Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
There are hundreds of articles here with conflicting opinions on CBR 929 suspension and on the web on m/c suspension generally. I've spent hours reading them and worn the black powdered coating off my fork preload nuts and tried a hundred different combinations of rebound and compression to try to get a smoother ride from the 929 - primarily to get it to deal with everyday bumps on urban roads the way my CBR 600 and VFR 800 and every other bike I've had does. I knew nothing about suspension till I got the 929 but in the year I've had the 929 I've been forced to study it, so uncomfortable, dangerous even, is the ride.

So after months of fiddling around I got some aftermarket progressive springs (Hagon) to replace the Honda progressives - not much difference, perhaps marginally smoother ride, less jolting. But not enough, so more hours buggering around with fruitless preload and damping adjustment.

Last week I jumped and spent £400 getting K-Tech valve kit and correct weight linear springs fitted. I notice a nice improvement in steering - better response, control and quicker turn-in. But the jolting, the kicking off small bumps, remains. It's never an issue with the 600 or the VFR (or my previous BMW R1100S, Honda Hornet, etc, etc). I've messed a little with damping on the new setup, but don't have much hope of improvement - seems same scenario as before, just better steering.

I was hoping with the K-Tech kit to get the bike to be what I hoped it might be - a bigger version of the CBR600 (2000 bike). What perfection that is - stable, predictable, focused, planted - all things the 929 has never been. It's felt at times simply dangerous and except in a straight line on smooth road always seems to need constant nursing. It's not a confidence-inspiring ride. At times I can't believe Honda issued such a machine. I wondered if I had a bad one - bad or incorrectly assembled forks but the fitter - one of the most respected suspension specialists in the UK - said all was correct with the standard setup.

When I said to the fitter I hoped for a larger version of the CBR600, he said the frame on the 929 is stiffer than on the 600, so now I'm wondering if that's it, that it's simply a harsh ride, no matter how you fettle the suspension, because the frame or geometry dictate it. I could go further, get an upgraded rear shock perhaps, but I think it will be a pointless waste of more money, because Honda's OEM suspension can't be that bad.

So, question is, does my problem lie with frame, geometry, fundamental design of the bike? It's a machine that doesn't seem to want to know that road I shake along every time I leave home.

What a pity - good power and such a useful underseat storage space!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,034 Posts
There are hundreds of articles here with conflicting opinions on CBR 929 suspension and on the web on m/c suspension generally. I've spent hours reading them and worn the black powdered coating off my fork preload nuts and tried a hundred different combinations of rebound and compression to try to get a smoother ride from the 929 - primarily to get it to deal with everyday bumps on urban roads the way my CBR 600 and VFR 800 and every other bike I've had does. I knew nothing about suspension till I got the 929 but in the year I've had the 929 I've been forced to study it, so uncomfortable, dangerous even, is the ride.

So after months of fiddling around I got some aftermarket progressive springs (Hagon) to replace the Honda progressives - not much difference, perhaps marginally smoother ride, less jolting. But not enough, so more hours buggering around with fruitless preload and damping adjustment.

Last week I jumped and spent £400 getting K-Tech valve kit and correct weight linear springs fitted. I notice a nice improvement in steering - better response, control and quicker turn-in. But the jolting, the kicking off small bumps, remains. It's never an issue with the 600 or the VFR (or my previous BMW R1100S, Honda Hornet, etc, etc). I've messed a little with damping on the new setup, but don't have much hope of improvement - seems same scenario as before, just better steering.

I was hoping with the K-Tech kit to get the bike to be what I hoped it might be - a bigger version of the CBR600 (2000 bike). What perfection that is - stable, predictable, focused, planted - all things the 929 has never been. It's felt at times simply dangerous and except in a straight line on smooth road always seems to need constant nursing. It's not a confidence-inspiring ride. At times I can't believe Honda issued such a machine. I wondered if I had a bad one - bad or incorrectly assembled forks but the fitter - one of the most respected suspension specialists in the UK - said all was correct with the standard setup.

When I said to the fitter I hoped for a larger version of the CBR600, he said the frame on the 929 is stiffer than on the 600, so now I'm wondering if that's it, that it's simply a harsh ride, no matter how you fettle the suspension, because the frame or geometry dictate it. I could go further, get an upgraded rear shock perhaps, but I think it will be a pointless waste of more money, because Honda's OEM suspension can't be that bad.

So, question is, does my problem lie with frame, geometry, fundamental design of the bike? It's a machine that doesn't seem to want to know that road I shake along every time I leave home.

