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pattonme

Bitubo JBH dissected, ridden and rated

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Posted (edited)

This exchange is very worrisome to me since I have a set of JBH on order which has not been delivered yet. 500 bucks is not chump change to me.

Edited by Littlebriar

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7 minutes ago, pattonme said:

Some products are quickly apparent to be unsuitable for street use as delivered from the factory. I would unfortunately put WaNaB's JBH experience in that category. But let me quickly point out this might be a case of a bad unit (eg. too much air pressure in cartridge). The matter is being pursued with Bellissimoto's help and the Bitubo factory.

 

 

And this is why I say Matt is in the best position to help fix it.  Bitubo makes RACE SUSPENSION.  It's in their name, it's in their DNA.  The Europeans have test riders that weigh as much as a 14 year old teenage girl, on smooth as glass roads and race tracks.  The JBH line is very versatile, as it can deliver solid performance on both.  To most people, European suspension in general will be stiffer than US based brands from what I've found, but it's usually preferred to stock because most people want a performance based system, not just something better than OEM for street use.

 

This is all good feedback though, because Bitubo actually cares, and with Matt's expertise, can help sort it out.

 

I implore you guys though, if you find your suspension is too stiff, or not happy with it in any way, please let me know right away so I can do something about it.  It might come down that for people based in the US, going one step softer on springs may do the trick for the small percentage of folks who find it too stiff for normal street use.  Could be something as simple as that.

 

But I do appreciate everyone's feedback and even offer you this...

 

If Matt finds some special sauce of a solution that helps everyone who actually has this issue (and the issues turn out that it's just not within HIS acceptable range, as he put it) you'll STILL have a total suspension solution that's less expensive than the competition, and tuned by someone of Matt's expertise personally set up for you.

 

But lets just see if we can come to the same solution from the factory first, shall we?

 

:)

 

- Paul

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Posted (edited)

FWIW, I ended up selling my JBH cartidges to pattonme (Matt) mostly due to me not wanting to deal with the trial and error period while this problem gets straightened out. I would prefer to just ride my bike.

 

Having said that, I had Matt install the new bushings to remedy the bushing wear problem (yes, they were worn at 8500 miles) as well as reinstalling my heavier fork springs and adding Matt's home brew of fork oil. That actually works fine for me in combination with my Bitubo XZE11 shock. My current suspension setup is a heck of a lot better than stock!

Edited by FZ07R WaNaB

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2 hours ago, FZ07R WaNaB said:

FWIW, I ended up selling my JBH cartidges to pattonme (Matt) mostly due to me not wanting to deal with the trial and error period while this problem gets straightened out. I would prefer to just ride my bike.

 

Having said that, I had Matt install the new bushings to remedy the bushing wear problem (yes, they were worn at 8500 miles) as well as reinstalling my heavier fork springs and adding Matt's home brew of fork oil. That actually works fine for me in combination with my Bitubo XZE11 shock. My current suspension setup is a heck of a lot better than stock!

I've lost track, but did you get to ride on the JBHs? Can you speak to the harshness that's been reported by some? How does it compare to (better/worse/just different) to OEM? ✌️

 

If anyone else would like to offer their comparisons of JBH vs OEM I'd be interested as well.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not an expert, just a rider from Sydney, Australia and here is my experience with the JBHs...

 

I bought a pair of JBHs from Bellissimoto last yr and rode it for about 4 months. I found it quite harsh/stiff on the street and contacted Bellissimoto about the issue. Paul was helpful and I ended up doing a spring exchange with Bitubo - 0.9 to 0.8 springs. Rider sag is pretty much spot on and it seems acceptable for the street most of the time. There are times it seems harsh/clunky but some of the roads around my city are quite bad. Any roads with multiple potholes can be quite frightening. 

 

I would say the OEM fork damper setup is more 'plush' around the streets (just my feeling). But the JBHs do feel better for more aggressive riding - around the national parks, mountains, country side. I'm starting to think perhaps the JBHs are more geared as race suspension? 

 

At the moment i'm reading up and learning about suspension. I think i need to look into the settings and play around with it, i also have a Wilbers rear shock i have to setup to sync with the front suspension. I haven't done the bushing replacement yet as i'm waiting for the parts. Perhaps this is causing some clunky feeling with the forks? (bike has 12000km on the clock). 

Edited by poida

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12 hours ago, poida said:

I'm not an expert, just a rider from Sydney, Australia and here is my experience with the JBHs...

 

I bought a pair of JBHs from Bellissimoto last yr and rode it for about 4 months. I found it quite harsh/stiff on the street and contacted Bellissimoto about the issue. Paul was helpful and I ended up doing a spring exchange with Bitubo - 0.9 to 0.8 springs. Rider sag is pretty much spot on and it seems acceptable for the street most of the time. There are times it seems harsh/clunky but some of the roads around my city are quite bad. Any roads with multiple potholes can be quite frightening. 

 

I would say the OEM fork damper setup is more 'plush' around the streets (just my feeling). But the JBHs do feel better for more aggressive riding - around the national parks, mountains, country side. I'm starting to think perhaps the JBHs are more geared as race suspension? 

 

At the moment i'm reading up and learning about suspension. I think i need to look into the settings and play around with it, i also have a Wilbers rear shock i have to setup to sync with the front suspension. I haven't done the bushing replacement yet as i'm waiting for the parts. Perhaps this is causing some clunky feeling with the forks? (bike has 12000km on the clock). 

