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Discussion Starter #1
One thing I'll be very interested in from real rider reports is the valving of the stock suspension.

In my neck of the woods just about any ride that wants to get away from 'track officials' involves sections of less than perfect roads. Most pure sports bikes struggle big time on these roads with way to stiff suspensions.

I've never been able to figure if its just because the riders don't know how to properly set up the suspension for real world roads (or at least real where I live), or they can't get them to work.

Even though a rebound or compression adjuster may be 22 or whatever clicks, if it needs to be screwed all one way of the other the valving is less than optimum. With correct valving the adjusters should be within a few clicks of the mid point.

If the suspensions do need re-valving that's obviously another cost that would need to be factored in.
 

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One thing I'll be very interested in from real rider reports is the valving of the stock suspension.

In my neck of the woods just about any ride that wants to get away from 'track officials' involves sections of less than perfect roads. Most pure sports bikes struggle big time on these roads with way to stiff suspensions.

I've never been able to figure if its just because the riders don't know how to properly set up the suspension for real world roads (or at least real where I live), or they can't get them to work.

Even though a rebound or compression adjuster may be 22 or whatever clicks, if it needs to be screwed all one way of the other the valving is less than optimum. With correct valving the adjusters should be within a few clicks of the mid point.

If the suspensions do need re-valving that's obviously another cost that would need to be factored in.
One of advantages of the Ohlins suspension on the S model is the range of suspension adjustments available. From racetrack firmness to street compliance. The Ducati engineers know how to tune for street usage, so don't worry.
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if they come up with a new, more expensive Supersport version with semi-active suspension 2 years down the line.

In fact, I would buy one right now if they did - regardless of the price. It is an amazing piece of kit which transforms any shitty road into a race track. The confidence it gives you with the bike is just unbelievable. The only thing that stops me from getting multistrada is the looks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
One of advantages of the Ohlins suspension on the S model is the range of suspension adjustments available. From racetrack firmness to street compliance. The Ducati engineers know how to tune for street usage, so don't worry.
I've got more suspension 'adjustments' on the rear shocks (more expensive and higher spec than the equivalent Ohlins) on my current ride than that of the S model. These adjustments are no substitute for correct spring weights and valving based upon my weight, preference, and road conditions.

The adjustments on any motorcycle suspension are for fine tuning ..... they cannot transform the suspension from one suitable for a lightweight rider on billiard table smooth roads to one suitable for a heavy rider on rough country back lanes. Only rider specific spring weights and valving can do that.

No manufacturer can make a bike with a 'do it all' suspension. The best they can do is strike some compromise based upon their idea of the average rider. That's why a significant size after market motorcycle suspension specialist industry exists. Fitting springs and altering valving to suit individual rider needs.
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if they come up with a new, more expensive Supersport version with semi-active suspension 2 years down the line.

In fact, I would buy one right now if they did - regardless of the price. It is an amazing piece of kit which transforms any shitty road into a race track. The confidence it gives you with the bike is just unbelievable. The only thing that stops me from getting multistrada is the looks.
I disagree. The SS is very much a "price point" entry, being between the small Monsters on one end and the Panigales/Multistradas on the other. Adding high-cost content like electronic suspension would be confusing to the buying public and not in keeping with its portfolio positioning.
 

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I've got more suspension 'adjustments' on the rear shocks (more expensive and higher spec than the equivalent Ohlins) on my current ride than that of the S model. These adjustments are no substitute for correct spring weights and valving based upon my weight, preference, and road conditions.

The adjustments on any motorcycle suspension are for fine tuning ..... they cannot transform the suspension from one suitable for a lightweight rider on billiard table smooth roads to one suitable for a heavy rider on rough country back lanes. Only rider specific spring weights and valving can do that.

No manufacturer can make a bike with a 'do it all' suspension. The best they can do is strike some compromise based upon their idea of the average rider. That's why a significant size after market motorcycle suspension specialist industry exists. Fitting springs and altering valving to suit individual rider needs.
John, I've owned both Ducatis with stock suspensions and ones with Ohlins. Both are good, but the Ohlins enable better fine tuning, a wider range of adjustment. Of course you have to have the basic springs set for your rider weight, but that would be the case for any suspension system. I'll admit the Ohlins have more benefits when you go to the track, but I like the firm yet compliant feel they give the rider.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I'll admit the Ohlins have more benefits when you go to the track, but I like the firm yet compliant feel they give the rider.
If you're expecting competition grade Ohlins to be fitted to the bike, you're more optimistic than me.

What people might like to consider is will they get a better handling bike by buying the base model and putting the $2000 price difference toward having it sprung and valved to their specific requirements. Sure it won't have the 'cool' factor of Ohlins, but doubt that really impress anyone these days.

I've yet to come across a bike that can't benefit significantly from the suspension (springs and valving) being tailored to the specific rider/conditions, no matter what the brand of suspension. That's why I wouldn't buy a bike with semi-active suspension. Too hard to modify. I used to follow the BMW XR threads closely. No end of complaints that riders found the ride to hard no matter what mode was selected. The world isn't all German autobahns. You get the factory settings, and just have to live with it. Don't know if this issue was fixed. Friend has a new KTM 1190 Adventurer, no one local is game to touch the electronic suspension, has to be sent interstate.
 

