04/05 ZX10R Ohlin Suspension issues - Kawasaki ZX-10R.net
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-11-2008, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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04/05 ZX10R Ohlin Suspension issues

Below is a portion of several e-mails to friends about my suspension issues on an 04 ZX10r with Ohlins front and rear.

The settings in my earlier e-mail below produce a very harsh ride indicative of to stiff rear suspension. While riding the bike at the Crest, I backed off the hydraulic preload which helped reduce the harshness - this is strange in itself as preload should not impact spring rate - "When you tighten the adjusting collar on a shock or increase the preload length by tightening the adjuster on the fork, you are indeed increasing the initial force exerted by the springs. This decreases sag, making the bike ride higher. It does not, however, increase the spring rate." See Technicalities: Spring Rate and Preload - http://www.sportrider.com/tech/146_9510_tech/index.html.

Rebound and damping settings were backed out considerably, past the half-way point, however the ride remained harsh in the rear, causing the front end to feel too soft and the bike wallowed a bit in the turns as when the bikes' suspension is out of balance. I could have increased the rebound and damping on the front end, but I believe my front end is close to ideal and I did not want to make the bike so stiff just to balance the bike for a too stiff rear suspension.

To review, I changed from .75 spring with 11mm of installed preload to a 9.0 spring with 8.5mm of installed preload. The 9.0 spring with zero hydraulic preload dialed in had a bike sag of 16mm and rider sag of 36mm. For the record, Dan Kyle Racing and PPS (Stig) all state the .75 spring rate is too soft, yet so far has produced the best ride, however, it may be allowing too much squat at high speeds while on the gas. Another point I need to research further is the sag settings. Historically, and per the settings in Spring Rate and Preload article mentioned above, rear bike sag is 0-5 mm and the forks at 5 to 10 mm of sag. These figures are vastly different from the suggested settings in the Ohlin's manual of rear bike sag of 10 - 20 mm and fork bike sag of 15 to 30 mm. It should be noted the article referenced herein is from 1995, however, Sport Rider Magazine is a reputable source.

Here is an interesting excerpt from the article. "A few more measurements will show if your spring rates are in the ballpark. Set the sag to standard settings (see Technicalities, August '95) and then measure the "free sag." "Free sag" is the amount the bike settles under its own weight. Use exactly the same procedure as when checking static sag, but without the rider on board. Street and road race bikes require 0 to 5mm of free sag on the rear, but should not "top out" hard. "Topping out" occurs when the suspension extends to its limit. It should barely have enough force to top out without the rider on board. If it takes a lot of force to compress it at all, you can bet it needs a different spring. On the front, expect to see 5 to 10mm of free sag. When the static sag is correct and the free sag is less than the minimum recommended (e.g., it tops out hard), you need a heavier spring rate with less preload. A lighter spring is recommended when the free sag is more than the maximum recommended."

I believe I still need a lower spring rate as I don't think I should use less than 8.5mm of installed preload for the shock. The suggested Ohlin's setting for installed preload is 10 to 14mm with Mike at Dan Kyle saying to start as low as 8mm. I'm going to check with Stig at PPS on the suggested "installed preload" for the shock and both bike and rider sag settings.

The Forks

While they are very close, I will eventually try a set of .95 springs as I feel the forks may benefit from a very small reduction is spring rate - they are close and produce acceptable results now. Moving the forks down 12 mm (where they have been for a year or more) so the top of the forks are flush with the triple clamp (suggested setting from Ohlin's & Steve) produced a bike that is stable, but slow to turn and I will raise the forks in the triple clamp by 4 mm and go from there.

Bruce
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________

Tom:

I'll be trying a few things this weekend, but essentially I'm at ground zero once again.

