suspension woes cb919f - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 42 Old 06-05-2010, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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suspension woes cb919f

I would like to know if anybody is using progressive springs. my riding bud has them on his klr 650 and he loves them.I was wondering if it would be a good upgrade...Would they handle well in the corners? And whats the dealeo with the nitrogen canister.I took it out of the cradle to look at the end of the can where the valve is. the cover seems to be pressed in with a rubber grommet.It will turn grudgingly but will not unscrew.I tend to think its pressed in.Not sure what to do with rear spring.Was going to change it out with progressive spring and leave the old shock in it.the front springs and rear coil should cost about $250.suspension woes

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post #2 of 42 Old 06-05-2010, 09:06 PM
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When in doubt.....rip it out....and off to RaceTech it should go.......

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post #3 of 42 Old 06-05-2010, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by arctic954 View Post
When in doubt.....rip it out....and off to RaceTech it should go.......
Agreed.

Progressive springs in the front aren't going to be magic. Heck, they aren't even magic in the KLR650. I've gone that route on my KLR. Ended up with Intiminators by RICOR, plus one stiffer straight-rate springs...the thing corners like it's on rails.

Back to the CB...the rear is where the improvement is most needed. WAY TOO HARSH! Traction is awful on bumpy surfaces. Get a GOOD shock on the rear, THEN see if the front is livable. The front is fine for me when paired with an Ohlins rear shock. I'm not a racer, though...I'm sure others would want something better.

I have been able to do some proto-type testing of shock systems on several bikes, and I can say, without exception, unless the road surfaces are very smooth, stiffer springs don't mean better performance....APPROPRIATELY COMPLIANT suspensions yield better performance.

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post #4 of 42 Old 06-05-2010, 10:01 PM
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+1 to the ohlins rear, although its an expensive upgrade.

Check the threads, there are other solutions that have worked for other folks....Mtnceguy re-did his stock shock, I can't remember the details...He posted up when he did the work, and I'm sure he'd tell you about it and the results he's had if you send him a PM.

The easiest (imho) front suspension upgrade is to find some 04-07 adjustable forks.




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post #5 of 42 Old 06-06-2010, 01:20 AM
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Drop the old oil out of the front end and replace it will a quality oil (Ohlins etc) of the correct weight - or if you are a chumba maybe a fraction heavier.

Progressive is a brand name too and I have seen replacement springs for the 919 for sub $100 US. Google is your friend, no idea if they make a difference.

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post #6 of 42 Old 06-06-2010, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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I do realize that the rear shock is a piece of crap.and ohlins are expensive. 04 to 07 forks would be dandy..Mostly concerned about rear.was thinking about swapping the rear spring progressive springs are real soft for the first bit .take the bumps better .thats what i think .. ????????????????????????????

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post #7 of 42 Old 06-06-2010, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by dukeriley View Post
I do realize that the rear shock is a piece of crap.and ohlins are expensive. 04 to 07 forks would be dandy..Mostly concerned about rear.was thinking about swapping the rear spring progressive springs are real soft for the first bit .take the bumps better .thats what i think .. ????????????????????????????
That spring change might help a tiny bit...but, it's the RATE of compression in the valving that is the real problem. Softer springs don't address that too-firm-compression valving. IOW, it's not the spring that is kicking you in the rear when you hit a sharp bump, it's the stupid valving compression rate that's kicking you in the rear.

On top of that, the rebound is way too slow...so the rear wheel skips once it's kicked up in the rear. Worst of both worlds. It's very dangerous to ride this bike hard in corners that have sharp undulations. I almost dumped it the first time I hit a particular bump, because it kicked me, then hopped and slid a couple of feet to the outside of the turn. That was at about 45 mph. 40 mph is about the maximum I could ride that particular section on the stock setup, and not be in danger of losing control.

