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New ohlins rear, advice for the front?

Old 10-08-2010, 01:59 PM
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New ohlins rear, advice for the front?

Ok i have ordered and received my new ohlins rear and will slot it all in this weekend weather permiting. But i need some better springs for the front. Any recomendations would be good as the standard springs compress right dwn when breaking hard into some of my fav corners on my fav roads, at this stage im just looking at a stiffer spring to help with botoming out and will replace more if needed after i see how the spring upgrade works out. BTW im about 300lbs naked (so you can see why i need better springs lol). I will also replace the fork oil with a 10wt to see how the combination of oil and new spring works before i go all out and make any radical changes to anything else...... so any recomendations for some better springs?????
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:20 PM
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You're at 300 and you aren't doing valves? Either you are cruising around or you will end up in ditch somewhere... Valving and springs need to be in balance...
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:26 PM
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Also find yourself a fork brace. But yes look into doing valving, it is the only way you will get the forks to work. The "band-aid" fix of using 10wt really won't do too much for you.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:48 PM
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You lost me at "300 lbs naked".
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
You're at 300 and you aren't doing valves? Either you are cruising around or you will end up in ditch somewhere... Valving and springs need to be in balance...

I will look at doing valves once i see how things are after the new springs and oil, and yes i ride not so hard out these days, except maby once in a while when im "in the zone" or on my favorite and very familiar roads. Most of the time im a good boy and stick to the speed limits etc , where the standard suspenders do just fine.... they even do an ok job at above the speed limit on the corners..... there just lacking somewhat on the familar roads where i tend to go a bit quicker than what is safe on the standard setup..... i dont do trackdays or race anymore so i dont need everything to be perfect...... just good
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
You're at 300 and you aren't doing valves? Either you are cruising around or you will end up in ditch somewhere... Valving and springs need to be in balance...
Fatsteve-

There is good advice in this! Making the springs stiffer will only exacerbate the problem. You need to have the correct valves to properly dampen the rebound or as Tweety says you'll end up ........
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by evines View Post
You lost me at "300 lbs naked".
+1
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Old 10-09-2010, 01:50 AM
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I got the rear ohlins put in this afternoon and spent about 2 hours tweeking the setings , wow what a great improvement over stock.

Well a bit of fun of my weight is ok..... i have broard sholders lol.
But dont be fooled by my size ..... even now i can show my tail light to lots of way younger would be racers. But i dont choose to go overly fast on public streets anymore, ive been there and done that at the track and have nothing to prove.

But not one recomendation of fork springs..... Thanks for the advice about valves etc , but i do have a clue what im doing..... ive owned more than 70 bikes more than 30 of them brought new, ive raced bikes for years on the local scene and done quite well... never a champ but still quite well.

The valving in the front is ok for my style of riding on the road....... due to my weight its the fork springs i need to upgrade..... why do more than you have to right..... even the best valve job in the world wont compensate for weak springs and it will still bottom out when breaking hard . Iv'e decided to get the original springs retentioned to a better value as i have a friend in the trade that will do it for me free...... if i still find them lacking i will look at aftermarket springs.
Thanks anyway for your kind suggestions.
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Old 10-09-2010, 02:11 AM
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it wasn't so much the weight, as the visual image I got from the whole phrase, "300 lbs NAKED". TMI, as my teenage daughter would say. No offense intended.
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Old 10-09-2010, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by afm528 View Post
it wasn't so much the weight, as the visual image I got from the whole phrase, "300 lbs NAKED". TMI, as my teenage daughter would say. No offense intended.

No offence taken
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:49 AM
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I think you misunderstood me... Making the springs harder and keeping the stock valving will work if you are slightly heavier than what the forks was built for... But in your case where the difference is that big (or mine at 220) the end result will be that it would have been better to leave it stock...

