Featured Swb Racing

Discussion in 'Dealers & Workshop Reviews' started by Mrs Visor, Aug 27, 2022.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Mrs Visor

    Mrs Visor Elite Member

    Aug 21, 2021
    2,155
    800
    UK
    Today @Helmut Visor and I rode to Ebbw Vale to SWB Racing https://swbracing.com/suspension-set-up-1 for me to have the suspension set up on my Street Triple. I had only speculatively emailed to make an appointment mid morning and received an almost immediate reply saying they’d do it today if I liked as they were unlikely to be at their business location for the next three weekends (due to the racing calendar).

    After a nice ride there, we were greeted by Will; he asked what it was I felt when riding the bike and thought could be improved and explained everything to us. I said that I found the suspension really hard and often also felt as if the rear tyre “skittered” in corners which could affect my confidence and sometimes the front “dove” under hard braking and could propel me quite hard into the tank. For info I am about 58kg ish in normal clothes.

    Will explained every single thought process he had and any changes he made as he went along and said he was keen to educate which I really appreciated. He showed me the front forks when compressed that didn’t return to the top anything nearly like immediately - they were like a trampoline.

    He said the rear suspension was compromised as the bike was the lowered version, leaving far less travel. The rear preload was at it’s minimum setting and he said as I was “slight” I produced very little rider sag when measured, but that he believed the short travel of the suspension meant that the bump stop was being reached regardless of my weight, producing the rear wheel “skittery feeling”.

    The front was adjusted to return immediately to the top and he said that he would go against everything in the book and actually increase the preload, despite me being a lighter rider to lift the rear and “tip it on it’s head”. He then sent me off on an “assessment ride route” (a very scenic, enjoyable twisty one) to see whether the changes he had made had improved things, or worsened them.

    I have to say that it was immediately like riding a completely different bike; really confidence - inspiring, no “jittering”, turning in quickly, no diving even under hard braking (suicidal sheep running out that Helmut had scared with his Nightstorm riding past before me). We returned to Will and he said that the smile on my face said it all - he was going to adjust again if I wasn’t happy and send me on a second “assessment ride” but I just couldn’t be happier. He did say I would have bet money beforehand on the suspension being too hard (which I would!) but in reality it went absolutely against what the “book” said and where his experience came into play and it was, in fact, too soft.

    The difference in my confidence on the ride home was amazing - I carried more speed through bends, leaned the bike more and accelerated out earlier as the bike felt so completely settled, connected to the road and precise. I even carried far more speed on the straighter bits of road and my overtakes were more precise.

    I was already really happy with it and wouldn’t have said you could improve it much if I had been asked (my only complaint was the harsh ride!) but it turns out you very much can.

    You could not deal with anyone more passionate about his craft than Will and he was truly welcoming and happy to educate (plus, zero sexism - he spoke to ME about my bike, as opposed to Helmut, which was very refreshing indeed) and also very happy to take as much time as it needed to get it right. He also made me promise to message when we got home to tell him how the bike felt on familiar roads (I am very familiar with most of the route home, certainly from Abergavenny) and told me what particularly I should pay attention to (which I have done).

    Possibly the best £60 I have spent on my bike and I would wholeheartedly recommend him to anyone.
     
    • Like Like x 11
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. Dougie D

    Dougie D Crème de la Crème

    Jan 30, 2016
    10,651
    1,000
    Blairgowrie Perthshire
    Sounds like £60 was well spent right enough,you will enjoy the bike even more now!
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
  3. Mrs Visor

    Mrs Visor Elite Member

    Aug 21, 2021
    2,155
    800
    UK
    After 120 or so miles of a variety of roads today I can confirm that my first impressions of the changes made to my bike were correct; the man is a magician :).
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Useful Useful x 2
  4. DanielB

    DanielB Noble Member

    Jan 13, 2019
    879
    393
    Abingdon, Oxfordshire
    Thanks @Mrs Visor this is a really inspiring post.

    I don't know if my riding pallette is refined enough to be able to even answer Will's initial questions, let alone be able to ascertain a difference after adjusting.

    I just assume the bike "is like that"... However you have inspired me to try and pay more attention when riding, so if I were ever to venture fourth to Will (or anyone more local to Oxfordshire) I could benefit like you have, so thanks for that!

