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Thread: RaceTech rebuild vs new rear shock

Created on: 11/09/17 02:22 PM

Replies: 12

TheBigNinja


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Fairfield County, CT.

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RaceTech rebuild vs new rear shock
11/09/17 2:22 PM

Hi All. This is my first post since getting the new 2016 SE referenced below about one year ago.
I am considering a suspension upgrade over the winter. My first thought was a RaceTech revalve job on the KYB forks - and a new bolt on (probably Ohlins) to replace the KYB rear.

In speaking with RaceTech they are promoting revalving/rebuilding the KYB rear for about $550. A new Ohlins is about $1100.

Can anyone speak to KYB quality? Assuming 'spirited' road riding, will I be happy with a tuned up KYB, or will I wish I bought the Ohlins?

Thanks



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cruderudy


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Location: RPV

Joined: 08/15/12

Posts: 923

RE: RaceTech rebuild vs new rear shock
11/09/17 3:26 PM

Do you have the stock suspension dialed in? Made a big difference for me. At 5' 9" and 200 lbs the stock springs don't need changing. The suspension guru at track days I worked with told me for my bike at my level in the 3rd/slow or 2nd/middle group I needed better tires and way more seat time on the track before I need any hardware changes.

If its bling bling and you want the girls at the next bike night lusting over your gold bolt on stuff go for the Ohlin's. I don't know if you would notice the revalue only but if a large mass ass necessitates stiffer spring rates I would do that also. If you pm me I can send you my track and street settings.



"I'd rather use tampons then slipons." Rook

Perfectly Set up '06 dead and gone
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Rook


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Joined: 03/28/09

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RE: RaceTech rebuild vs new rear shock
11/09/17 7:26 PM

If you pm me I can send you my track and street settings.

This must be a trade secret.

I'm 200-210 without gear and the stock rear shock was no better than my Ohlins rear shock. Ohlins is a few ounces more weight but looks very cool. Also you can adjust the rear ride height maybe about a half inch higher or lower than stock. The forks are a little less floaty than the stock Gen1 forks. I notice this in cornering but it really doesn't let me go any faster with the Ohlins. I was accustomed to the stockers and hey were fine once properly adjusted. The forks are not round all the way down so you can't raise them in the clamps more than a couple mm. STock tubes would have been better even if I went with Ohlins internals. The Ohlins are a bit sexier though. The pair with all hardware are 3 oz lighter than stock.

I might ad that I have never taken the time to dial these in but I left them on the same settings as the guy I bought them from and he was just 10 lbs heavier than me. They feel good so I assume they are about on the money. If your stock suspension can't be adjusted to your liking, probably an upgrade would help. I'd go as cheap as possible though unless you're into the bling.


* Last updated by: Rook on 11/9/2017 @ 7:30 PM *



'08 MIDNIGHT SAPPHIRE BLUE flies out, full Tsukigi Cannon exhaust, BMC race filter, Muzzy's block off plates, 17/45 gearing, PC5, Romans map, AT-200, Bonneville PRO, HM PLUS quickshifter, Factory Pro EVO Shift Star, RC's oil pump cover, Shorai 14A2 Lithium battery, Spiegler SS clutch and brake lines, HyperPro RSC steering damper, Vortex rearsets, Ohlins FGRT807 forks and KA544 shock, Carrazzeria Tri-R wheels, Pazzo levers.

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TheBigNinja


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Fairfield County, CT.

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RE: RaceTech rebuild vs new rear shock
11/09/17 8:45 PM

Thanks Guys I will try dialing in the stock gear before anything else. I haven't touched the factory settings. Also have new Pilot Powers going on this weekend.

I'm 6'2" 195 - 200 lbs. CrudeRudy I'll PM you for the settings. Tnanks again.



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cruderudy


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Location: RPV

Joined: 08/15/12

Posts: 923

RE: RaceTech rebuild vs new rear shock
11/09/17 10:45 PM

Rook no secret just an excel file, think I may have the track settings from my '06 if you want those



"I'd rather use tampons then slipons." Rook

Perfectly Set up '06 dead and gone
New BBW '14 14R

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Rook


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Posts: 16508

RE: RaceTech rebuild vs new rear shock
11/10/17 8:10 PM

Thanks Guys I will try dialing in the stock gear before anything else.

You will need a spanner wrench to adjust the rear preload. I would go for something other than the Kawi tool which is $40 stamped sheet of steel. You can get something nicer for less. As long as it fits the flutes in the preload adjuster nuts, it should work. They are not terribly tight. ...or you can resort to a hammer and punch to break them loose.

