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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

Question to the guys thats taken the GSX-S to the track, (not meaning your first time ;) ) is the rear shock really that bad as what it looks like?

Going over the forum it looks like every 3 rd post is about some sort of upgrade to the rear, is it more of a personal thing of modding the bike, or is it actually needed? From my experience, on road tires you probably won't get to the point where a properly set-up stock suspension upgrade is needed?

I have not yet taken mine to the track nor done any spirited twisties, and a while won't tell you much about it anyway:D and not planning on making it a race bike, just curious if there is something wrong with it as it sure looks like it...haha
 

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The rear shock is very poor on road or track and I'd say an important upgrade to the bike before any power/performance upgrades.

The rear shock is very basic and adjustment range inadequate for what is needed to make the bike handle well. Lack of compression damping and very poor rebound make it useless when the bike is pushed hard.

There are plenty of options to suit all budgets available from various manufacturers and a few from other bikes that will either go straight on or will fit with minor modifications.
 

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It''t a pogo stick unless you weigh a tonne and it can't be adjusted for a normal earthling; it is one of the hidden costs of buying this great bike cheap; you need a Nitron, Wilbers or other proper shock and a booster plug to stop it having a snappy throttle... sorry it took me a while to work it out, however the rest of the bike is great, it's just that you can't see the crappy shock when you buy it, and the snappy throttle is because all new bikes are mapped ridiculously lean at low revs to pass the EU emission tests.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the feedback guys, appreciate the headsup on this.

Will get it ordered and take it with on my next practise day, then I will do a proper writeup with pics on the day between the stock shock setup, testing, replacement, setup and testing with the new one.

Ill have a look what we locally have available for this bike, otherwise ill or check in again on the forum for recommendations on rear shocks if I do not find a good local alternative.
 

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To be honest I don’t think the rebound screw even works.
The bike is ok on a smooth surface but on bumpy roads its really crap.
I’m really fussy when it comes to suspension but others have said it’s ok but not me.
I weigh 75kgs 165lbs sag front 35mm rear 30mm.
 

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YES it is that bad and even worse than reported. Upsets the entire machine. You'll think the front forks are junk as well until you replace the pos rear shock then it's all good up front.
 

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YES it is that bad and even worse than reported. Upsets the entire machine. You'll think the front forks are junk as well until you replace the pos rear shock then it's all good up front.
When I did my rear shock to me it magnified the crap forks up front, I had to do both I went with Traxxion AK-20 .
 

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When I did my rear shock to me it magnified the crap forks up front, I had to do both I went with Traxxion AK-20 .
Not the case with me, I weigh 140 lbs and set on stock settings up front with 2 clicks of compression out it was pretty much spot on. Forks up front are not bad units. Valving is a little off but normal for a mas produced machine. Spring rate is not real stiff but not that noticeable when your a light weight rider.
 

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To me the front ends of these bikes are stiff, I do out weight you by 100lbs. What convinced me to do the front end was , I had the rear done and I was testing it out I was on a long high speed left hander and I hit a bump and it was like almost a bang feeling. That bump threw the bike out of my line, now with the new front end it soaks up that very same bump and holds its line.
 

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Front is overly compressed in the valving the spring rates on light side but ok for typical street riding. Typical Japanese street bike.

You are to heavy for stock spring rate you bottomed out.
 

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Not the case with me, I weigh 140 lbs and set on stock settings up front with 2 clicks of compression out it was pretty much spot on. Forks up front are not bad units. Valving is a little off but normal for a mas produced machine. Spring rate is not real stiff but not that noticeable when your a light weight rider.
I would agree the valving is not the best but they are not total garbage in the forks. The compression side is what makes the front feel like carp. I played with the front on my last ride and got a lot better feedback and turn in improved greatly. Still need to fiddle with it a bit but much better than before. When I had my wifes suspension done the tech stated that the stock rate in the forks is a 1.0kg.

The back is not so bad for me since I currently am pushing 230 lb. but it is on the list of things to upgrade just for more adjustability.
 

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Yep, rear shock is basically a boat anchor with a spring wrapped around it. The high-speed compression is way too stiff so bumps will toss the bike all over the road and pound the kidneys into submission. It's fine on a smooth road, but who has those anymore? Assuming the fueling is good on your bike (some 2016 units had issues...not all) then the rear shock is the first thing to replace to transform the bike into the all-around street/track weapon it was meant to be. Wilbers, K-Tech, Nitron, Penske, Ohlins, or whatever you can find will be an improvement.


Thankfully the front forks are fully adjustable and with some tweaking, they can be set-up pretty good. If you have a naked bike, 10mm more fluid in the front forks can help (making them feel more like the "F" bike forks) depending on your weight. If you are super light dude, probably won't need the extra fluid. If tweaking the front adjusters still don't make you happy, replace the fluid with synthetic ATF fluid. Works a treat.
 

