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Discussion Starter #1
I rode down to Racetech today for a suspension overhaul and thought I'd share, since I'm pretty excited and happy about the whole thing. I'm 175lb and couldn't find a good combination of shock absorption, feedback, and pitch control. I ended up getting the shock and forks re-sprung and re-valved. It was $1300 total (I brought in the bike so it was an extra $200 to remove parts from the bike). I was a little concerned because I never heard a plan - if the springs would be harder or softer, what they were going to do differently with the valving, etc. But people I trust recommended Racetech so I felt that I was in good hands. And I was. It took about 3 hours and the bike is totally transformed.

When I first sat on the bike I was surprised at how much sag there seemed to be; it felt soft and it felt like it moved around a lot. I was really worried I would miss the firmness I had before, but that went away within minutes of riding it. Somehow they manage to absorb all the nasty crap you don't want to feel, yet let you feel all the subtle nuances in between. The best work I can think of is control - the suspension seems to control EVERYTHING that happens to the bike. It make me think of how a cat always lands on its feet, no matter how it falls. Whatever happens to the bike - hard stops, big junk in the pavement, sudden shifts - it all somehow gets perfectly controlled. The overall feeling is like a silky plush control feeling, that somehow lets all the important feedback come through at the same time.

I have 2,000 miles on the bike. I never red lined it before today, but found myself exploring that part of the power band with this new suspension. There is so much more feeling of confidence and connection with the road that it just makes it feel like I can handle that much more speed.

I left Racetech and rode through the Ortega (?) highway (Rt 74) which is a nice little windy canyon road, and I took it harder and faster than I've ridden any canyon so far, yet I felt like I was trying half as hard.

I also had a new tire, so that might have a little to do with it. I got 2 holes in the crappy stocker so I had a Bridgestone T30evo mounted while the suspension was being worked on. Great combination!!
 

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where is racetech? I briefly looked on the custom fork section of their website and it was substantially more expensive than $1300 on the custom for section but im not sure if thats the same service they offered you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Race Tech is in Corona, CA. You can ship them forks and shocks as well. The 'Custom Fork' is where they build you completely new forks (including the stantions/outside part), as opposed to re-valving and re-springing what you already have. For price comparison, look at the Gold Valves (rebound and compression), springs, oil, and I think some seals and miscellaneous parts.
 

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I shipped my forks down to Race Tech for my FZ-09...did the gold valving, heavier springs, oil, and had them anodize the forks black. All in all, it was about $750 IIRC.
 

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Great Joe, You have well spent your money even if it cost 10% of the bikes initial price.
That feeling of a well sorted suspension to the rider is so so uplifting.
Sometimes blind faith works out first time, and I am glad they didn't give you back a lemon worse for you than before.
That would shatter me (and everyone too) big time.
I am sure you will keep up updated once the smiley face fades just a little as you explore more roads and fine tune it a bit more.



Rob.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
My initial setup from Race Tech:
Rider Weight: 173lb
Front: 0.95kg springs, S2040 Compression Valve, 20x6 Rebound Valve
Rear: 8.5kg spring, 40x12 valve

Spring Dimensions:
Front: 38.0 x 36.0 x 250 x .95kg
Rear: 58.2 x 152 x 8.5kg

Note: I believe the scale at the doctor's office was wrong - 173 does seem light for me, and recently I weighed 178 at 2 different doctor's offices. I don't know if that difference is enough to affect spring rate determination.

For most riding conditions, the suspension was wonderfully plush with still amazing feedback. It was heaven! Unfortunately I commute into downtown L.A. and there are some really crappy roads. I bottomed the front end a few times and decided to bring it back for an adjustment. We talked about oil level, damping, and spring rates, and after they made some adjustments and had me test it out, they decided a stiffer spring was the answer. I still used 'most' of the front end travel, even over some bad roads. After I crashed the bike I noticed I had used 'all' of the travel (based on the wire tie they left for me to monitor - full travel on that setup leaves 11mm below that particular wire tie).
 

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Joe, thats whats so surprising about good suspension. That softness....and I hate to use that word. Maybe "Plushness' is a better term?

In the old days, "good" suspension meant really stiff. Its not like that, anymore. Now we get the goldwing like plushness, with sport control.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Joe, thats whats so surprising about good suspension. That softness....and I hate to use that word. Maybe "Plushness' is a better term?

In the old days, "good" suspension meant really stiff. Its not like that, anymore. Now we get the goldwing like plushness, with sport control.
I agree, and updated the post above.
 

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What was the final front spring rate?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm pretty sure it was 1.0kg. And what a difference - I'm back on stock suspension and there really is no comparison. I think the straight rate spring is 80-90% of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So I'm a little disappointed - Race Tech needs the bike for 3 full days to design a custom rear shock (for my replacement bike), and then they quoted 4-5 weeks to build one. I know that's the process, I just was hoping it would be quicker/easier since they've already done a rebuild for my bike, and have had it in there for a full day on a few different occasions. I don't know if a) I can wait that long, and b) if I really want to deal with getting the bike there and picking it up (over an hour away, $70 Uber ride).

I get a 30% discount after taking the Total Control course, so it's a great value. But for the time and effort I just don't know that it's worth it. I might end up with a Nitron R2. (The Race Tech would be like a Nitron R3 for less than the R2).
 
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