The rear end

Initially I received my Ohlin's shock from Dan Kyle Racing with a .95 spring which is the suggested spring rate. This is confirmed with Ohlin's too. Unfortunately, this spring rate proved way to stiff and was a common complaint on the ZX10 boards. I purchased every spring from .90 to .7 and settled with the .75 rate, a rate by all accounts that was way too soft. This gave me a good ride, but the bike squatted to much in high speed turns while on the gas. I didn't realize it at the time, but I should have considered the "installed" preload of the spring. Ohlin's states the operating range is 10 to 14 mm with the sweet spot for most bikes at 12 to 14mm. When I checked the "installed" preload on the .75 spring, I was surprised it was 11mm - I thought it would have been much higher.
A call to Dan Kyle Racing confirmed the ZX10R is a difficult bike to setup, but he too had many discussions on the .95 spring being too stiff and suggested I play with a lower "installed" preload rate. I have set the "installed" preload at 9mm using the .90 spring which gave me a "free" or "bike" sag of 14mm, too much for sure. However, I dialed in some additional hydraulic preload to get a "free" or "bike" sag of 8mm and will eventually set the "rider" sage around 20 to 30mm. While this is outside the norm on "free" sag, my hope is the initial movement of the rear suspension will be softer with the .90 spring with a lower (9mm) "installed" preload, yet have the stiffer spring rate as the suspension is compressed at speed, especially turn 2 at Willow.

The forks

For my weight, Ohlin's states the ideal rate is a .95 spring rate as well. I took my springs to Stig at PPS to have them measured and they turned out to be 1.0. The forks feel fine and Mike at Dan Kyle Racing said the 04/05 ZX10R is front end heavy and he thought the 1.0 rate is fine. Mixing spring rates is common, so I'm going to get a set of .95 and .90 springs and mix and match them with my 1.0 springs to find an ideal spring rate in the future. For know, I'm going to use the 1.0 rate springs.
Unfortunately, by Dan Kyle Racing and Stig at PPS tell me the R&T Ohlin forks can benefit dramatically with the installation of the "superbike" valve kit and custom shim tuning. Without springs, this is about $675 to $725 - not cheap.

I have also moved the forks back down some 12mm in the triple clamps which is the recommendation of the Ohlin's mounting instructions and where another ride, Steve of the Armenian Mafia had his Ohlin forks at with good results as told by him. I personally think this setting is to conservative as most settings take into account litigation due to aggressive settings for street bikes. Most race shops run the bikes will less trail which as you know, can create headshakes, but allow for quick fast turn-ins.

Sag

I'm going to experiment for a "rider" sag of:

•Front 36mm to 40mm
•Rear 20mm to 30mm

Bruce

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post #2 of 10 Old 11-11-2008, 12:31 PM
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What is the issue with the ride being "harsh"? Is this on smooth or bumpy pavement? If you have someone hold the bike upright at a standstill, and jump up and down using both your legs and your arms so that the suspension is compressed and extended evenly at both ends, is the rear going down too slow (low speed compression damping) or coming up too slow (low speed rebound damping)?

Ride quality is normally mostly related to the damping settings rather than the spring rate, although obviously spring rates that are completely out of the ballpark will knock everything out of whack.

Keep in mind that the damping settings are only partially influenced by the "clicker" adjusters which are only fine-tuning the low-speed damping, unless you have a really expensive shock. Even on the shock with separate low-speed and high-speed adjusters, the high-speed adjuster only has limited capability. (Does your shock have separate high speed rebound damping adjustment?)

At some point, if you cannot get it the way you want it with the "clickers", you have to go into the shim stack and get it re-valved.


Helibars, MRA screen, Ohlins damper, reversed shift pattern, sorted suspension, braided lines, Michelin Pilot Power, all else stock 'coz it's fast enough!
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-11-2008, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your response, but I'm pretty much past your suggestions. I have had every spring from .7 to .95 and I'm running Ohlin's front and rear and have experimented with installed shock preload from 8 to 14 mm of installed preload and compared free and rider sag against known references. The question about ride harshness is even with the damping full out, the rear suspension is not traveling near its full range and the bike is not as stable as I like it with the stiffer springs above .8.0. I'm interested in others that have Ohlin R&T FG330 forks and an Ohlin 46PRXS shock and have an exceptional track setup.

I have several setups myself, but I'm looking for other setups to consider that may give me better front end grip in high speed sweeper, like turn 2 at Big Willow. I am sliding the front tire frequently on my entry into turn 2, and yes, I'm on the gas.

I'm working with Stig at PPS and have discussed this issue with Tige at CycleMall and Mike at Dan Kyle Racing. All these guys are great guys and I recommend any of them to any of you all.