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Front is overly compressed in the valving the spring rates on light side but ok for typical street riding. Typical Japanese street bike.

You are to heavy for stock spring rate you bottomed out.
Not being a smartass but have you ever checked the spring rate for the front forks? I only ask since you seem to know what it is and that his weight is to much for it?

When I had my wifes suspension done the tech said that the spring rate was pretty good for this bike. I thought he said it was in the 1.0k range. A quick search on racetechs site says they show the spring rate at .87kg and would recomend a 1.04 kg for street riding.

I am in the weight range of 240 and honestly find the front pretty good, especially after backing of the compression to a softer setting on the front. A lot of this all has to do with road conditions as well where you ride. When I was in North Carolina i found that I was only 2 clicks out from full soft and it felt good and stable. But now that I am home that setting is upsetting the bike on Missouri roads.
 

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I am interested in possibly replacing the shock. I am starting from "no information". Frog mentions Wilbers, K-Tech, Nitron, Penske, Ohlins, or whatever.........
Should I go to the manufacturers website and start there? What shocks from other sportbikes (R1, gsx-r, zx-10, etc) will directly fit on our bike?



I weigh 150lbs.
I have made no adjustments to the stock suspension as of yet. I like the bike on smooth roads. On rough roads not so much.
I am planning to make some adjustments to the suspension but it sounds like adjusting the shock is a waste of time.
 

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I am interested in possibly replacing the shock. I am starting from "no information". Frog mentions Wilbers, K-Tech, Nitron, Penske, Ohlins, or whatever.........
Should I go to the manufacturers website and start there? What shocks from other sportbikes (R1, gsx-r, zx-10, etc) will directly fit on our bike?



I weigh 150lbs.
I have made no adjustments to the stock suspension as of yet. I like the bike on smooth roads. On rough roads not so much.
I am planning to make some adjustments to the suspension but it sounds like adjusting the shock is a waste of time.
At your weight, don’t even bother messing with the rear shock. I’m about 40 lbs heavier geared up and I couldn’t come close to getting the proper sag. I even took it to a local racer suspension guy and he said it was sprung way too heavy and internals were junk. R1 can be fitted but you have to cut the brace under the battery and get a smaller battery or make two plates to move the shock down to clear the piggyback unit. R1 shock works great for people on the lighter end of the scale. I have been running one for well over 1 1/2 years.
 

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I’m 240lbs plus gear. The rear preload is 40mm (maxed out the preload). The front I have set to 35mm. I’m leaning towards getting a better set up. It really is that bad, at least for me. I knew it going in. They have to cut corners to sell this bike for the price they do...
 

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fork optimizing

To me the front ends of these bikes are stiff, I do out weight you by 100lbs. What convinced me to do the front end was , I had the rear done and I was testing it out I was on a long high speed left hander and I hit a bump and it was like almost a bang feeling. That bump threw the bike out of my line, now with the new front end it soaks up that very same bump and holds its line.
hi, i experimented with alternate internal settings, i found lowering the fork oil level from 95mm from top off slider to around 120mm made a huge difference in small bump performance, which is the worst part of stock fork performance.
i also tried hyperpro fork springs- though they were too firm for my 93kg, but i now run one stock and one hyperpro, in combo with k-tech valves, 5wt fork oil @105mm, this has given me an awesome setup that gives good small bump, but also able to handle full blast riding over any road surface, in combination with a nitron R2 shock
 

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I use to tinker around like that when I was younger now that I'm 63 I want proven products on my machine. Traxxion built me a few rears shocks over the years, my FJ-09 has one a Penski 8993. They build cartridges for the front ends that could go on most bikes, AK-20 it's a proven product. My buddy had the same front built on his FJR1200 that I have on my Suzuki but with different springs. I actually rode it on the Blue Ridge and I was very impressed for a heavy bike it handled quiet nicely.A member of this board was raving how his bike felt . I did my homework and the way they make the oil flow thru the front end is much better than stock. But everyone is different and if your set up makes you happy that's all that counts.
 

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I am interested in possibly replacing the shock. I am starting from "no information". Frog mentions Wilbers, K-Tech, Nitron, Penske, Ohlins, or whatever.........
Should I go to the manufacturers website and start there? What shocks from other sportbikes (R1, gsx-r, zx-10, etc) will directly fit on our bike?



I weigh 150lbs.
I have made no adjustments to the stock suspension as of yet. I like the bike on smooth roads. On rough roads not so much.
I am planning to make some adjustments to the suspension but it sounds like adjusting the shock is a waste of time.
I'm the same weight as you. I read the posts to see what folks had good luck with, and based on price, features, and other riders feedback, went with the K-Tech Razor R.

I'm very happy with it, and it is worlds better than stock. I went with the 100N/mm spring (160-190)
 
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