Suspension Upgrades

Hey, what projects are you planning or preparing for? CBX, other motos, workshop, WHATEVAH!

Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby Syscrush » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:12 pm

cross wrote:Great info, thank you.
Is there really a need for 13 row cooler in Toronto?

It really depends on whom you ask, and when & how they ride.

First of all, you might be surprised at how hot a Toronto summer is - a fair bit hotter on average than San Diego according to the stats at WeatherSpark.

Toronto:
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San Diego:
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And every couple of years we get a pretty serious heat wave. So hot you can bake cookies in a parked car. :o

Of course, I am also known to ride into the southern US - NC/SC/TN/KY semi-regularly (REALLY wish I could make it to the rally this year!), and every now and then I'll visit my buddy in GA. I don't do that stuff in the head of midsummer, but I still don't want to plan my vacations/trips entirely around ambient temps.

Toronto also has some really brutal gridlock, both within the city (which is why I usually take the subway or bicycle when I can rather than the motorbike), and the surrounding highways. Highway 401 through Toronto (meaning about 60 miles east and west of the city) is the busiest highway in the world. Getting out of, into, or through the city can mean literally hours in stop & go traffic. Even in mild weather, that can send temps into scary territory. I once got an overheat warning on my liquid-cooled Duke 690 when I was trapped in traffic due to the Santa Clause Parade. Consider that. :lol:


Of course, the big cooler could definitely overcool the bike in the colder months, and I usually ride most of Nov and Apr at least. That's a big part of why I wanted the thermostat as well - and my heated vest and gloves are part of why I did the alternator upgrade.

For me, it makes sense - I wanted to do it once and be done with it, and have a bike that I can take (almost) anywhere I want, whenever I'm feeling tough enough to go there. :lol:
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby EMS » Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:23 pm

Stop and go traffic is more of a problem than ambient temperature 8) I had bikes running in the red temperature zone here in Ohio when caught in traffic jams on a freeway. :!:
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby Syscrush » Wed May 06, 2015 8:31 am

I've had a few shakedown/test rides, including back & forth to the shop to have them sort out the gauges (tach is still noisy/bouncy), but yesterday was my longest ride yet - about 60k round-trip, with 3 stops. Impressions so far:

  1. Front brakes are still bedding in, but this is a very big improvement in terms of lever feel, effort, modulation, and total power. The drastically decreased tendency to dive with the AK-20 cartridge internals helps a lot, too. I'm still going to upgrade the pads, though.
  2. Front and rear both need a few clicks here and there to be dialed in to work perfectly with each other, but this is already like riding a different (and better) bike in my opinion.
  3. With the increased rear ride height, the stock sidestand had become unusably short, so I had it lengthened. I think it's a hair long now, so I don't leave the bike on the sidestand - but it is nice to be able to use it to steady the bike when getting on & off before putting it up on or taking it off the c-stand.
  4. I really like having a clock!
  5. The lowered pegs are not a night & day difference, but they do make things a bit easier on my knees - at least for an hour in the saddle.
  6. The new bars are taller and have a shorter reach than the Tomaselli clip-ons that they replace - I would guess that the bar position now is probably pretty close to stock height and just a bit farther forward. This is making quite a difference in where the pressure/stretch points are for me on the bike.
  7. The decreased rake and trail plus the better control from the new suspension make a world of difference. The bike is willing to dive into corners now - I'm not sure, but I think that people used to stock CBX steering might find the turn-in response disconcerting. There are no signs of instability at highway speeds (tested up to ~80mph).
  8. With the suspension and brakes keeping things under control and making the whole ride less scary, the engine seems less powerful. :D But I have no interest in ever modding this bike for power - the only engine mod that would interest me is to fit closed-loop EFI so I can run a catalytic converter.

