Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
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post #1 of 76 Old 06-18-2006, 6:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks

So I went for a ride today with my bro who rides a Ducati 999R Xerox and I realized just how lacking my stock suspension really is. In an effort to convince the wife that an upgraded suspension has value and is necessary at this point I need to be able to explain what happened to me today to justify the $$ to change the setup, let me explain what happened.

We were riding at a quick pace but nothing I would consider obscene through a typical local SoCal canyon. At first I just figured I'd just follow my buddies lines through the canyon/turns but quickly realized that was not going to work for me, meaning while his bike was rock solid steady I was literally being bounced about with the rear end stepping out on me a few times. This was definitely not going to be the fun ride I thought it would because I had to be especially careful with the lines I chose. And while my 954 never did anything sooo terrible that I **** a brick, my confidence in the bike certainly wasn't there either.

To be perfectly honest, the suspension just felt worn out; but that seems ridiculous as I only have 5k on her so that couldn't be the case. Also there was one turn, long sweeper, slightly banked, where the front end felt like it wouldn't rebound and kept falling into the turn, despite more throttle, so I ended up having to jerk it up while pressing down on my outer foot peg.

So what do I need?
I know what I want, that same solid stability as my bros Ducati, in fact, he said he couldn't even feel what it was I was experiencing.

Anyway to get this done without spending a mint? Thanks

Last edited by moregrip; 06-18-2006 at 7:28 PM.
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post #2 of 76 Old 06-18-2006, 6:36 PM
 
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Re: Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks

I am by far no expert at suspensions but first thing I'd suggest is to ride it in a different way (after you have the sag set up properly). You can't ride a 954 like a 999r. they both like different lines through a turn.

if you can't convince them, confuse them.
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post #3 of 76 Old 06-18-2006, 6:42 PM
 
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Re: Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks

My RC51, which was early in the production run, had a terrible suspension stock. It would literally pitch me out of the seat on minor bumps ... I'm talking expansion joint even. The front wasn't much better, and there was no way I would ride hard in bumpy conditions. I had Dan Kyle do the forks and put an Ohlins out back. That completely changed the bike. No more worries of bumps. It is always composed and in most cases feels almost plush, in a controlled manner.

If you are riding 2 up that way, she would definitely be more comfortable with a good suspension under you. Stock is set up for someone around 150 lbs. and is definitely under damped (that worn out feeling) and under sprung (in the wrong part of the travel) for much 2 up riding.

Hope that helps your cause.
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post #4 of 76 Old 06-18-2006, 7:14 PM
 
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Re: Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks

Yup, agree with gt702. Have Dan Kyle revalve and respring your stock forks. That'll be about $450. Then get an Ohlins out back. That'll transform your bike. The Honda comes with front springs that are way too soft unless you're under 140 pounds, and a rear shock that's too stiff. It's set up like you're going to always carry a passenger. Then get a basic suspension set up by someone knowlegeable. Get the sag set properly.
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post #5 of 76 Old 06-18-2006, 7:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks

so the Dan Kyle front fork/Ohlins rear shock is really THAT noticeable?
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post #6 of 76 Old 06-18-2006, 7:43 PM
 
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Re: Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by moregrip
so the Dan Kyle front fork/Ohlins rear shock is really THAT noticeable?
I can't talk to the CBR, but on my RC51 (which might have been worse than most ... or maybe it is just our bad roads) it was night and day. The RC was almost unrideable on anything but the smoothest roads. Now I blast down the worst of them with confidence and a lot less fatigue and jarring.

I've had Ohlins on all of my VFR's also, and it drastically changes the ride for the better on that bike too. There are other good shocks that may cost less, but I always like the remote preload adjuster on the Ohlins, especially on the VFR where I might carry passengers and luggage. If you don't need the remote preload (makes it easy to change for passenger comfort and to keep the geometry correct) then there are other options that would be less costly.
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post #7 of 76 Old 06-18-2006, 7:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks

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Originally Posted by CBR929RE
I am by far no expert at suspensions but first thing I'd suggest is to ride it in a different way (after you have the sag set up properly). You can't ride a 954 like a 999r. they both like different lines through a turn.
I hear ya bro, but shoot, we weren't going THAT fast, in my mind I should be able to follow his lines at those speeds no problem.

