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Honda FireBlade Discussion of the Honda CBR 900RR, Honda CBR 929RR, Honda CBR 954RR, and Honda CBR 1000RR Motorcycles.

Thread: Bike Handles Like Ass Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-17-2003 7:14 PM
abtech
Re: Bike Handles Like Ass

'One thing Max said that I don’t agree with….. “This set of forks had 15mm of stiction.”
I could only find 3mm with the standard preload. When I wound the preload up full, there was only 1mm. Maybe he had a very bad set of forks or maybe they were just brand new and needed running in.'

Or maybe Max had more than the usual number of cocktails before he wrote that bit . . .
10-17-2003 6:39 PM
BK_
Re: Bike Handles Like Ass

I don’t think there’s any way round it….the suspension need reworking.
Until I can afford the fork work and probably a new shock, I have wound the preload up full at the front and gone to preload position 3 at the rear. I weigh 160lbs and there is still 50mm of loaded sag in the forks.

After winding up the front preload, the bike was 12mm higher with me on it, so I raised the forks through the yokes by 12mm to compensate. The bike definitely feels better for the extra fork travel and the slightly softer rear, but it still isn’t right.
I messed around with various settings to try and fix the wallowing and diving under braking, but I ended up going back to almost stock damping. As ER said, “The stock settings are mushy and the bike moves around, but it's at least rideable.” All winding it up seems to do is make the ride uncomfortable. There is too much hi speed damping and not enough low speed at the front and the rear. It needs revalving.

One thing Max said that I don’t agree with….. “This set of forks had 15mm of stiction.”
I could only find 3mm with the standard preload. When I wound the preload up full, there was only 1mm. Maybe he had a very bad set of forks or maybe they were just brand new and needed running in.



10-15-2003 9:25 PM
2OHOH2
Re: Bike Handles Like Ass

Quote:
eeeeek : I'm soaking all of this up. Right now I'm trying to decide between reworking my forks and just getting the Ohlin$.
If you've got the cash, then by all means, get the Os, but for less than 1/4 the cost you'll get something awfully close to them. I've had both, and would rather spend the 2K again this way: .5 for the rework, 1.5 for lighter wheels. The total effect of those would almost certainly be better than just the Os.
10-15-2003 9:20 PM
eeeeek
Re: Bike Handles Like Ass

I'm soaking all of this up. Right now I'm trying to decide between reworking my forks and just getting the Ohlin$.
10-11-2003 11:30 AM
Jungleboy
Re: Bike Handles Like Ass

I weight 200lbs and found the std fork springs to be way too soft especially under brakes and also the front end felt very vague in corners, not giving much feed back as to what the front tire was doing! it also ran wide a lot. I fitted a pair of Eibach 0.90kg/mm springs up front set the sag to about 32mm and the rebound adjusters set to 1 turn harder/slower than stock as the extra spring tension makes the front rebound too quickly, had the std Honda valves revalved by Frank Pons (former head mechanic for the cagiva GP team), he said the std valves are quiet good for std valves and a viable alternative to Race tech gold valves once revalved, (the forks were also raised in the clamps by a few mm, ie lowering the front of the bike) also a 6mm (1/4') spacer was fitted to the top of the rear shock and the spring was wound up to pos 6 on the preload adjuster. Now not only does it hold a much tighter line and give a confidence inspiring feel to the front end, but suprisingly is more stable than before!



10-05-2003 11:13 AM
nedro
Re: Bike Handles Like Ass

Quote:
Bacchus : Quote (GoatRacer @ Sep. 15 2003, 6:00am)Let's see... the story of what a Goat Racer is. *Well, that woulda started in Texas. *The endurance team I raced on was named after a goat and teh bike was named the Phat Goat and all things were goat-ish but we never *did* no goats so you can let that one go there... *OK,'nuffa that stuff. *
Not to highjack GoatRacer, this is a realllly longshot but, have you ever heard of Lajitas, TX and a famous goat there (back in late '70's - early '80's) named Clay Henry? *He was elected Mayor of the town, along with Clay Henry II, and III. *Just curious... *

Here is Clay Henry - he could slam several beers in a row before stumbling over towards the wall *
.
And I thought Clay Henry was the Fireman in the Subway commercials. They even had a song for him. 'Henry, Clay Henry.' Something like that.



10-04-2003 8:46 PM
NineFiftyFour
Re: Bike Handles Like Ass

My 54 also handles like complete ass, no matter WHO does the adjustments or how much I change, record, and change again, the friggin bike is just a stupid pig...


Apexstrafer - Thanks for the info, I am going to try these settings and call DK on Monday to see how long it takes to get the stock forks reworked.



