How to setup the suspension? - GSXR.com
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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How to setup the suspension?

I am a short but stocky guy, 5' 8", 190 pounds, my legs are kind of shorter (30" inseam with pants).

With my 2005 GSXR 600 K5, I need about an inch and a half to touch the ground with my Speed and Strength Run With The Bulls 2.0 shoes. I really don't want to mess with the seat (unless absolutely needed) and trim it, but I would be happier being able to flat foot the bike. The only way I would want to go to the stock height would be going to track days, but for commuting and just riding around I want to lower it a bit as I am not knee dragging or even close to it on the street!

My kickstand has already been cut, as my co-worker had it lowered at some point and the bike leans over fairly far compared to a stock bike. He must have had it put back to stock height, because my suspension appears to be at stock settings according to the manual and there is no lowering link on the rear shock. Not sure if there ever was one but assuming with the the cut kickstand, there was one at one point.

I either lean to one side or stand on the tips of my toes while sitting at lights.

Here are my questions:

1. Does anyone know a good place for suspension setups for sport bikes in Illinois or Indiana? I live in Chicago Heights, Illinois which means I am close to Northwest Indiana as well. The nearest Suzuki dealership I know of is in Merrillville, Indiana.

2. If I want to do it myself, besides installing a lowering link, which I only need 2" at most, what do I need to do to the front to make it match?

3. After setting sag, something I want to do, what else can I do to dial in the suspension?

I have never messed with the suspension but would love to learn it or have guidance on how to do it.

Thanks in advance and any help would be appreciated.

2005 K5 GSXR 600
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 05:11 PM
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You can put a jack under the bike and loosen the front fork clamps and let the fork tops go further through the trees. But remember too much and your front fender can touch your upper fairing.

You might also want to buy an adjustable sidestand so its quick and easy to lengthen and shorten the stand.

If you look, you can find threaded dog bones/ rear links, so a couple wrenches is all thats needed to raise and lower.
Here's a PSR stand used https://www.ebay.com/itm/04-05-Suzuk...wAAOSwnOtbGQtx
Just dont buy one too cheap, it might be junk.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racerxxxgsxr1000 View Post
You can put a jack under the bike and loosen the front fork clamps and let the fork tops go further through the trees. But remember too much and your front fender can touch your upper fairing.

You might also want to buy an adjustable sidestand so its quick and easy to lengthen and shorten the stand.

If you look, you can find threaded dog bones/ rear links, so a couple wrenches is all thats needed to raise and lower.
Here's a PSR stand used https://www.ebay.com/itm/04-05-Suzuk...wAAOSwnOtbGQtx
Just dont buy one too cheap, it might be junk.
Very helpful, thank you! Now I am not even sure I need to flat foot it as I finally figured out how to and actually messed with the suspension for the first time.

As this is my first sport bike (so I had nothing to compare to), I noticed the bike seemed very unstable when I got it. At low speeds, it is not very confidence inspiring and felt weird, unstable being the closest word I can come up with to describe it! At high speeds, say 60+ on the tollway, the bike felt kind of weird too. Like too bouncy in the front and too stiff in the back, making it feel like the geometry was off.

So I set the suspension to stock settings (I have not adjusted the rear shock damper yet, no tool but I might use a hammer/punch if it will not jack up the teeth on it). To put it bluntly, my co-worker had it beyond jacked up! It was all over the place, and the two fork sides had different settings! So I set it to stock, with a little extra damping in the front to compensate for my weight, which is above the 160-170 lbs the stock suspension settings were set for.

No more instability at low/higher speeds, turns feel way more confident, and now the bike correctly goes over bumps. Before the front would bounce nearly properly but the rear end was so stiff it would move with the bump. The bike felt like it had barely any suspension before, now the front and rear glide over bumps and actually move it it, like they should.

I know my co-worker was doing wheelies with it, perhaps he had it set up to make them easier? Not sure but this feels like a whole new bike now. He is built kind of like me, but taller by 2" and not as stocky as me. I am guessing our weights are about the same.

My dad and wife are going to help me set proper sag for me in a little while, should make it even better.

2005 K5 GSXR 600
-Fully restored and painted by myself
-Carbon fiber bar ends and levers
-Shinko Stealth 003 tires
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Wraith_Rider View Post
Very helpful, thank you! Now I am not even sure I need to flat foot it as I finally figured out how to and actually messed with the suspension for the first time.

