Suspension Upgrades

Hey, what projects are you planning or preparing for? CBX, other motos, workshop, WHATEVAH!
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Syscrush
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Post by Syscrush »

wyly wrote:which is what I found when took out a BMW R1200R for test ride, I expected something much better than my RaceTech equipped CBX but no, on smooth to moderate pavement the I found little difference...I wasn't allowed to test the R1200R on really rough roads and aggressive riding but I fully expect that's where it's superior suspension will become evident...
A damping rod fork will feel perfect for probably 70% of the real-world riding on public roads. RTCE's get you to probably 90%. Then from there you can spend thousands getting to 95%, and tens of thousands chasing that last 5%.

My approach is to get it to about 97% and then just avoid the other 3% of riding conditions by being a bit less of a tool than what I would ideally like. :lol:
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

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considered Race tech for my GS1150ef but then I checked their product listings and there's nothing for the 84, 85 or 86 ...pre 84 GS1100 yes and for the GSX-R1100 86 ...I think it's maybe because of the anti dive feature of the 84-86 GS1150e forks...
CBX a work in progress, still improving...GS1150EFE completed and awaiting modifications.....RD350, remnants in boxes scattered throughout the garage

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Syscrush
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

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Bike is in the shop getting new Braking CM55 pads. I'm dying to see how that front end works once the new pads are properly bedded in.
Phil in Toronto
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

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OK, here's the initial impression of those CM55 pads...

For the past ~20 years EBC HH pads have been my go-to replacement for OEM pads. I have found that for how I ride (98% street), they provide a great mix of feedback, initial bite, power, and modulation. They made a difference I appreciated on budget Suzuki bikes (Katana and SV650), my high-spec bike (Duke 690 with 4-pad radial Brembo), and my vintage bike (CBX with CB1100F wheels and calipers). Of those, the SV was the only one that did track duty, but the SV, Katana, and Duke all did time in GA and the Carolinas exploring beautiful twisty mountain roads. They've also all done lots of commuting with plenty of congested stop & go. I like the EBC HH and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

Recently, I upgraded my CBX from the CB1100F brakes to 65mm axial mount Brembo 4-piston calipers and GSX-R1000 310mm rotors. The Brembo retailer who helped me identify the specific model of used calipers I had doesn't carry EBC, but he does carry Braking and recommended the CM55 pads. He was helpful to me, so I wanted to send a bit of business his way - also I was curious about what I might have been missing out on.

The CM55's went on last week, and they are a big improvement over the OEM Brembo pads that were on there. The old pads were of unknown provenance, though, and may have had some contamination by oil, grease, or brake fluid. I can't be sure as I got them used with the calipers.

In any case, basically any praise I'd give to the EBC HH pads also applies to the Braking CM55. It's a very sweet pad and like the HH, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

For me, it's basically a toss-up between the two. I don't think that there's a big difference in price or performance. Either one is a worthy upgrade from stock, IMO.
Phil in Toronto
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Post by bikeymikey748 »

Congrats, Phil, One Hundred Thousand Views! Quite an accomplishment, and well-deserved at that. Kudos!

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Re: Suspension Upgrades

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Mike, let's see any upgrades you've made to your bike. Have you changed anything? As I remember, you had it about perfect, in my eyes.
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Post by Larry Zimmer »

wyly wrote:considered Race tech for my GS1150ef but then I checked their product listings and there's nothing for the 84, 85 or 86 ...pre 84 GS1100 yes and for the GSX-R1100 86 ...I think it's maybe because of the anti dive feature of the 84-86 GS1150e forks...
You may be right about the 84 - 86, Wyly. They have gold valves for earlier models, such as my 78. Certainly helped that bike. Similar improvement to my 82 X. For $150, the way to go. That and a Progressive shock for the rear!
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

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bikeymikey748 wrote:Congrats, Phil, One Hundred Thousand Views! Quite an accomplishment, and well-deserved at that. Kudos!
Probably 80,000 of those views is me going back through this thread for my own entertainment. :lol:

This thread, and the support, encouragement, and indispensable information from my friends here that it contains will always have a special place in my heart. That feedback and info are what made it possible to get the bike set up to work as well as it does.

I don't know if it'll really pick up in 2020 or will have to wait until later, but I suspect that when I document my EFI conversion journey it should be pretty entertaining, too.
Phil in Toronto
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

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Larry Zimmer wrote:
wyly wrote:considered Race tech for my GS1150ef but then I checked their product listings and there's nothing for the 84, 85 or 86 ...pre 84 GS1100 yes and for the GSX-R1100 86 ...I think it's maybe because of the anti dive feature of the 84-86 GS1150e forks...
You may be right about the 84 - 86, Wyly. They have gold valves for earlier models, such as my 78. Certainly helped that bike. Similar improvement to my 82 X. For $150, the way to go. That and a Progressive shock for the rear!
I checked the Racetech website today and they now have the gold valve kit for 84-86 GS1150's :shock: :? . Ill send of an email to RT and see if the anti-dive feature needs to be eliminated when installing the RT kit.

edit: I read through RT technical section for forks with anti-dive like the GS. The anti-dive feature is deactivated when installing the RT gold valve. Unless there's a need to reduce weight there's no need to remove the exterior anti-dive adjustment and replace it with a blank plate.
Last edited by wyly on Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
CBX a work in progress, still improving...GS1150EFE completed and awaiting modifications.....RD350, remnants in boxes scattered throughout the garage

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Re: Suspension Upgrades

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wyly wrote:I checked the Racetech website today and they now have the gold valve kit for 84-86 GS1150's :shock: :? . Ill send of an email to RT and see if the anti-dive feature needs to be eliminated when installing the RT kit.
How hard (or easy) is it to fit Bandit 1200 forks? They're cheap, would not look out of place, would give you an easy path to 4-piston or 6-piston brakes, and have full cartridge internals.

