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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just want to start by saying that I love the way my 9r handles, and the comfort and power is great. I'm very happy with the bike. After researching, i decided that I didn't NEED a steering damper. The geometry of the bike makes it rather unlikely to have headshake, and I rarely get the front end off the ground at all. Even though I never get headshake,( or just haven't yet), I would still like to get a damper eventually.

What I have noticed as I become more agressive with turns is that sometimes the front end feels like its a little unsettled while in a hard lean. I guess it can be because of uneven road, improper suspension settings, lack of a damper, or maybe its just the rare occurence where I go into a turn too hard and have to tap the brake or let off the gas for a second. It doens't happen often, but sometimes it feels like the front end or maybe even the whole bike moves a little back and forth while in the turns... not to the level of it being dangerous or too scary, but to the point where I feel like I would have more confidence if the bike tracked a bit better in moments like this.

Has anyone done a complete suspension upgrade? I want the bike to handle as good as possible. I have had more experienced riders, and even my mechanic look at it and tell me that the suspenion and sag is set right for my weight, but would I benefit from an ohlins or some other after market suspension? Are the roads uneven or am I just thinking about this too much? Would the steering damper help the bike track tighter through the turns? I originally thought that the purpose of a damper was only to help the front end stay steady after hard acceleration and a slight rise off the ground and back down again, but I'm starting to realize that maybe it does a bit more than that.

The R1 Le costs an extra 5 or 6k, and one of the reasons, other than those sexy wheels, is the ohlins suspension. How much of a difference would a moderately paced rider notice in the twisties with a suspension upgrade? Any feedback or advice?
 

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Well my dear friend it is good to see you are more concerned with making the bike Perform better with the suspension in mind.

I am almost done with my 2005 ZX6R as we speak, just eed to get the fork cartridges at the house and install them.
Otherwise i run Ohlins rear shock & hyper-pro steering damper.

My RC51 is running full ohlins cartridge up front, Ohlins rear shock and ohlins damper.

Personally the 1st i like to do is go ahead and replace the rear shock and get the front end dialed in for me, which is going to be a full replacement.
For someone not wanting to spend that much money, a re-spring and revalve will make a big differance as well.

You will get a way better feel from the front end, better adjustability, it will be tailored for your riding style.
The Rear replacement shock, will do much the same, as well as not Lose its damping characteristics when used hard on track or extended perids of hard use.better feedback, better ride and quality.

dollar for dollar there is nothing better then suspension that is bult for you. will drop you some pics of you like?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sure, pics are good.

How much would it be to buy and install a new rear suspension? I'm not really good with all the terms but I'm going to look into this more.

If I drop the ride height in the front, the bike is more prone to headshake but will have a quicker turn in right?
 

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I think you should take a ride out to Washington Cycle Works in Jersey. Speak with Ron. He's a great guy and very rider friendly.

I never upgraded my suspension on my 6 but now, the bike I have has a Penske and the difference is extremely noticable. I rode a friend's bike (the same as yours) with the full ohlins setup and, although a tiny bit harsh for my weight, the bike really handled well.

I would suggest you do the proper setting of the sag and adjust the stock suspension to your wieght and riding style and THEN upgrade to an aftermarket (ohlins, penske, fox, racetech) suspension.

You'll definitely notice a difference and by then you'll know what you actually want out of your suspension.

{edit}
Since you already had people look at your settings and they are right for you then I'd start with upgrading your front with racetech internals and maybe get a heavier fork oil. Speak with Ron. He's an expert in suspension. He wont steer you wrong.
 

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Originally posted by rockstar84
Sure, pics are good.


If I drop the ride height in the front, the bike is more prone to headshake but will have a quicker turn in right?
Yes. But you only want to lower it a tad, usually just to compensate for a 70 section tire on the front. It's not really something you want to mess too much with. What you're really doing is changing the steering head angle in relation to the road, and changing the CG. You'd get much better results by buying an aftermarket triple clamp set up, like the Attack adjustible triple. That way you can adjust your head angle and all that without lowering the front, changing your CG, or decreasing your ground clearance. It's pricy, though...like close to 1k.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cyberdos, thanks for the info. When I have some extra cash I should go visit that guy you speak of, I don't want to spending anywhere close to a grand on this though.
 

