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Baseline Setup for 06 CBR1000RR

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I participate in a bike specific forum but the information is mostly pedestrian WRT how to setup the bike.  My previous bike's setup was pretty good, but you never know how good it really could be as Paul Thede of RaceTech says, "The best you know is the best you've ridden."

For this bike, I bought a used Penkse 8987 Triple Clicker rear shock and I'm just about to pull the trigger on the GP Suspensions 20mm revalve kit and aftermarket springs- I plan to have a local guy install it while I'm an "active participant" in the upgrade (really looking forward to it).

The problem(s) I'm trying to correct:

  • Harsh bump response on street (can knock me off the seat and is murder on my discs)
  • Vague front end feel in long 180degree corners
  • I'd like a little more front end support on the brakes (trackdays)

I have to admit do spending money on parts and never having done any adjustments to the stock components.  I'm guilty.

The forum members suggest there are some inherent weaknesses in the chassis setup from the factory that good suspension can really only be a Band-Aid for.  I'm not at the level where I can bring out those weaknesses, but they say the chassis is too stiff laterally.  They also say the OEM setup is setup to do so many things that it doesn't do anything well (I understand this analytically).

I'm hoping to get a better understanding of what I should be looking for in terms of a baseline setup for street primarily and then make a few tweaks for the track as needed (the shock has adjustable ride height and I've been "warned" that the front end needs to be extended beyond what the OEM forks will allow).  Do I need to take meticulous rake, trail, ride height, wheelbase and swingarm angle measurements?

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I'd start with getting the front fork spring rate right, then damping (fork oil viscosity/level, comp/rebound damping).

I have never experience a shock spring rate being vastly wrong, so I presume it's less important. On the rear, I've experienced a 'dead' shock (ie oil is worn out so no/little damping  left) twice, so I'd look for that. Then there's getting the front/rear balance right, in terms of of fast the frotn/rear goes through the stroke.

The only measurements I've done is sag and oil level in the front. YMMV.

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I've been messaging an Ohlins guy.  He originally recommended a set of $2,600 forks and then when I asked about the rear, he went silent.  I wasn't going to spend that kind of money on forks at my level anyhow, but I did share with him that my last bike had an Ohlins rear shock and I also shared with him that I got a great deal and came through the entire suspension evolution only spending about $1,400.  I think I'll make it through this one a little under $1,250.  He was the one that said I needed longer forks (bike needed more trail- a minority opinion), then relented by saying that his advice assumes that I'm within range of lap record (15-20seconds)- I've never even run a laptimer, which tells you how much I care about knowing where I am in relation to lap record.  I'm hoping that after my upcoming CSS schools I begin to care (at least mildly) about my objective riding data.


So, somewhat sadly I haven't run against any "real" barriers in the OEM suspension, performance-wise.  I don't ever want to feel the front go silent on me mid-corner again.  That was unnerving...I was in a keyhole with riders all around me and I was concerned about the possibility of losing the front and taking someone with me.  I remember having time and presence of mind to glance at the front tire:huh: to make sure it was still on the pavement!

I also once felt like I was going to actually fall off the bike mid-corner until I reassured myself that my outside knee was locked on the tank, thank goodness I didn't tense up and grab the bars (SR #2).  As I type this, I'm wondering if I fell asleep (LoL), but that's a silly idea (LoL).

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Certainly nothing wrong with nice suspension, but we often make sure we have the rider delivering what the bike needs, all the time.  If not, one can chase one's tail a lot.

Does the bike react the same way, every time, or is this a "once in a while?"

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I confess it's is an expensive placebo effect. I know the suspension needs an upgrade by analysis instead of experiencing a real design shortcoming.


I also don't want my old bike better than this one. That one NEEDED the upgrades and benefited by it.

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  • 1 month later...

I forgot to update this thread to say that everything is installed and I'm now in a tuning phase of my new suspension.  I did get the GP Suspensions kit for the forks. I need more time on it and the weather and my family schedule has been uncooperative.

I look forward to my upcoming schools next month (I've book all 4 levels, 1-2 repeat and 3-4) and am thankful for the training that I got last time from CSS and credit that to not crashing the bike as mentioned above. The training helped me keep the SRs at bay and to focus on a stead throttle roll in the turns. I hope to really hone that skill.

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