Stelvio suspension

Over the last 8,000 miles I have subtly tweaked the suspension on my 8V Stelvio and it is pretty much where I want it. It does take a long time to get this right and it is very personal so further minor tweaking may be in order…

Yesterday evening, I gave my bike a proper spanking over some very rough and challenging local roads. The route I chose features a very twisty unclassified road with plenty of rises and falls. One section in particular will test the damping properties of any big trailie.

So, how was it? All I can say is the last time I covered ground that fast along that road was on my KTM 990 Adventure. For those in the know, that says it all :mrgreen:

The Marzocchi / Sachs set up on the Stelvio is not in the same league as the WP KTM stuff but with careful set-up, the real-world results can be pretty close. Particularly impressive when you consider the unsprung weight of the carc too

As the man said; “If you want to go faster, tune your suspension and brakes first”


How do I know what’s right? - I changed the settings on mine and the 1200S now bounces around like a demented Greek dancer. I’m told I almost touch down the panniers on bumpy bends. Will you come and do mine please!??


Oh dear! I did say it’s personal…and I’m certainly no expert, I just know what works for me :slight_smile:

All I can suggest is to start with a given set-up and use trial and error to tweak it to suit yourself - there are some very good books or online guides out there to help with this. I could tell you what my settings are but our bikes are not the same, nor is it likely that we weight the same/ride the same/prefer the same!

You comment about panniers touching down could either be a poorly set up rear end or point to you being so good you can ride it off the edge of the tyres! Whoever said suspension is a black art was either talking crap or protecting the industry :smiley: …but it certainly feels like it’s a black art sometimes :blush: . I’ve played and tweaked and got it wrong but that’s the only way to find the right set up to suit you.

If you are fussy, it will take a lot of time to get it where you want it!..but 90% there is good enough for most of us.


As Jon said, suspension is a very personal thing, some like it soft some like it firm, others like to bimble along others like to give it the beans e.t.c.

But remember !!! Moto Guzzi have spent a lot of money on suspension set up, it stands to reason that they want the best handling bike possible with the suspension system they are using, so stock settings are not going to be a million miles away, even though they will have been set up for a 12st rider.

Unless you are over 15st, carrying a heavy load, or ride like Rossi on very good tarmac, it’s not going to be of any benefit to alter the fork settings and if you do this should be done in very small doses.

The weight of a wet NTX and a 12st rider is 828lb. The maximum carrying load of said bike is 1091lb so that gives us 263lb to play with between the lightest and heaviest load suspension settings.

Don’t forget it is very important to balance preload and rebound settings. Rebound can be a pain as the adjusting screw is obscured by the suspension link. But, if you put the bike on it’s SIDE stand take a good fastening strap thread it under the torque arm then through the passenger grab rail and pull it tight it gives plenty of room to get to the adjuster. BE CAREFUL NOT TO PULL THE BIKE OVER ON YOURSELF.

A good rule of thumb is to allow 1 stone per click on preload and 1 click per 2.5 stone on rebound.

e.g. If you are a 15st rider then start with 15 clicks preload for the average 12st rider and add 3 clicks for your weight.
For the rebound start with the 24 clicks from fully tight and add 1 click for you weight.

For me this system works and you’re never a million miles away from how the suspension should work, naturally you would adjust it slightly each way depending on your preference to soft or firm ride.

If you do like the front a bit firmer you can adjust the spring preload, but just bits at a time and not more than one full turn.
Unless you are a riding god and can tell which side a coin is on when you ride over it leave the rebound and compression alone.

All of the above is of course my own opinion. And it’s nice to have a play sometimes, and if you totally cock it up, just go back to stock and start again.

Have fun.