Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant... - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
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post #1 of 33 Old 03-17-2005, 2:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant...

Well finally the weather was warm enough (kinda) for me to fully test ride the 929 I recently purchased and all I can say is that I am NOT HAPPY

It's a bike I bought off a friend and though I did have a chance to ride it here and there on some straights, I never fully exploited the bike because it was not mine at the time and I don't like to get crazy on someone else's machinery.

Well today I got to beat on it a bit and man, this thing feels like a pig in the turns!!! I have never experienced such horrible stock suspension on any make, any bike. Compared to this bike my stock suspension on my old '01 R1 felt like it had Ohlins superbike suspension all around. What a let down, I'm very disappointed

I've read about these things here on the forum but I had no idea it was this bad! Driving in a straight line everything is fine, but once there's a turn involved that's where the suspension's weakness becomes readily apparent.

The rear shock feels like I'm riding on a chopper, almost like there's no rear suspension at all, wayy too firm. The forks are a joke, although I like my suspension a bit on the softer side these things are just too damn soft. Sitting still in the garage and applying the front brake, I can bottom out the forks just by pushing on them, wtf?

And as for the bike's behavior during cornering it's unsettling to say the least, zero confidence with this bike so far. The front end feels very vague, like it's running all over the place (steering stem is fine the front just feels like ****). Mid-corner is where it really gets ugly. The bike seems to have a hard time hodling a line through a turn. If you're easy on the throttle it wants to run wide and just feels "loose". Give it gas and the thing squats faster than you can say taco bell, throwing your line off again! The tires are not new and maybe that's where some of the problems lay but it just feels like a "pig" when turning. If you don't do everything "just right" the bike's all over the place.

The acceleration is acceptable, and the brakes are good but that's about all I can say about this bike at the moment. I was planning on installing a Scotts damper but I need to get these handling issues resolved first. I don't want to use a damper as a band-aid fix for a bigger problem. I don't even know where to start. Swingarm bushings? Re-spring the rear shock? Re-do the front forks? I've always found that stock was usually "good enough" for the street but I don't feel comfortable taking this bike to the gas station one mile away from my house let alone some twisties. I didn't think I was going to need to drop $$$$$$ right off the bat just to have the bike behave like it has at least a half-way, half-assed decent suspension.

At this point I'm starting to wonder if it'll even be worth it to try and resolve these issues. Considering just cutting my losses and selling the damn thing and getting something else. I could swear that when I rode it before (last summer and the summer before that) it wasn't nearly this bad, but then again I never got to play on the turns with it much. I know there's another thread going on about this and am wondering if this is a common thing for the '00-'01 blades?

I honestly can't believe that a bike can behave this poorly while turning. Maybe I just haven't had time to get used to it but right now I have zero confidence in the bike and wouldn't want it anywhere near a track

Do I seriously need to spend $2k on new swingarm bushings, shock, forks etc. just to get it to ride like a stock F4? I say again, WTF!!!!!!!!!!

I think I made a huge mistake, and to top it off I already started buying some upgrades for this bike. I know, I should have evaluated the handling first before spending money on other things but I had no idea it would be this bad and I've ridden alot of shitty sportbikes in my time. And I'd gladly trade this thing for a 99 zx-6 at the moment and I hate kawi's.

[/rant]
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post #2 of 33 Old 03-17-2005, 3:04 AM
 
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Re: Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant...

When did you have your R1? If it was back in the day, you got re realize your on a 5 year old bike with 6 year old suspension technology. If you got over 10k on the odo, the stock suspension is shot. Send the forks to Kan Kyle, at a minimum rebuild the rear or insall an Ohlins, buy a dampner, and new tires.
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post #3 of 33 Old 03-17-2005, 3:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant...

