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Older, but no wiser!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am about ready to get really grumpy about the handling and feel of my 2001 TA.

Last Autumn, I fitted the bike with Hagon front fork springs and treated the back end to an all singing and dancing rear shocker. The aim was to sharpen the front up a bit and more importantly, allow quick and easy adjustment of the preload when moving between solo/2-up and fully loaded camping trips. I fitted the kit as per the instructions and thought that was it...

Wrong, the bike is now harsh and choppy over anything other than a smooth surface when I set the preload sag as it should be. This equates to NO tension on the remote preload adjuster. The front end is sharper now, but again too hard, and I may return to the standard Honda spring setup or possibly try some SAE 5 fork oil as oposed to the 10 weight.

But the rear is what annoys me so much, I went for a good long ride today, and took my allen key along too and experimented with adjusting the preload and the damping. I have just about got a setup that is stable and has good solid handling, but the old, comfortable Transalp has gone!! I have seen mention of dropping tyre pressures a bit, but this is not right surely? It is the spring and damper that do the work, not the tyre!

It is almost as if the spring is too much now, as the bike is good 2 up.... However, I do not take pillions on camping trips....! :) The preload adjuster is then at about 10% of the adjustment... Not right I feel, surely the adjuster setup should be about half to 3/4 when fully laden?

I need a suspension guru or someone with a similiar setup to advise me what I am doing wrong before I lose the plot and go back to standard Honda setup and deal with the front end shimmy....

I cannot remember now, but is it possible to alter the preload on the shock BEFORE fitting the unit by turning the adjuster ring??? Is it possible it was set too hard at the factory??
 

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Hi Steve, I thought that you would have had this all sorted now!

I rate Hagon in a similar light to Altberg boots in Richmond.
Both companies shouldn't exist in this day an age, with rude, unhelpful staff & moderate/poor quality products.
Thats just me, many people rate them.


What spring rate did they fit when you ordered the shock?

I have fitted an Ohlins 15kg/mm (this could be sometimes be rated as 150kg/cm) to the Hagon (although I did also, have it fitted on the stock 650 shock) & is fine for pretty much everything - even solo, I'd say anything above 16kg/mm would be too firm solo.

When the bike is unladen is there any sag with the bare bike say up to an inch, then between another 1-2 inch of sag when you sit on it?

If you are not getting some basic sag with the bike lightly laden, then either the spring is too firm and/or there is too much preload when on minimum - This can be reduced by unscrewing the Hydraulic adjuster at the top of the shock to get the correct basic sag.

Have you tried unscrewing the damping adjuster to soften the damping?

I think I mentioned some time ago, the stock 650 shock is actually quite a decent unit, offering long life & decent damping - if only it had (easy) preload adjustment!!!

Oh, just another point to mention.
If you still feel the suspension is too harsh, don't take their crappy excuses (indicating that it must be you), send it back to them.

My first experience of this shoddy company, was a few years ago when I ordered a (supposedly superior) Hagon shock for my then 1200 Bandit.
After, what must have been thousands of miles trying pretty much every conceivable combination of adjustments, numerous phone calls (unhelpful), I sent the shock back.

Lo & behold it had the wrong spring fitted (too hard) & incorrect volume of oil...... The wrong shock then!

By the time they returned the shock, I'd had enough & sold it & the bike......

Hope it all turns out well, Phil
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hi Steve, I thought that you would have had this all sorted now!
Me too! It seems that just as I seem Iam getting there, I am still not happy...

What spring rate did they fit when you ordered the shock?

I have fitted an Ohlins 15kg/mm (this could be sometimes be rated as 150kg/cm) to the Hagon (although I did also, have it fitted on the stock 650 shock) & is fine for pretty much everything - even solo, I'd say anything above 16kg/mm would be too firm solo.

When the bike is unladen is there any sag with the bare bike say up to an inch, then between another 1-2 inch of sag when you sit on it?

If you are not getting some basic sag with the bike lightly laden, then either the spring is too firm and/or there is too much preload when on minimum - This can be reduced by unscrewing the Hydraulic adjuster at the top of the shock to get the correct basic sag.

Have you tried unscrewing the damping adjuster to soften the damping?
I think I am going to have to get the shock off again.... WOE! It is an absolute bummer of a job. Still, I am grounded for a few days :(

The sag is barely there, even when the remote is wound right back, hence my feeling which you confirm, that the hydraulic adjuster itself needs adjusting! I slacked the damping right back, then started going the other way until it was about right, but then getting the balance was the devil :) Not sure what the spring rating was, I was not asked at the time of ordering, so I assume a "standard" rate was sent. I'll look on the box and see what, if anything, it says.

Oh, just another point to mention.
If you still feel the suspension is too harsh, don't take their crappy excuses (indicating that it must be you), send it back to them.

My first experience of this shoddy company, was a few years ago when I ordered a (supposedly superior) Hagon shock for my then 1200 Bandit.
After, what must have been thousands of miles trying pretty much every conceivable combination of adjustments, numerous phone calls (unhelpful), I sent the shock back.

Lo & behold it had the wrong spring fitted (too hard) & incorrect volume of oil...... The wrong shock then!

By the time they returned the shock, I'd had enough & sold it & the bike......

Hope it all turns out well, Phil
I remember your tale of woe with Hagon and it even put me off buying until I got so fed up with the shaking at the front end of my 'alp. The stiffer back end has sorted the head shaking at least ! :)

What front end setup are you running Phil?
 

