Rally Raid Products BMW G310R / G310GS

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by ktmmitch, May 25, 2017.

  1. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Cronedo - I can probably answer that on Mitch's behalf.

    Much as with the TracTive suspension for the CB500X, there will be a range of springs [weight/rate] available, and similarly the TracTive shock bodies themselves are designed to have a wide range of damping adjustment built in - so you'll be able in select your initial spring rate based on the majority/style of riding you like to do, then dial in the suspension using the damping adjusters and preload, according to demands.

    Jx
    #21
  2. cronedo

    cronedo Gelände-Dreamin' Supporter

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    Thanks, Jenny!

    For those of us who’ve never played with spring rates before, I was wondering how Rally Raid helps customers decided which rates to pick. Weight must be in the equation, but I was wondering how RR characterizes the desired results. Perhaps what many of the G310GS journalists were calling “soft” applies to the entire suspension - spring rates, damping resistance and preload.
    #22
  3. mandatedmotorvation

    mandatedmotorvation Shunpiker

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    Good to have you over here, Jenny!

    Highly respect your travels, opinions, and experiences.
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  4. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Cronedo - happy to help!

    I've written extensively on the CB500X thread with regard to suspension set-up and what/how the various elements affect performance, so without going into too much detail again here, I'll try and summarise things:

    Initially the spring rate [or 'weight'] is to support the intended load - and in simplest terms, the more heavy the load (ie. the unsprung weight of the bike itself, plus rider and passenger/luggage etc) the stronger or 'stiffer' the spring you'll need to support them without the spring constantly moving all the way through it's travel and bottoming out.

    Preload is used in addition to that initial spring rate, to primarily set the sag - that is the difference between the unladen bike sitting on the suspension itself, vs. when you've added the weight of the rider and again additional load such as a pillion passenger and/or luggage.

    A rule of thumb is that your rider sag should be around 1/3rd of total travel - that is the bike and rider is now suspended somewhere in the middle of the overall travel range - with a bias to bump/compression travel to absorb bumps, but at the same time to also to allow the wheels to drop into a hole or undulation without the bike bucking underneath you. In general, you need to add some preload when you add [significant] weight to the bike, so that the original right-height/sag level is retained.

    note. this is why longer-travel suspension is preferred on bikes used on multi and rougher terrain or surfaces, as you've got more travel both up and down before you start to reach the limits of the suspension travel, and the whole bike itself starts to move.

    Damping is used to control the action of the spring. Without damping, the suspension would essentially pogo up and down until friction eventually caused it to settle at it's original spring length.

    Compression damping controls how fast the spring compresses (ie. when it hits a bump) and Rebound damping controls how quickly the spring returns to it's original pre-compressed length.

    Put simply - if you have too much compression damping, the spring won't compress quickly enough, and the bike can feel 'jiggly' as the front wheel particularly can skip over the bumps it was meant to absorb. This can happen with the rear shock too, with the rear wheel braking traction and skipping/sliding.

    Similarly, not enough rebound damping will cause the spring to extend back too quickly, unsettling the balance of the bike, while too much rebound damping means the suspension doesn't fully extend to absorb the next bump, again leading to a harsh feeling.

    note. more advanced suspension has High and Low speed circuits for Compression, and a separate circuit for Rebound (which tends to be more linear - although race shocks can also have High and Low speed rebound too). This is not to be confused with the [road] speed you are riding, just the speed at which the shock moves - high speed would be small and rapid undulations, such as washboard for example, while low-speed are the bigger/longer strokes, such as a bump or pot-hole.

    In general, Rebound damping is more important (or the effect is more noticeable at least); and as with shock/spring preload, is the thing you would need/want to adjust - depending on the load being carried.

    If you can visualise - more weight on a spring is going to naturally slow down the speed at which it can return to it's pre-compressed length, so in effect if you ride with luggage or a passenger, you've already added a degree of rebound damping - so ideally you would want to correspondingly reduce the damping on your shock, so that the spring continues to return at the same rate as it did when you were riding solo.

    Conversely, you would most likely need to add a little rebound damping when riding unladen compared to with luggage, otherwise the suspension is likely to kick back too quickly, leading to a jittery ride and potential loss of traction.

    Adjusting your damping can also be beneficial when riding on primarily smooth [ie paved] vs. rough surfaces - as on rougher terrain the suspension is likely to be cycling though it's travel more rapidly and over a greater length than it would be on the road.


    Please understand these are just the basic principles outlined above. Once you start talking about 'dialling-in' your suspension for specific conditions - such as a race-track or differing off-road terrain - you are now talking about tiny degrees of finesse, which are really only appropriate in a competitive environment where you might be looking to eek out the smallest advantage over your competitors...

