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post #1 of 16 Old 03-09-2014, 5:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Rear Suspension Overhaul

Hi Guys,
I'm new to posting on this forum but have used it as a very useful resource for years. Couldn't find what I was looking for so here goes, My first post!

Background: I have a 1997 CBR900RRV with 23,000 miles on the clock, 21k which I have run up myself (so I know the abuse it has had!) I am fairly lightweight (around 160 pounds in full gear) and tend to ride quite hard. I very rarely take pillion passengers.

So, I have recently noticed two issues with rear suspension (which is completely standard), The rear would appear to bottom out over large bumps at speed and when I last took a pillion, bottomed out over pretty small bumps too, and when stationary, pumping the rear end (ie bouncing on it) produced a "clunking" noise.

I accept that after nearly 17 years the rear shock is likely to be passed its best and I know it has had zero attention for its life. First question, get it overhauled or bite the bullet and buy a Nitron track shock (The NTR version)?

I raised the back end yesterday and stripped it all down. So far as I can tell the needle rollers are fine. There is no obvious play between the rollers and the bushes. There is between the bolts and the bushes but I guess when its all clamped up tight with the proper torque settings the side plates clamp onto the bushes so the bolts only apply pressure to the plates and so that isn't an issue. I think the bearing on one end of the shock is outside of its service limit but that would be covered by the overhaul/replacement. Second question, Should I replace the needle bearings anyway whilst I'm at this point? Obviously the recommended (and best) method to remove/replace is with a press, but I don't have access to one anymore (I am a MechEng from my younger days) Has anyone attempted this using a cobbled up screw extraction/replacement method?

Now I know I only said I had two issues but, whilst it was stripped down yesterday, I noticed that one of the side plates had a bit of wear where it had come into contact with the bog bone, which had a matching wear pattern on the side. Now I am not too worried about the amount of wear here, It is quite slight but I was wondering what was supposed to prevent this contact. It seems to me, the bog bone is free to move laterally along the bushes a small amount and can come into contact with the side plate(s). I am sure this is not unique to my bike, but I haven't seen any posts regarding this.....maybe I am just not using the right keywords.

So, one more thing here....(I know I do go on): Assuming I replace the rear shock with the Nitron NTR unit, which is my preference here, What should I do to the front end without spending a fortune! I'm thinking an overhaul, fresh oil and seals and a pair of progressive springs. Not sure I can go to race valves at this stage as my budget is already allocated on tyres, brake lines, Chain and Sprockets, oil and filters! Any thoughts guys?

So there it is. My dilemma.

Looking forward to some great responses.
Thanks
Beekey
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-10-2014, 2:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Rear Suspension Overhaul

Ok so I did find another post about worn side plates/dog bone so that one has been put to bed. Anyone any thoughts on the rest.....?
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-10-2014, 4:48 PM
 
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Re: Rear Suspension Overhaul

The Nitron Street shock is more than sufficient for almost any use and way better than original, which you've been riding happily on for however long. Even in 30+ degrees heat, two-up and riding hard through Andalucian mountain passes it never faded that I could notice, so much so that I wonder why a separate bottle is necessary.

At the front just swap out the oil for fresh stuff to Honda's specification. If the seals aren't leaking, then why cause yourself extra hassle by changing them? The most I would do is take the dust seals out and clean them, then put them in coated in silicon greases and pack the cavity between seals with the same. It's quite possible to damage oil seals while fitting, then you get a leak where previously you had none. If you really want to change the springs then do it and fit the spring maker's recommended oil, but leave the seals alone.

Same goes for the needle bearings. If they look fine then they probably are. You would soon know because the spacer/bearing face would be marked if there was any issue with the needles.