What a pity - good power and such a useful underseat storage space!

I would suggest you find some other 929's to ride first to determine if yours actually has a problem. Have you ridden other sports bikes?
I have all my bikes set up very firm because that's how I like them, but when other people ride them they invariably comment on the harshness of the ride. I go out of my way to find the bumpiest, dirtiest roads I can because I love getting the bike moving around through turns. My brother's '02 VFR800 had atrocious suspension from new, but I rebuilt the forks and stiffened the front up which improved it heaps.
Have you put a cable-tie on a fork leg to confirm you are using the full travel?
You said the Hagon springs improved the ride a little - what rate were they and what rate were in the bike before them?
Are you finding the rear end harsh as well, or just the front?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks - as I say, I've been through a whole range of damping and preload settings, from standard to extreme and none eliminate the harshness. As I say, the bike now has top quality linear springs (.85) for my weight and top quality valve kit (forget the Hagon progressives). The front travel is good, giving about 10-12mm margin before bottoming out.

You ask if I've ridden other sports bikes. At risk of repeating myself, and as I said, I've owned and ridden over thousands of miles a CBR600FX (2000 bike, my favourite out of the box ride), VFR800 (great too as standard, though arguably more tourer than sport) and BMW R1100S (solid as a rock, but not in a harsh way) and can add to that CBR600 FI (2003 bike) and VTR 1000 Firestorm. All these bikes were comfortable, stable rides out of the box, no adjustment needed (I never even knew what those nuts and screws were, top of the forks, until the 929).

As I say, after fitting K-Tech stuff and finding harshness still there, I think Honda OEM forks are exonerated - how could such a reputable company produce suspension bad enough to give the ride I describe?

So, to repeat, what I'm thinking, and asking, is this: Is the frame of the CBR 929 significantly stiffer than that on the bikes I name above and simply characteristic perhaps of a generation of race replica bikes that more closely imitate track stiffness than previous RR bikes, thus giving a harsh street ride that no amount of suspension tweaking will fix?

Anyone know?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,034 Posts
Thanks - as I say, I've been through a whole range of damping and preload settings, from standard to extreme and none eliminate the harshness. As I say, the bike now has top quality linear springs (.85) for my weight and top quality valve kit (forget the Hagon progressives). The front travel is good, giving about 10-12mm margin before bottoming out.

You ask if I've ridden other sports bikes. At risk of repeating myself, and as I said, I've owned and ridden over thousands of miles a CBR600FX (2000 bike, my favourite out of the box ride), VFR800 (great too as standard, though arguably more tourer than sport) and BMW R1100S (solid as a rock, but not in a harsh way) and can add to that CBR600 FI (2003 bike) and VTR 1000 Firestorm. All these bikes were comfortable, stable rides out of the box, no adjustment needed (I never even knew what those nuts and screws were, top of the forks, until the 929).

As I say, after fitting K-Tech stuff and finding harshness still there, I think Honda OEM forks are exonerated - how could such a reputable company produce suspension bad enough to give the ride I describe?

So, to repeat, what I'm thinking, and asking, is this: Is the frame of the CBR 929 significantly stiffer than that on the bikes I name above and simply characteristic perhaps of a generation of race replica bikes that more closely imitate track stiffness than previous RR bikes, thus giving a harsh street ride that no amount of suspension tweaking will fix?

Anyone know?
Progressive spring rates are never a good option on a sports bike.
0.85kg/mm is a fairly soft spring so I'm guessing you're not a big bloke?
None of the bikes you listed though are sports bikes. Although the F4/F4i probably has the sportier suspension of those, they're all aimed at road use more than track use.
Honda don't produce the suspension, they just buy it from the manufacturer. In the case of Honda, they own Showa so often use Showa components.
I'm sure you can make the 929 suspension as soggy as a VFR or VTR with some effort, but why would you want a sports bike that rides like a touring bike?
You certainly could have a suspension problem with your bike, but it sounds like it's working as it was designed to. As I suggested earlier, find somebody else with a 929 and ride it for comparison, or at least ride some other sports bikes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I doubt the 929 is intended primarily for track use, as it's sold as a road bike.

As I've said twice now, there is no progressive spring in the bike - it's now a linear .85 spring, correct for my weight of 80kg unkitted.

But that's a diversion - what I'd like is some info on the frame and geometry and whether these are having a bearing on the ride - is this the source of the kind of ride? I'm looking to get rid of the ride the feels like it wants to throw me off at every small bump in the road (potentially lethal on corners). It isn't too bad on motorways at 60mph and above but still not as planted as the VFR or CBR6.

