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srdjan

Most performance from suspension upgrade

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Hi,

 

I red few posts about suspension upgrade on Vfr1200 and decide to ask as in new post;

 

I am looking for best curving performance, solo street aggressive ride. What can I get as recommend from someone's experience?

 

P.s. I could noticed that one of the best combination are ohlins shock and cartridge forks nix 30?

 

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I have a Wilbers rear shock, new front internals, springs, 20mm MCT kit with modified cartridges. My upgrade cost around £1100, so much less than your budget and it's perfect for my needs; solo back roads/2-up back roads/2-up + luggage touring.

 

Do you have a suspension specialist nearby or are you planning to fit & setup yourself? Luckily, MCT had upgraded several other 1200s prior to mine so were experienced with the model.

 

Best of luck and let us know how you get on.

 

 

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Buy a CBR1000RR?

 

:-)

 

 

Maybe do a advanced/track course 1st ;to explore the limits of the bike "as is" with your abilities before forking out 2.5 grand.  Just my 2c.....

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Hi,

 

I am not specialized to do it alone. I have few suspension specialist in area but without experience specialty for VFR1200 (as you have MCT in UK). The nearest one is in Germany 2000km away...and the shipment would be costly du to taxes.

 

I guess that best option for me is to get few good adviced for parts (street performance is priority) from your experiences, and bring them to my specialist nearby :)

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6 hours ago, Dutchy said:

Buy a CBR1000RR?

 

:-)

 

 

Maybe do a advanced/track course 1st ;to explore the limits of the bike "as is" with your abilities before forking out 2.5 grand.  Just my 2c.....

 

Hey good one :) but I like to travel with the girlfriend on long journeys, so cbr can't be the option :) so I need a good compromise from my VFR. There's no enough money for two bikes :) and I like solo sport ride.

Btw I ride friend's 2013 CBR1000RR

 

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11 hours ago, veeefour said:

I have Ohlins rear schock plus NIX30 carts - best option IMO.

 

"Buy a CBR1000RR?" Some things are best left unsaid.

Hi,

I red some posts about your upgrade and got that feeling for NIX30. 

 

Please, can you instruct how can we deal with nix30 cartridges, cause Ohlins doesn't shows which one is compatible with big VFR. I believe there must be some catch with installation, which you have experience with?

 

P.s. for "cbr comment", yes you're right.

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6 hours ago, veeefour said:

You can get NIX30 carts from Kyle Racing in CA. No modifications required - it's bolt on.

Any variant in europe? With delivery and taxes, it will cost me as easy as 2000eur, forks upgrade only.

 

I'm thinking is it possible to use Nix 30  for 2008 cbr1000rr...with little bit conversion?

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Sorry - I can't help you with any conversion. I paid exactly the same price - Ohlins is not cheap by any means.

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17 hours ago, veeefour said:

Sorry - I can't help you with any conversion. I paid exactly the same price - Ohlins is not cheap by any means.

Ok, thanks for suggestions. I will consider, and if I order Nix30 then I gonna look for wilbert shock

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It's not going to help you too much unless you come over the the left coast of Canada, but here's my 2 cents worth.

 

I found the suspension on the big VFR to be atrocious, absolutely appalling. When pushed through the corners the wallowing and numbness was quite attention getting.

 

I took it to a local shop, RMR Suspension. The owner has set up several previous bikes for me but I'm fairly certain this is the first VFR1200. 

 

An Ohlins went on the back and he put the stock springs back in the forks with fresh oil and a shim stack he built himself. After reassembly and watching the bike squat back down, he had new appreciation for the mass of the beast. Out came the stockers and in went some more Ohlins.

 

Once set up, things were miles better. It can carve through corners like an R6 ....... not really. But it is head and shoulders above the stock set up. No more wallowing, no running wide and controlled handling when heeled over and braking or bumps come into play. Total cost was about $2400 CAN. Worth every cent. 

