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V7C-S Suspension Thread

Discussion in 'V7/V85/V9 Chat & Tech' started by GTM®, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Yes, quite amazing right? It is very important to have the bike balanced front to rear as to correct sag, and damping so that the bike compresses and rebounds equally. Once you have this done, you'll be really impressed!
     
  2. timothy st.john

    timothy st.john Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Hello everyone,

    I have recently read all of the material posted to Todd's original suspension upgrade for the V7 but lost track of it. Thanks to everyone for generating that thread, and to Todd for his inexhaustible support of the hobbyist nature of the motor sport in general, and the fetishist practices of Guzzi-ism in particular.

    That conversation started in March, and several of you had projects in the wind that, as far as I can tell, have not been followed up on. I would be very much interested in knowing the current state of affairs as our community understands it.

    A Mupo kit for Kaifa forks was mentioned, but as I remember it, the text ran to the discussion of either Mupo/Marzocch (pre-2013) or Matris/Kaifa. I'm curious about that Mupo kit for the Kaifa upgrade (someone I think had used it) before a I make a final decision.

    As I recall the thread started out discussing rear shocks (Mupo, Matrix, and Race Tech) and closed with a discussion of the available fork upgrade kits; specifically Matris and Mupo. It seemed that the general consensus was that problems with the front forks should be addressed first.

    I have a brand new 2014 Racer with no miles on it and zero time in the saddle. In fact, I have never ridden a Guzzi, ever! It was delivered to my complex late in October, when a surgicalI emergency cut short my fall riding season. There it will sit until spring calls it to blossom with other enthusiasms.

    Otherwise, I have a Panigale 899 that every day encourages me to do things that my reason tells me not to do. As 'reason' is my business, I am disinclined to ignore it in a wholesale fashion. I have no intention of returning to the track, and I wanted a way to rediscover the joy of 'sensible' riding.

    That being the case, I have no frame of reference with which to add to the discussion at his point myself, and every confidence in the experience of the enthusiasts that log onto this sight ritually. I'm looking to tweak this bike before I ever mount it, and have already done most of the other quick bolt-on mods.

    With about 8 weeks to go, I want to get the suspension sorted out before the cherry blossoms bloom in Vancouver. I'm a rider. I bought this 'character' bike (whose limitations are, for the most part, irrecoverably inherent to it, and responsible for its charms) in hopes of escaping the hobbyist trap.

    This will likely be the last bike I buy, and the last bike I own. My Panigale will soon be following, as it should, the conceits of youth. This bike is intended to remind me of it, without requiring me to participate in it.

    In practice, it is hoped that the Racer will become an honest, representational extension of my present and future self; in both poise and character, as no bike before it has. In this way, we will grow old together; or die trying.

    Timothy St. John

    P.S. There was also something promise of a review of OEM Olle shocks too. Did that ever happen?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  3. tonUPRacer

    tonUPRacer Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Timothy, Congrats on the Racer it is a really fun bike. My last bike was a Ducati 900 SS and while its no 899 I have found myself wanting to upgrade my Racer's suspension. Personally, I would never make changes to a bike until I've ridden it to understand what needs to be changed, but I'll tell you where I'm at with my upgrades.

    I believe you have your facts wrong on kits, if you have the Kaifa fork, you would need the Matris kit, which is the kit I had my dealer install last fall. My mistake on that purchase/install was not buying the proper weight-rated springs. The kit ( I purchased from AF1) came with springs rated for a 200# rider, I weigh 135, needless to say I have no sag. So whomever you buy from make sure you get springs that are rated to your weight. So unfortunately, my front still needs springs and I'm planning on doing that job myself during spring thaw which is usually March here in Wisconsin.

    As for rear shocks, my plan is to have the rear shocks rebuilt with weight rated springs rather than spend another 1K for new shocks, I realize the BiTubos may not be as good as Todd's offerings, but I'm hoping a proper spring will be enough of an improvement to keep me happy. I wish I had a complete report but hopefully after some tweaking I should have it sorted this year. I know a few folks have finished their upgrades and I'm sure they will be along to chime in.
     