I mean it was night and day out there
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post #8 of 76 Old 06-18-2006, 7:56 PM
 
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Re: Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks

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Originally Posted by moregrip
I hear ya bro, but shoot, we weren't going THAT fast, in my mind I should be able to follow his lines at those speeds no problem.

I mean it was night and day out there
so then you're probably at the point where you need the suspension work others have suggested.

also remember his Duc has full ohlins front and rear, doesn't it? really helps to have the good stuff.

if you can't convince them, confuse them.
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post #9 of 76 Old 06-18-2006, 8:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks

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Originally Posted by CBR929RE
so then you're probably at the point where you need the suspension work others have suggested.

also remember his Duc has full ohlins front and rear, doesn't it? really helps to have the good stuff.
yeah, he had ohlins front and rear and steering damper(I don't even have one of those), AMAZING what a difference it made
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post #10 of 76 Old 06-18-2006, 8:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by gt702
I can't talk to the CBR, but on my RC51 (which might have been worse than most ... or maybe it is just our bad roads) it was night and day. The RC was almost unrideable on anything but the smoothest roads. Now I blast down the worst of them with confidence and a lot less fatigue and jarring.

I've had Ohlins on all of my VFR's also, and it drastically changes the ride for the better on that bike too. There are other good shocks that may cost less, but I always like the remote preload adjuster on the Ohlins, especially on the VFR where I might carry passengers and luggage. If you don't need the remote preload (makes it easy to change for passenger comfort and to keep the geometry correct) then there are other options that would be less costly.
I never ride any passengers so I wouldn't have that problem. Was the Dan Kyle front fork night and day as well as the ohlins?

Back in the early 90's I used to run a WP shock on my Ninja 750 and it seemed to be solid as well.
I
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post #11 of 76 Old 06-18-2006, 9:07 PM
 
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Re: Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks

Here is my 2 cents.

There aren't many of us that can actually push the stock suspension to it's limits. Especially not on the street. The stock suspension is pretty good and you should be able to adjust it to work really well for you unless you are carring a little extra weight on you.

It is possible that your friend has a little more experience than you or has his suspension setup a little better for himself.
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post #12 of 76 Old 06-18-2006, 9:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks

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Originally Posted by Cam954
Here is my 2 cents.

There aren't many of us that can actually push the stock suspension to it's limits. Especially not on the street. The stock suspension is pretty good and you should be able to adjust it to work really well for you unless you are carring a little extra weight on you.

It is possible that your friend has a little more experience than you or has his suspension setup a little better for himself.
I weigh 225lbs. I think we are at equal riding levels.
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post #13 of 76 Old 06-18-2006, 9:56 PM
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Re: Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by moregrip
yeah, he had ohlins front and rear and steering damper(I don't even have one of those), AMAZING what a difference it made
A steering damper (mine was a Scotts) made my 954 feel like a completely different bike.



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post #14 of 76 Old 06-18-2006, 11:55 PM
 
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Re: Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by moregrip
I weigh 225lbs. I think we are at equal riding levels.
225 screams for suspension work. stock springs in my 954 were .74's, good for a 150lb rider.

you mention the rear being harsh. sounds like too much rebound damping to me. find out what ALL your stock baseline settings are and work from there. be sure to write EVERYTHING down. move a half turn at a time and ride a familiar road and notice how it feels.

you mentioned the front end tipping in. have the forks been moved up in the triple clamps? are you running the same tires front and rear? what kind of tires? some have a more triangulated profile to help with turn-in. is the rear ride height adjustable? has it been raised?

sportrider.com has a link to suggested suspension settings for a variety of models of bikes. these are a pretty good starting point.

Good luck!
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post #15 of 76 Old 06-19-2006, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Suspension questions...........went for a ride today and realized mine sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey
225 screams for suspension work. stock springs in my 954 were .74's, good for a 150lb rider.

you mention the rear being harsh. sounds like too much rebound damping to me. find out what ALL your stock baseline settings are and work from there. be sure to write EVERYTHING down. move a half turn at a time and ride a familiar road and notice how it feels.

you mentioned the front end tipping in. have the forks been moved up in the triple clamps? are you running the same tires front and rear? what kind of tires? some have a more triangulated profile to help with turn-in. is the rear ride height adjustable? has it been raised?

sportrider.com has a link to suggested suspension settings for a variety of models of bikes. these are a pretty good starting point.

Good luck!
Tires = Michilen Pilot Powers, matching set 37psi f/r
Suspension = stock = never touched
Forks = stock position in triple clamps
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