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M. Hausknecht

Ohlins Cartridge Compression Damping

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M. Hausknecht

Hi All,

I have Ohlins Nix 22 cartridges in my MT-07 stock forks. The high speed compression damping seems excessive, at least on a race track with stutter bumps courtesy of big sticky race car tires. The compression damping adjustment doesn't seem to matter much, since it impacts only low speed damping. Has anyone tried lighter weight oil (2.5 rather than 5 weight, I think) in the compression fork and, if so, what differences did you note? Any other suggestions beyond just riding through the pitter-patter?

Regards, Michael

 

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Pursuvant

Michael, drop a post into our vendors forum "Forks by Matt". He had much to say about the performance of Nix 22 at high speed track conditions. 

And he had options worth discussing. Can't help you, other than to say my Nix 22 do give a jolt at high speed on the highway(compression leg). I considered lighter oil but they work so fantastic playing hooligan around town I don't want to lose anything. I would like to watch your discussion, it may move me to act on it too.

Edited by Pursuvant

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Yakko Warner

Here are a couple of posts by pattonme (Forks by Matt).  He agrees with your assessment and corrective action.  Unfortunately I read he's been too busy to spend much time in these forums lately.

 

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M. Hausknecht

Thanks guys. Very helpful.

Regards, Michael

 

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JanM

I dynoed the NIX22 compression cartridge to see exactly what it does and the spread of the adjuster. Setting is C5, oil is Ohlins 1309. In general the forces are a bit high, but there is a big change in both high and low speed ranges - so you should also check other factors which can give you the feeling of excessive compression damping - oillevel, spring rate and binding forks etc. if you don't feel any change from the adjuster. A simple reshimming will lower the damping force 50% while keeping lowspeed the same level, but you really should work with a local suspension shop as the NIX22 is almost built up from loctite and having the right tools help a lot when working with the cartridge kit. 

 

NIX22_C5_spread.jpg

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Rider360

I used a combination of 3 and 5 wt oil mixed together on the compression side along with lower oil level. I just kept backing off the compression dampening adjustment until it doesn’t feel harsh anymore. I also raised the fork tubes 10mm in the triple clamps.

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M. Hausknecht
2 hours ago, JanM said:

I dynoed the NIX22 compression cartridge to see exactly what it does and the spread of the adjuster. Setting is C5, oil is Ohlins 1309. In general the forces are a bit high, but there is a big change in both high and low speed ranges - so you should also check other factors which can give you the feeling of excessive compression damping - oillevel, spring rate and binding forks etc. if you don't feel any change from the adjuster. A simple reshimming will lower the damping force 50% while keeping lowspeed the same level, but you really should work with a local suspension shop as the NIX22 is almost built up from loctite and having the right tools help a lot when working with the cartridge kit. 

 

NIX22_C5_spread.jpg

Thanks Jan, this is very helpful. When you say "setting is C5", what do you mean? I assume the curves vary based on clicks out on the fork top adjuster.

The forks came with the bike and, since, I didn't build it and haven't pulled the compression fork yet, I'm still working with only partial knowledge. Based on my free sag. laden sag, the original owner's weight, and info from Ohlins about spring rates, I suspect I'm slightly oversprung. I've got next step lighter springs coming. I also intend to reduce the fork oil level since I'm not even using 4 inches of travel with sustained very hard braking.

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JanM

C5 is the name of the shim stack setting and is a code for the shim layout. Ohlins provides setting banks with various shim stacks for tuning the cartridges. C5 is stock for FZ-07/MT-07. The various lines in the graph are different clicker settings counted from fully closed (-0c) to fully open (-26c) with the fully closed clicker setting giving most damping. 

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LamHa
On 9/9/2020 at 12:38 PM, Rider360 said:

I used a combination of 3 and 5 wt oil mixed together on the compression side along with lower oil level. I just kept backing off the compression dampening adjustment until it doesn’t feel harsh anymore. I also raised the fork tubes 10mm in the triple clamps.

