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Griso Suspension settings thread!

Hmmm. Well, at 320 pounds, I must be the fattest of the "fat kids" here! Last night I set my suspension to the specs in the "Fat Geeza" thread:

Comp. 2 turns
Rebound 3/4 turn

Comp 3 turns
Rebound 15 clicks

So basically i did the same as you guys, backing off comp and reb a little. Haven't measured sag yet, that's next. But I did increase preload in the forks, screwing them down to 3 notches.

The result? Much more compliant ride. I'm going up on Angeles Crest tomorrow morning, so I will see how it feels in the turns.
Figaro-- Approx where is your rear preload? Mine is almost in the middle. Should it be lower? Sounds like our fronts are about the same.
I'm afraid I sold the bike a few months ago, and I can't remember exactly what I ended up with in terms of settings. First of all I bumped up the rear preload and softened the damping, but I'm pretty sure I backed off the preload after that. Only I can't quite remember. Sorry.
I'm a new member here, having just got my first Moto Guzzi. It's a 2007 Griso 1100 and I love it, but I see I'm not the only one who wants the suspension to work better, the rear shock in particular.
Like every other post I've read, I just want a little quicker steering with a more forgiving/supple ride.
Having read a bit about the shock options; from rebuilding the stock one, to installing a Matris or a Penske, quite frankly I'm confused.
Can someone please give me the basic facts on the following?
1) What is the stock shock length eye to eye?
2) Can I fit a longer shock to sharpen up the steering, and what's the maximum/recommended length I can go to?
3) What lengths do the various Matris and Penske shocks come in?
and last but not least;
4) What is the definitive front suspension setup for a 95kg solo rider?
Please help before I get a Duc.
rabbitcreative said:
No, not giving up yet... but I would like someone to give me answers to my questions so I can properly enjoy a good ride.
Then get your spanners and screwdrivers out and give it a twiddle. Only you know how you want the bike to behave (and it ain't ever gonna behave like a ducati, let me make that clear now. For one thing it'll start reliably...).

First off you need to find out what you have currently. Get yourself a pen and paper and write down what settings the bike has now (wind each damping adjuster in clockwise and count the clicks or turns, record it on paper, then wind them back out again). Check how much preload you have front and rear (best to have a user manual handy, I can't remember the stock settings myself).

Then, once you've got your settings written down you can start to make changes. Some people say make small changes, one click at a time. I say make big changes, so that you can actually feel what's going on. Let's start with rear rebound, as this is most likely to be your problem area. Turn the rebound adjuster fully anti-clockwise and go for a gentle ride - you should be able to feel a marked difference in ride quality. Then turn it back to the original setting. Do the same with compression damping then preload, always going back to your original setting each time. Then do the same with the front suspension.

Now you are starting to understand how each adjustment feels and how the bike reacts to it.
Go back and start again, this time making smaller adjustments to make the bike suit you. Take it one step at a time. As you're 95kg you shouldn't need to make huge changes.

This all takes time, obviously. If you don't feel you have the time then take it to a professional and get them to do it for you. It won't cost a king's ransom. Generally, Italian manufacturers always set up their bikes too firm, so it's likely you'll have to soften up the settings. But as you haven't mentioned what type of riding and what type of roads you use, we cannot guess at how to set it up for you.

Seriously, have a go yourself, it isn't hard at all, it just takes patience.

Or buy a Duc (which will aslo need it's suspension setting up...).
Well, first off there is not a definitive suspension setup that works for everybody. But if you read through the suspension threads here you will find a lot of info on what you may want to try to gets yours working the way you want it to.
As for the shock length.... The most common solution to that is not a a longer shock but dropping the front end a little, sliding the fork tubes up through the triple clamps. That quickens the steering. Not sure where yours are to start with, there are something like six lines on the top of the fork tubes, often people have anywhere from three to six lines above the clamps.
Also, basic things like setting your sag first, before you go turning adjusters. There is nothing different about a Guzzi when it comes to suspension. It needs the same attention any other bike needs. You start at the beginning (sag) and work from there.
The biggest issue I had with the handling of my Griso was that it wouldn't hold a line once on it's side. I could get it over pretty effortlessly but It would take a bit of pressure on the inside/downhill bar to maintain the line. That coupled with damping that for me wasn't set right made it hard work to ride quickly on a narrow twisty road, not to mention not being in optimum control. Anyway, after lots of trial and error, note taking and on and off the bike with the screwdriver, here's what I ended up with, the biggest improvement coming from getting the geometry right.

