Ahhh, the dark art of suspending us.
The motorcycle has just 2 wheels with a spot the size of a tea cup, touching the ground.
Suspension setup for a particular model bike, is a physical aspect of the design of the bike and something, that has been rather carefully done by engineers. And then You come into play.
You, the un-average (weight, height, skilled, legged, boned, looked and ergod) person. So, if You happen to be anywhere near the average range for that bike – chances are, the bike can be set up for You, with the factory stuff, just fine. If not – then we need to get to work.
The ktm adventure – right from the 950 to the last 990R – were all undersprung in the front and over in the rear, nosedivehappy, nervoushandeling, imgonnalosethefrontwhilebraking type of bikes.
This was largly due to the unaverage person trying to show off on the showroom floor. So the manufacturer wanted to sell good ground clearance and many mm of travel, but the “littlepeople” buying the bikes, were too intimidated by that and needed lowering.
With the soft front comes wash outs. Come the bottoming out and broken wheels. Come the worn out hands and shoulders from manhandeling the nervous front and – in my case some broken ligaments and bone.
To handle this issue – front will get a new spring set. (in my application it was about 20% stronger springs). New valving for the corresponding spring strength and more durable bushings with the proper fully synthetic oil to keep it running consistently over a longer period. Forks with heavy loads and sensitive damping will need good stiction free seals – these are provided by SKF – the green “G” ones.
They offer less stiction, more feel and very little wear over the years – both themselves and also the fork metal. Some protection film for the front of the tubes and we are ready with the front – for a little tuning.
The rear – on an adventure bike, has a very difficult task at hand. On a good day – You might be running through town minding the everyday business and the load is at best Your weight with light gear. And the next day, there You might take the special friend with most of the household with You and go camping. The difference in load carring and bump managing capacity changes sometimes 2x. You need to choose an average or preference. It cannot be the best for both. So I choose the semi lonesome rider with a few kilos added in mind. I do carry added fuel in the back and some gear, but preffer to travel light and solo on the bike. So softer spring, softer setup in the valving and new bushings and swing bearings and we are ready to smooth out the bumps on the open road.