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Suspension Upgrade
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Aussieflyer Offline
1st Service Completed

Melbourne Australia
Posts: 236
Joined: Nov 2013
Post: #1
Suspension Upgrade
My bike received new suspension as a gift for Christmas - Santa was right 'on the money' this year!

İmage

He must have been watching when I took this photo of how much travel is being used on the front end from a reasonably spirited ride through the local hills.

İmage

With the front end using all of its travel the only thing left to absorb those nasty bumps is the front tyre. It became somewhat 'stepped' and a bit worn on the right side 'cos of the camber of the road. This tyre was finished well before 9,000 km.

İmage

With a few buddies around to watch, drink beer and heckle whilst I spun some spanners the suspension upgrade got started.
First step is remove the handlebars, wheel, guard etc. and crack open the damper rod bolt in the bottom of each fork. Best to drain the oil into a container and not all over the floor - 1st bout of serious laughter from my observers!

İmage

Then drop the front end and separate the fork assemblies.

İmage

Now the tricky bit of removing the valving from the bottom of each stanchion. These little suckers were hard to get out as I only had access to a dremel tool and hand file. Got to grind away the rolled edge of the stanchion until you see the inner sleeve of the valve assembly then punch it out from the other end. As it began emerging from the stanchion it separated into several pieces and the smaller components flew out at a great rate of knots hitting the garage ceiling causing me to duck for cover - 2nd bout of serious laughter.

İmage

İmage

Now clean up all the components (bushes, stanchion and fork bottom) to get out all those pesky little filings. Reassemble the forks with new fork seals minus the valving component. I used the same bushes as they are less than 10,000km and not worn.

The Andreani cartridges have 0.94kg/mm springs which may be a little 'heavy' for my weight and application (no track work). As you can see below the cartridge assembly is slightly shorter in overall length to the original spring/spacer/damper rod assembly.

İmage

There's a good youtube video showing this modification (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV80or1DN1Q) so I won't go into all the details just a few of the highlights.

Inserting the new cartridge and locking it in with the damper rod bolt and copper washer was easy 'cos it didn't spin when being tightened. Next you remove the fork cap, spacer and spring from the inserted cartridge. Then dry fit just the fork cap to the cartridge to set its depth by winding in the damper adjuster 4 turns such that it fully closes the internal damper valve in the cartridge - same for both the compression and rebound sides. Wind up the lock nut to the base of the fork cap and slide up the 'O' ring to hold it in position. Now remove the fork cap and fill the fork tube with fluid. Using my trusty 2mm 'T' handle hex key and some plastic tubing with a syringe I made a depth gauge. Remove excess fluid to leave a 125mm air gap with the stanchion bottomed out in the fork lower. Slip on the spring and spacer and now the fun bit of trying to compress it all such that you can wind on the fork cap to where it meets the lock nut which was pre-set earlier. Much fumbling, spilling of fork oil and cursing to get the fork cap on - 3rd bout of serious laughter from the peanut gallery who were fast approaching ex-buddy status!

İmage

Now just put it all back together. I put on a set of Metzeler Z8 Interacts which are available in Australia in the correct sizes ... ah, don't you just love the smell of new rubber!

İmage

Those Andreani fork caps have a serious amount of 'bling' going on. I'd prefer something a little more subtle if there was a choice.

İmage

Everyone's seen how to install the rear shocks so here is a pic of the Gazi units hooked up and ready for preload and damping adjustment. Those decals may just have to come off!

İmage

Initial suspension settings per manufacturer's recommendations are ...
Forks:
preload - 4 turns in from fully out
compression damping - 2 turns out from closed,
rebound damping - 2 turns out from closed.
Rear shocks:
preload - 1cm compressed from fully extended to give 45mm sag,
compression - 5 clicks out from closed,
rebound - 10 clicks out from closed.

New suspension needs to do 1000km before the seals are 'worn in' and they work smoothly with minimum stiction. On my initial ride everything felt way too harsh which is a factor of me being used to the original suspension and the new suspension manufacturer's 'racing' application recommended settings. I also used Motul 10wt fork oil as the recommended OHLINS fluid was not available ... perhaps 5wt might be the better choice. Anyways, a little twiddling of the damping settings made for a very nice ride over the local bumpy roads. Revised settings as follows ...

Forks:
preload - 2 turns in from fully out
compression damping - 3.5 turns out from closed,
rebound damping - 3 turns out from closed.
Rear shocks:
preload - 1cm compressed from fully extended,
compression - 8 clicks out from closed,
rebound - 10 clicks out from closed.

Riding the same roads but at a slightly reduced pace (respecting the fresh rubber) resulted in a 20% reduction in front end travel and much better absorption of the sharp edged bumps (high speed dampening).

İmage

Santa must have invested heavily in these gifts but I can say they are great value. The improvement is already quite dramatic and it's only going to get better when they wear in and I've 'tweaked' the settings.
01-11-2018 08:15 PM
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Cormanus Offline
Moderator

Queensland, Australia
Posts: 10,732
Joined: Dec 2013
Post: #2
Suspension Upgrade
Great report, AussieFlier. I’d have thought by guffaw no.3 the buddies were not only soon to be ex, but also p*ssed.
01-11-2018 11:03 PM
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Guth Offline
Forum Founder

Portland, OR
Posts: 3,150
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #3
RE: Suspension Upgrade
Very nice contribution. Well done.

2013 CB1100: Placed deposit on Nov. 12, 2012; Received delivery on April 5, 2013.
01-11-2018 11:11 PM
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Frulk Offline
Running Like a Top

Utah
Posts: 670
Joined: Mar 2015
Post: #4
RE: Suspension Upgrade
AF. Tell me about those boots in the pictures please.
01-12-2018 07:23 AM
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Aussieflyer Offline
1st Service Completed

Melbourne Australia
Posts: 236
Joined: Nov 2013
Post: #5
RE: Suspension Upgrade
(01-12-2018 07:23 AM)Frulk Wrote:  AF. Tell me about those boots in the pictures please.

Santa at work again ... Wink

They are Gaerne GP1 which are a race oriented boot ... not the right style for the CB11 but perfect for my old ('04) R6 track bike. What was that Springsteen song ... Glory Days!!
01-12-2018 03:06 PM
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noroomtomove Offline
Running Like a Top

Australia Victoria
Posts: 430
Joined: Dec 2014
Post: #6
RE: Suspension Upgrade
Good work from Santa 'on the money' , and nice work on your suspension modifications.

I find your modification response to a real world on the road perception enlightened.

Hope to catch up before the days get to cool & short.

Regards
NRTM
01-12-2018 03:18 PM
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