Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Good Suspension ?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by VCM, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. Oi Mods ! I was going to post this there >
    But I believe this is best served over here in the newbie section, for reasons that will become apparent.
    If not, sorry .. please move the post :wink:

    We often hear about vetran riders 'tuning' their suspension etc and dismiss this as something that only the 'experienced' riders do in order to get the most out of their ride. Well that's probably 100% correct.
    But being a commuter, I also ignored the importance of even having 'good' suspension. I figured " Hell, I'm no diehard rider, what difference will it make if my suspension is not quite 'up to scratch'

    I've had leaking front forks ( the right one mainly), and although it's been on my 'things to do list', I did not regard it as something that needed to be done any time soon, so just put it on the backburner.
    Almost clocked up 13,000km since I begun riding, most of you know I'm slowly trying to improve my cornering skills along with a box full of other need-to-sharpen techniques. One problem I've had is trust .. trust in my bike, and trust in my capabilities ( or lack-therof ) :LOL:

    Anyway, we decided it was time to give the forks an overhaul on Thursday night. All went well, other than having to find a set of dust seals from another model to suit. ( ones I purchased were not the correct ones ). We finished up leaving the workshop around 11:00pm, Forks can take a while if you stop for pizza breaks :LOL:

    On the ride home .. :shock: WTF? Is this MY bike??? :?
    A few things that stood out:
    (a) - Front of bike no longer THUMPS when riding over raised sections of roads in mid-repair.
    (b) - Bike doesn't dance over imperfections in the road, now GLIDES across em.
    (c) - Bike no longer NOSE-DIVES when braking, and the rear does not feel as light ( I guess less weight is being transferred ? )
    (d) - On low speed cornering, the bike feels more stable and I feel more comfy.

    I would never have thought that something as simple as good front forks could make such a HUGE difference to someone at my level of riding.
    Thinking back I now realised that putting off doing the forks have probably slowed down my riding progress, as I have never been confident with the feedback I was getting from the bike.

    What have I learned here?
    Good suspension is just as IMPORTANT to a new rider, if not MORE important.
    Bad Suspension will INHIBIT your riding and SLOW your progress.

    Please feel free to put your 2 cents worth.
  2. Also shows why when buying a 2nd hand 250 condition/past history is far, far more important than whether it was "faster" when it was new. A well maintained naked, even something like a Spada, will crap all over any supposedly faster fully-faired sports in neglected condition (which is often the norm for 250s).
  3. Me and a couple of mates changed the fork seals on my bike on the weekend, and I was also amazed at the difference it makes.

    When I went for a ride on Catebury Rd, it was so smooth! I couldn't believe it! Plus it was also much more comfortable to ride too.

    +1 Totally agree

  4. Hey guys,
    Was just wondering, hows the best way to work on the front of the bike?? Ive got a paddock stand that i use when im working on the rear, but to get the front wheel off the ground, what do you guys do?

    My seals aren't leaking, but i was going to drain and refill the oil as for all i know it might still be the original stuff. That said i might replace the seals while im at it, for piece of mind. Either way i need to actually remove the forks from the bike, so i can work on them, so i need to support the bike some how. :)
  5. I use a trolley jack under the engine ..
  6. Vinnie, you descovered something that MANY newer riders have a habit of dismissing...
    Your suspension (and tyre) combination is your communications channel through which you are connected to the road...It's imperative to be able to 'feel' what's going on underneath you, and you can't do THAT without having the tools working properly for you. (at least as good as they can be) As you suggested....this is esxpecially true for new riders, since they might not have developed the skills that allow them to make up for what the bike is lacking.

    Suspension 'tuning' may be something that the more experienced riders pay a high level of attention to, but that does'nt exclude any one else from the need to have things working correctly. :)
    Just about everything on a bike can make a MAJOR difference to the way a bike performs. And the effects are usually immediate. :)

    Glad you got the front-end sorted out, mate. :)

  7. I'm fairly useless when it comes to maintaining things, so I tend to pay for these things to be done for me.... How often should I be taking care of my suspension, and would an off have made a big different to it?

    I ask because while Vitter has only done 4000km, after my off a month or so ago the from suspension felt decidedly more 'squishy'. Braking the front end seemed to sink into the forks far more than beforehand. I don't know if it's just psychological, but you never know....
  8. When you decked it, was the front-end involved?...If not...then it is possibly just your mind playing tricks...If the it did cop a hit, you should explain that to a reputable dealer and ask if they think it might need checking. Any number of things might have happened, or nothing at all.

    If it was a big off, then get it looked at...both ends. (check rear axle alignment, make sure the forks are'nt twisted in the brackets etc etc.)

    It could also be your rear suspension that is effecting the front-end....assuming that something HAS indeed changed, of course.

  9. Looking at my last revalve cost, I would say its a pretty high priority.

    However its all relative and there is no point in spending big $$ if you cant fault the stock stuff thats properly set up.

    And by properly set up, I mean a bit more playing around then a basic sag and clicker set up.

    In the event of a crash, triples, forks, wheel and axle are checked. Anything that has contacted something it wasnt supposed to should be checked.
  10. Having just had the suspension (rear) under the scoot repaired under warranty I agree with all that has been said here.
    Since it has been fixed the scoot corners and handles differently making me wonder if this had not been 100% since new.

    It could be psychological but I dont think so as it is leaning easier and it gives a much more confident feel as well. I no longer am confused with the feedback I am getting from the scoot like I had been.

    all I know is I cant wait for the chance to take it for a long ride and see just what differences there are!
  11. If you have a garage and the roof beams are exposed, the best bet is to attach a tie-down to a beam each side of the bike and hoist the front end off the ground by this means. The value of this is that unlike a jack or stands, the bike cannot slip off or fall if it is bumped (as it will be as you remove/replace the fork legs).
  12. Ya know ... sometimes the simplest solutions are often not seen, even if they are staring us right in the face :shock:
    Great Idea Paul !
    Wonder if one could hoist the bike completely off the ground.. would make cleaning a breeze :p
  13. Front forks twisted as the bike landed on the instrument console. The guy from Peter Stevens Kawasaki 'lovingly' kicked my front wheel back into alignment :S

    Sounds like I'll be dropping it off to Redwing Honda for its next service and asking them to redo my suspension.
  14. What!?...yep...get the front-end checked out mate...His "side of the road" fix is not good enough IMHO.
  15. Yeah, he claims he was a motorbike mechanic, too. If he was, I wouldn't be getting him to fix me bike.....