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Hi guys and gals. I spend quite a few days on track and also ride my 2020 MT 09 on the street. I bought the bike used last spring and love it!! I've upgraded quite a bit already but still need to do the ECU flash, brake lines, master cylinder, front & rear suspension, & rear-sets. At least these are the major items left to make it more suitable for the track. Mainly my question is if you had to choose between front and rear suspension for this season, which would you go for and why? My plan is to rebuild the forks using Stoltec piston & re-valving kit with heavier springs and the rear is still up in the air. I'm playing with several ideas, K-Tech Razor R, Penske double clicker, Hyperpro etc... Any help would be appreciated. If it helps at all for the sake of this post, I weigh 240-245 with full track gear on. I'll be riding intermediate this year.
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If you just can't do both ends at once, go with the shock and adjust it (compression and rebound ) to match the forks lesser performance until you do get them done.
 

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I disagree,I think the front end is more important at the track then the rear

they are both important but If i could only do one I would do the forks

actually I did this in the early 2000's when I was racing a GSXR750. I sent the forks off to traxxion dynamics and was on a stock rear shock for a full season. I was racing in the expert class in CCS Florida.
 

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I can open forks and easily go to heavier fork oil to get more compression damping. I can't do that with the shock so easily and the stock shock on the FZ/MT is no where near as good as the stock GSXR shock.
 

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Hi guys and gals. I spend quite a few days on track and also ride my 2020 MT 09 on the street. I bought the bike used last spring and love it!! I've upgraded quite a bit already but still need to do the ECU flash, brake lines, master cylinder, front & rear suspension, & rear-sets. At least these are the major items left to make it more suitable for the track. Mainly my question is if you had to choose between front and rear suspension for this season, which would you go for and why? My plan is to rebuild the forks using Stoltec piston & re-valving kit with heavier springs and the rear is still up in the air. I'm playing with several ideas, K-Tech Razor R, Penske double clicker, Hyperpro etc... Any help would be appreciated. If it helps at all for the sake of this post, I weigh 240-245 with full track gear on. I'll be riding intermediate this year. View attachment 173770
Is that picture at Little Talladaga?

My thoughts are that if you can only do one at a time, the front end should be first. Especially if you are moving up to intermediate this year, you will be running a bit faster, and more importantly, braking later and harder, and possibly learning to trail brake if you don't already know that technique. Harder braking scenarios is the last place that you want to be without some confidence in the front end.....same with trail braking into the corners.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Is that picture at Little Talladaga?

My thoughts are that if you can only do one at a time, the front end should be first. Especially if you are moving up to intermediate this year, you will be running a bit faster, and more importantly, braking later and harder, and possibly learning to trail brake if you don't already know that technique. Harder braking scenarios is the last place that you want to be without some confidence in the front end.....same with trail braking into the corners.
I wish. Not Tally but I do like it quite a lot. It's Michigan-based Grattan Raceway. They've recently been repaving sections of it and I'm hooked!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Is that picture at Little Talladaga?

My thoughts are that if you can only do one at a time, the front end should be first. Especially if you are moving up to intermediate this year, you will be running a bit faster, and more importantly, braking later and harder, and possibly learning to trail brake if you don't already know that technique. Harder braking scenarios is the last place that you want to be without some confidence in the front end.....same with trail braking into the corners.
Point taken. Thanks for this. I'm not afraid of hard-late braking and have been trail braking since the first bend. My forks (probably untouched OE) are way under-sprung for my weight. I am right at the bottom of the stroke during hard braking in spite of using all available preload and having the forks set up by a pro at the track. I know I could trail deeper & carry more corner speed but the front is not confidence inspiring. Even with the suspension being what it is at the end of last season I was faster and more consistent than 98% of riders in the C group. I can't wait to get back out there!!
 