As this is my first sport bike (so I had nothing to compare to), I noticed the bike seemed very unstable when I got it. At low speeds, it is not very confidence inspiring and felt weird, unstable being the closest word I can come up with to describe it! At high speeds, say 60+ on the tollway, the bike felt kind of weird too. Like too bouncy in the front and too stiff in the back, making it feel like the geometry was off.

So I set the suspension to stock settings (I have not adjusted the rear shock damper yet, no tool but I might use a hammer/punch if it will not jack up the teeth on it). To put it bluntly, my co-worker had it beyond jacked up! It was all over the place, and the two fork sides had different settings! So I set it to stock, with a little extra damping in the front to compensate for my weight, which is above the 160-170 lbs the stock suspension settings were set for.

No more instability at low/higher speeds, turns feel way more confident, and now the bike correctly goes over bumps. Before the front would bounce nearly properly but the rear end was so stiff it would move with the bump. The bike felt like it had barely any suspension before, now the front and rear glide over bumps and actually move it it, like they should.

I know my co-worker was doing wheelies with it, perhaps he had it set up to make them easier? Not sure but this feels like a whole new bike now. He is built kind of like me, but taller by 2" and not as stocky as me. I am guessing our weights are about the same.

My dad and wife are going to help me set proper sag for me in a little while, should make it even better.
Keep in mind a front tire that has worn flat spots/uneven tread from using under or over inflated will make a bike handle like total crap. You'd be amazed what new tires feel like.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 09:30 AM
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I had Joe at Turn One Racing set baseline for my bike last year.

Turn One Racing | Road Racing Services

There's also TSE. They're about a couple hours or so from you.

Trackside Suspension & Engineering | Motorcycle Suspension For You
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 01:10 PM
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This guy is really good, and explains everything VERY well...

Suspension Set-up on a Suzuki GSX-R600 | OnTheThrottle.com
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerblade View Post
I had Joe at Turn One Racing set baseline for my bike last year.

Turn One Racing | Road Racing Services

There's also TSE. They're about a couple hours or so from you.

Trackside Suspension & Engineering | Motorcycle Suspension For You
Thank you very much, I will check them both out. I did set the sag and it does feel a heck of a lot better now....the rear end before was dead and the front too lively over bumps.

I would still like to have the bike better tuned, especially if I do decide to lower it. I don't want to go too low, just slightly lower and it will be perfect for me.

I will contact both and find out what they charge and everything.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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This guy is really good, and explains everything VERY well...

Suspension Set-up on a Suzuki GSX-R600 | OnTheThrottle.com
Dave Moss is awesome, he tunes up the bikes on track days for people and it only costs like $20.00. If only he would come to Illinois or Northwest Indiana, heck I would do a track day just for that! It would be worth it.

I used those videos to help set the sag of my bike.

Keith Code also had a suspension tuning video, used to be on the website which is now defunct but might be able to locate it still. It might even be on Youtube, like Twist of the Wrist II is.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 09:09 AM
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Dave Moss is awesome, he tunes up the bikes on track days for people and it only costs like $20.00. If only he would come to Illinois or Northwest Indiana, heck I would do a track day just for that! It would be worth it.

I used those videos to help set the sag of my bike.

Keith Code also had a suspension tuning video, used to be on the website which is now defunct but might be able to locate it still. It might even be on Youtube, like Twist of the Wrist II is.
If you click the link I sent, the suspension tuning video is there. It's in the Part 2. of the sag video...
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Something Dave Moss mentions in this video is important for all as well.

Setting proper chain tension is very important. I just found out that my chain was a little tight. This can cause your rear tire to act as part of the suspension and not allow you to set sag properly or use full rear shock travel.

You should be able to touch the chain to the under carriage (in the center of the chain), as Dave Moss shows. Now that I did that, my rear end feels better and the bike even seems smoother. This also seemed to even out the amount of travel in the back and front of my bike.

I was also able to set sag easier this way, because I believe the chain being tight prevents the shock from being able to use 100% of the travel. Don't go too loose though, just enough to where it can touch the underside of the bike in the middle of the chain when it is all tightened up and has the weight of the bike tension on it.

I set mine right, but when you tighten it up and put tension on it, the chain tends to tighten a bit. Just thought I would throw that out there.