If you're budgeting for springs, I suggets you'd do better to spend the money here:
Honda CBR929 RRY RR1 929 Front Calipers With Master And Lines | eBay

I'm not selling, just stumbled across these parts. These brakes are a bolt-on improvement and will bring you right up to the last word before radial master cylinders became de rigeur.
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-15-2014, 8:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Rear Suspension Overhaul

Thanks Amorti, Good advice and good to hear yet another great advocate for Nitron shocks! I have ordered the Nitron NTR, purely because I want to stick with three way adjustment for those times I visit the track and want that little bit more finite adjustment (I like to tinker!) Hey, did you know that the Nitron factory are doing Factory seconds using components with a slightly sub standard anodising finish, or maybe a scratch on it, etc for 20% discount! All internals are exactly the same as the retail items and the warranty is identical! Nitron Factory Seconds
Anyway, enough advertising.....
I will re-assemble the rear end on existing needle rollers, all regreased, with the new shock and see how she looks. Hopefully no more clunking and I might have some damping!
I am also replacing the springs with K Tech springs graded for my weight and riding. In an ideal world I would revalve the forks too but that will have to wait until I have a bit more cash available (and at least I wont need to do the springs then too). I think while it's apart it is sensible to replace the original forks seals. I overhauled hydraulic and pneumatic systems for around 6 years of my earlier working life, so replacing seals without damaging them is an art I have plenty of experience (not all good!) in.
I like your idea re the front calipers, that is a great mod and one I will look to do in the not too distant future.

Anyway, watch this space for further developments.
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-15-2014, 10:20 AM
 
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Re: Rear Suspension Overhaul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beekey View Post
Thanks Amorti, Good advice and good to hear yet another great advocate for Nitron shocks! I have ordered the Nitron NTR, purely because I want to stick with three way adjustment for those times I visit the track and want that little bit more finite adjustment (I like to tinker!) Hey, did you know that the Nitron factory are doing Factory seconds using components with a slightly sub standard anodising finish, or maybe a scratch on it, etc for 20% discount! All internals are exactly the same as the retail items and the warranty is identical! Nitron Factory Seconds
Anyway, enough advertising.....
I will re-assemble the rear end on existing needle rollers, all regreased, with the new shock and see how she looks. Hopefully no more clunking and I might have some damping!
I am also replacing the springs with K Tech springs graded for my weight and riding. In an ideal world I would revalve the forks too but that will have to wait until I have a bit more cash available (and at least I wont need to do the springs then too). I think while it's apart it is sensible to replace the original forks seals. I overhauled hydraulic and pneumatic systems for around 6 years of my earlier working life, so replacing seals without damaging them is an art I have plenty of experience (not all good!) in.
I like your idea re the front calipers, that is a great mod and one I will look to do in the not too distant future.

Anyway, watch this space for further developments.
Hey,

I've got the Nitron Race shock on my 1996 RRT and it's a beautiful piece of kit. I had the full K Tech kit installed in my forks and they are also very nice. K Tech didn't used to make the flow valves (Compression adjusters) for our bike, only 1998 and on but they made some up for my bike and should now list them.
Anyway all in all Nitron rear and full K Tech front is really nice.
Good luck with yours
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-17-2014, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Rear Suspension Overhaul

Thanks Flashhart. K Tech do indeed list the valve kit now for pre '98 blades I believe, because Brook suspension quoted my £500 fitted for the K Tech springs and 20mm valve kit. Definately one to consider for future although I do think a USD conversion would be nice. I have been told the entire front end off a 2008 blade drops straight in. Just the problem of finding an undamaged one! :-)
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-18-2014, 5:23 PM
 
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Re: Rear Suspension Overhaul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beekey View Post
Thanks Flashhart. K Tech do indeed list the valve kit now for pre '98 blades I believe, because Brook suspension quoted my £500 fitted for the K Tech springs and 20mm valve kit. Definately one to consider for future although I do think a USD conversion would be nice. I have been told the entire front end off a 2008 blade drops straight in. Just the problem of finding an undamaged one! :-)
That's not too bad as the parts alone are around £420. I had mine fitted by Paul at Race Lab in Bournemouth which would be closer to you than Yorkshire. I was really impressed with Paul, always keen to help chat about set up etc.
You can email him direct on [email protected]

Will get the shock measurements tomorrow
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post #8 of 16 Old 04-06-2014, 5:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Rear Suspension Overhaul

