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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just started riding my new CTX700D and I'm finding a very hard suspension. Does anyone know if there is an adjustment, or pre-load setting? It handles great, but even small bumps feel pretty hard. I'm thinking the pre-load may be set too high, but I can't find any way to set it.

Thanks.
 

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Hello Saxon,

Most people on this forum have reported the ride to be rather soft or "just right" on their CTX. But I had exactly the same problem as you and it really wrecked the ride for me: I could feel every tiny bump, and the larger ones felt threatening. I noticed when my riding partner got on along with a whole lot of gear, that the ride was much improved. That made me think that I actually might make an improvement by *increasing* the preload - just the opposite of what I would have thought. The dealer showed me the adjustment on the rear shock and sent me home with a specialized wrench. The adjustment is actually two nuts, the top one is a locking nut to hold the actual adjustment in place, so undo the locking nut, make the adjustment to the other nut below it and then redo the adjustment. If you want to move the adjustment down, you want to be on the right side of the bike and move the wrench handle in the direction going from the rear of the bike to the front of the bike.

Here's the good news and the bad news about that. The good news is that I was able to make this adjustment and it fixed my problem... I'm now quite satisfied with the ride. The bad news is that, not only did this require a special wrench, but it was VERY awkward to do since it's so hard to get to the adjustment to get any kind of functional grip on the nuts and then to actually move them. My success was accidental. I never did get the locking nut free and ended up turning both (bad). The two nuts were in the middle of the threads when I started and when I was finished they were both at the bottom. I had the dealer check my work and he said it was fine. I just ordered the shop manual and will look up what they have to say about this adjustment, but perhaps it's not meant to be user-adjustable like so many shocks - hence the fact that this info is not in the little owner's manual.

I would take the bike to the dealer and ask them to make the adjustment for you unless you want to get a wrench and try your hand at it yourself. I would *not* look forward to trying this again myself. Perhaps others here have had a different experience messing with this.

Tony (MisterHand)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Tony,

This really helps. I think I'll just take it to the dealer. I hate fiddling with that kind of situation.
 

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The owners manual and the Honda service manual do not cover adjusting the ring nuts on the shock but it is clear there is room to go either direction. I thought of using a long punch and a tap hammer to unlock the two ring nuts but haven't don't that yet as I find the ride ok for me.
 
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Just returned from a long, bumpy ride and the jolting was rather "shocking" (pun intended)...I'll also be taking mine in to the dealer for this much-needed adjustment. Thanks for the info!
 

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Has anyone come back from the dealer with their rear shock adjusted by the dealer? Was there an improvement? or what did they say?
 
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This bike handles bumps and dips in the road for me so much more smoothly than my BV350 scooter that I can't imagine changing anything. I have noticed, if the bump or dip is big enough or abrupt enough (like the seams at some bridge ends) that it will jar me a little, but at those same big dips or seams on the scooter, it would send my rear end air borne. Of course, on the scooter, if I knew the uneven seam were upcoming, I could stand up off the seat, but usually these seams and/or bumps are a surprise, so that option is of little value.

I'm a real light weight at only 150 lbs. Maybe that's why it's not too soft for me.
 

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Shock preload

With the rings in the middle there is no preload. I just got back from a suspension specialty shop who adjusted the rings all the way down, compressed the spring and achieved acceptable preload. Rides like a different bike. His name is Jim and the business is Catalyst Reaction, 1010 Commercial St. Suite B, San Carlos, CA. Call 650-591-2778. Make an appointment and he can do it while you wait. $50.00. This is serious and needs to be corrected. It will raise the rear of the bike since there is no preload from the factory.

I plan to leave my bike with him for a week to replace the rear shock spring and also replace the front fork springs and oil. Honda really cut some corners on the suspension.

Look at the rear shock and there should not be any threads below the rings. Mine had the rings in the middle of the threaded area and now the rings are all the way to the bottom. The bike now leans over a bit more on the stand, is more stable and does not have the tendency to fall over to the right.

Dave

Dave
 

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If top or bottom references confuse you, think of this.
Moving the nuts toward the spring compresses the spring. This increases the load on the spring (preload). Because the preload is increased the weight of the bike is handled more easily by the tension of the spring so it sits higher. Once you sit on the bike the height will most likely be very near to what it was.
 

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If top or bottom references confuse you, think of this.
Moving the nuts toward the spring compresses the spring. This increases the load on the spring (preload). Because the preload is increased the weight of the bike is handled more easily by the tension of the spring so it sits higher. Once you sit on the bike the height will most likely be very near to what it was.
Thanks, well said.
 

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Worth 2 thousand words

It is clear from the dirty and then newly cleaned threads the original and new location of the compression rings. The mechanic's opinion was that the original condition of my bike was potentially dangerous. Please take a look at your own bikes and my photos and decide for yourselves.

