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Mr.Puss

A newbs front fork/suspension question......

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Mr.Puss

I am a smaller fellow (160lbs) so the rear shock seems to serve me well enough. There seems to be a bit of chatter about the OEM front shocks. Whats the deal with these? Are they proving to be unsafe or problematic in some manner? Is there something specific that I should be looking /feeling for? Or is this upgrade talk simply a matter of personal preference as most mods are?
 
Being a new rider I simply dont know the feel or benefits of a "better" suspension, and by no means am I, or plan to be at any time, leaning this bike into high-g corners like a track bike. Should I be concerned with the OEM fronts?
 
Thanks very much!
 


Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.          Fuss Life.

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Mr.Puss

 This Traxxion company keeps coming up but unfortunately for me, and so very typically, Canada gets the crappy end of the upgrade stick. Most of our dealers websites suck, and our pathetic dollar is currently worthless in the U.S.
 I suppose I'll sit tight as you suggest and see what happens. If I do go for it I might just have to make a stateside trip. 
 
 
 


Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.          Fuss Life.

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pattonme

As a newbie and within the weight range, just set sag as best you can and go ride. When you start feeling the bike getting squirelly, unsettled in corners and starting to notice "hey, this doesn't seem right" then we can talk. ;-)
 
Or just go borrow a riding stint on somebody else's FZ that has proper suspension on it and you will come back a changed man.

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tanner68

I did one of the least cost upgrades to my forks. Traxxion springs and 15wt oil. It is a huge improvement.

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Tonymorr
 This Traxxion company keeps coming up but unfortunately for me, and so very typically, Canada gets the crappy end of the upgrade stick. Most of our dealers websites suck, and our pathetic dollar is currently worthless in the U.S.  I suppose I'll sit tight as you suggest and see what happens. If I do go for it I might just have to make a stateside trip. 
 
 

Where in Canada? 
Edit: Sorry, I see your location now. 

2015 Yamaha FZ-07
2016 BMW R1200RS
2014 Honda CTX700
2014 Honda Grom Black
2014 Honda Grom Red
2013 Husqvarna TR650 Terra
2011 Husaberg FE390

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Vestal James

Like Mr.Puss, I'm not so big--about 180 geared up--and my bike will never see a track day, so I'm interested in a more "plush" street-ride than sport or track. Also, I've got 20+ years of sport-touring behind me (VFR 800, FJ 1200, Blackbird) and my move to the MT-07 was in the interest of downsizing as I'm now in my nonage. Consequently, while I've been amazed at the expertise and capability of some contributors' modifications to their MT-07s, my interest is in finding a remedy to the bike's OEM suspension harshness (i.e. butt-jolting over expansion-joint hummocks) rather than track-prowess. Thus, I wonder whether progressive-wound springs, fork and shock, would answer my needs. I realize Pattonme finds no favor with progressives, but they're becoming universal in the auto world  (along with magnetorheological dampers) and pretty common for bikes. Can 50 million Frenchmen be wrong?

I realize that suspension conversations here have been extensive, but mostly not in the direction I'm inclined. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

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shinyribs
Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Vestal James said:

Like Mr.Puss, I'm not so big--about 180 geared up--and my bike will never see a track day, so I'm interested in a more "plush" street-ride than sport or track. Also, I've got 20+ years of sport-touring behind me (VFR 800, FJ 1200, Blackbird) and my move to the MT-07 was in the interest of downsizing as I'm now in my nonage. Consequently, while I've been amazed at the expertise and capability of some contributors' modifications to their MT-07s, my interest is in finding a remedy to the bike's OEM suspension harshness (i.e. butt-jolting over expansion-joint hummocks) rather than track-prowess. Thus, I wonder whether progressive-wound springs, fork and shock, would answer my needs. I realize Pattonme finds no favor with progressives, but they're becoming universal in the auto world  (along with magnetorheological dampers) and pretty common for bikes. Can 50 million Frenchmen be wrong?

I realize that suspension conversations here have been extensive, but mostly not in the direction I'm inclined. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

I ordered Onlins' cartridge kit for my bike from sportbiketrackgear.com. Pretty sure that is the name of the website. 

