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The preload settings are (soft) #1 to (hard) #7 . Stock is #3 . The preload collar rotates counter-clockwise to increase the preload.

I weigh 180 pounds before gear. I wasn't happy at setting #3 . It felt like the rear end was sagging too much. A few days ago I bumped it to #4 which helped a lot. Today I bumped it to #5 and it is perfect.

I suspect in most reviews the tester has not changed the preload. The bike feels really weird to me on #3 . It is a totally different bike on #5 .

I keep a journal of the changes I make, and I only make one change at a time on the bike, so I can keep track of things.
 

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Raising the pre-load will make the bike steer quicker.

Changing the rear tire out for a taller one will do the same thing.

If there's too much sag in the rear you get sluggish steering.
 

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Thanks. It's my first bike so I wasn't sure if making it harder would help handling on regular roads or just track. I weigh 200 so I think I will start with 5.

The preload settings are (soft) #1 to (hard) #7 . Stock is #3 . The preload collar rotates counter-clockwise to increase the preload.

I weigh 180 pounds before gear. I wasn't happy at setting #3 . It felt like the rear end was sagging too much. A few days ago I bumped it to #4 which helped a lot. Today I bumped it to #5 and it is perfect.

I suspect in most reviews the tester has not changed the preload. The bike feels really weird to me on #3 . It is a totally different bike on #5 .

I keep a journal of the changes I make, and I only make one change at a time on the bike, so I can keep track of things.
 

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Thanks. It's my first bike so I wasn't sure if making it harder would help handling on regular roads or just track. I weigh 200 so I think I will start with 5.
I weigh 220 and am testing both #5 and #6

On #3 the rear bottomed out on bumps for me and the steering seemed off.

When the rear is lifted slightly it increases the rake on the front wheel. Too much rake and the front end gets "floppy" (think stretched out 70's choppers).

It seems to me like the R3 is optimized for a person who weighs around 160 lbs. More than that starts to make the rear end drop a bit. Increasing the pre-load compensates for that extra weight.
 

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So, if you change the preload setting, you should also change the front side right?
Once you get the pre-load at the correct setting, all should be good. No need to do anything with the front forks.

The range of settings isn't great enough to mess up the handling or stability of the bike; only enough to effect how quick or slow the steering is a bit.

But dialing in the pre-load can make a world of difference in how it feels.

The only time you need to move the forks in the triple clamp is if you lower the bike in the back significantly (like 1-2 inches), and that isn't possible on the R3 without replacing the rear shock.

In this video they talk about changing the pre-load on the Aprilia Shiver and how much of a difference it made

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xt1wqhdrzs

Hope that helps.....
 

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Once you get the pre-load at the correct setting, all should be good. No need to do anything with the front forks.

The range of settings isn't great enough to mess up the handling or stability of the bike; only enough to effect how quick or slow the steering is a bit.

But dialing in the pre-load can make a world of difference in how it feels.

The only time you need to move the forks in the triple clamp is if you lower the bike in the back significantly (like 1-2 inches), and that isn't possible on the R3 without replacing the rear shock.

In this video they talk about changing the pre-load on the Aprilia Shiver and how much of a difference it made

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xt1wqhdrzs

Hope that helps.....
Thanks!
 

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There is actually a procedure on how to adjust rider "sag." Its not all that complicated really, but it will involve 2 people, a tape measure and basic math skills.
 

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I'm 5'5" tall, 165 pounds + wgt of ridding gear and I have my preload set on 4.
3 a lil too soft, 5 a lil too stiff, 4 seems about right for at the moment.
 

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I believe I am around 220 lbs with gear and backpack. I set it to 5 last night and took a short ride - it is a lot less "squigilly" (felt like it sounds) in the corners. I will do a longer ride this weekend and see how it feels, but I suspect much better. I thought I just needed to get used to the bike, but this certainly changes the ride characteristics...

I do wish the owner's manual had a little more info about the settings (maybe a weight chart) to give you something better to go on than trial and error.
 

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I believe I am around 220 lbs with gear and backpack. I set it to 5 last night and took a short ride - it is a lot less "squigilly" (felt like it sounds) in the corners. I will do a longer ride this weekend and see how it feels, but I suspect much better. I thought I just needed to get used to the bike, but this certainly changes the ride characteristics...

I do wish the owner's manual had a little more info about the settings (maybe a weight chart) to give you something better to go on than trial and error.

