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clinical

My Race Tech Emulator Journey

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clinical

I finally got my front suspension set-up perfectly, and it feels great!  I definitely didn't get things right the first time, so I wanted to take you all through my journey.  Hopefully this helps others set-up their bike with Emulators.  My goal is to have a sporty commuter: something I can both bomb twisty roads with and comfortably ride to work. 

Important Info:

Rider weight: 192 lbs w/ gear

Rear shock: K-tech Razor R-Lite, stock spring 

Front Internals:

Stock Springs

Maxima 15 wt oil

Preload Spacer cut to 100 mm length (w/ pipe cutter)

Preload adjustable Fork caps (Ebay, see pic)

Race Tech FEGV S4101 Gold Valve Cartridge Fork Emulator

Race Tech FPEV AD4103 P Emulator Adaptor 41 mm

 

Set-up:

First Try:

I Followed Race Tech's DVS for "B Class, standard stiffness" set-up

Valve Spring: 40 lbs/in (Blue), 3 turns preload

Valve Plate: 2 hole

Oil Level (from top):  120 mm (empty), 65 mm (w/ internals)

Well "standard stiffness" is definitely a relative term because this thing was STIFF.  The bike felt amazing on a smooth road and definitely was super confidence inspiring on very smooth twisties; on rough roads the bike was hard work to ride-I'd get thrown around so much by even minor bumps, and big bumps were like body slams.  I felt like a sadist riding that thing.  There was very little dive with braking, so you could really hammer on the brakes.  The low speed compression damping was so high you could feel even the texture of coarse pavement through the bars.  Overall would be excellent for a smooth track, but not for the road.

Second Try:

Valve Spring: 40 lbs/in (Blue), 1 turn preload

Valve Plate: 4 hole

Oil Level (from top):  125 mm (empty), 70 mm (w/ internals)

So differences here: 4 hole valve plate, reduced valve spring preload, and dropped oil level a little (not on purpose, ran out).  Low speed damping felt great now.  With the 4 hole valve plate I no longer felt every tiny crack or micro-imperfection in the road.  It actually felt plush.  The high speed damping was still way too high.  The decrease in preload (and probably reduction of oil level) helped make the ride a little less harsh, but it was still rough for me.  It felt like the shock could only travel a little bit and then quickly stiffened up preventing further travel.    This was livable for short the term, but I wanted to smooth it out more.

Final Set-up:

Valve Spring: 40 lbs/in (Blue), 1 turns preload

Valve Plate: 4 hole

Oil Level (from top):  160 mm (empty), 105 mm (w/ internals)

Before pulling out my Emulators and changing to a softer valve spring, I decided to play with my fork oil level.  I noticed in my second try, when I went to adjust my sag, the ride height was too high even with just my <5 mm static preload.  I didn't have a handle of how oil level affects forks, but it was an easy thing to try.  Well this simple change was the missing piece!  The bike feels AMAZING now.  Low speed compression is still great, but high speed damping is way less, and is pretty comfortable to ride.  There's now a little bit more dive on braking than past set-ups, but far less than with stock.  I've gone for a few spirited rides now, and the bike honestly feels like a weapon.    With the right suspensions set-up your bike can handle better than stock AND be more comfortable to ride.  It's truly an amazing feeling.

 

 

Fork Cap.jpg

Edited by clinical
so many typos
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Pursuvant

Outstanding C, fabulous job passing on some of the most valuable info every fz/mt/xsr rider should hear, and think deeply about.

Yamaha neglected the suspension, anyone can make it right, and emulators are great path.

All you got to do, is commit to making it right. If you fix this, the big issue, it will feel like you have given yourself another brand new motorcycle

Edited by Pursuvant
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Loch

Thanks for the info! I've been looking at running the same setup, maybe slightly more aggressive tuning but all the same parts. I'm still unsure what parts I actually need to order for the forks, the whole GVE thing is so confusing to me for some reason!

