An EASIER suspension adjustment! - Honda CTX1300 Forum
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post #1 of 73 Old 07-15-2014, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb An EASIER suspension adjustment!

I picked up my new rear suspension preload spanner tool from the Honda dealer tonight ($14.25 + sales tax and no shipping). The tool has an offset on the business end that I was sure could be used to my advantage.

Like everything else in the service manual, there is often an easier way to do things than how they say. This adjustment is no different. It seems to me that Honda engineers have attempted to document things to make them seem much more difficult than they really are just to persuade people to let the Honda service department do the work... and get the money.

I like to keep my money when I can, thank you very much.

Here's the tools you might need to do this the first time:
>good flashlight
>small inspection mirror
>spanner tool... of course

And here's the kicker... YOU DO NOT HAVE TO REMOVE THE SADDLEBAGS TO ADJUST THE PRELOAD ON THE SHOCKS!!!

And here's the tools you will need to do this every other time after that:
>spanner tool... that's it, just the spanner tool and nothing else.

I looked at the situation with the shock preload adjustment and perused the service manual and discovered that the sticker with the arrow is on the forward part of the bottom shock mounting. It is simply centered on that mounting so even if it peels off and gets lost (I noticed one of mine was starting to peel off) it's no big deal as long as you are familiar where it points. The setting sticker is also on the front of the shock body and is really just a rough reference. The real alignment happens with the firm detents as you turn the shock body and the number on the sticker that points straight forward is the setting. You really cannot miss where the setting is that you choose. I could see all this without taking off the saddlebags in that space in front of the bags and above the passenger pegs. I also noticed that the holes the spanner pin fixes into to turn the shock body is just below the edge of the frame part that the front mounting of the saddlebag fits on. This ring of holes is not so much below the edge of the frame part that the offset of the spanner tool will have any problem fitting to them around the frame. Looks like you have to fit the tool that way anyway even if you do remove the saddlebags (thus the reason for the offset in the first place). I think the only reason to remove the bags is to make it a lot easier to see the stickers (and maybe so you can turn the spanner more than one number at a time, but not by much)! You do not have to remove the bags to actually do the adjustment. I set mine to 3 for now and will see how that is for a few weeks. Of course the factory setting is at 1. I did this adjustment without removing my saddlebags. I turned the shock one number, from 1 to 2, and then repositioned the spanner and turned it again from 2 to 3. The shock body seems to plunk right into the increment for each setting.

I consider this to be very important... that it is possible to adjust the preload (with the spanner or equivalent tool) without removing anything and without any additional tools, just put the spanner on the shock in the right place and turn it. And it's extremely easy to do.

And just to show it, here's a photo:

/bob
prior and current bikes:
1973 Harley Davidson 125 dual sport- sold
1997 Kawasaki Vulcan 750- sold
1990 Honda Gold Wing GL1500- sold
2005 Suzuki Burgman 650- sold
1998 Honda ST1100- sold
2014 Honda CTX1300A (U.S.A. Ion Blue Deluxe)-sn: 489 - sold
2013 White Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS
2003 Honda Metropolitan CHF503 (wife's ride)
flickr photos of CTX1300A
Yep, that lone state of Maine is where I owned my first mc.
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post #2 of 73 Old 07-16-2014, 08:18 AM
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Thank you I will get my tool today if they have it in stock Sir!
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post #3 of 73 Old 07-16-2014, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kniterider View Post
Thank you I will get my tool today if they have it in stock Sir!
That spanner is essentially what I envisioned as needed to work around the bags. So that is a Honda part? Is it generic or CTX specific?

