Rear Shock Upgrades for those that don't want mediocrity - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 131 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Rear Shock Upgrades for those that don't want mediocrity

Rear Shock Upgrades for those that don't want halfass, mediocre results.

This is for the guys that don't actually mind spending money on their bike to insure they don't just have a minor improvement in performance, but a complete game changer in functionality and adjustment. You don't have to take anything apart, you don't have any oily mess and you don't have to waste time making shim adjustments every time you change tire sizes or brands. You also get to fine tune your sag numbers to EXACT millimeters with a hydraulic preload adjuster not just get it close to an appropriate range and you have the option of using an aftermarket linear rate linkage as well with nothing more than a spring change. Something else you don't need with this Ohlins shock is the assistance of a suspension tuner to get it set up correctly. It's already correct right out of the box. The most you have to worry about is setting the sag which takes 2 minutes and a couple friends. Very rarely if ever will you have the actual need to touch the damping settings.

So this mod is pretty easy to do: Buy Ohlins Shock, Install on Bike, Set Sag, Go Ride the snot out of it.

The best part of this mod is that not only do you get the best possible suspension commercially available for your bike at a MORE THAN REASONABLE price, but you get the mental confidence of knowing it is 100% correct right out of the box with no guesswork just as hundreds of other RC51 owners both past & present already know.

This is the exact shock I put on my second RC51.


For those of you that do not know already I was very fortunate over the years to be given the opportunity to test pretty much every brand of shock ever made for the RC51 including several reworked OEM shocks. The one I stuck with was the Ohlins. In fact I was so impressed with the level of support and quality from Ohlins that I decided to quit my cushy government contract job in the IT industry and go work for the largest Ohlins Dealer in the World. Some might say that makes me biased. I simply think it makes me committed to what I believe in. How many times have you used a certain brand of anything and thought it was so good you wanted to represent that product yourself and were willing to change careers to do it?
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post #2 of 131 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 03:37 PM
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oooh ti spring

feel free to send one my way.. you know.. for being nice and shit
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post #3 of 131 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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hehe...

The problem we have with Titanium springs is that they are usually very linear or very NOT-linear. When you get a good one they are awesome, but I've seen more than my share of overly progressive Ti springs and I had one about 14 years ago that looked like a camel hump in the middle of the graph. It was the worst riding spring I have ever experienced in my life and damn near put me down a couple times at VIR North before I got it figured out.

On the RC51 specifically they are difficult to fit properly as you have to basically nail it right on the money. Normal length for a spring on an Ohlins HO-204 is 170mm. Titanium springs are starting to show up in more varied sizes nowadays, but traditionally have been closer to 150mm which means you have to watch for coil bind issues. The fewer coils helps in that regard, but different spring manufacturers have different ways of creating the springs and they are not always suited for each individual fitment.
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post #4 of 131 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 03:54 PM
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Boy that shock looks pretty damn ordinary compared to a Matris "R" spec
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post #5 of 131 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Way2Slooow View Post
Boy that shock looks pretty damn ordinary compared to a Matris "R" spec
Been there and done that... Tested a Matris shock on the RC51 at Barber back-to-back with the Elka both had plenty of issues that could likely be sorted out with time and effort, but I was not in a position to address those solutions. Penske was better than both of them by a large margin right out of the box and obviously I am going to easily write the Ohlins in on top of all of them.

Either way I would rather have a "ordinary" looking shock that worked perfectly than a flashy shock that is flawed, but to keep it simple you just stick to the low end crap that you know best like reworking OEM shocks that I won't even use as a boat anchor and I will stick to the high end products and we will both be content.
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post #6 of 131 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 05:19 PM
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I'm sorry if my need to aquire a developed understanding of motorcycles has you at odds with your "remove and replace" attitude. You seem to spend a lot of time telling me what you have ridden. I would prefer if you simply demonstrated your arguments on a technical basis.
Your high end solutions are for expanded wallets, not expanded intellects.
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post #7 of 131 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Way2Slooow View Post
Your high end solutions are for expanded wallets, not expanded intellects.

You are 100% correct on that one. I offer turn key solutions for people that want consistently high performance with the least amount of effort. The people I am gearing this thread towards don't give a damn how it works internally they just want to know how well it works.

I never said it was cheap, but value for the money spent is definitely there on the Ohlins shock when you consider how much help the RC51 needs to make it compliant. People expecting cheap solutions to the very real handling problems the RC51 inherently has are much better suited to your own thread about making due with the crap OEM shock. If they want a little return on the investment to make a terrible shock built to the lowest possible price point by a boardroom full of suits and ties just a little bit better then you are definitely their man.

If they want a proper return on their investment then they will likely find my years of previously testing all of these parts that you are just now beginning to even fumble with is more than relevant. I could just as easily start pulling out shock dyno charts and tons of pictures of shock internals and explain the dynamics of shocks with topout springs versus those without, digressive/linear on & on and that might actually be of interest to some people, but that is not why I am here and is damn sure not something I want to try to explain in detail with the limited time I actually have to post on these boards.

I'd much rather lay out what works and what doesn't and leave it at that. What you are doing with revalving a stock shock doesn't work worth a damn. Anyone that has tried it and has also tried a proper aftermarket shock knows it too... So feel free to extol the virtues of your OEM shock rebuild, but please do it in your own thread. This thread here really shouldn't interest you since you are devoting your time to different avenues.
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post #8 of 131 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 06:32 PM
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believe me an ohlin is the way to go. I would put ohlins on my 4 wheel truck if I could
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post #9 of 131 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 06:45 PM
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"ordinary Looking" Ohlins

Not trying to pile on but I don't see anything on the Matris that isn't already on the Ohlins. What do you mean ordinary looking. I think Ohlins record can stand for itself. Maybe the Ducati GP bike should use them being Italian and all. Oh yeah I think they already have suspension from some other guys.
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post #10 of 131 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 06:48 PM
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LDH
A blind man could see the intention behind this thread.....
Sad really..
You say that people generally disappear into "the dark of the night" after a short while on this forum. It probably due to a lack of illumination.

Ohlins make a great product on most occaisions. They don't always get it right and it can "always" be made better. Their generic settings are simply that. They can always be optimised.
I can see that the stock shock has clearly defeated you. You will gain more ground as a tuner by discovering why that was, rather than simply giving up and relying on the aftermarket to save your bacon.
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