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Hello to Ohlins :)

 

after some time, I decided to stay with VFR1200 under just one condition, I needed the best from her. So I did, I believe. Motorcycle is very comfortable for long trips, two up - checked. Finish quality high - checked. Reliability/durability - checked. Engine Performance - checked. Stock suspension - a piece of sh*t :D 

So, there was only one real segment to solve on my 2015 baby; just ordered Ohlins Shock and Ohlins Cartridges Nix 30 (FGK 205 from 2010 kawasaki ZX10R) expected to be adjusted for VFR1200. All ordered over Ohlins workshop and dealer in Slovenia, incl. front springs, oil, gaskets, full service... 2800 euros.  I know, it isn't a cheap thing but, I needed If I want to keep and love this motorcycle.

 

Aftermarket things I did so far:

Comfortable gel seat

Werkes Competition Exhaust, black center with DB killer ( expected to arrive and install in around 15 days)

 

Things I'm looking for:

Power Coated wheels painting (Gold)

Brake/Clutch fancy leavers (Gold)

Steel Brake lines (not sure for breaking feel)

Guhl Flash (not sure how to send it for US, yet)

(any recommendation for future upgrades, welcomed as always) :)

 

I'm glad to decided and keep being a friend with V4 :)

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Just my 2 cents, so take it as you will.  Obviously the Ohlins stuff is going to be well worth the money if you can afford to do so, so this is in no way talking any of that stuff down.  That said, if you can find somebody that can upgrade the factory components, you would be amazed at how well your bike will handle.  I sent my forks and rear shock off to Daugherty Motorsports here in the U.S.  New valves, shim stacks, and springs in the forks as well as the rear shock rebuilt, re-valved, and a new spring,  all of it setup for my weight, the bike, and how I want to ride it.  Cost me less than $800 U.S. and for the dollar was the best money I have spent on my 1200.   If you can locate a shop capable of doing this type of work, you won't be disappointed.

No, I don't have the level of adjustability of an Ohlins setup, but Aside from tweaking the rebound dampening and dialing in my preload a little bit, I have not found myself needing it for the type of riding I do.

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Hi Megadan, thanks for reply. I can only imagine how big improvement are from the stock, and can't wait to feel that.

Immediately I noticed you Cofman exhaust. To be honest, I would order one if I discovered it before Werkes. Don't get me wrong, Werkes is also good looking, but this yours, looks like Panigale now, beautiful! Are you satisfied?

Any other upgrades suggestions are very welcomed ;)

I'll report new suspension and exhaust soon.

Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk

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On ‎8‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 5:25 AM, Megadan said:

No, I don't have the level of adjustability of an Ohlins setup, but Aside from tweaking the rebound dampening and dialing in my preload a little bit, I have not found myself needing it for the type of riding I do.

I believe it was Kenny Roberts who said infinite adjustability just means and infinite number of wrong settings.

If you can get it working to your satisfaction by tuning the OEM parts then good on ya!

 

I did go the Ohlins route for the rear. So far just tweaking the forks has been sufficient. The guy I bought the bike from had it almost unrideable. Way too much preload and way to much rebound. Took it almost all the way back to zero and the front seems pretty planted . I ride the thing like a sportbike and so far I'm happy with the forks.

Maybe I'll just end them out to have them tuned up next spring.

 

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On 8/8/2018 at 1:59 PM, srdjan said:

Hi Megadan, thanks for reply. I can only imagine how big improvement are from the stock, and can't wait to feel that.

Immediately I noticed you Cofman exhaust. To be honest, I would order one if I discovered it before Werkes. Don't get me wrong, Werkes is also good looking, but this yours, looks like Panigale now, beautiful! Are you satisfied?

Any other upgrades suggestions are very welcomed 😉

I'll report new suspension and exhaust soon.

Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
 

Thank you.  I do absolutely love the look of my bike with the Coffmans shorty.  So far it has held up fine, but only time will tell if the black finish lasts or not.  The polished tip is a royal pain to keep looking nice due to where it is located.  The second you drive through any sort of water it gets splashed and the grime cooks right on to it.  It only takes a minute to polish back up, but it is annoying if you are obsessed with having a clean bike like me.

