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Old 04-17-2008, 07:58 AM   #1
hennrock05
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Default Suspension Mods - Any Advice Appreciated

Hey fellas. I ride a 1000 gixxer and I want to do some suspension mods to it. I love carving and I'm working on knee dragging. I'm 6'1 and 225lbs. So I wanted to research what parts and what manufacturers are recommended.

Didn't want to just go out and spend money on some mechanic who wants to make money for his shop. Any Advice?
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:39 AM   #2
longride
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Well guys, have at him.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:16 AM   #3
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Replace the rear shock with a wrought-iron bar of equal or 1" shorter length. Really stiffens 'er up in the corners!
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:22 AM   #4
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The stock suspension on your bike, as with the motor far exceed your riding abilities unless you're Ben Spies or Matt Mladin. That being the case try to dial in what you have instead of throwing money at it because Joe Blow said you should run a Ohlins or whatever shock.

Start in the middle of the adjustment range and see how it feels, if you think its too soft, then go one position stiffer and try again, if the front end feels good but feels imprecise in hard cornering add one click to the rear to shift the COG forward if it feels like it's biting too much take a click off to shift the COG back to the rear.

Suspension set up is all trial and error, we can't set a bike up for someone else, you have to make small adjustments untill it feels right for you, don't waste your money on high end sh*t that your skills can't take advantage of.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:26 AM   #5
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"Gixxer." Feh, I hate that word.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarnali2 View Post
The stock suspension on your bike, as with the motor far exceed your riding abilities unless you're Ben Spies or Matt Mladin. That being the case try to dial in what you have instead of throwing money at it because Joe Blow said you should run a Ohlins or whatever shock.

Start in the middle of the adjustment range and see how it feels, if you think its too soft, then go one position stiffer and try again, if the front end feels good but feels imprecise in hard cornering add one click to the rear to shift the COG forward if it feels like it's biting too much take a click off to shift the COG back to the rear.

Suspension set up is all trial and error, we can't set a bike up for someone else, you have to make small adjustments untill it feels right for you, don't waste your money on high end sh*t that your skills can't take advantage of.
Do what sarnali suggests first. I bought a ZRX1100 a couple of years ago and it had a rear end wallowing problem in the turns at speeds above 50 mph. Some 'experts' told me I needed to spend all sorts of money on new shocks. Instead I played with the rear settings. One click increase in spring rate and two clicks increase in rebound damping solved it completely. Now it's solid as a rock.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:51 AM   #7
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Ohlins and $4K should put you right in the house.

You're suspension is probably just fine. What you need is a Service tech that specializes in suspension set-up.
Tell him the type of riding you plan for the bike. Get the sag set right and ask him to use a perm marker and dot the set points for two positions. Commute and Track. ASK QUESTIONS to the tech as to why he chose those two set-ups that you have marked so you know the difference. Then everything between those two setting you can play with on settings depending on your desired ride type for the conditions.

Before you settle on the techs advice ride it hard enough to determine if the settings are right for your needs. If the suspension isn't reacting fast enough for you go back to the tech and explain to the best of your abilities what you're feeling and he will adjust base on your conversation. Then ride it again to make sure you're happy.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:32 AM   #8
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Buy a Horse - self-adjusting suspension comes equipped, Standard.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:07 AM   #9
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At 225, you might end up needing only to put stiffer springs on the bike on both ends.

Note the "might." Have someone that knows what they're doing set the sag with you on the bike. If it cannot be set because of the load, you need springs.

Big money for new shocks or shock/cartridge mods is probably not necessary.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:47 AM   #10
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I weigh considerably more than 225 and have no trouble dialing in stock suspension, it's a time consuming trial and error job but there's enough adjustability in any modern sportbike to cover it. Frankly most street riders simply don't have the ability to tax a modern sportbikes suspension, it's just a case of making continious small adjustments, checking results and so on.

Don't make massive changes to front and rear or you'll lose track of what you did and what works. Compression is what the bike does when you hit a bump, how do the forks absorb the impact, if they're to stiff they'll jack hammer, to soft they'll wallow. Same with the rear, too stiff and they'll slam your tailbone, too soft and the bike will mush. Try to get the compression damping to where the bike seems to absorb the bumps without upsetting the chassis. Rebound is how the bike stays in contact with the road, again too soft and the bike will feel like it's hobby horseing too stiff and the tires won't keep maximum contact and it'll feel like it's skipping or washing out.

Try to seperate what each end of the bike is doing and dial compression and rebound in or out to maintain as much a balance as you can. Make one or two adjustments to the forks then try it out, if that works leave it and ride it for awhile and try to judge the overall reaction. If the front feels planted work on the rear making small adjustments and try that for a while..it's total trial and error, race teams spend hours and hours on suspension settings for each track. On the street you want the best compromise set-up for the widest range of surfaces. You can do it, it just takes time and patience.
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