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upgrade suspension for track/twisties or better change the model

  • Change for another model ( comment which one)

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Keep the 2017 fz-09 and upgrade the suspension

    Votes: 9 90.0%
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Rear shock is the starting point, I also vote for the penske, although they're all better than stock. I switched to the double clicker and only having the one track day on it, I could feel a world of difference and I'm not even fine tuned, more secure and planted.
 

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I am not, by any means, an expert. I only have about 20k total miles riding experience. Never done a track day.

What I can say is that in my experience, I whole heartedly agree with Mr. Loco Pothead psycoreefer ( lol, had to use that joke ).

Everyone here bitches about the suspension on the MonsTah-09. I've had no problem ( don't know what I don't know ). I do plan to, at some point, upgrade to Ohlin's shocks, more for the aesthetics than rideability. Maybe when I do so, I'll be blown away like everyone says. But it is also my strong opinion that NO ONE here talks about how to properly adjust their stock suspicion. The solution discussed is always throw money at the problem.

I'll give you one example. Everyone says the throttle is twitchy, and the solution is to flash the ECU. My solution was to flash my brain and learn the throttle, and use it smoothly. Throttle clutch and brake control smoothness were banged into my head by my MSF instructors and I've adjusted. It's twitchy when I become lazy. I know when it's gonna be twitchy and I USE the twitchiness to my advantage when I wanna overtake or get out of a sticky situation. FULL BEANS MOFO! I do not know what voodoo Vcyclenut is doing that takes away the "twitchiness", it sounds to me like by removing the twitchiness, he's decreasing the responsiveness of the engine??? But people love him for the ECU flashes. Hey, I'm here to tell you to go talk to Vcyclenut since everyone RAVES about his services. I do not intend anything negative in the above comment. He can bear witness I've recommended him many times. I've had a chat with him about my wants/needs as well and he was most awesome to chat with. Heck, I'll probably be buying a kit to flash my bike at some point as well.

Same with the stock suspension. Everyone upgrades instead of talking about adjusting the stocks. Look, I'm no idiot, I've lurked on the interwebs and I have seen reviews from experts saying that the stock shocks on the MT/FZ are garbage. Who the fudge am I to say the experts are also wrong? But I also don't hear the experts talking about how they attempted to adjust them to suit that experts weight and riding style. So I take all accounts of "garbage suspension" with a grain of salt. Again, I don't know what I don't know. So take my shit with a grain of salt too.

If you tell me you went to expert riding classes, track day classes, and spoke with a suspension expert and all that experience tells you the MT/FZ suspension cannot be suitably adjusted, then ok, you have your answer. But if you never clicked anything on your suspension and you are thinking about throwing money at the problem...

My point here is, first the human needs to be flashed, calibrated and adjusted. Throwing money at the problem but never investing in the main part of the equation will only give you the placebo effect. Sure you'll be happy you have shinny new parts, but are you being overtaken on the track by a 300cc dude??? Or a dude on a Battle Tank Honda Goldwing???
[/Q
somehow i agree with you hehehe,no 1 reason not yet upgrade the stock shock (35k km at odo) is not having the money so start learn to get used to the bike (2016) i feel all the said issue like the snacth trottle or the stock shock suck i do feel it but after getting used to it it was no problem for me yet.but when others are getting faster with all thier upgrade it will left me behind because knowing how ur stock shock would react and its limit you know when need to slow down.so is all depend on what ur intent to do with ur bike? daily commute? racin? cross contry? me personally wanting to upgrade but here n malaysia i think all the upgrade cost most likely to be as same as upgrading to mybe a better bike,but hey is ur hard earn money.
 

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There are many avenues to better suspension. Look into the shocks from other makes that fit the 09. A good low mileage salvage shock can be had for less than $100. The forks can be improved without going the full blown cartridge change out. These mods will greatly improve suspension action especially if you make sure the springs are good for your riding weight. I weigh about 240# but in full leathers with helmet and loaded tank bag probably closer to 300# riding weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
There are many avenues to better suspension. Look into the shocks from other makes that fit the 09. A good low mileage salvage shock can be had for less than $100. The forks can be improved without going the full blown cartridge change out. These mods will greatly improve suspension action especially if you make sure the springs are good for your riding weight. I weigh about 240# but in full leathers with helmet and loaded tank bag probably closer to 300# riding weight.
Yes i saw people here that went with the 05-06 zx6rr/zx6r/zx10r shock. But they are really hard to find here in canada -_-
 

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ok so best first rear shock upgrade ? there are so many options!
Do yourself a favor and do both ends at the same time. This way you won't have an unbalanced bike. Or at least get the correct fork springs and add heavier fork oil. If you purchase through a quality suspension shop, you will get a great set-up out of the box as they have had plenty of time to get it figured out from 2015 on. I used Traction Dynamics out of Atlanta, GA. My Penske shock and AK-20 for cartridges cans set up with the correct spring rates for my weight. $2500 well spent. Expensive, but worth it. No more getting thrown off-line hitting bumps in the corners and where I live, the roads seem to have lots of bumps right after the apex of turns.
 