I'm at 145lbs and I use 2.5 wt (the blue bottle) and fluid levels about 10mm less than recommended in the compression leg with clicker all the way out and it's still a little stiff for street riding. However, on track and canyons it's pretty good for what it is. Think next step for me is a valving job.

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klx678

I probably have no business posting this since I am neither a racer nor a suspension expert, but just had a problem with front wheel patter in some turns on my Nighthawk S,.  I was running max pressure in front tires, 36 psi, at the time and a drop to 33 psi took away the patter for me.  A friend had a similar issue with his grey market NS400 triple running 36 psi.  The drop to 33 had the same results, smooth running.   Now this was for street, and I'm just putting it out there if the damping is working well in all but tome cornering like mentioned.

Plus I figure I will get a lot of feedback telling me if this is a reasonable thing to do or why it isn't a good solution depending on conditions.  Bring it on, that is how those of us who don't know or don't have enough information will learn.   

Cheers.

Edited by klx678

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M. Hausknecht
12 hours ago, LamHa said:

I'm at 145lbs and I use 2.5 wt (the blue bottle) and fluid levels about 10mm less than recommended in the compression leg with clicker all the way out and it's still a little stiff for street riding. However, on track and canyons it's pretty good for what it is. Think next step for me is a valving job.

What weight springs are you using in your forks and how much sag are you running? Less compression damping won't help if your springs are just too stiff for your weight and riding style.

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LamHa
3 hours ago, M. Hausknecht said:

What weight springs are you using in your forks and how much sag are you running? Less compression damping won't help if your springs are just too stiff for your weight and riding style.

I haven't measured sag yet knowing that my springs are too stiff. Braking to the best of my abilities, I'm only using  a bit over of half of travel with no preload in either. You are spot on about springs being too stiff. It's an 8.5 n/mm and I picked that base off the Ohlin's calculator on their website. The site still recommends 8.5 when you put in your weight in as 115 lbs 😵

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M. Hausknecht
6 minutes ago, LamHa said:

I haven't measured sag yet knowing that my springs are too stiff. Braking to the best of my abilities, I'm only using  a bit over of half of travel with no preload in either. You are spot on about springs being too stiff. It's an 8.5 n/mm and I picked that base off the Ohlin's calculator on their website. The site still recommends 8.5 when you put in your weight in as 115 lbs <img src=">. 

Well, you may want a change in your compression shim stack but you must get your springs closer to correct first. Your shock spring is very likely too stiff as well; light as you are.

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LamHa
4 hours ago, M. Hausknecht said:

Well, you may want a change in your compression shim stack but you must get your springs closer to correct first. Your shock spring is very likely too stiff as well; light as you are.

How do you know so much about my setup ? Also on the very first notch of the shock preload. 

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M. Hausknecht
1 hour ago, LamHa said:

How do you know so much about my setup ? Also on the very first notch of the shock preload. 

Lucky guess? Well, to be fair, I weigh less than 10 pounds more than you and 8.5 springs aren't all that far off for your weight. I have 9s in my Nix22 forks with about 1" laden sag (race only bike at 330-335 lbs wet weight).  The interaction between front and rear suspensions is complex; perhaps your oversprung/underdamped rear (stock shock at your weight) is  more of a problem than your forks. Just thinking out loud....

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stickshift
9 hours ago, LamHa said:

How do you know so much about my setup ? Also on the very first notch of the shock preload. 

Are still you using the standard shock? (Just assuming this as most aftermarket shocks don’t have stepped preload adjustments).

If so, that standard shock will be exacerbating your front end issues big time. I wouldn’t spend any more on the front end until you fit a decent aftermarket shock.

You shouldn’t go lighter than 8.5 front springs in the cartridges (even for your weight) as the torque of the engine too easily extends the forks with lighter springs than this.