OK, so I thought I would post some updates on this for others to reference.
Bought the Nitron NTR Race 3 way rear shock. Got one of the factory seconds direct from Nitron. I have to say, you would not notice the difference between mine and a shop bought one, there is a very small ding on the remote reservoir and a tiny scratch in the anodising, again on the remote reservoir! Well worth it for a 20% saving. Looks wise, this piece of kit is bike pornography, it is jewelry for a loved one, it is striking without being too blingy, it looks bang on!
I also got the KTech race springs and just rebuilt the forks with new seals and 10 weight oil and a damn good clean. Fork overhaul I found to be a doddle. I do have quite a lot of mechanical experience including hydraulics and pneumatics and have rebuild countless sets of mountain bike forks. A great tip if you dont have a fork seal driver is to check out Youtube video of DelBoys garage, fork rebuild.
The bike is totally transformed. I used to think it cornered on rails, and compared to anything else I had ridden, with the exception of a GSXR1000 K5, it did! But now, my God, you point it on a line and it sticks to it and begs to go tighter. I went for a 275 mile blast on lots of twisty's yesterday and was totally blown away. There is a very well known London circular road which I had to take and then drop onto a southerly motorway towards the coast, I took the long sweeping corner at warp speed on the outside, knee down all the way, and the bike kept saying "Faster, Tighter, Lower". I am loving this setup!
So, the Nitron is using the factory settings they dialed in based on the information I gave them (bike, rider weight, riding type/style) and it is spot on. The low speed compression is pliant and soaks up the slow movement giving much improved comfort, feedback and tyre contact. The high speed compression takes the bumps and doesn't fire you out of the seat and the rebound keeps the tyre in perfect contact at all times.
On the forks, I have them dropped 3mm through the top yolk, with 3 rings showing on the pre-load. The rebound and compression are currently both set midway but I think I will be tweaking these yet.
My friend asked me what the feedback was like. I said "It is so good, I could ride over some paper money in the road and tell you whether it was a £5, £10, £20 or £50 pound note!" OK, so it's not quite that good but I can feel surface changes, painted road markings, tiny stones,etc.
In short, I am extremely impressed with the Nitron and the fork overhaul was long overdue. The KTech springs stiffen perfectly without turning it into a rigid front end or a pogo stick.
Oh yes and as for the linkage. I did just grease it up and bolt it back together! There is no play now and no clunking noises. As for the rubbing between the dogbone and the side plates....Maybe think about that some more on another day! :-)
I will post some pictures shortly.
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-06-2014, 5:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Rear Suspension Overhaul

Some piccys....hopefully.
Attached Thumbnails
20140329_170812.jpg‎   20140329_170850.jpg‎   20140329_170833.jpg‎   20140329_170821.jpg‎  

20140326_201853.jpg‎  
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post #10 of 16 Old 04-06-2014, 5:46 PM
 
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Re: Rear Suspension Overhaul

people who have never redone their suspensions have NO IDEA how nice and how much better their bike rides until they just take the leap and get it done! congrats on your setup my friend. it really makes a HUGE difference. totally different bike now!
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-08-2014, 4:55 PM
 
