How does a track suspension set up perform on the street? - Kawasaki
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post #1 of 30 Old 06-18-2014, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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How does a track suspension set up perform on the street?

Hi all,

This is more a genearal ride impression question so I thought it more appropo here than in the suspension & tech area.

I'm a track virgin (hence my ignoriance of this topic) but have been riding for about 15 years on various sport bikes. I currently commute on my 4th gen. I'm 180lbs without gear and often ride with 10-20lbs in a backpack.

I'm curious about how a bike with stock suspension but track settings would perform on the street. I'm interested in modifying my bike with the standard things like shimming the rear shock (raising the rear seems to be popular on the 4th gens), setting sag and fiddling with the fork and shock settings (stiffer) etc. I wouldn't be trying to set up my own suspension but would head to one of the local track focussed shops in my area for a set-up.

I'd like a more lively handling bike but I wonder if it'd make it too uncomfortable for city use or worse, dangerous on bumpy roads.

Can you guys provide some insight?

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post #2 of 30 Old 06-18-2014, 06:43 PM
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It depends on how stiff you set it up and what you're comfortable dealing with. I've had my gen 4 set up for A group track pace and can ride it just fine on the street. It's a bit harsh over bumps, but I back off on the street anyway. If I decided to rail a couple twisties once the suspension and pavement is warmed up she tracks well and gives me good grip and feedback. I even switched from Pirelli superbike PROS to Q3's and didn't change the settings. This is all because I was lazy and didn't want to write down the settings and worry about switching back and forth.

The better advice is to set sag for your weight, then adjust rebound and compression for the conditions, ie street or track.
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post #3 of 30 Old 06-18-2014, 08:14 PM
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saw ass over pot holes and uneven changes in surface.

fix = lift ass off seat, if vibration from foot pegs then add sole inserts to boots!

10 hour ride in 1 day from Sydney NSW to Brisbane QLD (1000km) on track suspension was fine and back 3 weeks later
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post #4 of 30 Old 06-19-2014, 04:09 AM
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What Animal said. My 10 is set up for the track. I have no issues at all on the street.

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post #5 of 30 Old 06-19-2014, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks fellas. Your insight is reassuring and I think I'll go ahead with at least the basic sag setting etc and get advice from the pro at the shop for further adjustments.

I've been reading up on the subject of suspension settings and another dimension that I''ve come across is proper settings for wet weather. I live in a particularly wet climate and I ride rain or shine. Heck, I'd even ridden my old R1 (very slowly) in snow/slush.

I read that wet weather usually dictates softer settings. Would I be compromising my safety if I have stiff settings? Has anybody ever done a track day in the rain?

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post #6 of 30 Old 06-19-2014, 01:01 PM
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I fell off on a track-day in the rain! Does that count?

Seriously, as I did most of my track days in England, riding in the rain was inevitable! I never bothered changing suspension setup when going from dry to wet, I just took it easier. Apart from the aforementioned case where I was chasing a buddy around the track and fell off!
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post #7 of 30 Old 06-19-2014, 05:10 PM
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No way could I ride my track setup on the street, it would knock my teeth out.

It really depends on your track pace and what components your running. If your changing springs and adjusting the clickers you should be ok and can always adjust it for whichever type of riding your doing. Just make sure to take some notes.
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post #8 of 30 Old 07-23-2014, 08:39 PM
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I usually don't use my track bike in the street. For one its not legal another is not very comfortable, suspension are to stiff.
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post #9 of 30 Old 07-23-2014, 09:24 PM
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What the op is speaking of is the wrong terminology. In a sense what he meant to say is would setting my bike up to gain performance on the street affect the over all ride negatively ?

Like others have said it totally depends on what your doing. You're not setting youre bike up for the track because you're not going to the track. Every track requires different setting, preference, pace oriented, tire oriented, power etc. There are so many variables to say "track" setup is to vague. But when said most would assume generally stiffer adjustments. Whoever you take your bike to can only properly set your sag which will only improve your bikes handling positively in all circumstances; Be it performance or cruising. All the other rebound/compression/ride height/spring rate are pretty preference based and dependent on you're bikes setup you're riding style, and track/road conditions.

As for wet weather riding, as long as you have good tires its all on you. If you cant feel what the tires are telling you, then you shouldn't be out in weather anyways. No matter how stiff something is you can feel it and adapt accordingly when you're an experienced rider. Now that doesn't mean one should just hop on their track bike in a rain storm that's setup for warm weather smooth track conditions because their capable of it. There is no certain setup or numbers that universally work for everyone, you have to find what works for you. Watch some Dave moss videos on youtube, you can learn a lot. Small adjustments make huge differences, don't be shy to experiment. Have fun, learn, enjoy.
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post #10 of 30 Old 10-28-2014, 05:12 AM
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Im glad i found this posting just brought a shit load on Gold bouncy bits for my kawa too.
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