  4. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    My pleasure. I've combined your post with the Suspension thread referenced here.
    Post your weight in street clothes, then I can make a better referral from there.
    Andy above has it correct. Mupo is for the Marzocchi forks only, and the Matris Kit is for the Kaifas. I've only seen one set of Marzocchi on a '13 V7R, and that happens to be mine for the RentAGuzzi.com fleet. All others have been Kaifa, so I can't imagine that a '14 wouldn't have Kaifa.
    I now have a set of take-off Olle's to test, but of the seat time I've spent on many that have been here at my shop, they are marginally worse then the BiTubos that come on the V7R. I have little time to take to put them on to measure, but I will if I find the time. I was hoping someone could measure them for us and post.
    Again/as always, feel free to reach me via direct email for the quickest response; Todd at GuzziTech.com - or I'm often on the Live Chat feature on the Store pages.
     
  5. timothy st.john

    timothy st.john Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Thanks for posting and putting me back in touch with this lost thread. As I said, I only had a vague 'sense' that someone had suggested that they had a Mupo kit for their Kaifa fork; which seemed to contradict the threads trending. A further search failed to identify one. I guess these little manufacturers can't manage sufficient commitment to support the community until their numbers grow legion in a not too distant future. I have, as you reiterate, the Kaifa fork derivitive on my 2014 Racer, which would seem to suggest that there is no other choice for me at the present time except for the Matris.

    I must admit to being very curious now to find out for myself just how bad these front forks actually are, because the community really has a hate on for them. However, seen from a philosophical blind, it seems to me unlikely that MG would build to a price point that is not supported by the sophistication of its intended purchasers, because they know how to ride over there as well, if not better than we do. Additionally, they love motorcycles at least enough to build them, while we don't. It just may be that they overestimate North American willingness to experience the thrill of 'working' at, and 'winning' an exhilarating ride at lower speeds; after all, its not a sport bike. A desire to eliminate risk and pursue enjoyment through sheer speed, has caused the Japanese to engineer most of the fun out of everything (cars included) that we once took up for just that reason.

    Maybe too many new Guzzi enthusiasts are comparing their new riding experience to rides on recent model (last 15 years) Japanese 'sport' bikes, rather than to the tamer offerings from those manufacturer's stables. I rode a lot of what are now classic Hondas and Kawasakis in the 70, and I have a sneaking suspicion that what many of you are calling poor handling attributes, are what I might call an invitation to low speed thrills; an intended part of the design and handling qualities that Guzzi intentionally put into what is essentially just a more mechanically reliable version of a bike from the 70's, which is still true to a 'type' (down to the low speed ride characteristics). It is however a little disconcerting that many of you seem to suggest that MG dealers can't seem to dial them in better for you. I'm going to check mine now for myself, and see how they've done. I'll report back.

    As a gesture of respect to the community, I think I'll still move ahead, despite advice to 'play the ball as it lies first', and acquire the Matris fork upgrade in acknowledgment and gratitude of their collective posted opinion. Thank-you all for giving back!

    Timothy St. John



    PS By my experience, there is nothing more dangerous than a motorcyclist who 'flirts' with speed only occasionally. You need to shake hands with it firmly as a matter of ritual, and make regular acquaintance of it at the track. Failing in that, its no friend of yours. If you want to...need to...or have to go fast, because you bike drives you to it, go to the track. The road is not the track; ever! A different type of riding requires a different type of bike, or it just becomes boring. That's why I bought this bike. I expect it 'not' to foster a desire for speed, because every mile it reminds in one way or another, that on a motorcycle, I'm shaking hands with the devil at the best of times. Ride safe!
     
    Scott Smith and scudracer like this.
  6. makarushka

    makarushka Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    I did have the MUPO kit in my Kaifa forks; it drops right in and requires no modifications. My kit came very strongly oversprung, however, and since I also wanted to obtain the external preload adjustment of the Matris fork cap, I ended up swapping the mupo kit for the Matris, which performs very well indeed. I do believe that with proper spring rates and carefully dialed in air gap the MUPO kit would offer better performance, as it is a real emulator with a shim stack, unlike the Matris' flow restrictor.
     