 

In reference to the statements in bold above...

 

Bitubo is listening to us.  They want you to have a great experience.  Bitubo changed their standard spring rate 1 step softer because of feedback from users.  Poida received a set before this change was made, and we advocated a swap due to his particular circumstances...

 

The JBH line of cartridges is NOT their highest end performance race cartridge.  That goes to the ECH line, but they don't make them for the FZ-07 and most naked street bikes general, just pure Super Sports bikes mostly.  Having said that, the JBH line was created to form a happy medium, and their valving was specifically created to work with a wide variety of spring rates to give a performance orientated feel and a great upgrade over OEM.  But it IS sport performance orientated.

 

It would be like buying a corvette and expecting it to be plush on pot hole ridden roads.  Or like changing the suspension on a full size pick up for sport use and then wonder why the payload capacity rating is now lower.

 

I just want to put this in perspective for everyone.  You all know I'm enthusiast FIRST, and employee second.  I make no commission, and I have no agenda.  Many of you know me personally, and have followed my own FZ-07 build under my personal screen name pgeldz.  I say this because I'm just as passionate as all of you in wanting to get what I paid for when buying parts for my own bike.

 

So while the JBH line is probably the most versatile cartridges out there, and will work flawlessly for the majority of the people out there for their intended use, there will be some instances that are outside the normal parameters for Bitubo to accurately determine spring rates, etc.  When this happens, I do my best to work with Bitubo and the customer to sort it out.

 

Matt (pattonme) believes a spring change will not solve his issue, so it's possible he actually may have a defective set.  If so, they are covered under warranty and we go from there.  The first thing is to at least try the new springs per Bitubo, and if they don't solve the issue, we elevate it.  This is the proper path.

 

You guys are actually in luck to be honest because like I said earlier...for those of you with this particular issue, Matt is in the best possible position to work with Bitubo to  help solve it.

 

:)

 

- Paul

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, bellissimoto said:

Matt (pattonme) believes a spring change will not solve his issue,

I'm sure you folks have a bicycle. pump up your 700c tire to 50psi. Now jamb your finger into it (not the side). That is the force being exerted preventing the oil from being displaced in front of the piston. In order for the  leg to move, heck the springs to compress, the rod (and piston attached to it) must be able to travel downward. That movement is being retarded by said counter-force. and it only gets stiffer the deeper into the stroke you go till it hits about 72psi at max travel.

 

That's the physics of the matter. It's really not that complicated to figure out why the fork is having trouble reacting to large and fast displacement events;  >100 inch/sec. 1"+ pot holes, frost heaves (they don't have those in Nevada), stutter bumps with any kind of compliance even if there were no shims on the piston at all.

 

All weaker springs do is change just 1 of the 3 (well actually 5) force components involved:

spring

valving

cartridge pressure

---

oil viscosity

fork internal pressure

 

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11 minutes ago, pattonme said:

I'm sure you folks have a bicycle. pump up your 700c tire to 50psi. Now jamb your finger into it (not the side). That is the force being exerted preventing the oil from being displaced in front of the piston. In order for the  leg to move, heck the springs to compress, the rod (and piston attached to it) must be able to travel downward. That movement is being retarded by said counter-force. and it only gets stiffer the deeper into the stroke you go till it hits about 72psi at max travel.

 

That's the physics of the matter. It's really not that complicated to figure out why the fork is having trouble reacting to large and fast displacement events;  >100 inch/sec. 1"+ pot holes, frost heaves (they don't have those in Nevada), stutter bumps with any kind of compliance even if there were no shims on the piston at all.

 

All weaker springs do is change just 1 of the 3 (well actually 5) force components involved:

spring

valving

cartridge pressure

---

oil viscosity

fork internal pressure

 

I agree with you Matt, but as previously stated I have to follow what Bitubo wants us to do to remedy the issue.  If and when the new springs are in and you don't feel it has solved the issue, we take it to the next level, and I put you in touch with Bitubo's R&D to communicate a remedied solution.

 

:)

 

- Paul

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I just wanted to say thanks for having this open discussion here for us all.

 

It's nice to see a vendor interacting with people in an open and honest fashion, and as always pattonme's invaluable insight into issues I'll never fully grasp.

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I'm following here as this is a modification I'm interested in doing. I'm holding off on a exhaust purchase as I think I'd be better off looking after the suspension before the pipe, and this topic has opened up a can of worms I wouldn't have been any wiser to the problem until after purchasing. I agree with @topazsparrow 

Posted Friday at 02:36 PM

I just wanted to say thanks for having this open discussion here for us all.

 

It's nice to see a vendor interacting with people in an open and honest fashion, and as always pattonme's invaluable insight into issues I'll never fully grasp.

 

Thanks for this information and working to find a solution.

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1 hour ago, fzar said:

Thanks for this information and working to find a solution.

Of course! I definitely want to see the community benefit from this, and want the very few affected to experience what all the other happy folks are experiencing with Bitubo.  You don't hear about it though cause they are too busy riding and enjoying, not posting on the internet :)

 

- Paul

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you'll need some thin wrenches - bicycle cone wrenches get close. 18mm if memory serves. I should be able to get back to working on these finally. Re-pressuring the cartridge might require a 'sport' needle pump but I'm hoping it's just a traditional Schrader. 

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