You'd need some spacers and/or adapters to make stuff work with the OEM wheels, but it might be worth looking into.
Phil in Toronto
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

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Syscrush wrote:
wyly wrote:I checked the Racetech website today and they now have the gold valve kit for 84-86 GS1150's :shock: :? . Ill send of an email to RT and see if the anti-dive feature needs to be eliminated when installing the RT kit.
How hard (or easy) is it to fit Bandit 1200 forks? They're cheap, would not look out of place, would give you an easy path to 4-piston or 6-piston brakes, and have full cartridge internals.

You'd need some spacers and/or adapters to make stuff work with the OEM wheels, but it might be worth looking into.
Not getting the rake/trail right could prove fatal. Bandit 1200 forks at 614mm are too short. One of the issues with the GSX 84-86 was the 16' front wheel so shorter forks with an already small wheel probably won't end well.

The '93-95 1100 gixxers('765-'775mm)are about the only thing that will work and they're also shorter than the GSX'84-86 780mm forks but a larger '17 front wheel could offset that. I'd need the entire front including triples.

I live in a city of 1.3million but but there's not a lot places to source a wreaked 93-95 1100GSXrs. I could wait years before I find one. The inverted forks from a 93-93 would definitely be an improvement,a better brake set up as well.
CBX a work in progress, still improving...GS1150EFE completed and awaiting modifications.....RD350, remnants in boxes scattered throughout the garage

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Re: Suspension Upgrades

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wyly wrote:Not getting the rake/trail right could prove fatal. Bandit 1200 forks at 614mm are too short. One of the issues with the GSX 84-86 was the 16' front wheel so shorter forks with an already small wheel probably won't end well.

The '93-95 1100 gixxers('765-'775mm)are about the only thing that will work and they're also shorter than the GSX'84-86 780mm forks but a larger '17 front wheel could offset that. I'd need the entire front including triples.
Looks like stock is 37 mm KYB forks, right? What about boring out the stock triples to 39mm and going with 39mm Showa cartridge forks? There are almost infinite options there in terms of length and price point, because Harley has used 39mm Showa for probably 100 different variations of motorcycle over decades. You can get nice cartridge internals from a variety of sources (including direct from Harley), and even OEM Brembo calipers. You can get some decent-looking Harley wheels in sizes that would suit the GS1150, too.

Whether boring out the triples from 37 to 39mm is a good idea or not is not something I can really say. I had the triples and clip-ons from my SV650 bored out to go from the stock 41 mm forks to 43 mm R6 RSU forks and never had any issues, but it's not like I was subjecting it to good objective testing for flex before and after. Cognito Moto will make clamps for a price that looks like barely more than the cost of boring out your stockers.

Anyhow, it's your project, but it's my thread so I'm throwing out some ideas here. :lol:
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

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Syscrush wrote:
wyly wrote:
Anyhow, it's your project, but it's my thread so I'm throwing out some ideas here. :lol:
absolutely you've already gone through this your experience and suggestions are appreciated. I expect this project to be a couple of years in length, dependent on cash available(as little as possible) so I'm trying to avoid making a change and then missing a better solution later. The GS is quite functional as it is and I don't have a clear picture of how it'll evolve and where it'll end so I'll take my time and gather as much info as I can(I'm in no hurry to hand it off to the son-in-law either :lol: ).
CBX a work in progress, still improving...GS1150EFE completed and awaiting modifications.....RD350, remnants in boxes scattered throughout the garage

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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Post by Larry Zimmer »

Most important thing you can do, Wyly, is HAVE FUN!! Merry Christmas.
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Re: Suspension Upgrades

Post by wyly »

Syscrush wrote: Anyhow, it's your project, but it's my thread so I'm throwing out some ideas here. :lol:
I spent an hour with my mechanic chatting about suspension options as he's a suspension expert so I listened very carefully to what he had to say.

He said too many people rush into swaps without understanding the geometry required, they get maimed and killed by getting this wrong. Very small changes in bike geometry and rider position can result in huge changes to handling.

It can be very expensive. When doing a swap correctly you may need a complete donor bike otherwise you end up chasing parts which is much more expensive and time consuming than buying the entire bike(or front end) in one piece. Then there's the issue of finding the right donor bike, I could find one next month or I could be looking for years. I'm on a pension so my budget is limited and I'm getting older, I like to think I'll still be riding for 20 yrs but I could gone in 5 or less :shock: . The sooner I get this completed and riding the better.

Forks from a newer bike into old bikes. What's often overlooked is those newer forks may come from a bike that may weigh a 100-150 lbs less than the recipient bike, structural strength can be an issue. This hadn't occurred to me, I was only thinking in terms of fork length.

He advised the most cost effective, quickest and safest route was to bring the oem forks to best level possible for a traditional fork design. So I'll be handing over my forks to him to rebuild with all the improvements modern technology can offer. They'll be the best they can be short of going to inverted forks and well above my riding ability.
CBX a work in progress, still improving...GS1150EFE completed and awaiting modifications.....RD350, remnants in boxes scattered throughout the garage

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