Author Topic: Setting Sag and Adjusting Ride  (Read 7058 times)

Rusty Shovel

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Setting Sag and Adjusting Ride
« on: January 25, 2014, 04:48:09 pm »
So you've heard that the KTM 690 Enduro has a great suspension, but in reality your bike pogos through rough sections or wallows in the whoops?  Most likely you're the problem, not the suspension.

But it's not your fault, bike manufacturers are forced to set up their suspensions from the factory for "the average person."  I've heard that 175 lbs is the magic rider weight, but that's anyone's guess.  Good news though, unlike most dual sports, the 690 Enduro's suspension can be adjusted to suit most any rider and load.

First off, you have to set both "Static Sag" and "Rider Sag," front and rear.  Both measurements are made while the bike is upright, so make a friend or get the dealer to help you.

Static Sag is the distance in millimeters that the bike settles under it's own weight.  Free sag is between 5% and 10% of the total travel.  The 2012 690 Enduro, for example, has 250mm of total travel, so the sag should be between 15 and 25 mm's.

Rider Sag is the amount the bike settles with the rider in riding position (feet on the pegs).  The general rule of thumb is that the sag should be 25% to 33% of the total available travel (62.5 to 82.5mm's).  If you are unable to get the total sag number you seek without either too much or too little static sag, you may need to change springs (depending on how much compromise you're willing to accept).

Set all the adjustments to stock standard settings as per the manual.  This is your starting point. The general goal is to have both the front and rear suspension compress and return at the same rate, so the bike is balanced front/rear.  Some folks have observed that from the factory the 690's front suspension is set stiffer than the rear.  YMMV.

With rebound adjustment, the bike should not "pogo" when you press down quickly on the rear suspension, or top out too fast.  Same for the front.  You might make a few small changes from stock based on pushing the suspension up and down, see how it returns.

From there, its best to make your adjustments while riding the bike.  I think the easiest thing to mess up is compression damping, having too much of it.  This will make the ride harsh, it will "ping pong" off the rocks, and be hard to hold direction.  The rear will have a "choppy" ride. Reduce your compression damping to the least you need.  As speeds increase, you may need a bit more. The 2012 manual states: 20 clicks=comfort, 15 clicks=standard, 10 clicks=sport, 10 clicks="full payload."

On rebound damping, you dont want the bike to "pack down" as though its not rebounding fast enough after hitting bumps. On the other hand, you dont want it rebounding too fast and "topping out" or banging you in the butt.  The manual's recommended clicker settings for rebound damping are the same as for compression damping.

Generally, as you ride faster, over rougher terrain, you may need more rebound damping to keep up with higher speeds, and maybe a bit more compression damping as you hit jumps, or whoops at faster speed.

So to re-cap:

1) Set sag correctly, front and rear.

2) Set tire pressures correctly for dirt, say 20 front and 22 rear?  Tire pressure recommendations deserve their own thread, so I won't belabor the point.

3) Set compression and rebound settings at stock positions, or the settings you arrived at in the garage, from pushing down on the shocks.  Note down what settings you have as you go on to 4 below.

4) Ride the bike, and make one change at a time, so you can feel the difference. You can even experiment by going to extreme setting so you can feel the difference, like maxium compression damping.  Then back it off to get the best ride quality.

5) Reduce compression damping first, to get a plush ride.

6) Adjust rebound damping to get bike settled correctly. 

7) Note down your settings that you like.  As speed increases, or terrain becomes more technical and rough, make further adjustments as you feel needed.  If you get confused from too many changes, go back to your baseline settings you wrote down, and try again.

Thanks to DRXXR at RideDualSport.com (http://ridedualsport.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=ts4b8bfrs3he2ldi6te2suo6f3&action=forum) for the lion's share of this tutorial.  Also, thanks to James Siddall at the KTM 690 Wiki (http://ktm690.info/index.php/The_Basics_-_James_Siddall)

Also, check out your manual!  Beginning at page 64 (2012), the entire process is described (with pictures!).
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BigDogAdventures

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Re: Setting Sag and Adjusting Ride
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2014, 02:07:55 pm »
Boy---I am really struggling with the suspension.

Sport settings--------way way way too harsh.

Regular settings-------way way to harsh.

Soft settings-------way to harsh.

Over a 2 day ride the bike literally beat me into submission on the soft setting. My lowly WR250R is perfect in the rocks I was riding in and is
rock stable while the suspension moves up and down and the frame stays still.
Riding on a flat river levee with a fresh spread of 2" rocks The bike was skittering around so much I just knew I was going to bite it.
My riding buddy behind me couldn't hardly watch.

I'm so dumb with suspension settings-----I just need to work with it some more I'm sure.

BigDog

Otherwise the bike was awesome in most stuff------I'll never use full throttle--but it's there.
2014 KTM 690
2013 Husqvarna TR Terra 650
2006 KTM 450 EXC
2008 Yamaha WR250R

Rusty Shovel

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Re: Setting Sag and Adjusting Ride
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2014, 04:04:07 pm »

Sport settings--------way way way too harsh.

Regular settings-------way way to harsh.

Soft settings-------way to harsh.


