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n.e.o. rider said:
i weigh about 168lbs geared up, and wonder how Honda sets the bike from the factory. anybody know what weight rider they base the suspension setup on?
A 150 pound driver with 110 pound passenger.
 

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Until you use the brakes...the front is sprung for about 120lbs total. I'm being sarcastic, but just barely.
 

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dB said:
Until you use the brakes...the front is sprung for about 120lbs total. I'm being sarcastic, but just barely.
If you have the passenger on board, it's amazing how well the stock setup works. I'm not kidding, ask Dan Kyle . . .
 

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ULEWZ said:
I think they set up for 170 lbs. Anyhow, that's my weight and the stock suspension setup works best for me. :)
What do you mean? I thought they knew I was on a diet and weighed 190lbs..... :idunno:
 

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For street riding, the stock front end on Hondas work pretty well. It's the track junkies and racers that like to stick in a .95 or 1.0 spring set it seems....at least that's a lot of what gets ordered from us. And the Race-Tech gold valve kits that basically open up flow area.

When possible, you're always best off to run the forks in to someone like DK who knows what they're doing, but you CAN start off with a couple very inexpensive mods to see if you like the changes.

I recall being amazed the last time I was at Freddie Spencer because their school bikes (F4i's) felt so good and I'm 220 with gear on. But I was told their bikes are running bone stock front ends with the exception of a steering damper.
 

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I (Paul Sr. accent) sawr the maximum weight capaitcty for a stock Blade (Paul Sr. accent) somewheres around 360 pounds. That included the pilot and passenger..........I think it's in the owner's manual.

I have contemplated getting the forks redone for my 220lbs weight, however, I never considered the factory rating for the bike at over 300 pounds. Maybe Honda does know what they're doing??? Afterall, the CBR 954 (is) Race Ready.

I think all fork work will have to wait until I blow a seal.

BTW, When I put my 100lbs 13 year old on the back, the bike rides like a Bentley. It's true.
 

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Thats the max weight, not the reccomended weight of the rider! LOL That is usually a function of the tires. Look at the max weight of most sportbikes and they tend to be right around that 370-400 lb limit.
 

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I found that on my 929 the front wasn't compressed enough.(Spongy,dipped a lot during braking) BTW (I weigh 165lbs.)
After adjusting a bit now the bike is great at 60mph plus,but at slower speeds the front is too hard and re-boundy.A little uncomfy at slower speeds.I guess there really isn't a perfect set-up for the street. :idunno:
Maybe I need some more adjusting.Re-bound maybe. :hmm:
 

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You would at least need the right springs on the bike, then set damping to your liking.
 

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The 954 comes with very soft fork springs. If I recall mine sagged 40mm in the front under the bikes own weight and cranking the preload did little for it. Installed .95 springs and all is good. I weigh 175lbs.
 

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Jungleboy said:
Yeah the front is way to soft STD like others have said especially under brakes it dives like Bruce Seldon!
Yup. The stock springs were .07 kg/mm in the Showa 43's. Serious mush. AT LEAST you'd go with a .85 or better to clean up that mess. But if someone provides their weight (ride with gear on) we do try to help them get the correct ones for their bike. :)

Todd
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Cal-Sportbike said:
Yup. The stock springs were .07 kg/mm in the Showa 43's. Serious mush. AT LEAST you'd go with a .85 or better to clean up that mess. But if someone provides their weight (ride with gear on) we do try to help them get the correct ones for their bike. :)

Todd
170 with gear on. would switching springs to a .95 help?
 

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n.e.o. rider said:
170 with gear on. would switching springs to a .95 help?
A .95 kg/mm is perhaps a bit stiff for a street rider unless you spend all your time in the canyons or at the track. A .85 kg/mm is the "suggested" rate for 170lb rider on a 954 for street, or .95 kg/mm for race/track. That's a very subjective thing...I don't ride on really bad roads so I like my front really stiff, even for my weight. But it's your call. You know your local roads and riding style...what do YOU think?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Cal-Sportbike said:
A .95 kg/mm is perhaps a bit stiff for a street rider unless you spend all your time in the canyons or at the track. A .85 kg/mm is the "suggested" rate for 170lb rider on a 954 for street, or .95 kg/mm for race/track. That's a very subjective thing...I don't ride on really bad roads so I like my front really stiff, even for my weight. But it's your call. You know your local roads and riding style...what do YOU think?
the roads here are.... lets say in need of help. so a stiff spring is going to probably get old after a while. the corners are something i wish i could ride everywhere i go but unfortunatly they are not. i may stick with the stock springs for a while until i decide its really necessary. i havent even had time to mess with the settings on the stock front end yet. thanks for the input.
 

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Although my suspension is mostly setup to Kyle Racing specs (DK forks and Ohlins shock etc.) the following article embraces what I found to be true about the 954.

Here is part of an article by Max McAllister (the president of Traxxion Dynamics )

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!)

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!
 
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