FZ-09 Suspension guidance needed
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FZ-09 Suspension guidance needed

This is a discussion on FZ-09 Suspension guidance needed within the FZ-09 Performance & Suspension forums, part of the Yamaha FZ-09 Garage category; Hey everyone, So at the risk of sounding stupid I'll ask anyway. I'm new to riding so I don't have much experience with different suspensions. ...

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  1. #1
    Junior Member Blindsurvival's Avatar
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    FZ-09 Suspension guidance needed

    Hey everyone,
    So at the risk of sounding stupid I'll ask anyway. I'm new to riding so I don't have much experience with different suspensions. What exactly is wrong with the fZ 09s suspension I know that everyone says it is too soft but I haven't felt anything crazy. Maybe I just don't know what I'm looking for. Is it worth getting a new suspension or even adding the zx6r shock? Any advice would go a long way thanks in advance

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    Senior Member Punkinhead's Avatar
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    A novice rider probably isn't going to ride aggressively enough to notice, but to an experienced rider the suspension is crap for several reasons. It's been covered here ad nauseam. The springs are too soft for most adult males - I weight 180 lbs and had to take all the preload out of both ends to get the sag right. The rebound damping doesn't have enough adjustment so even at full hard they rebound too fast which turns the bike into a pogo stick on harsh roads and aggressive riding. The high speed compression damping is too harsh so bumps rattle the teeth. It's just an all-around awful suspension.

    If you don't ride fast then none of that probably matters. There are quite a few inexperienced riders here that claim the suspension is just fine and they haven't even changed the factory adjustments. Honestly, since you're asking the question it probably isn't something you should worry about. You certainly shouldn't shell out a bunch of money based on internet expertise. Wait until you can ride well enough to tell the difference before upgrading the suspension.
    Last edited by Punkinhead; 09-02-2016 at 06:12 PM.

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    Senior Member Creeper Nate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Punkinhead View Post
    A novice rider probably isn't going to ride aggressively enough to notice, but to an experienced rider the suspension is crap for several reasons. It's been covered here ad nauseam. The springs are too soft for most adult males - I weight 180 lbs and had to take all the preload out of both ends to get the sag right. The rebound damping doesn't have enough adjustment so even at full hard they rebound too fast which turns the bike into a pogo stick on harsh roads and aggressive riding. The high speed compression damping is too harsh so bumps rattle the teeth. It's just an all-around awful suspension.

    If you don't ride fast then none of that probably matters. There are quite a few inexperienced riders here that claim the suspension is just fine and they haven't even changed the factory adjustments. Honestly, since you're asking the question it probably isn't something you should worry about. You certainly shouldn't shell out a bunch of money based on internet expertise. Wait until you can ride well enough to tell the difference before upgrading the suspension.
    I believe you hit the nail on the head here. Only thing I would add is go ahead and mess with the setup on your bike a bit and see if it feels better for you. I have done the same thing punkinhead has done and I'm 180 with gear and it is much better than factory setup.

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    Senior Member Punkinhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creeper Nate View Post
    Only thing I would add is go ahead and mess with the setup on your bike a bit and see if it feels better for you.
    I should have mentioned that. Here are a couple videos that explain setting sag and rebound. Although the average American could probably get away with backing the preload off all the way and turning rebound all the way in. Then do a few track days and save your pennies for suspension upgrades.

    Setting sag:


    Setting rebound:

    Fathom likes this.

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    Senior Member gsatterw's Avatar
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    You mean you had to crank the preload all the way in right? Cause if they were too soft you would have way too much sag at all the way out...

    Quote Originally Posted by Punkinhead View Post
    A novice rider probably isn't going to ride aggressively enough to notice, but to an experienced rider the suspension is crap for several reasons. It's been covered here ad nauseam. The springs are too soft for most adult males - I weight 180 lbs and had to take all the preload out of both ends to get the sag right. The rebound damping doesn't have enough adjustment so even at full hard they rebound too fast which turns the bike into a pogo stick on harsh roads and aggressive riding. The high speed compression damping is too harsh so bumps rattle the teeth. It's just an all-around awful suspension.

