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Discussion Starter #1
So I've had my 17' 10R now for about 2.5 years. Prior to getting it I hadn't been on a liter bike since a smushed my '04 Liter Gixxer into itty bitty pieces in a pretty epic fail crash back in 06'. Then I was riding a good amount (aggressive street) with the occasional track day and felt pretty smooth and comfy on my lines and corner entries (with mistakes here and there - obviously why I smushed). I'm a tall chick (5'11) but then I was also skinny. Now because of age & wear and tear (lots of beer) on my old bum I'm up about 35 pounds on my weight sadly up to about 193. Since I got back in the saddle with this liter ZX I've noticed I feel generally less stable and less "in control" on my corner entries.

Now physics dictates a heavier load requires more energy management. Corner entry is all about energy management. I enter far better when I don't charge a corner and I'm properly trail braking but even then it just feels like it's "harder" and less in control. I do slow down when I get that feeling and I stopped trying to keep up with faster more skilled riding friends long ago so I'm not entirely without sense.

I described this to a local so called "expert" wanting to know If I needed to make changes to my suspension setup. He does own a race shop but is of questionable character lol, and his response was that the ZX-10R was designed for riders that weigh less then 180 and that I'm too heavy for the bike.

I asked if he was being a smart ass and he said he was dead serious.

What are ya'll experienced thoughts on this? If this is true, apart from definitely needing to loose weight in general, is there adjustments or mods I should add? I mean don't get me wrong, I of course understand that the most state of the art bike cannot compensate for poor technique. That being said I don't feel like I'm riding any different than I used to.

I guess the simple question I am asking is am I over the body weight threshold that allows me to utilize the full capability of what my bike can do paired with the appropriate amount of skill?

Even more simple..is my ass too fat for this bike and I should just buy a cruiser or hit the elliptical? :ROFLMAO:

I tried to look this up and found nothing.
 

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Well, I would tell you that the bike was deigned in Japan, built in Japan, with Japanese test riders and WSBK riders in mind. Most of the Jap riders weigh in at 180lbs soaking wet. So, yeah, the expert is referencing some legit values there. But, it's max weight capacity is for 2 people on it in street trim and that's upwards of 400 lbs. It's not optimum at that higher weight. Sounds like he just said it poorly. I would tell you it this way....

"In stock trim, the suspension doesn't have the adjustments in it to properly set the bike up for your riding style. There would some benefit from upgrading the suspension with springs and valving to take advantage of that extra traction you're getting with the added weight."
See what I did there? :p So I don't think it's a matter of being too heavy for the bike. It's a matter of not being able to optimize it for your intended purpose. And that's hard to judge not knowing at what level of skill you have on it. You can do lots of things to make it better. You need to decide what you want out of it. You can set it up to be better than it is within the constraints you have. Or you can throw time and money into it with parts to help you out more. Are you racing it on a track? If not, then don't worry too much about it and just enjoy the ride!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I would tell you that the bike was deigned in Japan, built in Japan, with Japanese test riders and WSBK riders in mind. Most of the Jap riders weigh in at 180lbs soaking wet. So, yeah, the expert is referencing some legit values there. But, it's max weight capacity is for 2 people on it in street trim and that's upwards of 400 lbs. It's not optimum at that higher weight. Sounds like he just said it poorly. I would tell you it this way....



See what I did there? :p So I don't think it's a matter of being too heavy for the bike. It's a matter of not being able to optimize it for your intended purpose. And that's hard to judge not knowing at what level of skill you have on it. You can do lots of things to make it better. You need to decide what you want out of it. You can set it up to be better than it is within the constraints you have. Or you can throw time and money into it with parts to help you out more. Are you racing it on a track? If not, then don't worry too much about it and just enjoy the ride!
Thank you, I figured something along those lines was going to be the case. I don't race, never will, too old and out of shape. But track days I want to get back into and that'll be on a dedicated track bike once I pay this one off.

Without upgrading my suspension do you have any suggestions on setup for a stock bike? I've never had more than a novice academic understanding of suspension settings (I certainly need to learn more about it) and I don't ever ride passengers (got rid of pax pegs and rear seat) and am a fairly aggressive street rider (drag knee on a rare occasion). This is my 5th sport bike, 2nd liter bike, started on mopeds 36 years ago, done about 10 track days, got bumped to expert twice (probably because everyone else sucked) - but that was years ago. Today I'd probably stay intermediate unless everyone at that track day was just stupid slow, lol.
 