Of course make sure you align the rear tire properly, use the marks and make sure both sides are even on the top and bottom.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Wraith_Rider View Post
Setting proper chain tension is very important. I just found out that my chain was a little tight. This can cause your rear tire to act as part of the suspension and not allow you to set sag properly or use full rear shock travel.
The chain being too tight is one of the most frequent things caught when bikes are teched at a track day.

Better to be too loose than tight.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 04:38 PM
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As another short legged rider, I traded in my genuine motorcycle boots for a pair of work boots with thick soles. The extra half to three-quarters of an inch makes all the difference in comfortably putting down a foot at a stop sign.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 07:21 PM
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As another short legged rider, I traded in my genuine motorcycle boots for a pair of work boots with thick soles. The extra half to three-quarters of an inch makes all the difference in comfortably putting down a foot at a stop sign.
Good idea, because I've had with my high heels.


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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 06:14 AM
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Good idea, because I've had with my high heels.
I see I need to make another trip to my local Harley dealer. Were those by the chaps and bull whips?

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If you think reading is tricky, how the hell are you going to follow troubleshooting directions?
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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I have been constantly tweaking the suspension, looking for better settings, and I found settings that have literally changed my bike for the best!

All compression/damping at 1.5 turns out, 4 lines showing in the front and 13mm threads showing above the lock collar on the rear shock (think these were in a magazine but the settings were recommended by another rider who is about 190 pounds like I am without gear.)

The bike does not look so forward heavy like before, but riding it now feels like I got a new bike. Feels very stable at slow and fast speeds, soaks up bumps, and turns in with ease. My K5 GSXR 600 always felt unstable at slow speeds and not very confidence inspiring with spirited cornering. It is much stiffer than stock/when I got it yet not harsh. My bike has also always tended to feel like a boat under acceleration, the front end lifts and the rear end squats when you gun it. Now it feels stable and even feels a little quicker! It does not squat under acceleration, now it just goes. Turn in for turns feels awesome and I feel I can turn with it better now for sure.

Setting the bike to stock did help compared to when I got the bike. But I know that stock the bike is set for general purpose, 160-170 lbs rider. Being likely around 200 with gear, it felt soft and vague. As an added bonus, even though I test rode it in the rain with my Nike shoes last night, I can also damn near flat foot it now.

Very happy, I may tweak them further down the road but I am really happy now, I feel more confident and the performance is better with the bike now.

Now I wish I had messed with the suspension sooner!

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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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See the above post, I managed to get the suspension to exactly where I want it!

My co-worker, whom I always get along with, kind of lied to me about the bike which I am not too happy with.

He said it was already lowered the day I bought it from him, but there is no evidence to support that. The triple tree is flush, the rear was raised from stock settings with the lock collar. No lowering link is installed. Strangely, the kickstand appears to be cut or bent from stock, because I think lowered 2" it would sit about right. Unless he removed the lowering link and had the bike set back to stock height, I am not sure.

He said it has newer tires, but both appear to be the original Dunlops the bike comes with from the factory. They were worn smooth and were a big contributor to my accident I am sure! They longer even make the Dunlop original Qualifiers afaik, they are on the Qualifier 3's now. Scary for a 22k mile bike (what it was at the time of my accident).

He said it was tuned up and serviced before he put it away for the winter. The K&N surprise air filter was filthy dirty and obviously not touched for a long time. The spark plugs looked old and were black. The butterfly valves had deposits on them, looking like they were never or barely cleaned.

He said it had 19k miles, it actually had 22k the day I brought it home.

I even found a fake $100 bill that looked like it had been printed under the rider seat (wrong paper, size, but looked nearly authentic at first glance).

If I knew what I did now, I would have never bought the bike after seeing the lies, but I was excited to get the bike, it looked good, and I had seen him bring it to work a few times. Now I am glad I did, but he had the bike messed up. I know he was doing wheelies with his friends, might explain the front low/back high posture of the bike mine always had until now.

I learned a lot.

1. Never take people, even people you are cool with, for their word when it comes to buying/selling to them. I would have never duped him in his place, I would have been honest with him about everything. Even a stranger.

2. Examine the bike before you buy it, negotiate with them. I bought it for $3700, should have paid about $3200-3000. He wanted $3750 for it, so got almost what he wanted for it. I just put nearly $1500 in it to restore it to tuned up/new tire condition.