The kit includes springs, so they'll ask for your weight and your springs will be just right for you. That alone can cure a lot of harshness. They also asked for my intended use. I don't remember the exact wording or options, but I made it clear that I rode on rough back roads and wanted it geared more towards comfort. I don't know if they tune each kit that goes out the door, but that was my ordering experience.

I didn't have any huge complaints with my stock forks. I knew they weren't great and I knew they were kinda harsh, so buying the Ohlins kit was a bit of a frivolous purchase, if I'm honest. However, I wish I'd done it on day one. I didn't realize how bad the stock damping was. My bike is plusher than stock now, yet firmly attached to the road. I know it sounds cliche, but the first few corners I took after installing the kit shocked me.

These short wheelbase, light bikes with step rake angles will never soak up bumps like 600lb+ tourers with relaxed rake will, but the Ohlins kit was $700 well spent IMO. And....I'm picky! I often build and machine my own parts. I rarely am ever pleased with a purchase, but I'm very happy with my forks now. 

Edited by shinyribs

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Vestal James

I've read some of your posts about your work--impressive stuff, so I'm sure you're right about the Ohlins. Did you take that course with the shock as well? What's your opinion of progressive springs, if you don't mind my asking. Thanks for your reply.

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maz20
Posted (edited)
On 4/11/2021 at 3:40 PM, Vestal James said:

Like Mr.Puss, I'm not so big--about 180 geared up--and my bike will never see a track day, so I'm interested in a more "plush" street-ride than sport or track. Also, I've got 20+ years of sport-touring behind me (VFR 800, FJ 1200, Blackbird) and my move to the MT-07 was in the interest of downsizing as I'm now in my nonage. Consequently, while I've been amazed at the expertise and capability of some contributors' modifications to their MT-07s, my interest is in finding a remedy to the bike's OEM suspension harshness (i.e. butt-jolting over expansion-joint hummocks) rather than track-prowess. Thus, I wonder whether progressive-wound springs, fork and shock, would answer my needs. I realize Pattonme finds no favor with progressives, but they're becoming universal in the auto world  (along with magnetorheological dampers) and pretty common for bikes. Can 50 million Frenchmen be wrong?

I realize that suspension conversations here have been extensive, but mostly not in the direction I'm inclined. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Based on your suspension preferences (e.g., "plushness over bumps" as opposed to, say, "tight traction on the race track"), the MT-07 might really not be the bike of choice for that.

Don't get me wrong -- the MT-07 is a great bike and all, but compared to the "other" bikes of its class, you're basically riding a heavy 180mm rear wheel (you can check that 180-mm is "big" for its class) over a ~400-lb or so lightweight chassis (you can check that a 400-lb chassis is also "light" for its class (although some other Japanese mid-size bikes may have gotten a weight reduction 2019+)). 

In other words, the MT-07 does not have a very good "sprung-to-unsprung" weight ratio, unfortunately. This means that when your heavy 180-mm rear wheel encounters a bump, it will end up transferring a lot of momentum over to the sprung mass. Which is not a problem for a very heavy chassis, but the lightweight chassis of the MT-07 simply won't be able to absorb this very well and will happily instead transfer the bulk of it over to the rider (this is what you notice as the "harsh suspension over bumps").

In physics we call this the "conservation of momentum" (and no "suspension" will help you here -- suspension cannot violate the laws of physics!). Of course, granted, it's not entirely a "closed system", since we have the external force of gravity (otherwise we would just fly out into space after hitting a bump!), but we can ignore gravity for this example. Also, momentum is about mass, not weight, anyway.

Having said that, a decent mod (for your non-track-related purposes!) may be to get lighter wheels, such as 

*Edit: since you brought up suspension, I may as well add that

  1. Having too much compression damping can lead to a bumpy ride as well (since compression damping doesn't really "damp" hitting bumps, but just simply transfers that force over to the rider instead of to the spring). The same thing applies to having too stiff of a spring (it will transfer too much force over to the rider while the bike is still interfacing with the bump).
  2. Having too much rebound damping can lead to a bumpy ride as well if the suspension cannot rebound or "reset" back to its original state in time for the next bump that you encounter! This is also called "packing-in", where subsequent bumps are confronted by an already-compressed suspension and are therefore felt more harshly.
Edited by maz20
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Pursuvant
Posted (edited)

Unlikely you would want to invest in Ohlins given your profile, but just for reference, here are part numbers and settings for a 150 lb rider without gear who wants to run and XSR7/MT-07 front and rear suspension from those Stockholm guys who know what they are about

here

Edited by Pursuvant

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shinyribs
4 hours ago, Vestal James said:

I've read some of your posts about your work--impressive stuff, so I'm sure you're right about the Ohlins. Did you take that course with the shock as well? What's your opinion of progressive springs, if you don't mind my asking. Thanks for your reply.