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At the front I was on stock springs/oil wt/level with about 12mm of packing above the springs (more preload) which took out some of the significant sag as stock - this worked well for me.

When I went to the US a couple of years ago I'd read about cartridge emulators which are supposed to be far superior to the stock damper rods, so ordered some to bring back.
To be honest I never did a back to back comparison but never noticed the claims of improved ride or handling either.

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #5
At the front I was on stock springs/oil wt/level with about 12mm of packing above the springs (more preload) which took out some of the significant sag as stock - this worked well for me.

When I went to the US a couple of years ago I'd read about cartridge emulators which are supposed to be far superior to the stock damper rods, so ordered some to bring back.
To be honest I never did a back to back comparison but never noticed the claims of improved ride or handling either.

Phil
Well, I pulled 5mm (5cc) of oil out of each fork to increase the air gap but retaining the Hagon springs for the time being. Not had time to try them on the road, but up the farm lane, the ride is significantly more comfortable, I just hope I have not gone too far! At least this is only a 10min job :)

I checked the rear, and as far as i can see, there is not much more adjustment on the hydraulic preload assembly. So I am going back to basics, reduce damping to bugger all, redo the preload sag and see if I can tweak the solo settings. One things I was surprised to find was that the damping was actually (factory) set as hard as it was.

I have spent some time studying webpages on setting up suspension and hope to have a play tomorrow.
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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I am about ready to get really grumpy about the handling and feel of my 2001 TA.

Last Autumn, I fitted the bike with Hagon front fork springs and treated the back end to an all singing and dancing rear shocker. The aim was to sharpen the front up a bit and more importantly, allow quick and easy adjustment of the preload when moving between solo/2-up and fully loaded camping trips. I fitted the kit as per the instructions and thought that was it...

Wrong, the bike is now harsh and choppy over anything other than a smooth surface when I set the preload sag as it should be. This equates to NO tension on the remote preload adjuster. The front end is sharper now, but again too hard, and I may return to the standard Honda spring setup or possibly try some SAE 5 fork oil as oposed to the 10 weight.

But the rear is what annoys me so much, I went for a good long ride today, and took my allen key along too and experimented with adjusting the preload and the damping. I have just about got a setup that is stable and has good solid handling, but the old, comfortable Transalp has gone!! I have seen mention of dropping tyre pressures a bit, but this is not right surely? It is the spring and damper that do the work, not the tyre!

It is almost as if the spring is too much now, as the bike is good 2 up.... However, I do not take pillions on camping trips....! :) The preload adjuster is then at about 10% of the adjustment... Not right I feel, surely the adjuster setup should be about half to 3/4 when fully laden?

I need a suspension guru or someone with a similiar setup to advise me what I am doing wrong before I lose the plot and go back to standard Honda setup and deal with the front end shimmy....

I cannot remember now, but is it possible to alter the preload on the shock BEFORE fitting the unit by turning the adjuster ring??? Is it possible it was set too hard at the factory??
If you have adjustable rebound and compression on the shock back both of them off a bit and see how you get on. People for some reason love stiffening everything right up until the bike becomes uncompliant with how your riding it. Stiff for a track tes but not on the road
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you have adjustable rebound and compression on the shock back both of them off a bit and see how you get on. People for some reason love stiffening everything right up until the bike becomes uncompliant with how your riding it. Stiff for a track test but not on the road
That is just it, the setup "out of the box" is seemingly setup for a track day scratching, not really why I ride an old lardy like a Transalp!

The rear shock has a damping adjuster, but only the one. A lot of the web sites about seem to assume you are setting up racing suspension with racing forks and rear shocks!
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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That is just it, the setup "out of the box" is seemingly setup for a track day scratching, not really why I ride an old lardy like a Transalp!

The rear shock has a damping adjuster, but only the one. A lot of the web sites about seem to assume you are setting up racing suspension with racing forks and rear shocks!
When i had mine done by ktech i told them what i wanted to use it for and my weight and i came back perfect maybe your spring is the wrong rate or maybe your not used to riding the bike with fully working suspension
 

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Hi. I have recently had two sets of suspension from Hagon. One for my Triumph Trophy and one for my 600 Transalp with sidecar. On both occasions l found them to be helpful and their products worked fine. If your not happy phone them again and get it sorted out!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Cheers Shepp et al.

I have now knocked up myself a 4mm extended T-bar allen key 12" long so I can get at the damping adjuster screw properly. I was very surprised at first how tight this really was and secondly, that the damned thing was screwed up apparantly almost to Max! I have slacked it right off and went for a run up the farm track and across the fields and I now seem to have a damper that is working. I need to set it up for the road, but across a really rough and undulating field track, the rear now tracks like a motocrosser as opposed to a rock hard pogo stick. The ride is a bit bouncy on the spring, but tweaking the damping will sort this.

I am wondering if there is/was a problem with the damping and slacking it right off and then subjecting it to a "work out" may well have got it working better. The spring still seems too hard, as I have to slack the hydraulic preload right off to get some sag and about the right amount when my oh so delicate 13+ stone drops on the seat. There was effectively no adjustment on the manual preload adjuster that is set prior to installation, so that is ruled out.

I think I may need a bit more oil in the front end again, as the jump from 140 to 145mm airgap is maybe too much, but I need a good fast ride to assess this properly :)

Maybe getting there at last, though I would still love an expert to set it up for me and check what I am doing :)
 

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