  7. timothy st.john

    timothy st.john Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Thanks for posting! I'm gratified to learn that I hadn't got my facts wrong. Your earnest response has only confirmed my respect for this particular community of riders. I will acquire the Matris fork kit as you recommend, in respect of your recommendation. I had assumed the Mupo kit had preload adjustment so thanks for that information. But, I think I may leave the forks as they are to first advise my perspective of the state of affairs as they pertain to Guzzi'ism.

    I'm determined to realize my philosophy of differential enthusiasm through deliberate interrogation of this bikes 'intended' potential (as soon as the spring returns to Vancouver that is in March). I already have an exotic british car that bores me to tears at anything like legal speeds. I don't think I could tolerate another boring mode of transport.

    Timothy St. John
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  8. makarushka

    makarushka Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Just to be clear, I did not intend to specifically recommend one kit over the other. As a matter of fact, I have a feeling that Mupo would yield better results when fine-tuned. Ideally, I wanted to have the fork cap and springs from the Matris kit combined with the Mupo emulator but my finances only allowed one or the other, so I went with the Matris in the end. It should also be said that Mupo supplies progressive springs with their kit while Matris springs are linear rate; the latter is my personal preference based on a number of fork upgrades on several bikes.

    Additionally, once the preload is set, one is not very likely to need to change it, or at least change it often, and these simple forks are easy to take off and open with no special tools, so the external preload adjustment becomes somewhat of a moot point. I'll admit to a certain degree of vanity on my part in this regard; it's functional bling.
     
  9. timothy st.john

    timothy st.john Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Hi everyone,

    I understood both your point and the physics involved. Thank-you for having the courage to have an opinion and the intelligence to understand and explain your own preference and enthusiasms to others. I teach philosophy, and as such, I am disinclined, by both nature and experience, to indulge alchemy of any kind over simple truths (yes, all truths are simple).

    Much of what has been offered in support of this thread 'is' supported by simple physics, while other offerings only play into some peoples preference for mystery and romance. That being the case, I have searched out an article that will help others of you make acquaintance with the science that directs the comments of the experts that have posted in support of this community.

    (http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Suspension.html)

    Thanks to them for their patience and support of the neophyte hobbyist and their penchant for what are initially healthy conditions of both brand and style prejudice and bias. The article below explains the basic mechanism's of suspension engineering that will allow newcomers to crossover to the next stage of participation, and therefore invest more wisely in their own future.

    Timothy St. John

    PS If there is any enthusiasm, I will post the rest of this article.
     
  10. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Mark is a great guy, no doubt.

    The real suspension gurus like RaceTech publish books. My friend Andrew penned this one; http://www.bullpublishing.com/shop/item.asp?itemid=103 -- it's more inline with the physics of tuning, so perhaps you'd enjoy it.

    My post leading this thread is a result of my ~40 years of riding and racing (20+ years, 11 of those professionally as a dirt-tracker and road-racer, and I'm currently a paid professional precision rider for digital media and print). So, take from it what you'd like.
    I try to get quickly to the point, and leave the reader with simple tangible evidence/data. Those who know me and my bikes rarely argue with the results. Again, come ride my V7 if you'd like; RentAGuzzi.com
     
  11. timothy st.john

    timothy st.john Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Thanks for that Todd. I am planning on going to look through Race Tech's offerings (though I don't think their sight supports Guzzi by name), to see if they do an emulator kit for a V7 Racer.

    As you can tell from the tenor of my remarks concerning you elsewhere on this forum, you are one of the principles to which I am referring when I commend the expertise of the people who contribute productively to this forum.

    Thanks also for posting your credentials (though I doubt anyone needed to see them), as your reputation speaks for you with greater legitimate authority than anyone could require.

    I had wondered how you had come by your proficiency and now I know. I only wish you lived in Vancouver instead of L.A. Scratch that. I wish I lived in L.A.

