Yamaha FZ-09 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This thread will detail some improvements to the Andreani Group FZ-09 Cartridge upgrade (PN 105/Y07) offered by Forks-By-Matt (Pattonme) and some installation instructions for anyone that wants to DIY.

First up, I have ZERO experience with tuning or even working on motorcycle suspension. Everything I have learned from this is directly from pattonme's posts (including this thread from the FZ-07 forum) and PM's, rado's install of the same cartridges, and forums. It's not that difficult if you follow these steps.

The problem many people seem to have encountered with the very popular Andreani cartridges is that although the low-speed compression and rebound are greatly improved over the stock damping rod suspension, high-speed compression (bumps, holes in road, anything with high shaft speed) can be quite harsh. I got a very good price on the Andreani cartridges, but after pulling the trigger I read many of the reviews of harshness. Being that I am in Northern Ontario, Canada (read: frost heaves and lack of road-repair funding) the quality of roads around here had me concerned. The stock suspension was downright scary during spirited rides, especially for a guy my size (220lbs in gear). Figuring that I didn’t have a ton of money tied up into the cartridges (I opted for the package deal with Ohlins YA335 shock), I figured why not spend a small amount more and have them right from the beginning. So let’s get right down to it:

The Goods:





Proper cartridges with independent rebound and compression adjustment. Niiiiice!

The Bad:



The compression piston has orifices way under-sized for dealing with high shaft speed events (high oil flow), which causes hydraulic lock through the compression valve (artificially increasing HS compression). On top of that, the taper on the adjustment needle is too shallow, and with the only 4 turns out recommended in the installation, your compression adjustability is not very meaningful. The pop-off/check-valve orifices are around twice the size of the compression ones, so if they would have arranged it backwards and shimmed appropriately, it may have been a little more capable of dealing with this high flow.

The Fix:





Included in pattonme’s upgrade “kit” are:

-High flow compression piston and corresponding shim stack. Notice how much larger the orifices are on his, and it is installed with the larger orifices used in compression stroke.
-Additional lower compression valve assembly for the “R” leg
-Top-out springs to replace the rubber o-rings during full extension

Pattonme’s explanation on the 3-piston design:

"The reason is in order to get sufficient flow at high shaft velocities the replacement C piston not only flows a lot more in the abstract, the shim stack is pretty light and has a goodly amount of bleed. This removes a lot of the slow-speed damping that you appreciate when braking and on low frequency undulations. The base valve added to the 'R' leg brings much of that back. Yes, I could offer just the replacement C piston and shims but then it would still be (too) firm over sharp bumps. Not near as bad as the Andreani default but not where it should be."

Instructions:

Compression Cartridge

Remove fork cap with adjuster needle, spring spacer and spring


Remove shaft nut and bottoming o-ring, as well as the 3x plastic bottoming spacers. Using round jig or pin wrench (or combination thereof), remove lower grey plug (some heat may be required to break loc-tite free, it was for me). Clean threads on grey plug as well as cartridge tube.


Slide piston assembly out bottom of cartridge tube.


Loosen nut on compression valve, and remove spacer, shims and piston from shaft


Set aside 4mm spacer, shims, piston and factory lock nut, they won’t be re-used. Install Forks-By-Matt’s supplied spacers, shim stack and piston in the correct order and orientation (Again, unlike Andreani’s design which used the larger orifices for relief and smaller orifices for compression, Matt’s piston uses the larger orifices for compression control), followed by pop-off shim and spring/retainer, as well as supplied nut. After ensuring pop-off shim moves up and down freely on retainer, (start nut, lift pop-off shim up and down to make sure it's centered) tighten nut. In his words, don’t go he-man, but use some green or blue loctite on threads. Replace top-out O-ring AND spacer with supplied top-out spring.



Re-install shaft with new valve into cartridge tube, tighten grey plug in bottom with some blue/green loctite. Re-install 3x bottoming spacers, O-ring and nut on shaft, continue with installation as per manual.

Rebound Cartridge

Start with same disassembly process. Remove fork cap with adjuster needle, spring spacer and spring. Remove shaft nut and o-ring, as well as the 3x plastic bottoming spacers. Using round jig or pin wrench (or combination thereof), remove lower grey plug (some heat may be required to break loc-tite free). Clean threads on grey plug as well as cartridge tube.

Remove shaft with valve assembly intact (Don’t take off the nut or shimstack/piston on the rebound leg).


Replace top-out O-ring AND spacer with supplied top-out spring and re-insert shaft into cartridge body


Oil o-ring on the new lower compression valve and carefully insert into bottom of cartridge (past threads where grey plug came out). Make sure it is fully seated.




Re-install lower grey plug with blue/green loc-tite, then re-assemble as last time.