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The gen 5 is spring pretty damn heavy in the front and this inknkw for sure. It almost seems optimized for a 210 lbs rider with the weight of the front spring. I'm not making this up either. There are a few threads on here about lighter riders wanting to get lighter springs but having difficulty finding them. I'm sure the finding them part has changed but the heavy spring has not. I'm 210 without gear and over 240 to 250 with gear and my backpack. Hell my airbag jacket weighed in at 17 lbs so that alone takes me to 230. I never had issues with cornering on my gen 5s and have had 3. The bike is longer than many other liter bikes for stability purposes so turn in can be a lil more work but mostly you just need to dial in your suspension settings and it can make a world of difference. Watch Dave moss tuning on YouTube. You can gain some very good insight
 

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Find a suspension guy to set your bike up....usually one at a track day....go to a track day, pay the admission fee and just get the bike set up. I had my whole suspension set up with springs, Ohlins cartridges and my bike still can handle any kind of terrain with my feet n the pegs, knee the side of the tank and my arm on the side of the tank...and I'm 74 years old...get some x lines from tech spec....will really hold your leg on the frame/tank.
 

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The gen 5 is spring pretty damn heavy in the front and this inknkw for sure. It almost seems optimized for a 210 lbs rider with the weight of the front spring. I'm not making this up either. There are a few threads on here about lighter riders wanting to get lighter springs but having difficulty finding them. I'm sure the finding them part has changed but the heavy spring has not. I'm 210 without gear and over 240 to 250 with gear and my backpack. Hell my airbag jacket weighed in at 17 lbs so that alone takes me to 230. I never had issues with cornering on my gen 5s and have had 3. The bike is longer than many other liter bikes for stability purposes so turn in can be a lil more work but mostly you just need to dial in your suspension settings and it can make a world of difference. Watch Dave moss tuning on YouTube. You can gain some very good insight
And by the same token, the shock spring is way too light for many riders 200+ lbs with gear. If you search the set-up threads, you'll see that many recommend getting a stiffer spring first. I just did that. Optimizing swing-arm angle is also mentioned but I haven't gone that far yet. It makes sense to avoid too much squat on exit which makes the front light and it pushes to the outside of the corner.
 

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Thank you, I figured something along those lines was going to be the case. I don't race, never will, too old and out of shape. But track days I want to get back into and that'll be on a dedicated track bike once I pay this one off.

Without upgrading my suspension do you have any suggestions on setup for a stock bike? I've never had more than a novice academic understanding of suspension settings (I certainly need to learn more about it) and I don't ever ride passengers (got rid of pax pegs and rear seat) and am a fairly aggressive street rider (drag knee on a rare occasion). This is my 5th sport bike, 2nd liter bike, started on mopeds 36 years ago, done about 10 track days, got bumped to expert twice (probably because everyone else sucked) - but that was years ago. Today I'd probably stay intermediate unless everyone at that track day was just stupid slow, lol.
There's nothing really to suggest as far as settings go on it. I'm no featherweight myself and I like it on the stiffer side of things (and that's not a reference to anything other than the suspension :ROFLMAO:). The biggest thing you should be worrying about is the static sag setting for it. Once you get that dialed in, you can start playing with the compression and rebound settings to help it feel like you want it to. I would also recommend shimming the rear shock mount which will steepen the rake and help it turn in a bit better. You don't want to get too crazy on it or it will become unstable.

The 5mm collar that is there already can be shimmed further. I'm 3mm over that for 8mm total on the shock collar. When referencing other threads on here, keep that in mind. Some people replace that collar with the specific shims and will give you the total height. It doesn't need to be much as the mechanical advantage of the linkages will make up for that.

445136
 

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^ What SkyDork said in the last comment. Im around 200lbs and you got to get the sag setup, the rear is pretty soft from the factory. Once thats good do the shim mod like he pictured, 5-8mm is what i liked (can use washers if you dont feel like ordering anything) After that the geometry is way better and probably how it was setup in testing with a tiny jockey on it. It will 100% fix your turn in problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
193 well within suspension parameters. So, where do you think the problem resides.
As nakedinseattle said..Probably between my ears.

From all the great replies here what it sounds like is that my additional weight has created a demand for adjustments to my riding style being the extra payload creates a condition that is less forgiving then when I was younger, lighter, in better shape and rode more often.

