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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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I’ve had the same questions as the OP.

I don’t mind making my MT into that perfect all around bike for me, but I’m just concerned that after spending all the $$ on it, if I’ll be pleased with the end result.

I guess the best way I could put it is, are the bones of the MT-09 worth the investment?

While I’ve been married to the same woman for over 20yrs, in my adult life I’ve always been an automobile/motorcycle philanderer.

I’d like to change that with my MT, and not just be looking for next greatest thing.

It helps that my 2nd Gen MT is paid for, looks better then the 3rd Gen (IMHO), & was almost $4k less then what they are going to want for the 2021 MT-09 SP.

My wish list of mods will get close to that $4k mark, but it’ll be over time, and in the end I’d have a bespoke suspension set up that was put together just for me & my weight.

My dislikes list for my MT is short, & I think most can be improved or completed with help from the aftermarket.

  • Abrupt off/on throttle
  • My lack of confidence/feel in the frontend
  • Lack of electronic cruise control
 

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My dislikes list for my MT is short, & I think most can be improved or completed with help from the aftermarket.

  • Abrupt off/on throttle
  • My lack of confidence/feel in the frontend
  • Lack of electronic cruise control
I'll add $0.02 more here - now that I've got a few miles with my upgraded forks on the bike. I've never done a track day so take this for what its worth.
  • Abrupt off/on throttle
    • ECU Flash by vcycle nut, make sure the cable is 'tight' (least amount of slack you can get without it reving at full steering lock), disconnect the 'push' return throttle cable. That took care of it for me 100%.
  • My lack of confidence/feel in the frontend
    • I went big and bought GP suspension 25mm fork cartridges with springs. I haven't tuned them yet but the little bit of riding I've done so far does feel much more 'confidence' inspiring than the stock.
  • Lack of electronic cruise control
    • This can be added with an MCCruise unit.
 

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I upgraded my mt-09 2020 with full k-tech front cartridge and k-tech razor R shock, it hauls.
However geometry is a bit weird on the mt-09, there is too little load on the front compared to the rear.
I runt with 3mm longer shock and forks flush but after my trackday i found that the front tire had a geometry tear, it needs more weight on the front.
I did scrape the pegs without the feelers on track but that was with bad body postion.
My forks are now raised 5mm in the triple clamp, and have not tested if it will cause ground clearence issues yet on track.

I think the mt.-09 will be limited in left hand turns because of the alternator sticking out, but thats only a concern if you ride really fast. Most people that scrape the cover is hanging off to little.

The TSC on the 2017 works great aswell, in TSC i could hardly tell when it saved my bacon.

 

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As a former Instructor with Sportbike Track Time AND a person who owned a dedicated trackbike as well as an FZ09, I will offer up my opinion on this....and you mileage may vary. Having spent many, many years riding on the track, both as a customer then 7 years as an Instructor/Coach, I do know what a good track bike feels like and how it handles...and it's limitations are. My track bikes have definitely been supersport type bikes....a CBR1000RR, a couple of different CBR600RRs, and my last track bike was a 2008 GSX-R 750. Every single one of those bikes had aftermarket suspension components, both front and rear, as well as being dialed in for my rider weight with full gear...right at 215 lbs. When I bought my FZ09 (first year 2014 model), I knew that one of the first things to be done to the bike was upgraded suspension in order to make it a viable twisties bike. I don't ride nearly as hard on the street as I did on the track, but I still wanted something that would make me feel comfortable and confident while street riding in the twisty stuff....which is everywhere around here..(I'm 18 miles from Deals Gap)

The FZ09, with the correctly chosen suspension components, and more importantly, properly setup for riding style and rider weight when fully geared up, is a very capable bike for twisty roads and occasional track days. Having said that, it does have it's limitations on the track when compared to a properly setup track bike. Just the fact that the handlebars are not clipons, which causes you to not be able to get into a great body position when cornering, is one limiting factor. Of course the first thing you should do is remove the footpeg feelers and get them out of the way for some better lean angles. I took mine on the track one time, right after I got it (Road Atlanta) and it was fun, but it wasn't a dedicated track bike for sure. Once the suspension is properly upgraded and setup for your geared up weight, it can be a lot of fun on a track. At some point in time, if you decide to become a "track-a-holic" and spend a lot of time on a track, and you riding ability becomes greater than the bike's capability, in order to turn faster lap times, then it would be time to get a track bike. Most folks that do track days on a casual basis, will do just fine on a properly equipped and setup FZ09. When I was coaching/Instructing, my wife and I did on average 18 to 20 track days a years and by that point in time, I simply would not have considered an FZ09 as a track bike....unless maybe the only group I was Instructing was the Novice group.

