Question about 1982 Yamaha XS 400 Special

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Weight what is the weight of the bike?

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180 kg (396.8 pounds)

Posted on Nov 10, 2008

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I have a 2003 flstci and I'm trying to adjust the rear shocks. Do I take the weight off the back tire or leave the weight on the back tire to adjust them.

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Just want to raise rear shock

Firstly, the best starting point for a suspension set up is the manufacturers original settings. This allows you to go back to a baseline set up, no matter how much fiddling around you do.

Because everyone is slightly different and of differing weights, then a bike will work best when set up to the individual. The following rough guide for a solo rider has worked on bikes I've owned to give me a good suspension set up for road use.

Initially we'll adjust the preload on the suspension.
The front preload:-
1. Put a cable tie round the front fork stanchion (the shiney bit).
2. Get help from a mate and lift the front of the bike, so there is no weight on the front forks, and slide the cable tie down the fork until it rests on the fork seal. If you've got USD forks, then slide the cable tie upwards to the fork seal.
3. Put the bike back on the ground.
4. Now wearing all your riding gear, get on the bike gently and allow your full weight to settle on the bike in roughly a riding position. Try not to bounce the bike as you do it. You should now be sitting there with your tip toes lightly on the ground stabilising the bike.
5. When everything is stable, get your mate to slide the cable tie till it again touches the fork seal.
6. Carefully get off the bike.
7. The front of the bike needs lifting again until the weight is off the forks. Now measure the distance between the cable tie and the fork seal. Ideally the gap should be in the region of 30 to 40mm. If the gap is too large then increase the preload and repeat steps 2 to 7, if the gap is too small then reduce the preload and repeat steps 2 to 7.

The rear preload:-
1. With the help of that same good mate, you'll owe him a beer after all this lifting, lift the back of the bike so the weight is off the rear suspension.
2. Measure from the centre of the rear axle to a fixed part of the bike above it. Remember this measurement as R1.
3. Put the bike back down.
4. Now wearing all your riding gear, get on the bike and allow your full weight to settle on the bike in roughly a riding position. You should now be sitting there with your tip toes lightly on the ground stabilising the bike.
5. Measure from the centre of the axle to the same point on the bike as before. Remember this measurment as R2.
6. Now the maths. R1 minus R2 should be in the region of 30 to 40mm. If it's greater, then the rear preload needs increasing and repeat steps 4 to 6. If it's less then the rear preload needs reduciing and repeat steps 4 to 6. The R1 figure isn't going to change so there's no need to do 1 and 2 again.

Now we'll go onto the black art of the damping adjustment.
If the bike feels unstable, loose and rather bouncy, then the rebound damping needs increasing. Just try a little at a time until you find the setting best for you. If the bike feels hard and bumpy, then reduce the rebound damping. Again, just adjust a little at a time. Make a note somewhere how much you've adjusted things.
If the bike has a tendency to bottom out under braking, then increase the front compression damping. If it feels too rigid or tends to hop under braking, then reduce the front compression damping. If the back of the bike bottoms out in depressions or feels unstable in fast corners, then increase the rear compression damping. If the back end feels rigid and harsh, then reduce the rear compression damping. Remember to make a note of all the adjustments you've made.

If it all goes wrong, return the bike to standard settings and start again.

hope this helps


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I want to up grade my xr 200 1999 front forks , better forks and disc brake what bike will do this to my xr im thinking of change over,

Think of any of the motocross bikes.You will fit the cr front ends but it is also best to change the brake master cyl. at the same time.Check the weight of the exchange bike to get it pretty close to yours.Spring sizes and weights will then give you an upgrade ride and you dont have to play around with them too much.Look in the 250 2 stroke range first.Plenty of them around and the weight is similar.Hope this helps you

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