TODO:
  1. There is currently zero braking from the rear - probably just needs fluid as this stuff was rebuilt last summer. Even so, I'm fighting the urge to replace the rear master cyl with a Brembo unit that has an integrated reservoir for tidiness.
  2. Replace the current ridiculous, bright red, overlong Accel plug wires with something routed more sanely and that suit the look of the bike better. This might be necessary to sort out the noisy/bouncy tach.
  3. Anything else required to get a nice rock-solid tach display.
  4. Dyno tune with sniffer to dial in the carbs.
  5. Wiring for the GPS so it doesn't have to run on internal battery power.
  6. More appropriate bar end weights - I liked the ones that came with my 7/8" Superbike bars, but they didn't fit the LSL aluminum bars' ID. I bought some that fit the Al bars but their OD is way too small and they look ridiculous.
  7. Thorough cleanup of engine, wheels, and everything else.
  8. Upgraded pads from EBC or Braking.
  9. Shoot a bunch of nice glamor shots and show them to my friends here!
  10. Arrange for some experienced CBX'ers to ride the bike and give their unbiased opinions - the bike feels so good to me that I don't think anyone would take me seriously if I said what I really think about how nice it is now. :lol:
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby Syscrush » Fri May 08, 2015 9:35 pm

Tonight was the first time riding 2-up since the new front end and brakes went on. Did a mix of in-town and moderate highway speeds, and I remain quite pleased with how everything is working together (although it still needs some dialing in).
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby wyly » Thu May 14, 2015 9:23 pm

Syscrush wrote:
Jeff Bennetts wrote:Looks like everything is coming together nicely Phil, you have one of those builds that the more you see it the more the little details reveal themselves. What are your plans for the pipes and motor as far as the color scheme, black or silver?

Thanks Jeff.

Motor will stay silver. Pipes will be getting black ceramic coating sometime and I'll probably revisit the muffler mount at that same time. Other planned aesthetic changes are: covering exposed wires with chrome-look braided sleeve, and replacing those awful over-long red plug wires with braided stainless wires & black caps. I think I want to rework the front brake lines a bit, too. The key is that the bike is way more rideable now, so I'm OK with taking my time on those smaller things.

Congrats on the new baby on the way!

Thanks!
just my :twocents-02cents: I agree the plug wires are too long but the red works with the red stripe in the paint.
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby Syscrush » Sun May 17, 2015 11:14 am

Yesterday my wife and I went for a short ride 2-up to go look at some furniture and enjoy the weather. 3 things became apparent:

1. She said she couldn't believe how much better the bike feels with the new front end - even as a passenger. Her bike is a Ducati Monster, so she's pretty attuned to bike handling.

2. A dude who knows more than average about bikes was checking it out for a while as we looked at furniture. He had left but when he saw us coming out carrying helmets, he doubled back to talk about the bike. He recognized the brakes and swingarm were not stock, but as I was going through the list of mods I realized "Hey, there's been a lot of work done on this thing!"

3. I really REALLY need to clean it. I was embarrassed as hell pointing out mods that had been made as the beautiful sunshine was illuminating dust and bird crap. My cover has been shipped, I'll do a good clean as soon as it arrives.
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby wyly » Sun May 17, 2015 12:43 pm

Syscrush wrote:
2. A dude who knows more than average about bikes was checking it out for a while as we looked at furniture. He had left but when he saw us coming out carrying helmets, he doubled back to talk about the bike. He recognized the brakes and swingarm were not stock, but as I was going through the list of mods I realized "Hey, there's been a lot of work done on this thing!"

yeah they become money pits very quicky, I was originally only planning to spend 5k but going through the list of my mods last week and I realized it'll be close to 10k before I'm riding...and I haven't even addressed the front end issues.

your modifications are impressive :clap: , ive learned a lot following the progess of your build :text-thankyouyellow: .
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby cross » Sun May 17, 2015 1:18 pm

It's amazing how with even smallest upgrade like rear shock transforms this bikes behaviour, I love it
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby Syscrush » Mon May 18, 2015 10:03 am

wyly wrote:I was originally only planning to spend 5k but going through the list of my mods last week and I realized it'll be close to 10k before I'm riding...and I haven't even addressed the front end issues.