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Force Junkie
When did you have your R1? If it was back in the day, you got re realize your on a 5 year old bike with 6 year old suspension technology. If you got over 10k on the odo, the stock suspension is shot. Send the forks to Kan Kyle, at a minimum rebuild the rear or insall an Ohlins, buy a dampner, and new tires.
I bought my '01 R1 new in '01. I rode it up until the end of last year. It always felt solid and planted (not like this 929), right up until the very last day. I have a new Scotts that I'm waiting to install until I can get the stock suspension to at least be somewhat decent (hold a line, feel more planted etc.). I also have a new set of Pilot powers waiting to go on the bike but again, I don't think the bike should feel like this no matter what. I had almost 25k miles on my R1 and the suspension still felt the same as it did on day 1. If the suspension does get "shot" on a CBR after 10k miles that doesn't say alot for the bike.

I do plan on doing something with the forks, most likely send them to dan kyle although I was hoping to wait on that (not likely now). As for the rear shock I didn't think it was possible to rebuild the stocker, unless you mean just installing a different spring or something?

All I want is for it to feel a little bit more planted and stable in the turns. My R1 did this for a few years w/o a damper on it, only reason I put a damper on was because of the occasional slapper and help stabilize the bike just a bit more (which it did nicely).

Don't know what to do first, besides drink and swear at Honda.
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post #4 of 33 Old 03-17-2005, 3:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant...

BTW-

My buddy's 2000 CBR 600 F4 with stock suspension and over 30,000 miles on the ticker feels so much better than this 929 it's not even funny. And he's never re-built or adjusted anything on the bike! 30k miles and older technology suspension and it makes this 929 seem like a complete and utter joke.
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post #5 of 33 Old 03-17-2005, 4:45 AM
 
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Re: Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant...

Very strange. Most stock suspension on any bike will be shot at 10-20k miles, even if it's just commuting miles. And almost every bike, you won't be able to set the sag correctly. Some people buy ducks with full Ohlins suspension, and the springs need to be swapped out to get the correct spring for your weight.

Do you really know what 'Ohlins all around' feels like? Have you owned a motorcycle with Ohlins forks/shock, as you say that you don't push friends' machinery very hard?
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post #6 of 33 Old 03-17-2005, 4:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant...

Quote:
Originally Posted by deez
Do you really know what 'Ohlins all around' feels like? Have you owned a motorcycle with Ohlins forks/shock, as you say that you don't push friends' machinery very hard?
No I don't know what Ohlins all around feels like, I've never experienced a full ohlins setup. I was just implying that the 929's suspension feels (to me/right now) so awful that any other suspension would *probably* feel much better by comparison. Just used the "ohlins" terminology for effect and to get my point across, just that this suspension feels awful compared to anything that I have ever experienced.

I've owned a '94 and '96 CBR 900 and both would run circles around this one, stock suspension/high mileage and all.

Maybe I'm over-reacting and just need more time with the bike, but then again maybe not. I was under the impression that the 929 was a great handling bike out of the box, sure we'd all like to tweak suspension to meet our personal needs and rider weight & style. But I don't think it should be this bad right off the bat? I did not anticipate having to re-do the entire suspension front to back for the bike to be able to hold a line at a slow-to-medium paced turn.

Maybe it's just bad tires, and again maybe not. I've ridden on bad tires before and still experienced better handling characteristics.

All I'm hoping for is a little stability before installing a damper, and before dropping big bucks on suspension. I want to add those things later to an already stable bike. I guess I might be asking or hoping for too much in this case.
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post #7 of 33 Old 03-17-2005, 5:47 AM
 
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Re: Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant...

