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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having a hard time deciding between the Penske 8900E and 8983 shock so I figured I would ask some of you with real world experience with these shocks. I know the knee-jerk reaction is "buy the 8983, it's worth it!"... and I don't doubt that it is for hardcore street and track riders, but maybe not for me? I do not plan on riding on a track and 95% of my riding is on straight roads as that is just about all there is close to me. There are a few short stretches of road with a few turns here and there... but nothing that goes on for miles. My goal is to tame the extreme squat of the rear shock on acceleration and to get rid of the wallowing/pogo-stick effect through the corners. Given this information... is the 8983 really worth the extra dough for a rider like myself or would the 8900E suffice? I've never had aftermarket suspension on any of the bikes I've owned, but the fz-09 is the first bike to make me feel like it "needs" suspension upgrades.
 

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Get the 8900E. I have the Nitron equivalent of the 8900E on my custom Ducati and it's just fine for canyon riding. I know it's not the best available but it works just fine.

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The 8900E is an emulsion shock. While this works ok in a vertical position like on the Ducati it is less than ideal in an inclined position like the MT09, as nitrogen can pass by the damping piston far more easily.

The Nitron is a De Carbon unit with a separating piston between the oil and gas so is not the same as the 8900E even though it does not carry a remote reservoir.

The Ohlins YA335 is also a De Carbon unit, as is the Hyperpro offering for the MT09.

Unless it's really stupidly cheap avoid the emulsion shock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I understand that remote reservoir shocks are better than emulsion, but would a quality emulsion shock with a proper spring weight not effectively reduce squat under acceleration and eliminate the pogo-stick effect during cornering?
 

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I elected to go with the ohlins single clicker vs the double or triple mainly because I won't track this bike and I didn't want to spend a fortune on suspension. I've also never had aftermarket suspension and figured anything would be better than nothing.

With the Penske shocks, I though I remember reading on Nicks site that they are upgradable (I.e. You can turn a single clicker into a double later on down the road).

Not 100% on that and not sure how difficult it is to upgrade but if that's true, I'd get the lower end, see how you like it and upgrade later if you're still wanting more.
 

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I ended up going with the double clicker after Nick explained to me that the inherent disadvantages of the emulsion shock design show up not only in hard riding but in day to day commuting over the relatively rough roads we have here in PA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I elected to go with the ohlins single clicker vs the double or triple mainly because I won't track this bike and I didn't want to spend a fortune on suspension. I've also never had aftermarket suspension and figured anything would be better than nothing.

With the Penske shocks, I though I remember reading on Nicks site that they are upgradable (I.e. You can turn a single clicker into a double later on down the road).

Not 100% on that and not sure how difficult it is to upgrade but if that's true, I'd get the lower end, see how you like it and upgrade later if you're still wanting more.
The 8900E is upgradeable, from what I understand it's about $500 to upgrade vs. only $250-300 more to just get the 8983 to begin with... so if the likelihood of upgrading is high, it's cheaper to just get the 8983 to begin with. I think I would be fine with the 8900E, but I really have no idea without being able to try it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I ended up going with the double clicker after Nick explained to me that the inherent disadvantages of the emulsion shock design show up not only in hard riding but in day to day commuting over the relatively rough roads we have here in PA.
Most of the roads in Alabama are in very good condition, that is one area that the state seems to not hesitate spending money on. Given the smooth roads and few curves, I don't know if I would notice much difference in the two shocks... but again I really can't say without experiencing each one.
 

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I understand that remote reservoir shocks are better than emulsion, but would a quality emulsion shock with a proper spring weight not effectively reduce squat under acceleration and eliminate the pogo-stick effect during cornering?
De Carbon shocks are better than emulsion; they don't necessarily have a remote reservoir.

"Quality" emulsion shocks don't really exist. They are always a halfway house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
De Carbon shocks are better than emulsion; they don't necessarily have a remote reservoir.

"Quality" emulsion shocks don't really exist. They are always a halfway house.
The remote reservoir reference was regarding the 8983 vs. the 8900E. By quality, I just mean made by a quality company like Penske and much better than the piece of junk stock shock. I might have to consider a De Carbon shock as a possible alternative as well.
 

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The 8900E is upgradeable, from what I understand it's about $500 to upgrade vs. only $250-300 more to just get the 8983 to begin with... so if the likelihood of upgrading is high, it's cheaper to just get the 8983 to begin with. I think I would be fine with the 8900E, but I really have no idea without being able to try it.
obviously it's not the same price if you go the upgrade route - but my only point was that if you're on the fence and think that the base shock will get the job done - you could save yourself some cash and get that.

If you really hated it - there's always the chance to upgrade and you're out $200 extra bucks (vs. if you went with the upgraded shock to begin with).
 