Mine felt like a damned pogo stick... bouncy-bouncy-wallow-wallow... Consider this... Stock springs and valves are for 100 lbs... You stick springs for 300 lbs in and they are 3 times stiffer... That's seriously unbalanced... Add heavier oil and you aren't changing the character of the valving, just slow it down (bad) and introduce the possibility of oil-lock, ie to fast movement for the oil, which can't keep up and the fork goes rigid in mid stroke... And trust me... That's when you end up in a ditch...

And like someone said... A brace is a very good idea...

As for springs... www.racetech.com sells both springs and valving kits for DIY...
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:18 AM
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Also Racetech's site has a calculator that lets you choose your bike & weight and it tells you the spring rate to get.

http://old.racetech.com/evalving/Spr...ork&bikeid=285

Last edited by lazn; 10-09-2010 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:30 PM
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Well don't take this wrong but it does seem a bit strange that you purchased the most expensive shock that you can find but then want to go cheap on the forks.

This just isn't the way to set up suspension. Do it right and get the front end squared away or like Tweety has said, the bike will try to tie itself into knots and will throw your *** in the ditch.
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:13 PM
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I never once said i wouldnt look at doing a valve kit and i more than likely will , bit im going to get the really obvious problem out of the way first...... the springs are really weak.
Let me ask you guys .... who on their standard shocks ,either front or rear has everything set to full hard or full soft on the spring or damper setings...... no one right. Its always something inbetween those extreme setings, and most pple can find some setting that works for them. The pple that build these bikes arnt stupid and if they were so bad the word would get around and no one would buy them because they dont want to spend lots of $$$ on their brand new bike replacing shocks etc. Fact is these bikes work very well for 99% of riders and do exactly what they are ment to do.
Yes i spent the $$$ and went and got an ohlins rear setup simply because i couldnt find any setings i was happy with, and no matter what i did the rear wanted to skip through corners and i was just not happy with it. But in saying that i was riding with my brother who is a great rider, he was on my Daytona and he couldnt hang with me through those corners even with my bad shocks...... so how bad are they really??? From what i can figure so far the ground clearance is the biggest problem if your riding in a sprited mannor, and iv'e pegged most of that on the front compressing to much from crappy springs, not valves that arnt reacting in good time. Im not saying the valves are great but there doing what they should , but the springs are not, so before i go tearing everything to bits and spending lots more loot, i will address what i perceive to be the problem and see how it feels after that. No im not trying to cut corners and believe me if i have to and my easy fix dosn't make things better then i will spend whatever i have to so it is.
Yesterday while i was dailing in the rear end i went for a ride with a mate of mine you might know....Aaron Slight..... hes not a bike racer anymore of course but he still likes to ride and after he had a quick ride he also pointed to the front springs as the first thing to look at.
After reading a lot of posts on this forum before i joined i know there is some really talented tuners here with a lot of knowledge on the VTR and i so do respect their advice, but there is one lesson i learned early on in life...... if it aint broke dont try and fix it.
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:08 PM
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Well as you have such a vast knowledge and such awesome mates and the factory would never put out parts that don't work for everyone, there is nothing I can do to help you with your situation.

Good luck and hope you get it to work.
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:20 PM
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Well, name dropping aside I'm getting a bit fed up with trying to explain a simple concept, so this is my last post in this thread...

Yes the springs are underdimensioned... And yes, the valves are doing their work... You are right on that part... One part where you are unconditionally wrong though from my point of view is on the part where you in your imaginary world think they will continue to do their work once you have changed the springs... It's not broken now, but it will be once you match 300 lbs springs with 100 lbs valving... Trust me... I'm just trying to save you the effort of rebuilding the forks twice... Or worst case scenario from hurting yourself...

Right now, the springs are too lightweight, so the fork compresses until the spring is riding on the heavier part (it's progressive) and the valving (or more importantly the shims) open enough to move the oil in a controlled fashion... The spring moves very little, and rather wallowy when it does... The fact that the valving is or isn't reacting in time to the movements now in stock form is about as relevant to this as the color of the sun... It has nothing to do with time... It has all to do with the fact that once the valve is pushed open, there are no more settings... It's either open or closed...

