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Go Back   FZ1OA Message Board > FZ1 & Fazer Owners Association > Tires, Brakes, Suspension & Steering > Gen 2 Tires, Brakes, Suspension & Steering

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Old 07-12-2009, 03:18 PM   #1
Duken4evr
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Fork Oil Idea

I am coming up on 9,000 miles on my '06 and am thinking that is is time to change the fork oil. I have always used Maxima fork oil in all my bikes, so I am partial to that.

I generally like my stock forks. They feel sprung correctly and the compression does not feel too harsh on sharp hits. Maybe just a bit, but IMO they are really not bad for stock forks in this area. Where I note a shortcoming is rebound. They come back a little fast on larger bumps. Honestly, while the Penske was a night and day improvement in the rear end, I don't feel a burning need to revalve my forks. A little tweak would do me fine for my needs.

My idea is since the Gen II has the compression and rebound separate in each leg, what if I ran Maxima 85/150 (5 weight) on the compression side and heavier 125/150 weight (7 weight) or even 150/165 (10 weight) on the rebound side to slow it down a bit. Anyone done anything like this? Good idea or am I barking up the wrong tree?
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duken4evr View Post
I generally like my stock forks.
Have you ridden on re-worked ones? That might change your opinion.

Anyways, not sure bout the different fork oil but its a great question.
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:40 PM   #3
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Ideally you'd want to use the lightest oil possible, in this case the best would be the std weight, there's enough range on the std rebound circuit to lock the forks if you wind the rebound all the way in, so you should be able to get a rebound setting to suit you, i don't think heavier oil will do it any favours it'll just slow the rebound circuit even more, use the adjusters...Have you set your sag ? this could make a difference, i've got just over an inch static sag with 3 1/2 lines showing on the preload. also back off 1 click on your compression if it's a little harsh.....You may know all this, not trying to teach you to suck eggs or anything, just offering a little help if you need it, reckon you can get the forks pretty good with the std stuff, you've already done the best bit by changing the shock, with i had the funds to do mine !....
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:10 PM   #4
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Yes, I have set my sag front and rear to a shade over 1 5/8 inches. I ran it as tight as 1.25" for awhile, but for street use it felt a harsher than it needed to be. The killer beauty of the Penske is you can dial it softer to deal with street realities, and reclaim your ride height with that marvelous ride height adjuster to keep the steering sharp. I experimented with softening up the preload on my stock shock and when the rear end felt more compliant, the bike steered sluggishly.

Lee helped me out immensely too, specifying a 600 pound spring in favor of the 700 pounder (I bought the shock used) that it came with. I would have thought the 600 would be too soft for my 185 pound birthday suit weight, but I listened to the expert. He was right of course. The rear end no longer kicks over bumps. It just kicks ass

I am running about 3.5 lines out on the forks, with the compression set 14 out and the rebound set 7 out. Amateur suspension analyst me can detect that the slow speed rebound can be made to feel very slow in the garage to an informal fork bounce test. Even with the rebound cranked only 4 clicks out, they spring back a bit fast on the road though. IMO, the high speed rebound is a bit light in the stock forks. No doubt my stock oil is broken down some, contributing to the admittedly minor issue. My thought is to run thicker oil to slow down the high speed rebound, and then run looser settings on the adjuster, which really only addresses low speed rebound.

No doubt the stock forks can be better revalved, but I chose to blow my suspension wad on the Penske and a proper spring. Best money I've spent. My last bike as a TL1000S with Lindemann revalved forks (with .95 springs) and a Penske. My Penske/stock forked equipped FZ1 runs rings around the old Suzuki handling wise. The TLS suspension was absolutely spastic in stock form. Thankfully, the FZ1 needs less help in this area. Perhaps simply choosing different weight oils might make a meaningful difference. My inclination is to put 5 weight (stock) Maxima in the compression side, and the 7.5 weight (one step thicker) on the rebound side. I figure I can't screw it up too bad with that minor a change.

Anyway, this is definitely a "tweaking" inquiry. I like to ride brisk "pace" type riding on the street. For this, the current Penske and tweaked stock fork setup is pretty darn good, especially now that I got rid of the D221s in favor of some new Pilot Road II's. The new tires are so much more compliant over small road cracks and "yip yip" bumps while leaned over. Makes the OEM 221's feel like they were made of cast iron!
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Last edited by Duken4evr; 09-26-2009 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 07-13-2009, 04:41 AM   #5
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Just goes to show how different settings suit different ppl, i have my rebound 6 clicks back from fully in and the compression is 5 clicks back, preload setting same as yours, also i have the front lowered 5mm, it's a good set up for me, 180lb, fast road riding (ex racer), still on std rear shock (will change when can afford) and still on std d221's, can't wait to wear them out and change to something a bit sportier (not gonna throw away a tyre with good tread though, lol)
Good luck with your experiment, let us know how it goes ;)
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:47 AM   #6
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I had my forks lowered a tad too, but after getting the Penkse, I put them back to stock level and raised the tail a bit. The ride height setting really affects the feel of the bike. I have Lockhart adjustable pegs on and they are lower than stock for more legroom for my creaky right knee. I need all the ground clearance I can get

