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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Question Setting rear shocks

I have searched a few thread on rear shocks but I just want to be clear on how to set them up. What air pressure should i run if I weigh 220lbs and also I was wondering what the numbers on the to of the shocks mean. Are there other adjustments that could be made? I didn't get an owners manual when I bought the bike, I plan on getting one soon. Is there a link somewhere on shock adjustments?

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 04:35 PM
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43 psi is the standard (atmospheric pressure) for a 150 pound rider with no accessories.. higher pressure for a larger rider. max PSI I believe is 71 psi... that or higher you will damage the oil seal info is according to my 1999 manual).
It is also listed on the TOC manual... section 12.

I will add another question to this thread too, hope you don't mind shark88...
what type of pressure gauge can you use to check the air pressure? the manual for my '99 says not to use a tire gauge can i still use one? Also, can you use a regular air compressor to increase the air pressure in the rear shocks?

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Last edited by 99vulcan750; 03-29-2008 at 04:38 PM.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 04:58 PM
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I've been thinking of checking my pressure. I'm going to use my Craftsman mini 19.2 volt compressor (looks like a screw gun). It has a built in digital gauge and airs up slowly. I'm going to set it at 55 and check the ride then. I weigh about 265 geared up.

The numbers on top of the shock are for damping (I guess you could say preload). 1 is softest 4 is hardest. I keep mine on 2 and the ride is pretty cush. I use the 4 for 2 up riding.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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I like using the dial type tire gauge with the air bleeder. If you have a little too much air you could just hit the air bleeder a little at a time to adjust it and you don't have to remove the gauge. I have a small automotive air compressor that fills really slow and has a gauge on it.
AJ, I haven't played with the dampening before. Is there a tool you use or do they just turn in or out?

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99vulcan750;51832..
43 psi is the standard (atmospheric pressure) for a 150 pound rider with no accessories.. higher pressure for a larger rider. ...

WRONG.. Standard atmospheric pressure would be ZERO. You should only put in about 10% of your total added weight in psi..

Meaning..

If you weigh 220 lbs you should fill each shock with 22 pounds of air. Adding luggage or passenger the formula holds true..220 lb rider, 120 lb passenger + 50 lbs of luggage = 390 lbs , so you would add 39 lbs of air.

I have no idea where you got 43 psi from, but that is a bit much for either case.

The numbers on top are for rebound dampening, and most here feel that they don't really make a hell of a difference and keep it on "4" all the time.


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 06:34 PM
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DO NOT USE AN AIR COMPRESSOR TO FILL THE SHOCKS!!!! If you do, you will blow the seals. Use a bicycle type pump (foot or hand) and a dial type pressure gauge. The seals don't take rapid pressure changes very well and if you fill too rapidly, they blow. Shark88's compressor seems to work but again, his fills slowly. Slow is the word here.

Mine are empty. I have found no advantage to filling them because for me, the ride is too stiff. I only weigh 186 or so. I'm also used to a softer rear suspension and with some of the rougher roads out here, the bike skates over the bumps with the stiffer settings rather than tracks through them.

As far as the preload goes, the heavier you are, the higher the number you should select. That being said, you should ride it with different settings until you are happy with the way the bike handles. The manual recommended a setting of 2 if you weighed about 200lbs. I found that too stiff for my riding style and adjusted down to 1. There is no tool needed to adjust this, just twist it in the direction you want it to go by hand. OF course, if you ride two up, you will have to adjust it again for the added weight.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knifemaker View Post
WRONG.. Standard atmospheric pressure would be ZERO. You should only put in about 10% of your total added weight in psi..
yeah, I went back and looked at my manual... the standard is atmospheric pressure= also the setting for 150 pound rider with no accessories... then the chart had listed 300kPa (43psi) for the hard, heavy and bad road settings... the chart was on page 99 of my booklet and is listed in the TOC manual as well. my bad.. glad someone caught it...

'99 VN750 with 8900 miles and growing (3,111 when I bought it 03-22-08)
Ear shave with Unipods
Drilled mufflers and degoat
TOC springs
N/C Street shield EX windshield
Jumbo Saddleman Highway Studded saddlebags
Willie and Max Saddlebag mounting kit
License plate turn signals
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Luggage Rack from Scoop
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses, I'm sure it helped a lot of newbie's like me. It sounds like it's more of a trial and error if riding single, depending on if you like a softer ride or not. I haven't gotten to check what pressure the shocks are currently set at. I have been working on installing my AGM MF battery today and will have it on my battery tender overnight (still out of the bike). I'll check the settings tomorrow when I install the new battery. Thanks again! This site is really great for getting all the answers.

"Show me a man who makes no mistakes, and I'll show you a man who doesn't do things." Theodore Roosevelt."

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Current projects - 1986 VN750 & 1988 EL250
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2008, 12:11 PM
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Nope, no special tools needed. Grab and twist. The air pressure is one of the thins on my list to "play with" bu my bigger concerns were to get her running right first. Now that hse's running well and I have time, I'm going to set her up for a total rider weight of about 225 and see how it does. The difference between setting 1 and 4 is not super extreme, but I did notice a greater stiffness on a particular dip n my way home that I never slow down for. YMMV.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 03:02 PM
 
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Damn, I just checked the presure on my bike and one of the shocks didnīt have any pressure at all, and the other one spilled oil as soon as I put the bicycle tire gauge on it.
I supose the previous owner had something to do with this. Now What?
New shock? damn it!!!
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