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Suspension - to upgrade or not to upgrade... that is the question.

2532 Views 27 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  James06CBR
I'm going to disassemble (or have disassembled) my front forks to have them powdercoated - is it worth upgrading the springs/hardware/whatever now? DISCLAIMER: I know jack sh!t about suspension setup, settings, etc. I'm still a novice rider (~1 yr riding experience). I know it'll be easier and/or cheaper to upgrade them now, but since I'm not going to be doing trackdays (or overly-aggressive riding, for that matter) anytime in the foreseeable future, should I save my money (more $$ for customizing) and wait? If it's worth doing now, I'll need recommendations (I hate to admit it, but I really don't have the time to do the research).
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Upgrading fork internals is a great thing to do, but judging from the type of riding you described you do, i wouldn't recommend it. Not worth it really if you don't ride track imo.
how much do you weigh?
Changing the springs and setting the suspension is definitely a must,
if your starting to go faster.
I'm leaning towards not upgrading, but at least starting to learn and setup my suspension for me. I'm 6'2, 220# - the stock settings (which I've never touched) are probably for a ~175# rider. Will simply adjusting my suspension for me be a good enough start for now?
not woth the money if you are not planning to track it.
peanut said:
I'm leaning towards not upgrading, but at least starting to learn and setup my suspension for me. I'm 6'2, 220# - the stock settings (which I've never touched) are probably for a ~175# rider. Will simply adjusting my suspension for me be a good enough start for now?
you would be much better off investing 40-50 dollars for a professional tuning/race shop to get your suspension dialed in. You will probably see enough improvement in the feel of your suspension and the handling of your bike that you will completely throw away the idea of investing in new fork internals right now.

Until you play with the settings for a while and start riding hard to dissect the handling issues that you run into...fork internals can wait.
Seeing as you're 220lbs, I'd recommend you get springs for your weight and have them installed by a professional that can set up the suspension and change the fork oil at the same time. That's about as far as I would go for street riding.
First have a professional try to dial in your stock suspension for your weight and riding style for $$.

Later on if you find that adjusting the stock suspension doesn't improve your situation then consider spending some $$$ on upgrading components.
stock springs are for like 160lbs. So there is only so much setting it up can do. Setup can definately improve what you have, but theres a limitation. As long as the forks are going to be apart- might as well do it right. I'm doing mine at the moment. I've got racetech springs going in(good site for determining what springs you'll need with weight and driving style) and a revalve job. Looks like aroung 250 for both, but I believe it would be well worth it- then get it set up perfect, and you are golden.
^^^Exactly. He's already exceeded the stock springs.
I am 180 and tried to set my sag this spring on a brand new 06 rr. Couldn't do it. The stock springs are for really small people. All I could do was max out the stock springs until this winter when I am going to change the springs and oil. Since everything is going to be apart I might as well do everything so I can get it set up next spring.

After setting the sag as best I could the bike was incredibly more responsive so I can only imagine what it will be like when everything is setup for someone my weight and riding style.
If you have the forks down that far do the upgrade on the springs & have the valves reworked by a professional.
The stock springs are progressive & for a lighter rider than you.
Get the proper springs for your weight!
It will make a world of difference IMHO

I used Marcus McBain @ RPS in Houston, TX for my 06 street 600RR (he also did the race bike suspension)
He did a great job & was reasonably priced.
Give him a call !
I tried using the stock suspension & changed the settings several times with the help of the suspension setup thread here.
Even the best stock setup is not even close to as good as they are now after Marcus did the work.
BTW I'm 195lbs.
Start wit a basic base line set up done at a local shop with a good
suspension guy. World of dif wit that alone.
Hey supertire guy, I am in Concord, CA and am 6'0 210lbs. I have been thinking about trying to dial in my suspension. Do you recommend any shops in the area?
Ahhhh...I love being 135 lbs!
Huntstyle said:
Ahhhh...I love being 135 lbs!
Well as far as spring rate and preload goes you're on the other end of the spectrum. It does give you a Hp advantage though.
Agree with above. I had my suspension set up to my 140 lbs, and they say in my case, they had the opposite problem. They would like to go even further with the settings to adjust for my light weight.
Definitely at least respring for your weight. You'll likely need something along the lines of 0.95kg/mm -rated springs for street riding. (I'm about 210 lbs, and am already bottoming out my 0.95s regularly on the track. I need 1.0s now. Or, lose some weight. :cry)

In theory, you'd want to revalve so that the dampening will match the increased energy stored by the stiffer springs. But you'll likely not feel much difference (if at all) on the street. So you can get away without it.
I would say if you're not into track days, and not even going to be doing any aggressive street riding save your money.
i am 160 lbs. and i set up my suspension by the sport rider suggested setting and i know there is some improvement to be made but i do some AGGRESSIVE street riding. i have never encountered any trouble with the damping or rebound.. so wait till you get faster.. how about a riding school or just a track day to get you more comfortable on the bike. PLEASE CONSIDER THIS
I know that after a track day at little Talledaga i have become a much smoother and safer rider. and has made riding so much more fun. just my two cents
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