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Thread: Anybody upgraded their forks?

  1. #16
    Beer League Racer/Asshole Array SnoDragon's Avatar
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    I've got a Nitron on the back of my ZX-14R. Very nice bit of kit. Super happy with the shock itself. Just have to lower the rear ride height a bit, not so much for handling, which is great, but for sound ergonomics. I have a terrible buffeting issue from raising the rear height too much, and it has most certainly given me some hearing loss from it. I ride with plugs too. 10 of 10 would purchase again for any bike I ride.
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  3. #17
    Registered User Array bacchus40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighZoot View Post

    and like you said.. at the end of the day they are pretty much the same. but i prefer the niche bling.
    most of what i meant is regarding resale value and such.. i would say its always easier to sell an item which didnt cost as much

    I'm also taking into account the timing, its 2019 now.. 7 or 8 years ago it was a different story.
    this thread is merely 10 days old and look at how many posts there are noting 1st hand experience with Nitron.

    by the time OP actually decides to sell his Ohlins yellow, i bet those numbers will be way higher..

    and thats just ONE manufacturer, there are several players in the field now.. not just shocks but cartridge kits and complete aftermarket forks.i just dont think folks are sitting there typing Ohlins into the search field when they're looking for 'suspension'.. search criteria is too small for the current / future market..

    Ohlins themselves keep releasing new technology here and there and every time it seems they shit on their own past products.. thats a little odd to me.
    Last edited by bacchus40; 03-18-2019 at 11:06 PM.
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  4. #18
    track hack Array Young Lion's Avatar
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    In my experience suspension upgrades over top spec OEM stuff like on the OP's ZX10R are a funny thing.

    #1 - the Showa forks will quite likely work as well or BETTER than Ohlins stuff for 90% of the ride, and the Swedish bling will only noticeably outperform it under VERY abusive conditions like track days/racing/extremely fast riding on bad roads when stock stuff can get overwhelmed - the biggest upgrade top shelf boingers offer is consistency, followed closely by adjustability. High end OEM stuff is consistent until taken to a point like mentioned earlier, and also has adjustability however not as fine or wide of a range as aftermarket of course.

    #2 - the "Butt Dyno" effect we all fall for - aka put on a slip on and in some cases LOSE power or possibly only gain at the very top end yet ask the rider and he/she will swear up and down the bike is now an absolute beast compared to before. Afterall, all that extra noise MUST mean more power, right??? Suspension is similar, if we know we are on the best stuff then magically our minds tell us things like "wow it's soooo much more compliant" but a suspension dyno usually proves otherwise. Confidence is important so I do agree that in this regard it's a huge bonus. Every friend, fellow rider I've ever ridden with that upgrades their suspension has it set for them and then 99% of them never change it from that setting, rendering the adjustability upgrade useless. I'm the same - find a range that feels nice - donzo. At best I have a track setting then a street setting but that's about it.

    Bacchus mentions a Fork Piston Kit being all but useless - I used it to win a class championship in the U.S. and thought it was damn near on par with my Ohlins 25mm Cart Kit on my next bike after I sold that one.

    Also agree with the OP - I sold a bike with a Penske double clicker and GP Suspension FPK in the forks and both lower mainland riders who contacted me about it said "Man I wish it was Ohlins, it's the best you know!" LOLOL...

    (disclaimer - this is a TOTALLY different discussion when comparing lower spec OEM stuff and older machinery.)
    Last edited by Young Lion; 03-20-2019 at 08:24 PM.
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  6. #19
    Registered User Array bacchus40's Avatar
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    i agree with some of the comments above .. it is very true the placebo effect is in full effect with most of these things.

    folks i know who know their stuff went with cartridges due to ease of maintenance over their oem counterparts.

    and yes i think its absolutely hilarious everybody brags about adjust-ability this and range, options that..

    then the story reads : package arrived, drive it out to a shop where your bike awaits.. please install these and set it up for me.
    Thank you!!.. said shop NEVER hears from them again, except for fluid changes every two or three years...

    every single time, they just return click settings to where they were when 1st installed..
    I have actually enjoyed making little adjustments here n' there even when i've found a setting i'm happy with.

    I would suspect road riding could be a little different though as at the track you can depend on the riding surface more often than not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Young Lion View Post

    Bacchus mentions a Fork Piston Kit being all but useless - I used it to win a class championship in the U.S. and thought it was damn near on par with my Ohlins 25mm Cart Kit on my next bike after I sold that one.
    not exactly what i meant.. comments come from friends who own the EXACT same bike as I do and only RIDE TRACK!!
    which is to say, if you own an FPK Ohlins on another bike, maybe its not the exact same result? or maybe you riding
    against a weaker field ? LOL.. also, saying it was damn near on par with another bike's upgraded suspension,
    isnt really saying much. Another rider may feel slightly different should other variables also change.

    It seems different riders have varying opinions. i've been told said piston kit is great for the most part
    but wont stand up to higher end suspension outside of NOVICE group.

    meaning, THEY have personally found it let them down once they really started to push the bike.

    i dont do track days myself, for the ROAD i've found them to be just fine.

    i'm looking for Cartridges in an attempt to better match a proper aftermarket shock.. the only real
    issue i have with the re-worked (Race-Tech bits) oem shock is that it is NOT HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE.

    what this means is if i want to adjust ride height i need to use a combination of shims vs adjusting my variable length linkage.

