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Suspension upgrading - Gold valve, worthwhile??

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by robsalvv, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. After an interaction with diesel recently, my bike is at the shop getting repaired.

    While there, I was thinking of doing some work - and was going to go with a front fork suspension overhaul... the idea of a gold valve upgrade and more appropriate spring size was mentioned.

    Now I've done the whole static sag and rider sag preload setting thing and the suspension pretty much sat in the 1/3 of it's travel. This would suggest that the spring is about right????? [The '02/'03 9R's had stiffer springs than the previous year's model...]

    I don't ride 10/10 on the road and track days aren't that frequent.

    I was wondering whether the upgrade to the suspension would be that great that it would be worth the discretionary money.

    Opinions and experiences please!!!



    [Before anyone asks, yes, I did do a search]
  2. All gold valves do is give you more dramatic control of the damping. If you can achieve a balanced setting using your standard suspension, then you don't need them.

    As to springs, the softer spring will actually be quicker a-b on the road.

    I've riden similar bikes, one with std springs and the other with overlength progessively wound. There is no doubt the one with the modified suspension would be quicker one the track, but in the real world the standard one was way better.

    The modified one just got too unsettled over bumps, so you had to back of more.
  3. I spend about $1500 on upgrading the suspension of one of my previous bikes (a 1996 bandit that I bought new).

    I used gold valves in the front end and had a remote reservoir with compresssion and rebound damping added to the rear (keeping the stock spring).

    It was simply the most effective money I have _ever_ spent on making a bike go faster.

    Would ohlins components front and rear have been better? Probably... but I would have struggled to have gotten a rear shock for what i spent on both ends.

    Highly recommended :)
  4. I admit on something like a bandit, with it's pretty basic std setup, it would be a worthwhile investment.

    I still vote no for a 02 zx9 however.
  5. That's a valid point ibast, the quality of the bike suspension under discussion does have an effect on any potential improvement.

    If the standard suspension is of good quality and not worn then any improvement will be subtle at best.

    However if that 02 ZX-9R has a few kms on it (say 30,000?) then the stock suspension will be getting tired and you'd most likely see an improvement (but then so would rebuilding the suspension as stock).

    How many kms has the bike done Rob?
  6. As ZRX mentioned, how many K's on the bike?
    And more importantly, how much do you weigh in gear?
  7. 38000 kms is the answer... and with gear I'd top 100kg. [sigh... not enough time on the cross trainer... :LOL:]

    The vast majority on city and highway roads.

    A good portion in twisty hilly roads.

    And lets see... a quick back of the envelope calc says I've done about 1400kms at phillip island.

    There's nothing particularly wrong with the suspension. It was dialled in to be a bit firm and has never drifted from that. As mentioned before, the suspenders were upgraded from the previous 9R model including stepless rebound and damping so they're pretty good standard kit.

    I think the front shocks missed an oil change at 24000km's so I'm taking the opp to give them a full overhaul now... not sure I need to take it to the gold level though... :-k


  8. I wouldn't bother with a bike like that. Out of the box it had one of the best suspensions for its time.
    If on the other hand you rode a VTR like me....
  9. I went to this guy:

    ASR Performance Motorcycles
    Greg Fairthorne

    Arthurs Seat Road
    Dromana VIC 3936
    Ph: (03) 5981 0165
    Fax: (03) 5981 8465
    Mobile: 04 2753 2931

    Did a fantastic job. Fitted Andreani valves and resprung the front forks for me. I've never had more confidence in the front-end of a bike, ever. Can feel everything, yet it is supple and compliant. Hard to describe.

    Rear was fitted with a Racetech gold valve and resprung. Springs are all good, but the rear valving is a little sensitive to adjustments. I've finally managed to dial in a rear setting that I'm extremely happy with. Way, way better than stock, just it took a little while to get there. Would need to go to the expense of a entire new rear shock to do better, but you'd be paying twice to three times a much.

    Getting the suspension sorted over stock is definitely worthwhile. Best bang for buck you can ever spend on making a stock bike go faster, aside from rider training if you haven't already done so.
  10. Gold valves (can't remember correct name for front forks) are so worth the cost.

    Though I havn't finished the rebuild yet on my Voyager, the forks cost me a fortune but they needed re-chromeing ect ect as well and I had the gold valves put in.

    After rideing a good friends lowered Z1300 with them and compareing it to my Z1300, the choice was clear.

    The ride was a bit stiffer (though they have a by-pass valve if you hit the big bumps) over stock wich was good. The other big benefit was getting rid of a lot of "diveing under brakes".

    I like late brakeing and into the bends and it kept the bike very much more stable than mine.

    Next step is finding some one who knows what they are doing when it comes to playing with suspension, Shaun at SOS suspension does all my work on that side of things, a good mate and does a great job.

    My forks are a one off, they are tuned for 1/2 ton+ cruiseing down the highway : )