Indian Motorcycle Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 20 of 72 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a 2019 FTR S. I really like the power and handling, however the suspension is overly harsh. Has anyone found a solution for that? I know that there are damper adjustments, but even full out the compression damping feels too stiff to me. Ideas?

Also, if there is someone who has purchased the repair manual for this motorcycle, could you please share it with me?
 

·
Diamond member
Joined
·
9,096 Posts
^ that.
You jumped ahead a few steps.
Step one is the spring.
Damping is the later steps for controlling the spring once it's dialed in.. damping adjustment is usually done according to a few rides observations and riding style and intentions.

Setting sag is a generic process used on all bikes. All bikes follow the same "rules" regarding setting sag.
That means there are a plethora of walk throughs available on YouTube that can help you out.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have reduced the spring preload on the spring all the way off. I have reduced the compression damping on the shock and fork. I still think it is too harsh.
I am also a dirt rider, and I have a lot of experience with suspension. I have ridden this bike on some very rough roads, and the suspension works pretty well there. I assumed that it had cartridge forks right away, and then I confirmed it in the owner's manual. Still even there it was very stiff, and never bottomed out. On a dirt bike, I like to have the suspension soft enough that it ocassionally does bottom in extreme conditions.
What I believe is that the low speed damping is too stiff. The little bumps in the road are too jarring. I suspect that the issue could be improved with a revalve to the shim stack in both ends. That is why I am asking if anyone has undertaken such a project. I am fully capable of doing that, but it takes some trial and error. If anyone has experience with this, I would like to hear about it.
 

·
Silver member
Joined
·
5,474 Posts
Few questions:

what are the temps where you live?
Still on stock tires? If not, which are you running at what psi?
How many miles does the bike have?
 

·
Diamond member
Joined
·
9,096 Posts
A road going bike will not be as plush as a dirt. Street bikes just don't have the travel available to allow a softer setting that dirt bikes are capable of.
As I'm sure you know.

I don't feel the same way you do in regards to the FTR
Suspension. I can make it too soft, too Hard, under damped or over damped.
Frankly it's the first bike where I'm not putting money into the suspension via springs out of the gate...

How much do you weigh if I may ask?

I'd also check for a bind and confirm free movement.
Also,, If miles are super low, there will also be some sticktion that locks out smaller movements..
 

·
Bronze member
Joined
·
2,222 Posts
It’s not a dirtbike. It’s a street bike than has smooth flat track tires on it to give the illusion it does well offroad. Despite what Indian try’s to pass it off as.

The suspension is sprung/valved for street riding.

And the only suspension mods I’ve seen people do, were to make it even more aggressive for street riding.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
If you’ve backed out your compression and all the preload you’re a third of the way through the suspension stroke as soon as you sit on the bike.

Counter intuitive but adding preload and compression will make you’re ride softer...
 

·
Rider
Joined
·
1,292 Posts
Few questions:

what are the temps where you live?
Still on stock tires? If not, which are you running at what psi?
How many miles does the bike have?
I found adding 3 psi to reach max made a huge difference in road feedback. Much stiffer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
If you’ve backed out your compression and all the preload you’re a third of the way through the suspension stroke as soon as you sit on the bike
That is exactly what you want, 1/3 of travel used with rider aboard.

Otherwise you have no travel to extend under normal conditions, meaning the suspension will be constantly topping out, resulting in loss of tire contact on the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
I’m not sure what your weight is, if you’re anywhere in the 180-200lbs mark give these settings a try.

Shock
15mm preload
Compression - all the way out
Rebound - 5 clicks out

Fork
Preload - All the way in
Compression - All the way out
Rebound - 8 clicks out
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
231 Posts
I’m not sure what your weight is, if you’re anywhere in the 180-200lbs mark give these settings a try.

Shock
15mm preload
Compression - all the way out
Rebound - 5 clicks out

Fork
Preload - All the way in
Compression - All the way out
Rebound - 8 clicks out
I'm about 205 and run very similar settings. The big difference is that I had Progressive Suspension in Hesperia, CA install a stiffer front spring. That made quite a bit of difference. Even with the preload in all the way it was sitting too low in the stroke. Now it's much more compliant with less dive on braking. I don't know what rate they used. The part wasn't for sale yet, they are using my bike for suspension development. They used Kayaba 01M 2.5w fork oil.

I have a right hand, off-camber, decreasing radius uphill that I test on. Before the spring and oil, it would chatter and drift me to the outside. Afterward, no chatter and just keeps its line.

I also installed a Penske shock preload collar, it makes adjusting the shock preload a 30 second job. Here are some pictures Preload Collar
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A road going bike will not be as plush as a dirt. Street bikes just don't have the travel available to allow a softer setting that dirt bikes are capable of.
As I'm sure you know.

I don't feel the same way you do in regards to the FTR
Suspension. I can make it too soft, too Hard, under damped or over damped.
Frankly it's the first bike where I'm not putting money into the suspension via springs out of the gate...

How much do you weigh if I may ask?

I'd also check for a bind and confirm free movement.
Also,, If miles are super low, there will also be some sticktion that locks out smaller movements..
All good points. I have backed off of the compression damping on both ends, and it seems good enough to me now. I guess it is all a matter of preference. I really am not comparing the suspension of this bike with a dirt bike, but when I feel every bump to the bars on a relatively smooth road, that seems too hard for me. I do not experience any kind of bottoming, and there is no braking dive when braking, so I think it is a pretty good solution. Thanks for your input.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm about 205 and run very similar settings. The big difference is that I had Progressive Suspension in Hesperia, CA install a stiffer front spring. That made quite a bit of difference. Even with the preload in all the way it was sitting too low in the stroke. Now it's much more compliant with less dive on braking. I don't know what rate they used. The part wasn't for sale yet, they are using my bike for suspension development. They used Kayaba 01M 2.5w fork oil.

I have a right hand, off-camber, decreasing radius uphill that I test on. Before the spring and oil, it would chatter and drift me to the outside. Afterward, no chatter and just keeps its line.

I also installed a Penske shock preload collar, it makes adjusting the shock preload a 30 second job. Here are some pictures Preload Collar
I bet they use a stiffer spring with less preload. That is how I like to run my dirt bikes (although my current Husky has air springs). I have also backed off the compression damping. To make it any softer I would have to re-valve the forks. I might make that a project after the bike breaks in a bit.
Thanks for your comments.
 

·
Diamond member
Joined
·
9,096 Posts
I bet they use a stiffer spring with less preload. That is how I like to run my dirt bikes (although my current Husky has air springs). I have also backed off the compression damping. To make it any softer I would have to re-valve the forks. I might make that a project after the bike breaks in a bit.
Thanks for your comments.
Ya, now that you got it closer to preference, I'd say ride it for a bit. once the seals and slide bushings wear a bit there is usually a dramatic change that often leads to a readjustment session. In my experience, about 1-1.5k miles is where I see things settle in.
Cheers!
 
1 - 20 of 72 Posts
Top