I don't mind firm - the BMW 1100S was firm - but this bike to my mind has no feel, no grace of movement, does not soak up the road, is always fighting it, creating a sense of instability.

Thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,034 Posts
I doubt the 929 is intended primarily for track use, as it's sold as a road bike.

As I've said twice now, there is no progressive spring in the bike - it's now a linear .85 spring, correct for my weight of 80kg unkitted.

But that's a diversion - what I'd like is some info on the frame and geometry and whether these are having a bearing on the ride - is this the source of the kind of ride? I'm looking to get rid of the ride the feels like it wants to throw me off at every small bump in the road (potentially lethal on corners). It isn't too bad on motorways at 60mph and above but still not as planted as the VFR or CBR6.

I don't mind firm - the BMW 1100S was firm - but this bike to my mind has no feel, no grace of movement, does not soak up the road, is always fighting it, creating a sense of instability.

Thanks

All bikes are sold as road bikes, but some are sold based on their ability as race bikes. They wouldn't have that ability if they had VFR-style suspension though.
I didn't say you had progressive springs in there, simply that trying them probably wasn't the right direction to go.
Ride some others for comparison and then decide if yours has problems or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Good idea to ride another 929, but not easy. I know others have found the bike a harsh, unstable ride - anyone else have other information, particularly about frame and geometry in relation to the hard ride?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,034 Posts
Good idea to ride another 929, but not easy. I know others have found the bike a harsh, unstable ride - anyone else have other information, particularly about frame and geometry in relation to the hard ride?

A perhaps easier alternative would be to put somebody that's more familiar with sports bikes on yours and get their opinion, but I would think you'd learn more by riding another bike and making any comparison yourself.
I asked you earlier, are you only finding the front to be a problem or both ends?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
It feels predominantly like the front, hence all the work, but of course they work together. The fact it's still both (after front work) and my fitter's comments on frame and from others on the web makes me think it's the frame and geometry. Anyone know if the frame on these bikes is significantly stiffer than on the other bikes I describe?

Also the hard ride I get doesn't line up with some opinions (including Honda's own on some piece of literature I saw) that the 929 standard ride is "plush"! VFR's plush, but never the 929 - you have to be constantly alert to the road surface and compensating for its irregularities - the 929 doesn't want to know about those little bumps. But the CBR600FX - what a dream - comfortable and sharply focused. I'd race that, but not the 929 - doesn't feel settled enough.

I don't think the bike's broken - 13k miles, front end passed as fine, rear shock standard, no crashes - the bike's immaculate. I think it's got to be frame design. Anyone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Im with Bladeracer on this one. I think you should find a comparable sport bike to ride and make a comparison. I am insinuating riding a 954RR, 1000RR, R6, R1, or a GSXR, Something else designed for track use. I ave a good friend that races an 03 R6 That is fitted with full Ohlins suspension and has .95 springs in the forks. I absolutely love the way this bike rides, it is very firm and makes the suspension on my 929 feel like jello. I can also hop on my dad's Harley and all of the sudden my bike feels like a rock in comparison. If you are looking for a floating type ride where you don't feel the little bumps in the road a sport bike is prolly not for you. If you want to talk about feeling the road, on the R6 I mentioned above it is possible to feel the parting lines in the concrete of the road at slow speeds. I don't consider the ride to be harsh at all but my dad would think the bike had no suspension at all. It is all in the designed purpose of the bike, the CBR-RRs, GSXRs and YZFs are all designed for the track and sold for the street.

Once again I would agree with Bladeracer and find a few other sportbikes that are race designed to make a comparison with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
OK - maybe it's the frame and geometry then. Anyone have information on this? Given that suspension on any bike could be made to imitate a VFR plushness, is it the RR frame that creates the harshness, the dangerous and uncomfortable kicking off bumps? I can see that would matter less on a smooth track but on the road - the bike is issued with lights, road-legal exhaust and other stuff not needed on the track - it wouldn't be something Honda would opt for surely?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,603 Posts
Good idea to ride another 929, but not easy. I know others have found the bike a harsh, unstable ride - anyone else have other information, particularly about frame and geometry in relation to the hard ride?
Hello friend----I don't take other peoples word at face value without sourcing the information first but Bladeracer is the exception when it comes to sportbikes,
I think he may even be Tadao Baba!!!!

