General Discussion Anything SuperHawk Related

Share your suspension set up

Old 01-15-2019, 05:14 PM
Thread Starter
bigborer's Avatar
Join Date: May 2018
Location: EU
Posts: 71
bigborer is on a distinguished road
Share your suspension set up

Suspension tuning has this aura of mystic, as if it was some sort of black magic taught only to few selected shamans. The industry only has to benefit from this, and I know of guys who wouldn't even turn the preload half a turn, scared to death they will upset the "perfect" aka one size trying (and failing) to fit all balance of the OEM suspension.

Bottom line, there are springs, there is oil inside a tube, moving through holes, there are shims covering the holes, tires and pressure, and there are some other components affecting the functioning of the suspension (sprung and unsprung mass, chassis geometry, flexing of various parts, etc). In many cases, the so called "suspension specialists" are people barely qualified to install parts according to general charts made by others. In my area, the biggest (and most popular) suspension guys don't even own a damper dyno!

The absolute best means very expensive, light and precise parts and a team of engineers constantly doing adjustments for makings the suspension as good as possible for a very exact set of condition.

A street bike will never have "perfect" anything- as it has to cope with various conditions it will be a compromise, no matter what. Even more for a sport touring bike bordering on vintage, such as the VTR.

Regardless, there is still much room for improvement.

The main variables to be altered for a reasonable cost are:
-springs (rate)
-valve pistons (flow and low speed bypass for the compression one)
-valve shims (# and thickness)
-fork oil (thickness)
-tires and pressure

I've been researching for a while and the most common setups I've seen on forums for the VTR cartridges (they're also quite popular with VFR800 riders), for guys of reasonable weight is: 0.8 to 0.95kg/mm springs, gold valve pistons with c32 to c35 stacks on compression + 1 mm low speed bypass, stock or gold valve pistons with rH14 to rH17 on rebound, tapered rebound rods (though some advice against it), 14 to 18 cst oil. Some used showa 3 port pistons (the VTR has showa HMAS 4 port pistons with much less flow) claiming they give similar results to the race tech pistons. I've also seen a few HMAS ported allegedly to high flow. Also, some tried to finely polish all the moving parts, hoping to achieve less friction. However, there weren't too many follow-ups regarding the shim settings.

For rear, the most common setups seem to be f3/f4(i)/900rr/ shocks, mostly revalved (at unknown values), then ohlins shocks with stock valving, and 17-18kg/mm springs.

As long as it has the "right" tuning pretty much anything should yield the same results, apart from looks there's not much difference between say an entry level ohlins shock and an OEM fully adjustable shock.

It'd be interesting if members who tuned their VTR suspension (or know what they got installed) post:

-rider weight:
-riding style:
-average road condition:
-spring rate:
-front setup in detail (pistons, shims, springs, oil):
-rear setup in detail (pistons, shims, springs, oil):
-tires and pressure:
-any other comments and previous settings (any why you changed them):
bigborer is offline  
Old 01-19-2019, 08:10 AM
Senior Member
Back Marker
fabiostar's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 153
fabiostar is on a distinguished road
front i have 1997 blade forks running 8.5 k-tech springs and 10w oil running standard amount.

rear. penski shock, unknown spring weight, running 15mm static sag and as fast rebound as i can get away with, shock length set at 348mm.

rider weight 10 stone doing road riding and track days
fabiostar is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
Everything Else
10-13-2013 09:04 PM
Technical Discussion
04-25-2013 02:54 PM
Everything Else
07-28-2008 05:14 AM
Everything Else
04-20-2008 09:53 PM
04-02-2006 07:00 AM

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Share your suspension set up

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.