What should I set my preload to?
Our AXEO cartridges come with an install guide that includes a rider weight/preload chart that will provide a recommended preload setting based on rider weight. The key to setting the preload correctly is to ensure preload setting is set to the rider weight only, and NOT the rider AND passenger weight. Most of the passenger weight is displaced over the rear shocks, therefore, if you set your preload based on rider and passenger weight, the front suspension will ride much firmer than most would prefer.
There are some instances where a rider’s weight may be close to the weight threshold that requires an additional turn of preload. For example, our chart depicts a weight range of 0-249 lbs. requiring 0 turns of preload, 250-349 lbs. we recommend one turn of preload, 350-450 lbs. requires 3 turns, and so on. A rider with a weight of 240lbs. is close to the upper weight range requiring 0 turns of preload and if that rider was 10lbs. heavier, they would fall into the weight range requiring 1 turn of preload. In this scenario, the rider must decide on a preload setting based on rider preference of what they want their front end to "feel" like. A rider that prefers a little stiffer front suspension, may go with 1 turn of preload, and a rider that prefers a softer feel in the front, may stay at 0 turns of preload.
When determining which preload setting to set your AXEO's too, it is important to note that our AXEO’s will ride slightly firmer than stock, due to the nature of the design. However, they won't be so firm that you won’t still have an improvement in ride quality. When we designed the AXEO, we designed it around the aspect that 80% of your ride quality (comfortable ride) comes from the rear shocks, and 80% of the handling and control of the motorcycle comes from the front suspension. With this in mind, we focused our design efforts on the AXEO to primarily improve the handling aspects of the motorcycle while also improving ride quality. The goal of the AXEO was to minimize front-end dive and the front tire "washing" out in corners for a much more stable feel from the front end.
The reason you will feel more of those small cracks in the road with the AXEO is that the stock suspension is extremely under-sprung, so these small imperfections are absorbed. However, when it comes to those large bumps (potholes, railroad tracks, bridge embankments, etc.), the stock suspension does a poor job of absorbing these suspension loads resulting in a bottoming-out effect and shudder felt through the handlebars. In addition, the stock suspension will dive when hard braking/cornering is experienced. The AXEO will absorb these increased suspension loads without bottoming out, and maintain a level chassis for cornering/hard braking much better than the stock suspension, resulting in more control of your motorcycle.
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