I bought a used OHLIN's rear, did some recommended adjusting to the front (I have an 07), and I can now go through that turn at over 70 mph with more control than the stock setup at 40 mph. I would have sold the bike if I didn't find a solution like the OHLINs provided. My slug KLR650 was more fun to ride on the road than my 919...as the KLR had front and rear suspension upgrades, and even with dual-sport tires on it, it would out-corner the 919! Not only that, the KLR was SO MUCH more comfortable.

The people that did my KLR suspension would have considered doing the 919...but, judging from the lack of a market for 919 upgrades, they aren't going to fool with the 919. It's a business decision based on R&D costs and return on investment. As a GROUP, 919 guys just aren't very savvy about suspensions. Don't get me wrong, there are some GREAT suspension experts regarding the 919, and I'm NOT one of those experts...nor will I ever be. But, I do know what doesn't work well, and that's the stock rear shock. And, I know changing the spring rate isn't addressing the real problem...which is the valving rates.

Oh, and I also know the Ohlins saved me from selling the bike. I say save your money instead of chasing a different spring rate, look for a new or used Ohlins, or, see about getting someone to change the stock valving for you.

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post #8 of 42 Old 06-06-2010, 09:56 AM
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Stock rear shock on the 919 is just plain harsh on sharp bumps. It's not the spring.

I just put an Ohlins on mine and it's much better. Penskes are cheaper and I'm sure much better than stock if you want something between stock and the Ohlins. They have at least 2 or 3 options for the 919 so you can somewhat pick your features and price.

I think at this point LDH has the last remaining Ohlins in the world for the 919 and they have compression and rebound adjustment.

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post #9 of 42 Old 06-06-2010, 01:55 PM
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???? Wish somebody with the right knowledge & spring machine would check out the combination of a 2004> OEM shock with the 2003 OEM spring installed???

What if this actually works out to be a desent compromise for a certain weight of riders!!

Just curious

YAAWZZU!!!

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post #10 of 42 Old 06-06-2010, 04:01 PM
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I don't know how much better that would be. Having had an '02 shock in for a long time I can tell you that it is really stiff. I think it was sprung for 2 up riding. If that is all you do it is just fine. The '04 and newer is much better for a solo rider.

Spoiler:

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post #11 of 42 Old 06-07-2010, 03:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEFFREY HERRELL View Post
???? Wish somebody with the right knowledge & spring machine would check out the combination of a 2004> OEM shock with the 2003 OEM spring installed???

What if this actually works out to be a desent compromise for a certain weight of riders!!

Just curious
I had it check out when I got my shock rebuilt just for S&G. 04+ shock (mine was '07) pulled ~950lbs. It was very different through the strokes though:

very soft for the first 15mm of preload and than very stiff.
That's what you are looking in good aftermarket spring:

#1 it should have the rate for your weight ( OEM 950lbs is for ~190-200lbs rider)
#2 be very predictable and smooth as possible through its strokes.

Also valving in stock OEM shock has very soft rebound for 950lbs spring hence pogo stick effect of the shock

Also stock reservoir is a joke, and very very cheap design.

Ohlins is actually is a good deal for $900 for what you get in it. I wish they would drop or had an option of getting Ohlins without that "cool" factor remote preload adjuster. I know Ohlins preload adjuster alone is ~$300+ so that would make shock's price pretty reasonable. I don't mine getting off my bike and adjusting the preload manually.

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post #12 of 42 Old 06-07-2010, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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I am aware of the valving for the rear. that it sucks.so about 400 bucks. i could get it revalved.ouch

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post #13 of 42 Old 06-07-2010, 08:43 AM
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As a test rider I have never understood why ANYBODY regardless of skill level or intent of use would ever pay money to "revalve" a stock shock... There is basically zero return on the investment as the stock shocks aren't worth their weight as a boat anchor to begin with.

Save your money until you can afford a quality aftermarket shock and be done with it.

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post #14 of 42 Old 06-07-2010, 08:46 AM
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arent the front springs progressive rate stock? and doesnt everyone change them to linear rate? i know i did racetech linear in my forks over the winter along with an ohlins rear and it really did transform the handling of the bike

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post #15 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
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whats the diff a shock is just a valve and spring steel. is steel whats the diff?I dont think i need an ohlins shock. not a race bike dont need all adjustments.