Current Rides
'82 V45 Sabre (3/82 )
'07 ST1300 ABS (6/15 w/ ~ 20 kmi.)
'08 GL1800 Comfort & Nav (9/13 ~ 17 kmi)
'14 CTX1300 Dlx Bl/Grey S/N 279 (deliv 4/10/14) Opt Windshield, frnt 12v outlet, 3 Ram mounts (GPS, V1 Radar Detector, Camera), Pin striping, Lic plate LED (running,turn,& brake) Frame, Helmet Guardian, Center Stand, CTX700 Mirrors
Past Bikes
'70 CL350 (1st ride '73)
'70 (or '71?) CB750
'78 GL1000 Gold Wing
'81 GL1100 Interstate
'88 GL1500 Gold Wing
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post #4 of 73 Old 07-16-2014, 08:32 AM
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That pipe looks very dirty, Bob.

Ed


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post #5 of 73 Old 07-16-2014, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kniterider View Post
Thank you I will get my tool today if they have it in stock Sir!
I hope I'm wrong... but from my experience with my local dealer, if you don't special order it they won't have it on hand. I told them to order the spanner for me and they had it within 3 days but didn't call me to tell me for 2 weeks. I knew they had it from past experience but didn't have time to ride up and get it until yesterday so really didn't care if they called or not. I've ordered things I need from them before and would just stop by 3 days later to pick up regardless if they call me or not. They always have had the part I ordered on the shelf with my name on it. Parts guys are not the brightest. They usually wait until they're tired of seeing the part take up space on the shelf before they call. The bigger the part the sooner they call too. I've even sometimes had to guide them through their own parts diagrams to find a part. I even had to give them the PN for the spanner since they couldn't find it. I found it on the CheapCycleParts.com web site Honda OEM parts diagrams... same diagrams the parts guys use.

SPANNER, PIN
89202-MJN-A00
(it does seem to be CTX1300 specific, but haven't verified that)

Prices were adjusted down from a month ago on this part (and some other parts) but the web price including shipping was still $6 more than getting from the dealer for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepngbear View Post
That pipe looks very dirty, Bob.
I know, every time I plan to wash the bike it rains instead. Someday I'll make the chrome shine again but too busy riding it (or just too busy with other things) for now... rain or shine.

/bob
prior and current bikes:
1973 Harley Davidson 125 dual sport- sold
1997 Kawasaki Vulcan 750- sold
1990 Honda Gold Wing GL1500- sold
2005 Suzuki Burgman 650- sold
1998 Honda ST1100- sold
2014 Honda CTX1300A (U.S.A. Ion Blue Deluxe)-sn: 489 - sold
2013 White Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS
2003 Honda Metropolitan CHF503 (wife's ride)
flickr photos of CTX1300A
Yep, that lone state of Maine is where I owned my first mc.
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post #6 of 73 Old 07-16-2014, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by sleepngbear View Post
That pipe looks very dirty, Bob.

If i wanted something to polish I would have bought a Hardley davidson.. I guess i better not show videos of my car tire you will freak out with 2000 miles of road dirt on it alredy
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post #7 of 73 Old 07-17-2014, 10:40 PM
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Question Rear shock adjustment