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You can't adjust suspension that is not sprung correctly for a riders weight. You'll most likely bottom or top out the preload when you try and set your sag. Preload is not designed to compensate for too light / heavy springs. Most of the comments that tell you that the stock suspension is good have never been on one of these bikes with aftermarket suspension. I am a very average rider but I can tell you that suspension upgrade on the CP3 bikes will transform the handling. I felt like I became a much better rider after and maybe I am because now I have so much more confidence in the platform and I can work on tuning my riding rather than try and figure out if it's me or the bike that's not working. Lot's of great brands out there. Make sure that you make it clear to whoever you go with that your setup is for the track or the street. A great street setup will not be bleeding edge great on the track but it'll still be good. A great track set up on the street is not comfortable. You don't have potholes, railroad tracks, speed bumps rippled pavement on the track. (at least I hope not)
 

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You can't adjust suspension that is not sprung correctly for a riders weight. You'll most likely bottom or top out the preload when you try and set your sag. Preload is not designed to compensate for too light / heavy springs. Most of the comments that tell you that the stock suspension is good have never been on one of these bikes with aftermarket suspension. I am a very average rider but I can tell you that suspension upgrade on the CP3 bikes will transform the handling. I felt like I became a much better rider after and maybe I am because now I have so much more confidence in the platform and I can work on tuning my riding rather than try and figure out if it's me or the bike that's not working. Lot's of great brands out there. Make sure that you make it clear to whoever you go with that your setup is for the track or the street. A great street setup will not be bleeding edge great on the track but it'll still be good. A great track set up on the street is not comfortable. You don't have potholes, railroad tracks, speed bumps rippled pavement on the track. (at least I hope not)
My 2007 FZ1 worked great at Sears Point (or Mazda Raceway or whatever it's named now) with my normal street setup. At Laguna Seca, I had to add compression as the speeds are higher and requires harder braking. It's the only time I rode and wished for better brakes than what I was using. It is satisfying to pass people of fully set up track bikes running slicks on your daily rider with Dunlop Q3s.
 

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My 2007 FZ1 worked great at Sears Point (or Mazda Raceway or whatever it's named now) with my normal street setup. At Laguna Seca, I had to add compression as the speeds are higher and requires harder braking. It's the only time I rode and wished for better brakes than what I was using. It is satisfying to pass people of fully set up track bikes running slicks on your daily rider with Dunlop Q3s.
Do you have EBC brake pads on it? I put them on mine and was shocked at how much better the brakes were. Stopped way better and added way better feel when trail braking. One of the best mods you can do for short money.
 

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Do you have EBC brake pads on it? I put them on mine and was shocked at how much better the brakes were. Stopped way better and added way better feel when trail braking. One of the best mods you can do for short money.
No, I use Dunlopad HH+ as I prefer them over the EBC.
 
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I've been riding for 40+ years, raced for 15 and was a race instructor for the AFM. I've seen guys just hauling
ass on really crappy bikes. Bouncing and wallowing all over the place. However I don't recommend taking this route. I rode my friend's 2017 FZ09 ( soon to be my son's), with stock everything. Suspension wasn't that bad. The
snatchy throttle magnified the suspension because of the constant on off power surges. I could ride around the issue but it took away some of my concentration I could be using for other things. I ride a ZX14. After riding a friend's with full Ohlins the difference was just amazing. Like a completely different bike. I split the difference and just had the
stock suspension revalved. Much better than stock but not to a quality suspension level. The FZ09 makes a good track bike. Sure, you're not going to be setting track records or winning races but that's not the point. It's capable
and cheap to run.

Mad
 

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I've been riding for 40+ years, raced for 15 and was a race instructor for the AFM. I've seen guys just hauling
ass on really crappy bikes. Bouncing and wallowing all over the place. However I don't recommend taking this route. I rode my friend's 2017 FZ09 ( soon to be my son's), with stock everything. Suspension wasn't that bad. The
snatchy throttle magnified the suspension because of the constant on off power surges. I could ride around the issue but it took away some of my concentration I could be using for other things. I ride a ZX14. After riding a friend's with full Ohlins the difference was just amazing. Like a completely different bike. I split the difference and just had the
stock suspension revalved. Much better than stock but not to a quality suspension level. The FZ09 makes a good track bike. Sure, you're not going to be setting track records or winning races but that's not the point. It's capable
and cheap to run.

Mad
At least the stock suspension is balanced, as both front and rear wallow at the same level. I still say it's still pretty bad if you are used to good suspension. I raced off-road for years and my suspension sponsor (Aftershocks out of Palo Alto) made sure I had the good stuff.
 
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A year ago, I bought the Ohlins NIX30 Street Cartridge with springs for only $849.80 total, shipped. This was at BIOHAZARD CYCLES and you could only get this price after you place it into the cart, probably because they have some kind of price agreement among the many thousands of 'authorized Ohlins dealers' which is pretty much everyone. The rear Ohlins basic shock, the 335, is available for about $543 now. $1393 is pretty good for Ohlins. Plus $250 for the local expert to install.
 

