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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
So i've made a decision and bought myself a Gen4 ZX10R for racing (to replace my highly modified Gen3).
My new bike is pretty much stock. I bought it with like 8000km and an Akrapovic Slip-On. I added a Dynojet QS and a Genuine Kawasaki Racing ECU and harness (I also added engine protectors, race fairings, brake lines, Vesrah pads etc but that's not important for my issue at hand)
I only had one trackday event with it and I had a strange problem...
From the beginning I felt something strange with the front suspensions. The fact that I've decided to replace my Gen3 because of suspensions issues we couldn't figure out made me feel terrified (like "not again!")
Anyway, my mechanic and I set the sag to my weight and we tried all kind of suspensions settings without any luck, the problems didn't go away.
Now for the problem:
It seems the bike has problem standing up after leaning. Say I'm exiting a right hand corner into the main straight. The bike is going all the way to the left edge of the track like it should, but when it's time for it to stand up completely and run on the left track "shoulder", it doesn't. I kept finding my self doing S shapes on the main straight until managing to actually make it go straight. It also happened in a double apex corner when you have to pick it up a bit. It went too dip and instead of touching the second apex, my front wheel went from the inside of it over the dirt...I still don't know how I didn't crash.
My mechanic told me that he changed the fork oil before my trackday event so my guess is that maybe he made a mistake with the levels or used an incompatible oil for my bike.
I have another trackday in Greece next month and I would really appreciate any input you can provide.
I told my mechanic to change the oil again and put the stock one. He told me he will put Ohlins oil...
Does any of you familiar with this behavior? (of the bike, not my mechanic :) )
Is it possible that an incompatible oil will make the bike behave like this?
And last thing, Do you think I should put the Ohlins oil in my stock fork...?
Again, any help will be much appreciated !
Thanks !
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Come on guys :surprise:
Nobody here understands/knows how to troubleshoot suspensions issues...?
I'm sure at least one of you does... :)
Thanks !
 

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It's probably more that people don't want to go round & round with you trying to solve a problem that you aren't willing to fix properly. Stock suspension is built to a price point and is designed to haul 2 people.

Nobody that is serious races on stock suspension. It's not how you go fast and it's not safe. We upgrade suspension to aftermarket products to increase our margin of safety and margin of error allowing us to ride faster with less drama. The bike becomes more compliant and does what it is supposed to do making it both easier & safer to ride at elevated speeds. This not only benefits you, but the riders you are sharing the track with as well.

Additionally I don't think your suspension tuner has a clue in hell what he is doing. Ohlins oil is designed to work specifically with Ohlins valve specs. There is absolutely no reason why you would want to use Ohlins fork oil in a bike that does not have Ohlins parts installed. I'm not saying you cannot do it, but it just makes no sense and the chances of a 19cSt oil just randomly being beneficial to your OEM valving is slim at best.

Get a better tuner & get some decent suspension bits installed.
 

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I saved up for fgrt817 and TTX36mk2 for so long penny pinching focusing on Swedish legs to float my boat and got their eventually!


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There are many variables to get the bike working the way you want. Much is already up here on the site. For track daying you will get by with the stock suspension but the rear is crap, for racing, minimum is upgrade of the rear shock but consensus here is replace the rear link as well and set up rear shock with new link in mind.

The front end is quite good for OEM and some have just added some extra fork oil for racing purposes but then there are others that have gone with insert replacements to full fork replacements. Depends on what you want to do and how much money you want to throw at the bike for the results you want to obtain. Read up on what people have posted here for the Gen 4 and work out a plan from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
There are many variables to get the bike working the way you want. Much is already up here on the site. For track daying you will get by with the stock suspension but the rear is crap, for racing, minimum is upgrade of the rear shock but consensus here is replace the rear link as well and set up rear shock with new link in mind.

The front end is quite good for OEM and some have just added some extra fork oil for racing purposes but then there are others that have gone with insert replacements to full fork replacements. Depends on what you want to do and how much money you want to throw at the bike for the results you want to obtain. Read up on what people have posted here for the Gen 4 and work out a plan from there.
It's probably more that people don't want to go round & round with you trying to solve a problem that you aren't willing to fix properly. Stock suspension is built to a price point and is designed to haul 2 people.