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post #16 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 04:29 AM
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whats the diff a shock is just a valve and spring steel. is steel whats the diff?I dont think i need an ohlins shock. not a race bike dont need all adjustments.



groan... yep thats all a shock is.

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post #17 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
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whats the diff a shock is just a valve and spring steel. is steel whats the diff?I dont think i need an ohlins shock. not a race bike dont need all adjustments.



groan... yep thats all a shock is.
....and that is a not uncommon attitude among the 919 owners, therefore RICOR chooses not to bring their new technology to this bike. Too bad. It really is that much better than standard shock technology. In the meantime, the used Ohlins I found kept me from selling this bike. I'm not a racer, but, I can't stand pitiful suspensions...and that's what the stock rear shock of the 919 is: Pitiful.

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post #18 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 08:54 AM
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Why don't World Superbike riders use OEM shocks then?

I mean if they can just revalve a stock shock and make it work as good as an Ohlins unit then all those championships that have been won on Ohlins suspension could have been done at a HUGE cost savings to the teams. In fact you need to start a campaign & let those factory backed teams know that they have been doing it wrong all these years and that revalved stock suspension is the way to go!

Remember the best you know is only the best you have used...

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post #19 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 09:41 AM
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....the best you know is only the best you have used...
I'm NOT a suspension expert...so, I want to make sure I'm not overstating my dislike of the stock rear shock. Besides, I've only ridden on one 919. Mine. Maybe my rear shock was faulty.

So, I'm going to defer to real experts, like Lord Duckhunter, and will cease my complaints regarding the 919 rear shock. I have nothing but praise for the Ohlins....again the ONLY other shock I've experienced on my 919. I just don't want to appear to be trying to be some sort of expert, when I know I am NOT.

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post #20 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 09:46 AM
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That brings us to another really good point. You don't have to be an expert or even an accomplished rider to enjoy the benefits of a compliant and properly set-up suspension.

When the bike is working with you instead of against you then it is easier to ride regardless of whether you are a novice rider or an expert racer.

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post #21 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 12:19 PM
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When the bike is working with you instead of against you then it is easier to ride regardless of whether you are a novice rider or an expert racer.
In some ways, a properly set up suspension is even MORE important to a novice, as it can help bail them out of situations that a poor suspension would not. And, an expert racer can tell what not to try on a bike with a poor suspension!

I rank good suspension more important to me than great brakes. With a really good suspension, the brakes work better anyway...because the tire hugs the road better.

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post #22 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Duckhunter View Post
That brings us to another really good point. You don't have to be an expert or even an accomplished rider to enjoy the benefits of a compliant and properly set-up suspension.

When the bike is working with you instead of against you then it is easier to ride regardless of whether you are a novice rider or an expert racer.
so very true... i remember the day when i switched from an XR250 to a CRF250... the xr had decent suspension but your standard right side up cartridge type forks like the 919.... the CRF250 has dual chamber forks with more compression and rebound settings that you can shake a stick at... and the rear has even more.... slow speed, high speed compression and rebound settings.... needless to say suspension makes a world of a diff

That being said, i have found the rear shock on the 919 adequate.... it could be much better but on my 04 i think it works pretty good. I did however put some good maxima racing 10w fork oil in my front forks and added 25-30mm more of fluid height to slightly stiffen up the front and man that made a huge difference... its so much more planted now.

IMHO to spend a grand for a shock on a bike that worth 4k is kinda pointless.... if you want a race bike... get yourself a true sport bike.

And lastly i have read through this thread.... some say the rebound is too hard... others to soft... which is it... and why cant we just put a softer spring on?

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post #23 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 12:46 PM
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When the bike is working with you instead of against you then it is easier to ride regardless of whether you are a novice rider or an expert racer.
very well put

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post #24 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 01:54 PM
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nd4spdbh - "IMHO to spend a grand for a shock on a bike that worth 4k is kinda pointless.... if you want a race bike... get yourself a true sport bike."