Common complaint with the 929/954. If you lived closer, I'd let you ride mine so you can see it's fixable! Honda suspended the bike for 2-up riding. The fork springs are .75 progressives, and the rear shock has a too-stiff spring. Set the preload lighter on the rear, about 4. Max out the preload on the forks. That will help a bit, but you'll need suspension work. First, send off the forks to Dan Kyle. He will put in the correct spring for your weight and revalve and polish the stock forks. Folks who have ridden on both say it's 95% of the Ohlins forks, for a fraction of the price. The fork work, including springs, will run you about $433, plus shipping. Then get an Ohlins shock. Then get the sag set properly. It'll be a night and day difference! That's the set-up I have. It's awesome.
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post #8 of 33 Old 03-17-2005, 6:00 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaGalToo
Common complaint with the 929/954. If you lived closer, I'd let you ride mine so you can see it's fixable! Honda suspended the bike for 2-up riding. The fork springs are .75 progressives, and the rear shock has a too-stiff spring. Set the preload lighter on the rear, about 4. Max out the preload on the forks. That will help a bit, but you'll need suspension work. First, send off the forks to Dan Kyle. He will put in the correct spring for your weight and revalve and polish the stock forks. Folks who have ridden on both say it's 95% of the Ohlins forks, for a fraction of the price. The fork work, including springs, will run you about $433, plus shipping. Then get an Ohlins shock. Then get the sag set properly. It'll be a night and day difference! That's the set-up I have. It's awesome.
Suspension has always been such a black magic thing for me, I just don't have a clue when it comes to that stuff. Thanks for starting me in the right direction HGT, looks like I have alot of catching up to do. With a little luck, some research, and a whole bunch of $$$ I should hopefully be able to dial my bike in and learn all about it in the process so I can do it the next time around as well.

So far the first two things on my list are:

1. Set the stock suspension to what you've recommended above (rebound? damping? anything to do about these things?)

2. CALL DAN KYLE
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post #9 of 33 Old 03-17-2005, 7:28 AM
 
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Re: Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant...

I would check to see if the bike is set up anywere near the stock settings to begin with, and then work your way out from there. I had almost 50,000KMS on my 929 and it handled great the whole time Maybe your friend changed a bunch of stuff around on it? was there a big weight difference between the two of you guys? maybe he did more two up riding? Just some ideas.

If it is an option to send your forks to Dan money wise I would say go for it (from what I have heard he's the best around) if not, just tool around with the factory set up for a bit and see what makes it good for you. You should be able to get it "close" to how you want it?
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post #10 of 33 Old 03-17-2005, 8:25 AM
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Re: Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant...

Scratch, what do you weigh if you don't mind me asking? Rider weight can have an effect on the handling, especially with the stock suspension. Couple of more questions...What tires are you using and how old are they? Has the bike ever been down? Have the forks been raised/lowered and the suspension changed from the stock settings? There are a lot of things that will affect the handling of the bike. There are also some things you can do to the stock setup that will help improve the handling somewhat to your liking. As many others have already told you, a DK fork job and new shock makes a HUGE difference in the way the bike feels. You really need to ride a 929 that has had the suspension reworked so you can feel the difference.

I think Honda has always typically scrimped on the suspension components when trying to establish a price point for their bikes. The VFR is notorious for it's crappy suspension.

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post #11 of 33 Old 03-17-2005, 11:47 AM
 
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Re: Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant...

Ditto to what the others have said. Personally, I still think the 929/954 is one of the best handling "liter" bikes on the road today. Of course, I've had built forks and a good Ohlins shock for a long time now. Though I still remember riding my bike for the first time and being simply amazed at how well the bike handled.

Honestly, I think your suspension is just plain shot. Yes, the 929 forks need work right off the bat. Those springs are way too soft for all but 140lb and less folks. If I was a betting man, I'd say you weigh more than that! The shock is ok stock if you're heavier, but a good shock can do wonders.

Another thing to think about is, has this bike ever been wrecked? I lowsided my bike at VIR last year and the handling INSTANTLY changed. I struggled with it all year. I just got back from GMD last night...bent frame, bent forks, and a bent triple tree. That's all from a low side. The bike never tumbled. I can't wait to hit the track now, the bike will be like new!!!! Anyhow, my point is that even a small wreck can make a difference.

Lastly, the suspension is shot. At the least, get springs for your weight and some fresh new oil in the front and the same on the rear. That alone will make a night and day difference. If you've got the money, step up to some nicer components and watch your bike become a mean handling machine.

Oh, I've always found the handling of the 929/954 far more nimble than the R1's!!!!
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post #12 of 33 Old 03-17-2005, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Rider
Scratch, what do you weigh if you don't mind me asking? Rider weight can have an effect on the handling, especially with the stock suspension. Couple of more questions...What tires are you using and how old are they? Has the bike ever been down? Have the forks been raised/lowered and the suspension changed from the stock settings? There are a lot of things that will affect the handling of the bike. There are also some things you can do to the stock setup that will help improve the handling somewhat to your liking. As many others have already told you, a DK fork job and new shock makes a HUGE difference in the way the bike feels. You really need to ride a 929 that has had the suspension reworked so you can feel the difference.

