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CandyRedRC46

Handling, Running Out Of Rear Tire, Suspension Settings

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So I am no Rossi, but I do ride at a pretty good pace through the turns. I feel that I push pretty hard while still being with in reason. Anyways, going over my bike the other day and I am looking at my tires. My rear shows that I have used it all the way to the last mm of the edge to the sidewall. But looking at the front shows that I have plenty left, more like a centimeter left.


So to cut to the chase, I am wondering if I need to adjust something. I have the rear at the standard height and the front lowered about a half of an inch.

I wonder if maybe I should raise the rear some or increase the tire pressure in the rear etc...

I had both the front and rear at 32 psi last time I checked.


One thing that I have noticed after dropping a lot of weight off of the bike is the rear feels pretty harsh. I weigh only about 165 fully geared and I have pulled a lot of weight off of the bike. I know a lot of people say that the bike is under sprung from the factory, but I feel at this point that my front spring rate is about right and my rear spring rate might be a little high.


My front preload is one line out from full stiff and has fresh honda pro oils in it per you guys advice. My rear is at full soft and I am not really sure about the rebound, I cant seem to find a good spot. I think I may just need a new shock, as I am sure that they get cooked with there location to the rear exhaust primaries...


My bike is a 2007 with 46,000 miles.

Hoping to hear back.


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Oh and there is a Michelin road three out back and a Bridgestone bt23 up front

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I'm no expert, but I'd start by increasing rear pressure by about 4 psi. OEM recommendation for 3rd gen is 36psi on a 170/60-17. That should stiffen your rear sidewall, allowing for less flex and running more on the center of your tire.

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yeah im gonna try that out. my asshole racer friend wont shut up about shortening the wheel base up. he says that the rear hub can be adjusted to shorten the wheel base and raise the rear end up. i personally love the way my bike handles and feels, i just want a few more degrees of lean out of the rear tire.


i dont want to ruin the handling, with a shortened wheelbase, i feel that the bike would be twitchy and unstable. I love how stable my bike is. i push it hard and it never bites back.

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If you are running the standard 36/42 psi, then you should have a little more chicken strip in the front than the back. You can play with your pressures to get them to wear the same, but from what I have learned, it's not supposed to be perfectly even running normal pressures.

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Agree 36psi front, 42psi rear(set tyre pressure while tyres are in the shade outside and tyres are cold). If they(air) aren't correct you'll not be using the correct tyre profile, straight, or in the turns(forget your personnel wt. as far as the tyre is concerned).

Set up your suspension sag for your wt.

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You really can't alter the attitude of a stock VFR enough to make it unstable. While the pressures your running are a bit low for street riding that's not going to affect your wear patterns much. That has more to do with geometry, tire profile, and riding style.

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The front will always have some unused edge rubber, they are not chicken strips. Just look at the width of each tyre & the curvature. The rear is easy to get to the edge of, all bikes are designed to have some front grip in reserve, as its the one you need most. Watch some racing, the rear slide is relatively easy to control or come back from, the front usually ends in a crash. Check other bikes in parking lots/meets, rears chewed to the edge, fronts generally not !

Your racer friend does NOT understand the VFR's rear hub. Whichever way you adjust it, you will lose something ! Viewed from the chain side of the bike. The best ride height is achieved with the shaft at the 6 o'clock position, buit this is mid wheelbase. The shortest wheelbase is achieved at the (error correction) 9 o'clock position, but this is mid ride height. It's one of the reasons that Honda had so many issues with the RC45, to change ride height changes wheelbase & vice versa ! When you are after that last tenth of a second in racing that matters, for a road bike most people could not tell the difference within the full range of its adjustment, which is from the 8 to 4 o'clock positions for a full chain life which is approx 20-25mm of wheelbase same as every other bike & about 5-10mm of rear ride height !

Edited by Mohawk
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Thanks guys. Lot of good info here.

What my friend was saying is to set the hub in a way that maximizes ride height and minimizes wheelbase. I want nothing to do with this. I feel as though even if it were possible, it would make first and second gear unusable. And I feel like the bike would bite me in the ass if I wasn't careful.

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That's not possible. Yes, there is the eccentric, and you can rotate it so instead of using the top half of the circle for adjustment, it uses the bottom, but that's also for adjusting your chain slack, so it really doesn't work as an instant ride height adjustment.

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Yeah I didn't really understand what he was getting at, but he swears by it.

I don't want a shortened wheel base and the only way that I'd want to raise or lower it would be with an adjustable ride height shock.

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You need to understand how changing the attitude of the bike affects the handling.

Lowering the front i.e. raising the fork tubes in the triples will make the bike turn in quicker.

Raising the rear will help the bike maintain it's line once it's turned in.

This is of course independent of any other mods like shortening the wheelbase, tire profile, etc, but the range of adjustment on the eccentric is pretty small in the grand scheme of things on a VFR. When I had a 929 shock on my 5th gen I added nearly 1" of ride height to the mount, and the bike held it's line much better. I also had to make sure it was on completely level ground to turn the rear wheel on the center stand. When I went to the Penske shock fully extended with the stock mount I lost a bit of rear height so I raised the fork tubes 5mm. I've had it up to 140MPH, and no stability issues. I may raise the forks a bit more on the next oil change just to experiment, but the bike feels good as is. I'm not wearing the front to the edge, but I'm giving the little Michelin Man a haircut.