Anyway, I have had a 2000 929 for many years and find it a smooth riding sportbike but it is still a sportbike, the vfr is like a couch in comparison but that is to be expected. If your 929 is that unstable in comparison to other sportbikes it begs to ask about the history of the bike. If the frame is bent it will constantly feel unstable, I would get it checked properly, your suspension should be tight but not the way you are describing, I would hate to insinuate that you may not have experienced sportbikes enough to know what to expect:idunno::idunno:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,684 Posts
I doubt the 929 is intended primarily for track use, as it's sold as a road bike.
Should put you on my 09 R6.. Even before I fitted all my track parts, it was a track bike. Now with my ohlins suspension, and the rear shock at max height... You feel absolutely everything on the road. If I turned down the shock height, then it wouldnt be as harsh. In the end though, still designed for racing.

The sports bikes are designed for racing, then fitted with street parts.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,034 Posts
OK - maybe it's the frame and geometry then. Anyone have information on this? Given that suspension on any bike could be made to imitate a VFR plushness, is it the RR frame that creates the harshness, the dangerous and uncomfortable kicking off bumps? I can see that would matter less on a smooth track but on the road - the bike is issued with lights, road-legal exhaust and other stuff not needed on the track - it wouldn't be something Honda would opt for surely?

I doubt it's anything to do with the bike. I'd expect that if you put the 929's front end onto your VFR you would find the same problem. Sportsbike suspension is designed to give you maximum feedback from the road surface.
Racetracks are far from smooth :)
Some tracks I've ridden on are horrendous compared to even the worst roads. I've also raced on several street circuits which were no better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Still wondering about that frame stiffness and bike geometry...no-one's addressing that.

Bladeracer, are you saying the 929 forks are harder than than VFR's, regardless of any adjustment, refitting, because of length or other design factors? I mean if you put VFR spring and valves in 929 forks it would feel like a VFR? Or, if I reduced compression to zero on current 929 setup (K-Tech valve kit, see here: K-Tech Suspension, road race and offroad motorcyle suspension and K-Tech .85 linear spring) it would start soaking up the bumps? (But I already tried that and it didn't, much.)

But still, what about the frame and geometry? As I say, my fitter, whom I won't draw into this by name but is one of the best race techs in the UK, replied the frame is stiff when I said I hoped the K-tech spring and valve kit would make the 929 like a bigger version of the CBR600FX (CBR600F4 to you stateside types).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
oxman1196 - thanks. The bike is pretty pristine, has passed the annual MoT safety test we have to have here, came from reputable dealer - so I think we're back to frame/geometry question. Or, as bladeracer says, what if I put VFR forks on 929 (if it were mechanically possible and I have no intention to do so, but theoretically) - would that give a VFR-type front end ride?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
777 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,603 Posts
oxman1196 - thanks. The bike is pretty pristine, has passed the annual MoT safety test we have to have here, came from reputable dealer - so I think we're back to frame/geometry question. Or, as bladeracer says, what if I put VFR forks on 929 (if it were mechanically possible and I have no intention to do so, but theoretically) - would that give a VFR-type front end ride?
Please excuse me but I am kind of confused as to what you are trying to achieve? I am not sure if there is something wrong with the bike or is it behaving normally and you don't like the ride or do you want to modify a perfect 929 to your riding preference? You keep referring to the geometry of the frame, I am not sure why. If the frame has not had the geometry altered then you have a normal performing sport bike. My 929 is as smooth as most other sportbikes in its class, I have ridden many sportbikes and they all have comparable smoothness and responsiveness or lack of. Why don't you sell the fireblade and buy a VFR which is respectable yet more rideable option for you it appears:idunno::idunno:

Also I have major confidence in my 929, it very predictable and I have never been remotely afraid of its unpredictabilty, I have pushed my bike over 20,000kms and have never lost confidence in the machine whatsoever----you have left me perplexed as to what is wrong with your bike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
no the stiffness and bike geometry are unlikely to have anything to do with it. I'll agree that there are more confidence inspiring bikes (i think theres a lack of feedback from the road) but my the suspension on my 00 929 has been perfect. It was set up for the road (softer so i couldnt feel small bumps) and still handled perfectly, but ive now revalved and tuned the suspension so that its hard and has razor sharp cornering. Im no authority on this but if you've tried everything else, i reckon you might have too thin a fork oil in there? Try a higher viscosity fork oil. This is after all what gives the dampening characteristics and IMO is where your problem may really lie. The suspension is one thing about my 929 that i could never complain about though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Concluded that the 929 needs selling. I've seen plenty else on the 929 and later Fireblades complaining of the "bounce". It's just a duff line for those who want a stable and comfortable road bike - shame - love that rear storage space!
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top