Ha!  I tumbled twice during Uncle's Desert Challenge, both times because my front end "hopped" at an awkward moment.  Nothing Travis Pastrana couldn't have handled, but my skills weren't up to it.   ::)

Keep us posted on your experiments!
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SDMF_Reaps

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Re: Setting Sag and Adjusting Ride
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2014, 07:41:57 pm »
I would definitely recommend setting the sag as above.  It'll sort out weather the springs are correct for your weight.  As mentioned most manufacturers set the bike up for a lighter rider.  My KLX 450r required new springs front and rear for my weight.  As did the KLR.

I read Rusty's post a few days ago so I don't recall if it was mentioned but when you do set the sag it's best to have all your gear on and anything you will be riding with on a regular basis.  It's also a good idea to give it a few bounces to find where it will sag while riding.  Also take several measurements just to be sure.

I too have noticed that the front washes out more than I would like, but I haven't set the sag on my ride yet either.  I want to get the rally raid tanks up front before I do that.  I really wanted the safari tank but I think it'll mess with my tank bag too much, but that's another story.

I also wonder about the front tire.  Could that be a little bit of the issue?  I know I noticed a big improvement when I put a K777 on the KLR.  At my first tire change I plan to go the same route with the 690 as I have on the KLR.  A K777 up front and a D606 on the back, man I love that combo.

Just some thoughts for you.  I personally enjoy working on the bikes nearly as much as riding them... especially when you can see the results on the following ride.

Thanks for the forum Rusty!!!

Dogfarm

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Re: Setting Sag and Adjusting Ride
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2014, 06:36:14 pm »
 I measured my SAG and needed to adjust the preload on the shock. I had trouble turning the adjustment collar. Wondering if other people take the shock off the bike to adjust the preload or is there a way to do it without taking it off.
2009 KTM 690r
2009 KLR 650
2008 WR250R


SDMF_Reaps

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Re: Setting Sag and Adjusting Ride
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2014, 12:21:28 pm »
I know it's not proper but a big long punch and a hammer works.

Rusty Shovel

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Re: Setting Sag and Adjusting Ride
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2014, 04:02:00 pm »
I know it's not proper but a big long punch and a hammer works.

...as long as you're not overly fond of your knuckles.  :'(
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Dogfarm

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Re: Setting Sag and Adjusting Ride
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2014, 05:53:52 pm »
I have been beating on the collar with a hammer and chisel to move it. It works, but it is painfully slow and I am marking up the collar. It looks like it would be hard to get that spanner wrench on the collar without taking the shock off the bike. I was wondering I should just take it off to adjust it.
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2009 KLR 650
2008 WR250R

SDMF_Reaps

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Re: Setting Sag and Adjusting Ride
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2014, 07:02:49 pm »
I haven't had the bike long enough to be sure, but with the other bikes I've worked on you can get enough access by removing the subframe.  Of course it isn't much fun doing that over and over but you should only have to set the sag once.

BUMMERS

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Re: Setting Sag and Adjusting Ride
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2014, 07:12:16 pm »
has anybody tried what the manual says? Sounds way too easy, but simply says take off the seat and covers and the shock lifts out. Like I say,  sounds way too easy. Don't have a place to try it myself, just curious. Be aware, the rings are extremely soft aluminum and will cut right through with any kind of a sharp instrument and hammer.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 07:14:14 pm by BUMMERS »

BUMMERS

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Re: Setting Sag and Adjusting Ride
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2014, 07:22:15 pm »
about the gas mileage, everyone says 60 to 70. First tank, only got 47. Second tank doesn't seem much better. Anyone know if this is just California emissions? Have the under seat setting on number 2.

Rusty Shovel

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Re: Setting Sag and Adjusting Ride
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2014, 11:39:54 am »
has anybody tried what the manual says? Sounds way too easy, but simply says take off the seat and covers and the shock lifts out.

I haven't tried it yet, but MCRider says it's a simple procedure HERE: http://690enduro.createaforum.com/suspension/tell-me-about-lowering-this-beast/
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syzygy27182

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Re: Setting Sag and Adjusting Ride
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2014, 08:08:57 pm »
about the gas mileage, everyone says 60 to 70. First tank, only got 47. Second tank doesn't seem much better. Anyone know if this is just California emissions? Have the under seat setting on number 2.

Same here. I've got a 2014 690 Enduro R with about 1800 miles on it. I'm 225 lbs, and do not have any accessories on the bike yet. I haven't been able to eek out any more than 45 MPG. And I haven't taken it offroad at all yet.

I'm also in CA. But that can't be the reason. You'd think with CA's more stringent emissions standards, we should be getting BETTER fuel economy (usually at the expense of performance) than other states!

Only being able to go 140-150 miles on a tank is not very fun.  I've been researching aftermarket tanks. So far I've only found supplemental tanks. I'd rather get a replacement tank- something that can bolt on in place of the original tank but that has slightly larger fuel capacity. I guess noone has designed such a tank yet for the 690 Enduro?

Rusty Shovel

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Re: Setting Sag and Adjusting Ride
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2014, 07:01:29 am »

Quote
I guess noone has designed such a tank yet for the 690 Enduro?

Not that I'm aware of...and I've been looking.  I carry a Rotopax on my side rack.  Two things that might cheer you up: 1) The gas mileage improves as the engine breaks in.  I've got about 4K on my bike now and I didn't hit reserve until 140.  2) You burn gas at a MUCH greater rate when traveling on the highway.  On surface streets/trails you'll get closer to 55-60 mpg. 
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