    Ride safe!
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Mrs Visor

    Mrs Visor Elite Member

    Aug 21, 2021
    2,155
    800
    UK
    #5 Mrs Visor, Aug 30, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2022
    @DanielB that was my initial fear; that my riding palette isn't refined enough (nice way to put it!) but he must be very used to translating what people say into what they mean about the bike. I think having raced pushbikes for a while is an advantage in knowing what grip etc feel like even though I am new to motorcycles - although I obviously didn't know whether what I was feeling was normal for my particular bike (I could feel differences between the Gladuis, SV650 - what I learned and took my tests on - and the Street Triple but had never tried to ride the learner bikes in the same way as the Street Triple).

    All I will say is don't be intimidated, I was nervous to go thinking that an expert would wonder what a novice was doing going to him but he was really welcoming and keen to educate.

    As for the difference - if it's anything like the difference in my bike, you will certainly notice it!! Ride safe yourself! :).
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
  6. Bolosun

    Bolosun Active Member

    Aug 25, 2020
    111
    43
    Crewe/Cheshire
    Best money spent on any bike is getting the suspension set up correctly. Most people go for loud exhausts first :confused:.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. DanielB

    DanielB Noble Member

    Jan 13, 2019
    879
    393
    Abingdon, Oxfordshire
    Thanks @Mrs Visor , I do wonder though...I "just ride" I'm not sure I pay enough attention to what the bike is doing to be able to adequately feedback to someone ...

    Do you mind (or anyone else) elaborating on what it felt like before....what you noticed, when, under what circumstances...and what this may have meant?

    So I can try and translate this, or relate it to my ride?

    And then of course, how that was fixed...

    And, and....how that then translated to riding anew?

    I seem to just ride, I don't really tend to notice that the bike feels skittish, or bouncy or steers funny etc etc... No judgement here at all...I just get on with it and assume that whatever it is I may feel (should I pay enough attention to it) is simply what riding a motorcycle is like?

    But I fear I am missing out on something!?

    For this - new to me - Tiger 1050 (which seems a fantastic bike, I may add) I spent a good amount of time adjusting the clutch lever to my preference, the rear brake lever for my ankle, gear shift, handlebars...so I guess I'm on board with the physical ergonomics...but eager to learn about being attuned to the ride itself...

    All replies welcome!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Mrs Visor

    Mrs Visor Elite Member

    Aug 21, 2021
    2,155
    800
    UK
    I don't mind judgement! For context, this is my first big bike but I am the type of person (over thinker!) who likes to know how things "should" feel or be done so I do always pay a lot of attention to what I am doing and see if I can improve it - this perhaps comes from competitive sport or is perhaps just my personality (or a combination of the two). I love to "just ride" as in I thoroughly enjoy my time on the bike rather than thinking every step of the way but do also push to do better - sort of "can this feel even better than it does now?" which was part of the motivation behind the day I did with Rapid Training; getting my riding looked at and making small changes which have made a big difference. I hope that makes some sense!!

    I am pretty in touch with how I "feel" and the bike "feels" on the road and how we "feel" together - @Helmut Visor reckons probably more than him but he is just more similar to you and enjoys the ride without analysis. Just differing personalities and he is certainly a very experienced and far better rider than I am so I also don't think that is a negative either.

    So, the reason for getting the suspension looked at: my one negative about the Street Triple had been what I had found an overly harsh ride - if I didn't brace myself on the footpegs over poor road surface I would be bounced all over the place and a bad bump or rut would pretty much eject me from the seat and the front felt as if it was diving a little. When I leaned the bike at a reasonable speed or even just added power to overtake on a gentle sweeping curve I would get a feeling from the rear as if it almost wanted to skip sideways and as if it were almost about to lose and then regain traction which lead to me backing off. It turns out that this was the bump stop being reached that lead to that sensation.

    From the front a very uneven road surface would lead to a sort of "softer" and overly bouncy feeling feeling - just not as precise and not quite as much feedback to the rider and this bike does seem to give a lot of feedback I would say, you do feel really connected to the road and tiny inputs make a big difference to it. It would also dive quite hard under hard braking and slam me into the tank. This sometimes lead to me becoming a little tense through my arms rather than completely relaxed as well over uneven surfaces as my hands and arms weren't quite letting me know what was going on.

    The bike was great and easy to control, go round bends etc and I was having huge fun but there was just "something" that I felt could be more precise about it as I got more used to it - sadly my lack of experience meant I didn't know what or even if this was just perfectly normal for all bikes and I just needed to stop thinking so much!! That said, I thought it was worth having it looked at to see if the harshness of the ride could be improved at all.

