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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I took my one week old FZ-09 out today for a short ride on Ortega Highway. I have some questions for the veteran riders on here but before I get to that I'll give you guys my background. My first street bike was a 2004 R6. I did take a basic safety course back then. Rode that for two years before I crashed (not my fault). Didn't ride for several years after that. Bought a Harley in 2010 (RoadKing) and sold it after a year of riding it because I had just purchased my house and needed furniture! So now we come to this awesome FZ. I put 200 miles on it the first week getting used to the street and this vehicle's incredible engine capabilities. Today I wanted to see how it would fair in the canyons. I gotta say, I felt like I just couldn't corner with this thing. I was afraid to push it faster than the speed limit in the turns. To me, it felt like the suspension was too bouncy and I feared losing traction. Is this a legitimate concern? I am also running my tires at the recommended psi. I've read on here that lowering the psi will give you more grip? I would also like to know if I should change my body position while cornering. Do I maintain an upright seating position? I've never ridden track before and only did canyon runs a handful of times on my R6. Here is a video for you guys to check and provide some feedback if it's at all possible with the camera angle. ***viewer beware if you don't like hardcore rock turn the sound off! I had to put some music in because all there was was wind noise*** thank you and enjoy!
 

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How much do you weigh?

My opinion:

I'm 5'9", about 185lbs geared up.

Off the lot, the suspension SUCKED. The front end wallowed in corners and provided zero feedback. Needless to say, the riding experience was unpleasant.

I took the bike to a local shop and paid $40 for them to properly adjust the stock suspension (front & rear) for me and my weight.

HUGE and immediate improvement. I thought, since my weight was fairly close to what the bike was supposedly designed for (170lbs), the problem was solved.

Then I took a long weekend off of work and took a trip to some twisty roads to really ride the bike for the first time.

Fu*k me.

It was decidedly un-fun.

Front end felt like I was attempting to steer a pogo stick @ 50 mph. I never felt like I was truly in control, and was having to go painfully slow as a result... I had to pull over and let cars pass. SUPER embarrassing, but it honestly didn't feel safe to go any faster unless the pavement was as smooth as a baby's bottom.

TL;DR

Sure, it could just be tire pressure, but depending on your weight, it's probably just the lack-luster stock suspension.
 

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I don't know what recommended tire pressure is, but I run 30 to 32 psi in decent weather.

Whoretega looks like a fast bit or road from what I can see in the video.

You may just need more time on the bike, in that lean angle in that video was almost non existent.

Try some sharper, lower speed corners . Whoretega looks to be mostly high speed sweepers and some straights.
 

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Honestly, it's not the bike it's the rider. We all know that the suspension could use an upgrade, however the first weekend I had my bike I rode it all stock up Palomar Mountain here in San Diego and managed to drag my knee on all the major corners. You will need to come off of your seat and adjust your body position if you want to increase your speed into corners.
 

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Matt09, care to share your weight (geared up)?

And I would venture to say that the quality of pavement also makes a difference. (although I will admit that I haven't watched the OP's video)

A 150lb rider is NOT going to have the same experience as a 215lb rider. Period.
 

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Have you made any adjustments to the suspension? ...or are you rocking it how it was delivered off the lot?
 

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Bike is completely stock. No adjustments made to suspension. Just need more experience I guess.
You would probably do well to max out the preload and dampening on both ends and try that for awhile.

You'll eventually want to go with # 95 springs with 10 wt oil in the front.

There are all kinds of shocks from other bikes to upgrade rear end.
 
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So I took my one week old FZ-09 out today for a short ride on Ortega Highway. I have some questions for the veteran riders on here but before I get to that I'll give you guys my background. My first street bike was a 2004 R6. I did take a basic safety course back then. Rode that for two years before I crashed (not my fault). Didn't ride for several years after that. Bought a Harley in 2010 (RoadKing) and sold it after a year of riding it because I had just purchased my house and needed furniture! So now we come to this awesome FZ. I put 200 miles on it the first week getting used to the street and this vehicle's incredible engine capabilities. Today I wanted to see how it would fair in the canyons. I gotta say, I felt like I just couldn't corner with this thing. I was afraid to push it faster than the speed limit in the turns. To me, it felt like the suspension was too bouncy and I feared losing traction. Is this a legitimate concern? I am also running my tires at the recommended psi. I've read on here that lowering the psi will give you more grip? I would also like to know if I should change my body position while cornering. Do I maintain an upright seating position? I've never ridden track before and only did canyon runs a handful of times on my R6. Here is a video for you guys to check and provide some feedback if it's at all possible with the camera angle. ***viewer beware if you don't like hardcore rock turn the sound off! I had to put some music in because all there was was wind noise*** thank you and enjoy!

Some friendly advise.

Try to at least move your body into the inside of a bend (forward and to the inside handle bar), if you don't like to actually lean off the bike. Also you're lines are a little sloppy, try and stay on the outside of a bend and turn in later rather then turn in early for the apex. Another thing to try is be positive with the steering, you are using minimal input, try and actually move the bike more with positive inputs. Try looking at Kieth Code's videos and books as he helps you understadn you need to move the bike rather than letting it wander into corners.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Some friendly advise.

Try to at least move your body into the inside of a bend (forward and to the inside handle bar), if you don't like to actually lean off the bike. Also you're lines are a little sloppy, try and stay on the outside of a bend and turn in later rather then turn in early for the apex. Another thing to try is be positive with the steering, you are using minimal input, try and actually move the bike more with positive inputs. Try looking at Kieth Code's videos and books as he helps you understadn you need to move the bike rather than letting it wander into corners.
Thank you boro, just the kind of input I was looking for. I'll work on that.
 

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Thank you boro, just the kind of input I was looking for. I'll work on that.
Keith Code's books are awesome, but I just moved home from SOCAL. There are a TON of GREAT riding schools out there. It would be worth your time to invest in a couple schools or a coached track day. There are some great supermoto schools that teach both dirt and street techiques...on their bikes. Absolutely worth the weekend.
 

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The biggest issue for most riders in cornering is where are they looking.

I find even veteran riders are not looking far enough ahead.

Typical response time to do anything is about 1-1.5 seconds

If you are looking 1-2 seconds ahead, EVERY thing is a panic reaction.

If you look ahead 10 seconds, you have 5 times as much time to identify an issue and figure out what to do about it and then do something about it.

I don't use time as a proper measure for how far I should be scanning ahead. I use the road and scan as far ahead as I can see, at all times. And I am constantly scanning out to the limit and back to me and out to the limit and back to me and checking the mirrors and turning my head...

Eyes must be constantly moving or you will tend to target fixate.

So ask yourself: Are you looking where you are WANTING to go? and are you looking far enough out ahead for you to plan a safe ride?
 

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I feel the need to chime in. I (190 lbs) stepped off of a CBR954RR that I rode hard for 11 years that I was totally in sync with onto the FZ and felt like I could not ride at all. The bike rode like a Cadillac with worn out shocks, bounced all over the road, and would not hold a line, even after almost maxing out the stock suspension. The bike handled so poorly, I thought about selling it. I have owned 30 street bikes and it was as bad as the bikes I owned in the 70's.

Fast Forward: Penske rear shock, heavier fork springs with 10W oil, and a GPR steering stabilizer, I am ripping through the turns faster than I did on the CBR. Good news: curable, bad news: expensive.
 
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