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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, so this is where I’m at. I’ll give the details before the question. I have a 17 797, bought it late last summer and have put on about 3k mi. Can’t commute on it because of the type of work I do so it’s just for bopping around town and “spirited” weekend rides with a focus on the “sporty” riding. Making bad decisions can be fun but I’m definitely no squid. It’s my first bike, don’t want to over sell my abilities but let’s just say I’m a quick learner. 6ft and 225#ish (not at fighting weight right now but not too far off).

My goal for this season is to keep working on growing as a rider (the whole slow bike fast concept) and really learning and tweaking suspension setup.

I love the bike, it suits me, my goals and purpose of riding but I know it has limitations. I’m getting WAY down the suspension rabbit hole and have read everything I can find.

Now the conundrum. I know I’m not riding the bike at it’s limits so throwing money at it only gets me so far but I’m coming up against the front springs. They don’t fit me well and I don’t think the progressive rate is doing me any favors. I really think a change here would be valuable. I’ve looked at front end swap, cartridge kit or spring/oil/spacer swap.

Springs, oil and spacers seem like the answer. Please, confirm my logic or bust it. I could be missing something. I know most places will sell you a spring kit based on your weight but some advice on how to approach the decision making process of the full setup would be extremely helpful!

Thanks in advance!!
 

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Before you start swapping cartridges and springs...up the oil weight...than add a bit more fluid to change the air gap at the top...sure a cartridge kit is a real nice option and springs will become a necessity eventually...but learning to ride within the limits is far more important...you do not under any circumstances want to bottom out the fork...never...never ever...if you do, your pushing beyond the limit and the only thing left is a crash...so start with the zip tie...ride as aggressive as you want ..get a feel for the fork dive and it's travel ..now throw in some 10wt and bump up the volume...see how that feels...not a single ride...but go through a set of tires...make changes earlier if you think your off or curious...be meticulous...be patient...don't be in a hurry to go fast
 

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225 lb is heavy for lightweight italian bike. and you wear another 10lb in gear. typically setup for 175lbs. i think Rossi weights about 135 lbs.
front end swap come with headaches but offers lots of opportunities to change brakes wheels shocks triples. on my s2r800 i went simple and installed andreani fork cartridge.
when you get deeper into riding you will find the problem is not really about bouncing or bottoming out but wandering in the corners on an undersprung bike is.
i was also very surprised to feel just how much better the bike rode with upgrade to the rear suspension.
 

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You don't need to ride near the limits to appreciate a proper set up suspension. I would start with getting a proper linear spring set up with careful oil type and oil height set up on the fork and a linear rate rear spring.

BUT, if you are looking to expand you riding capabilities(and that doesn't just mean go faster, but this is usually a byproduct), you need to think about re valving or getting some more serious kit. I had a racetech valved and shimmed fork with a r/t shock valved by Daughtery set up to my spec on my VFR and it was a very, very capable machine that never left me needing more.

Once you have ridden a well set up bike it becomes an expectation. Yes, my current rides have substantial suspension upgrades.
 

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I confirm your logic, Jon. Springs/oil/spacers is a great place to start. As your skills/style/venue changes, you may find you will outgrow this. I'm working with a younger friend, new rider, fast learner, and about your height and weight. My elbow-dragging son is also not far from your height/weight also. You will find that you will hit a wall (figuratively, of course lol) very quickly if the bike is not sprung for your weight. You will be bottoming your forks more often than not the faster you get.

If you are on a budget, try a heavier weight fork oil at the minimum. The heavier fork oil will help, but won't do the job of springs suited for your weight. Your shock spring is also likely too light for your weight. Have a friend help you measure your static sag; I think you will find that there is way too much.

Convict is right, your bike is likely set up for a 175lb rider (though Rossi is 15-20lbs heavier than 135 lbs and the bikes/suspension/riding style makes this an apples to oranges comparison). At 50+ lbs. heavier than what your bike is setup for, you will notice a huge difference once you get your basic setup sorted for your weight.
 

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Yes on oil first, it's cheap.
Springs etc later, not so cheap.
Guess I'm glad to be in the 150 pound range, all geared up.
 

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All very good advice here. 225 plus riding gear is a bit more weight than sport bikes are setup for. Industry standard for factory suspension setup is for a 160 pound rider. Yes, swapping out for heavier fork oil can help, but it’s not an ideal fix. I’ve always been a fan of Race Tech. In fact, if you go to their site, you can enter your bike, put your weight without gear, and it will give you all the spring and valve calculations and recommendations for your bike and weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everybody for the input. This is all good stuff! Looks like we mostly have consensus which is extremely helpful. So here’s the plan... Front and rear sag measurements were done around a month ago so I’m good there. I’m not skipping to fork oil. All proper setups start with setting sag and other adjustments are subordinate to that. Doesn’t mean it wouldn’t help, it’s just accepting that we won’t get sag where it should be. Zip ties went on earlier in the week and took it out to see where I’m at. Haven’t measured yet but it looks like I have 20mm or so before bottoming out. I have a ride planed for Sunday and it’ll be an even better of how much travel I have left. I’ll keep checking and measuring (keeping a log of course) to see how my ridding is developing.

Also, talked to my local Duc shop this week (Ducati dealer that went independent this year) and they don’t show a spring kit in parts catalogs from any of the usual places. Turns out this is a single spring front end. Doesn’t mean we can’t still get a new spring for it but they have to call around and see what the manufacturers can round up. Sounds like the Andriani kit might be the best value. They sell a lot of them and are more than willing to help me with the parts that I’m not set up for at home.

It’s not really about my finances (I’m not made of money but I have a bit of a hobby budget) but how much I’m willing to put into a “starter” bike. I like to tinker and want to fully understand every square inch of my machine but at a certain point I just end up at enjoy it as is and put upgrade money towards saving for a 1200s or a second bike. Then again, this thing makes as much power as I’ll ever truly need so who knows.

Anyway, thanks again for the help. I’m gonna see what they come up with for options and go from there. The good news is that no matter what I’m moving towards riding well and there are plenty of skills to work on other than suspension setup.
 

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Nice follow up...keep the rubber side down and you can't go wrong...don't be in a hurry to go fast...keep us posted
 
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