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Poor handling 06 VFR

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Highlander, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. recently bought a vfr and dont like the way it handels. I find you have to fight with it to get it down. Ive since reset the rear suspention which made marginal difference, so i dropped the front forks down 5mm to speed up the sterring. This has made a big difference to its manovability. But now i find the front end feels like its a bit jittery and is going to wash out. Im thinking of putting a stearing dampner on it. Has any one else had handeling problems with there vfr? and how did you over come it?

  2. Hey and welcome.

    I'd put the forks back to stock and look at what tyres it's wearing.

    They could be squared off, they could be underinflated or they could just not be right for the bike. What are they? I reckon you'll find a new set of Bridgestone BT16s might make it handle beautifully with the geometry back at stock.
  3. I'm with Loz on this unless there is damage your not aware of it really sounds like tyres would be a good starting point I know with my 03 Bridgestones work well and tyre inflation is something a lot of people neglect
  4. Get your forks and shock rebuilt too. They are the key.
  5. VFR's definitely dont (read shouldnt) need a steering damper.

    Set the forks back to standard height. Adjust sag to between 35 and 40mm (more is actually better, particularly at the front). Set rebound on rear shock to control rebound over whoop de do's. All this is of course assuming the bike is in good nick. Front forks work better with 10W oil (might get away with 7.5 W if you weigh less than 80Kg) and rear shocker is shagged by 70,000Ks but can be rebuilt to standard for $120.
    If you check the various VFR forums you will see that the fully adjustable rear shock from some fireblades will fit. They are a definite improvement if you ride hard, as are fitting gold emulators at the front (but$$$).

    A VFR will always feel a bit of a bus compared to a full sport bike but with good tyres (I currently run Pilot Road 2, but have had Pilot Sports and Brigies in past) they turn in well.

    Good luck, they are a great all round bike.
  6. What year/model?
  7. Other than checking the obvious stuff (worn tyres) I'd suggest you take it to a suspension guy to look it over. Unless you're very good, don't stuff around lowering forks, changing oil, suspension is probably the most difficult of sciences (those that claim otherwise are lying or misguided).

    It would probably cost you very little, and you'll be amazed at the improvement. And if there's something wrong, it can be diagnosed properly.
  8. Surprisingly rear rebound is the thing to adjust (too stiff from memory).

    Also you shouldn't be dropping the front unless rear pre-load is too much.
  9. Okay then. This is what I've done to mine. 0.9kg springs in the forks. 15 weight fork oil. 20mm of fork tube protruding above the clip ons -thats to the bottom of the circlip. 5 rings of preload showing on the adjusters. Wind the rear ride height adjuster up to max. I can't remember what the rebound setting is on the rear shock but I do know its not far off max.
    This will make your VFR feel as light as a feather and still be dead stable in the sweepers at speeds well in excess of 200. In this configuration it tips in easier and requires way less effort to change line mid corner than my VFR 400 that runs an extra 30mm in rear ride height.
    Also check that the eccentric chain adjuster is the right way round. If it is upside down you will loose a heap of ride height and she will feel very slow steering.
    If it still feels nervous then check the headstock bearings for notchiness. Check the preload -the bars should gently fall to either side of centre. Too loose and it will shake its head over the bumps. I still use the Honda ball races as there is a lot more range in getting the right "feel" than going to tapered rollers. If it still feels nervous I would suggest that it's been in a major bingle and things are not in line. Don't know who you could take it to to get checked/straightened as no one seems to do it any more.
    The only downside to dropping the forks 20mm through the clip ons is that you will run a little short of cornering clearance. If you plan on keeping the bike I would go an aftermarket shock with adjustable ride height -preferrably remote adjustable.
    As for not tuning your suspension yourself as it's "too hard" -utter bollocks. If you take a methodical approach and record your changes so you can always go back to a known setting, it is quite simple set your bike up to your own preferances. After all -you are the one riding it and it's your arse thats feeling the changes as you make them.
    Hope this helps. The VFR is a well balanced bike that can be punted pretty darn quickly when set up and will still feel nice and stable.
  10. Oops -scratch that, I'm 10 years out he he he he.
  11. shoulda gone sport bike.
    I could never go away from them i have the same feelings when i ride my mates vfr or zzr, its like they dont want to lean and from what my mates tell me they never get em to low. just corner slower maybe
  12. Some bikes maybe, but VFRs can handle just fine when they're set up.
  13. I dunno Loz. It find it pretty hard to argue with someone with a whole years experience thats ridden his mates VFR & ZZR. Around the block maybe :oops: :oops:
  14. this one looks ok
  15. nice pic is that you :) i would love to have another crack on one of these beasties :grin:
  16. nah it's not me...it's from the vfr discussion site...
    Highlander, you may already know, but for heaps of info on everything vfr related try :

    before i go to work...here's a 5th gen. doing the business :p
  17. A certain 1993 VFR750 that I know had the original Bridgestones on it (yes, the ones it was sold with) and it was atrocious. A new set of tyres have seen that completely resolved. Pilot Road 2s and it corners just fine.
  18. Those that have been around VFR's for a while might remember Chris Coote. He started the ausvfr forum which subsequently became ozvfr. Chris is a skilled spanner with motorbikes and VFR's in particular (having raced them for some years).