I actually would have purchased the Werkes GP exhaust, but the fact that it does not work with the panniers, which I have, was the only reason I did not pull the trigger.  I would wager a guess that the Coffman's shorty and the Werkes GP exhaust are close to the same in regards to how loud they are.  The Coffman's does come with a silencer that can be "tweaked" a bit.  The "db killer" it comes with is 2 parts, an outlet reducer with a perforated baffle riveted to it.  In that form it is the quietest, but sounds kind of strange at low engine speed (makes a puffing kind of noise", but at mid level and higher it makes a very tolerable tone that is not overly loud.  What I did was drilled out the two rivets and removed that perforated baffle and just run the reducer on the end.  This made it louder obviously, but still quieter than with the silencer fully removed.  It is just enough to remove the drone in my helmet when I cruise along around 4000rpm.  With the silencer removed it is fairly loud.  I wouldn't call it obnoxious, and it sounds amazing, but people will know you are coming.  As mentioned before, with the silencer removed the exhaust note right around 4000rpm can drone a little.  With ear plugs in this isn't too much of a problem, but you will still hear it.  It is just something about that rpm point that hits the right frequency.

One other side effect of the Coffman's shorty is that since it is so short, it loves to pop and crackle on decel, below 6000rpm (you can tell the ecu is adding a little fuel when you dip blow that RPM point) and gives a little pop on upshifts if you are getting on the throttle more spiritedly.  I personally like it, so it really boils down to the rider.

As far as suggestions.  The two biggest mods that I think anybody should do to their 1200 is getting the suspension sorted out and having the ECU flash tuned.  The transformation on my bike is hard to put into words.  The suspension rates the highest by far.  I went from having a bike that felt almost unsteady in the corners and bounced around like an old Cadillac to something that feels planted to the road all the time, at any speed, in any conditions.  I went from having a bike that I felt I could out-ride easily to one where I have to actually work harder because I don't have the skills to use it to it's full potential.

The ECU Flash tune, while not necessary, makes a good difference in all the right ways.  It's not going to overly impress you with extra power, although with bolt on upgrades like an exhaust you will get some power to be sure.  It's the subtle differences in how the bike responds at lower revs that really makes the difference.  Throttle on is smoother and the engine pulls seamlessly through all RPM's in any gear.  If I find myself in 6th gear at 3500rpm, a small twist of the wrist and it just pulls without hesitation, where before I found myself often clicking down a gear.  For the ultimate experience, have the gear restrictions removed means you have full power in every gear.  Not necessary, but why not?   Depending on where you live there are two options for having this done; Guhl is the most well known and located here in the U.S. and he even caters to owners from Europe and elsewhere.  His turn around times are impressive, and I don't think I have yet seen one negative review from a 1200 owner.  In the U.K. there is Hilltop.  I don't know as much about them, but a few owners have their bikes tuned by them and have only had positive things to say.

Do those two things and you will have a ballistic missile of a bike when you want to use the "Sport" side of it's Sport Touring design, and yet still have a bike you can load up and take on a trip, or use around town as a commuter.

12 hours ago, DAY004 said:

I believe it was Kenny Roberts who said infinite adjustability just means and infinite number of wrong settings.

If you can get it working to your satisfaction by tuning the OEM parts then good on ya!

 

I did go the Ohlins route for the rear. So far just tweaking the forks has been sufficient. The guy I bought the bike from had it almost unrideable. Way too much preload and way to much rebound. Took it almost all the way back to zero and the front seems pretty planted . I ride the thing like a sportbike and so far I'm happy with the forks.

Maybe I'll just end them out to have them tuned up next spring.

 

I had everything re-worked because, as my name implies, I am not a small man. At 6'4'' tall and 260lbs, there are not many bikes with suspensions designed to properly handle my mass lol.  For me it wasn't a matter of desire so much as one of necessity.  The factory spring rates and valving were just not enough to handle my mass unless all I wanted to do was ride gently and slowly...which is not what I wanted from this bike.  If I wanted that, I would have bought another Goldwing.  

