Question on tires and "Turn in" - GSXR.com
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  • 1 Post By New2Street
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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If anyone here is isn't following my threads in other parts of the site, in July 18 i traded in a 06 Ninja 250 at a good size dealer in Ohio for an L1 GSXR 600. The 600 had some cracked plastic and a few scrapes, but nothing to indicate it happened at speed. I checked the tires. But did not check the date codes. The salesman i had been conversing with before making the 2 hour ride over from PA said one tire had about 3/4 tread, the other about half tread left. He had ridden the bike at least for a test ride. He and i are about the same height and weight and when i asked about tuning the suspension for me, he offered some tips.
I have slowly been dialing the suspension in for my 145 dry weight frame, and the bike is handling better. At first it about bounced me off the seat if i hit a small bump. Since day one, i have always had no problems leaning the bike over through an intersection or on 90 degree bends at say 40mph or less. I HAVE had problems getting the bike to lean at 70+ mph highway speeds, but with the suspension adjustments, it has gotten easier. I plan to get new tires this spring when i put the bike back on the road. The bike has the Michelin Pilot Power 3 tires on it. Tires look like the previous owner mainly went straight! My QUESTION is. How much could these 2013 dated tires be affecting my ability to turn at speed? Thanks for your input. Sorry about being so long winded.

Last edited by New2Street; 12-18-2018 at 11:49 AM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 12:25 PM
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You should have thrown those tires in the trash the minute you bought the bike. And since you don't know what you're doing with suspension whatsoever, bring it to someone that does.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 12:49 PM
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Yes, tires can make a big difference with both turn in and mid corner tracking.

2013 tires are not real old but I'm guessing the tire centers are flat from your description and that will make the handling strange as you get leaned over.

Start with a new set of tires before doing much more tuning. I'll suggest you watch for Dunlap Q+ tire rebates that usually show up in January. You should be able to get a set for about $200 after the rebate. The Q3+ has excellent turn in and great grip. Longevity is just average but better than the Q3 they replaced.

It's not a bad idea to always check the damping adjusters on a new bike to see where they are when compared to the base settings in the owner's or service manual for the bike.

Last thing, as the speed picks up, the gyroscopic effect of the wheels increases dramatically and it takes more force to turn and lean the bike. One riding moment that is burned in my brain is when I went through turn 9 at Road Atlanta at 140mph+ during my first track day. I was amazed at how much inside bar pressure I needed to turn the bike.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for tbe input! I definitely did not go ape just cranking screws. The small amount of adjustment i have made to soften the suspension slightly- previous owner must have weighed closer to 200 lbs would be my guess, has been from careful thought on how the bike responds to my input, and countless hours watching Ari Henning from MC Garage and Dave Moss as they set up GSXR 600 suspensions.
Before i had a better tire pressure gage, i also found that the bike turned in easier with 2 extra psi in the front tire according to my gage.
The center on the front tire isnt too bad- not down to the wear bars. Back tire is flatter in center, not quite to wear bars, so im guessing they either did a lot of quick take-offs, burnouts or both. Chain and sprokets look good and i take good care of them.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 09:48 PM
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Based on that above... trash the tires. Buy a new set suited for the style/climate in which you ride. Definitely get your suspension set by someone who is actually certified. typical charge is $50+/- for a solid baseline and sag for your weight. Well worth it. As far as turning in, check your geometry as well including fork height.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rv6john View Post
Yes, tires can make a big difference with both turn in and mid corner tracking.

2013 tires are not real old but I'm guessing the tire centers are flat from your description and that will make the handling strange as you get leaned over.

Start with a new set of tires before doing much more tuning. I'll suggest you watch for Dunlap Q+ tire rebates that usually show up in January. You should be able to get a set for about $200 after the rebate. The Q3+ has excellent turn in and great grip. Longevity is just average but better than the Q3 they replaced.

It's not a bad idea to always check the damping adjusters on a new bike to see where they are when compared to the base settings in the owner's or service manual for the bike.

Last thing, as the speed picks up, the gyroscopic effect of the wheels increases dramatically and it takes more force to turn and lean the bike. One riding moment that is burned in my brain is when I went through turn 9 at Road Atlanta at 140mph+ during my first track day. I was amazed at how much inside bar pressure I needed to turn the bike.
2013 tires are 5 years old. That IS old. That's approaching throwing away tires on a car old, and they should have been thrown away 2-3 years ago on a motorcycle.