Yes, between maintenance and mods I said goodbye to $10k a long time ago. It's taken about double that to get the bike to where it is now, but it's finally something I can really enjoy riding - and I'm happier with it than I would be with anything else I know of at a similar price point. The other bikes I considered before going with the CBX were:

  1. Brutale 675: Cool but cramped and with 3rd-rate suspension.
  2. Monster 1100 EVO: Great bike but ugly exhaust and no obvious solutions that look good without being obnoxiously loud.
  3. Triumph Street Triple R: Very nice but not exclusive enough.
  4. Multistrada 1100 or KTM 990 SMT: Smart choices, but too f'n ugly!

ive learned a lot following the progess of your build.

ME TOO!!!
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby Syscrush » Sun May 24, 2015 9:12 pm

OK, there are some tweaks still left to do (I have new Dyna coils & wires here, and some braided wire covers on order, for example), and this was not a very thorough clean, but at least it's at a level now where I don't have to feel ashamed of it.

Here are some current pics and a bit of a summary of the mods that have been done. Click for full-size:


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Hindle muffler on Gary Wolf 6-2-1 header. This muffler is the "Stealth" core with their dB killer insert and the Euro tip in stainless.


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310mm GSX-R1000 rotors on anodized adapters, Brembo 4-piston radial calipers on powdercoated adapters, 39mm forks with AK-20 full cartridge internals adjustable for compression & rebound.


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Custom chainguard cut from 1/8" wall rectangular aluminum stock, plus fancy chain & SuperSprox sprocket.


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New SpeedHut electronic gauges designed to suit my needs and hopefully look like they belong on the bike.


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LSL Superbike bend 1-1/8" bars in KTM Duke 690 risers on a custom triple clamp topped by a KTM-supplied GPS mount.


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39mm forks with cartridge internals, custom triples with 10mm additional offset, and SuperBrace.


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Earl's 13-row oil cooler with braided A/N-6 lines and 190F thermostat.


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YSS 4-way adjustable shocks custom sprung and valved.


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Knight Designs lowering pegs (needed some tweaks to fit).


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CBX-tras alternator upgrade.
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby steve murdoch icoa #5322 » Mon May 25, 2015 7:49 am

Great looking cockpit on your bike, Phil.
Bike sure looks clean to me.
.
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby Syscrush » Mon May 25, 2015 8:48 am

steve murdoch icoa #5322 wrote:Great looking cockpit on your bike, Phil.
Bike sure looks clean to me.

Thanks Steve. I'm pretty happy with how the cockpit has worked out, although I do want to trim the bars down as much as possible - I think I can take about 0.75" off each end. I love the fat bar, custom triple, and keyless ignition - I think it all adds up to a look that's nice and modern without looking out of place on the bike. I was pretty unhappy about having to get rid of the stock gauges, but I've become very fond of the design I came up with via SpeedHut. I'm also glad that I went with the clock & the stealth voltmeter, it used to drive me batty not having any idea of the time while I was out riding.

Yesterday I hit a coin-op car wash to rinse the bike before giving it a wash, and had the following conversation with some guy there who saw the bike and wanted to talk about it:

Car wash dude: Wow, there's an awesome one!
Me: Thanks!
CWD: What year is it?
Me: 1979.
CWD: Yeah, I figured it had to be pretty old, it has that great classic look.
Me: Thanks, I'm pretty happy with it.
CWD: And all original too, eh?
Me: <pause...> YUP!

:lol:
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby wyly » Mon May 25, 2015 9:49 am

Yeah, l love the instrument cluster too. Out standing work overall.
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby Jeff Bennetts » Mon May 25, 2015 10:18 am

Stellar outcome Phil.
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby Syscrush » Mon May 25, 2015 12:47 pm

Now it's down to some comparatively little stuff (dialing in the suspension, dyno tune for the carbs, new coils & plug wires, ceramic coating the exhaust, upgrading brake pads) and just having fun on it.

I can't tell you how badly I wanna convert this thing to closed-loop EFI with a catalytic converter. Hopefully a good dyno tune will get it running (and cold-starting) well enough to put that out of my mind. But it looks like I'm gonna keep this thing long-term so in a way it would be stupid NOT to do it! :lol:

Really what I wanna do next is put a few 10's of thousands of miles on it! I really wish I could make it to the rally this year, but it's not in the cards.
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