Rear: Sag: 38mm Comp: 1/4 T Rebound: 32

Front: Sag: 37mm Comp: 1 T Rebound: 1 1/4 T

Pulled the front forks up through the triple clamps to the 6th ring. Mine came from the factory on the 3rd ring. The measurement from the top of the triple clamp to the top edge of the black fork housing (just below the red cap) is now 24.5 mm. The bike is completely stable and there are no clearance issues with the front fender and header pipe at full fork compression. There is a slight reduction is ground clearance to the extent that when cranked over really good on the left and hitting a bump, I scrape the side stand just a bit which it did before I pulled them up, but I'm going to work on that by grinding off some material on the leading edge of my stand and work on the bump stop for the side stand to see if I can get it to hug up a little closer to the chassis.

This setup works well for me, but will probably not be everyone's cup of tea. I appreciate all the postings in this thread as it gave me options for directions to go. Have fun tweaking your binders!
Optimizing whatever setup you have is essential BUT check and set your sag FIRST and potentially save yourself some time/aggravation. Once a proper race sag is set, its relationship to the free sag available, along with the notice of the amount of preload that it took to get there, will give you a definitive answer (well, at least a certain clue :)) where your spring rates are in relation to your riding weight. If it's WAY off, you will NOT transform this bike with just clicker adjustments, if you at all ride in a sporty or aggressive fashion -- to get that extra performance and control will take changing components.

To quantify it SOMEHOW, based on my own experience with a Griso: if you are 200lbs and above (without gear) and desire to push the bike aggressively, with utmost control valued over comfort but NOT dismissing comfort either -- forget it with the rear shock, and just re-springing it will not help either; the valving needs to be changed, too. Ultimately, the new proper shock built to your weight is best and several members here have gone the whole route with several iterations only to end up with a top line kit built to order; perhaps someone else will chime in. Stock springs/valving in the forks may be OK if you are right around 200lbs is my guess. If you're much lighter than 200 you may be fine with the shock but the front will likely be way too stiff... In any case, once you set the sags and compare free and race you will have eliminated much of the guesswork.

This has all been covered here -- just rephrasing much of the same :)
I didn't realise how harsh my ride was with my previously posted settings till I tried wallycycle's settings - very nice for me at 80kg.
Less choppy on bumpy, winding roads. Altogether smoother, less twitchy ride.
Better turn in and holds the line.
On the Griso I've found tyre pressures drastically affect handling characteristics.
Too low = wet sponge, sluggish response to steering inputs etc. (Just sayin').
I'm still playing with pressures. So far higher + better handling.
Currently running Michelin Pilot Road3 (12,000km), the rear is just about done, but I digress.
Forks still showing 3 above the tree. Am going to pull them up to 5 or 6 & try that.

Sag 37mm
pre-load = 5 rings
rebound 1.25,
comp .25,
tyre pressure 35psi

Sag 33mm
pre-load = stock
rebound 32 clicks
comp .25
tyre pressure 38psi

Take care out there...

P.S. Just pulled the forks up through the clamps - now at the 6th ring - yet to try.
Hi all.

New to the forum after purchasing my first ever Guzzi, a brand new 2014 Griso. She's only 5 weeks old and about to have its first service. Firstly, thanks to all for sharing their knowledge. Has been great to learn from everyone's experience.

As for the bike, really enjoying it, but like others, early experience is that the stock suspension is overly stiff. I'm about 85kgs (or 190 pounds). Front isn't too bad, but the rear bucks badly over bumps......I've left the seat a few times!!!

Anyway, I've been reading a few of the settings suggestions, and a few things have surprised me. For example, the "stock" settings for front compression is 1.0 turns out and for the rear, 1.5 turns out. This is based on counter clockwise, from the hardest setting (according to the manual). Now, quite a few posts recommend 0.25 turns for both front and rear compression. To me, this means substantially stiffer than the "stock" settings, assuming adjustment is made anti-clockwise, from the maximum setting. Is this correct, or do I have this totally wrong?