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If you're expecting competition grade Ohlins to be fitted to the bike, you're more optimistic than me.

What people might like to consider is will they get a better handling bike by buying the base model and putting the $2000 price difference toward having it sprung and valved to their specific requirements. Sure it won't have the 'cool' factor of Ohlins, but doubt that really impress anyone these days.

I've yet to come across a bike that can't benefit significantly from the suspension (springs and valving) being tailored to the specific rider/conditions, no matter what the brand of suspension. That's why I wouldn't buy a bike with semi-active suspension. Too hard to modify. I used to follow the BMW XR threads closely. No end of complaints that riders found the ride to hard no matter what mode was selected. The world isn't all German autobahns. You get the factory settings, and just have to live with it. Don't know if this issue was fixed. Friend has a new KTM 1190 Adventurer, no one local is game to touch the electronic suspension, has to be sent interstate.
You'll get no argument from me that suspensions should be tuned to the rider's weight and the riding conditions, but what I will say is a more capable setup like Ohlins will allow for more/better fine tuning. After owning a Ducati 748R several years ago I grew to appreciate the Ohlins on that bike.
 

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I`m now on my seventh new Ducati since 2012. 3 of them with Øhlins suspension.
2015 Monster 1200s, 2016 Hypermotard 939SP, and now 2017 Supersport S.
After having all my bikes (with Øhlins), to a suspension specialist, its very clear that the rear shock gives oppertunity for fine tuning rebound and Compression. (and offcourse preload).
The forks however, is another story. Its same on all of my bikes with Øhlins factory fitted. The rebound adjuster does very little in dialing in more rebound. You can "click" them all in, and there is almost no rebound damping at all. compression damping is a little more tunable. but not much. Suspension specialists tell me, that this is the way the factory order the suspension from the manufactures. Its made this way, making sure there will be no accidents due too suspension "packing" when riding over multiple "bumbs". When I had the M1200S i complained to Ducati, that the forks did not give full adjustability, as stated in the marketing material.
Unofficial I got the same story, as told by the suspension specialist.
This means, that if You are an experienced rider, you will not be happy with the tunability of the standard Øhlins forks. You will need to rebuild them at a suspension specialist.

Anyway I\m happy with the bike, the Øhlins giving more feel, and the bike "threads" more gently over rough surfaces. The supersport has the best Øhlins(factory setup) than any Ducati with Øhlins that I\ve owned.
B
 

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Here's what is maybe a silly question, but it's always confounded me. When they explain which way to turn the rebound dampening knob on the rear shock, they use terms like "harder damping" or "softer damping". This confuses me. It would make more sense, in my mind, to simply say "more dampening" or "less dampening". By saying harder or softer, I'm not sure what they mean. Are they actually referring to the dampening being harder as in MORE resistant to change, thereby providing MORE dampening, or does "harder" in their mind mean "harder suspension feel due to less dampening"?? Which way is it??

I know there's so many factors to tuning a suspension, I understand the concepts at a base level, setting sag, etc.. And I plan to take the SS S to a suspension guru before the season ends to get it set up properly. But if I wanted to simply play around with rear shock rebound dampening only (because on big bumps the thing wants to buck me off like a horse), which way do I turn the Ohlins rebound dampening knob if I want to add more dampening (slower rebound)... Is that "harder" or "softer"?
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if they come up with a new, more expensive Supersport version with semi-active suspension 2 years down the line.

In fact, I would buy one right now if they did - regardless of the price. It is an amazing piece of kit which transforms any shitty road into a race track. The confidence it gives you with the bike is just unbelievable. The only thing that stops me from getting multistrada is the looks.
Project engineer of SuperSport:

How much would a Supersport with electronically adjustable suspension be charged?
It is not a question of price, but complexity. Adjustable suspensions are a plus of certain models, but involve electronic and technical complexities, such as finding a place for control units, adding weight. Supersport was born as an essential and compact bike, and putting semi-active suspensions or electronically adjustable suspensions would have exaggerated the concept, so it is an idea that has not even been taken into consideration. Originally, the S version was not even expected, but we were asked by the dealers in a loud voice.
 

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Interesting that the S version wasn't even in the original plans!!! To me, it seems to be the best seller. I know I love mine!
 

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Here's what is maybe a silly question, but it's always confounded me. When they explain which way to turn the rebound dampening knob on the rear shock, they use terms like "harder damping" or "softer damping". This confuses me. It would make more sense, in my mind, to simply say "more dampening" or "less dampening". By saying harder or softer, I'm not sure what they mean. Are they actually referring to the dampening being harder as in MORE resistant to change, thereby providing MORE dampening, or does "harder" in their mind mean "harder suspension feel due to less dampening"?? Which way is it??