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Originally posted by rockstar84
Opps, I dont have too much of a choice if I want to actually upgrade the suspension.


http://www.kneedraggers.com/list/viewall/2.2/Kawasaki/ZX9R
If you're looking for something other than is listed, call the manufacturers. Merchants will only list a limited series of choices because of space or shipping constraints. FYI, when I wanted a better rear shock for my '02 ZX-6E I was disappointed that Works didn't list a remote reservoir for my bike. I called them and had a nice conversation with one of their engineers who told me, "...sure, we can build you a shock with a remote reservoir if you want." So I got what I wanted...because I asked.

BTW, adding better boingers will do wonders for your bike, both on the street and on the track. It's the best money you can spend on aftermarket parts, IMHO.
 

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Have you tried having someone adjust your stock suspension? I don't know how the 9r's are set-up, but having a pro tune the stock suspension can work wonders. You said that your mechanic checked the sag, but there is more to suspension work than setting the sag. Have you ever had your forks serviced? May be time for a fluid change and new springs.

http://www.roadracinghelp.com/Start.htm

Try this site, you can ship your shocks and fork to him and he will set it up the way it needs to be. He adjusted the suspension on my 6r.
 

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well i have added hyper pro springs front and rear.. at the same time my front forks had the spring and oil changed i have had my rear shock re-oiled/gassed made i big diff....but if yo udont have lots of money go for a racetech upgrade.. they do upgraded valving etc and it doesnt cost too much... you could get proper weighted springs up font and their raceteck fork kit... then find a used ohlins for the rear on ebay at a reasonable price so for leyts say less than $700 (depending upon ebay etc) you would have DAMN good set up for the street... do you do track? and if you want to speed up the steering and have quicker turn in raise the rear some (5mm to start and a few mm at a time after that) this way you loose no ground clearance... but dropping the front by 5mm will not affect ground clearance too badly at all...


good luck and well done figuring out youll be loads faster for the same money with suspension vs and exhaust/jet kit
 

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lots of advice and mostly good, you being on a budget makes it a little harder for you...but still viable to get sorted.

Super cheap route-standard service forks and shock

cheap-race tech valves,new spring for forks & new oil-rear shck service

Semi cheap-revalve, replace front springs & used penske,elka,ohlins shock from ebay...best for the cheap way..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Originally posted by cadet3
Have you tried having someone adjust your stock suspension? I don't know how the 9r's are set-up, but having a pro tune the stock suspension can work wonders. You said that your mechanic checked the sag, but there is more to suspension work than setting the sag. Have you ever had your forks serviced? May be time for a fluid change and new springs.

http://www.roadracinghelp.com/Start.htm

Try this site, you can ship your shocks and fork to him and he will set it up the way it needs to be. He adjusted the suspension on my 6r.

Actually, no I haven't had any adjustments done to the bike since I got it. I just asked a few people including my mechanic about the suspension being set up right for my weight, and most seemed to agree that it was fine, but not that it was at its optimal performance level.

Other than the micron pipe, the bike is completely stock and as far as I know, has not had any maitenance done to the springs or fork oil. I got the bike with 3900 miles and I doubt that any of this was done before that, the guy was an easy/cruise around type of guy anyways, not the type whose interested in taking turns faster. Now the bike has almost 15k on it, what is the interval that springs and oil should be changed? After my upcoming tune up at 15k, which is just a couple of hundred more miles, I will work on setting up another appointment for the shocks to be looked at. I have confidence when cornering with it but sometimes it feels like it bounces a little to the side or becomes a little bit upset under hard turning.


I have never done a track day, but I'm absolutely dying to. My current job situation/lack of health insurance make it rather difficult to get in on some good track day time, but I will definitely within the next couple of years.
 

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Originally posted by cyberdos
I think you should take a ride out to Washington Cycle Works in Jersey. Speak with Ron. He's a great guy and very rider friendly.

Speak with Ron. He's an expert in suspension. He wont steer you wrong.
[:+1]
Ron is the man. I'll be headed there next weekend.

Pic of my rear suspension.



 
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