Nobody that is serious races on stock suspension. It's not how you go fast and it's not safe. We upgrade suspension to aftermarket products to increase our margin of safety and margin of error allowing us to ride faster with less drama. The bike becomes more compliant and does what it is supposed to do making it both easier & safer to ride at elevated speeds. This not only benefits you, but the riders you are sharing the track with as well.

Additionally I don't think your suspension tuner has a clue in hell what he is doing. Ohlins oil is designed to work specifically with Ohlins valve specs. There is absolutely no reason why you would want to use Ohlins fork oil in a bike that does not have Ohlins parts installed. I'm not saying you cannot do it, but it just makes no sense and the chances of a 19cSt oil just randomly being beneficial to your OEM valving is slim at best.

Get a better tuner & get some decent suspension bits installed.
I was actually looking to get help understanding the behavior of my bike and suspensions and maybe do a little troubleshoot...didn't mean to go out and spend 2000EUR on suspensions :)
Look, I'm doind 2, maybe 3 trackdays a YEAR, so I think going with full Ohlins is not the best thing for me, not right now anyway.
I've tried my friend's Gen4, all stock, and it was amazing! That's why I got myself one to replace my Gen3.
The stock suspensions are fine at the moment, I can shave a few more seconds with them without any dramas or risk. I just need to understand what's wrong with the suspensions setup and fix it.
I got an answer on a different forum with an explanation of what could be the problem, he said that "the front is oversprung and underdamped and the rear is the opposite"...I will have to ask him, or you guys, to explain what it means though :)
Regarding the oil, do you think the stock oil or one that was designed for racing purposes will make the suspensions work better than with the Ohlins one?
One more thing, can you please explain what are the benefits of changing the rear link? never really understood the reasons...
Thanks !
 

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I was actually looking to get help understanding the behavior of my bike and suspensions and maybe do a little troubleshoot...didn't mean to go out and spend 2000EUR on suspensions :)
Look, I'm doind 2, maybe 3 trackdays a YEAR, so I think going with full Ohlins is not the best thing for me, not right now anyway.
I've tried my friend's Gen4, all stock, and it was amazing! That's why I got myself one to replace my Gen3.
The stock suspensions are fine at the moment, I can shave a few more seconds with them without any dramas or risk. I just need to understand what's wrong with the suspensions setup and fix it.
I got an answer on a different forum with an explanation of what could be the problem, he said that "the front is oversprung and underdamped and the rear is the opposite"...I will have to ask him, or you guys, to explain what it means though :)
Regarding the oil, do you think the stock oil or one that was designed for racing purposes will make the suspensions work better than with the Ohlins one?
One more thing, can you please explain what are the benefits of changing the rear link? never really understood the reasons...
Thanks !

This is exactly what I meant by nobody wants to go round & round with you. You are asking the same thing again when the answer is already right in front of you. What's worse is you ask specifically for advice from "racers" then immediately tell us you don't want that kind of advice because you are just doing the occasional trackday. Again, why nobody wants to really spend the time to help you, but I will give it one more go...

I already explained to you about the Ohlins fork oil... :rolleyes:

If your friends stock Gen4 was perfect handling and your Gen4 handles like shit then what is different? The work that was done by your suspension tuner?

If you really want us to hold your hand through this then you will need to give us more info.
What are your current sag numbers?
How much preload did you dial in to get that rider sag?
How much do you weigh with or without gear?
What do you have the rebound and compression adjusters set to?
Have you adjusted the ride height of the front forks or shimmed the rear shock?
How much fork tube is showing above the top triple clamp?
How about your friends bike? How does his set-up differ from yours?
What oil level did your tuner put in your forks?
What oil did he use?

Without that info it would be total guesswork on anybody's part to try to help you properly and even with all those questions satisfactorily answered it will still be a difficult task without putting hands on the bike.