I've found the emulators, but the adapter seems to be a harder part to find.. Did you order directly from race tech? 

How many miles/kms were on the forks when you did the gve swap? Did you replace bushings and seals while you had them apart?

How did you set the fork oil level? And did you measure with the forks fully compressed or extended?

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clinical

Hi Loch, just noticed your post 😆

On 10/6/2020 at 2:53 PM, Loch said:

I've found the emulators, but the adapter seems to be a harder part to find.. Did you order directly from race tech? 

Yep, FPEV AD4103.  There are discount codes to RaceTech, search thumpertalk forum for a 20%.

Quote

How many miles/kms were on the forks when you did the gve swap? Did you replace bushings and seals while you had them apart?

11,500 miles.  Yes I replaced both, I posted about it here

Quote

How did you set the fork oil level? And did you measure with the forks fully compressed or extended?

I used a plastic dropper.  With a permanent marker I marked on the dropper whatever height I wanted to hit.  I purposely slightly overfilled shock and sucked out excess oil making sure to hold the line on the dropper flush with top of shock.  Not fancy but worked and was free. You could do similar with a turkey baster.

For measurement, forks fully extended.  Race tech has you measure oil before installing emulators and spring.  I found this to be a pain and I started putting emulators in before filling with oil.  The way to do this is to fill fork with oil approx 1/2 the way, pump the damper rod to purge air, push damper rod up so it's just under the level of the oil, install: adapter, emulator and spring, slowly extend damper rod, then fill with rest of oil.   I measured the oil level as 55 mm higher when you do by this method-so subtract 55 mm from whatever number you get on racetech's DVS.

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Pursuvant
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, FZ not MT said:

While you guys are talking forks, I wonder if Yamaha ever corrected the bad fork bushing in the earlier FZ-07s.

Here's a forum link to those bushings. BTW, my FZ-07 is a 2016, and my fork bushings were wearing as in this thread -  they were replaced.

https://fz07.org/thread/2223/wrong-bushings-installed-factory-ensues/#comments

 

Was it the bushing diameter/gap, the poor teflon coating, or the tolerances of the stanchions / fork legs? Or combination of?

I read that whole thread and came away thinking we don't know exactly what's up. I didn't know about the 2015 thread until after I posted about the unusual wear in my forks with Ohlins nix-22 yesterday.

I left the parts at the speed shop, will pick them up and take pictures, my wear patterns were not spread uniformly,  very definitive pattern(s). Will post pics in a day or 2 of my oem slides.

Edited by Pursuvant

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fzar
30 minutes ago, Pursuvant said:

Was it the bushing diameter/gap, the poor teflon coating, or the tolerances of the stanchions / fork legs? Or combination of?

I read that whole thread and came away thinking we don't know exactly what's up. I didn't know about the 2015 thread until after I posted about the unusual wear in my forks with Ohlins nix-22 yesterday.

I left the parts at the speed shop, will pick them up and take pictures, my wear patterns were not spread uniformly,  very definitive pattern(s). Will post pics in a day or 2 of my oem slides.

The lower bushing gap is huge on the OEM and teflon coating gets unusually worn. I put pics up on the last page. 

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clinical
Posted (edited)
Quote

The lower bushing gap is huge on the OEM and teflon coating gets unusually worn. I put pics up on the last page. 

Agreed, you instantly notice a difference when you install a properly sized bushing.  I read that whole thread and for some reason it didn't totally click for me.  But when I installed the right sized bushing, saw how little gap there was, it just made sense.  Cheers

Edited by clinical
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Loch
10 hours ago, clinical said:

11,500 miles.  Yes I replaced both, I posted about it here

 

Good catch with the lower bushings, I'll definitely get the proper sized ones when I pick up the rest of my parts. I ended up ordering Cogent DDC's, when they come in I'll post my rebuild as well. Very interested to see what my fork internals look like after slamming wheelies for 22000 kms :D

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