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Results of recent suspension upgrade

Started by J banning, April 09, 2013, 09:34:01 AM

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J banning

Hey guys, I'm relatively new here. Bought my GS from another member at the beginning of this year with the original intention to flip it for a profit that I could put back into my other bikes. However, after doing just enough work to get it running (the carbs were a mess -- dirty, bad seals, out of sync) and taking if for a quick spin I realized that I might want to hold onto it and use it for a cheap commuter and something to do long day rides on (my KTM is not qualified for either).

My aim is to keep this bike as simple and cheap as possible and use it for occasional commuting, long day rides, and a session at a track day here and there just for fun (I'm an 190lb advanced group rider). The street rides and track day sessions will be very fast paced. I'm not even gonna try to address the horsepower issue, but getting quicker more solid handling is important.

Because I want to keep this cheap I wasn't going to do a front end swap or anything. With that being said I decided to do a front spring swap and R6 rear shock upgrade.  I ended up going with a set of .95 Sonic Springs and 15W oil for the front (set oil height at 120mm) and for the rear I got a 2008 R6 shock off eBay (complete with the linkage and all bolts) for $60 shipped!

The results?... WOW! For less than a $160 investment, and some time tweaking sag & shock settings, I'm really surprised at the improvement! Front to rear balance feels really good. Large bumps (including jumps and wheelies) can be handled now, and the wallowing I experienced before is pretty much a thing of the past.

Next step is a tire upgrade. Definitely a 120/70/17 trackday takeoff (Pirelli Supercorsa or DRC -- I have access to a lot of them & they're practically free), and for the rear I'm not really sure yet. Probably either the 140/70/17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II or the Bridgestone BT-003. I'm concerned that the 003 might wear a little too quick though on the street, so right now I'm kinda leaning towards the Rosso II. Any suggestions?

P.S. beating the crap out of this thing for a 200 mile backroad ride on Sunday, I still got 43 mpg! I'm really anxious to see what it'll return on a mostly highway commute.

2001 GS500 low budget beater
GSX-R 600 track bike
KTM 525 SMR supermoto
Honda XR100 minimoto

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