    Timothy St. John

    P.S. Thanks also for posting the link to the suspension reference volume. I am familiar with it. From my perspective it seems elegant and very well thought out. I am inclined to doubt that its nominal challenges are beyond the enthusiasm and means of any Guzzi hobbyist. Its just not free! Highly recommended though!
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
  12. Big Kahuna

    Big Kahuna Just got it firing!

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    I'm installing my Matris kit in my Kaifa fork right now and I'm confused.
    please help me
    oil level 60 mm from the top with spring in and fork EXTENDED or COLLAPSED?
    I can't quite figure that part out and have read on here people saying both?

    It's got to be collapsed. Otherwise i don't think I've got enough oil....
    60mm from top of fork to oil with spring in place and fork collapsed. ... that's what I'm going with. .... i will know soon enough If that was right or wrong
    fingers crossed
     
  13. timothy st.john

    timothy st.john Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Sorry for the late reply. I got caught up in Valentines Day festivities. How did your test work out? I'll double check your conclusions, but language is a funny thing, and the Italians seem to make more mistakes in translation than the Chinese.

    Having said that, I'd incline towards the instructions rather than outside advice, and the philosophical principle KISS (keep it simple stupid), which would have you filll without the burden of loading the forks while you pour; who would require that you do tha? The physics is that the oil level stays the same, but changes position eventually over time to static level. The longer the fork is compressed, the more time the oiil has to refill the upper reservoir. Otherwise how long or hard would you compress? I'll check too. Many hands make light work.

    Timothy St. John
     
  14. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    All correct.
     
  15. timothy st.john

    timothy st.john Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Glad it worked out! So much for philosophy (maybe its not surprising
    that there are very few Italian philosophers). Nothing beats getting your hands dirty yourself though and I haven't performed this particular mod myself yet.

    I'll be ordering a kit from Todd soon, so my turn is coming up. However, your experience seems to be the opposite of what I just read in the only Matris fork kit install guide I could find on line. It cautioned specifically against collapsing the fork when setting the oil level.

    That's what these communities are for. Sorry to have moved your consideration in the wrong direction. Let me know how she trims out.

    Timothy St. John
     
  16. abbienormal

    abbienormal High Miler GT Famiglia

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    That is odd to me. Normally when i do forks it is collapsed spring out. They would have confused me also. I am thinking this is with the fork caps off so you are not fighting the spring and just the end of the spring is in oil? I think I would do this once, remove the spring, measure the oil height, and use the new measurement from that point forward.
     
  17. timothy st.john

    timothy st.john Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Oh! There you go. You've got a reply now with far more authority than I could offer. Thanks Todd and Rudy. I just got an education myself elsewhere on line that agrees with what you practice, but the physics isn't well presented. I suspect it has something to do with the transitional point at which the air pressure takes over the job of the spring, and the difficulty of calculating the compression of the air column at variable load. I'm pretty sure that could be calculated such that the measurement could be made without the collapsing the spring, but nobody has bothered to do the math, because there are too many variables involved.

    I re-read the instruction guide I looked at, and it makes the point for language difficulty: it's intent might be suggesting that you endeavour not to 'bottom-out' the fork when collapsing it to set the oil level, rather than not to collapse it. Ludwig Wittgenstein suggested that all problems are problems of language. He's not wrong!

    Timothy St. John
     
  18. pokeyjoe

    pokeyjoe High Miler

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    I have been told to measure with the spring out as well, however it may vary by bike. The service manual will provide the correct method and measurement.
     
  19. Big Kahuna

    Big Kahuna Just got it firing!

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    Everything went together fine using Todds recommendations that i described previously. Let me tell you, the forks feel so good now!
    the cheap and clunky feel is gone and the front end now feels like it should. Solid, reliable, predictable.
    I went for a relatively mellow ride to get a feel for things. Next time out will be an aggressive ride where I can really push it through the canyons.
    Thanks Todd. My V7R just keeps getting better and better!

    20150214_181223.jpg
     
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  20. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Excellent... my pleasure. Wait until you get the rear shocks, then you'll be really thrilled.
     
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