Author ESA versus manual adjustment  (Read 888 times)

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  • Offline JJB   gb

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    Offline JJB

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    ESA versus manual adjustment
    on: June 10, 2022, 08:40:47 pm
    June 10, 2022, 08:40:47 pm
    Hi everyone, This is regarding suspension, just bear with me :015:
    I have been riding for many years and currently have a CRF 100 Africa Twin, which I used to enjoy, but as I am approaching 74 years young it feels big and heavy and I need a lighter smaller bike, particularly as my wife no longer comes as pillion. - OK preamble over.
    I test rode a 900XR for 4+ hours this week and, I liked the bike very much in almost every way. Handling, performance, lightness, gadgets, economy, even comfort, BUT the ESA felt harsh and gave a hard ride, even in road mode. Yes, I noticed the fork dive under heavy braking, but still OK until I upgrade.
    I am on the brink of buying a one-year-old one and believe I would be better at buying the manually adjustable preload as opposed to ESA.[/u]
    Would this give me a more comfortable ride, as the ESA has limited adjustment options?
    Thank you in advance for your advice :763:
    Zundapp Bella R200, Honda C50, Triumph 650 Thunderbird, Norton Commando 750 Combat, Honda Hornet 600, Varadero 1000, Tiger 1050, Africa Twin 1000, F900 XR TE

  • Offline patgm   us

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    Offline patgm

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    Re: ESA versus manual adjustment
    Reply #1 on: June 15, 2022, 01:24:52 am
    June 15, 2022, 01:24:52 am
    *Originally Posted by JJB [+]
    I need a lighter smaller bike.
    The Africa Twin is 501lbs wet vs the XR's 482lbs, doesn't seem like a worthwhile benefit in terms of weight savings, I guess the XR may not be quite as tall and top heavy though.
    *Originally Posted by JJB [+]
    The ESA felt harsh and gave a hard ride, even in road mode.
    I am on the brink of buying a one-year-old one and believe I would be better at buying the manually adjustable preload as opposed to ESA.[/u]
    Would this give me a more comfortable ride, as the ESA has limited adjustment options?
    Thank you in advance for your advice :763:
    I think the advantage of the manually adjustable rear shock is that it might be easier and cheaper to swap for quality aftermarket. I would be surprised if the manually adjustable shock was more comfortable than ESA, but I guess it depends on what you consider comfortable. I haven't ridden an Africa Twin, but with its offroad focus, I wouldn't expect the XR's manually adjustable shock to feel any closer to it than the ESA shock. Both options on the XR are road-focused, so they'll likely be more similar to each other than either is to the Africa Twin.

  • Offline LP17   au

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    Offline LP17

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    Re: ESA versus manual adjustment
    Reply #2 on: June 15, 2022, 06:34:39 am
    June 15, 2022, 06:34:39 am
    I believe most Bikes are set up for an average weight of 85-90 Kilo riders with all their riding gear on. If you are outside of these weights
    you should consider changing your Springs regardless whether it's ESA or Standard suspension.  :084: :028:

  • Offline grampsxr   gb

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    Re: ESA versus manual adjustment
    Reply #3 on: July 14, 2022, 05:11:23 pm
    July 14, 2022, 05:11:23 pm
    *Originally Posted by JJB [+]
    Hi everyone, This is regarding suspension, just bear with me :015:
    I have been riding for many years and currently have a CRF 100 Africa Twin, which I used to enjoy, but as I am approaching 74 years young it feels big and heavy and I need a lighter smaller bike, particularly as my wife no longer comes as pillion. - OK preamble over.
    I test rode a 900XR for 4+ hours this week and, I liked the bike very much in almost every way. Handling, performance, lightness, gadgets, economy, even comfort, BUT the ESA felt harsh and gave a hard ride, even in road mode. Yes, I noticed the fork dive under heavy braking, but still OK until I upgrade.
    I am on the brink of buying a one-year-old one and believe I would be better at buying the manually adjustable preload as opposed to ESA.[/u]
    Would this give me a more comfortable ride, as the ESA has limited adjustment options?
    Thank you in advance for your advice :763:

    Hi

    I have a 22 plate XR with ESA. I found that with the ESA set for a single rider only the back end seemed to skip about over some bumps. However, without changing the ESA setting and just putting the panniers on the bike is a lot more settled. As I'm about 82kg I guess that adding the panniers takes it to the correct weight if the factory setting is for 85kg+. With panniers loaded and a roll bag on the tail the rider + luggage setting is fine.