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People get to caught up in the chicken strip saga, the fact is we all have different skills & so long as your having fun who cares. There are a number of factors to consider also & has little to do with suspension except for the fact as suspension moves it also effects the bikes geometry. On the road I use edge to edge of rear tyre but the front always has some chicken strip, if I use the VFR at the track the front chicken strips disappear mainly because the lean angle gradually increases due to the repetitiveness of doing the same corners over & over so you enter faster & faster. It is also due to you tend to trail brake allot heavier at the track & also your tyre pressures are lower so the contact patch is larger.

My CBR1000RR when road riding also kept it's chicken strips front tyre unless I really engaged warp drive & then your talking about track day corner entry speeds & honestly on the road that's not smart riding as you should always allow a bigger margin for error.

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I really wouldnt worry about rolling off the rear tyre. Heres a guy giving it the ol college try on a 6th gen (and this isnt a crash photo)

1186238_10151923611488140_1449681498_n.j

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so it sounds like the general consensus is that everything is fine and that the rear tire is supposed to run out of lean well before the front. thanks guys.

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And you need to put more air in your tires, 36/42

I see those numbers posted often. Those are stock pressure settings and not ideal for twisty work. Perfect for commuting and such but definitely not what I would run if you are throwing the thing through turns with anger.

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And you need to put more air in your tires, 36/42

I see those numbers posted often. Those are stock pressure settings and not ideal for twisty work. Perfect for commuting and such but definitely not what I would run if you are throwing the thing through turns with anger.

32/32 is still really low for the street. Street use is where the manufacturers design the tires for, and they design them to work their best at 36/42. For the track lower pressures are fine, but unless you are going fast to the point where you are backing it in every corner, there isn't much of a reason to run 10psi lower *on the street. A couple psi down maybe.

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And you need to put more air in your tires, 36/42

I see those numbers posted often. Those are stock pressure settings and not ideal for twisty work. Perfect for commuting and such but definitely not what I would run if you are throwing the thing through turns with anger.

32/32 is still really low for the street. Street use is where the manufacturers design the tires for, and they design them to work their best at 36/42. For the track lower pressures are fine, but unless you are going fast to the point where you are backing it in every corner, there isn't much of a reason to run 10psi lower. A couple psi down maybe.

Completely agree with this...If you are over riding your tires with stock or close to stock pressures ( with good tread, sorted suspension, and dry conditions), then you need to take it to the track as you are being a menace on the road...IMHO. Of course the other reason is that your inputs are NOT smooth...even though you're not going that fast.

EDIT: I routinely start out with 30/30 psi at the track on PP rubber...and adjust as needed

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I think when ppl say they lower the pressure for the track vs's the road, it needs to be explained why it's ok to run lower AP on the track, because most ppl that set their bikes/cars up as a track racer think nothing is different between the results.

Just to start with, there is a big difference in how a prolonged race builds up more heat, than a on and off speed variance of the road.

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Most of my track sessions have been 20-30 minutes...not very long (I'm not a racer). What I think is more important is how much speed is being carried into the corners repeatedly (with hard braking and throttle) and how many heat cycles the tires are subjected to during the day.

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And you need to put more air in your tires, 36/42

I see those numbers posted often. Those are stock pressure settings and not ideal for twisty work. Perfect for commuting and such but definitely not what I would run if you are throwing the thing through turns with anger.

32/32 is still really low for the street. Street use is where the manufacturers design the tires for, and they design them to work their best at 36/42. For the track lower pressures are fine, but unless you are going fast to the point where you are backing it in every corner, there isn't much of a reason to run 10psi lower *on the street. A couple psi down maybe.

I didn't state my numbers or state that I endorse 32/32 on the street. Yes, that is too low (not the front but definitely for the rear). Mfr's, yes, recommend 36/42, but that also state not to modify the motorcycle in any way, not to use Synthetic oil, not to deviate for OEM designed tires, etc. You can take what they tell you and chunk it in the bin along with the rest of the lawyering recommended stuff IMO.

Commuting, 2-up, loaded down with luggage, sure, run those pressures for max tire life. But no way in hell would I run factory PSI at full lean in the twisties, no way. I've cornered several Tire reps over the years at shows and was told by several to run 34/36 and I tried it and have been using that ever since. on a heavy bike, like the 1200, I've bumped up the rear to 38 psi because I didn't get any additional slip or sliding.

If you aren't pushing the bike that hard than yeah I'd go for max tire life. If you are going to lean it, then drop the psi some and get yourself some extra grip. Tire life is great but don't do it at the expense of grip, especially in cold temps.

Edited by luvtoleanit

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What you describe sounds perfectly normal. That BT-23 front is a very round profile (small circumference) tire. If you get to the edge of it on a VFR, you're probably inside of an ambulance. Don't worry about them "matching."

I highly recommend that you get the front sprung and valved for you and your riding style. You won't believe the difference.

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And you need to put more air in your tires, 36/42

I see those numbers posted often. Those are stock pressure settings and not ideal for twisty work. Perfect for commuting and such but definitely not what I would run if you are throwing the thing through turns with anger.

This is not true. The stock pressure settings for street tires being run on the street are perfectly fine. Anything more than a couple psi low and you are doing more harm than good on the street.

At the track where you can monitor tire pressures when hot and you are running CONSISTENT triple digits for extended periods of time feel free to play with the tire pressure but even on a 20 minutes per hour track day session the Michelin Engineers say to run the pressure recommended on the sidewalls.

And it has nothing to do with lawyers and everything to do with how the tire is designed.

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I didn't want to say anything, but you are right. 36/42 or you're probably doing more harm than good.

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