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Christmas Eve Suspension Tuning

It’s been another couple crazy weeks. Been super swamped with customer orders/projects (thanks, guys!), holiday BS, family-related ‘things’, and of course, general FZ-09 development.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Barry at GP Suspension sent his fork piston kit. A set of Super Tenere forks just arrived and two more are in transit, so I took the time to get the kit in the FZ-09. Barry worked up a couple nice shim stacks and figured out a good compression bleed size. He also threw in one of their 7.5 degree rebound needles. So all in all, this kit is comprised of GP’s pistons/shims, GP’s needle, some 0.90 kg/mm Sonic Springs, and Silkolene 5wt. Some minor massaging on my part included chamfering the cartridge tube ports and polishing the damping rod.

Yes, I know…where are the pictures??? All in due time! The weather has been craptastic around here recently with over 15″ of snow falling through the past two weeks. So, the roads were covered in salt, cinders, and sand. Fortunately, mother nature sent us a few inches of warm rain the past couple days and all the snow melted. Roads are still spotty, but I made some time to do a test ride earlier today. All I say is ‘wow’. I alluded to this in a previous post, but upgrading a new bike never gets old. Although good results are expected, it’s such a treat taking a ‘good’ bike and making it ‘great’. I’m happy to say we’re there!

Rebound feels great with a proper shim stack (even on the 5wt). Compression is very comfortable over rough roads and transmits just the right level of feel for the street. Brake dive is about the same as the previous setup (springs with 10wt oil), but the high speed compression harshness has been eliminated. Despite the fact we still can’t adjust the compression on this setup, it won’t really matter for the majority of riders. Yes, I have a set of 25 mm cartridges that will go in here, so this bike will be adjustable. But, if cash were an issue, this set up is amazingly good. In the back of my mind, I was expecting to fiddle with the shim stacks a little bit. Maybe add/remove or rearrange a few shims. I should have known better, because Barry took care of it. Take 1 FZ-09, add this fork piston kit, and swap on an 8983…you can keep your Street Triple R any day of the week.

I know a lot of guys are reading this thread who are on the fence about buying an FZ-09, primarily due to the suspension. Don’t fret – take the plunge. As it sits today, the bike is ready for anything you want to throw at it, short of racing. By now you’ve probably figured out that I don’t like to oversell something, so I’ll leave it at that. This kit will be available shortly, with a couple options on shipping/labor – keep an eye on this thread on our sub-forum.

I’ll post some pictures later in the week, but until then…Merry Christmas – Feliz Navidad – Frohe Weihnachten, etc.!!

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