With harder springs, you get snappier movement... The spring isn't sitting half compressed to start with, it's instead moving dynamicly like it's supposed too... The result is that with a stock shimstack it will be more or less contantly open, flowing oil unhindered... Ie not a lot of control or dampning, in comparasion to the spring action... End result is that the fork goes boing-boing rather uncontrolled...

Then you add heavier oil to slow it down and you get an added "benefit" when moving really rapidly... The oil cant get through the valve fast enough even if the shimstack is fully open because of it's thickness... Oil-lock... That results in the fork becoming rigid like it has bottomed out in mid stroke...

If you take a fork dimensioned for 100 lbs and change the springs for say a 150 lbs rider the valving and shims are borderline but they will still work as they are supposed to... But go to 220 and they won't... I know that from experience... Heavier oil in combination with that makes them down right dangerous... I also know that from experience... I didn't end up lying in the ditch, but I did end up going grass tracking...

I think it's pretty cool that you got a guy like Aaron Slight for a riding partner... I'm a fan...

But disregarding that, I'm not going to try and judge Aarons knowledge of suspension setup, for all I know he might know a lot more than me... But the fact is that most of the great riders know squat about actual setup... They can give great feedback and together with their techs they can setup a bike like no-one else, but for actual knowledge, most of them know the basics, but not how the parts actually interact...

I highly doubt he said to swap the spring and disregard the valving, as in a race setup situation the tech would automatically match the valving to the spring without even thinking about it... Also if you have a racebike with a basic setup, swapping out a forkspring for different conditions/track will most of the time not affect the valving much as it's already setup for working with that range of weight, and a small change isn't going to throw it off... Tripling the springweight and leaving the valving stock will thow it of though... Way off...

That I know from personal experience... I hope you get to find it out in a bit less dramatic way than I did...
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:47 PM
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Thanks guys i'll order a spring and valve kit this week and keep u posted on how it all goes ..cheers
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:34 PM
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I think you'll enjoy the bike a lot more with new springs and valving. It sounds like you're very quick now. It will be easier and safer to go fast with the new parts.
I've read that the roads and scenery in New Zealand are amazing. You're a lucky man.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Fatsteve View Post
The valving in the front is ok for my style of riding on the road....... .
I think once you upgrade the valving you'll change your opinion on this one. Many people think their bike is ok..... until they find out what 'good' is. Then they realize their suspension was actually really bad! Going in steps is a fine idea. Get yourself some proper springs in there and upgrade the valving when you are able.
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:44 PM
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Ok first the bad news ..... last sunday night just as i was settling in to watch a movie i had a heart attack and ended up in hospital for the last week . I got out yesterfay morning after mid week geting a stent put in my ticker.... lucky its wasn't a bad one , but now i have to take a variety of pills etc and loose some weight....which is not a bad thing i guess.
Now for the good news.... i had my son in law take the bike to our local bike shop so they could do the springs and valves etc and to my surprise it has a race tec gold valve kit in it already.... so all iv'e had done was the spring retention and that was done mid week and arrived back at the shop friday on the courier and they will have them in monday (tomorrow) and i will be able to take it out for a ride and she how she feels, i had the springs retentioned to .95kg/mm so i hope that will be ok . Im looking foward to geting back on a bike again after my stay in hospital.... i think its the longest time iv'e ever gone without a ride lol.
Also if anyone is interested and wants to improve their front end without spending alot of loot my mate (a bike mechanic) who used to have a VTR pointed me at this site and said these mods make a really good improvment over stock, and its what i would have probably tried if i hadn't wound up in hospital. Anyway thanks to all for the advice and i hope someone finds this link useful.
http://www.ablett.jp/bikes/vtr/vtr_sus.htm
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Old 10-16-2010, 06:11 PM
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Welcome to the forum New Zealand Fats. Sorry to hear about your recent hospital encounter, but I'm glad it wasn't serious. Just like riding, learn from your mistakes and at least the probabilities will be a little more in your favor.