I know there's so many factors to tuning a suspension, I understand the concepts at a base level, setting sag, etc.. And I plan to take the SS S to a suspension guru before the season ends to get it set up properly. But if I wanted to simply play around with rear shock rebound dampening only (because on big bumps the thing wants to buck me off like a horse), which way do I turn the Ohlins rebound dampening knob if I want to add more dampening (slower rebound)... Is that "harder" or "softer"?
"Harder" and "Softer" are referring to suspension feel while riding the bike. "Harder" will have more damping, meaning that on a given bump the shock will behave more firmly, or with less action, than on the "soft" setting.
 

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"Harder" and "Softer" are referring to suspension feel while riding the bike. "Harder" will have more damping, meaning that on a given bump the shock will behave more firmly, or with less action, than on the "soft" setting.
I agree with @IL_Mostro. Damping itself means to soften. Harder & damping are just opposite works leading to confusion. Harder/softer suspension makes more sense. So i understand that a hard suspension means less damping i.e., the suspension becomes hard and transmits the shock from wheel to handlebars or seat.
 

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I agree with @IL_Mostro. Damping itself means to soften. Harder & damping are just opposite works leading to confusion. Harder/softer suspension makes more sense. So i understand that a hard suspension means less damping i.e., the suspension becomes hard and transmits the shock from wheel to handlebars or seat.
But it is "softening" - it's softening the oscillation (motion curve) of the spring.

Contrary to popular belief, shocks are for controlling springs, but we perceive that as ride comfort. Viewing it from the perspective of spring control -- With no damping, on the softest setting, the spring will oscillate significantly over a given bump. If you draw the curve of spring motion over time (spring acceleration) it will go up/down significantly (oscillation), and reduce in its motion in each oscillation until it eventually comes to rest. Old cars with worn out shocks could be considered to have little to no damping, when you press on a corner of an old Cadillac you can watch the car rock back and forth through 4 or 5 cycles until it comes to rest.

As you increase damping you smooth out that motion/acceleration curve, controlling the spring oscillation and making the curve smoother. This is perceived by the rider to be stiffer.
 

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I recommend that everyone get their suspension set up just for them. I had this done on Saturday. Rear shock was okay, but the front end way too soft and would dive under hard braking. All is good now.
 

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I have always heard rebound referred to as faster/slower, never hard/soft, it makes no sense. The guy above, who's getting bucked, has his rebound set too fast, so the spring tries to bounce back quickly and throw him off. He will increase the rebound damping(making it force the spring to move slower).
 
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I have always heard rebound referred to as faster/slower, never hard/soft, it makes no sense. The guy above, who's getting bucked, has his rebound set too fast, so the spring tries to bounce back quickly and throw him off. He will increase the rebound damping(making it force the spring to move slower).
Agree with your analysis (based on the somewhat vague description of the problem).

Screw the compression damping right up and you'll soon discover why 'slow' damping is sometimes referred to as 'hard'. Back out both the compression and rebound and as you bounce down the road it may become obvious why 'fast' damping is sometimes called 'soft'.

To the person with the problem, be aware that on most shocks as you screw up the rebound you also increase the compression damping. Even though they have independent adjusters they are still internally interconnected. This creates a problem in that when people screw up just the rebound they may start to get a harsh ride and think that's the limit of rebound they can run with. What they don't realize is that harshness is often the increasing compression damping.

So to avoid that problem, before setting rebound back off compression damping quite a bit. Then progressively bring up your rebound to a point where it becomes harsh because it can no longer follow the roughest roads you ride. It'll become harsh because the suspension return is now too slow to allow the wheel to follow the road surface. Knock it back a click or 2 from that point. With rebound set, then bring the compression damping progressively back up till it also becomes harsh, and knock it back a click or two from that point. Shock should then be pretty well close to set as good as it going to be.

Only make the adjustments with the shock up to full operating temperature. And its always a compromise. If you set it to be 'plush' over bad roads expect it to wallow like a pig in mud through the corners of billiard table smooth roads. I opt for settings that are 'tolerable' on bad roads which gives just a tiny hint of wallow on very smooth roads. And 'tolerable' is a function of time. What might be ok for 10 minutes may become very tedious after an hour or more.

No such thing as a conventional shock that is perfect and 'plush' on very bad roads but rock solid on fast smooth corners. Some are just better than others, but none are perfect due to the constraints of a mechanical system. It's all about compromises, and where you want to place that compromise. If if wan't like this there wouldn't have been a need to invent true electronically controlled semi-active damping.
 

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No such thing as a conventional shock that is perfect and 'plush' on very bad roads but rock solid on fast smooth corners. If there was there wouldn't have been a need to invent true electronically controlled semi-active damping.
There are some, but they can get pretty expensive. They will feature both "low speed" and "high speed" damping circuits. The Ohlins TTX comes to mind, as do the higher end Penske shocks. WP also makes one IIRC and I'm sure there are others out there.

The "high speed" circuit controls for the sharp hits, potholes and crusty irregularities, and the "low speed" circuit controls for the wallowing you described.
 
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