I don't have a service manual yet, but I followed your description and photo and located both the reference sticker on the mount and the sticker on the shock. i also have a '98 Valkyrie that came with a spanner wrench. It doesn't have an offset so it probably will be difficult to use it on the CTX but I may give it a try, just to see. The thing I wonder is what does the change from 1 to 3 feel like? I find the factory setting of 1 to give a very rough ride if you get caught on a poor road with lots of uneven patches. This past winter has really done a number on the road conditions in the northeast and although many are being resurfaced there are still plenty of roads in poor condition. Won't increasing the setting from 1 to 3 make the ride even firmer? Sometimes when I hit some bumps it almost feels like I'm riding a hard tail with very little rear suspension movement. I'd like to be able to soften the ride a little but it appears this is not an option unless the scale is the opposite of what I think it is. I'm assuming 1 is the softest ride and 5 the firmest ride.
Thanks for your post.
falg2
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post #8 of 73 Old 07-18-2014, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kniterider View Post
If i wanted something to polish I would have bought a Hardley davidson.. I guess i better not show videos of my car tire you will freak out with 2000 miles of road dirt on it alredy
I agree. I'm not so concerned about how shiny my bike is as I am about riding it. If I was one of those HD owners I see around my neighborhood I'd be spending most of the day polishing the bike just to ride it 3 miles to next bar to show it off and then spend most of the next day polishing again. I may not ride 20,000 miles a year, but I do ride WAY more than those guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by falg2 View Post
I don't have a service manual yet, but I followed your description and photo and located both the reference sticker on the mount and the sticker on the shock. i also have a '98 Valkyrie that came with a spanner wrench. It doesn't have an offset so it probably will be difficult to use it on the CTX but I may give it a try, just to see. The thing I wonder is what does the change from 1 to 3 feel like? I find the factory setting of 1 to give a very rough ride if you get caught on a poor road with lots of uneven patches. This past winter has really done a number on the road conditions in the northeast and although many are being resurfaced there are still plenty of roads in poor condition. Won't increasing the setting from 1 to 3 make the ride even firmer? Sometimes when I hit some bumps it almost feels like I'm riding a hard tail with very little rear suspension movement. I'd like to be able to soften the ride a little but it appears this is not an option unless the scale is the opposite of what I think it is. I'm assuming 1 is the softest ride and 5 the firmest ride.
Thanks for your post.
falg2
So far I definitely can tell a very significant difference changing the setting from 1 to 3. MUCH smoother ride. I hardly feel most of the bumps I easily noticed before. Yes it is firmer, but that translates to the shock rebound not translating to the seat so much, and absorbing the bump better IMO. Seems when the shock is set softer the rebound is what you feel more. With a firmer setting, but not too firm, there is a bit less rebound/rebounce and the ride feels smoother. I intentionally ran over some surfaces that I knew were a little extra bumpy (like railroad track crossings) and it is a very significant difference to me. Really don't think I need to adjust any more for now, just to have some room for when I load the bike even more

You will definitely need the offset at the end of the tool since the frame panel just in front of the saddlebag gets in the way without it. Or it might work without the offset, maybe, if you do remove the saddlebag. But I don't think there is enough room behind that frame panel to turn the shock body enough to move it from one setting to the next. The ring of holes in the shock body that the tool needs to engage is directly behind that frame panel. The offset in the spanner is designed to get around that frame panel without removing that panel and also what allows it to be done without removing the saddlebags.
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/bob
prior and current bikes:
1973 Harley Davidson 125 dual sport- sold
1997 Kawasaki Vulcan 750- sold
1990 Honda Gold Wing GL1500- sold
2005 Suzuki Burgman 650- sold
1998 Honda ST1100- sold
2014 Honda CTX1300A (U.S.A. Ion Blue Deluxe)-sn: 489 - sold
2013 White Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS
2003 Honda Metropolitan CHF503 (wife's ride)
flickr photos of CTX1300A
Yep, that lone state of Maine is where I owned my first mc.
bob is online now  
post #9 of 73 Old 07-18-2014, 09:22 AM
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Bob, you got a part number for that offset spanner? I might take a ride to the stealer tomorrow and grab one for myself.

And nice write-up!
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Ed


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post #10 of 73 Old 07-18-2014, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepngbear View Post
Bob, you got a part number for that offset spanner? I might take a ride to the stealer tomorrow and grab one for myself.

And nice write-up!
See post #5 above. Official name and part number indicated there.

/bob
prior and current bikes:
1973 Harley Davidson 125 dual sport- sold
1997 Kawasaki Vulcan 750- sold
1990 Honda Gold Wing GL1500- sold
2005 Suzuki Burgman 650- sold
1998 Honda ST1100- sold
2014 Honda CTX1300A (U.S.A. Ion Blue Deluxe)-sn: 489 - sold
2013 White Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS
2003 Honda Metropolitan CHF503 (wife's ride)
flickr photos of CTX1300A
Yep, that lone state of Maine is where I owned my first mc.
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