You were surprised by the Gold Valves huh. Well, your initial perceptions were pretty accurate relative to how well the forks were working.

that link you put up inspired by Roger Ditchfield is what I did to my forks a few years back and they work pretty well, albeit I can't say how well compared to the gold valves. Anyway I can understand why you did the rear first since your *** is directly over it and i can imagine what it felt like to you as I got to where i couldn't stand it and i'm only 175.

I don't know if your Ohlins has adjustable ride height, but if it doesn't I think you might benefit from a 8mm shim(fender washers) in the rear and also raise the front by lowering the forks so that the clip-ons are level with the fork tops. That keeps the profile to the approximate OEM front rear stance and the added ground clearance coupled with better handling is well worth the half hour it takes to do it. Costs nothing to try it for a while. Happy trails.
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Old 10-17-2010, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Fatsteve View Post
Ok first the bad news ..... last sunday night just as i was settling in to watch a movie i had a heart attack and ended up in hospital for the last week . I got out yesterfay morning after mid week geting a stent put in my ticker.... lucky its wasn't a bad one , but now i have to take a variety of pills etc and loose some weight....which is not a bad thing i guess.
Now for the good news.... i had my son in law take the bike to our local bike shop so they could do the springs and valves etc and to my surprise it has a race tec gold valve kit in it already.... so all iv'e had done was the spring retention and that was done mid week and arrived back at the shop friday on the courier and they will have them in monday (tomorrow) and i will be able to take it out for a ride and she how she feels, i had the springs retentioned to .95kg/mm so i hope that will be ok . Im looking foward to geting back on a bike again after my stay in hospital.... i think its the longest time iv'e ever gone without a ride lol.
Also if anyone is interested and wants to improve their front end without spending alot of loot my mate (a bike mechanic) who used to have a VTR pointed me at this site and said these mods make a really good improvment over stock, and its what i would have probably tried if i hadn't wound up in hospital. Anyway thanks to all for the advice and i hope someone finds this link useful.
http://www.ablett.jp/bikes/vtr/vtr_sus.htm
Take it easy on the ticker, but have fun with the bike...

Finding GW's in those forks means you where dead on in your asessment, ie the valves where doing their job, springs needed changing... The thing is, had it been the stock parts, it would have felt radically different, believe me... You hit gold so to speak...

That link is (hopefully) well known, but it's good to repeat it...
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Old 10-17-2010, 05:46 AM
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Agreed that finding GV's in the forks is a good score. Depending on what springs were in there before (certainly not stock rate) the shim stacks might need an adjustment. I've also found some gains by going to a significantly softer rebound side. I've tweaked the stack setups from the RT suggestions for the VTR's, but going with what they suggest is still much, much better than stock.

I hope you get to feeling better!
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Fatsteve View Post
Ok i have ordered and received my new ohlins rear and will slot it all in this weekend weather permiting. But i need some better springs for the front. Any recomendations would be good as the standard springs compress right dwn when breaking hard into some of my fav corners on my fav roads, at this stage im just looking at a stiffer spring to help with botoming out and will replace more if needed after i see how the spring upgrade works out. BTW im about 300lbs naked (so you can see why i need better springs lol). I will also replace the fork oil with a 10wt to see how the combination of oil and new spring works before i go all out and make any radical changes to anything else...... so any recomendations for some better springs?????
Where did you get your Ohlins rear and how much?
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by salmanilla2000 View Post
Where did you get your Ohlins rear and how much?

Hi i managed to pickup a new secondhand unit ie it is new but brought by someone and never used.... he said it originally came from CK Technical here in nz and i paid $1700 nz for it . Its the non height adjustable model and it works a treat
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