I think Honda has always typically scrimped on the suspension components when trying to establish a price point for their bikes. The VFR is notorious for it's crappy suspension.
Haven't weighed myself lately. But usually somewhere around 175-190lbs. fluctuation. I tend to put on some weight in the winter but then shake it off come spring/summer.

The tires on there now are some Pilots with a little life left in them (not much), with the stock sized 190 rear. I'd guess the tires are about a year and a half old (the guy I got the bike from didn't ride it much the last couple of seasons and the rear is a bit squared off which is expected. I have in my office a set of Powers that I was planning on installing very soon (not a big fan of the Pilots but love the Powers )

The bike was laid down once, and by laid down I mean literally laid down..in the garage/not moving. I was there when he did it, lol, it was about 2 years ago and he was moving it around his garage and just kind of fumbled. Picked it up immediately and there was just a little scrape on the stator cover and passenger footrest. The bike has never been dropped or crashed otherwise.

The forks are in their stock position (flush w/ triple), and I'm pretty sure all the suspension settings are stock from when it left the factory. He knows less about suspension than me (hard to believe) and he's never even attempted to adjust anything.

I'm inclined to agree that this should start with the forks. I'm getting ready to give DK a phone call and trying to find my straps to secure the bike to the garage beams above. Any suggestions on setting up the stock exhaust in the meanwhile would be appreciated. Although it started snowing this morning and there's about a 1/4-1/2 inch on the ground right now....
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post #13 of 33 Old 03-17-2005, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant...

Quote:
Originally Posted by someoneandhis929
Ditto to what the others have said. Personally, I still think the 929/954 is one of the best handling "liter" bikes on the road today. <snip>
Lastly, the suspension is shot. At the least, get springs for your weight and some fresh new oil in the front and the same on the rear. That alone will make a night and day difference. If you've got the money, step up to some nicer components and watch your bike become a mean handling machine.

Oh, I've always found the handling of the 929/954 far more nimble than the R1's!!!!
I would be inclined to agree at this point, I think the suspension has seen some better days and if it started out soft, I can only imagine that it's probably even softer now. A call to Kyle is in the works.

Is the rear shock on the 929 re-buildable? Not sure if it is or not?

The 929 does seem more 'flickable' than my previous R1, but it might be at the expense of some stability especially if we're talking mid-corner. That's what I keep hearing too, how the 929 handles really well etc. etc. It does seem to respond quicker than the R1 did but again there's the stability issue. It seems like it's either trying to dive mid corner (off the gas) or squat and/or run wide (if I'm not extremely smooth while adding throttle).

Not completely sure but it was a relatively short ride on a cold day so there's a chance I might be jumping to conclusions w/o a little more saddle time to get used to this particular bike's characteristics. Just not liking what I'm experiencing so far, at all.
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post #14 of 33 Old 03-17-2005, 12:48 PM
 
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Re: Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant...

Yes, the stock shock is rebuildable. I had one previously that had new valving installed.

I had a very similar situation with my stock shock a few years back. When you get on the gas coming out of a corner, the bike squats and runs wide. It's simply a case of being worn out.

You've also got to remember that the oil in these things are NASTY and old. You should get your oil changed in both the shock and forks every year (for the road go'ers).
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post #15 of 33 Old 03-17-2005, 1:09 PM
 
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Re: Having some buyers remorse w/ the 929. Suspension rant...

Stock shock is probably rebuildable. Dan doesn't bother revalving it, so trying to improve it in that manner probably isn't worth it. If you're not going to spring for the Ohlins (heh, just made a funny ) then I'd have the stock shock serviced and replace the oil. Huh, I've never thought about that before, but the shock has oil too, huh? Mine doesn't need servicing for awhile yet. Dan will probably recommend the 0.95 spring for you.
Lemme know how you like the Pilot Powers. I never used the Pilot Sports, but lots of folks found them slippery and slow to warm up.
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