NOTES:

Oil weight: pattonme suggested I run the supplied Ohlins R&T #5 oil in the rebound leg, 19 cSt. For the compression leg, I had purchased some Bel-Ray 2.5W oil to try addressing harshness before finding out about his fix, it has a viscosity of 9.2 cSt. I ran a 3:1 mix of Ohlins and Bel-Ray oil to get a viscosity of around 16 cSt as per recommendation.

Bleed cartridges inside fork with oil after installing them and before setting your air gap. Andreani suggested air gap is 125mm, pattonme suggests closer to 150mm.

Adjuster cap: Instructions aren’t very thorough for installation of fork cap and adjuster needle. Before installing the cap, run the adjuster needle all the way out (counter clockwise) until it stops. Then, before installation turn the adjuster needle in (clockwise) 4 turns before installing. As Pattonme suggested on the FZ07 forum, I ran the compression leg adjuster in 6 full turns before installation to get a wider range of adjustment (it still is able to seat fully closed, but will allow softer compression settings than the recommended 4 turns of adjustment on installation). Still plenty of threads on the shaft.

Will check back with a road report once I get my re-flashed ECU back. Can’t wait!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
Nice write-up, I'm sure some will find it very helpful. Do we know whether the GP Suspension cartridge kit suffers the same issues as the stock Andreani kit? It's great that Matt has improved them, but disappointing that the vendor themselves aren't taking feedback and improving the kit if there's a known issue.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
870 Posts
The GP Suspension kit (the $150 one) replaces the pistons and shims on the active Right leg. Stoltec has lots of happy customers. If you mean the $1500 solution I fully expect it's quite good but I haven't personally run it. Even the NIX-30 needs some help (thinner oil) and it might benefit from some re-shimming too but I haven't had the time to delve into it properly.

Andreani's stance is that their kit is for race use only and since race tracks are generally quite smooth, their choice of valving doesn't show it's hand. They don't particularly like my mods being out there but when every single OE kit comes back with negative feedback, you'd think they would take notice. Similarly the Matris F15K (for bikes like the SV650, R3, FZ07) has just rotten compression behavior and I told the factory about it in detail last year. So far they have not seen fit to re-evaluate their stance. Yes it is disappointing that the big name professionals don't get it right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Nice write-up, I'm sure some will find it very helpful. Do we know whether the GP Suspension cartridge kit suffers the same issues as the stock Andreani kit? It's great that Matt has improved them, but disappointing that the vendor themselves aren't taking feedback and improving the kit if there's a known issue.
A) It's hard to quantify whether there really is an "issue", as it's a subjective term. They probably don't feel the perceived shortcomings justify a fix, especially if it isn't affecting sales. And their scapegoat, as pattonme mentioned, is that they market their kits for race use only (it's stamped on the cartridge tubes themselves). I felt there was going to be an issue for me (though I wish I would have installed them in stock form first to make a real comparison, but I was lazy), so I took matters into my own hands. I would suggest that if anyone else that has the Andreani's shares this sentiment, they go for this mod.

B) Improvements cost money, the real value of the Andreani kits is, well, the value of them. If they added a base valve and shimmed the C valve lighter, it would increase the cost. If they had to change the piston design to a one-off (or alternatively across their entire 20mm cartridge line), it would increase the cost. Plus, some people aren't bothered by it as it is out of the box. I just felt that if I could improve on it for relatively inexpensively, and on top of that gain some knowledge/experience by tearing into motorcycle suspension, why the heck not? At the end of the day, if the Andreani's went up in price to close the gap on the Traxxion's, GP cartridges, or even Ohlins, they wouldn't be as well sought. I personally would rather have them sell for cheap and personalize them to my liking (the embodiment of the FZ-09!) with the help of someone knowledgeable like pattonme. You can bet your ass if they made the same modifications to the kit as supplied by pattonme, the price would go up two or threefold what the parts actually cost me.


On that note, I finally got to take it out for a ride last night after being on the stands for 2+ weeks. All I can say is WOW. It was cool and wet out following a rain, so couldn't push it too hard, but I can definitely see my tires being the next hindrance (Continental ContiMotion. Bleh.) It holds the road infinitely better than it did. It's weird to say, but riding it almost felt.... boring. Probably because on the twisty/bumpy circuit I was using for testing, I didn't fear for my life on every corner. Pot holes, road cracks, railroad tracks can all be felt mildly through the handlebars, but don't upset the suspension on corners. I'm going to dial a bit of rebound out, but my settings thus far are 2 turns out on R (gonna try another 1/2 turn out), 2 1/2 turns out on C. The Ohlins YA335 felt pretty firm as well at 14 clicks out, brought it out to 17 and will try again.