For me, If the "stock" for rear compression is 1.5 turns out, to soften it, I'd be thinking 2.5 turns out of more which seems at odds with what others recommend. Maybe I'm showing my ignorance, but happy to take a bullet here for my own benefit.

Many thanks,
Fully clockwise for both damping settings is their firmest settings, so any anticlockwise adjustment softens them, that is absolutely correct. Now, it could be that the thinking behind firmer compression damping is that the forks and shock compress less, and so rebound less, giving less of a 'kick' up the backside, at the expense of a firmer ride.

For me, that kick up the ass seems to be rebound-related, so firming up the rebound seems the obvious way to go (I sold my Griso some time ago, so can't recall what I ended up with). But as you know what the standard settings should be, there's no reason at all why you shouldn't have a mess round with the settings and see what works for you.

Established thinking suggests you should change the settings one click at a time. I say that's wrong. Change only one setting at a time, but make a big change, so you can definitely feel how it affects the bike, then once you have a grasp on what each adjustment does you can fine tune them to suit you.
Figaro, thanks for the reply. Agree that it's a subjective matter. For me, the spring rates feel ok if not a bit stiff, especially at the rear. Riding 2 up could well change that, as many have said that the rear spring is too soft if you are a err, "heavier" rider. Would only get worse with a pillion passenger.

I like your idea of winding the settings way back to make big changes to see how it affects the bike. Changing one click at a time would be almost impossible to feel. Will try and see how it goes.

OK, had the first ever play with the suspension on the Griso over the weekend. I tried the 1/4 turn out on compression (front) that many others suggest, but found it rock hard. Ended up staying with the 1 turn out (stock) setting. So, whilst my settings are quite different to what others have suggested, they are as follows.

Rider weight: 85kgs (190 pounds). All settings are turning the clickers anticlockwise from their hardest setting. Preload unchanged at each end.

Front (compression): 1.0 turns (stock 1.0)
Front (rebound): 2.0 turns (stock 1.5)

Rear (compression): 2.5 turns (stock 1.5)
Rear (rebound): 30 clicks out (stock 17 clicks)

Interestingly, my bike came from the factory with rear rebound set at only 13 clicks out!!!

I've found that the above gives a bit more compliance without floating or wallowing. Only issue is if the rear compression may need to be tightened half a turn when out of town on the faster roads. As an 'urban' setup though on bumpy roads, it's working fairly well for my body weight.

As has been said countless times before, set your sag before twiddling the knobs.
If you do not do that first you are likely trying to compensate for incorrect preload with your knob twiddling. The odds of you having correct sag as delivered from the factory is near zero.
Fair point GuzziMoto. Suppose it's just an issue of convenience........the screw adjusters are easy for us to mess around with by using little more than a screwdriver, whereas to adjust sag I ideally need to find a motorbike shop who know what they're doing, put the bike on a stand etc. Will make the effort to do the latter and see how I go.
Setting sag does not require a shop. It is much easier with a friend or two to help, but the only tool you require is something to measure distance with.
Google it and you will see there are all kinds of methods to perform setting of sag. You can even do it by yourself, but it is easier with friends.
A few questions .... I’m in the process of setting my suspension up for me. I have my rear sag set at 30mm after adding 5 turns of compression on the rear spring. I see that people are adding more “protrusion” to the front forks above the triple clamp. Are these guys loosening the entire triple clamp to make this adjustment? I’m talking about the hex bolts up near the top and the 3 down below? If so, what are y’all doing to make sure things get tightened up straight and square I.e. not binding the forks or causing any other misalignment problems. If I do this, does anyone know what the torque values are for torquing these bolts down after the adjustment is made? I realize this type of adjustment has more to do with steering geometry and not so much suspension.

If I have my rear sag set at 30 mm does that mean I should try to get the front set for 30mm as well?
As to your second question, it is a matter of taste but I typically try for similar sag front and rear.
To the first question, I usually use a jack to control the dropping of the front end. Without something to control it there is a tendency for it to drop much too far when you loosen those bolts. If you don't have a jack or a means to control the dropping, you can loosen one side at a time, You might have to do each side more than once, going back and forth because you might not be able to slide it all the way in one move if you do each side separately. That depends on how far you are moving it.
It is important to properly torque the triple clamp bolts around the fork tubes, especially the lower clamp. I don't remember what the specs are for the Griso, but for USD forks it is usually around 20 ft/lbs.