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Transform the ride quality on your Custom

Discussion in 'Cal 14 Reference Topics/Recalls' started by jbhotchkiss, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. jbhotchkiss

    jbhotchkiss Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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    As part of performing the first service on my Cali Custom, wanted to see if adjusting the preload and rebound damping on the stock shocks would make a discernible difference in ride quality. THE ANSWER IS A RESOUNDING YES!
    Manual says preload for rider only should be 13 (turns from the top), and that for rider + passenger it should be 16. Rebound for rider only should be 15 (clicks from completely closed), and for rider + passenger it should be 9.
    As delivered, preload was 9.25 on both shocks, and rebound was 13; not enough preload and too much rebound damping according to the manual.
    Addition of Guzzi's leather bags had to be factored in to the adjustment, and I am about 225 pounds, so my rider + bags (no passengers allowed on my Cali) numbers are now preload 14 and rebound 12.
    The difference in the ride quality is amazing. I recommend checking your settings and make adjustments according to the manual.
     
    Azguzzi and JA71 like this.
  2. Longrider

    Longrider Tuned and Synch'ed GT Famiglia

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    Amen! Removing the saddlebags for new tires provided the opportunity to try jbhotchkiss' recommendations. I weigh less but often ride with a passenger, so I went with preload 14 and rebound 12.

    Wow. I thought the ride/handling was great before, but now it is much better. Expansion strips or potholes used to give a sharp jolt. Now the bike almost glides over such imperfections in the pavement. Sharon says it is as comfortable as a Gold Wing!

    We live in the mountains and I ride fairly aggressively. Cornering (one thing i love about this bike) is also improved. The new Metzler ME880s doubtless help; combining them with jb's settings definitely gave a great result.

    Thanks jb.
     
  3. jbhotchkiss

    jbhotchkiss Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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    You're very welcome - glad you were able to improve the ride, and I hope others have as well.
     
  4. Dropinparts

    Dropinparts Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Last week I got around to making this adjustment. I had previously installed Guzzi's hard bags, so they had to come off, but no big deal. Just a one beer job. ;)
    Didn't get to ride it until today. Amazing what a difference it made.
    I highly recommend this tweak.
     
  5. Bouts

    Bouts Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Glad you posted this up, going to try those settings in the Spring when I get the bike back out of the garage Found the ride last summer way to firm
     
  6. CBJoe

    CBJoe Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Hello All,

    I've got things exposed to replace my damaged rear tire, so I though I'd adjust the suspension for fully loaded with hard bags/passenger/luggage for a 3 week trip I'm getting ready to take.

    The manual I have says for Fully loaded w/ passenger and luggage, it should be 23-preload, 3-rebound

    That seems way different than the discussed 14-12

    Can someone help me understand that. My wife and I together are probably around 400lbs

    Regards, Joe
     
  7. GT-Rx®

    GT-Rx® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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  8. MikeBike

    MikeBike Tuned and Synch'ed

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    What does a "Click" of the set screw mean? I didn't hear any kind of click?
     
  9. kdirtrider

    kdirtrider Tuned and Synch'ed GT Contributor

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    There's an indent that can be felt when turning the screw. Best way that I've found is to use a coin. A quarter works best for me on the Guzzi. Sometimes you can't feel it with a screwdriver.
     
  10. MikeBike

    MikeBike Tuned and Synch'ed

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    I got it. 16 turns from the top and 9 on the set screw.
     
  11. RainyRider

    RainyRider Just got it firing!

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    I'm very confused. The 2014 1400 Custom has remote canisters that have a little valve cap over an air valve. I don't have a set screw to turn with a quarter, and the guy from the shop said that they are not adjustable. Could someone please post a pic of these shocks with adjustable rebound that you are talking about? Thanks!
     
  12. PaulDavies

    PaulDavies Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    I think they mean this screw at the bottom of the shock (for damping adjustment). This is an on-line photo I found via google that shows it nicely maxresdefault.jpg
     
  13. RainyRider

    RainyRider Just got it firing!

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    Ohhhhh....... I'll look at it tonight.

    I can't find this in any manuals. Which manual would it be in? Has anybody seen it described in an official manual?
     
  14. PaulDavies

    PaulDavies Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Well... I only knew to look for it from owning previous bikes. Nothing I can see in my owners, maintenance or workshop manuals (all online if you look for them) say anything about it. There is a picture in one of the 1400 manuals which shows a hook spanner adjustment (at the bottom of the shock) for adjusting pre-load, but as we all know, this is done via two lock rings at the top of the shock (unless early models or prototypes had them). The damper screw is (from memory) marked with + and - to show direction of screwing for more or less damping
     
  15. RainyRider

    RainyRider Just got it firing!

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    Just to close the loop - before I embarked on a 1600-mile trip last month I adjusted these screws to "12". Totally smoothed out the ride - one of them was set to about 12 already but the other side was about 2 turns from to end - not sure what the previous owner tried to do there. After adjustment, I was a very happy rider and the 1652 miles went by like butter. Cornering much improved and general puttering also better.
     
  16. Azguzzi

    Azguzzi Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Followed your instructions. Wow. What a tremendous improvement.
     
  17. jbhotchkiss

    jbhotchkiss Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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    Glad it worked for you!
     
  18. LuftWolf

    LuftWolf Tuned and Synch'ed

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    I followed JB's instructions way back when & it sure made a difference in my Custom's ride. It handled beautifully after the adjustment! Haven't touched the settings since.
     
  19. roadventure

    roadventure High Miler GT Famiglia

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    I had done the preload and damping adjustments shortly after getting my California. I thought everyone knew about the fact that you need to set sag and damping to get the best performance for YOU. Thanks JB and Todd (for the link to setting sag).
     
  20. David Griffiths

    David Griffiths Just got it firing!

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    Hi can you explain when you say preload 14 turns from the top? Do you mean loosen nut to start at top of the threads and then screw the nut 14 full turns?
     

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