I think the nail has officially been hit on the head with this statement. I might try the better fork oil trick for the front end but the rear is just fine for me right now.

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post #25 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
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nd4spdbh - "IMHO to spend a grand for a shock on a bike that worth 4k is kinda pointless.... if you want a race bike... get yourself a true sport bike."

I think the nail has officially been hit on the head with this statement. I might try the better fork oil trick for the front end but the rear is just fine for me right now.
some good 10w 25mm higher than stock made a world of diff.... i was able to soften up my preload and rebound a lil and man o man it made it NICE. Just make sure if you go maxima... get the maxima racing fork oil... not just the standard fork oil... the racing stuff is FAR superior.

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post #26 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 02:28 PM
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And lastly i have read through this thread.... some say the rebound is too hard... others to soft... which is it... and why cant we just put a softer spring on?
You can! Your shock will still be a POS but you can put any kind of spring you want on. There here is the US of A!

There is a huge consensus that the rear shock on the 919 is really, really harsh on sharp impacts. Yeah, the spring was too stiff on the early ones but the high speed compression damping is a problem on all of them. Replacing ---- the ----- spring ----- will ---- not ---- fix ---- it!

It would be great if a spring swap would fix it as that would be WAY cheaper then replacing the shock but wishing won't make it so.

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post #27 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 03:03 PM
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some say the rebound is too hard... others to soft... which is it... and why cant we just put a softer spring on?
Rebound isn't "soft" or "hard". It's faster or slower. Too fast, and it can kick you in the rear. Too slow, and the tire hops.

Rebound has to work WITH the spring rate, as well as the wheel assembly/swingarm weight and bike/rider weight. Changing any one of these would change how fast or slow the rebound is at any given setting.

Changing one variable will effect the end result...and front compression/rebound rates should work correctly with rear compression/rebound rates so that the bike is balanced.

APPROPRIATE speed of rebound is what the bike needs. Too much rebound damping causes the shock to "pack down" in a series of bumps, too little rebound damping causes the bike to kick up AFTER a hit. Let me tell you what I felt with my stock rear shock. On any hard hit, the compression damping was too stiff, so the bike kicked up in the rear. Additionally, the rebound was too slow, which didn't allow the wheel to quickly move toward the road...therefore, the tire hopped. Ride that combo in a a straight line and it was simply punishing. Ride that combo in a corner with a sharp bump in it...and it was scary.

The Ohlins absorbs the hard hit MUCH more quickly...eliminating the initial kick-up, and the rebound damping rate allows the wheel to quickly move back down...so the tire is sticking to the road after the bump.

I 100% disagree that putting a great-performing shock on a 4000.00 bike is a waste of money. I still don't have THAT much money in my bike, and it performs great for what I require of it...while being much more comfortable, and very reliable. I'm not racing it anyway...although I do scrub the tires to the edge sometimes. On non-perfect public road surfaces, I'm not a good enough rider to have something performing less well than the Ohlins on the rear. The adjustable front on my 07 was able to be balanced pretty darn good with the Ohlins for my riding style. So, it only cost me 600.00, since I bought a used Ohlins. That's money well-spent.

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post #28 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
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I 100% disagree that putting a great-performing shock on a 4000.00 bike is a waste of money.
I agree with your disagreement, but while I don't think it is a waste I do think it is a consideration...

As I have said many times before the super-flexi chassis & swingarm are the weakest links on the 919 and installing high quality suspension on this bike is still not going to net you the same return on the investment that it would on a much more sporty, track oriented model. As long as people have a firm understanding of that they will not regret their purchase of a quality aftermarket shock as it does wonders for the comfort of compliancy of the 919

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post #29 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 05:34 PM
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an ohlins is bad for a 919 if they put it on and expect it handle razor sharp like a 600 gsxr or something. if you put it on and understand that it will maximize what you, than its great. like i said, mine really has made the bike not only handle, but ride alot nicer overall.

