Newbie suspension help - Kawasaki ZX-10R.net
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-06-2012, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie suspension help

Let me preface this by saying that my new (to me) '05 10r is the first motorcycle that I've ever owned. That being said, I've been lurking motorcycle forums, working on a kz650 restore, and assisting friends with minor work. I do understand most of what I'm reading about when I find information, but I don't always find specifically what I need.

Givens:
I will be doing the majority of my riding in a straight line at 55-80mph. I am NOT an aggressive rider, I bought the 10r because I know I will never be able to outride its performance. I live in Michigan where the best of roads have fairly large "buckles" perpendicular to the direction of travel. I am 5'10 195lbs. TO the best of my knowledge, all suspension parts are factory stock. I have about 200 miles (laughable, I know) under my belt on this bike, and another 400 on a cbr600 F4I.

So on to possibly irritating newbie questions:
1) What and how can I adjust my suspension so I stop getting airborne in traffic?
2) What tips can the experienced owners offer to help me set my own suspension to a safe/enjoyable feel?
3) I find myself about 1-1.5" short in the inseam to place feet firmly without getting overly fresh with the tank. Do I risk boogering up a perfectly good seat with an amateur attempt at shaving, or risk ruining suspension geometry by lowering the actual bike?
4) Is there anything AT ALL in the suspension that can help with massive amounts of drifting in crosswinds/truck drafts? These are elements I must deal with on every ride with the wide open fields and massive trucking lane on my commute. I have had some serious pucker moments coming out from beside a truck to immediately be blown over the rumble strips on the other side.

Apologies for the long winded questions, but none of the people I get to see in person ride sportbikes, and I feel like there's a wealth of knowledge here if the right questions are asked.
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-06-2012, 08:54 PM
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When you know basicly nothing about bike.. i think you should see an expert in suspension to set it to your weight... suspension is what matter most on a bike..
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-06-2012, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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When you know basicly nothing about bike.. i think you should see an expert in suspension to set it to your weight... suspension is what matter most on a bike..
It's not that I know nothing. I came here to ask the people who I believe have probably learned how to do many things on their own. I'm sure I could go pay a professional large sums of money to do everything but ride it for me, but I don't really do that, and I don't believe it would benefit me. Don't think your opinion was not appreciated, as I did consider the same thing, I just want to do as much for MY bike as I can myself, even if it means asking some silly questions.
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-06-2012, 09:24 PM
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i know !! but i learned that suspension is almost a science by itshelf! here you can have ajust you bike for 50 $... but to learn to setup you suspension properly you need to have a pro explaining everything to you ( i install ohlin on my track bike last week and the guys spend 2 hours with me explaining how to setup everything... ) thats why im saying that!
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-07-2012, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Well, at the risk of sounding harsh, is there anyone who hasn't been drinking that's willing to chime in?
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-07-2012, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerod View Post
Well, at the risk of sounding harsh, is there anyone who hasn't been drinking that's willing to chime in?
I haven't had any yet tonight so I'll giver a go
If you have done any net searches at all on suspension the first thing you should see mentioned is sag. Adjusting sag can do a few things (like tell you if your springs are too hard or too soft), but the main points you want to accomplish are leaving some travel so the forks and shock can follow imperfections in the road and to help the bike to be balanced with you on it.

You really need two buddies to help you with this, one to take the measurements and notes and one to hold the bike upright with you on it. For a street ridden zx10r, you can use the sag numbers listed in the vid no problem. In the vid, he shows how to set rebound, compression is a little more of a personal choice. You may want to go firmer or softer but the ultimate goal is to get the front and the rear of the bike rising and falling in unison. This should help with one and two on your list.

05 ZX10r "the Mongrel": GP Suspension rebuilt forks, LE Penske double shock, 05-06 ZX6rr shock linkage, Brembo RCS MC, Nissin calipers (best mod for this bike!!!), Attack rearsets, Motion Pro Revolver throttle kit, ASV clutch lever, Champs sliders, smoked Zero Grav DB, Ti caliper bolts, CF fender, Renthal grips, Speedo healer, Maviryk MDA123 batt, Supersprox +3 520, That's it..... For now

190/55>190/50

Last edited by RPG76; 08-07-2012 at 11:22 PM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-08-2012, 01:50 AM
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Dave Moss is the man, a legend in suspension knowledge... However, you can set sag yourself given his vids, or go to a local trackday and have them set it for you for $40. Sportbiketracktime.com usually has suspension gurus. Or get in touch with sportbiketrackgear.com and they can direct you at a good suspension shop
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-08-2012, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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RPG76, I wish there was a rep button, because that was the kind of reply I was looking for. I'm at work, so I'll check out the video when I get out.
Until then, for my curiosity, will adjusting the sag properly also change my seat height? I'm just a little more on my toes than I'd like to be, especially walking it backwards into parking spaces.
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-08-2012, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerod View Post
RPG76, I wish there was a rep button, because that was the kind of reply I was looking for. I'm at work, so I'll check out the video when I get out.
Until then, for my curiosity, will adjusting the sag properly also change my seat height? I'm just a little more on my toes than I'd like to be, especially walking it backwards into parking spaces.
Well the 04-05 zx10 has pretty stiff springs, so it may change a little with the sag adjusted. It's probably just something you need to get used to.

05 ZX10r "the Mongrel": GP Suspension rebuilt forks, LE Penske double shock, 05-06 ZX6rr shock linkage, Brembo RCS MC, Nissin calipers (best mod for this bike!!!), Attack rearsets, Motion Pro Revolver throttle kit, ASV clutch lever, Champs sliders, smoked Zero Grav DB, Ti caliper bolts, CF fender, Renthal grips, Speedo healer, Maviryk MDA123 batt, Supersprox +3 520, That's it..... For now

190/55>190/50
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-09-2012, 05:24 AM
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As already said, there's no substitute for a proper set up starting with correct sag front and rear. That being said, I would first check your current settings with stock (handbook) and reset to stock if different. This may help on its own.

I'm lighter and shorter than you, but I found my gen1 OK with a tad less preload on the shock. You could try backing off all the preload on the front and about 3 turns less on the rear and see how that feels. The standard suspension is pretty stiff and reducing preload will help with this and also lower the bike slightly. This should give you a starting point, but ideally get someone help you set the sag at some point before messing with the damping.

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