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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2014 which I bought preowned. The PO was thoughtful enough to change out the front suspension with .90 springs and 2.5 fork oil. I can't comment on whether the valves were done or if they were, which upgrade was used. I don't know which brand oil was used either. The rear shock was changed to a Penske 8393 double clicker which originally had a 600lbs spring. I weigh 185 without gear so figure 195 ready to ride. The stock tires are on the bike which has 1500 miles. I've done suspensions on all my bikes so this isn't new to me. What is new is I just can't get this bike dialed in to my liking. The suspension which at stock was way too soft (I never rode one so I can't comment) is now way too stiff. I've changed the rear spring to a 550, went to full soft and reduced any preload to 0. Still, no good. The bike does not turn in quickly and I can feel every pebble on the road. I have tried tire pressure from 32-36 front and rear and it hasn't changed the overall ride of the bike. I've read some others have had similar issues while the majority who have done similar set ups are very happy. I was thinking of going to 7.5 or 10 fork oil to hopefully make the front end more compliant. Barring that, a new front suspension is not in my budget for this bike. I love the engine and everything else about the FZ09 but I'm afraid I might have to sell her and move on to something more to my riding preferences. Any suggestions are welcome, I'm sort of at my wits end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Don't have current SAG numbers after making continuos changes. I was within recommended numbers when I first started, but still wasn't riding right so I sort of through the "formula" out the window and just started making small adjustments at a time. If I wasn't happy I just went back to prior settings. Eventually just went by the seat of my pants.
 

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High vis oil will make it worse. ..... get sag set and go from there. Reduce the rebound on front.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I thought the higher viscosity oil would slow the fork response to bumps a soften the feel of the front end. I had the sag set and that was my starting point. Just haven't been able to get it right.
 

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I just went from a ZX6RR on the rear to the Penske double clicker from Traxxion Dynamics.

This bike is pretty tough to get a plush ride. The linkage is progressive and ramps up quickly. I weigh about the same as you, 190 in gear. Shock has a 575lb spring.

Traxxion does a re valve right out of the box from Penske. They reduce the damping on it from stock Penske values whick helps with the ride.

I am running around 36mm sag on both ends. Dan at Traxxion told me the FZ09 they set up had around 38mm sag. A little extra sag will help with the ride.

I also spun the ride hight out 2 and 1/2 turns. I went with the AK-20 cartriges up front and have the top of the gold tubes even with the top tripple clamp. This dropped the front down just a bit from stock.

The turn in with this set up is excellent. Kinda like power steering.

Good luck.
 

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I am pretty much a newbie on MC suspension but I just went through changing the fork springs to Sonic .85 and previously swapped the rear shock to a zx10. I am happy with the rear but I also can't seem to get the front dialed in enough. I set the sag to 1 and 3/8'' both front and rear and found that there is a big difference in the rebound between cold and warm oil. But even after adjusting rebound so it acts properly when jouncing I still find that I bounce too much over bumps and the ride is harsh. I think it is fine for a smooth road and there is definitely less fork dive when braking but I may talk myself into buying the expensive cartridges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My original sag was close to 40 mm. I don't expect a plush ride, just the type of ride where I'm not thinking about the suspension, if that makes sense. I also raised the forks 5mm which definately helps turn in. Hitting bumps on a turn upsets the bike because of how stiff the suspension is set up. On smooth roads the bike is fine, but I live in downstate NY. Perfect roads are hard to find.
 

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within a working range setting the sag is not going to change the plushness of the ride, as far as I understand it

sounds like you have to much compression dampening, higher viscosity oil is going to make this work

think of forcing oil through an orifice.

Higher viscosity oil is going to take slow down the movement through the hole. This is going to make the bike feel stiffer as it is not going to move as much and not absorb the hit as well.

same thing if you dial in more compression dampning. You are reducing the size of the hole the oil goes through before it reaches the valve stack. So again the same force it moves slower through the hole and feels stiffer.

I am not a suspension expert by any means so what I just said could be off, but it is how I think of it and it has always led me in the right direction
 

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Something is definitely not right. I'm running a Penske double in the rear and heavier springs up front with 10wt fork oil, and about 29-30 mm of loaded sag in the back and 37-38 loaded sag up front with no issues other than the lack of adjustability for compression damping...which leads to a somewhat excessive front end dive on hard braking. The very first step is to ALWAYS get your sag set up correctly before doing any other adjustments......and to write down any changes that you make. One adjustment at a time and then a test ride before any additional adjustments are made. I'm 195 without gear and close to 215 with gear. I'll have to look in my records this evening on what I'm using spring rate wise.
 
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High vis oil will make it worse. ..... get sag set and go from there. Reduce the rebound on front.
RichBaker's advice is sound, first step to getting the most out of your suspension is properly setting the SAG. Then control the chassis (as much as possible in this case) with the damping adjustment. Using the numbers supplied by Yamaha for overall travel, the front should sag about 46mm and the rear about 43mm with you on it ready to ride. Sometimes the published numbers for travel (and other specifications) are not that accurate - often something between what R&D said it would be in production and what marketing decides to publish. For this reason, if you really want to get finicky about setting your sag it's a good idea to physically measure the actual travel (I plan on doing this, just got the bike - or I'd share the numbers). Here's a link that thoroughly explains setting SAG: Tips & Tricks?Ride Sag | Maico Rider's ZEN and tales of random precision
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Something is definitely not right. I'm running a Penske double in the rear and heavier springs up front with 10wt fork oil, and about 29-30 mm of loaded sag in the back and 37-38 loaded sag up front with no issues other than the lack of adjustability for compression damping...which leads to a somewhat excessive front end dive on hard braking. The very first step is to ALWAYS get your sag set up correctly before doing any other adjustments......and to write down any changes that you make. One adjustment at a time and then a test ride before any additional adjustments are made. I'm 195 without gear and close to 215 with gear. I'll have to look in my records this evening on what I'm using spring rate wise.
Exactly what I did until I got frustrated and just said F**k it. Didn't make it better or worse by just winging it.
Vcyclenut, thanks for the clarification.
By the way, I had the SAG set up professionally using the methods and numbers used by professionals who race.
 