Hopefully, this offers some insight to your question and just holler if you have anything else...
 

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As a former Instructor with Sportbike Track Time AND a person who owned a dedicated trackbike as well as an FZ09, I will offer up my opinion on this....and you mileage may vary. Having spent many, many years riding on the track, both as a customer then 7 years as an Instructor/Coach, I do know what a good track bike feels like and how it handles...and it's limitations are. My track bikes have definitely been supersport type bikes....a CBR1000RR, a couple of different CBR600RRs, and my last track bike was a 2008 GSX-R 750. Every single one of those bikes had aftermarket suspension components, both front and rear, as well as being dialed in for my rider weight with full gear...right at 215 lbs. When I bought my FZ09 (first year 2014 model), I knew that one of the first things to be done to the bike was upgraded suspension in order to make it a viable twisties bike. I don't ride nearly as hard on the street as I did on the track, but I still wanted something that would make me feel comfortable and confident while street riding in the twisty stuff....which is everywhere around here..(I'm 18 miles from Deals Gap)

The FZ09, with the correctly chosen suspension components, and more importantly, properly setup for riding style and rider weight when fully geared up, is a very capable bike for twisty roads and occasional track days. Having said that, it does have it's limitations on the track when compared to a properly setup track bike. Just the fact that the handlebars are not clipons, which causes you to not be able to get into a great body position when cornering, is one limiting factor. Of course the first thing you should do is remove the footpeg feelers and get them out of the way for some better lean angles. I took mine on the track one time, right after I got it (Road Atlanta) and it was fun, but it wasn't a dedicated track bike for sure. Once the suspension is properly upgraded and setup for your geared up weight, it can be a lot of fun on a track. At some point in time, if you decide to become a "track-a-holic" and spend a lot of time on a track, and you riding ability becomes greater than the bike's capability, in order to turn faster lap times, then it would be time to get a track bike. Most folks that do track days on a casual basis, will do just fine on a properly equipped and setup FZ09. When I was coaching/Instructing, my wife and I did on average 18 to 20 track days a years and by that point in time, I simply would not have considered an FZ09 as a track bike....unless maybe the only group I was Instructing was the Novice group.

Hopefully, this offers some insight to your question and just holler if you have anything else...
Great post from a professional point of view and a common sense point of view. I'm not a track bike guy but I can certainly understand why people would be in to it. Tracks are generally very good pavement and you want to be able to resist cornering and braking forces and you want stiff suspension. On the street you have to add in bad pavement into the equation and rarely will you have cornering forces that come close to want you'd see on the track. That doesn't mean that the stock set up is good. It's for shit and if you haven't ridden a well suspended street bike, you don't know what your missing. The Yamaha CP3 are do all motorcycles with a really high fun factor. If your main focus is the track then I would go with a different bike. Otherwise upgrading your CP3 suspension = more cubic fun per $. I am a compulsive motorcycle review reader and it seems like a lot of naked bikes have mediocre suspension. I suspect a lot of reviewers don't give brutal assessments of suspension is because that need manufacturers to continue to lend them bikes to review.
 

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@MK3Brent had this same problem at both CMP and VIR, which rear sets did you get?
I went with some Chinese rear sets that a friend of mine that races swears by. Just need to locktite everything, but he's never had an issue with them. So I'm going to give them a shot.
 

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As a former Instructor with Sportbike Track Time AND a person who owned a dedicated trackbike as well as an FZ09, I will offer up my opinion on this....and you mileage may vary. Having spent many, many years riding on the track, both as a customer then 7 years as an Instructor/Coach, I do know what a good track bike feels like and how it handles...and it's limitations are. My track bikes have definitely been supersport type bikes....a CBR1000RR, a couple of different CBR600RRs, and my last track bike was a 2008 GSX-R 750. Every single one of those bikes had aftermarket suspension components, both front and rear, as well as being dialed in for my rider weight with full gear...right at 215 lbs. When I bought my FZ09 (first year 2014 model), I knew that one of the first things to be done to the bike was upgraded suspension in order to make it a viable twisties bike. I don't ride nearly as hard on the street as I did on the track, but I still wanted something that would make me feel comfortable and confident while street riding in the twisty stuff....which is everywhere around here..(I'm 18 miles from Deals Gap)