09-17-2003 10:42 PM
Bacchus
Re: Bike Handles Like Ass

Quote:
GoatRacer : Let's see... the story of what a Goat Racer is. *Well, that woulda started in Texas. *The endurance team I raced on was named after a goat and teh bike was named the Phat Goat and all things were goat-ish but we never *did* no goats so you can let that one go there... *OK,'nuffa that stuff. *
Not to highjack GoatRacer, this is a realllly longshot but, have you ever heard of Lajitas, TX and a famous goat there (back in late '70's - early '80's) named Clay Henry? *He was elected Mayor of the town, along with Clay Henry II, and III. *Just curious... *

Here is Clay Henry - he could slam several beers in a row before stumbling over towards the wall *
.



09-17-2003 7:20 PM
GoatRacer
Re: Bike Handles Like Ass

COEFF - that's the article I was looking for. Much thanks! What an eye opener, huh? Rest of you read that before? For those of you that don't know who Max is, he started with an endurance team of other nuts on an FZR600 soem years back. I think they're still playing with Suzuki now but he and the rest of the crew are very intelligent gear heads. Check out soem of the old Army of Darkness racing chronicles and see what I mean. NEat stuff
09-16-2003 6:42 PM
coeff
Re: Bike Handles Like Ass

author: Max McAllister

Honda CBR954RR

Honda did something very strange with the RC-51 that has spilled over into this bike. The fork springs have no internal preload on them. Ordinarily, a fork spring will have about 15mm of internal preload, even when the preload adjuster is backed all of the way out. When we measured the sag with a 165-pound rider, we were shocked to find 60mm of sag! This bike sagged more under its own weight than it should have with a rider on it! I typically like to see around 20mm of free sag, and 35mm with the rider on the bike. I can’t comment on the spring rate in this bike, because we simply couldn’t even come close to setting the sag.

This Showa fork has a new style of preload adjuster on it as well. It turns internally, and you have to count turns, much like an Ohlins superbike fork. This is not good in my opinion. It gives you no visual reference for your spring preload adjustment.

There was a more serious problem with fork than the lack of preload on the springs. This fork had horrific stiction. You can measure the stiction in a chassis while measuring sag. Find a fully extended measurement on the fork or shock. Then lift the chassis and let it settle gently (stuck up). Record this measurement. Then push down on it and let it rise gently (stuck down). Record this measurement. The distance between these two measurements is stiction.

For Forks:
5mm is good.
10mm is a sign something is wrong.
15mm is a sign something is REALLY wrong.

For Shocks:
2mm is good
5mm is a sign something is wrong.
7mm is a sign something is REALLY wrong.

This set of forks had 15mm of stiction. Frequently, the lower fork legs will be in a slight 'V' from changing the tires and not aligned properly. I tried to correct this on the CBR and couldn’t make the stiction any better than 15mm.

I do theorize that since the springs were nearly 'dead' in the fork with no preload on them, that this may have contributed for a few millimeters of the stiction. But that doesn’t explain 15mm worth. This was the worst stiction I have ever measured in a production fork. Ordinarily, I recommend that a racer with this much stiction not use the forks until the problem can be found and repaired!

A spring without preload on it will also 'feel' dead. I pinned the preload adjuster and it didn’t really do much. I moved the rebound adjuster (top of the fork) to 2-˝ turns out from full hard, and set the compression to 1 turn out.

The CBR954RR has the Honda 'HMAS' damping in it. This fork had no feel in it at all. It didn’t feel like it had springs, and it didn’t feel like it damped. It is the worst feeling fork I have ever pushed on. It is by far, the weakest link in any of the suspension systems of any of these bikes.

The shock spring seemed to be of a decent rate, just slightly soft, and we got decent sag on the #4 ramp position. It had way too much low-speed rebound damping, and we had the screw (bottom of the shock) set to 3-˝ turns out. The compression adjuster didn’t really do anything, which is typical of Showa street shocks. We set it to ˝-turn out.

This bike was wobbly when going fast. This is easy to explain. While the geometry numbers are very conservative for racing use, the problem lies again, in the fork spring preload. This bike has so much sag that when the bike is riding down the road, it is more than halfway through its travel. At this point, the bike has very little rake or trail. Without trail, you have no stability. So basically, this bike is going to take a beating in the magazines for not having about 10 cents worth of additional spacer on the fork spring! Unbelievable.

This condition will be severely aggravated under braking, as the fork will only be working in the last 15% of the travel, which is taken up by a stiff hydraulic bottoming mechanism. For sport riding, this is not a good situation, since there is no functional travel left to absorb bumps in the pavement.

To upgrade this fork, you will need to change the compression and rebound pistons (to remove the HMAS) and have appropriate springs installed for your weight. (With the right preload, of course&#33

The frame does have a ride height adjuster, which will be great for some street riders. It is not at all convenient for racing use. For track use, regardless of how the shock is built, the compression adjuster will just be useless, so I suggest you change to an aftermarket shock.