I agree. A quick glance shart would be nice. Im 6'3" and weight 250 lbs. im guessing im gonna have to put the preload at 6 or 7 to support my large behind
 

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woops! **** my sasauge fingers!!! >.<
 

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6'1" 185lbs. I set mine at #5 yesterday and I could feel the difference just going in a straight line. My butt felt slightly higher up so I assume that's from less rear spring sag. I could also feel an immediate difference in the firmness of the ride and the riding position. In the corners, the extra firmness gives me more confidence. The bike seemed a little squirrelly when dipping low in the corners before. Perhaps this was due to the front end being too light?

It's amazing what a simple 15 second adjustment can do! The adjustment probably keeps the tail end about a half inch higher when loaded, but what a difference.

For those of you worrying about the difficulty level of performing this adjustment, is super simple. Just make sure you use the extension handle in the tool kit on the shock wrench. You don't need to remove anything from the bike to perform the adjustment. Make the adjustment through the opening on the right side of the bike. The hardest part of the procedure is removing the tool kit from the bottom of the pillion seat. That little elastic strap is tight!
 

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6'1" 185lbs. I set mine at #5 yesterday and I could feel the difference just going in a straight line. My butt felt slightly higher up so I assume that's from less rear spring sag. I could also feel an immediate difference in the firmness of the ride and the riding position. In the corners, the extra firmness gives me more confidence. The bike seemed a little squirrelly when dipping low in the corners before. Perhaps this was due to the front end being too light?

It's amazing what a simple 15 second adjustment can do! The adjustment probably keeps the tail end about a half inch higher when loaded, but what a difference.

For those of you worrying about the difficulty level of performing this adjustment, is super simple. Just make sure you use the extension handle in the tool kit on the shock wrench. You don't need to remove anything from the bike to perform the adjustment. Make the adjustment through the opening on the right side of the bike. The hardest part of the procedure is removing the tool kit from the bottom of the pillion seat. That little elastic strap is tight!


After reading the start of this thread yesterday, I also noticed a bunch of mushiness (squirrelly) when leaned into a canyon turn. I thought it was the tires that get somewhat negative review (critics). So I went out to the garage early this morning and shifted that bad-boy up two knotches, to 5, and hit Topanga canyon and Malibu on the return. OMG what a difference. My lines were tight and controlled. Also I noticed the lift, but rather enjoyed it. I didn't feel like the road was "harder" on the tail either (I ride hard-tail mountain bikes too, so maybe this is why I like it a bit stiffer on the shock).


I'm glad this thread was opened. I did read of this in the manual but it's brief and doesn't give a good chart so it was quickly forgotten and I thought I'd just live with the bikes quirk. Lou and behold.....perfect now!


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one quick response to the one who couldn't seem to get in there with the ratchet...use the hex wrench and take off the two screws holding on the chain guard (very easy). This will give you much more room to reach in there. When putting the guard back on, just make sure you put the far end holder-thingy into the slot on the chain guard (you'll see what I mean).
 

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Hey guys. Happy to see this thread too. Have been riding my black R3 in thailand for 3 weeks. Went to adjust the preload after reading this and the manuals 100 percent thai. 3 questions that will help:

1. what page of english manual was preload adjustment info on
2. did u adjust preload through right side or left (if you're sitting on bike as starting point).
3. did u remove any parts to make access to preload area easier


thanks for any help with this. I'm 5 ft 7 150 . .thinking of trying 4 instead of 3.

TL
 

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tl731, jus checked my owners manual AND my factory service manual (LIT-11616-28-57) . Sadly, neither literatures reference adjusting your shock's preload. Guess that's something they jus expect their target market group to know aboot.
...As a seasoned rider, AND a full-blown Yamaha man, I admit I'm disappointed.
Fuggit. Let's move forward.
In your tool kit, which (as previously mentioned) is SECURELY rubber-banded underneath your pillion/ passenger seat, you'll find a "spanner" wrench and an extension handle. Fit the two together and lock the crescent-shaped end into the notches on the bottom of your shock. I adjusted mine from the right side of the bike.You will notice the ramping on the adjustment collar. The more you squish the spring up against itself, the more "preload" (firmness) you set. And vice-versa. Hope I was clear... G'luck
 

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Forgot to mention, I'm 5'8", 165 Lbs. I jus adjusted mine from the stock setting of 3 to 4. But haven't ridden on it yet. 3 was a li'l squishy for me.
 
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