I was so anxious to get the bike, and it was brutally cold out, that I did not do what I normally would do. It looked good and I know he takes care of his car at work, so I blindly believed him. Never again, you live and learn.

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-Fully restored and painted by myself
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 04:54 PM
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The chain being too tight is one of the most frequent things caught when bikes are teched at a track day.

Better to be too loose than tight.
John,
When I ride with new riders, and/or with a group- I often 'size-up' a few things with a quick glance of their bikes.
I really don't care if they have 'chicken-strips' or not.
I look for things like overall condition/cleanliness,
AND their drive chain.
I've seen some pitiful chains- no lube in like forever, and loose!
I'm talking LOOSE, like I could walk up and take the chain off the sprocket by hand.

I like to ride with people who look after their drive chain, then probably other things too!

I rode with an acquaintance last weekend. He has a nice CB1000rr, and I took him out on some of the usual twisties I ride out of town.
He didn't even know how I feel about the chains, and immediately says that he just adjusted and lubed his chain! (it wasn't too tight either!)
So I asked about his tire pressure- he didn't know so we checked it, he was running 40 lbs. in each.
We weren't on 'the track'.

We had a great ride.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Todd_Sails View Post
John,
When I ride with new riders, and/or with a group- I often 'size-up' a few things with a quick glance of their bikes.
I really don't care if they have 'chicken-strips' or not.
I look for things like overall condition/cleanliness,
AND their drive chain.
I've seen some pitiful chains- no lube in like forever, and loose!
I'm talking LOOSE, like I could walk up and take the chain off the sprocket by hand.

I like to ride with people who look after their drive chain, then probably other things too!

I rode with an acquaintance last weekend. He has a nice CB1000rr, and I took him out on some of the usual twisties I ride out of town.
He didn't even know how I feel about the chains, and immediately says that he just adjusted and lubed his chain! (it wasn't too tight either!)
So I asked about his tire pressure- he didn't know so we checked it, he was running 40 lbs. in each.
We weren't on 'the track'.

We had a great ride.
Note to self: If I ever ride with Todd_Sails, service my chain the night before (haha).

Maybe they keep their chains that loose for easier maintenance? It is smart, keep your chain so loose you do not even need any tools to remove it!

During my MSF, I was surprised at how well maintained the motorcycles were. You can tell that about 1/3 of them had been dropped at one point, but they all worked well. One thing I did notice though is a few of them had loose chains. I made sure I checked the chain tension for the two I picked. I went with the 200cc Yamaha dual sport both times.

I clean mine every 3rd tank fill and now that I know exactly where my chain is supposed to be, I intend to keep it here. The thing I found is that you must re-check the tension after you tighten it up and have the bike sit on the ground with the weight. Mine was perfect until I did that, then it made it just slightly tight but borderline near spec. With tension and tightened, able to touch the swing arm = perfect. JUST enough to touch the swing arm, not too loose to where it dances as you ride it!

40 PSI, about 4 PSI higher then my bike is supposed to have. I check my air pressure every 2 weeks or so. I have an accurate digital pressure meter that hooks into my air compressor and reads the PSI as you fill it. Works really well and kills two birds with one stone.

I think the chain and tire air pressure are two often neglected but very, very important aspects of your bike and well being.

2005 K5 GSXR 600
-Fully restored and painted by myself
-Carbon fiber bar ends and levers
-Shinko Stealth 003 tires
-NGK Iridium Spark plugs

Last edited by Wraith_Rider; 06-28-2018 at 07:53 AM.
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 02:46 PM
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If I get to ride with Todd_Sails, Iím taking my chain lube with me, just in case I need to add a splash during the ride :-)

Seriously though, I look at chain condition at every bike I see when Iím out and about. Itís amazing how many look unloved... I may be slightly OCD.


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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 02:50 PM
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If I get to ride with Todd_Sails, Iím taking my chain lube with me, just in case I need to add a splash during the ride :-)

Seriously though, I look at chain condition at every bike I see when Iím out and about. Itís amazing how many look unloved... I may be slightly OCD.


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So.....you have a thing for chains and lube.
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post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 03:59 PM
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So.....you have a thing for chains and lube.
Might be a fetish.

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If you think reading is tricky, how the hell are you going to follow troubleshooting directions?
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