Comfort mode and more - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    Hi Guys again. Some great topics recently and outstanding replies. What a forum !
    Its only a few months here in n Ireland that i bought my F800Gt. Give us sum of your thoughts please . I have the various suspension options Comfy, Normal and Sport. Also the Riding modes - Rain, Dry and Dynamic.
    I have to say i dont notice any great difference when alternating these choices. I ride mostly without luggage or pillion on dry good roads and a bike cant be too comfortable for me. I thought dynamic option might have been like going into sport mode in my car auto box, making it faster . Go on, tell what im missing here. Cheers David.

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  3. #2
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    The Comfort, Normal and Sport settings adjust the ESA only. I usually keep mine in Normal, but use Sport if I'm riding fast, twisty roads. The riding modes Rain, Road, Dynamic adjust throttle response - Rain may help in really wet weather in minimising wheel spin, if you're someone that uses full throttle for acceleration. I say, may. I mostly leave mine in Road.

    BMW F800 GT

  4. #3
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    I only have the ESA options. Most of the time, I leave mine in Comfort mode.

    At first, I thought there was no difference. Over the miles and smiles, I've come to realize there is a difference. Comfort mode is great on the freeway and side roads when I'm not cornering much. It does smooth things out some. There are times though when encountering bumpy roads, where I do switch to Normal. The delay of the rebound(?) on the rear shock, makes Comfort mode a little unsettling on very bumpy roads. Normal mode will reacts quicker, giving me a more logical feeling. I see a bump. I feel a bump. And the bike reacts now...not a half second later.

    When I hit any roads with turns, I'll switch to Normal mode. It isn't overly harsh at all, and the suspension firms up.

    When I get upwards around 80 mph and greater, I go to Sport mode. At lower speeds, it seems too harsh for what I get. But at those speeds, it gives me a more responsive bike in keeping with the higher speeds and the harshness doesn't seem to be there.

    Now here's something that doesn't seem intuitive at first. You think you have no adjustment on the front suspension. That's not really true. When I firm up the rear suspension, it seems to affect the front as well. It isn't directly connected, but if the front suspension compresses, it normally tries to transfer some of the force to the frame and rear suspension. But when the rear suspension is in Normal or Sport, it resists and the front suspension compresses more as a result. I'm probably not communicating this well, so if you're confused, don't worry. It's my fault, not yours.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

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  6. #4
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    One more thing that I've found the ESA affects is the operation of the ABS. As noted on other threads in this forum, the ABS is somewhat over sensitive. The more damping on the rear suspension, ie. it doesn't feel as plush in normal or sport as in the comfort setting, makes the rear wheel more prone to bouncing on rougher surfaces. This in turn means the ABS thinks that the rear is locking up and activates. I tend to leave mine set to comfort for all but the most spirited of riding.

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  8. #5
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    I tend to leave mine in 'comfort' unless the road get's pretty bumpy, in which case, I go for 'normal' to sharpen up the damping. The difference is perceptible to me though not substantial. I don't ever feel the need for 'sport' suspension.
    I use rain mode in the wet to dampen the throttle. I think (not sure) that ABS is more responsive in rain mode? You can still get the power on in rain mode, but response is not as sharp as in dynamic mode.
    Most of the time I ride Road, Comfort.

    I do find manual pre-load adjustments essential. When fully loaded on a trip, the suspension bottoms out unless I dial it up. I'm not a heavyweight - 5'9' / 161 lbs (11 and a half stone).

    I don't know if the ESA adjusts just rebound damping or compression damping too. Anybody any idea about this? Also, do the riding modes only affect throttle response and or do they adjust traction control and ABS too?

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  10. #6
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    Always found the rider mode to be a bit of a gimmick to be honest and just leave it in Dynamic. If help is needed when riding when grip levels are lower than normal, then training rather than a little switch on the bars to play with is possible a better way forward is my view.

    I do find changing ESA settings changes the response from the rear suspension. (It's only connected to the rear shock.) But is it useful? Personal I find getting the preload correct as Dalesman has outlined to be more important and just leave mine in Normal mode.

    In common with pretty much all the bikes I've owned, l find that the rear shock is pretty "tired" by around 35-40 thousand miles and benefits from a refurb. If you ride the same bike continually in everyday riding you may not notice as you adapt to the gradual change in performance of the unit. Pretty noticeable however if you ride with a "tired" i.e. knackered one and then a new or refurbished one back to back. Yes I've ridden some of my workhorse bikes over the years on tired shocks and you'll get where you want to go. But when riding for pleasure, it's nice to have something that's doing what it should do.

    Ride safe.

    Sent from my moto g(8) power lite using Tapatalk

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  12. #7
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    I don't think the ESA mode changes are significant, but I can feel a difference. Especially on something like older concrete slab roads where the expansion joints (about 25' apart) are teeth rattling and get very annoying mile after mile. For me switching to comfort does help. I also agree with Dalesman about having your sag adjusted correctly. Changing the preload between being fully loaded and light day riding allows your spring rate to work in conjunction with the ESA modes. I always try to have about the same free sag no matter how much weight I'm carrying. Davdundrod as you get more miles and find a riding routine, the ESA might become helpful at times. Maybe... I don't have ride mode options, so I'm stuck with that little voice in my head!

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    I usually keep mine on Normal but on rough pavement, I switch to Comfort and can feel a difference, though it’s not life-changing.

    I just bought a ‘12 R1200R. It doesn’t have ESA. I really don’t think I’ll miss it.
    2013 BMW F800GT | 2015 BMW R1200RT | 2012 BMW R1200R Classic 

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  15. #9
    GM01's Avatar
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    Hi All-

    Bought a used 2016 F800GT with ESA. Don't yet have an owner's manual. Can I switch between the various suspension settings (Comfy, Normal and Sport) while riding?

    Thanks!

  16. #10
    kickstandsup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GM01 View Post
    Hi All-

    Bought a used 2016 F800GT with ESA. Don't yet have an owner's manual. Can I switch between the various suspension settings (Comfy, Normal and Sport) while riding?

    Thanks!
    Yes, it only changes the damping, not the pre-load. Here's a link to the owners manual online: https://manuals.bmw-motorrad.com/man...RM_0815_07.pdf
    Never try to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig. 

  17. #11
    Right Hand Drive's Avatar
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    I find the difference in suspension and riding modes quite subtle. Most of the time mine is left in normal and road. I think the differences in modes come out more depending on the type of road and type of riding you're doing. I do like having these adjustments but had the bike come without them it wouldn't have been a deal breaker for me.
    18 F800GT 

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