Here is the info you need on the proper way to work with a linkage although I am sure you won't take advantage of this level of information and instead will want to use some halfass idea of mixing and matching OEM parts from different bikes to basically find the cheapest possible improvement which also yields the smallest incremental benefit. Somebody else will have to give you that info, but if you want to know the correct and proven way to use a linkage here it is.
Gen 4 ZX-10R 5% Linear Race Link
 

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Like LDH said there are SO many variables that go into setting up the bike a bunch of information is needed. While I'm not saying your mechanic is incompetent, it sounds like he is over his head when it comes to suspension. It sounds like he is throwing everything at the board and seeing what sticks.

Do yourself a favor, find a reputable tuner at your track and work with him for the day. Give him your feedback, and let him adjust from there. You are looking for very specific results, and looking to multiple forums for answers is going to get you in trouble. For some reason you gave up a gen 3 to go with a gen 4 because of handling issues. A competent tuner will allow you to get results you're looking for regardless of the bike.
 

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Track days and racing are two different situations.

I track my current Gen 4 with stock suspension but with some dialing in. The Front you have to back off the comp and then adjust the rebound and dampening to suite. Try working from Kawasakis standard settings and tweaking them. With fork oil, one can try adding 10ml from standard fill line and dropping the forks to flush in the triple clamps.

With the rear, depends on what size rubber you are riding but I ride on 200/55 and have on the track rebound and dampening to half a click from full. Rear shock, shimmed 6mm. If replacing shock on the cheap with a new link, try a Gen 5 link and dog bone with Gen 4 bearings and a Gen 5 shock 2nd hand (info searchable here for details). You should be able to find that for well under $500. The Gen 5 link is linear as opposed to progressive like the Gen 4. The Gen 4 rear shock is a turd and at some stage needs to be replaced, I hope to do mine over the coming winter as I am having fun on track and want to tune the bike for it.

Also you can read up on LDH's thoughts at Rogue Racing, he knows a little about bikes ;)

Happy tuning ))
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
This is exactly what I meant by nobody wants to go round & round with you. You are asking the same thing again when the answer is already right in front of you. What's worse is you ask specifically for advice from "racers" then immediately tell us you don't want that kind of advice because you are just doing the occasional trackday. Again, why nobody wants to really spend the time to help you, but I will give it one more go...

I already explained to you about the Ohlins fork oil... :rolleyes:

If your friends stock Gen4 was perfect handling and your Gen4 handles like shit then what is different? The work that was done by your suspension tuner?

If you really want us to hold your hand through this then you will need to give us more info.
What are your current sag numbers?
How much preload did you dial in to get that rider sag?
How much do you weigh with or without gear?
What do you have the rebound and compression adjusters set to?
Have you adjusted the ride height of the front forks or shimmed the rear shock?
How much fork tube is showing above the top triple clamp?
How about your friends bike? How does his set-up differ from yours?
What oil level did your tuner put in your forks?
What oil did he use?

Without that info it would be total guesswork on anybody's part to try to help you properly and even with all those questions satisfactorily answered it will still be a difficult task without putting hands on the bike.

