Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Bike of the Month Challenge!

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. This is my first post.

I picked up a nice, used S3 last year and have begun riding it a lot. My main compaint is the suspension. I find the ride to be quite jarring and stiff. It's probably the most uncomfortable bike I've ever ridden, and I've been on quite a few.

Can anyone suggest any mods that might make my bike a little smoother? It has about 5K miles on it, so I know the suspension isn't worn. Would you do something up front or in the rear? I can't tell which end is worse.

By the way, I'm about 195 pounds and do a mix of aggressive weekend riding under spotty pavement conditions and occasional freeway commuting.

Thank,

Paul
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,109 Posts
Welcome! to TriumphRat.net Paul

There are of course always other (better) components out there, regardless of the marque/model, but the starting point on the S3 is at least better than some - many even - being fully adjustable.
So before thinking of alternative equipment, at least you should try to get the best out of what you have, then decide from there.
If it is harsh/jarring normally you might expect too much pre-load for your weight - but you may have too much damping, especially on the compression.
Set the static sag both at both ends by adjusting the pre-load settings on both front & rear. Then back off on the compression damping - note that at front and rear those damping adjustments are at 'opposite' ends - on forks compression is at bottom of the leg, while on the shock is at top (on reservoir); rebound is at top on fork, at bottom on the rear shock.
You will most likely also have too much rebound damping if the compression has been set too high.

Here is a good guide on how to set-up your suspension - http://www.gostar-racing.com/club/motorcycle_suspension_set-up.htm. Use it in conjunction with your owners manual to familarize yourself with the range of adjustments.

So start with that - it is really an iterative process - after fixing the preloads to the correct sag for your weight, then for the damping its just a case of adjust & ride & based on the 'feedback' adjust some more accordingly. For everyday riding you may prefer softer damping settings so your suspension is responsive - for aggressive 'sport' riding it would be better to be firmer.

If you can't get the stock components working to your satisfaction, then there are upgrades like better damping valves you can install - Racetech for example - or complete cartridges; on rear you can of course replace the entire shock with after-market. Complete front end replacement (like my GSXR) is possible but hardly a simple bolt-in exchange.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just reviewed a manual (thanks, ken) and adjusted front and rear for a "softer" ride. I weigh 195. Front spring preload is now 6 turns out, frnt rebound damping is 1.25 out, front compression damping is 1.5 out. In the rear, I went 1.5 on both.
Despite these settings, it appears to remain a little on the stiff side. Maybe that's the way its supposed to be, I don't know. I guess I'll have to live with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wait. maybe i'm misreading the instructions. on the front spring preload adjustment screw (big one on top of forks) does the manual call for six turns out or six graduation lines out (for the softer ride)? Because at six turns out, I'm only showing three lines. Could be a major distinction.

anyone know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
I don't have an owners manual but I can tell you this.

All the way out (most lines showing) should be the softest setting.

All the way in (no lines showing) should be the hardest setting.


If you follow the instructions above will be along ways to getting a better ride for your weight and really understanding what happens when you turn various suspension settings. It take a little time but it pays off.

Don't make too many changes at once and keep notes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Ken, you're right. It would be impossible to know for sure what's inside the forks. But I'm pretty confident the bike is stock. I bought it with the original Bridgestone tires still on it. It had fewer than 5K miles on it and the previous owner said it was untouched.

I went with the recommendation for softer ride. A few of the settings appeared to be way off, especially the rear compression damper. Didn't do a sag measure.

Tomorrow I'll take it out for a real test. Maybe I'll be surprised.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
936 Posts
I am in no way suggesting you do this or anybody else reading this do this, just what I did to make "MY" S3 ride and handle how it should, I went for Ohlins rear ( sprung for my weight ) and had the forks reworked with Racetech gold valve kit and springs for my weight, Mate that is the best mod I have ever done or had done. I have had 3 Speedtriples and have never thought about upgrading the suspension, Now that I have I'm very happy with the result!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,144 Posts
I am in no way suggesting you do this or anybody else reading this do this, just what I did to make "MY" S3 ride and handle how it should, I went for Ohlins rear ( sprung for my weight ) and had the forks reworked with Racetech gold valve kit and springs for my weight, Mate that is the best mod I have ever done or had done. I have had 3 Speedtriples and have never thought about upgrading the suspension, Now that I have I'm very happy with the result!!!!

A good setup, eh stampy? I've had the same setup going on 5 years now, and I would recommend it as the number 1 mod any rider that doesn't already have an S or R model bike that already has top suspension, do. It's like riding on rails.:cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
936 Posts
A good setup, eh stampy? I've had the same setup going on 5 years now, and I would recommend it as the number 1 mod any rider that doesn't already have an S or R model bike that already has top suspension, do. It's like riding on rails.:cool:
+1+1+1 Speed3, Absolutely changes the S3 from a good bike to a great bike!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,144 Posts
Yeah, it does! I admit, when I bought my bike in '01, I went for the Two Brothers exhaust first thing so I could hear how good the Triple sounds. Ohlins and Dymag wheels were next though!:)
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top