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Fancy shocks for road riding

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B0ndy
Trackday Trickster



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PostPosted: 22:29 - 12 Jan 2018    Post subject: Fancy shocks for road riding Reply with quote

Is it worth forking out ( Rolling Eyes ) for an expensive rear shock if you're just going to do road riding?

I had a go of my boss' ZX9 last year which had an ohlins shock and was really surprised at how well it handled compared to my ZX6 (essentially same OEM shock), now considering getting one for my ZX6.

Guess it varies on a per bike basis, if the manufacturer cheaped out on the rear shock etc..
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Itchy
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PostPosted: 22:38 - 12 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not really.

My CBR has a WP shock. It was very expensive. It also had a new set of springs on the front forks.

It handles very well on the A675 and the Snake.

For normal day to day riding it feels like a hard tail as the cracked, pot hole filled bumpy as hell roads goes right through you.

It also stands a lot straighter so it doesn't feel as secure on the side stand...

Then again I'm one of those people who gets the suspension set up for my weight and leaves it alone.
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Bozzy.
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Joined: 07 Aug 2017
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PostPosted: 22:52 - 12 Jan 2018    Post subject: Re: Fancy shocks for road riding Reply with quote

B0ndy wrote:
Is it worth forking out ( Rolling Eyes ) for an expensive rear shock if you're just going to do road riding?

I had a go of my boss' ZX9 last year which had an ohlins shock and was really surprised at how well it handled compared to my ZX6 (essentially same OEM shock), now considering getting one for my ZX6.

Guess it varies on a per bike basis, if the manufacturer cheaped out on the rear shock etc..


Have you had your current shock set up for you? I had mine done for £40 and it was well worth it. If you’ve not had yours done, it might be worth having it done before shelling out £xxx’s on a new shock you may not actually benefit from.
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Ste
Not Work Safe



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PostPosted: 22:53 - 12 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

The OEM shock on your ZX6R is 17 or 18 years old... the Ohlins on the ZX9R isn't so old?
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Bikeless
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Joined: 27 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: 23:54 - 12 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends how hard you ride,to be fair if your pushing the limits of good condition stock suspension then you might want to take up track riding.
I've had forks done before because they always felt too soft on Honda's.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 13:14 - 13 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think so. As well as making for better control on the fast, twisty stuff, good quality, well set up suspension makes for a safer ride on today's bumpy, potholed roads imo.

I spent most of my biking life just getting along with whatever suspension came on the bikes I had. Didn't even tweak the settings on most of them. I still had fun, but it wasn't until I got my Fazer's suspension upgraded that I realised what I had missed out on, and I've had more sports-focussed bikes than this in the past. Doing the mods I have done have been little less than a revelation in handling, but also in comfort and, I firmly believe, safety.

I guess it will depend somewhat on how much of an upgrade you do. If you're currently running tired old stock suspension, even just new standard fare will be a considerable improvement, but to go from there to something of real quality, properly set up, will be nothing short of astounding.

Just because you only ride on the road doesn't mean you should think it a waste of money. As I said, I think it improves things from a safety aspect too, as the bike will handle rough surfaces etc much better if you get it right, and it will be less flustered when you are pushing it on your favourite stretch of winding lanes, without the worry of things getting out of hand when you hit a rough patch whilst committed to a fast bend.
That's what I have found with the mods I have done to mine anyway, and the original suspension really wasn't that bad from the average road rider's point of view.

I would also say it depends also on how much you otherwise like the bike you are currently riding. No point in throwing money at something you're not going to keep long term. It took me 4 of the current model that I own to decide it was worth the expense.
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NeverAgain
Renault 5 Driver



Joined: 29 Oct 2016
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PostPosted: 13:14 - 13 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

More importantly, Ohlins etc can be rebuilt and feel new again. Makes more day and night difference than the performance element in my opinion.
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stinkwheel
Bovine Proctologist



Joined: 12 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: 16:27 - 13 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. Makes a huge difference.

I replaced the 20 year old Showa my VFR came with with a Wilbers shock and it transformed the bike. Contrary to what itchy found, I found it made the bike both better handling AND more comfortable for day to day riding. Because it has adequate damping, you can run it quite a bit softer and still keep the wheel on the road.

While Ohlins are pretty much the market leader for suspension, there are other makes to consider. Wilbers, for example, are a lot cheaper than Ohlins.
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Enduro Numpty
Could Be A Chat Bot



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PostPosted: 17:24 - 13 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's very much worth doing. Fitting a Wilbers shock on my FJR has vastly improved the bike for solo riding and given me enough easy adjustment for carrying a passenger and luggage. Standard shock wasn't that bad but replacement is so much better

Riding offroad for years showed me just how important well sorted suspension is. Very few of the guys I raced with talked about more power. Suspension tweeks and improvements were always what made for quicker times.
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supZ
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PostPosted: 18:51 - 13 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suspension is probably the most worthwhile mod you can do to your bike. The difference is night and day.