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Point taken. Thanks for this. I'm not afraid of hard-late braking and have been trail braking since the first bend. My forks (probably untouched OE) are way under-sprung for my weight. I am right at the bottom of the stroke during hard braking in spite of using all available preload and having the forks set up by a pro at the track. I know I could trail deeper & carry more corner speed but the front is not confidence inspiring. Even with the suspension being what it is at the end of last season I was faster and more consistent than 98% of riders in the C group. I can't wait to get back out there!!
If at all possible and do both ends. I spent half of what I purchased my bike for on suspension. It was worth every stinking penny!
 

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I'd do a K-tech rear shock and then, because your weight is so much more than the front is sprung for, do a set of springs only which should be about $125. It won't perfect but it'll give you a much improved over stock motorcycle until you can do cartridges. The K-Tech appear to be almost $400 cheaper then the Penske. Then next year you could do K-Tech fork piston kit which is about as good as cartridges and not have to buy springs.
 

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Point taken. Thanks for this. I'm not afraid of hard-late braking and have been trail braking since the first bend. My forks (probably untouched OE) are way under-sprung for my weight. I am right at the bottom of the stroke during hard braking in spite of using all available preload and having the forks set up by a pro at the track. I know I could trail deeper & carry more corner speed but the front is not confidence inspiring. Even with the suspension being what it is at the end of last season I was faster and more consistent than 98% of riders in the C group. I can't wait to get back out there!!
Bottoming out the front end under hard braking is never a good thing. Back in 2016 I had just bought a used 2008 GSX-R750 and we left for Barber a couple of days later for the weekend. I spent the first three sessions of the day getting accustomed to the "new to me" bike and was picking up the pace on each session. I was always a very hard/late braker and I was coming into T5 (a.k.a. Charlottes Web where the spider sculpture is) and I bottomed out the front end being hard on the brakes and it caused the front tire to start sliding. I could feel it sliding, and my reaction was to momentarily release pressure on the brake to get the tire rolling again....and it did. But, that milli-second of time off the brakes, took me too deep into the corner and I had not scrubbed off enough speed....so I headed straight into the gravel trap and then lost control of the bike in the loose gravel and had a fairly slow speed crash. At the time, I didn't know that I had in fact bottomed out, but back at the paddock, the zip tie that I had put on the front fork revealed that it was at the very bottom of fork travel and indeed had bottomed out. The guy I had bought the bike from had told me that it was setup for my weight, and I didn't really have time to verify that. It wasn't, but I learned that lesson a little too late. New springs in the front, and a K-Tech rear shock was bought and installed before I took it back out on the track and it turned out to be the best handling bike I've ever owned. I was sorry to see that one go, but I sold it when I retired from Coaching/Instructing with STT and stopped doing track days.

So was that picture in your first post at Little Tally?.....it sure looks like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bottoming out the front end under hard braking is never a good thing. Back in 2016 I had just bought a used 2008 GSX-R750 and we left for Barber a couple of days later for the weekend. I spent the first three sessions of the day getting accustomed to the "new to me" bike and was picking up the pace on each session. I was always a very hard/late braker and I was coming into T5 (a.k.a. Charlottes Web where the spider sculpture is) and I bottomed out the front end being hard on the brakes and it caused the front tire to start sliding. I could feel it sliding, and my reaction was to momentarily release pressure on the brake to get the tire rolling again....and it did. But, that milli-second of time off the brakes, took me too deep into the corner and I had not scrubbed off enough speed....so I headed straight into the gravel trap and then lost control of the bike in the loose gravel and had a fairly slow speed crash. At the time, I didn't know that I had in fact bottomed out, but back at the paddock, the zip tie that I had put on the front fork revealed that it was at the very bottom of fork travel and indeed had bottomed out. The guy I had bought the bike from had told me that it was setup for my weight, and I didn't really have time to verify that. It wasn't, but I learned that lesson a little too late. New springs in the front, and a K-Tech rear shock was bought and installed before I took it back out on the track and it turned out to be the best handling bike I've ever owned. I was sorry to see that one go, but I sold it when I retired from Coaching/Instructing with STT and stopped doing track days.