This is a newbie, John, give good advice.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by New2Street View Post
Thanks for tbe input! I definitely did not go ape just cranking screws. The small amount of adjustment i have made to soften the suspension slightly- previous owner must have weighed closer to 200 lbs would be my guess, has been from careful thought on how the bike responds to my input, and countless hours watching Ari Henning from MC Garage and Dave Moss as they set up GSXR 600 suspensions.
Before i had a better tire pressure gage, i also found that the bike turned in easier with 2 extra psi in the front tire according to my gage.
The center on the front tire isnt too bad- not down to the wear bars. Back tire is flatter in center, not quite to wear bars, so im guessing they either did a lot of quick take-offs, burnouts or both. Chain and sprokets look good and i take good care of them.
Watching Dave Moss is not the same as having Dave Moss set it up. I mean, do you even know what to feel for when you adjust rebound? Did you adjust sag first? Did you make sure your front and rear sag were properly set? Did you check that your forks were at the proper level in the clamps?

Suspension setup is an art that takes years to have even an inkling of an idea what you're doing, and there's a reason that teams have specialists just for the suspension. It's not that expensive to have someone do it properly for you, maybe $40-60, and you're going to be much better off. You can then ask them for tips on fine-tuning at the track, but you don't need to be touching their settings for street riding.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 12:20 PM
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2013 tires are 5 years old. That IS old. That's approaching throwing away tires on a car old, and they should have been thrown away 2-3 years ago on a motorcycle.

This is a newbie, John, give good advice.
Thanks for doing the math for me good buddy.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 08:01 PM
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Replace the tires. pay attention to tire pressures. that will make a difference in feel.
If you are looking for better turn in on the streets, new tires will likely get you more than 1/2 way there.


Set your sag/preload. and set the compression and rebound to the recommended settings in the book.
Ask yourself what exactly are you wanting the bike to do better and when.
Turn in on the streets is something different than turn in on the track. Even on the track, turn in for an intermediate trackday rider who is working on lines and body position is different than a racer who has the front end compressed on the brakes and trailing them toward the apex.


Messing with compression and rebound has little to do with turn in until you are really starting to push the suspension travel on brakes and cornering.
Keep in mind you will never get any 600 to turn as easily as a 250. Wider tires, more weight, more rotational inertia, more cylinders. But the guys at Suzuki did neuter the bike somewhat geometry wise. It is a nice safe compromise for the streets but limits the bike on the track.

Dropping your forks through the triple tree will probably be your quickest way to sharpen the turn in. At least until you get into corner exit issues.


Lastly, don't forget your technique. You can position your body (feet, legs, body, arms and hands) to make the most effective inputs into the bar to quicken your turn in.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 08:05 PM
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Suspension setup is an art at race level speeds.

As it sounds like you are doing, you would be best served to learn basic suspension setup for the streets.

It's not hard or magical.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 05:05 AM
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Suspension setup is an art at race level speeds.

As it sounds like you are doing, you would be best served to learn basic suspension setup for the streets.

It's not hard or magical.
^^ This.

For street, and even track riding, being in the ball park is close enough and a lot depends on personal preference. For example, some like a softer feel, some more firm. Neither settings are right or wrong, it's whatever inspires rider confidence in the bike.

I'm fortunate to have three top name suspensions shops within 20 miles of me and talk and ride with the owners or techs. Their most common observations on bikes brought to them by the new owners are: Suspension damping settings way out of normal range, rear sag way off, under sprung and components leaking and/or needing to be serviced.

Suspension may seem like a black art, but take the time to do some basic suspension reading and study and the elements are not that hard to understand. I'm just a duffer, but at least I can communicate to a tech any issues I'm having in reasonable way. Yes, at the upper levels, the number of elements that control the dynamics of the bike are pretty impressive.

@JCW It has been my understanding that the quick and dirty way to increase turn in on the gsxrs is to add a shim under to rear shock to increase rear ride height (using a shock with no ride height adjustment). Lowering the front or raising the rear would have the same effect of effectively reducing steering angle and trail. The additional swing arm angle producing a bit more anti squat is also not a bad result for most.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckster View Post
If you think reading is tricky, how the hell are you going to follow troubleshooting directions?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 06:30 PM
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You are right as I understand it, too. And those are the changes Ive made to my track bike.

But front end changes will impact the front more than an equivalent change in the rear. So while most people wont pin the throttle out of a corner to notice it running wide on the streets, for the OP, a quick front ride height adjustment will get him where he wants to be easier and faster.
I was thinking it will teach him about geometry without introducing too much at once.

When he gets faster and realizes the shortcomings of the rear, he could get sorted further. This usually means shimming the rear or extending a ride height adjustable rear shock and then lowering the forks to avoid losing too much trail up front. Alternatively, you could play with trail with adjustable offset triples, which I am currently experimenting with.
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Last edited by JCW; 12-20-2018 at 06:36 PM.
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