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Re: Rear Suspension Overhaul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beekey View Post
OK, so I thought I would post some updates on this for others to reference.
Bought the Nitron NTR Race 3 way rear shock. Got one of the factory seconds direct from Nitron. I have to say, you would not notice the difference between mine and a shop bought one, there is a very small ding on the remote reservoir and a tiny scratch in the anodising, again on the remote reservoir! Well worth it for a 20% saving. Looks wise, this piece of kit is bike pornography, it is jewelry for a loved one, it is striking without being too blingy, it looks bang on!
I also got the KTech race springs and just rebuilt the forks with new seals and 10 weight oil and a damn good clean. Fork overhaul I found to be a doddle. I do have quite a lot of mechanical experience including hydraulics and pneumatics and have rebuild countless sets of mountain bike forks. A great tip if you dont have a fork seal driver is to check out Youtube video of DelBoys garage, fork rebuild.
The bike is totally transformed. I used to think it cornered on rails, and compared to anything else I had ridden, with the exception of a GSXR1000 K5, it did! But now, my God, you point it on a line and it sticks to it and begs to go tighter. I went for a 275 mile blast on lots of twisty's yesterday and was totally blown away. There is a very well known London circular road which I had to take and then drop onto a southerly motorway towards the coast, I took the long sweeping corner at warp speed on the outside, knee down all the way, and the bike kept saying "Faster, Tighter, Lower". I am loving this setup!
So, the Nitron is using the factory settings they dialed in based on the information I gave them (bike, rider weight, riding type/style) and it is spot on. The low speed compression is pliant and soaks up the slow movement giving much improved comfort, feedback and tyre contact. The high speed compression takes the bumps and doesn't fire you out of the seat and the rebound keeps the tyre in perfect contact at all times.
On the forks, I have them dropped 3mm through the top yolk, with 3 rings showing on the pre-load. The rebound and compression are currently both set midway but I think I will be tweaking these yet.
My friend asked me what the feedback was like. I said "It is so good, I could ride over some paper money in the road and tell you whether it was a £5, £10, £20 or £50 pound note!" OK, so it's not quite that good but I can feel surface changes, painted road markings, tiny stones,etc.
In short, I am extremely impressed with the Nitron and the fork overhaul was long overdue. The KTech springs stiffen perfectly without turning it into a rigid front end or a pogo stick.
Oh yes and as for the linkage. I did just grease it up and bolt it back together! There is no play now and no clunking noises. As for the rubbing between the dogbone and the side plates....Maybe think about that some more on another day! :-)
I will post some pictures shortly.
Hey Beekey,

glad you're pleased with the results. I have the same rear shock on mine and would be interested to know what settings it came delivered from Nitron with just as a comparison I.E. number high and low speed clicks out from full in, rebound setting and how much pre load you're running.
I'm a bit of a bloater at 14 1/2 stone and not sure if the spring is a little soft. I've had to set it with not a lot of static Sag (around 8mm) to achieve a reasonable dynamic Sag.

Are you running the original 16" front wheel still as well ?

Cheers
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-13-2014, 3:58 PM
 
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Re: Rear Suspension Overhaul

Beekey,

just for comparison I checked my Nitron Race shock and I'm running the following settings which seem to work.

Static Pre-load 10mm
High Speed Compression 9 clicks out from max (16 available)
Low Speed Compression 8 clicks out from max (25 available)
Rebound 12 clicks out from max (24available)


Just wondered what you're running cheers
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-15-2014, 1:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Rear Suspension Overhaul

So in terms of my setup, which seems spot on:

No change on the ride height adjustment. (Shock length)
850lb spring with sag set to 15mm.
Rebound - 10
Hi Speed compression -8
Low Speed compression -8
These are the factory settings for me at 148lbs (about 10 1/2 stone) Without gear.

Standard 16" front wheel still

I would guess they fitted a slightly heavier spring to yours @Flashhart
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Re: Rear Suspension Overhaul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beekey View Post
So in terms of my setup, which seems spot on:

No change on the ride height adjustment. (Shock length)
850lb spring with sag set to 15mm.
Rebound - 10
Hi Speed compression -8
Low Speed compression -8
These are the factory settings for me at 148lbs (about 10 1/2 stone) Without gear.

Standard 16" front wheel still

I would guess they fitted a slightly heavier spring to yours @Flashhart
Hello Beekey,

yes that's pretty much factory recommended settings give or take a click that they told me as well.
Mine wasn't purchased especially for me as a suspension dealer had it on the shelf. It was ordered by a guy some 2 years ago and then never collected so he was happy to just sell it at cost price to get his money back.

I think the spring maybe a little soft for my fat arse. Your 15mm of Sag I presume that's static I.E. just the weight of the bike ? Do you know how much that equates to Dynamic Sag I.E. difference between weight off wheels (suspension under zero load) and with you sat on it ?

Many thanks for your help
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-26-2014, 7:15 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Rear Suspension Overhaul

Been a little busy lately so only just got back around to this post.

So yes Flashhart 15mm is static sag so bike off wheels to bikes own weight on wheels. Add me into the mix (although this was less jacket helmet and gloves), so dynamic sag, is another 10mm, so 25mm total.

Hope that helps.
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