Motorcycle Chassis and Suspension Specialists
icon icon icon
home road/race offroad technical reviews contact us
  motorcycle reviews index
"Hold that Road" Triumph Bonneville T100 "Project Zed" Kawasaki ZXR1200R "Suspended Animation" Honda CB1300 "Speed Bumps" Yamaha WR450 set up "Serious Suspension" Moto Guzzi California Stone
  Wayne J - GuzziTech  
     < Serious Suspension >     


"01 Cali Stone - Australia, purchased new 09/04, now has 33,000km. 20k km ago I replaced the std 340mm long shocks with a set of Ikon 367mm long units. The std shocks have 87mm travel, I now have approx 100mm travel, plus a steeper rake, also raised forks thru clamps 5mm and together these have sped the steering up considerably. NIIIIICE!!! Problem with Ikon shocks they come standard with very heavy springs more suited to two up plus luggage and the 4 damping settings are so widely spaced that 3 are virtually useless. My cali is single seat registered (only $196 pa in Qld) and I travel light (2 full saddle bags = 10kg). This can all be rectified for a much better balanced ride.  have also developed the PROVALVE for conventional forks which offers a full 3 way lo/mid and high speed compression damping with a hydraulic anti-dive circuit built in. Removing the fork cap and spring allows removal of the provalve which then can easily be adjusted. Promecha also state that Guzzi fork springs are too soft and they have insufficient rebound, all taken care of. I've had continuous trouble with chopping out the sides of BT45 fronts in 10k km, no amount of variation in tyre pressures has alleviated the problem but I have been informed that this also indicates poor suspension. Hope to have this all completed by end of May and will update this posting in due course..."


"Now covered 1850km, what a difference. First of all the front brake has a lot firmer feel, and there is minimal dive under brakes. The low-speed compression damping in the forks is noticable leaving the driveway, and those rutted/corrugated tight 60kph apex's are taken with full confidence. Touring compliance is still very good with the mid-speed comp damp and the high-speed takes care of the rest. The rear Ikon shocks had the comp damp softened dramatically, and the 4 rebound settings narrowed. The springs were only marginally too stiff so we are keeping them for now. Compared to Col's Stone my bike now has a much more compliant and comfortable ride, with the added bonus of handling much better over our rough roads. Compared to a Honda VFR800, my front end totally outstrips it for compliance, handling and especially feedback. With the rear it is equal to the Honda for compliance even though I give away 30mm in travel. The Honda's other slight advantage comes from the progressive action of a rising rate monoshock system. Was scoffed at yesterday by a ZX12R, 955 Speed Triple and an Aprilia RSV. After 50km of bitumen cross on the Mt Lindsey H'way they apologized for not being able to keep up. The Cali was totally air-borne with me out of the saddle (mid corner) several times, with perfect landings every time. Think I need launch control Laughing Will try slightly softer rear springs in the future..."
  Epilogue: (Email to ProMechA)
Hi Pete & Trish,
Just a quick note to let you know that your wonderful suspension has cost me another $250, ..... and 4 points.

Shouldnít complain really, Mr. Plod was sporting enough to let me off with a minor offence, 99 in a 70 zone. My real speed was 114kph which is good enough for $700 and a new pair of shoes.

Did some corrugated dirt roads too (no fuzz), Col was following on his Guzzi and nearly lost his false teeth (and glass eye J), my bike was great. He appreciates how smooth my suspension is and the speed he can maintain whenever I let him ride it. Col is also 20kg heavier.

Purchased Ikon #204 springs direct and I am now going through the process of trying them on all my favorite bitumen X tracks. Using #1 preload and damping certainly gives a softer ride, no more sport bike harshness but still plenty firm enough. Have re-fitted standard bars and will install forward controls for the next 12 months, as I hate walking. Yes Iím slowing down!

It would seem most people find it hard to accept that their standard suspension and ride quality could be improved so much. Those who have ridden my bike are converts. Advanced apologies to you Trish, but the only adequate analogy I can give to those who would enquire; "A teenager may enjoy the pleasure of masturbation, but that will hardly suffice once he has experienced the real thing".

Iím serious, it is that good.
Cheers for now
Wayne J (Guzzi Cali Stone - QLD)

  "Serious Suspension" Moto Guzzi Cali Stone
Posting: Wayne J
  Reprint courtesy of Wayne J and GuzziTech