Front suspension question

Apr 2017
16
1
Canada
Greetings. I hope someone with experience will take the time to give me some feedback here. I have a 2016 hyperstrada, and decided to bring it to my local suspension guy to measure the sag and see if a suspension upgrade would be a good idea. I'd like to see what can be done to improve handling now.

I weigh around 120 lbs. I geared-up and rode over. He told me the rear was fine, but said the front was too soft and recommended a spring upgrade.

I was very surprised. I thought if anything it might be too stiff, considering it was probably set up for a standard weight man.

So I'm wondering if this is a common issue (soft front) and whether it's worth a fork upgrade or not. I did my due diligence and searched this forum but I have to admit, the suspension thread is long and spans several years and bike models, so I lost my way.

For some reason I'm ambivalent about putting in stiffer springs given that my weight is relatively low. Do I have a valid concern? I'm not an expert when it comes to analyzing suspension. The bike doesn't handle as well in curves as some of my previous bikes, and I've considered lowering the front end a couple of millimeters.
 
Jun 2019
34
0
Florida
I'm 145# and don't think my fork is too soft.. still a new bike to me but the fork seems a little stiff for my weight.
 
Mar 2013
2,336
4
Naples, IT
It's a vanilla do-all front suspension. Most agree not great. You can start with changing the fork oil but an insert kit changes things dramatically. My biggest complaint was the dive under breaking and high-speed handling. Also, no adjustment is insulting on a Ducati.
 
Jan 2017
106
1
Phoenix
There seem to be 2 inquiries in your post:

- A suspension upgrade is, I think by unanimous decision, very much worth it for this bike. However, to ease your concern about stiffer springs, you might want to go for fully-adjustable cartridges.
- It's hard to say if the front suspension is too soft or just not good enough. I agree with you that it seems strange that a fixed suspension would be set from the factory for someone lighter than 120 lbs, but the fact that the bike dives quite a bit under braking does suggest that that is the case.
 
Oct 2016
368
1
San Francisco
Might also be worth talking to the shop about what they are predisposed to setup suspension for. Setting the bike of for touring as opposed to sport or track riding will be very different. Given what it'll likely cost to have springs or a revalve, probably makes sense to get some drop in cartridges which allow adjustments down the road so you aren't stuck with a specific setting.
 
Jun 2014
969
5
Boston
I'd suggest also getting in touch with Traxxion as they seem very familiar with this suspension. One thing to note - it is an odd set up. One fork is a standard inverted, while the other seems some sort of hybrid. On the hybrid side you cannot access the internals easily from the bottom to remove them - If you want to put in new internals (beyond a spring replacement). it will require specialized machining and a lot of shops won't take this on.
 
Sep 2016
341
2
ABQ NM
IF you decide to upgrade the forks, please beware, one fork tube has the damping and the other does not, they do offer a cartridge for the fork that does and IF you REALLY want both forks the lower on the non-cartridge side needs to be machined to accept a cartridge and that means taking the fork tubes off the lower axle/brake caliper bracket first, heads up...
 
Jun 2014
969
5
Boston
IF you decide to upgrade the forks, please beware, one fork tube has the damping and the other does not, they do offer a cartridge for the fork that does and IF you REALLY want both forks the lower on the non-cartridge side needs to be machined to accept a cartridge and that means taking the fork tubes off the lower axle/brake caliper bracket first, heads up...
Mupo makes a 1 fork cartridge, but I couldn't actually get them to sell me one. There was a discussion of what brand forks I have, whether there was anything in the other cartridge etc.. After getting them and the shop all the info I could, and all the info they requested, they just stopped communicating.

If you've had a different experience, I'd like to hear it.
 
Feb 2018
117
1
Scottsdale AZ
Here is an excellent write up on how you can set your sag, or at least find out if the advice you received is on point:

Suspension and Springs

Unless your bike was purchased used and the previous owner's weight was way below 120 and the springs were replaced, it does not make sense for you to go to stiffer springs if they're stock, so most likely your intuition is serving you well. I weigh 175 with gear, in all honesty, my 2016 hyperstrada's front still felt a bit stiff at times, the rear felt soft, but a bit too soft with the correct sag set for me, and it did not have much travel, cetnerstand rashes anyone??

Ultimately, you're looking for compliance, your bike's suspension should track most uneven surfaces well, and not bottom out, or send your front or rear flying off the pavement, with a few exceptions:rolleyes:. I would recommend measuring your sag with the above link so you have an idea of where your current springs are at. And then, if you are unable to achieve the 25-30mm sag (roughly 1/3 of travel with you on the bike with gear), then you'd start looking for softer or stiffer springs.

Once you have the proper sag for your riding weight, you can start to adjust for rebound and compression. Oh wait, our starada's don't have those adjusters. Shame really. As it has been suggested above, you'd want to look for cartridge inserts to have the ability to adjust rebound and compression. But it's not a must as the stock settings may work perfectly for you. If not, some of the kits that have been suggested come with springs, and for around $600 (Andreani), you'd have springs for your weight and tuning capabilities. But the $600 is just for parts, you'd either have to do your own work, or have a reputable shop order you the right package, install it and then tune it for your riding style.

Once you experience a custom suspension setup for your weight and riding style, it's very unlikely that you would ever consider selling your bike, in my own experience, it makes that much of a difference.

I'm actually in the process of sending my hypermotard forks and shock to fast bike indurstries for exactly that treatment. Good luck and feel free to ask any followup questions. It's a very difficult subject to fully understand, hence the confusion and interesting advice...
 
Last edited:
Sep 2016
341
2
ABQ NM
Mupo...If you've had a different experience, I'd like to hear it.
I've seen the singles for sale and there is an issue in knowing just which fork you have...seems Ducati sourced several and the parts care...I never corresponded with Mupo, Roger Albert at OnRoad/OffRoad did all of that, including the part of figuring out which forks I had, machining the lower so I could have both forks with cartridges, anodizing the fork tubes (still looks good) and DLC'ing the lowers before reassembly...kickin job he did and they work great...I went a little crazy here, don't be insane like me, I suspect a single cartridge will satisfy what ails your front end and you will notice the difference if you do it...