted with preload and damping. Per above,
    Reb: -18 turns out from max - max being fully closed (hardest setting). Trying to add from zero/minimal damping is tougher as it doesn't stop or bottom out.
    Matris offers a preload tool, that I have been requesting they include. It's a spanner wrench made to fit the rings perfectly. I'll bring one in for you next order. 4mm is WAY too firm, and typical of how they send it. Get the back tire off the ground, and often you can spin the spring and lock ring (I think there's a set screw too, have a look) by hand. Keep us posted.
     
  7. Touringman

    Touringman Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Thanks Todd! Yeah I was thinking 10-12mm would be a good starting point for the static sag since the spring was ordered for the weight of a two up with loaded bags. Once I get the pillion princess on there and some stuff in the bags then I can do the math and try to end up with 25-30mm total on the rear.
    Let me know what the price on that spanner is...if any.
    Kirk
     
  8. Andre Dylan

    Andre Dylan Just got it firing!

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    HI Guys
    I was looking on the market if there is anything electronic to set the suspension in different setting.
    e.g. I used to have a BMW GS 1200 versiion and the ESA could be set in soft, normal, hard,
    Can I buy any electronic suspension for the Cali on the market?
    Thanks
    Andre
     
  9. berts56

    berts56 Just got it firing!

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    Need some feedback from anyone that has installed the Matris F12 cartridge kit on the Cali 1400. I'm in the middle of the install and working on one fork at a time. After inserting the new Matris cartridge I did a "dry run" without spring and oil. Just screwed the fork cap onto the tube. I then extended it to the max length. Same as the spring would. In this max extension position I compare to my still assembled stock fork and I AM 3/4 " shorter overall length! What the heck. I had honestly intended to slip the tubes up maybe 6 to 8 mm to cut the rake a bit (I have a tourer that likes to go straight with shorter rear shocks). This difference seems a bit strange and nobody has discussed it on the threads. Guess I am uncomfortable moving forward at this point. Todd, if you don't see this I'll ping to you directly.
     
  10. GT-Rx®

    GT-Rx® Administrator Staff Member

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    I never did as you... I just installed it as arrived, and slid them in. I have no reason to doubt or question what they do. I'll ask, but I'd say install and run them.
     
  11. berts56

    berts56 Just got it firing!

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    Todd. So here is the update. I talked to Matris (or an Italian friend of mine did) and they told me there was an additional dampener at the extended end of the stroke I had to overcome to get to full length. They were right of course and we almost got to stock length. See pic
    fork lengths.JPG
    Close enough. Much better than 3/4 in difference as was the case originally.

    Got all assembled today and was warm enough for a short ride. Very nice.
    Using the as shipped Matris 20 clicks from closed on both R and C at the moment. Not bad.

    The adventure on the install was the bolt in the bottom of each of the forks attaching to the cartridge was too long for the Matris cartridge. Would not tighten against the bottom of the stanchion before bottoming out in the new cartridge. Carefully shortened it about 5mm and all snugged up. Go figure.

    All said, this job was made infinitely smoother by borrowing a Race Tech spring compressor (as seen in your photos above) verses the hand compression method. I couldn't imagine. Now to play with spring pre-load and the rest of the setup.
     
  12. Skipper

    Skipper Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Hi Todd

    Is there ANY rear shocks suitable for the Custom that do not require a gazillion turns of a collar to adjust preload?
    There are many shocks out there with a 5 position preload system as well as Fournales with their air shocks. Range of adjustability is one thing but this is ridiculous
    On a 21st century motorcycle, this system is incredibly archaic.
     
  13. GT-Rx®

    GT-Rx® Administrator Staff Member

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    Funny, I consider the stepped preload adjusters archaic. For nearly two decades I raced on shocks at a Pro level with threaded adjusters. Really, it's set and forget unless you are varying your load often (which perhaps is the case?). As a science, threaded preload collars are cheapest and easiest. From there, Ohlins offers a hydraulic preload adjuster, but it ain't cheap to add to their shocks. I am about ready to add a set of non-damping-adjustable Ohlins to the online Store for the 1400 Custom, Audace or any other bike without factory bags. They come only with threaded preload adjusters, but the hydraulic adjusters can be added as an option (see pic below).
    Air systems (such as Fornales - are they available for the 1400?) can work, but they offer a much different ride compared to oil/nitrogen... depends on what you're looking for.

    OHL-TWNSHK-HYDPREL.jpg
     
  14. GT-Rx®

    GT-Rx® Administrator Staff Member

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    I just put the C1400 Ohlins shocks in the online Store HERE or click pic below.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. abbienormal

    abbienormal High Miler GT Famiglia

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    I'm with Todd on this. It should only require 1 or 2 turns of the nut for a normal change on the threaded shocks unless there is a large load change. Going from solo to passenger does require some change but honestly on the bike I did most of my solo/2 up riding on that had good shocks I did not have to adjust as I rode more aggressively when solo. She hasn't rode with me for several years so at the moment not a concern.
    That being said I have the remote adjuster on the Ohlins on my Norge.
     
  16. roadventure

    roadventure High Miler GT Famiglia

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    Todd,

    What is it about these shocks that prohibit use with the California Touring saddlebags?
     
  17. GT-Rx®

    GT-Rx® Administrator Staff Member

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    If you look down the inside of the bags, there is a "tunnel" formed closely around the shocks (by the saddlebag), so nothing other then a straight shock body/spring will work, meaning nothing with any type of (piggyback or remote) reservoir will fit or work unfortunately.
     
  18. Curt Russell

    Curt Russell Tuned and Synch'ed

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    After dragging the kickstand around left corners for the past two years I finally got motivated to look into the matter. Turns out my shocks were set with the minimum preload which I figure is a perfect setting..... for a ten year old. I'm about 220 and not having the patience to do a proper sag measurement I just cranked up the preload to the second highest setting. I realize these oem shocks are not ultimate suspension components but it is amazing how much better they ride with a little attention paid to the only adjustment they have. Kickstand still drags once in a while but not near as often and the ride is much better. I may upgrade them in the future but now I'm not in such a hurry.
     
  19. caliman

    caliman Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Can someone tell me the ride difference between coil and air suspension on the 1400? I thought air was better for cruisers and coil for sport type bikes. I'm sure it's not that simple though.
     
  20. roadventure

    roadventure High Miler GT Famiglia

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    No, it is not. There are too many variables to make an assumption like that.
     

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