So was that picture in your first post at Little Tally?.....it sure looks like it.
Hi Triplethreat. I definitely appreciate the assistance. Having kids put a sudden stop to my dreams of riding on the track but now in my mid 50’s I am finally able to get out there and love every minute of it! My oldest son works for STG and rides on track too so…even better. I could definitely do the springs in front and heavier oil along with the K-Tech out back. It’s a second gen so it’s got both compression and rebound adjustability so I think I could get it working much better than it does. I can’t stand the nose dive action. The two tracks I’ve been to are in my home state of Michigan. Grattan in the picture and Gingerman. Love Grattan with all the elevation changes and some off camber corners. They say “if you can ride Grattan you can ride anywhere”. Very technical.
 

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If I had to do it over again, I think I'd do the forks first.
I did my first track season on stock forks with a Penske double clicker.
Thing was, I wasn't going fast enough in my first year to really load the front... but was greedy enough with the throttle to squat the rear. These days, I need the front more than ever to be stable.
Do both... :)
 

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Hi Triplethreat. I definitely appreciate the assistance. Having kids put a sudden stop to my dreams of riding on the track but now in my mid 50’s I am finally able to get out there and love every minute of it! My oldest son works for STG and rides on track too so…even better. I could definitely do the springs in front and heavier oil along with the K-Tech out back. It’s a second gen so it’s got both compression and rebound adjustability so I think I could get it working much better than it does. I can’t stand the nose dive action. The two tracks I’ve been to are in my home state of Michigan. Grattan in the picture and Gingerman. Love Grattan with all the elevation changes and some off camber corners. They say “if you can ride Grattan you can ride anywhere”. Very technical.
I can totally relate to the delay and the age thing. Two kids and then when they were grown, I did my first track day in 2005 and was hooked. At the time, I lived in IL and mostly did the track in Madison IL (Gateway ???) and Putnam, over in Indiana. In 2006 we moved to TN and I started riding the Southern tracks....Road Atlanta, Barber Motorsports Park, Nashville Super Speedway, CMP, Little Tally, and then NCM in Bowling Green, KY when it opened. My wife and I were both Instructors with Sportbike Track Time from 2011 until we retired from track riding. I had probably close to 10,000 miles at Barber, by itself. We both reached the age that it was just getting too difficult to be out there in the hot/humid summer days in the south. I have to say though, the time we spent on the track, and the entire trackday friends and family, is some of the best times of my life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I can totally relate to the delay and the age thing. Two kids and then when they were grown, I did my first track day in 2005 and was hooked. At the time, I lived in IL and mostly did the track in Madison IL (Gateway ???) and Putnam, over in Indiana. In 2006 we moved to TN and I started riding the Southern tracks....Road Atlanta, Barber Motorsports Park, Nashville Super Speedway, CMP, Little Tally, and then NCM in Bowling Green, KY when it opened. My wife and I were both Instructors with Sportbike Track Time from 2011 until we retired from track riding. I had probably close to 10,000 miles at Barber, by itself. We both reached the age that it was just getting too difficult to be out there in the hot/humid summer days in the south. I have to say though, the time we spent on the track, and the entire trackday friends and family, is some of the best times of my life.
That’s awesome! I bet you have a lot of stories to tell for sure. I’d definitely like to get to head south sometime and ride a lot of the tracks you mentioned. Very happy to have found this forum and really appreciate the people here and at track days. Kinda like a family. Very cool.
 

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I'd do shock first just because the stock item is attrocious. Have a look at French manufactured Shock Factory - K-Tech quality for less $$. The front isn't near as bad and can be dialled in. They supply all the top World Sidecar Championship teams - must be doing something right with only 2 inches of travel............................ Shock Factory
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'd do shock first just because the stock item is attrocious. Have a look at French manufactured Shock Factory - K-Tech quality for less $$. The front isn't near as bad and can be dialled in. They supply all the top World Sidecar Championship teams - must be doing something right with only 2 inches of travel............................ Shock Factory
Thanks for the tip! Check it out for sure.
 
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