I might try playing with my compression setting. The forks don't feel harsh. My thought is to dial them tighter until they do feel harsh, then back off from there. The compression setting is a leftover from when I ran more preload. Can't hurt to take a screwdriver with me and twiddle

I'm with you - I am cheap and not about to throw away tires with tread left on them, but I was glad when the D221's finally wore out. You will love some new tires. It really is night and day ride wise over the washboard frost cracks.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duken4evr View Post

I might try playing with my compression setting. The forks don't feel harsh. My thought is to dial them tighter until they do feel harsh, then back off from there. The compression setting is a leftover from when I ran more preload. Can't hurt to take a screwdriver with me and twiddle
+1 Spot on, thats exactly how i set compression up, alot of ppl who get their heads stuck up their arses about suspension could learn from this
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:11 AM   #8
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I can't believe no one has said it...call Lee and see what he thinks ;)

I know more about nuclear physics than I do about suspension, and that ain't sayin much!
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:23 AM   #9
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I am utterly amazed at the people that purchase motorcycles with all these wonderful adjustments to improve the ride and they never touch them.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:27 AM   #10
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Meh, I leave it to the pro's generally, maybe making some small tweaks here and there. I had CTR setup my R6, and it was perfect. I am using Lee's old settings now with a few personal tweeks. When I toss a new shock on there I will either have TTR locally set it up or Traxxion when I go on vacation.

The customers I have sold bikes to think preload is a sexual issue, so they are a lost cause.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duken4evr View Post
I am coming up on 9,000 miles on my '06 and am thinking that is is time to change the fork oil. I have always used Maxima fork oil in all my bikes, so I am partial to that.

I generally like my stock forks. They feel sprung correctly and the compression does not feel too harsh on sharp hits. Maybe just a bit, but IMO they are really not bad for stock forks in this area. Where I note a shortcoming is rebound. They come back a little fast on larger bumps. Honestly, while the Penske was a night and day improvement in the rear end, I don't feel a burning need to revalve my forks. A little tweak would do me fine for my needs.

My idea is since the Gen II has the compression and rebound separate in each leg, what if I ran Maxima 85/150 (5 weight) on the compression side and heavier 125/150 weight (7 weight) or even 150/165 (10 weight) on the rebound side to slow it down a bit. Anyone done anything like this? Good idea or am I barking up the wrong tree?
Those who have Marzocchi forks on their KTMs have been doing that for years. It's the same problem with Zokes, need more rebound and less compression.
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Old 07-13-2009, 03:15 PM   #12
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I go to road race shop and let a pro susp. guru set my susp. Cant say its ever felt better or worse after he's done .
Im starting to wonder if those adjustment even mean anything.
Maybe i can just ride anything and dont look for problems.
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Old 07-13-2009, 04:03 PM   #13
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I'd call Lee and see what he recommends
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:51 PM   #14
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Was at Willow Springs raceway (SoCal) this weekend watching a couple of buds ride track day. Noticed that I could get my suspension adjusted for $20 by a suspension guy that was set up to support track day. Best $20 I ever spent. If you know what you are doing the adjustments do make a difference. Took the bike on a ride later that day and there was a world of difference (for the better). Because of my large girth the suspension guy did recommend that if I am too cheap to put a new rear shock on (which I am) that I should at lease install a heavier spring. Said he would order and install (off bike) for $120 does that sound right?
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:33 PM   #15
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Ya, that sounds right. The spring alone is about $100.
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:18 PM   #16
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I have an unopened Bel Ray bottle of 30 weight fork oil that I was going to use for the FZ6 I briefly had because the front end was SO lame. I was thinking I'd mix it with the stuff in the FZ1 forks, or just use it when time comes for a change. But, these forks are far and away better than those others, and I'm getting the distinct impression that may be a tad too heavy.

Yes? No? What's the best weight?
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:43 PM   #17
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You guys are all missing the secret of using the correct fork Oil,

Either Wd-40 or Rotella Synth will do the trick!
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:43 PM   #18
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And now that I got that out - Call Lee at Traxxion and ask his opinion of the idea. I believe it could help, but I'm not sure.
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:44 PM   #19
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30wt is way too heavy oil, maybe ok for older bikes with non cartridge forks, modern forks with damping adjustments need a light oil, so the valving can work, It's basically pushing oil through small holes, if the oil is too heavy it won't go through too easy, this is NOT a good thing, you could maybe go from say a 5wt to a 10wt and get away with it but no more,....I'm sure Lee could chime in with a better explanation of this ?
Anyway whats wrong with the std fork oil ? the forks ain't so bad.......unlike the shock....
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:07 PM   #20
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I think Traxxion uses a 5 weight if I'm not mistaken...
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