    So...to riding anew after the setup:

    The feeling through the front is night and day, I can feel exactly what it is doing underneath me, no more softness or "nodding" on uneven surfaces, fantastic feedback from bike to rider and it turns in with utter precision - I told Helmut it was like a scalpel yesterday. The rear no longer feels skittish and the whole bike feels completely settled on the road - I can feel exactly what it is doing underneath me, there is no need to brace on the footpegs over particularly appalling bits of road and I suppose again the word "precise" - it is just so crisp and handles like a dream; I am already carrying more speed through bends, leaning more and powering out of a bend earlier and even carrying more speed on straights as it's so balanced with no unnecessary or exaggerated movements, it is communicating exactly what is happening to me. Even overtakes feel nicer as yet again that word "precision" comes into play. It has made a bike that I already felt was pretty much perfect....perfect.

    I hope some of that made sense @DanielB - unfortunately I can't always articulate how I feel as it is just that, a feeling and I haven't the knowledge and experience to pinpoint exactly what it is that is wrong or exactly what is right.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. DanielB

    DanielB Noble Member

    Jan 13, 2019
    879
    393
    Abingdon, Oxfordshire
    Thanks for taking the time to explain @Mrs Visor .

    Much the same as you,.I like to know what "should" means...

    I am on holiday, but I am eager to get home and go for a ride, and maybe start paying more attention!

    I'll certainly feedback!

    Enjoy your 'new' ride!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Mrs Visor

    Mrs Visor Elite Member

    Aug 21, 2021
    2,155
    800
    UK
    Have a good holiday, it would be interesting to have feedback when you're back on the bike.
     
  11. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    19,611
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    You have certainly inspired me to look into suspension changes to my bikes, @Mrs Visor! Especially my Speed Triple. Some of your descriptions of the "before" feeling(s) mirror much of what I experience on that bike. Thanks for sharing your suspension journey and all the details you provided us. How great that you were able to work with such a suspension "master"!
     
    • Love You Love You x 2
  12. Mrs Visor

    Mrs Visor Elite Member

    Aug 21, 2021
    2,155
    800
    UK
    @Sandi T I still feel the same now after a good few hundred more miles on the bike, the difference is incredible. If there's someone near you who does setups it would be worth it I am sure.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  13. Iceman

    Iceman Noble Member

    Apr 19, 2020
    984
    443
    Lancashire
    Like yourself Mrs Visor I got a little fed up with the stiff suspension on my 20 STRS, these are delivered from the factory on the road settings, whilst these are ok on smoother roads, however when riding the awful British roads we seem to have, I got fed up with feeling every bump and undulation that transmitted to my back, so decided to adjust the suspension, starting with the front forks I adjusted the Compression, Rebound and Preload to a softer setting, then adjusted the rear Ohlins shock Compression and Rebound again to a softer setting, then measured and adjusted the Sag. All in all, it only took 20 minutes from start to finish, the only tools you require (RS model that is) is the one supplied by Triumph for the front fork Compression and Rebound (round alloy key) and the Allen key in the tool kit under the seat (minimal) and a C Spanner for the rear spring (not in the toolkit). I went out on a 100-mile round trip in cold and damp conditions, and what a transformation, I no longer feel like I have been jarred about. The STRS has to be one of the easiest and most straightforward machines to adjust the suspension on that I have done. It is easy and quick to stiffen it up for track day riding should you so wish. The one thing to remember is write down how many clicks you make for each adjustment, and the same for the rear, this will allow you to return it to the factory settings should you so wish. It really isn't a dark art at all and don't be frightened of doing so yourself. The fitting of a lowering kit does slightly complicate things, that said the rear shock can be adjusted to compensate, also those that do have Ohlins suspension, you can get different springs suitable for a range of rider weights, they have a weight rang from say A to B - C to D and E - F if this makes sense, however unless you have the appropriate tools to remove and replace the springs then leave it to a specialist, I have seen the results from a young person's attempt at removing a shock spring with an improvised method and it wasn't pretty. It is difficult for manufacturers to get it right with motorcycle suspension, for example riders from Eastern Europe tend to be bigger in build than people in Western Europe, and Eastern riders generally weigh less, also differences with Female and Male weights and heights, so they compromise and go for an average weight, just how they determine this mathematically I have no idea. This is the reason a suspension set up should be the number one mod made on our bikes when we get them, often people tend to just put up with how their machine handles and ride round the issue, rather than make the ride more enjoyable. Ride safe all from an ageing Rocker.
     
    • Useful Useful x 2
  14. Mrs Visor

    Mrs Visor Elite Member

    Aug 21, 2021
    2,155
    800
    UK
    Thanks @Iceman - every bit I can learn about these things from people with experience is useful :).
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
Loading...

Share This Page