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Q. I have just bought an '03 Yamaha Thundercat in pristine condition.
The bike is on factory settings and I would really like some advice on what settings I should have for the suspension?
I am six feet five inches tall and 18 stone, and yes I do fit on the bike. I use the bike for commuting to work via a motorway, and for Sunday fun on more interesting roads.
With factory settings there is a lot of dive on the front end under heavy braking (as you would expect) and I don't have full confidence in the front end, but I do not have the experience to know what to adjust it to.
A. Although your bike’s suspension is designed to cope with the combined weight of you and a pillion your weight puts a disproportional amount over the front end, hence the fork dive.
Increasing the compression damping to one or two clicks off maximum will slow the rate it compresses, but upping the spring preload won’t stop it diving excessively. You need to invest in some stiffer springs with fresh fork oil that matches them. A new set of WP springs and oil fitted costs about ₤120, Progressive Springs would come in at a bit more.
You are looking at the same costs to re-spring the rear shock, but changing the damping oil isn’t economical and the shock might struggle to cope so you could consider a new shock too. Prices start at about ₤290 for a WP, rising to ₤460 for an all singing and dancing Ohlins.
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