My kit came with 0.95 kg/mm front springs and the Ohlins came with 105 N/mm (600 lbs/in) spring. As others have mentioned in re: to the rear, small increases in spring weight are much more amplified when the shock can actually dampen properly (as witnessed with the ZX10 shock with stock spring by many people).

All in all, 3 thumbs up :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: I'm hoping to get someone more well versed in suspension to take it for a ride and get their take on it, I'm not really qualified to assess it properly. All I can say is that it feels damn good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Well, it's winter and the bike is parked for the season, but I never got back around to updating this thread. Ended up changing the tires out before i was able to wear them out, the bike had come with Continental ContiMotions, which for my stricly in town hooligan intents were just outright awful. Ended up going with some Dunlop Q3's, and the package now as a whole is completely transformed for the better. I don't know what else to say, everything feels perfect to me and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I was visiting some family in Florida over the holidays and got to do some riding, namely a GSXR 1000, Hypermotard 1100S and a SuperDuke 1290R. I've been in love with the Hypermotard since the first day I rode it about 5-6 years ago, but apart from the cool factor of the dry clutch and the rumble of the twin, it just doesn't wow me like it used to; my FZ as it sits just feels better in every way. The Super Duke is just simply an amazing package, it blends rawness and refinement in a way I've never experienced before. But truth be told, as amazingly well put together as that bike is (and as crazy as this sounds) I missed the FZ. It didn't make me want to goof around and act like a child the way the FZ09 does to me. Even if I had the budget for a 1290R, I honestly can't say for sure I would be willing to give up the FZ for it. Maybe if I lived in a climate that I could enjoy it for more than 5-6 months of the year... Anyways, I'm looking forward to some track lessons in the spring/summer to really get to push it and test it out. I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record, but I couldn't imagine the forks to be any better for my budget and intended usage.

If anyone is contemplating fork upgrades that don't break the bank and you don't mind getting your hands dirty, I wholeheartedly recommend the Andreani's with pattonme's upgrades. I wouldn't trade my forks for anything on the market at this time. And winter is the perfect time for upgrades!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
I would agree I have the exact same setup Andreani with pattonme's upgrades & it has improved the front end big time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
What oil weight did you end up with on the C leg? You have considerably more riding experience than me, how would you compare it to other aftermarket or quality forks? It seems fantastic for me, especially for in-town riding, but I have never been on a track so the finer details would not be apparent to my abilities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
Running pattomme valve kit, running 2.5w in the C leg & 5W in the compression measured to 150mm oil gap, I have set my adjusters to 6 turns not 4 so I have a wider range of adjustment, my brother in law runs Matris & I personally feel after the revalue my front end is a better handling the sharp high speed shaft movements.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
You need to contact pattomme for prices, there was no problems posting my kit last year to Brisbane Australia.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
Discussion Starter #13

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
You will need some special tools to remove the spring & strip out the valving + some skill to reassemble the fork.



I also made my home made spring compressor tool to remove the spring.



Andreani valving:


Pattomme compression valving fitted:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,176 Posts
This might have to go on my to do list.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
You will need some special tools to remove the spring & strip out the valving + some skill to reassemble the fork.



I also made my home made spring compressor tool to remove the spring.



Andreani valving:


Pattomme compression valving fitted:

I fit the Andreani kit with bro in law so that's not gonna be a problem pulling it apart again. Is the actual valve part hard to do and do you think it would be worth the money and effort?
I still find the comp a bit harsh and was gonna try a lighter weighted oil first. Thanks for the pics and info.


Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,176 Posts
I've done the lighter oil thing. it's not a fix, just a band aid. It helps a little.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
870 Posts
heh, guess I should have noticed the thread had been updated recently...
Thanks for all the kind words everyone.

You shouldn't need to go to extreme lengths to compress the spring and get access to the lock nut on the end of the golden shaft. They supposedly updated the design across their product range early/mid 2016 in response to I'm sure not just my pointed observation of how unfriendly it was. Unless you received old stock, a firm grip on the black spring spacer should be sufficient. If you have an older kit then yeah you're going to need to compress the spring about 2 inches and that will take a jig or specialized tool.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
870 Posts
What did it cost ya if you dont mind me asking?
It's ~90 + ship for the full treatment of just parts. Shipping to AUS isn't cheap and unfortunately I have to use UPS or FedEX given the spate of small USPS packages that have gone AWOL, and then having to eat the losses.

If you don't already have the Andreanis I can do the updates (and also the needle) and then send them on to you.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
About this Discussion
27 Replies
9 Participants
pattonme
Yamaha FZ-09 Forum
We’re the largest Yamaha forum for owners and enthusiasts of the FZ-09 and MT-09. The site has thousands of topics covering performance and reliability, photos, videos and more!
Full Forum Listing
Top