Here is the info you need on the proper way to work with a linkage although I am sure you won't take advantage of this level of information and instead will want to use some halfass idea of mixing and matching OEM parts from different bikes to basically find the cheapest possible improvement which also yields the smallest incremental benefit. Somebody else will have to give you that info, but if you want to know the correct and proven way to use a linkage here it is.
Gen 4 ZX-10R 5% Linear Race Link
First of all, I appreciate the time you took to answer me. Thanks for that. Now, please forgive me if I got it all wrong, maybe it's just me, but it seems like you are getting a little unpatient helping me.
Look, I live in Israel, we don't have racetracks here so every time I want to ride safely I have to fly to Europe, arrange a transport for my bike from Romania to wherever I'm going, book hotel, rent a car, pay for a mechanic etc...it cost a lot ! so putting Ohlins suspensions is a luxury I can't have right now. Trust me, I would give everything to have a 20K$ race bike with a decent mechanic and tuner but I can't. I've managed to find a mechanic who's willing to store my bike, provide transportation and help me during my free practice or race events so I can't be picky about it...
The situation I have just presented is also the reason why I can't answer the questions you asked right now as my bike is 1600km away. All I can say is that my weight it 74kg without gear, we did the sag thing and that we tried to match the setup on my bike exactly as on my friend's Gen4 and it didn't work. That's why I asked if the oil may has something to do with it. I don't know if the oil can cause these kind of problems.
There are a lot of articles online about suspensions symptoms and how to solve them. Unfortunately I couldn't find one that addressed my issues so I decided to ask you guys.
Maybe I wasn't clear with my question. You'll have to be a little more understanding as English isn't my native language. Sometimes I get all confused with technical terms about suspensions and such. Also, there is no information in Hebrew about this stuff.
I tried my best to describe what the bike is doing (or not doing) hoping to get an answer like "if the bike resist coming back to upright than usually it means you have too much rebound or too much compression etc".
The reason I asked for racers opinion is because racers understand suspensions symptoms and know how to address them better and more accurate than common street riders. I'm not saying I'm expecting to get my issues %100 solved here in this forum but I must try and get all the info I can, even if it will only be a starting point. I must do it before flying overseas just to realize the help I got wasn't accurate at all.
I think the reason to use a forum like this one is to share information so I didn't quite understand why you wrote that nobody want to spend time helping me...? I do race, but I can't afford replacing the suspensions or putting Brembo MC and rotors for that matter. Is that a reason not to try and help?
Anyway, like I wrote at the beginning, I really do appreciate your time and your help and I hope you can now understand what I have go through and how much I have to pay just to be able to ride my bike in a safe environment (a racetrack).
I will try to find more information about the linkage thing. I want to know if replacing mine to a linear one will do any noticeable different when using the stock suspensions.
If you can provide me with some basic information about the symptoms I described and how to address them it will be great. It will give us a starting point. Also, if you can recommend a decent fork oil to use with my stock suspensions it will be much appreciated.
thank you.
 

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I understand your predicament although bummer there are no tracks in Israel, would you not be able to visit the UAE with the bike and ride tracks there?

As for Racers and suspension settings, most will have ditched the stock suspension and will have no other advise for you other than the rear end of the bike is poor and to throw money into it with a replacement. You would be better looking at track day people who have had to deal with the same issues here even if they went to a track suspension specialist to help them dial it in. Of course, smaller countries including Finland do not have a wealth of specialists on standby at tracks to help out so like you we have to come here and research the info here and do trial and error.

My understanding of the Gen 4 ZX10R is that conventional sag settings are not effective. Now I used Sportbike Riders settings as a test baseline to start with and made a little adjustment for myself. Also, I am running a larger rear tyre (now a Bridgestone RS10 200/55) which will raise the rear end a little as well.

Do some searches on Sag for the Gen 4 and also shimming the rear shock which is a cost effective way to raise the rear end and get the standard suspension working a bit better. Some people also prefer adding links to the chain and running the rear wheel further out on the swingarm to give better stability but then there are others that prefer the stock chain length and the quicker change of direction. With the front end the consensus is the forks are good enough and to run them near flush in the tripple clamps.

unfortunately dialing in these bikes takes some trial and error based on what you want from them. No model is the same either and even the same model can be different depending on mods done and how it delivers power through the rev range etc.

Here is a good starting point
Suggested Sport Bike Motorcycle Suspension Settings | Sport Rider

Look under the zx10r and then see how you go, tweak based on how you feel the bike performs. Maybe run a little softer given your weight or if you download the Service Manual from here, check what it recommends for oil and the stock settings for suspension from Kawasaki and use them as a baseline.

This is also a good read on the Gen 4 for you with regards to suspension

http://www.zx-10r.net/forum/f23/anyone-have-some-suspension-geometry-advice-334210.html
 

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I was in a similar situation as you are now. I own a 08 GSXR 1000 for 7 years and have done a couple of track days and races in the past (2012). Last June, I converted to a track only bike and did about 12 track days with her. I had a high side and fortunately didn`t get hurt or seriously damaged the bike and although the tires were in the end of their lives, I think a good traction control might have saved my ass.

I started looking for a ZX-6R, but ended up making a good deal trading a Triumph Tiger Sport I had on a ZX-10R 2011.
Installed a Mechatronics Ohlins on the rear with 6mm washer and another 2mm on the shock adjuster (8mm total increase) and a pair Ohlins FGR 166 pressurized carts on the front. First time I rode the ZX I felt a night and day difference. It was like riding a 600 with lots of power and was able to do same personal best lap time I had on the Gixxer, which I took 6 months developing my skills and the bike itself, that had front and rear Racetech gold valves installed by a pro tuner.