Rook no secret just an excel file, think I may have the track settings from my '06 if you want those

Ya, got you're email. I'd have to compare to my settings but I'm running the Ohlins' now anyway. My solo suspension tune seemed to work pretty good for me when I dialed in the stockers. There's another tutorial that needs pics updated.



'08 MIDNIGHT SAPPHIRE BLUE flies out, full Tsukigi Cannon exhaust, BMC race filter, Muzzy's block off plates, 17/45 gearing, PC5, Romans map, AT-200, Bonneville PRO, HM PLUS quickshifter, Factory Pro EVO Shift Star, RC's oil pump cover, Shorai 14A2 Lithium battery, Spiegler SS clutch and brake lines, HyperPro RSC steering damper, Vortex rearsets, Ohlins FGRT807 forks and KA544 shock, Carrazzeria Tri-R wheels, Pazzo levers.

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TheBigNinja


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Fairfield County, CT.

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Posts: 25

RE: RaceTech rebuild vs new rear shock
11/11/17 8:16 AM

Thanks Crude for the file.

As mentioned the bike has the factory suspension settings. I'll first set sag and am targeting 30mm front and rear. Do you guys agree?
Conditions are: 198 lb guy (no gear). Spirited street riding on, in some cases, poor/medium quality New England roads. Need to allow for cracks in the pavement, broken pavement, uneven surfaces where roads have been patched.



16 ZX-14R ABS SE Metallic Matte Carbon Gray
09 ZX-14 Candy Lime Green
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Rook


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Posts: 16508

RE: RaceTech rebuild vs new rear shock
11/11/17 8:46 AM

That would be a good place to start. The front might be a little stiff but that is easy enough to adjust. Sag for street riding should be 35mm to 40mm, front and 30mm to 35mm, rear. I had 30 mm rear and 40 mm front with my stock suspensions.



'08 MIDNIGHT SAPPHIRE BLUE flies out, full Tsukigi Cannon exhaust, BMC race filter, Muzzy's block off plates, 17/45 gearing, PC5, Romans map, AT-200, Bonneville PRO, HM PLUS quickshifter, Factory Pro EVO Shift Star, RC's oil pump cover, Shorai 14A2 Lithium battery, Spiegler SS clutch and brake lines, HyperPro RSC steering damper, Vortex rearsets, Ohlins FGRT807 forks and KA544 shock, Carrazzeria Tri-R wheels, Pazzo levers.

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Nightmare


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Location: Okotoks, AB

Joined: 04/07/09

Posts: 486

RE: RaceTech rebuild vs new rear shock
11/14/17 8:56 AM

I'm pretty sure the stock rear shock on my gen 1 has been holding up really well, although I don't have anything to compare this shock to.

I did a bunch of reading a while ago to try and determine what I thought the "best" settings for my suspension is. The 2 main take aways that I got were: Set your static sag first (and equally front & back) and find an area that is easily repeatable so you can test your changes to feel the differences (ie a race track).

The springs in the front were too soft for my weight so I ended up replacing them with stiffer springs. After setting the sag (which helped a LOT with the rear end in cornering) I started paying attention to how the bike reacted to certain corners and bumps on my commute. I adjusted the rebound and compression damping a click or 2 at a time then made a mental note about how those changes affected my riding.

A couple of things I was looking out for specifically were feeling like after going over a bump I felt like I was being "ejected" from the bike, this was, if memory serves, due to insufficient rebound damping in the rear. The rear end would spring up faster than the front giving the feeling like I was being tossed up in the air. How the bike turned into the corners was of course the main focus, I noticed the rear of the bike seemed a bit energetic as it wiggled or felt like it was moving more than I wanted. I upped the compression damping a couple of clicks and with the original sag adjustment (pre-load) the rear is nice and planted.

Here's a couple of forum threads that might help you as well:
http://zx14ninjaforum.com/messages.cfm?threadid=15A4333C-D56B-84E2-178B37AEDA05341C
http://zx14ninjaforum.com/messages.cfm?threadid=5234DE9F-1372-66AE-3BD9FFE983AE060B

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1wheelpeel


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Location: East Texas

Joined: 06/08/09

Posts: 71

RE: RaceTech rebuild vs new rear shock
11/14/17 2:34 PM

In speaking with RaceTech they are promoting revalving/rebuilding the KYB rear for about $550.

If you decide to rebuild you might check with Roger at On Road Off Road cycles. I don't remember what his quote was to me but it was substantially less than that. This guy knows his stuff. I'm at 190# and mine was maxed out on rebound. I was going to have him go through mine but happened upon a deal on an aftermarket shock.

http://www.ororcycle.com/



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TheBigNinja


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Fairfield County, CT.

