Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,

I've had my 03 954 about a week now and for the most part it's a lovely bike. I have 2 issues with it. The one that bothers me most is it doesn't want to let me trail brake into corners, it really wants to stand the bike up and it's very hard to scrub speed while tipping in. Yes, I know bikes standup under brakes in corners but this is really pronounced, really fights the bike. All my previous bikes have been fine in thios respect (the worst was a '95 ZX-6R I got new).

A) My tyres are worn and the front rear profile changes is causing this.
B) It's a characteristic of the tyres (Michelon Pilots). They are the correct size and pressures.
C) A characteristic of the bike

If I were to change the tyres what is the current suggestion for a good road tyre. I'm on a bike trip up the the Isle of Man next weekend so would much prefer to get this sorted.

Cheers,
Matt
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,706 Posts
Re: 054 Handling problem

Hi Matt, I had a similar problem with my 3rd 954 when I bought it. I checked the suspension settings and they were all over the shop. I put them back to standard and it helped a lot. I then put on new tyres front and rear and all was good from then on. I also noticed the forks had been moved down through the clamps as well, why i dont know so they were adjusted back also. Just a few things that might help you out. Oh, I also lifted the rear a little by fitting a 190/55 rear tyre.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,034 Posts
What sort of mileage have you got on the front tyre?
What do you weigh?
At a wild guess I'd be looking at front suspension.
Have you got a tell tale on a fork leg to see how much suspension you're using?
Are the front and rear ride heights in the ballpark?
Race sag okay?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
In the process of checking all that usual stuff today.

I weigh a spritely 85kg in the birthday suit. Front tyre is 3/4 worn on tread depth (rear is similar).

The road grime tell tale says I must be close to full compression on the fork. The preload is kinda low and when the wife gets back I'll look at sag. Rear preload is 3 from top.

Matt
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,034 Posts
3/4 worn on the front is worn out in my experience.
If you're planning a long trip put a new front on beforehand.
If the front is fully compressed then you're no longer using the suspension to absorb road bumps - you're using the tyre.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
set up your suspension and that will help, as for tires i have never owned the pilots but the metzler m3 are great tires. the 954 front suspension is known to be a a little weak and alot of people upgrade them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
i havent upgraded the suspension on my 954 yet but it is definitely much needed as the front is way undersprung (stock .70kg) and the rear shock is just dead.. anyway, i weigh ~200 lbs with full gear and set my suspension to the following settings which puts me at the following sag numbers:

front:
free sag 19mm / rider sag 35mm
stiction 10mm

rear:
Free sag 9mm / rider sag 30mm
stiction 3mm

Settings:

Front forks
comp- 1 turn out
rbd - 2.5 turns out
preload - 9.5

Rear shock:
preload - 4
comp - .5 turn out
rbd - 3.5 turns out

i also now run Pirelli DC3's with a 190/55 on the rear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
i havent upgraded the suspension on my 954 yet but it is definitely much needed as the front is way undersprung (stock .70kg) and the rear shock is just dead.. anyway, i weigh ~200 lbs with full gear and set my suspension to the following settings which puts me at the following sag numbers:

front:
free sag 19mm / rider sag 35mm
stiction 10mm

rear:
Free sag 9mm / rider sag 30mm
stiction 3mm

Settings:

Front forks
comp- 1 turn out
rbd - 2.5 turns out
preload - 9.5

Rear shock:
preload - 4
comp - .5 turn out
rbd - 3.5 turns out

i also now run Pirelli DC3's with a 190/55 on the rear.
where was your preload adjustments on the front forks??
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,034 Posts
I would assume he meant 9.5mm above the top bolt?
If it is it seems way too high. I run my front fully screwed down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Hi All,

I've had my 03 954 about a week now and for the most part it's a lovely bike. I have 2 issues with it. The one that bothers me most is it doesn't want to let me trail brake into corners, it really wants to stand the bike up and it's very hard to scrub speed while tipping in. Yes, I know bikes standup under brakes in corners but this is really pronounced, really fights the bike. All my previous bikes have been fine in thios respect (the worst was a '95 ZX-6R I got new).

A) My tyres are worn and the front rear profile changes is causing this.
B) It's a characteristic of the tyres (Michelon Pilots). They are the correct size and pressures.
C) A characteristic of the bike

If I were to change the tyres what is the current suggestion for a good road tyre. I'm on a bike trip up the the Isle of Man next weekend so would much prefer to get this sorted.

Cheers,
Matt

Something I put up on antoher website - I would say that there's alot of info to be gleaned here if you need it. I have about 70k miles down on this bike with maybe a dozen tyre changes

If you never go to the track you dont need track tires

I highly recommend the Pilot Road 2CT as a road only tire. They have as much grip on the road as the Pilot Power IMHO & only show that they are a road tyre when on the track. I can get my knee down no problem on the road & flat stick it out of all but the tightest of bends. Plus you get AMAZING mileage out of them.

My mate & I tried them for a 6k mile trip around Europe last March. He ennded up getting 12k miles out of the rear & the front still has a few left. He rides a 04 ZX10R hard. I has a PR2 rear & PP2CT fron & the fron is now toast with the rear only showing a little wear. Truely amazing tyres. Also they grip like you wouldnt believe in the wet & cold (see pic)



Seriously dont dismiss them because they are 'only' road tyres. If you can admit that you are not Rossi & dont ride at track pace on the road then these tyres are a great choice & will save you money hand over fist.

1 set of PR's = 2 fronts & 3 rears of PP2CT's wear wise

BTW: I had PP 2CT's on my 954 Blade & I would NEVER use them again on that bike. The PP 2CT is a very agressively profiled tyre & the 954 has very radical (compared to newer bikes) steering geometry. End result is a VERY nervous & twitchy ride especially from the front. It robbed me of all confidence to go into a bend hard. I had these tyres for 2 years after a big accident on this bike & I thought that it was the bike that was ****ed cos it was so nervous - WRONG. It was the tyres. Now I have a mismatch of a Pilot Road rear & Dunlop Qualifer front (very round profile) & the thing handles like a dream. I can ride it again the way I like it. Even with the stable Pilot Road fitted to the rear it was nervous as hell & when I had the agressive PP 2CT on the front so the bike stablility is all from the front tyre

[red]WARNING - Anyone with a 954 should make sure that they use a front tyre with a stable/round profile if they dont want a slap machine[/red]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
I would assume he meant 9.5mm above the top bolt?
If it is it seems way too high. I run my front fully screwed down.
9.5 turns out from full soft on the preload, stock is 7 from soft..

comp & damp are turns out from full hard..
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,034 Posts
9.5 turns _out_ would be out from fully down or hard though.
Stock is seven turns _in_ from fully out or fully soft according to my manual.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
9.5 turns _out_ would be out from fully down or hard though.
Stock is seven turns _in_ from fully out or fully soft according to my manual.
its in from fully soft.. if its fully soft as the starting point there is only one way to go when turning 9.5 turns chief....in/out is semantics but technically you are correct.. :clap:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,034 Posts
It's not semantics as it sounded like you had soft and hard at the wrong ends of the scale which would be very significant :)
In and out are better terms as the preload doesn't actually make the forks any harder or softer just longer or shorter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
It's not semantics as it sounded like you had soft and hard at the wrong ends of the scale which would be very significant :)
In and out are better terms as the preload doesn't actually make the forks any harder or softer just longer or shorter.
true, but in this case since stock is 7 from full soft and said i go 9 from full soft it should be a given what direction we're talkin about especially since i've already said the spring rate is too soft/underspring and you cant go past full soft as a starting point unless youre taking the forks apart.. :idunno:
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top