The FZ09, with the correctly chosen suspension components, and more importantly, properly setup for riding style and rider weight when fully geared up, is a very capable bike for twisty roads and occasional track days. Having said that, it does have it's limitations on the track when compared to a properly setup track bike. Just the fact that the handlebars are not clipons, which causes you to not be able to get into a great body position when cornering, is one limiting factor. Of course the first thing you should do is remove the footpeg feelers and get them out of the way for some better lean angles. I took mine on the track one time, right after I got it (Road Atlanta) and it was fun, but it wasn't a dedicated track bike for sure. Once the suspension is properly upgraded and setup for your geared up weight, it can be a lot of fun on a track. At some point in time, if you decide to become a "track-a-holic" and spend a lot of time on a track, and you riding ability becomes greater than the bike's capability, in order to turn faster lap times, then it would be time to get a track bike. Most folks that do track days on a casual basis, will do just fine on a properly equipped and setup FZ09. When I was coaching/Instructing, my wife and I did on average 18 to 20 track days a years and by that point in time, I simply would not have considered an FZ09 as a track bike....unless maybe the only group I was Instructing was the Novice group.

Hopefully, this offers some insight to your question and just holler if you have anything else...
What suspension upgrades would you recommend for spirited riding in the twisties? MT-09 200lb rider? Typical mountain roads with the usual chunky pavement. Lets keep it under $1500...
 

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What suspension upgrades would you recommend for spirited riding in the twisties? MT-09 200lb rider? Typical mountain roads with the usual chunky pavement. Lets keep it under $1500...
Fully adjustable rear shock with the proper sized/weight spring.....I like Ohlins, Penske, as well as K-Tech....all three are good products, but proper setup is just as important as buying a good shock. On the front end, obviously new springs and you are going to have to have the innards reworked too...different valving, the right viscosity fork oil and someone..or yourself that knows how to properly set that up too.
 

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The rear shock made a big improvement on my bike, i rasied the rear ride height 3mm and it feels very good.
When i got the cartridge kit it was a bit harder to feel the difference, but once i lowered the forks 5mm i was amazed!
Its sooo good right now, its like its on rails in the corners.
The bike can weave a bit at 180km/h + but once i pass 200km/h its stable.

The only concern is the ground clearence , im going to the track on saturday so will let you know if its a problem.
I did raise the rear 3mm (8mm at the axle) and lowered the front 5mm so i should have 3mm more than stock? Or my calculations are wrong haha.
 

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I would agree with some others that you can make some personal adaptations to the bike. My nephew rides the FZ09 and I ride its sibling FJ09; both with stock suspension. We carve out some back twisties in southern Missouri like no body's business. While I'm sure I would be impressed with a suspension upgrade, most of the performance lies in the skill of the rider. My two cents.
 

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Hey guys,

I would love to have some input of people that actually raced the bike on track OR went full out carving twisties. Even with an upgraded suspension, is it worth it, or did people change for another model of bike ( mt-10, duke 890r, stripple, etc.).

I do not want a full racing bike, i just want to know if it is worth to put 1-2k in upgrading the suspension, or if the bike geometry is off and i would be better to change bike.

And no, owning 2 different bikes here in canada is not an option!

Ah and btw i'm 6'1 and 230 pounds, and i dont have alot of fat to lose, maybe 10 pounds max ( 13% body fat XD) so this is not an option :p

Thank you guys!
It all starts with a good suspension set up and your skills as a rider.

I weigh approximately 250 pounds and I have a stock suspension on my MT09

Some people will tell you to throw money at the suspension but first you must realize what your needs really are, learn your suspension do a couple track days and then take it from there,
a good suspension set up is key prior to changing it all out. The MT09 has monster power
My suggestion to you learn all the components involved and your suspension you can find good videos on YouTube, Dave MosesTuning has good information, I am by no means an expert my experience on the track is at intermediate level

once I get to advance then maybe I will need to upgrade my suspension.
Learn your Sagg, Compression and Rebound and start from there. Find your needs first. Hello
 

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Until you’ve ridden a properly tuned suspension on the street or track you will always question if it’s worth it or not. Without question it is worh it in regards to both safety and performance. A properly tuned suspension will keep the bike more stable, predictable and therefore safer regardless the level of riding skill.