Bottom line: on top of the dynamics improvement of the Gen4 over your current bike, you will have the extra safety counting on the good Kawasaki traction control system… go fot it!
 

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I was in a similar situation as you are now. I own a 08 GSXR 1000 for 7 years and have done a couple of track days and races in the past (2012). Last June, I converted to a track only bike and did about 12 track days with her. I had a high side and fortunately didn`t get hurt or seriously damaged the bike and although the tires were in the end of their lives, I think a good traction control might have saved my ass.

I started looking for a ZX-6R, but ended up making a good deal trading a Triumph Tiger Sport I had on a ZX-10R 2011.
Installed a Mechatronics Ohlins on the rear with 6mm washer and another 2mm on the shock adjuster (8mm total increase) and a pair Ohlins FGR 166 pressurized carts on the front. First time I rode the ZX I felt a night and day difference. It was like riding a 600 with lots of power and was able to do same personal best lap time I had on the Gixxer, which I took 6 months developing my skills and the bike itself, that had front and rear Racetech gold valves installed by a pro tuner.

Bottom line: on top of the dynamics improvement of the Gen4 over your current bike, you will have the extra safety counting on the good Kawasaki traction control system… go fot it!
i think I confused both your topics :|:|
 

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I run at the track. Replaced front and rear springs. Put Ohlins 30 cartridges in the front and Elka shock in the back. Huge different from stock. Have no clue to help stock set up as I got rid of it as soon as I could. Fast and stable in A and B group and I'm 71 years old.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
i think I confused both your topics :|:|
That's OK, I got the gist :)

I run at the track. Replaced front and rear springs. Put Ohlins 30 cartridges in the front and Elka shock in the back. Huge different from stock. Have no clue to help stock set up as I got rid of it as soon as I could. Fast and stable in A and B group and I'm 71 years old.
Wow ! I have more respect for you than to any rider I have ever known. Riding a sport bike at 71 years of age is amazing.
I know a good suspension can make all the different, I hope I'll manage to do it someday soon...
Keep riding man, I think you'll inspire everyone who reads your post.

Anyway, thanks for all the help guys !
I actually managed to fix the problem buy servicing the front suspensions.
After it was done I managed to cut 3 second (!!) from my previous best lap time.
A month later I installed a rear Ohlins and 0.2 seconds were cut off again (and than a pretty fast low side).
Bottom line, the bike works OK now.
I had to fly 3 times to Europe in a 3 months period just to get it done but it is done.
I still have to put the correct spring on the Ohlins. I bought it from a friend with a 120 spring, my weight is 75kg so I think 90 or 105 spring will work better. not sure yet.
Thanks !
 

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That's OK, I got the gist :)



Wow ! I have more respect for you than to any rider I have ever known. Riding a sport bike at 71 years of age is amazing.
I know a good suspension can make all the different, I hope I'll manage to do it someday soon...
Keep riding man, I think you'll inspire everyone who reads your post.

Anyway, thanks for all the help guys !
I actually managed to fix the problem buy servicing the front suspensions.
After it was done I managed to cut 3 second (!!) from my previous best lap time.
A month later I installed a rear Ohlins and 0.2 seconds were cut off again (and than a pretty fast low side).
Bottom line, the bike works OK now.
I had to fly 3 times to Europe in a 3 months period just to get it done but it is done.
I still have to put the correct spring on the Ohlins. I bought it from a friend with a 120 spring, my weight is 75kg so I think 90 or 105 spring will work better. not sure yet.
Thanks !
Regarding Ohlins rear spring, I am 81kg and ride a 115 spring on my rear mechatronics Ohlins. With stock linkage, don't think you should go less than 110.

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Regarding Ohlins rear spring, I am 81kg and ride a 115 spring on my rear mechatronics Ohlins. With stock linkage, don't think you should go less than 110.

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What is your race sag? What is your free sag? That will tell you if you have the correct spring. Sounds stiff to me. I'm 170 lbs and I am running a 100 spring with 30mm rear sag and 12 mm free sag. The shock and spring feel great. A group pace.
 
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