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Old 10-02-2009, 07:45 PM   #1
matemike
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Question Aftermarket Suspension

Can anyone enlighten me on this.
How beneficical is aftermarket suspension? For a faster intermediate track rider that is??? Just looking at Ohlin's rear shock absorbers. Would I need to consider upgrading the front as well? Or is replacing the rear enough? Thanks
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:01 PM   #2
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There are plenty of experts on this forum and they can give you technical information. I am a simpleton, but have Ohlins in the rear, and Race Tech in the front. You need both................
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:07 PM   #3
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What bike (Model and year) and how much do you weigh?

Some bikes have crappy factory suspension. Also, most bike's factory suspension is only good up to a certain weight. Depending on your speed and weight, you may be able to get away with only changing the spring rates.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:14 PM   #4
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For most riders, stock is fine as long as it's well maintained and in good overall condition.

Fresh fluids and being well adjusted can go a long way.

That said, I prefer the feel of aftermarket suspensions, but really that can be a personal preference and not a general rule.

Racetech components for instance can make a difference, and it may be as noticeable as night and day.

If you're referring to your GSXR, with mine, I had my suspension guy build the stock shock with a new spring (and some custom valving). I saved a ton of cabbage that way and I really enjoy it's performance too. This is after years of using Penske, Ohlins, Fox, and other brands of shocks.

For the front, I simply kept the stock springs (well, I bought some new springs but never installed them...) and he did the Racetech thing with some custom cartridge work. Again, they perform solidly and equal the best suspensions I've ever ridden (and bested most of them).

So, long story short, you can do wonders with stock suspension and a dood who knows WTF he's doing with it.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:15 PM   #5
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After market suspension is awesome! Although certain setups if not ridden hard enough will not feel rightt bc it only performs well when you ride faster. Talk to a couple of our sponsors and see what they recommend for YOU.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiayeman View Post
There are plenty of experts on this forum and they can give you technical information. I am a simpleton, but have Ohlins in the rear, and Race Tech in the front. You need both................
Yeah, but that's on a 2000 SV650.. You basically should do that just to make it a decent street bike. The rear shock has no damping adjustment, and some of the forks didn't even have preload adjustment.

Mike is riding a gsxr, shich comes from the factory with 10-times (or more!) better suspension than the SV's do. There's a lot that can be done with the factory pieces; remember they come set up from the factory for "average joe", not "180-lb fast intermediate pace track-only hard-on-the-brakes and like it on the softer side" kinda guy.
Revalve, Respring, play with your geometry. First step is to find a tire combination you are happy with and stick to it (that's one less variable).
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:57 PM   #7
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The best way I can sum up how riding on aftermarket suspension feels is like this:
It's the difference between a custom suit vs an off the rack suit.
Both are serviceable, but the best fit will be the custom one.

Stock suspension has to be a compromise to work with a variety of weight and uses of the same bike; one guy may ride 2 up mainly and sport tour, another guy may blast the twisties and only weigh 145.

Having your suspension built for your weight and riding style makes a significant difference on the way a bike feels.

The best you know is the best you've ridden.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:23 AM   #8
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Good information thus far from Patrick and Squanto.

If you could answer a couple of questions it will help. Which bike are you considering upgrading, what do you weigh, and what lap times are you running at TWS (Texas World Speedway) or MSRH?

-Curt
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:14 PM   #9
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So many answers to this question really...

Take this for what it's worth, but stock suspension can work just fine (especially for newer model bikes). Still, that being said, it can only be pushed/adjusted to a certain point and can eventually hold you back... but the question is, are you at that point yet? Are you a street rider that only hits the occasional track day or are you hitting as many track days as you can and taking your lap times with the hopes of making improvements each time you get to the track?

If you are planning to do a lot of track days and really work on getting faster and you said you are a faster intermediate level rider, the stock suspension could be fine... for now. Still, I would at least look at getting a rear shock then servicing your front forks while making sure sag numbers are good... then go from there. Like maxgs asked, lap times can be a good barometer here.

If you get a rear shock now and are planning to get your track addiction on, you know you have room to grow into it as you get fast + doing this will allow you to get a spring that matches your weight. If you only hit the occasional track day and your main focus is really street riding then I wouldn't spend the money.

As far as the front forks go, as long as you're not bottoming them out and/or not maxed out in your compression/rebound settings and you've serviced your forks, I would keep them as is. (again, lap times are a good barometer here too). Granted, you need to get your sag numbers checked to see if your spring rate is right.

My $.02
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:55 PM   #10
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If you're on the '07 GSXR (if that's the bike you're talking about), come ride my
'06 and see what you think of it.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:06 PM   #11
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I weigh 185lb w/o gear and on stock on my 06 gsxr750. Turned a decent lap times at all the tracks. If you are weighing the same, you don't need upgrade. Upgrade is always good if you have the cash, other than that more seat times is the way to go. Dr. Gonzo, is on stock suspension at the beginning of the year and look at his lap times.
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:42 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info so far folks...

Yes, it's the '07 GSXR 600 that I'm refering to
I weigh around 165 w/o gear on
I have turned 1:47's at MSRH...consistent with 1:49 and 1:50 though
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Old 10-03-2009, 04:00 PM   #13
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47's are good times for track guys like me. Racers are a lot faster of course. if you get to consistent 47's or so, suspension is probably a reasonable next step.
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