To build the Scrambler to it’s aggressive price, some compromises were made and the most glaring issues are woeful stock suspension and one of the worst seats I have ever experienced on a motorcycle. These two problems combined make the stock Scrambler only suitable for short rides and that is never my intent with any bike. I like to go out for the day and not come back broken ;).
This post is about suspension (more on seat later). The stock Kayaba front and rear suspension is very “brittle” and harsh. With no adjustability except for rear preload, there is not much to be done except change it all out. After 400 miles with the original suspension, I decided there was no alternative but to bite the bullet.
After some research on the internet, I found FTR suspension in Essex. They basically only do suspension work and are Ohlins specialists. I called them and they told me that they had already done quite a few Scramblers and their recommended solution was Andreani front cartridges and an Ohlins rear shock. I booked an appointment and had a beautiful ride over. FTR is located in some idyllic countryside. Some 3 hours of very patient and skilled surgery ensued (no way I could have done this myself) and my bike was transformed. In particular, the fully adjustable Andreani cartridges in the front made a massive difference, keeping the front much more planted and with way more feel. The rear Ohlins was also an improvement although less dramatic. The end result is a bike that handles much better whilst being more comfortable. Job done :).
I would like to also say that the guys at FTR Suspension were knowledgeable, friendly and efficient and that I highly recommend them. They did a great job and were an absolute pleasure to deal with.