Dave
 

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What's dangerous here? You tightened the suspension, good for you!!! You are suppose to adjust according to load! You may think there is no preload from stock cause the coil can slip in and out without trouble, but your weight/load on the coil is the preload on the spring. Your going to get a stiffer coil and it will ride more ruff and the rear will be more loose. Ideal is to set it with highest compression with minimal rebound. Honda set the spring with highest compression for this bike within it's load ratings, You have to adjust the rebound according to your load.

BTW, I love the opposite position pics to make it harder to compare what your post was all about! Two thousand words, more like just one = Confused
 

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I'm with Rebel on this one. My pre-load is set all the way at the top of the threaded portion of the shock. It came from the factory this way. I'm 215 lbs. and the bike rides just fine. Not too loose and not too firm. I ride 2 up as well without any difficulties. I also have a lot of weight on the back with oversized boxes as saddlebags and top box plus the brackets. Without the boxes and brackets the bike still rides well handling all but the biggest bumps without discomfort.. Compressing the spring by adjusting it downward reduces spring travel and firms the bike ride for smaller riders. This can work to the benefit for some but also be a disadvantage for others. If the bike rides just fine for you then I would suggest leaving it alone.
 

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Just to be clear on this, no two springs are the same and each has a different spring rate of compression and rebound due to a number of factors caused during the manufacturing process. Each spring requires some load adjustment to reach the specified requirements of the bike manufacturer. That's why some of us may have their settings at the top, middle or bottom of the spring assembly. These adjustments are pre set at the factory and generally not recommended to play around with. Having said that, we all have a penchant for wanting to better our bikes even to our detriment at times. We should all keep this in mind when playing with suspension parts since our lives and the lives of others depend on these parts to function properly. My advice is to leave well enough alone in this area unless you are a trained professional with the proper diagnostic equipment, experience and know how to properly make decisions about adjustments. Once you fiddle with the spring load settings, you will never get them back to the original settings without some serious forethought and the taking of exact measurements that are extremely difficult to perform while on the bike. Just a thought.
 

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Maybe 500 words

My apologies for the confusing photos, they did not look like that on my phone and I did not know how to rotate them. This is a forum. It is a place to discuss issues and information so that we can all make well informed decisions. I respect the opinions of all contributors on this forum and also the opinion of the owner of a shop that specializes in motorcycle suspension. We are all contributing what we know to be truth and each of us will reach our own decisions and actions. Thank you for your comments regarding my post.

Attached please find one rotated photo for the benefit of anyone that did not understand the part of the motorcycle that we are talking about. This view is from between the right swing arm and the tire looking forward with benefit of a light.

Dave
 

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My apologies for the confusing photos, they did not look like that on my phone and I did not know how to rotate them. This is a forum. It is a place to discuss issues and information so that we can all make well informed decisions. I respect the opinions of all contributors on this forum and also the opinion of the owner of a shop that specializes in motorcycle suspension. We are all contributing what we know to be truth and each of us will reach our own decisions and actions. Thank you for your comments regarding my post.

Attached please find one rotated photo for the benefit of anyone that did not understand the part of the motorcycle that we are talking about. This view is from between the right swing arm and the tire looking forward with benefit of a light.

Dave
Thank you. :)
 

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The shock is ADJUSTABLE for a reason. The load on this bike can vary from a single 150lb rider with no gear to its MAX rating. There is no way an economical motorcycle is going to come setup perfectly for everyone from Honda. You should expect to make it fit your needs. I wish it were easier to make quick adjustments, however that is where the economical factor comes to life. I wonder if Ohlins has a shock for the CTX....
 

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If that were true, why wouldn't it be listed in the service manual? The same manual your dealership uses to service your bike. Modern ride adjustable coil spring shocks do not adjust the spring loading. They do adjust the spring dampening by way of controlling the amount of oil flow or gas flow through an adjustable valve. Some old style coil spring shocks could be adjusted by way of three settings. These adjusted the spring loading by turning the outer spring cover. This was done in 1/8-1/4" increments. Playing with the spring loading can have some very serious and expensive consequences. Excessive wear on the rear suspension is the least of them. Loss of control is the worst. Many on this forum are new to biking and there are quite a few here who haven't a clue as to the mechanical aspects of how suspensions work and the ramifications of tinkering with them. Many of us have made modifications to our bikes in an attempt to improve them. Some are awesome and some are not. This is one of those times when it could be questionable as to whether the gain could be worth the cost. Like having major surgery, I would hope a second opinion would be sought out by another expert, preferably one who has no financial gain in the matter.
 

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Maybe based on your assumptions they want the consumer to take the bike to the dealer for adjustments. It is obviously adjustable for a reason. Very small adjustments are not going to make the bike unsafe, now going from one end of the spectrum may make a huge difference in ride. It is nothing more than a MECHANICAL SPRING PRELOAD ADJUSTER.
 
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