Hello all,

I’ve been out on the V11 Le Mans a couple of times now and I suspect I need to start from scratch with the suspension set up. Having owned a 1980 Ducati for many years, I am not familiar with the apparently infinite possibilities within the settings available to me. The manual may as well say" twiddle ze knobs zis way or zat way" for all the use it is! I’ve got the White Power rear shock I think with a blue knob on the remote reservoir. Any tips on where to start would be appreciated.

Also the manual recommends TP’s of 33f & 35r. Any variation on this? Got Bridgestone Battleax fitted

The Dinosaur!

Dear Dinosaur, the setting up of suspension is a very personal thing, depending on your style of riding and your weight, (more a Velociraptor than a Brontosaurus one hopes). Firstly, many people with Battleaxes tend to run with higher pressures than the book recommends, up to 42 in some cases, there are older mails in here which covers that. In terms of the suspension, if the bike wallows like a pig, turn everything clockwise front and back one turn and try again, repeat until happy, if every bump in the road throws you out of the saddle repeat the above but anti-clockwise, if you carry a pillion then more clockwise on the back, (I use 1.5 turns on the B11), that’s about it. Unless you tend to be alongside Mr. Rossi on Sundays never found much point playing with it once it seems about right.Cheers, Gerry.

Thanks Gerry. Funny you mention higher TP’s. I checked them the other day and they were way above the recommended. Will dig around the forum for more info.

I guess the starting point for all settings will be in the middle. At the moment it feels really unhappy on anything but very smooth tarmac so I’m going to have to spend a couple of hours tweaking out on the open road (shame!!)

Who’s this Rossi fella anyway? Some sort of speed enforcement chappie?

You need to set sag first which comes down to your weight ,its easy to do .Im not the best at explaining things so have a read sport rider .personally i think this is a good place to start

I had Bridgestone BT020’s on my Le mans they were awful the Metz Z6 are much better for me BUT it took me ages to sort the suspension so I could really enjoy it, the book gives 2 and 2.5 bar pressures BUT they work better with a slight increase to that.

Then again others like the BT020 and hate the Z6 Metzlers so it is kinda how you ride that gives best for you. Mine was origionally ok rear but choppy as hell on the front took me an age to get it sorted THEN i had an op and lost 12 stone so had to do it all again…it was NOT easier the 2nd time round

I have a scura with the ohlins sussers, I’m a svelt 17stone and don’t take passengers. If the pattern is the same throughout the V11s the front should be ok with all set about midway but the back may be undersprung so you will have to play a little to sort it. HOWEVER a great deal of your shock absorb-shun is provided by your tyres so the pressures you have in them make a BIG difference, also all settings are a compromise due to the fact that all roads are different surface/temp/bumps and so on. Consequently what works on one road could be rubbish on another or even the same road on a different day. The manufacturers only build in a relativly small amount of adjustment from max to min to stop us dough heads from diving into ditches cos our mate said ‘ya need more rebound John’. So my (uneducated) advice is take the time to set the sag (this will give you a good balanced starting point, ride for at least a couple of weeks before messing any further and I would bet Ian dunmores pension , that you will probably never touch it again.

Mr Dunmore’s pension eh? Mmmmm very tempting…I haven’t been able to find any more info about the increased tyre pressures for BT020’s so I might go fo 38/40 and see what happens. If anybody has any suggestions for anything different I’d be happy to try.Will have to muster the troops to set the sag tho’Cheers

BTW that link for setting thesag is broken but there are plenty of others including a Keith Code video!

Think it will be a Sachs rear shock on the back of the V11 rather than a WP, unless the previous owner has swapped it. The combination of Sachs rear and 40mm Marzocchi forks on the early Le Mans is not brilliant even after you have set sag and it may be worth upgrading if you don’t mind spending a few quid.

I sourced a cheap Ohlins rear shock for Helen’s V11, and got Maxton to transform the forks with their own internals and it improves the ride massively.

I asked Maxton for a quote. It was over 500 quid so that will have to go on the back burner for now! I’ll content myself with twiddling knobs for now…

Thanks Baldini. Any thoughts on pressures until I can replace them?

I too had BT 020’s on my Le mans when I got it and they were truly awful by far the worst tyres I have ever used i swapped them for Metzler Z6 , some folk don’t like them BUT I find them good for me, they DO need slightly higher pressures and when on the wear limit they will start to white line, which just reminds me they need to be swapped BUT they seem to do decent mileage.

I am not a road warrior, i tend to be quick and smooth more than point and squirt rider.

The idea of a “Track Day” sends me cold, never been into roundy roundy sftuff either. I spend my time on a mixture of back roads, A roads and the main roads. Plenty of choppy badly finished back roads around here too.

It took me a long time t get the suspension sorted

The only reasonable advice i can give you, apart from keep your bl##dy hands off my pension unless I offer to buy you a pint with it, is Guzzi’s for normal use like the rear suspension soft.Jon Cogdale told me this in the bad old days of the late 90’s and it works.I found on my V!! I could not get the suspension soft enough and can throw my Mk111 and lil’Breva into bumpy corners far faster than my V11.Mind you when I say throw I really mean gently push. I do not claim to be the next or even a ex Rossi.

36F 42R if they feel better as they drop a little over time, don’t pump em up again.
No disrespect but why do people try to make microscopic science out of these issues.
Its a guzzi, it weighs a ton, each one was pretty much handbuilt…badly, so they will all be slightly different. I don’t even know what make of tyres I have on any of my bikes, ok the Cali has roadrider thingys but I only know that because they seem to be the only one’s I can get over here.
Get on and ride the thing, if something feels a bit shonky see about changing it then.
Enjoy it, thats what its there for!