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RichBaker's advice is sound, first step to getting the most out of your suspension is properly setting the SAG. Then control the chassis (as much as possible in this case) with the damping adjustment. Using the numbers supplied by Yamaha for overall travel, the front should sag about 46mm and the rear about 43mm with you on it ready to ride. Sometimes the published numbers for travel (and other specifications) are not that accurate - often something between what R&D said it would be in production and what marketing decides to publish. For this reason, if you really want to get finicky about setting your sag it's a good idea to physically measure the actual travel (I plan on doing this, just got the bike - or I'd share the numbers). Here's a link that thoroughly explains setting SAG: Tips & Tricks?Ride Sag | Maico Rider's ZEN and tales of random precision
Wow that seems like mucho sag. Curious where you dug up those numbers?
 

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Wow that seems like mucho sag. Curious where you dug up those numbers?
You're right. I didn't dig them up, I calculated them based on over two decades of professionally tuning suspension and using one third of what Yamaha claims the net suspension travel is. Generally speaking, I'd start with somewhere between one quarter and one third of the net travel but based on the little bit of seat-of-the-pants I've had on mine, I noticed a propensity towards topping out - at times leaving the ground - with no signs of bottoming and had very minimal issue with ground clearance so I blurted out the one third numbers. Given my bike is still bone stock, I'm heavier (225 in gear) than triman11427 - and he's already applied techniques used by professional racers to set his sag, I'm thinking perhaps I'm just a newbie who shouldn't have chimed in yet...at least not until I have hard numbers that work for me.
 

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One thing that I didn't see mentioned is fork alignment. If the forks are binding it can take quite a bit of force to make the front move. If it takes a healthy push to get the forks to compress, it's likely that the forks aren't completely parallel, or that the lower legs are "pinched" inward. I would try supporting the front end with the bike straight up with the front wheel just touching the ground (all the weight off of it), and then loosening the fork tube pinch bolts and axle pinch bolts enough so the fork legs can be twisted slightly. Then tighten the lower fork pinch bolts, the top, and finally the axle pinch bolts. That should ensure that the forks are parallel to minimize "stiction" in the front end.

You also didn't mention adjusting the compression or rebound damping in the rear. I'd try back it all the way out, counting the turns that it takes to back it all the way out. I'd leave the compression backed out, and try the push test on the rear- push down on the seat and see how quickly the back end rises. You should be able to get an inch+ of movement, and it should rise fairly quickly but shouldn't shoot up.

I have the 8983 rear shock with the 600# spring and the ride is firm, but not too bad. I also got the GP fork internals from Nick, have the .90 springs and 5 wt oil that he supplied with the kit. I'm 185 too without gear. Ride is not plush, but it's not harsh. Remember too that there are two preload adjustments on the 8983 shock. If you can't get enough sag, the top adjuster may be adjusted too far down. Mine was fine as delivered, but you don't know if the previous owner fiddled with it.

Good luck.
 

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Since you're about my weight, here my opinion.

Like many said, reset your rider sag numbers then just double check free sag number to see what you got. With no preload I get 38mm on the front, same springs. Rear aim for 35-38mm range to keep the balance right. Now some lower the front, I use the ZX-10 (9.1 kg/mm, 525lbs) shock that rise the rear 10mm (stock front ride height) . On stock suspension 10mm lower to the front seems about right to me. Now I do agree with David about oil viscosity. I would go with 0 weight or stick with 2.5 depending of one last thing... oil level. Does the original owner did the spring swap himself or was professionally done? If oil level is too high that could be an issue. Stock oil level is 148mm, I use 130mm but that set up is a bit more track oriented and work just fine on the smooth Florida road.
 

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I find that most professional racers aren't tuners. I set front sag at 25 - 30 mm, rear at 25mm. I am not a professional tuner because also find the pay grade to be well below my abilities. One thing not mentioned is that the suspension may be too soft causing packing, which gives the impression that it is too stiff, but may very well be quite the opposite. Just a thought.
 

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Man, I think im the only one that bought the bike and rode it the way it is. Im sure my overweight (230) is not correct on this bike. Im just using it for commuting though. Some day I'll have meet someone where i leave that is more knowledgeable that I trust that will setup the bike.

What formula were you guys referring to? I still dont understand the "Sag" idea on a bike :(
 

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Man, I think im the only one that bought the bike and rode it the way it is. Im sure my overweight (230) is not correct on this bike. Im just using it for commuting though. Some day I'll have meet someone where i leave that is more knowledgeable that I trust that will setup the bike.

What formula were you guys referring to? I still dont understand the "Sag" idea on a bike :([/QUOTE

Measure the height of your bike from the axle to a reference point with the suspension fully extend, then when you sit on it. Aim for F40ish and R35ish, depending what kind of ride you want. That's sag measurement... plenty of example on the Tube...
 
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