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Posts: 25

RE: RaceTech rebuild vs new rear shock
11/14/17 9:02 PM

Thanks Wheelpeel I'll check out Roger.

Nightmare what kind of sag do you like for 200 lb street rider?

Thanks again.



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Nightmare


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Location: Okotoks, AB

Joined: 04/07/09

Posts: 486

RE: RaceTech rebuild vs new rear shock
11/15/17 9:52 AM

TheBigNinja,

Technically speaking the weight of the rider isn't actually relevant when it comes to what the sag should be. The idea of the static sag of your suspension is to have the bike's chassis sitting at a certain point along the suspension travel so that as you go over bumps, take corners, etc the bike doesn't bottom out or top out (is that even a phrase? but its still relevant, you don't want to hit the top of your suspension).

So, why doesn't the rider weight matter? Since the static sag target is a point along the suspension travel it will be the same point for a 300 pound rider as a 150 pound rider what will change is the preload and spring stiffness required to obtain this target.

The general rule of thumb for most street bikes is between 25mm and 30mm of static sag (although I've seen some people suggest as high as 40mm), typically this should be the SAME both front and rear however I've also seen some people suggest more sag in the front than the rear. The reason that some would suggest different measurements is because ideally the static sag isn't a specific measurement for all bikes, but actually a percentage of the total suspension travel. I just don't remember what that percentage is (I think its something like 60% of total travel and lets assume this is correct for the sake of the conversation).

So what this means is, if you have a dirt bike with a TON of suspension travel (100mm front, 70mm rear lets say) than the ideal static sag would be 60mm front, 42mm rear. A street bike might have 50mm front and 45mm rear suspension travel, which would mean the ideal static sag would be 30mm front, 27mm rear. These are just made up numbers but in my example the street bike's static sag are pretty close so that could explain the discrepancy between setting the front and rear the same or differently.

Also, the other main point is you actually want the bike to sit "level" that is, when the suspension is loaded and when the suspension is working it should be working evenly. In my previous post I described feeling like I was being ejected from my seat when going over a bump, that's because the front and rear weren't working evenly yet.

In the ideal world you would determine what the total suspension travel of both your front and rear suspension is and set each to 25-33 percent of their total travel, actually I just did a quick search and found this article which suggests that and sounds about right.

http://racetech.com/articles/SuspensionAndSprings.htm

Okay... so what the hell does this all mean?

Got time on your hands and want the best possible setup? Figure out the total travel, times that by 25-33% and set your front & rear sag appropriately.

Feelin' lazy or like this is WAY too hard (its not really when you do it), set both the front and rear to 25-30mm.

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Nightmare


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Location: Okotoks, AB

Joined: 04/07/09

Posts: 486

RE: RaceTech rebuild vs new rear shock
11/15/17 10:05 AM

Since that post was actually a LOT longer than I expected I'm gonna split it up a bit...

Firstly this is all going to sound hard and complicated, but it really isn't. I set both my front and rear with a bit of help in about an hour and it is definitely worth the effort!

A couple of tips for measuring your total suspension travel:
-Use a head stand to find the top of the suspension travel on the front
-Use a zip tie snugly fastened on a fork then ride over a nasty bump to bottom the suspension to find the bottom of the suspension travel
-Use ratcheting straps connected to garage rafters/joists to lift the rear to find the top of the travel
-Finding the bottom isn't as easy, you'll have to weigh it down (passenger + rider at least)

Tips for making the adjustments
-Suit up, or since that's hot & awkward when moving on and off the bike a lot, put the equivalent weight in a tank bag or backpack (I think mine was like 22lbs or something like that)
-Get help, having someone help hold/stabilize the bike (or use a wall to help stabilize it yourself) and someone else take measurements makes a world of difference, you can't do this on your own.
-Measure from the same point each time, I used a caliper that was locked to the setting I wanted to make it quick and easy, maybe point a small piece of tape on the 2 points you are measuring between for reference.
-Lift the rear to unload the suspension before trying to adjust it, that locking nut won't go without a HUGE fight when loaded. Yes it sucks lifting the rear but those straps make it easy and slow.
-Buy the correct spanner wrench (aka hook wrench) don't bother trying to jerry-rig a tool these wrenches are cheap and make the job a ton easier.
-After you make an adjustment and before you measure work the suspension (push the front as hard as you possibly can with the brake applied, be careful to not lose your balance) this will allow you to get the actual measurement where the bike will sit in real life.

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