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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's currently a thread on setting the rear suspension in the Burgman 400 (2007+ model) forum. All the posters seem to describe significant differences in the feel of the suspension based on which position you have the shock collar set to.

I was under the impression that the 'feel' of a suspension was a result of the interaction of a bunch of variables: geometry, spring rate, compression damping and rebound damping come to mind. Changing the shock collar setting doesn't affect any of these (except possibly geometry slightly). I thought you adjusted the shock collar to get yourself in the general 'middle', perhaps somewhat 'above' middle, of the suspension travel so that you don't bottom or top out. But as for plushness, it is what it is. To change it you need to change your spring rate or the damping characteristics or both. Am I missing something?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When you adjust the shocks on the Burgmans you are changing the preload setting which in effect does change your rate and damping traits.
I have a feeling that if you were to measure, somehow, the length of the spring with the bike on its wheels, I think you would find it to be same, regardless of the setting. You are simply changing the ride height, e.g. how much sag is required to get the desired quiescent spring force. You may have changed the spring rate but you also changed the spring length. The overall result is nada.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm saying that I found essentially no difference in any of the settings when I tried them other than I tended to bottom out at 1. Perhaps the difference is subtle and beyond my ability to discern.

As a practical matter, I was trying to understand why there should be any difference at all other than sag. I still don't understand it. When you go to sport bike forums, they talk about adjusting various dampings and refer to 'preload' only for setting ride height. The shock you feel traveling over a bump should be related to compression damping and the spring rate at that instant. As far as I can tell, the spring rate at that instant is fixed by the load (bike weight and rider weight) on that tire.

I have noticed a tremendous difference in the quality of ride with pretty small adjustments to seating position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I checked mine this weekend and I've been riding with the setting at 7. I changed it to 2 and once again didn't notice a difference (but I did scrape the stand with 115 lbs. of animal food strapped on the back). So I figured it was a subtle difference.

Then I came upon a method to evaluate the more subtle aspects of the ride. I take a banana with my lunch every day to work. Usually, it's a little banged up when I arrive, and indication of the degree of disturbance in the underseat storage area. Well, when I got to work this morning, it was nearly pristine. I think it might have to do with the degree of compliance over smaller bumps. It does seem to be less affected by washboard type road surfaces. There is still not much difference over large irregularities, speeds bumps and such.

I suppose that if you have spine issues and are perhaps at a threshold as to whether you can comfortably ride or not, it may make the crucial difference. The banana doesn't lie.
 
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