On my 2018 09 I did the Stoltec pistons, shims and springs along with a basic Öhlins out back. The front is far better than stock, the rear is just ok but lacking proper adjustment. The lack of compression adjustment on the Öhlins is a bit limiting for spirited riding or track days. They should offer compression damping without the remote preload for the bikes without passenger pegs.
I recently put a Penske 8987 on my FZ1 and it has totally transformed the ride once I got it dialed in. Absolutely the best shock I’ve ever ridden.

An 8983 will be on the 09 before next year.
 

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It all starts with a good suspension set up and your skills as a rider.

I weigh approximately 250 pounds and I have a stock suspension on my MT09

Some people will tell you to throw money at the suspension but first you must realize what your needs really are, learn your suspension do a couple track days and then take it from there,
a good suspension set up is key prior to changing it all out. The MT09 has monster power
My suggestion to you learn all the components involved and your suspension you can find good videos on YouTube, Dave MosesTuning has good information, I am by no means an expert my experience on the track is at intermediate level

once I get to advance then maybe I will need to upgrade my suspension.
Learn your Sagg, Compression and Rebound and start from there. Find your needs first.
H77photography instagram you can see pics of MY MT09 on the Track, hope this helps my brother 🤙
 

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Hey guys,

I would love to have some input of people that actually raced the bike on track OR went full out carving twisties. Even with an upgraded suspension, is it worth it, or did people change for another model of bike ( mt-10, duke 890r, stripple, etc.).

I do not want a full racing bike, i just want to know if it is worth to put 1-2k in upgrading the suspension, or if the bike geometry is off and i would be better to change bike.

And no, owning 2 different bikes here in canada is not an option!

Ah and btw i'm 6'1 and 230 pounds, and i dont have alot of fat to lose, maybe 10 pounds max ( 13% body fat XD) so this is not an option :p

Thank you guys!
Hey guys,

I would love to have some input of people that actually raced the bike on track OR went full out carving twisties. Even with an upgraded suspension, is it worth it, or did people change for another model of bike ( mt-10, duke 890r, stripple, etc.).

I do not want a full racing bike, i just want to know if it is worth to put 1-2k in upgrading the suspension, or if the bike geometry is off and i would be better to change bike.

And no, owning 2 different bikes here in canada is not an option!

Ah and btw i'm 6'1 and 230 pounds, and i dont have alot of fat to lose, maybe 10 pounds max ( 13% body fat XD) so this is not an option :p

Thank you guys!
I’m 200lbs and 6’ to start, I’ve had some high end bikes with decent suspension, Ducati 1098s, 2016 Yamaha R1 etc. I live in VA near some of the best riding roads in the country. I’ve hit them with the MT09 after adjusting my suspension and have not had a complaint even leaning the bike over to the edge of the rear rubber.
I will say that how the suspension comes out of the box is pretty bad and even dangerous as you could “pogo” around really fast steep turns. I’m not sure why it comes like this. I used these 2 vids to pretty much nail what I needed out of the bike for the kind of riding I’m doing.



That being said, you do have 30lbs on me and I can’t be sure that this will feel exactly the same for you as it does for me. I also would NOT track this bike, the suspension is fine for road use but I would not want to go into a corner at 100mph with it nor the stock brakes. Its just not a track bike for me but a great naked for carving twisties.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
I read everywhere that the duke 890r and the striple are more capable machines for twisties than the mt09 even after the suspension upgrade.... i dont really get why, there must be some geometrical flaws with the mt-09. Probably the riding position? if we put the woodcraft clip-ons on it, would it cure that geometrical issue or not? mmm, Anyway the dealers near me will lend me a duke 890r for 1 hour saturday, i may have an answer after that .
 

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I think a lot of that talk is journos and bloggers interviewing their keyboards. How many even set the suspension on the loan bikes to suit their weight? None, or if some do it's because "someone" said these settings are the ones to use.
I also bet very few have ridden a well set up 09 on aftermarket suspension goodies.
I do think lower bars help though. The originals are too "sit up and beg" to get a good feel for what the front tyre is doing.
One thing I'm sure of, neither of those bikes can stay with an 09 for drive out of corners.
 
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