I’m happy with the Nix 22 on both road and track days (medium-fast group, with basic ohlins shock in the back). I’m sure you could do better for racing, but for the price and purposes the combination works well.

I change settings between track and road: recommended settings for track (8 clicks out for comp, 10 rebound), softer for the road (10 & 12 clicks out). Forks are raised 10 mm above the yoke, I weigh 145 lb.

 

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LamHa
On 1/23/2021 at 9:39 AM, M. Hausknecht said:

Lucky guess? Well, to be fair, I weigh less than 10 pounds more than you and 8.5 springs aren't all that far off for your weight. I have 9s in my Nix22 forks with about 1" laden sag (race only bike at 330-335 lbs wet weight).  The interaction between front and rear suspensions is complex; perhaps your oversprung/underdamped rear (stock shock at your weight) is  more of a problem than your forks. Just thinking out loud....

Ah I think this is where we differ. Comparing your race only bike to my daily commuter/canyon bike. However, I do hit the track at least a few times during a year. I much prefer to be able to soften up the suspension once I'm back on the road. The new 18+ shocks are pretty good. Gives about 35mm of laden sag on the lowest ramp + rebound adjustment. Compared to the pre 2018, you got to go at least half way in to get proper sag and by that point, every bump launches you out of the seat. 

On 1/23/2021 at 5:37 PM, stickshift said:

Are still you using the standard shock? (Just assuming this as most aftermarket shocks don’t have stepped preload adjustments).

If so, that standard shock will be exacerbating your front end issues big time. I wouldn’t spend any more on the front end until you fit a decent aftermarket shock.

You shouldn’t go lighter than 8.5 front springs in the cartridges (even for your weight) as the torque of the engine too easily extends the forks with lighter springs than this.

I’m happy with the Nix 22 on both road and track days (medium-fast group, with basic ohlins shock in the back). I’m sure you could do better for racing, but for the price and purposes the combination works well.

I change settings between track and road: recommended settings for track (8 clicks out for comp, 10 rebound), softer for the road (10 & 12 clicks out). Forks are raised 10 mm above the yoke, I weigh 145 lb.

 

Nailed it. Still on stock shock. I think most people really like the revamp shock with rebound adjustment for the 18+ models because it is almost impossible to find a used one online or they get snatched right away. I also gave raising the forks a try (8mm)  and it pitches the seat pretty far forward and I'm not a fan of my 🥜 getting smash into the gas tank. Maybe justified and necessary to get more weight on the front for track riding. 

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twf
1 hour ago, LamHa said:

 

Nailed it. Still on stock shock. I think most people really like the revamp shock with rebound adjustment for the 18+ models because it is almost impossible to find a used one online or they get snatched right away. I also gave raising the forks a try (8mm)  and it pitches the seat pretty far forward and I'm not a fan of my 🥜 getting smash into the gas tank. Maybe justified and necessary to get more weight on the front for track riding. 

I have used Penske if you interested. You do need to fix both ends of bike, not just front or rear. 

I would not go below .85 either or raise forks. You would probably get better result with raising rear instead. 

 

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Pursuvant

My experience Ohlins recommend spring rates that are too hot. I undersized the recommendation on both NIX and STX spring rates and I have a solid hooligan setup for round town that can also cruise in comfort on even the ugliest county roads in Texas, with some quick adjustments. The NIX is more broadly effective than the STX , I don't have to adjust for most rides, my current settings NIX eats everything except I can get a bit of jolt at high speed compression, but I don't spend much time up there when roads are ugly. Rear preload needs adjusted for what you're up to, bike overall is more sensitive to the STX.

I'll post my settings when I get home, I'm at 155 lb

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shinyribs
On 1/29/2021 at 8:50 AM, Pursuvant said:

My experience Ohlins recommend spring rates that are too hot. 

Seems likely.  Or they've changed their charts?

 

I ordered my Nix22s from Sportbike Track gear. They sent a softer pair of springs than what Ohlins had suggested.  They're spot on. 

 

 

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