    If i do ALL the required adjustment purely using the linkage, wheel base gets affected a bit more than I am comfortable with.

    Having an aftermarket shock which offers the above adjust-ability on the fly is what i'm after personally, also the oem shock is a PITA to service..
    Last edited by bacchus40; 03-20-2019 at 11:27 PM.
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  7. #20
    Registered User Array Porschenut's Avatar
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    I'll be honest about my riding abilities and say they are simply average at best. I definitely lack confidence when fully leaned over from a big crash years ago so I'm hoping the placebo factor of Ohlins will be significant and give me some of the that back.

    I have absolutely zero complaints about the Showa BPF fork and my research backs it up as a really good fork out of the box.

  8. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnoDragon View Post
    I've got a Nitron on the back of my ZX-14R. Very nice bit of kit. Super happy with the shock itself. Just have to lower the rear ride height a bit, not so much for handling, which is great, but for sound ergonomics. I have a terrible buffeting issue from raising the rear height too much, and it has most certainly given me some hearing loss from it. I ride with plugs too. 10 of 10 would purchase again for any bike I ride.
    how did the bum end get so high? just the shock, or shock + 50 series tire?

  9. #22
    Original Pirate Material Array TMR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sAdam View Post
    how did the bum end get so high? just the shock, or shock + 50 series tire?

  10. #23
    Registered User Array bacchus40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porschenut View Post
    I'll be honest about my riding abilities and say they are simply average at best. I definitely lack confidence when fully leaned over from a big crash years ago so I'm hoping the placebo factor of Ohlins will be significant and give me some of the that back.
    set of carts for bling will do just fine for you..

    placebo effect will be out in full force, regardless of what the sticker says
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    Quote Originally Posted by Land Roving
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  11. #24
    Beer League Racer/Asshole Array SnoDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sAdam View Post
    how did the bum end get so high? just the shock, or shock + 50 series tire?
    The guy who originally ordered it, requested a 10mm longer shock, so the ride height was raised quite a bit from that. Side by side with a stock 14r, it looks like my tail section is almost 3" higher than the stock. Turns in super fast now though, and rarely drifts wide on fast corners.
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  12. #25
    Registered User Array bacchus40's Avatar
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    3 inches higher? yikes!! I play with mm's on the R1
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  13. #26
    Registered User Array HighZoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacchus40 View Post
    3 inches higher? yikes!! I play with mm's on the R1
    jack the shit up.. do it right.

  14. #27
    Registered User Array bacchus40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighZoot View Post
    jack the shit up.. do it right.
    its not a monster truck

    i think the tail end eds up being visually higher and it feels tall but the actual adjustment is a mere 7mm.

    i'm looking to raise the shock by about 3 mm so i can control wheel-base easier..
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  15. #28
    Registered User Array Porschenut's Avatar
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    3" higher sounds like an awful lot for 10mm of extra shock length. Surely there's something else going on there? Perhaps different links and dogbone?

    My Ohlins cartridges are sitting in a box in my garage but I just can't bring myself to take my front end apart to get them installed. I'm having too much fun with the bike lately and don't want the down time! Maybe I can get RMR to order my springs ahead of time just to get the ball rolling. I was gong to drop by to consult and order springs but he moved his shop way out into deepest Abbotsford so that makes it difficult to just drop by.

  16. #29
    Registered User Array bacchus40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porschenut View Post
    3" higher sounds like an awful lot for 10mm of extra shock length.
    this is what i was thinking as well, i just cant see it myself.. in so far as why its only a few mm's, the topic has been discussed at 'length' on the
    R1 forum as the 09-14 R1 improved a good deal once suspension was set up right.. not one single dude on there is running an extra 3"s on their shock..

    I do know some of the guys actually raised their forks a little, which meant they had to increase
    rear height further to keep the magic triangle, but i dont know if they required a special shock to achieve that.

    in fact , one of the reasons Ohlin's complete set of forks is what the big boys run, is because of the extender caps which are available.

    these allow you to raise the front end, adjustments are all done in mm's
    now ask me why i'm still on the fence regarding 'just a cartridge upgrade'



    Quote Originally Posted by Porschenut View Post
    My Ohlins cartridges are sitting in a box in my garage but I just can't bring myself to take my front end apart to get them installed. I'm having too much fun with the bike lately and don't want the down time! Maybe I can get RMR to order my springs ahead of time just to get the ball rolling. I was gong to drop by to consult and order springs but he moved his shop way out into deepest Abbotsford so that makes it difficult to just drop by.
    dude, seriously.. do yourself a favor and take care of it.. get 'er done

    I waited for no reason to do the valving on my R1, i slapped the springs on during a fluid swap 'cause it was quick and easy.

    once i got around to the FPK i realized it was bad idea to dick around, everything changed and I
    suddenly realized geometry adjustments were required to get the bike setup proper.

    The bike was a different animal over night and once i had my hands dirty, the tweaking / tuning really took off.

    its so damn worth it
    Last edited by bacchus40; 05-01-2019 at 12:02 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Land Roving
    Life is too short to own ugly motorcycles.

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