With the right fork springs installed, you could raise the back of the bike up to gain about 1.5 degrees of swingarm angle (to get to about 12.5 degrees), and leave the forks at the stock height. This would bring the rake and trail down tighter, and make the bike just about right for racing use.

Note: You definitely would not want to raise the back of the bike before fixing the fork springs!
09-16-2003 6:20 PM
GoatRacer
Re: Bike Handles Like Ass

Strafer - sounds like some good advice. Liek I mentioned before, I have always been able to adapt to any ride and never needed to swtich springs but maybe Honda missed the mark with this bike. A lot of people say the biekhandles really well but soem of my friends that have been riding as long as I have and have had many bikes feel as I do. I don't think there's anyt getting around taking the front spring-sticks off and having a look-see. I hate fiddling with USD cartridge forks, too. Things were so simple on the 70's bikes... yeah, right.
09-15-2003 10:31 PM
Apexstrafer
Re: Bike Handles Like Ass

Here is what I had mine set up at before I completely reworked my suspension. These settings were much better than stock and still the front end sucked!!! BTW they came from Dan Kyle FWIW

Rider SAG is the measurement from fully extended suspension to compressed suspension of bike and rider combined. IT IS DIFFERENT FOR EVERY RIDER DEPENDING ON THEIR WEIGHT.

Rear Shock Pre-load is used for the SAG adjustment (stock shock) Rider SAG 26-28mm = 1.0-1.2 inches

Compression dampening 1 turn in from full out
Rebound dampening full out

NOTE: STOCK FORK SPRINGS SUCK !!! .70 progressive wound at 190lbs I believe you should use a .95 kg spring worth every cent if you cnat afford a revalve or Ohlins fork. Major improvement!

Rider SAG is the measurement from fully extended suspension to compressed suspension of bike and rider combined. IT IS DIFFERENT FOR EVERY RIDER DEPENDING ON THEIR WEIGHT.

Fork Preload SAG 26-28mm = 1.0-1.2 inch (crank the preload adjusters all the way down ) you'll still have more SAG than you want but that all there is with those springs.

Front compression dampening 2 turn out from full in
Front *rebound dampening 1.5-1.6 out from full in


I have an Ohlins rear and a Dan Kyle revalve and respring on the bike now, and it rocks!

OH YEAH >>>> get a steering damper !!!!

Also FWIW Sportrider is a good magazine, but their preload settings describe how many lines are showing for the fork preload adjusters and what position on the rear preload adjuster they used . This is useless because they dont tell you how much the rider weighs and often not even which rider they set the bike up to. If your 190 and they used a 130 lb rider their setting are useless.

YMMV but I doubt it



09-15-2003 12:01 PM
Red Rider
Re: Bike Handles Like Ass

Do you have a damper? That might correct some of your problems.

Sport Rider has suggested settings here:

Sport Rider
09-15-2003 11:09 AM
ER
Re: Bike Handles Like Ass

Quote:
GoatRacer : ...I asked a buddy of mine to check it out. *He races, too. *Said the bike handles like a gorilla's ass. *That means bad around these parts...
*I got a really good laugh from this. *Regarding Dan Kyle's suggested settings for the stock suspension, they suck. *I tried it on my 929 and it made the bike waaaaaay too nervous and unpredictable. *The stock settings are mushy and the bike moves around, but it's at least rideable.



09-15-2003 10:00 AM
GoatRacer
Re: Bike Handles Like Ass

Thanks all. Well, I've set the doggone thing back to factory specs, um, maybe three times now. Tires the same. THey're the stock Michelins, tires that I fully trust from racetrack experience. I weigh 190-ish pounds. Not much gettin' around that - I'm a stocky-ass Italian boy from Tejas. I love Japanese beer, staying in the gym and eatin' that Japanese food. Not quite in that order, of course. Bottom line up front - I've owned a lot of these sporty bikes adn never *really* had to change the springs. WHat's different about this bike? One thing I have noticed, when resetting the preload, those sum-guns is harder than goat horns to turn. I mean, for real, I ain't never had that hard a time twistin' preolaoders. I'm wondering if the forks aren't just jacked-the-ass up inside... hmmm...
Devil Dog - where you at? I'm right outside of Hiroshima. You gotta know where that is, right? If you got a bike and you're in my grid square than you probably already know me... this place ain't that big.
Let's see... the story of what a Goat Racer is. Well, that woulda started in Texas. The endurance team I raced on was named after a goat and teh bike was named the Phat Goat and all things were goat-ish but we never *did* no goats so you can let that one go there... OK,'nuffa that stuff. ANyone else got something good to ponder? I'm really considering a read on that McAllister article. What he was saying is that the Showa forks had an incredible amount of stiction, I think he said up to 12mm. There was more to it than that. I've scoured the net since then but, alas, no luck.
I can't believe I just wrote ALL that... I'm hittin' the rack. Pre-dawn comes early round these parts.
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