I feel like progressive springs need specific damping to go along with them. When you compress a spring the rebound damping is there to prevent the suspension from extending rapidly or out of control. With a progressive spring, they store energy differently. When that stored energy gets released at a different rate I feel like you need damping designed to accommodate it. 

KTM dirt bikes had some years where they experimented with progressive shock springs in an attempt to be able to run linkage-less rear suspension. No linkage = ground clearance, less weight, less complexity, etc. They went ahead and ditched the linkage, but they stayed with straight rate springs vs progressive. 

On the rear shock, I did revalve the CBR shock I use my on FZ07. Overall it was very nice, but there was some harshness I didn't like, so I came up with a compression shim stack that added some plushness to it. 

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shinyribs
13 minutes ago, Pursuvant said:

Unlikely you would want to invest in Ohlins given your profile, but just for reference, here are part numbers and settings for a 150 lb rider without gear who wants to run and XSR7/MT-07 front and rear suspension from those Stockholm guys who know what they are about

here

Yeah, the Ohlins bits are not cheap. Surprisingly, they were the least expensive of all the cartridge kits I saw. They also had the best reputation for comfort, and the springs were included. I initially set out to respring my bike, but that was going to be $200+. At $700ish, the Ohlins kit looked like a decent value for the money, so I took the plunge. 

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Vestal James

Thanks, gents, for your replies. Maz20's post had me saying to myself, "Duh, be careful what you wish for" since "lighter" was some of what I wanted in choosing the MT-07 and "lighter" was what I got, while both my big bikes (VFR 800; CBR 1100XX) in fact wear 180 rear wheels and weigh around 550 lbs out the door. That said, I still think the MT-07 is a good ride, especially that gnarly motor, and  you guys are offering at least partial remedies to its "built to a price" suspension. For my part, I'll learn to accept that I won't get a Lexus ride from a Civic. Thanks, fellas, for your tutorials.

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cornerslider
10 hours ago, Vestal James said:

Thanks, gents, for your replies. Maz20's post had me saying to myself, "Duh, be careful what you wish for" since "lighter" was some of what I wanted in choosing the MT-07 and "lighter" was what I got, while both my big bikes (VFR 800; CBR 1100XX) in fact wear 180 rear wheels and weigh around 550 lbs out the door. That said, I still think the MT-07 is a good ride, especially that gnarly motor, and  you guys are offering at least partial remedies to its "built to a price" suspension. For my part, I'll learn to accept that I won't get a Lexus ride from a Civic. Thanks, fellas, for your tutorials.

I'm a bit late to this party, but you may want to look into the "Traxxion Dynamics AR-25 kit". They have been in the suspension game for many years, and they don't just do "track bikes". They are the go-to people for setting up a ANY Honda Goldwing, as well as many Harley's. I'm a track day rider, and I recently put the AR-25 kit in my 07. They make a great product. I gave them my weight, and riding style (via their website). They sent me EVERYTHING I needed to make it all work- dampener rods- with valving set-up for ME,  proper springs, even included the proper oil for my application with the kit. The kit is $399, and gets you 90% of where cartridge kit forks will get you- for less than half the money.....


""W.O.T. until you see god, then brake"

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Jerzee

Has anyone on the forum tried the Progressive Suspension Monotube Fork Cartridge Kit that was released last year?  I see some have tried the Hyperpro progressive drop in spring, and read 'some improvement', but would love to hear any experience with the P.S. kit? They also make a rear monoshock replacement that 'compliments' the kit, but it seems pricey, and there is little information about it on line.

https://motorcyclesuspensionblog.com/

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