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Most of the high end brands are excellent. I can vouch for Ohlins and Nitron. Go where your budget takes you.
 

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I highly recommend e-mailing Nick at Stoltec and getting support for your suspension upgrades. I researched for weeks about what spring rates I should be getting and really thought I knew what would have suited me. Nick convinced me to go with some softer springs than I anticipated and I'm glad I did or things would have been too firm.

If you're on a tight budget I personally would be looking at the k-tech razor r but I really think the penske double clicker is worth the money with how serviceable the shock is.
 

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i had norwest suspension rebuild the stock rear shock for me and they did a great job!
 

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When I first got my 2019 the suspension was set in the middle and was scary soft especially on the front. Had the shop set it up front and back for my weight (200 lb). It isn't going to be great on the track but made it much better for somewhat spirited riding on the street. Regards the OP's point about learning to live with the twitchy throttle is like learning to walk with a crutch, sure you can do it and even get good at it but remember "smooth is fast". You might feel fast riding all herky jerky but my guess is that having to focus on that will be a serious detriment to your speed, safety and control. In my opinion the stock decel is patently dangerous. A few hundred dollars into a flash completely fixes that without any power loss, in fact you will see a few hp gains with a flash. I think it is the single best investment into your bike that you can make.
 

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My 2 pennies to the convo. I've raced both an R1 (2008) and an R6 (2007) and I've taken my MT09 to the track for a couple track days and every street bike I've owned since 2002 I've taken to the track. I'm 6'-2", 220lbs so close to your weight/height.

If you want to RACE, get a different bike. The MT09 will not be competitive in the classes it would qualify for. I say race, because that's what you put in your original post. If you just want to do track days, which is different, this bike is perfectly capable of giving you a good time.

Here's my experience as a "seasoned" track rider. I was decently fast racing here in Colorado (mid pack in expert classes) with a lot to improve, so take it as you will. First thing I did was upgrade the rear suspension to a K-Tech unit and planning on working the front too. At your and my weight, it will make the track that much more fun as you get faster. The rear squats terribly when I would sit on the stock suspension, so that was first to go. Trail braking into corners honestly scares me a little on this bike, because it likes to pogo back up slightly, and that's not a good feeling. I've played with the suspension settings on track days to work with it, but I really need stiffer springs up front with how hard I get on the brakes and better valving. If I was going a bit slower, I'm sure it would be fine and wouldn't really notice.

My second issue with the bike is rear set location. I have size 14 feet and drag my toes like a mofo on the track with this bike, even with my foot back where it should be. I have a set of rear sets that I need to put on the bike, so that will take care of that problem.

Other than those 2 things, the bike is a blast on track. If the ECU isn't flashed and you aren't smooth on the throttle, stick to STD mode. I put my un-flashed 09 in A mode on the track and have been fine.

Canyons: I don't go all out in the canyons, I save that for the track days. The bike has been great in the canyons as it sits now. Changing the front suspension will only make it better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
My 2 pennies to the convo. I've raced both an R1 (2008) and an R6 (2007) and I've taken my MT09 to the track for a couple track days and every street bike I've owned since 2002 I've taken to the track. I'm 6'-2", 220lbs so close to your weight/height.

If you want to RACE, get a different bike. The MT09 will not be competitive in the classes it would qualify for. I say race, because that's what you put in your original post. If you just want to do track days, which is different, this bike is perfectly capable of giving you a good time.

Here's my experience as a "seasoned" track rider. I was decently fast racing here in Colorado (mid pack in expert classes) with a lot to improve, so take it as you will. First thing I did was upgrade the rear suspension to a K-Tech unit and planning on working the front too. At your and my weight, it will make the track that much more fun as you get faster. The rear squats terribly when I would sit on the stock suspension, so that was first to go. Trail braking into corners honestly scares me a little on this bike, because it likes to pogo back up slightly, and that's not a good feeling. I've played with the suspension settings on track days to work with it, but I really need stiffer springs up front with how hard I get on the brakes and better valving. If I was going a bit slower, I'm sure it would be fine and wouldn't really notice.

My second issue with the bike is rear set location. I have size 14 feet and drag my toes like a mofo on the track with this bike, even with my foot back where it should be. I have a set of rear sets that I need to put on the bike, so that will take care of that problem.

Other than those 2 things, the bike is a blast on track. If the ECU isn't flashed and you aren't smooth on the throttle, stick to STD mode. I put my un-flashed 09 in A mode on the track and have been fine.

Canyons: I don't go all out in the canyons, I save that for the track days. The bike has been great in the canyons as it sits now. Changing the front suspension will only make it better.
Thank you for the detailed insigt. Which k-tech unit did you get?

Thank you
 

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My second issue with the bike is rear set location. I have size 14 feet and drag my toes like a mofo on the track with this bike, even with my foot back where it should be. I have a set of rear sets that I need to put on the bike, so that will take care of that problem.
@MK3Brent had this same problem at both CMP and VIR, which rear sets did you get?
 
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