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suspension for dummies

Old 09-14-2008, 04:15 PM
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suspension for dummies

I've been searching threads a lot and see that some owners choose to swap out the entire front end with that of a cbr 900-1000 while others simply swap out the springs inside the forks. There is a lot of talk about fork oil weights and valve sizes.

I'm thinking oil weight and valve size are responsible for dampening. Dash pot kind of idea.... Is this correct?

Then springs would just be springs. So is the idea that most people purchase a stiffer spring suited to their weight/ riding style and then change the fork oil to a cooresponding weight that is determined by the spring rate? Do they then subsequently revalve??

Would adjusting preload and changing fork oil effectively do the same thing within a certain extent?


Any feedback is appreciated.
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Old 09-14-2008, 04:18 PM
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I am 165# and ride aggresively, often two up and have not come close to bottoming out. They actually feel stiffer than the front suspension on my ninja. I suspect some modification has taken place based on what i have read here. The forks, have not, however been raised because rings are flush with the tripple clamp. I would like a little more feedback up front however.

Again thanks for info
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:35 PM
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Well, you got the basics right... Though it's not one or the other...

You get the correct springs for your weight, and then the correct combination of valves, oil and shim-stack for the springs... The smart move is to go with standard oil weight and set up the valves and shims correctly...

The budget version is to get springs and then heavier oil, as most riders needs heavier springs... This isn't really a good choice, but with small changes compared to stock it works...

Lighter oil tends to make pogo stick out of the bike, while heavier oil makes the fork lock up when the oil can't go through the valve fast enough... At the same time this needs to match the springs to get a controlled dampening... This is where the shim-stack comes in, it controls the flow through the valve... Basicly it's similar to a pop-off valve... when the flow increases fast the shim opens up and by-passes the normal valve...

The reason many (me included) swaps the whole setup is that it also adresses the other issues with the hawk... The brakes, and the rigidity of the front end... Plus you get a lot off fiddly ***** to setup the suspension... Also in my case I chose a setup that was very close to the correct spring weight for me, from the get go... (some older CBR forks have the same need for upgraded springs as the stock VTR fork...)

An USD fork like from any of the CBR's have a rigid four sided top part, two legs and triples... Then the lower part where the wheel attaches can't flex that much... Compared to the stock parts with a lot thinner forklegs with the inner tube being the "rigid" part and the thicker outer legs unsupported as they attach to the wheel... A popular move by heavier riders is to get a fork-brace to stiffen things up on the stock forklegs...

At around 200lbs I could feel the front end flex when pushing... I could also feel it bottom out during braking... And belive me it wasn't too fun when it bottomed in a corner without the brakes being applied...

With the new front end going fast got a whole new meaning...

Last edited by Tweety; 09-14-2008 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by vermontzx6r View Post
I am 165# and ride aggresively, often two up and have not come close to bottoming out. They actually feel stiffer than the front suspension on my ninja. I suspect some modification has taken place based on what i have read here. The forks, have not, however been raised because rings are flush with the tripple clamp. I would like a little more feedback up front however.

Again thanks for info
Just curious, are they flush with the triple, or with the top of the clipons? I'm wondering if the bike already has a fork swap. Here is what my stock triple and clipon looked like.
Attached Thumbnails suspension for dummies-forkstop.jpg  
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:56 PM
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Actually, you might be onto something here... In an earlier post you said the hawk front end was "fully adjustable"... The stock front end has spring preload and rebound nothing else... does the above picture match or do you have more *****, other clipons/triples???
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Old 09-14-2008, 06:17 PM
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I attached some pics i took in the dark just now. shitty quallity. Does it look stock? I got the first owner's email from the second owner a few minutes ago so I'll see what I can dig up pending SH forum member analysis.


ps. mighty toyota in the background is my other toy
Attached Thumbnails suspension for dummies-superhawk-001reduced.jpg   suspension for dummies-superhawk-008reduced.jpg   suspension for dummies-superhawk-005reduced.jpg   suspension for dummies-superhawk-009reduced.jpg  
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Old 09-14-2008, 06:44 PM
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These are the stockers, but you could have springs in there
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