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post #4 of 10 Old 11-11-2008, 06:12 PM
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Have they mucked around with the shim stacks inside the shock? If not, you may have to.

I am absolutely NOT the expert when things get that involved. What's inside the shock body is a mystery black box to me.


Helibars, MRA screen, Ohlins damper, reversed shift pattern, sorted suspension, braided lines, Michelin Pilot Power, all else stock 'coz it's fast enough!
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-11-2008, 11:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoFaster View Post
Have they mucked around with the shim stacks inside the shock? If not, you may have to.

I am absolutely NOT the expert when things get that involved. What's inside the shock body is a mystery black box to me.
my 25mm R&T tubes have been shortened per my suspension builder (Thermosman) is my hero.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-21-2009, 03:49 AM
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I've found ideal set up for track use for an 80kg rider these settings:
front FG330 PRELOAD:2 TURNS OUT from OHLINS setting
COMPR :+2 CLICKS ..........
REB +4 CLICKS ..........

Rear KA 345 PRELOAD:2 1/2 TURNS OUT
COMPR :STOCK
REB :STOCK CONCLUSION AFTER A YEARS FULL TRACK USE AND M A N Y M A N Y CHANGES IS THAT THESE SETTINGS ARE IDEAL!!
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-21-2009, 08:02 AM
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My Ohlins 46PRXLS was sent with the ideal spring for me according to Ohlins (210lbs = 9.5KG spring) and when I first got it in I set a rider sag of 27 mm and went for a scoot. The damping settings from Ohlins weren't even in the ballpark! The rear felt extremely harsh as if the spring was way too stiff for my weight so I got it back up on the stands and got to work.

These ZX10's have WAY stiff rebound! I left the sag at 37mm Front and 27mm Rear and backed off the rebound 3/4 of the way and increased compression 3/4 max. I'm now real close to where I want it to be and just need to do a bit of fine tuning. I thought these 10R's were compression heavy but not anymore it seems.

Sean

08 10R Pearl Wildfire Orange

Akra slip on W/Link Pipe, Ohlins R&T Forks, Ohlins 46PRXLS, Attack Rearsets, Guhl ECU Reflash, Ivan's Block Offs, Pazzo Levers, Goodridge Carbo Brake Lines, Vesrah RJL Pads, Riflemans 1/5 Throttle Insert, R & G Sliders & Engine Guards, Puig Z Screen, Puig Hugger, Evotech 1/4 turn gas cap

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post #8 of 10 Old 04-22-2009, 01:13 AM
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I agree 'bout harsh feeling.the most annoying was that the front (FG330) had a stiff rebound setting as stock,that opened my line.my opinion is to soften the fr.preload for more feedback while compression needed a little tweak..
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-22-2009, 03:57 AM
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IMO Ohlins specs way too heavy on spring rate for rear shock (TTX 36 ZX 10-R 08-09) or 46 Ohlins 04-06 zx10

on the street try front sag 37mm w/ .95 front springs 200-220 lb rider w/gear or track 35mm
Rear sag 31 mm w/ 9.0 rear spring 200-220 lb rider w/gear or track 29mm

try running front forks up + "2 mm in clamps" & try adjust "rear ride height" up + 3-4 mm

test running the adjusters for hs, ls, comp & reb towards the middle of adjustment range

run the chain adjustment a little bit on the looser side

hope this helps I have also had experiance working with both dan kyle & stig

there is hope for ZX10R suspension ! BUT sometimes getting suspension tuners to listen to you, can be very difficult at times !

Last edited by desertchecker; 04-22-2009 at 04:06 AM.
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-22-2009, 04:35 AM
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I've dropped the yoke 5mm(forks 5mm up),as for the rear it remains stock height 'cause i run a CONTI RACE ATTAC SLICK that is 190/60/17 that raises the rear a lot enough in accordance with the front.what it really works to ''soften'' the rear feel,is a longer chain so as the rear axle to extend to the rear..this modifies the angle the shock touches the swingarm.also,the mentioned me that what works FINE,is ZX-6R's 04' rear linkage(with dog bones).have u heared of it?
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