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Suspension for '03 955i

5949 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  antisocial
Hi all - Some of the most rewarding work I did on my old Bandit was suspension related. I think my Speedy could use help as well, particularly over small bumps when well heeled over. I can't seem to take enough compression damping out of it to make it track well, the front end just sort of skips out, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, I've looked around the suspension websites a little, but can't seem to find much for the 02-04 models. Any suggestions?

Sorry if this is a :repost:, I just don't see much on the mid year Speedys.


Mark G
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Setting your suspension up isn't really something you can just read a doc and dial it in and have it 'trackworthy'. Its really just something you have to tune/test/tune/test etc until you get it right.

Can you describe how the bike is riding. Maybe we can help. It could be your front needs to be adjusted as well as the rear. If one is out of whack, it'll feel like both are.
Hi Khulka - On relatively smooth pavement, I have no complaints. But then if all pavement was relatively smooth, we wouldn't need much in the way of suspension, would we? ;D

I'd say the number one problem is as I mentioned in the previous post. It simply doesn't handle bumps well, low speed or high speed. I started with all the adjustments in the mid range. I added some preload to get the sag right (about 1 inch).

Around town it just feels stiff and a little harsh (best way to describe how I think it should feel is firm but supple). I thought that at speed it would work a little better. But up on the Los Angeles Crest Highway and surrounding roads, there are a number of what I'm guessing are mild frost heaves - Lines of discontinuity that are perpendicular to direction of travel. they are probably only an inch or so high, but pretty sharp edged. And they frequently occur in the corners (since so much of the Crest is corners anyway). When I'm leaned over going over one of these ridges (not scraping anything, but getting out closer to the edges of the tires), it's like the suspension doesn't move at all. It feels like the front tire is lifted off the ground for a split second, and then comes back to the pavement an inch or so to the outside of the corner. I backed off the compression damping 1/4 turn at at time. This helped, but I ran out of adjustment before the problem went away. This phenomenon is currently my limiting factor (on that kind of road, anyway). It just feels a little too freaky, like the next time the front is just going to wash out altogether. I would think that it was just the fact of bing leaned over that far limited suspension compliance, but I get pretty much the same feeling when going over these ridges straight up. It's just not so freaky feeling since you're pointed in a straight line.

Another symptom is accelerating in a straight line through mildly bumpy pavement. It can start a little headshake. It has never turned into a full blown tankslapper, but I don't want it to. I considered a steering damper, but I don't want to mask the problem.

I really liked what Race Tech did for my Bandit, but they don't make valve kits for these years.

Any other thoughts? ???
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Race Tech does make kits for your bike. Last year I had my forks and shocks rebuilt, installing Gold valves, new bushings & seals, new springs matched to my weight, etc. Made a very big improvement in the suspension performance. If you've got over 15,000 miles on your bike, your suspension is probably due for a service anyway.
scratch said:
Race Tech does make kits for your bike.
Thanks Scratch - I couldn't find it on the website, and I emailed them with a question. The service manager from th LA area shop got back to me and told me he didn't see anything in the catalogue, but that he could still do something for me. I was afraid of being a test case, but I was hoping to hear from someone on here that had suspension work done to their satisfaction. I was very pleased with what they did for my Bandit, now that I found someone who had an 02-04 Speed Triple done, I'll probably take him up on his offer. Do you remember what it cost you?

Thanks again.

Mark G
You can always just make stuff happen!!!! Take the good bits from other bikes and stick them on your ride :shocker: :shocker: :shocker:

Man I have got a bomb shell on the way :jerkoff: :jerkoff: :jerkoff: :jerkoff: :jerkoff: :jerkoff: :jerkoff: :jerkoff: The 1050 bitch has some bad ass wheels OZ, carbon everything, Ohlins and Brembo..........

Would you like a sneak pic?????
racecomp said:
Man I have got a bomb shell on the way :jerkoff: :jerkoff: :jerkoff: :jerkoff: :jerkoff: :jerkoff: :jerkoff: :jerkoff: The 1050 bitch has some bad ass wheels OZ, carbon everything, Ohlins and Brembo..........

Would you like a sneak pic?????
That's an easy one....YES!
Yeah, if you've got over 15k and any number of wheelies on your bike, then you probably need to get your front end worked a bit. Also, you need to balance the rebound with your compression damping, otherwise your front end is going to bounce around like a pogo stick when you go over bumps (soft compression then BOING back out with stiff rebound). The hard part is getting a good performance-comfort balance.
Only about 10k, and not a lot of wheelies. I think I'll dial the compression damping back in, and try moving out in conjunction with the rebound damping - Hadn't looked at it like that. I would have thought with soft compression and stiff rebound, you'd get the fork "packing up". But I guess over individual bumps it may just skip a little.

And yeah, racecomp, we want pics.
Lol, more like 'Jacking Up'. With soft compression the fork compresses really easily, but then shoots back out abruptly with the stiff rebound. If the compression gets too hard, try softening both the compression and rebound equally as you tweak, then adjust each individually once you think you've gotten somewhere near your target.
Hi Khulka - Correct me if I'm wrong, but the preload adjustment modifies the spring length and therefore the sag. But the rebound and compression adjustments only modify the damping (the force acting to retard the sping action). So soft compression damping and stiff rebound damping would allow the fork to compress easily, but they would extend more slowly. So over a series of stutter bumps, the forks could compress more and more. And over a single bump, the forks could compress easily over the bump (maybe even overshooting it), and the stiff rebound would keep it from extending back out to follow the back side of the bump, maybe keeping the wheel airborne. Either way, my task is the same. Try moving compression and rebound damping together instead of just dialing in less compression damping.

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SP3inAZ, that's both correct, and eloquently put.
SP3inAZ said:
Do you remember what it cost you?

Mark G
About $1,100.00 dollars for everything front & back. For about $250.00 more, I could have gotten an Ohlins rear shock. Kinda wish I would have done that now; not because the performance of the re-built/re-sprung shock is lacking, but simply as an investment for when the time comes to sell the bike.
^ this dude........... :gtfo:
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