    If you don't ride fast then none of that probably matters. There are quite a few inexperienced riders here that claim the suspension is just fine and they haven't even changed the factory adjustments. Honestly, since you're asking the question it probably isn't something you should worry about. You certainly shouldn't shell out a bunch of money based on internet expertise. Wait until you can ride well enough to tell the difference before upgrading the suspension.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Punkinhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsatterw View Post
    You mean you had to crank the preload all the way in right? Cause if they were too soft you would have way too much sag at all the way out...
    That's the opposite of how it works.

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    Member Perrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blindsurvival View Post
    Hey everyone,
    So at the risk of sounding stupid I'll ask anyway. I'm new to riding so I don't have much experience with different suspensions. What exactly is wrong with the fZ 09s suspension I know that everyone says it is too soft but I haven't felt anything crazy. Maybe I just don't know what I'm looking for. Is it worth getting a new suspension or even adding the zx6r shock? Any advice would go a long way thanks in advance
    The suspension on the FZ is fine. These guys jump off their crotch rockets and expect a super sport suspension on the fz09. Just ignore them. Been riding since 1999 and the suspension is perfectly suited for the bike. The fz09 has the unfortunate problem of being placed in the naked Supersport category by the media and most users. It's not. It's a standard. It won best standard motorcycle of the year for a reason last year. It is constantly compared to bikes that cost $3000 - $8000 more in the naked super sport category and has still managed to come out on top in some of those comparisons. Yes, compared to a Triumph speed triple or a z1000 the suspension is lacking. But hey, at least Yamaha gives us adjustability at the front and damping at the rear at this price point. Most standard bikes in the 7-8k range have no adjustability other than rear pre load.

    Go to:

    http://www.sportrider.com/tech/suggested-sport-bike-motorcycle-suspension-settings


    They give recommended settings for hundreds of specific makes and model years. I started with their recommendations but the front was a little too stiff for me and the rebound was too tight for real bumpy roads. Start with their settings and adjust as needed.

    I'm 6'1" 195lbs and I do not need the suspension maxed out. That's just someone trying to make the fz suspension do something it's not supposed to. You'll find out 90% of these guys complaining about the suspension have average or worse cornering skills and are just hyper focused on making the fz feel like a gixxer, when in reality, a good rider on a stock fz09 will smoke most of these guys through the mountain Twisties.

    Now if you want to go ahead and spend thousands to make the fz suspension into a super sport, have at it. But don't just do so because so many other Rossi wannabes told you to. Like anything in life, if you go out and look for problems, you will find problems.

    Now the seat, however, is another story!
    yamfz09 likes this.

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    Senior Member frosky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Punkinhead View Post
    That's the opposite of how it works.


    Sent from my LGLS992 using Tapatalk
    2015 Yamaha FZ-09 matte gray
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    Senior Member skooter65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Punkinhead View Post
    That's the opposite of how it works.
    Not to derail but, what?

    Low spring rate, or soft springs, require additional pre-load (in case of differences in nomenclature: more-preload = additional compression of the spring) in order to offset the downward force of a heavier rider to acheive appropriate sag.
    Last edited by skooter65; 09-03-2016 at 06:48 AM.
    kevinh and detours like this.

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    Senior Member Punkinhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skooter65 View Post
    Not to derail but, what?

    Low spring rate, or soft springs, require additional pre-load (in case of differences in nomenclature: more-preload = additional compression of the spring) in order to offset the downward force of a heavier rider to acheive appropriate sag.
    Sorry, brain fart. The springs are too soft for my weight + riding gear so I've got the preload cranked in to get proper sag but that just makes the ride unnecessarily harsh. Springs are relatively cheap so it's on the list of things to change this winter, along with re-valving. I kept a ziptie on one of the forks for the first week or so I had it and I'm getting uncomfortably close to using all the travel.
    Last edited by Punkinhead; 09-03-2016 at 07:32 AM.
    skooter65 likes this.

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