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Finally upgraded from that old CBR eh? I battled with you a lot last year on my zx10 and I think (probably already know already) that you'll really enjoy this bike. I ran the stock suspension all last year and honestly probably had no need to upgrade but I did switch it this winter. Looking forward to racing with you whenever I can get with the expert pack!

Kyle
Amateur #97(still stuck with yellow plates)
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Do you have any ideas for stock suspension setup for track day use? My pace is currently at the bottom of the fast group and I weigh without the gear around 205-210 lbs.
I am still having issues getting my bike to turn, but there are a few things I can advise,

Lift the rear. There are shim kits available to put between the upper rear shock clevis mount and the frame. Tank has to come off but pretty simple to do and you don’t even have to remove the shock.

Drop the front. I’ve seen 8mm recommended. With both the front and rear I’d go a bit at a time until you run into instability.

Get a real steering damper. The stock one may be okay for the street but for the track it’s too weak. Especially when you start getting aggressive with the chassis setup. A fellow on here makes a piece to make the stock damper much better. It’s less expensive than a new damper. Give it a look.

The rear shock - The short answer here is to get an Öhlins. The longer answer is that IMHO the rear shock is a decent unit held back by some design flaws. I tore mine down completely and reassembled it. Here is what I found

1) It is an absolute bear to get it apart. Even with the proper tools it is rediculas. Obviously they didn’t have tear down and revalving in mind when they designed it. It can be done, I did it, but it is stupid.

2) There was air in the shock from the factory! This is bad bad bad. I have no idea if this is common or not but this shock only had a couple hundred miles on it.

3) The valving seems to be too stiff. When I compare it to my Öhlins it seems to be much stiffer both in comp and reb.

4) No one makes custom valving for it. I took note of the valving in mine but short of experimenting you’re completely on your own.

5) The rear spring preload adjustment is just dumb. Hammer and a long chisel/screw driver? Crazy stupid.

You put that all together and you have a recipe for just getting a race shock. The Öhlins has a major advantage with the hydraulic preload adjustment. That alone makes it worth the price of admission. Add in available valving advice and the fact that it is made to be serviced (all be it with some special tools) and there just isn’t much reason to keep the stock shock.

One last piece of advice I can give you, is, have someone at the track dial it all in for you. I’d do all of the above myself, shock, ride height, and then have them do your “Baseline and sag”.

HTH


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OEM shock is decent enough up to a certain point. Many people who ride track, especially in A group typically upgrade the shock first and forks later. Although forks are good enough for much higher pace than what OEM shock can sustain. If you think about it, OEM shock is more setup for street and 2-up rides so it's not exactly track track-focused.

If you're interested but I have a sweet Penske shock I'm selling. It's more affordable than Ohlins and comes with several spring options. Would definitely be a step-up in your track setup.

Penske Triple Adjustable Shock Model: PRS 8760-A16 with 3 additional springs of different rates
8760 Series Triple Adjustable (Piggyback or Remote) | Penske Racing Shocks

Drop me a PM if interested.
 

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I went with the Ohlins front and rear. I also raised both the front and rear. *installed Q4 tires and now this bike is razor sharp, stable and has amazing leaned over side grip. I'm actually happy with the stock damper unit. Seems good on and off the track.

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+1 on raising the front and rear. I have the fork extension kit from TSE and the Ohlins rear shock shimmed up. Bike turns fantastic!
 

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Great thread, I'm busy doing my conversion now ie road to track. My plans are pretty much the same as you guys, plus I also have the issues regarding all that wiring on the fairings plus that EECS charcoal cannister on the right side
I picked up a 2nd hand KTec shock. Does anybody have experience with these here .. ie I assume they need to be raised/shimmed as well ? What amount ?
I will just run stock forks but plan on getting them re valved and sprung with Ohlins.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Raising the front? Hmmm, definitely haven't tried that. What is the advantage here? I thought Lowering the front was the companion to raising the rear, giving you steeper rake and less trail? Raising both also raises the COG. Like I said though, getting my bike to turn isn't as easy as I'd like so...

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I'm not the geometry expert but it's about the best compromise of swing arm angle, rake and trail. Depending on the model / year, you may also gain some lean angle before hard parts drag when you raise the bike. And don't overlook your tire diameter in this equation - some rears are 15-20 mm taller than others.
 

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Raising the front? Hmmm, definitely haven't tried that. What is the advantage here? I thought Lowering the front was the companion to raising the rear, giving you steeper rake and less trail? Raising both also raises the COG. Like I said though, getting my bike to turn isn't as easy as I'd like so...

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A lot of the reading I've been doing is that the solution to the heavy front issue on these bikes is to drop the forks through until flush with the triple. I can't comment if it works as I'm still in the build process. Evidently, with the 200/55 - forks flush, rear up 5-8mm. With 200/60 drop rear back down.
 

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Honestly, I'm pretty dumb when it comes to suspension! I have trusted in TSE for many years and they have always been great. I'm certainly not the fasted guy, and they are not the only suspension tuners out there, but everytime they mess with my bike it always feel better. I have them refresh the shock and forks every year so I know the suspension is always in better shape than I am. They recommend the front end extension from working with fast guys (low 1:10's at Blackhawk) , so I said "what the hell!" and had them do mine too.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
The TSE people are always really nice at the track. If I break down and pay the pro, they will likely be my 1st choice.

The real issue is I'm just too damn cheap. Or, put another way, my budget is very small. I've broken down and paid for services but I will struggle mightily before I get to that point. Doing so has allowed me to do more with less and to learn a lot along the way. There is no question my life would be easier if I just paid the experts. The problem is, given the choice between not racing because I can't afford expert help, or racing and learning through trial and error and research, I'll choose the latter.

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