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The 8900E is an emulsion shock. While this works ok in a vertical position like on the Ducati it is less than ideal in an inclined position like the MT09, as nitrogen can pass by the damping piston far more easily.

The Nitron is a De Carbon unit with a separating piston between the oil and gas so is not the same as the 8900E even though it does not carry a remote reservoir.

The Ohlins YA335 is also a De Carbon unit, as is the Hyperpro offering for the MT09.

Unless it's really stupidly cheap avoid the emulsion shock.
As anyone will know who has spoken with me, I am not a huge fan of the 8900E for this reason. That said, we've done both road and dyno testing to ensure that the shock orientation isn't an issue on this bike. Long story short, it is NOT. The nitrogen won't pass through the piston in the way that you're thinking, though. After the first several miles, the oil and nitrogen mix to create a foam. This new mixture, while not ideal, is homogeneous enough that damping remains relatively consistent. Put another way...the stock shock is emulsion and is subject to the same concerns.

As I've said in the past...think of the 8900E as the 'fix'. It's like a REALLY good stock shock. The 8983 and upward are true performance enhancements.
 

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Nick I know you are well versed in suspension matters. Some other suspension specialists disagree on the mixing, however, stating that for the shock to function mixing is not desireable and does not do so. Without a transparent shock body it would be difficult to know for sure.

I am surprised that the OE shock is an emulsion unit........... the ER6, for example, uses a De Carbon shock mounted at less of an angle. Most OE shocks tend to be either De Carbon or gas charged twin tube designs.
 

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The remote reservoir reference was regarding the 8983 vs. the 8900E. By quality, I just mean made by a quality company like Penske and much better than the piece of junk stock shock. I might have to consider a De Carbon shock as a possible alternative as well.
Ah gotcha now.

Yes, an aftermarket emulsion shock will doubtless be an improvement over the OE tat.

You know what your wallet will stretch to - if the Emulsion unit is at the top end of your budget then the decision is pretty much made for you. If, on the other hand, you have the funds to purchase a better shock then it is certainly worth serious consideration; good quality suspension is the one thing worth spending extra money on.

Another factor to consider is local support. On this side of the pond Penske are thin on the ground, but Nitron and Maxton are built here. I bought the lower spec Nitron because it was cheaper than any other De Carbon unit and if need be I could take it back to the factory for service or modification.
 

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Nick I know you are well versed in suspension matters. Some other suspension specialists disagree on the mixing, however, stating that for the shock to function mixing is not desireable and does not do so. Without a transparent shock body it would be difficult to know for sure.

I am surprised that the OE shock is an emulsion unit........... the ER6, for example, uses a De Carbon shock mounted at less of an angle. Most OE shocks tend to be either De Carbon or gas charged twin tube designs.
The issue with mounting an emulsion shock outside of vertical is that the oil mixes with the nitrogen and the foam doesn't flow (create damping) as efficiently. That said, once foaming has occurred, the damping behavior is relatively consistent. Is it ideal? Far from it. The bigger issue is what happens when the shock is used after sitting for a while. During the first bit of the ride, the oil and gas are completely separated (if left to sit long enough). During this point, the damping curve will look a certain way. As the oil foams, the damping curve will change. This transition point is something that can be felt (in theory). In practice, most riders are using the first few miles (or laps) to warm up the engine, tires, brakes (and body). By the time everything gels, the shock is performing as it will for the duration of the ride.

We tested this shock extensively for this very reason. We were unsure how it would behave, but our findings validated the design. That said, if we could have fit the floating piston inside the body, we would have. A De Carbon design was our first hope....but we needed about 1/4" longer body to make this work without doing a very costly redesign.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ah gotcha now.

Yes, an aftermarket emulsion shock will doubtless be an improvement over the OE tat.

You know what your wallet will stretch to - if the Emulsion unit is at the top end of your budget then the decision is pretty much made for you. If, on the other hand, you have the funds to purchase a better shock then it is certainly worth serious consideration; good quality suspension is the one thing worth spending extra money on.

Another factor to consider is local support. On this side of the pond Penske are thin on the ground, but Nitron and Maxton are built here. I bought the lower spec Nitron because it was cheaper than any other De Carbon unit and if need be I could take it back to the factory for service or modification.
A few hundred bucks difference isn't a big deal and I don't have a problem spending more money on things that I will truly see a benefit from. Given my riding style and goals, I just didn't want to spend the extra $300 bucks if I won't personally notice a difference. Thanks to the advice here and what has been provided to me via PM, I'll probably end up going with the ohlins (since it is a de carbon design) or the Penske 8983. I believe in the "buy once, cry once" philosophy. I would rather have more performance than I'll use than have less performance than I need.
 

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I have the Penske and although pricey, buying quality only hurts once. It is the first rear shock I have owned where the adjustments are detectable. You should know however that once the rear works well, you will not be able to tolerate the stock forks for long.
 
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