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Best Stock Bike Suspensions


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As I am upgrading my CBR600RR piece by piece, I'm becoming more sensitive to suspensions quality (and their price). I want to buy a new bike and my choice will be skewed towards the suspensions package.

 

Which stock bike offers the best track/racing suspensions, other than the factory models?

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As I am upgrading my CBR600RR piece by piece, I'm becoming more sensitive to suspensions quality (and their price). I want to buy a new bike and my choice will be skewed towards the suspensions package.

 

Which stock bike offers the best track/racing suspensions, other than the factory models?

 

I'm not sure I understand the question - what do you mean "other than the factory models"? It seems like most of the top end bikes now offer a standard model, AND a "race" model that has upgraded suspension components. It's a tough call whether you are better off getting the suspension upgrades offered by the manufacturer, or buy aftermarket. Aftermarket can have the advantage of local and ongoing support - some shops will send a tech out to the track with you to set everything up, and the setup is crucial to getting everything working right for YOU, plus you have practically unlimited choices, which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage, since it can be hard to know which will work best for you. My choice had been to find a very knowledgeable pro (either a race pro or suspension pro) that is familiar with my riding and take recommendations from them, and that has worked well for me, maybe you can look for someone at the track?

 

Personally I think the best value is to buy someone's race bike with the upgrades already done. Racers put thousands into their bikes and know that they will most likely never get that money back, you can often buy a bike with massive upgrades for a fraction of the cost of buying it all new.

 

If cost is not really a factor, the really top end bikes tend to have the top end components - BMW, Ducati, etc., and the most plentiful bikes (Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki) tend to have the most variety of aftermarket upgrades available.

 

And then there is electronically controlled suspension, like the BMW S1000rr, which is in a class by itself. If you haven't ridden a 2015 or 2016 you definitely should try that out, it is pretty amazing, and the combo of being able to adjust engine characteristics AND suspension characteristics, on the fly, without expert help or tools or an assistant, is AWESOME. You can just press some buttons and change profiles and really experiment with a lot of options.

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The factory models are around 20k for the 1000cc, and they have racing quality suspensions of course. I was curious to see if other models (600cc or 1000cc) at a price tag of 15k or lower have racing quality suspensions.

 

Electronic suspensions adjustments is indeed very interesting to climb another learning curve. Btw, does the school allow a "setup" day, where the student is focusing on suspensions and geometry adjustments?

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I have to say I agree with Hotfoot here about DDC.

 

My main track bike is a Gen2 S1000RR with a very well setup Ohlins Suspension, BST carbon wheels and the HP power kit. Before I had ridden the 2015 RR's I had formed an opinion that it probably would not be "as good" as my personal bike. One of the school's fleet bikes proved me quite wrong. While there were some areas where my bike was better (power and weight) there were areas that the 2015 model blew my mind. One of those areas was the suspension. DDC was quite amazing. What was more amazing is this was all the stock stuff that was performing as well if not better in some cases than my Ohlins stuff.

 

DDC adds another dimension of suspension adjust-ability to the rider. There are companies selling upgrades for the internals of DDC shock units and BMW sells a sensor unit that helps the on-board computer understand what the suspension is doing. You can also add in the data-logger and the Race ECU and Race Calibration Kit for an amazing level of adjustment over DDC.

 

I'm saving my pennies as well for an additional bike in the future. It will be a BMW and it will be a DDC equipped one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I used to have DDC on my track HP4. So not the very last DDC setup. It performed unbelievably well on the road. And really super nice too on the track. Now on my bike, I have good old manual suspensions, rear shock and front suspensions...now I cannot say if I like it better or not. I am much faster with my current bike than with my former BMW...but everything changed, so it's a no control experiment. Do the standard suspension play a role in my feeling with the bike. Maybe...maybe not.

 

Anyway, for me, there is one huge advantage to standard suspensions. I like playing around with my tools, adjusting the old way rather than electronically. It does not mean it's better. It only means I enjoy it. The one thing of course DDC allows you (although you probably need more than the RCK3 for that), is to change your suspensions depending on the corner...basically program your bike, knowing the track, so that it automatically adjust for each corner...but honestly, for this to really improve your lap time, I think you have to be a damn good rider !

 

Anyway, I think DDC is really cool. I had the option on my new bike to also get electronic suspensions but I did not take it...by simple personal choice and the fact that I find it fun to play with my screwdriver !

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