I don't think I'll add any shim as frankly, this being a street only bike, if I want that much more performance out of it then I'm probably hitting it too hard for the street and where I'm at skill level-wise now. I doubt I'll ever be as smooth or as fast as I was 14 years ago for the simple reason of I don't ride nearly as often as I used to. I suppose I was looking for excuses and the facts are I'm just way out of practice.
 

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I never did think the rear was too lightly sprung. Actually glad it isn't any stiffer. If you properly adjust the suspension settings in the front the rear won't squat too much coming out of corners. It is a tad bit slow to turn in but that was the intention of kawi. It was meant to increase stability. When your really on it with this bike it turns in just fine. You just need to be mindful of when you brake and when you give it throttle and it will play very nice
 

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I described this to a local so called "expert" wanting to know If I needed to make changes to my suspension setup. He does own a race shop...
well maybe hes a drag race "expert"... not a track day expert right? ;)

like others said, id pay to have an expert track rider setup/adjust the suspension settings for you, it would be worth the investment and youll probably learn a lot if he or she explains what theyre doing during each step.

if you bought the bike 2nd hand, one thing you can also try is setting all the suspension back to "stock" settings just to start from the proper baseline, because the prior owner might have changed things. the zx10r manual has all the factory settings, and also instructions on how to adjust everything either firmer or softer etc for each part of the suspension. when i got mine i reset everything to factory and then made it just a bit firmer all around, but its good to at least make sure that youre starting off from the default factory settings before you start changing things.

heres the PDF online with the suspension settings
 

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Discussion Starter #14
well maybe hes a drag race "expert"... not a track day expert right? ;)

like others said, id pay to have an expert track rider setup/adjust the suspension settings for you, it would be worth the investment and youll probably learn a lot if he or she explains what theyre doing during each step.

if you bought the bike 2nd hand, one thing you can also try is setting all the suspension back to "stock" settings just to start from the proper baseline, because the prior owner might have changed things. the zx10r manual has all the factory settings, and also instructions on how to adjust everything either firmer or softer etc for each part of the suspension. when i got mine i reset everything to factory and then made it just a bit firmer all around, but its good to at least make sure that youre starting off from the default factory settings before you start changing things.

heres the PDF online with the suspension settings
Thanks, I bough it new and have the manual. Somewhere I though I saw a chart that gave a good ref starting point and definitions of suspension set up. Clicks out vs clicks in, where stock would be etc. Anyone seen it? What to adjust based on how the bike was handling, that sort of thing.
 

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Thanks, I bough it new and have the manual. Somewhere I though I saw a chart that gave a good ref starting point and definitions of suspension set up. Clicks out vs clicks in, where stock would be etc. Anyone seen it? What to adjust based on how the bike was handling, that sort of thing.
Assuming since you bought new you have a gen 5, suspension chart is on page 166-167 in the manual, with more detailed info on 160-162. Stock front preload is 6 turns in. Rebound is 2.5 turns out, compression 3.5 turns out. Rear shock is 2.25 turns out for rebound and 1 turn out compression.
 

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You should absolutely have sag/rebound etc set for your weight, that takes about 5 minutes and $40 at a suspension guys tent at a track day. then go ride the track day and shake the rust off
 

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These newer bikes feel different from the older ones.

Are you riding as much as you used too back in '06? I've noticed a big difference from me riding now (after 2 years of not riding much, and now riding maybe once or twice a week) vs my younger light self who used to ride 30-60 miles every single day. If you ride daily, you sharpen all your skills and your comfort (especially with that specific bike that you now will know better) will greatly improve. Just saying.
 

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I know I do my damnedest to at least get on my bike and go somewhere every single day. I notice if I even take a few days off the bike seems a lot more of a handful than when I ride every day. But yes the gen 5 is way different than pretty much every other bike I have ridden as far as the ride feel goes. It doesn't always feel super confidence inspiring until you get it dialed in and even then it has its little quirks, you just learn what they are and how to read em and ride right through them.
 

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Set the rear shock with race sag of 30mm for street riding, then see what the static sag is after you are done. Race sag = you fully geared up on bike. Static sag = bike sag only. If you have 5-15mm static sag, you are in the ballpark for correct rear spring rate. If you end up with too little (-5mm) to no static sag, your spring is too light. If you end up with too much static sag 15mm +, your spring is too stiff. You are welcome......
 

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BTW, I am 175lbs no gear and I am running .95 springs in the front of my 2012 Zx10r and a 105 kg spring in the rear. Mid A group track foolio. King of Latigo Cyn Rd, Ha Ha Ha.
 
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