    I've kept a reply he posted on the original forum re setting up VFR's and have copied most of it (left out the links as most dont work now). Chris's advice is echoed in other VFR forums and so I reckon its the place to start.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Chris Coote"
    To: <aus_vfr-info@ampersand.asn.au>
    Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 11:37 PM
    Subject: [aus_vfr] [aus_vfr-info] <V-Technical> VFR Basic Suspension Setup

    > Here is my wonder tips for setting suspension on a VFR,whether it be an
    > or a '99. You won't go wrong, and it really is Idiot-proof. You'll need a
    > helper. wives are good for this, with dressmakers tapes handy. All the
    > are for a 94-97. The general methods of adjustment are the same, you have
    > ramped collar for the 98+ models.
    > Listen Carefully......
    > Firstly you want to set the static sags correctly. the 'static sag' is the
    > sag of the suspension, with the bike at a standstill and with the dead
    > weight* installed. you should be sitting on the bike with all stands up,
    > normal riding crouch, tippy-toes balancing the bike, directly below
    > position, but not taking any weight.
    > Step 1:
    > put the bike on the centre-stand
    > measure the distance from the rear axle-centre to a point directly above
    > on the bodywork (mark with duct-tape?). call this measurement-A.
    > Step 2:
    > take the bike off the stands, mount it as directed above (the bike, THE
    > BIKE!!!!) and get measurement again. call this measurement-B.
    > >
    > Step 3:
    > Deduct B from A. this is static sag. Ideally you want 35-40mm static sag.
    > adjust preload until correct. IF you go over 70% of adjustment, you need a
    > heavier spring. if you are over the 70% mark, you can carry on anyway, but
    > keep that in mind. ok to proceed at the moment, but you're stuffed if you
    > put a pillion/ luggage on board!!!
    > For more preload on 94-97, wind the 8mm socket:
    > Repeat the sequence for the front, and aim for the same measurements. the
    > front needs to be lifted to be measured, so jack the bike under the
    > to lift the front wheel. a cable-tie around the fork leg allows you to
    > end yourself (Thanks darlin'!). adjust to 35-40mm.
    > adjustment of preload from 89+ is like
    > now go out and RIDE THE BIKE! Change nothing else, check tyre pressures
    > set to personal preference!
    > *rider with all gear, not what you thought!
    > you're back? ok. let's go on.
    > by raising the rear 10mm you achieve the same result as lowering the front
    > 3mm. it's that different. mere mortals will not really notice the weight
    > distribution change. they will however notice the following:
    > Ground clearance:
    > easy. the higher the rear, the more you'll have. per-se. Essentially you
    > a shim between the shock upper shackle and the chassis.
    > Turn-in:
    > more twitchy, feeling of 'falling into corners' indicates the balance
    > of stable turn-in. go further and your asking for it. you want the bike to
    > turn with a little effort, but not feel like it's going to fall over.
    > Following line in corners:
    > Higher ride height will allow better road-holding in corners. the bike
    > more stable. this is the holy grail of motorcycling, so why not make it
    > good?
    > DAMPING:
    > Damping on VFR's is limited to fork oil weight change and rebound
    > on the rear. adjusting the rear rebound also affects the compression
    > characteristics also in Showa shocks.
    > FORKS:
    > Std. oil for VFR's is Honda SF-2. this is 7.5W Mineral oil (all models).
    > equivalent is Shell, but alas you cannot buy 7.5W shell in Australia. SO-
    > buy a bottle of 10W, and a Bottle of 5W. mix equal portions and you have 2
    > services worth. here's where it gets tricky. my settings, that I have
    > work for me are:
    > 8.5-9W- this is approx. 75% 10W and 25% 5W. filled to 110mm level (all
    > models) this allows less bottoming under brakes. it also stabilises the
    > more on the highway in cruising. damping is good.
    > If you are under 85kg I'd recommend the 7.5W blend. 85-95kg, use about a
    > 8-8.5W. if you do the math, it's easy to work out. use these guidelines
    > you'll be ok. Stick to Shell- it's cheap, the factory uses it, and lasts.
    > SHOCK
    > The standard shocks actually have pretty good damping, but always benefit
    > from a service. get serviced with 10W also, (don't do this at home
    > kiddies!). if you are getting it serviced, go to a reputable suspension
    > shop, not your Bike shop, as they will revalve it to suit you for the same
    > price as a service, give or take. allow $180-$200.
    > To start with though, set the shock to 1 turn out. all Showa's have std.
    > 1&3/4 to 2 turns available. more rebound will make the bike feel 'heavier'
    > and hard to turn in, but in a straight-line they will feel a little
    > (nudge the bars on the freeway with a loose grip, you'll fell the bike
    > wobble more) too soft and it feels like crap. simple there. the bike will
    > turn okay, but the slightest bump will upset it. Personal taste is the
    > ingredient here, start with a baseline and take notes.
    > Start with the sags. I want to hear everyone has done their first bit of
    > homework! Chassis dynamics are more important that damping. then worry
    > damping. if you are fitting heavier springs, buy Eibach. they are the
    > cheapest and make them for Race-Tech....... Ride the bike and then try a
    > shim. max of 3mm. then 'trim' the bike with minor adjustments to preload,
    > but don't go outside of the range of 30-40mm. remember- 3mm at the front
    > equal to 15mm at the back. decide if you can use the extra height and lift
    > it, if not, lower the front. Once your sags are set, LEAVE THEM ALONE!
    > are set, no adjustment needed from then on.
    > Then fiddle with the damping. start with the rear shock (it's only a screw
    > away!) and then fiddle with the fork oil weights. if paying someone to do
    > it, make the
    > decision based on my specs above and blend up your own oil. if unsure,
    > me an email and I'll work it out for you. Different oils will give
    > results, too......!
    > see:
    > http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/aus_vfr/files/fork oil blends.....xls
    > You should have a bike that is now pleasurable to ride. further (and
    > greatest) advantage
    > can be gained by revalving the forks and shock. I recommend Nick Dole From
    > Technic Motorsport: http://www.teknikmotorsport.com/
    > I hope this has helped. I have uploaded a far more advanced document to:
    > http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/aus_vfr/files/suspensionmanual.doc