On the other end of the spectrum though, I am not the most experienced sport bike rider, so spending thousands on Ohlins stuff would honestly be a waste for me.  I do like to ride it like a sport bike, but I am also not looking to be a track day hero and living in Nebraska means that there aren't too many canyons to carve.  For my skill level and purposes, having the factory stuff setup to be the best that it can be with my big butt in the saddle seemed the most economical and logical course to follow, and I am not disappointed in the result.  Somebody with more skill and experience could probably find a way to critique it, but from where I stand this bike is a monster.  

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8 hours ago, Megadan said:

Thank you.  I do absolutely love the look of my bike with the Coffmans shorty.  So far it has held up fine, but only time will tell if the black finish lasts or not.  The polished tip is a royal pain to keep looking nice due to where it is located.  The second you drive through any sort of water it gets splashed and the grime cooks right on to it.  It only takes a minute to polish back up, but it is annoying if you are obsessed with having a clean bike like me.

I actually would have purchased the Werkes GP exhaust, but the fact that it does not work with the panniers, which I have, was the only reason I did not pull the trigger.  I would wager a guess that the Coffman's shorty and the Werkes GP exhaust are close to the same in regards to how loud they are.  The Coffman's does come with a silencer that can be "tweaked" a bit.  The "db killer" it comes with is 2 parts, an outlet reducer with a perforated baffle riveted to it.  In that form it is the quietest, but sounds kind of strange at low engine speed (makes a puffing kind of noise", but at mid level and higher it makes a very tolerable tone that is not overly loud.  What I did was drilled out the two rivets and removed that perforated baffle and just run the reducer on the end.  This made it louder obviously, but still quieter than with the silencer fully removed.  It is just enough to remove the drone in my helmet when I cruise along around 4000rpm.  With the silencer removed it is fairly loud.  I wouldn't call it obnoxious, and it sounds amazing, but people will know you are coming.  As mentioned before, with the silencer removed the exhaust note right around 4000rpm can drone a little.  With ear plugs in this isn't too much of a problem, but you will still hear it.  It is just something about that rpm point that hits the right frequency.

One other side effect of the Coffman's shorty is that since it is so short, it loves to pop and crackle on decel, below 6000rpm (you can tell the ecu is adding a little fuel when you dip blow that RPM point) and gives a little pop on upshifts if you are getting on the throttle more spiritedly.  I personally like it, so it really boils down to the rider.

As far as suggestions.  The two biggest mods that I think anybody should do to their 1200 is getting the suspension sorted out and having the ECU flash tuned.  The transformation on my bike is hard to put into words.  The suspension rates the highest by far.  I went from having a bike that felt almost unsteady in the corners and bounced around like an old Cadillac to something that feels planted to the road all the time, at any speed, in any conditions.  I went from having a bike that I felt I could out-ride easily to one where I have to actually work harder because I don't have the skills to use it to it's full potential.

The ECU Flash tune, while not necessary, makes a good difference in all the right ways.  It's not going to overly impress you with extra power, although with bolt on upgrades like an exhaust you will get some power to be sure.  It's the subtle differences in how the bike responds at lower revs that really makes the difference.  Throttle on is smoother and the engine pulls seamlessly through all RPM's in any gear.  If I find myself in 6th gear at 3500rpm, a small twist of the wrist and it just pulls without hesitation, where before I found myself often clicking down a gear.  For the ultimate experience, have the gear restrictions removed means you have full power in every gear.  Not necessary, but why not?   Depending on where you live there are two options for having this done; Guhl is the most well known and located here in the U.S. and he even caters to owners from Europe and elsewhere.  His turn around times are impressive, and I don't think I have yet seen one negative review from a 1200 owner.  In the U.K. there is Hilltop.  I don't know as much about them, but a few owners have their bikes tuned by them and have only had positive things to say.

Do those two things and you will have a ballistic missile of a bike when you want to use the "Sport" side of it's Sport Touring design, and yet still have a bike you can load up and take on a trip, or use around town as a commuter.

