Month: June 2010

Plus Ça Change (Tweaking Part II)

I’ve had my Multistrada for just over a month now — time enough to find out the good, the bad and the incomprehensible about it. And yes, it IS as good as the reviews say it is (my own full review has been much-delayed by the simple fact that I’ve been out riding it!) but it ain’t entirely perfect, so here’s my thoughts to date on what can be improved in future and what needs to be fixed by Ducati right now. It’s a very short list, considering that this is a brand new bike designed to appeal to a much wider market than Ducatis of yore — and, by definition, a market less accommodating of Italian, ah, idiosyncrasies. But here they are, in all their ignominy — let’s see what Ducati come back with:

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Tweaking (Part I)

Whilst my natural inclination with a new bike is to start fiddling with its setup pretty much on the way out of the dealers, with The Raven I’ve been giving myself time to slowly get used to it, to play with the various suspension modes and generally suss it out until I understand it enough to start prodding at it. That does however assume that Ducati have pretty much got everything right to the point where, whilst I might want to tweak to taste, there’s nothing I can’t live with. So time to look at the figures.

The graphs below show the electronically adjustable bits of the system and the stock settings for each mode and load (for the Preload settings, the higher the number the greater the preload and, for damping, the higher the number the ‘lower’ the damping effect). Whilst there’s a mostly logical progression – increasing rear preload and commensurate increases, particularly to rebound damping as the load rises, there are a few anomalies in various modes that I’m still trying to work out. Also, rear damping is jumped right up in Two-Up+load in Sport mode – a bigger difference between any other mode and we’re finding that Touring mode is generally a little undersprung and damped and Sport mode slightly overdamped. I’ve a feeling that the rear shock might need respringing – I probably weigh a tad more than the target Italian norm…

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