I don't mean going out and buying some silly expensive shocks either.

You can get pretty much all OEM shocks re-conditioned, resprung and setup and it'll make the world of difference.

Talk to http://www.mctsuspension.co.uk/Home.html and they'll give you all the advice you'll need.

Had my CBR600 steelie trackbike setup by them and it was like a new bike.. amazing. I sent the forks and shock off to them, they changed the oil, spring rates, changed the settings based on my details, added a schrader value to the rear shock and freshened that up and sent it all back. I just bolted everything back on and off I went.

Had the same done on my 954 blade (road bike). It's soo worthwhile.

Actually had some problems with my blade as I wanted slightly softer suspension so had to send them back again for a softer spring but they did it without any problems at all.

Another good place, depending on your location is http://pdq1.com/ . I've had my suspension setup by them as well in the past as they're close to me and they've been great too. Gave my new 600RR race bike a great going over to figure out some fueling issues and redid the suspension.

Can't fault either company.
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G
The Voice of Reason



Joined: 02 Feb 2002
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PostPosted: 19:28 - 13 Jan 2018    Post subject: Re: Fancy shocks for road riding Reply with quote

Have you got your current suspension setup for your weight and intended riding style?

Also - you may be able to get your original shock revalved and resprung for less with 'good enough for the road' results.
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AshWebster
Brolly Dolly



Joined: 05 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: 11:50 - 15 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

my car has Ohlins and they're the shit, honestly go invest in some...
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Fizzer Thou
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PostPosted: 21:28 - 15 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

The EMC 'Race' shock that I fitted to my Exup1000 was supposed to be 'plug and play' so to speak as I was assured that it was set up that way.It was anything but...as well as being unserviceable once it had popped its seal on the main shaft while riding the A272.Once I had replaced it with an Ohlins the difference was night and day.So much easier to set up.

So I bought an Ohlins for my enduro race bike as the rebound damping adjuster on the OEM XR400R shock had been seized since the day I bought the bike.To have the standard rear shock serviced would have cost the same as buying the better quality item at the time.Knowing that I had the serviceability of this shock made the purchase even more worthwhile,as well as allowing me to go 25 mph faster on the rough stuff Thumbs Up Smile Thumbs Up

When I first bought the 5JJ R1 it handled really badly.I changed the tyres from the OEM Metzeler MEZ1s which made it go around the twisty bits with some confidence.But using the standard settings as per the owners booklet still did not inspire me to push it more.After using the settings suggested in a 'Performance Bike' magazine booklet and then riding down to Tuscanny,it did feel 95% better when it was a gentle ride around the mountains,but once the pace heated up the OEM shock started to overheat.Once I had fitted a new Ohlins and adjusted it to how I feel it is a good as I am going to get it,again it is like night and day in comparison.

(The KTM enduro bike has WP as OEM front and back and while it is nowhere near 'Factory' in build quality or expense,they are rebuildable with many options available).
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chris-red
Have you considered a TDM?



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PostPosted: 11:47 - 16 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had my TDM set up properly to my weight. New front fork Springs re valved dampers and a wilbers shock made to my specs.

I had the work done at MCT, it was pissing down when I arrived to collect the bike. To set the scene, on the way we had to turn around twice because of floods. Laughing

When I got there darren the guy that sorted it said, take it for a spin see what you think, I wasn't keen I must admit it was shitting it down. Within 2 minutes I'd say I was ridden faster in the pissing rain than I ever had in damp weather before. It was an absolute revelation it felt so planted. It's hard to explain I didn't realise before that the bike wasn't planted. There was a patch of road nearby that I had ridden on the way down. It had a really crap surface and it had bounced me all about on the way to drop the bike off. When I went over it with the new suspension. It was so smooth the bike was softly moving up and down it was like being on a horse walking slowly on flat ground.

I did not know a bike could handle that well and be that smooth. It was almost boring there was no drama, it just took everything and it didn't feel like it was breaking a sweat.

The best way to put it was on knackered stock suspension I could push to it's limits and I had to fight it a bit. On the new stuff, I could ride faster and not push it at all.

After 30k miles it wasn't feeling quite as good so I sent it back for a refresh. In the mean time I fitted a stock shock off a crashed bike I had bought. The shock had less than 900 miles on it. It felt awful Laughing Do much worse than the tired wilbers unit. Really unresponsive and wallowly.


One thing I will say do not expect to throw a second hand shock at it and everything to be better.

A suspension set up is a job I personally would always give to the pros to do. You need to do both front and rear to make sure they work together.

I'd go back to MCT any day. It wasn't cheap however, I think my bill was about £700, Which is a lot to spent on a bike that at the time was probably only work £2k but I've had ~45k miles on extremely good suspension. I do not remotely regret it.
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