    Certainly in general road and trail riding conditions, there is absolutely no need to be continually adjusting your suspension - and this is particularly relevant when talking about an 'Adventure' bike of course, which by it's nature is designed to be ridden over a wide variety of terrain and conditions in a single journey, and to cope with all equally well.

    Indeed, the whole point of fitting high-quality suspension components to your bike (such as those we've specifically developed for the KTM 690, CB500X and now the G310GS in partnership with TracTive) is that they offer a wide range of performance built-in, to cope with varying conditions and loads.

    In that regard, you would initially set up the bike the way you like it - chose the initial spring rate based on the load/weight is likely to carry the majority of the time, set your sag then dial in the damping to control that springing - and then perhaps have a second series of settings (ie. a couple less clicks of rebound damping and a turn or two of preload perhaps) for when riding laden vs. solo.

    Hope that clarifies things!

    Jenny x
    #24
  5. cronedo

    cronedo Gelände-Dreamin' Supporter

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    Jenny, you have a knack for explaining things! Many thanks for a very thorough summary!

    Sounds like step 1 is setting the correct sag via spring rate & preload (static) and step 2 is tweaking the damping to keep the wheels following the terrain as closely as possible (dynamic).

    The G310GS has 180mm f/r, which means 60mm sag is the goal. So if I’m on the bike with maximum gear and measure a sag of 80mm, then I should get a 25% stiffer spring (20mm less deflection from the 80mm sag) to achieve 60mm.

    Then from that point, as you say, “...dial in the damping to control that springing” imposed by my riding style and terrain.

    I’m guessing Rally Raid will need to determine the stock spring rates for the little GS. Customers could then submit their maximum expected weight and RR would calculate the needed springs for 60mm of sag (or more if RR chooses to offer longer-travel TracTive suspension - hint, hint!).
    #25
  6. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Cronedo - yes, that is basically it, although in reality the mathematics is not that linear - the spring rate is primarily dictated by the [extra] weight you are putting on the suspension (ie. 100Kg vs 120Kg for example), rather than simply the amount of sag per se.

    You also have to consider the role that Preload has to play - this is why even basic shocks usually have some form of preload adjustment, as simply putting in a stiffer spring means you'd be up at the maximum extension again, rather that sitting 'in' the range of springing - the idea is you choose a spring rate that offers roughly the amount of support required, and dial in the final amount of sag with the Preload.

    That way you are not riding an overly stiff spring the whole time, rather it is still plush for the length of it's travel - which is what you want for comfort and grip/traction of course - while on higher quality suspension, the overall travel characteristics are controlled by the damping valving and the fork oil volume/air gap - particularly towards the end of the stroke for example (I'm trying not to get too techy here ;o), and why a linear spring allows more accurate control with the damping, than a progressive spring which has different characteristics as it compresses and expands.

    Again, having this element of 'float' is more important on a bike designed for all-terrain/multi-surface use... having [generally] stiffer suspension on a road/track bike is fine for consistent surface riding - for example to help minimise aggressive braking and acceleration forces from unsettling the bike - but it tends to lead to a crashy ride on the road, and certainly trail - which is why dirt bikes and dual-sport/adv bikes tend to have far softer springs and correspondingly longer travel suspension.

    Hope that helps a bit more!

    Jenny x
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  7. cronedo

    cronedo Gelände-Dreamin' Supporter

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    Jenny, I’m starting to feel the effects of that red pill from you/Morpheus! I am still following your explanation and knowing your involvement with Rally Raid’s CB500X, I’m hoping you are also going to be in the loop for the G310GS.

    So enough theory for now - there’s another real-life suspension issue in a couple press reviews from Barcelona. Apparently as the bike jumps off the ground there is a light “clunk” as the forks top out. Hopefully a fix is on the To-Do List with TracTive.

    Thank you very much, Jenny, for sharing in this and all your contributions to ADVrider.com!
    #27
  8. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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  9. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    Working on the tubular frame engine guard for BMW G310GS today, thanks to Mark Lee at Abbott Fabrications for the quick turnaround on the water-jet steel brackets.
    The plastic OEM guard is little protection for the exposed oil canister on the front, and it is screwed to the cast alloy oil pan, not a good idea for off road riding, ours will have a 3mm steel bottom and front plate, plus protection for the exposed side stand switch, the upper mounts will utilise the top M10 engine bolts.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    #29
  10. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    Cheap'n'nasty plunger rear brake switch on the G310GS, that'll be replaced with a inline hydraulic one before it gets wiped out...

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    #30
  11. FredRydr

    FredRydr Danger: Keep Back 300 Ft.