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post #30 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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ok hear is the skinny.the wheel hops in the corners.Ok i confess there there is about a quarter inch of usable surface left on my tire.(chicken strip) I dont want to lay it over any further and have the wheel act poorly on these lumpy roads hear in western new york.it pops up on the roads tends to bounce me out of the seat.makes for a crappy ride and a soar bottom.

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post #31 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 08:52 PM
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it pops up on the roads tends to bounce me out of the seat.makes for a crappy ride and a soar bottom.
Well, at least two of them acted like that. Yours and mine.

You'll be SHOCKED (pun intended) if you upgrade to an Ohlins. Probably be just as happy if you upgrade to other shocks, too....I only can speak to the Stock Shock and the Ohlins.

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post #32 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 09:58 PM
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got it. I guess i shouldn't say its a bad investment to go for a new aftermarket shock... im just saying from my experience on my 919 the rear does just fine... yes i would like better but dont we all... i have no problem dragging pegs and brushing my knee from time to time.

but if there were alternatives better than stock for under 600 bucks id def look into em. Also were the 02-03 shocks worse than the 04+ ones?

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post #33 of 42 Old 06-08-2010, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
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Also were the 02-03 shocks worse than the 04+ ones?
Way worse. They were sprung for two up riding all the time. Felt like riding a pogo stick.

Spoiler:

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post #34 of 42 Old 06-09-2010, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
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got it. I guess i shouldn't say its a bad investment to go for a new aftermarket shock... im just saying from my experience on my 919 the rear does just fine... yes i would like better but dont we all... i have no problem dragging pegs and brushing my knee from time to time.

but if there were alternatives better than stock for under 600 bucks id def look into em. Also were the 02-03 shocks worse than the 04+ ones?
i got an 07 rear shock with about 1000mi ill sell ya. if your interested, pm me.

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post #35 of 42 Old 06-09-2010, 07:49 AM
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oh yeah. got an 02 and swapped out the rear shock with an 05 to see what people were talkin about. noticed a good difference between the two. much better over large bumps. but doesnt do well over a series of small bumps : (

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post #36 of 42 Old 06-09-2010, 09:06 AM
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i got an 07 rear shock with about 1000mi ill sell ya. if your interested, pm me.
thanks... but i have an 04. i was just wondering cus it seems as though some have a SUPER bad taste from the stock rear shock. and it seems as the 04+ rear is better than the 02 03 which would make the different views on the stocker make sense.

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post #37 of 42 Old 06-09-2010, 11:52 AM
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would an 04' f4i rear shock and spring fit into an 04' 919?

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post #38 of 42 Old 06-10-2010, 07:14 AM
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IMHO to spend a grand for a shock on a bike that worth 4k is kinda pointless.... if you want a race bike... get yourself a true sport bike.
...... this is why I bought the 919.

Theres something about buying a budget bike, making it a sleeper on a small budget, and owning it over lesser riders on bikes costings 3x's more.

I'm not saying I plan on riding in the Advanced Group and eventually racing the thing....but, there is NO reason you can't lay the smack down in the intermediate group and turn some heads.

F4I RaceTech forks, and an Ohlins rear will be coming soon.


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post #39 of 42 Old 06-10-2010, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by arctic954 View Post
...... this is why I bought the 919.

Theres something about buying a budget bike, making it a sleeper on a small budget, and owning it over lesser riders on bikes costings 3x's more.

I'm not saying I plan on riding in the Advanced Group and eventually racing the thing....but, there is NO reason you can't lay the smack down in the intermediate group and turn some heads.

F4I RaceTech forks, and an Ohlins rear will be coming soon.

if your going to spend the money on forks, why not just get the 04-07 919 forks and racetech them?

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post #40 of 42 Old 06-10-2010, 08:22 AM
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No reason really other than availability and cost. If I could find a nice looking used set of 919's, I'd go that route. Lately, I've been seeing F4I forks for cheap. Either way.... I'll have the inital purchase plus springs & other goodies.

Do you know of any benefit of using the 919 04+ shocks over a set of F4I's? It was my understanding that the springs are different, but have similar valving.

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