I had everything re-worked because, as my name implies, I am not a small man. At 6'4'' tall and 260lbs, there are not many bikes with suspensions designed to properly handle my mass lol.  For me it wasn't a matter of desire so much as one of necessity.  The factory spring rates and valving were just not enough to handle my mass unless all I wanted to do was ride gently and slowly...which is not what I wanted from this bike.  If I wanted that, I would have bought another Goldwing.  

On the other end of the spectrum though, I am not the most experienced sport bike rider, so spending thousands on Ohlins stuff would honestly be a waste for me.  I do like to ride it like a sport bike, but I am also not looking to be a track day hero and living in Nebraska means that there aren't too many canyons to carve.  For my skill level and purposes, having the factory stuff setup to be the best that it can be with my big butt in the saddle seemed the most economical and logical course to follow, and I am not disappointed in the result.  Somebody with more skill and experience could probably find a way to critique it, but from where I stand this bike is a monster.  

 

Megadan, thanks for detailed reply. I'm now interested in Cofmans even Werkes is on a way to the home. It really shows VFR in new dimensions for how it look. 

Do you have OEM panniers or aftermarket? I do have OEM ones, and I took a risk with Werkes. If it start to heat up panniers, I believe I can adjust it in local exhaust work shop.

 

For ECU flash, email has been sent to Guhl few months ago. Answer didn't come. I will try it in some time later again.

 

In 2014. I visited EICMA show. I sit on every bike, try every ergonomics, interested in few bikes. VFR was the best value bike. I looked many videos, reviews, test, I didn't find much complains for suspension, everyone gave many thanks for chassis. As same, it was ok for my riding style, first 10000km. After that you can guess for the rest. I try few more sportier bikes, I I can't understand why Honda went so much cheap with suspension, cause this isn't a cheap bike at all. And I believe no one didn't buy it to ride so slowly and plushly. Ergo of the bike is telling another story, do it all motorcycle. 

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6 hours ago, srdjan said:

 

Megadan, thanks for detailed reply. I'm now interested in Cofmans even Werkes is on a way to the home. It really shows VFR in new dimensions for how it look. 

Do you have OEM panniers or aftermarket? I do have OEM ones, and I took a risk with Werkes. If it start to heat up panniers, I believe I can adjust it in local exhaust work shop.

 

For ECU flash, email has been sent to Guhl few months ago. Answer didn't come. I will try it in some time later again.

 

In 2014. I visited EICMA show. I sit on every bike, try every ergonomics, interested in few bikes. VFR was the best value bike. I looked many videos, reviews, test, I didn't find much complains for suspension, everyone gave many thanks for chassis. As same, it was ok for my riding style, first 10000km. After that you can guess for the rest. I try few more sportier bikes, I I can't understand why Honda went so much cheap with suspension, cause this isn't a cheap bike at all. And I believe no one didn't buy it to ride so slowly and plushly. Ergo of the bike is telling another story, do it all motorcycle. 

I have the OEM panniers.  You might be able to have the Werkes altered to function with the panniers.  From what I know, the biggest issue is that it aims directly at the right pannier and can potentially melt the plastic.

I also ran into the same issue with trying to e-mail Guhl.  The first time around I received no response from them, but the second time I e-mailed them I did get a reply.  You might also try calling them, although being an international call could be quite pricey.  I would say to send them another e-mail.

My biggest issue with the suspension is the same with most bikes as they come from the factory.  I am a bigger rider than most motorcycles are generally sold for (1.9 meters tall and 117kg) so I have to often have new springs and valving done on every bike I buy.  I do agree that Honda seemingly made a strange decision in fitting such generic suspension to the VFR given it's price point and it's very sport focused nature.  It would not have been too hard for them to fit a variation of the same forks used in the CBR1000R, but instead decided to go a different route.  I can only assume their thinking was that the VFR was a street bike and it did not need as much of a track oriented setup.  

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13 hours ago, Ghostrider1127 said:

good choice with öhlins

 

As you know, your bike and suggestions were a good step to the choice ;) thanks again.

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