    I hope this is some help

    Last Edit: July 14, 2022, 05:12:21 pm by grampsxr

  • Offline rcb78   us

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    Offline rcb78

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    Re: ESA versus manual adjustment
    Reply #4 on: July 15, 2022, 05:21:16 am
    July 15, 2022, 05:21:16 am
    Ironically, the bike is actually sprung for almost exactly an 85kg rider.  I had the spring checked on a shock dyno last weekend, it's spring rate is 14.88kg/mm.  A more accurate statement is that the bike needs a little more rebound dampening.  Adding weight is a bit of a bandaid solution.
    The reason i had/have my shock out is to have it resprung.  A new coil from Race Tech it's being delivered tomorrow that is matched to my weight.
    The best solution would be for Tractive to get off their ass and release an ESA shock.  I've been told they are working on it, but they are taking their sweet time and losing out on potential sales by dragging their feet.
    The only other option it's Wilburs, but that is just a mod for the stock shock by adding compression adjustment.  The base shock and rebound circuit are unchanged.  Ted Porter more or less outright refused to do the job for me because he is so against it, funny because he's the Wilburs dealer in the US.
    Anyways, i was going to wait to post about the new spring until it was done and it's had a chance to ride it, but that will be soon enough.  It should be better than stock but still a big compromise.

  • Offline Da Rev   au

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    Offline Da Rev

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    Re: ESA versus manual adjustment
    Reply #5 on: July 19, 2022, 02:16:17 pm
    July 19, 2022, 02:16:17 pm
    I've spent a small fortune on suspension on my bikes in the past - usually top Wilburs.
    This is the first bike I've ever had with electronic suspension and to be quite honest I'd never buy a new bike again that didn't have it. I think its brilliant.
    I'm a pretty big unit, 115kg,  71yrs old,  riding for 50 years, and I find it ideal one up with solo/road set up. If I'm pushing it hard through the twisty stuff I'll set it to Rider with luggage and dynamic.
    But right now my wife and I are 7000k through a 12,500k tour around Uk Europe etc - shipped it over from Australia. Currently in Vila Real. We're carrying 240kg of gear including 2 riders and set to 2 up and road, rarely dynamic. It's flipping brilliant. We haven't bottomed out yet, the ride is always great,  and believe me we've done some rough roads - I don't do freeways, mostly B roads.
    Now the front, that's a different cup of tea.
    Escape Realty At Any Cost I Say

  • Offline JJB   gb

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    Offline JJB

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    Re: ESA versus manual adjustment
    Reply #6 on: July 19, 2022, 03:16:24 pm
    July 19, 2022, 03:16:24 pm
    Hi, all respondees,
    Thank you for your replies. :763:
    I bought a TE in Racing Red with ES and, due to a trapped nerve :003: took the first ride last Saturday. It has a comfort seat fitted, and I absolutely love the bike. :046:
    It is definitely easier to manage than the Africa Twin. The weight difference may not be so significant, but the lower C.O.G. makes all the difference!
    I particularly like the smooth throttle response at low speeds as the AT was very difficult :012:
     I'm also thoroughly enjoying the performance, handling, economy, and all the Tec including the keyless ride, and gearshift assist pro.
    I am yet to fit the MRA Touring screen which has just arrived and await delivery of the Givi Topbox rack etc. The next project will be a GPS
    I have been steadily working my way through the menus/handbook :008:
    Looking forward to a ride out tomorrow in the cooler weather :019:
    JJB

    Zundapp Bella R200, Honda C50, Triumph 650 Thunderbird, Norton Commando 750 Combat, Honda Hornet 600, Varadero 1000, Tiger 1050, Africa Twin 1000, F900 XR TE

  • Offline rcb78   us

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    Offline rcb78

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    Re: ESA versus manual adjustment
    Reply #7 on: July 19, 2022, 10:14:57 pm
    July 19, 2022, 10:14:57 pm
    I've had one ride through the hills and two commuting days on the new rear spring and it's a solid improvement.  I had already done the front with custom cartridges from Traxxion and the rear was just never quite right.  With the new spring installed (17.8kg/mm), I have 34% sag on the rear on solo rider preload and since the front is adjustable i can set it wherever i want.  Before I'd have to be in rider+luggage to get a similar 30% +/- sag and then the bike would top out unloaded.  It more firm now, but less harsh and more controlled.  The spring plus a preload shim was about $200.  I honestly can't see myself spending Tractive type money until this shock is blown at this point where before of have gladly made the swap if it was available.