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2006 R1 Stock Suspension Not Enough For A 250lb Rider?

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I recently bought myself a new 2006 R1. I've been having a little trouble adjusting to it (coming from an SV650S, all stock) and a few people suggested that the suspension on the R1 may not be enough to handle someone of my weight and were suggesting expensive spring replacements. Yet the stock suspension on the SV is always berated for being inadequate and I always felt fine on that.


Do I really need new springs for this bike? I'm not fat, I'm muscular and have a big upper-body.


I was under the impression that I could smooth out most of my riding issues just by learning to control the bike better, which is what most people were suggesting. I mean, at CSS you guys rent those Ninjas out and they're not re-sprung depending on the rider weight.


If I don't need new springs, how should I adjust the stock suspension to bring it closer into harmony with my weight?



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Hi squirrels,


If you use the search feature I'm sure you will find several threads about setting up suspension.


The critical issue to start with is setting the sag.


The rule of thumb is about 1 inch of sag in your suspension when you sit on the bike in full gear. So, before you go spending the cash for a new spring(s), you want to try adjusting the pre-load on the spring(s) you have now to achieve that sag figure.


Ideally, the correct sag would be acheived with zero pre-load on the "ideal" spring, but, that isn't always realistic and as long as we don't have to crank the pre-load nut half way down the shock, we'll be ok. The main drawback for extreme pre-load is a loss of range of motion in the suspension which will reduce the shock's performance. The more pre-load, the shorter and more compressed the spring is to start with, the less ability the suspension has to perform its function. Effectively, you end up with little or no useful spring.


The OEM stock spring will be rated for a range of rider weight. It should be in the owner's or technical manual, but, if not, your local Yamaha dealer should be able to tell you what that range is. If your weight in full riding gear is beyond that limit, or even near it, you'll want to spend the cash for a heavier spring(s).


If you do decide to swap out springs, I'd recommend researching multiple sources. There are several mainstream reputable, high quality aftermarket spring manufacturers. A good parts man will be able to help you with that. I'm not personally aware of the options for the R1 but an aftermarket spring might even be less expensive than OEM equipment (if offered) and be just as good or even better.


Keep in mind that if your shower weight is 250, then you are more like 270+ in full gear (leathers, helmet, boots, etc). That is definitely on the high side of the stock springs I've known. So, I wouldn't be surprised if you need to swap out. And if you ever ride two up, a little head room is good to have there.


Last thought...although you might be able to compensate somewhat for a too soft spring by cranking up the damping in a pinch, that really only compromises the purpose of that control system for a far less than optimum result. I do not recommend it for standard operation for any longer than it takes to get the new spring in.


There are several things in life I can justify spending the money to do right. Tires, brakes and suspension are three big ones.


That's my advice. Hope it helps.


Good luck,


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