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    Don't forget to allow access for draining oil without the need for disassembly. Those four rubber/steel bolts are the same found on the F-series twins.
    #31
  12. Jollyrogers

    Jollyrogers Long timer

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    Subscribed. Want to see where this goes, US availability, and cost to make a decision on this as a potential next bike.
    #32
  13. 2WheelTraveler

    2WheelTraveler backinthesaddleagain Supporter

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    I'm enjoying the energy around the launch of this new BMW. It shows that there is a desire for something lighter & simpler than has been offered in the past. Hats off to Rally-Raid for jumping the gun developing essential parts needed to turn this into an adventure bike.
    While I'm on the fence of actually purchasing one, I remain encouraged by the direction BMW is taking with this model and the vendors offering products for it.
    My question for KTMmitch or anyone else that has seen the bike, is it possible to trim 50 lbs from the bike to get it under 300 lbs (naked)? Or, how much fat can be easily trimmed from it?
    I fully get that to be considered a true adventure bike, racks, xtra fuel etc., will be added. I'd just rather start with a lean mean fight'n machine.
    #33
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  14. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    #34
  15. dejah

    dejah Adventurer

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    I specially like the "310GS, a bike for the younger riders" part, as I'm now sixty, and see other fellow oldies going for the same "young" choice !
    By the way, I'm enjoying as well all the info, reporting, and developments made by RRP around this 310GS, for a nice future customization (waiting mid-december for the delivery of a Cosmic black) !
    #35
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  16. Jktrail

    Jktrail Adventurer

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    I wonder how this Rally Raid 310 would handle the TAT.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
    #36
  17. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Jktrail - Ha, you might well find out next summer ;o)

    In all seriousness, I'm sure it would be an excellent bike for the TAT - as indeed the CB500X with the Rally Raid kit was during my Trans-Am 500 ride in 2015.

    As an on-paper comparison for the time being: the G310GS has the same size wheels, similar suspension travel and a similar wheelbase and seat height to our LEVEL 3 CB500X Adventure - so ought to feel similarly manageable on and off-road, while at the same time being an appreciable amount lighter in weight too (by around 25Kg) - which ought to pay dividends if you have to pick it up, or man-handle it in the mud for example.

    I would say that the CB is a nicer bike to ride for longer periods on the highway, but once you're actually on the TAT, there are few paved (and certainly higher speed paved) sections to negotiate, so the G310GS is going to work equally well I would say.

    The CB does have a more substantial seat subframe to support luggage and/or a passenger, but again, for the TAT these are not priorities - and indeed, I would suggest you pack no more than I took on my 2015 TAT ride, which all fits in a Giant Loop Coyote bag - and that includes a complete solo camping set-up.

    The only thing I can see that might limit the 310GS as a TAT bike is the relatively limited fuel range (compared to the CB, or a dual-sport with aftermarket tank). But in practice, other than a few sections out west (where you could most likely get by with a Giant Loop fuel-bladder or Rotopax perhaps), re-fuel stops on the GS ought to be manageable too.

    While personally speaking my first love remains the twin-cylinder CB500X as a long-distance all-terrain travel bike, I can't wait to get my hands on the little GS once John has breathed his magic on it!

    Jenny x
    #37
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  18. Jktrail

    Jktrail Adventurer

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    Thank you Jenny for the thoughtful reply. I look forward to possibly seeing your shenanigans on the baby GS. Everything you outlined makes perfect sense. I do wish the 310 had a bit of a bigger fuel tank out of the box. I agree and love my L3 CB and am planning a long range trip to Alaska next summer.

    For me, lighter is always better, and I am intrigued by this bike. I'm looking forward to see what Rally Raid comes up with and how this plays out.
    #38
  19. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    Our new BMW G310GS has been in the suspension workshop getting fitted for a Tractive Suspension upgrade for the rear, and the first trials looked promising.
    We hope to offer 2 versions of an improved rear shock, similar to our popular Honda CB500X kits.
    Level 1 shock will be standard length, with the option to reduce length by means of Tractive's adjustable lower mount, which can lower the seat height by 28mm, ideal for those who would find the bike a bit too tall.It will also have combined compression/rebound damping, something the OEM shock does not have.
    Level 2 shock will be Remote Reservoir, with seperate high/low speed compression and rebound damping, plus hydraulic preload adjustment, and will have 25mm more travel than OEM, for more off-road capability.
    We will also offer a full range of spring weights to suit riders weights and luggage loadings from stock, so these can be fitted when ordering.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    #39
  20. cronedo

    cronedo Gelände-Dreamin' Supporter

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    Looks good, ktmmitch! A good selection and adjustability is what I was expecting, but I’m glad to see the extra 25mm (180 -> 205mm, 8.07”) option.

    The forks will also need to match the travel increase, so you’ve settled on raising everything by an inch - travel, ground clearance, and seat height (32.9 -> 33.9”). The final results very much in line with the CB500X Rally Raid Level 3, which got excellent reviews in every evaluation I’ve seen and has been proven by Jenny (and others) to be extremely capable off road.

    Keep up the good work!
    #40
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