Ohlins Shock neccesary for the street? - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Ohlins Shock neccesary for the street?

I am wondering if anyone who owns an RC51 with an aftermarket shock could tell me if they notice a big difference in street riding. Or do you think that you could even notice a difference if you didn't know what it had for a shock. I realize that it is never going to be a sport touring bike, but, damn, she is really stiff at both ends.
Lastly, what benefit does the shock link provide from Kyle Racing. Is there much use for a guy to buy that if I am never or rarely, ever going to go on the track with this bike? I am like the other guy asking if I should ppony up the thousand plus dollars for a shock. For the track, sure, but I'm not so sure about the street.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 11:01 PM
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Aftermarket shocks provide several advantages over OEM.
They're made with far more precision components, so the quality of damping is more consistent, as opposed to OEM.

Also they are highly customizable in every detail.
Besides the spring, which can be changed to match the rider's weight, the valving can be altered as well to suit the rider's wishes. This also includes the shock oil too.

The shocks themselves are rebuildable, so all wearable components can be replaced, making the shock "as new".
Unless seriously damaged, these shock will practically last forever with routine service.

The Kyle link changes the suspension linkages travel rate from a more progressive, to a more linear rate.
For street use that could possibly entail a passenger, manufacturers make the rear suspension rate more progressive as the rear suspension travel increases.
This is not so good when riding solo, as the rear suspension has a non-linear rate that increases greatly at a certain amount of rear travel, and this can upset handling.

The Kyle link not only makes the rear suspension rate more linear by changing the leverage ratios, it also adds a few more millimeters of travel as well as an effect.

The link also raises the rear ride height several millimeters as well, which decreases the trail at the front forks (by increasing the rake), and by doing so, makes the bike more responsive in the way the bike turns.

The Kyle link was originally designed for the SP1, which had a very progressive rate rear linkage, and more rake and trail than the SP2.

The SP2 was modified with improvements of the SP1.
The SP2 already has 1 degree steeper rake and less trail than the SP1, and it also has a more linear link ratio than the SP1.
So the Kyle link has less overall impact for the SP2 than the SP1, which it helps to a greater extent.

If a rider's weight is over the 200 lb mark, then it's recommended to disregard the Kyle link and retain the OEM lower rocker link.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 01:14 AM
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I'd say it depends on what sort of street riding you do. If it's mountain roads, etc. and you like cornering fast then maybe it's worth it.

On my SP2 I have a Moriwaki link (Same as the Kyle link, essentially)and another brand of shock absorber. The ride height at the rear is noticably a lot higher than standard (just sitting on the bike you can tell) and that's with the front dropped about 1cm. I needed to increase my side stand's length by around an inch so the bike would park correctly.
The response to steering is considerably quicker than standard, but to me it hasn't made the bike any less stable. I haven't ever felt the need to fit a steering damper at all. The bike feels as if floats over bumps especially at speed, as opposed to bucking over them which the original shock tended to do a bit more. That's not to say using a rear shock's bad - there's room for improvement though.

If upgrading the shock, you may want to also consider upgrading the fork internals too. Suspension works best if it's matched for your weight, riding and typical road conditions both at front & rear. I believe Dan Kyle sells Ohlins at good price and can match spring rates, etc. for you too.

Euro RC51 SP2: HRC WSB Ti Hi-Level, T1 Airbox & Snorkel, PCIII, Dymag CA5 Carbon Wheels, Ti64 Spindles (F, R & Swing Arm), Mori Link, Maxton GP7 Shock & Ohlins 832 Forks, Brembo GP Calipers & SBK narrow track (F), Braketech Disc (R), Brembo billet Underslung x 2 Brembo RCS, Tyga Triple, 7075 Stem, Probolt Titanium all over, Babyface rearsets, MR Complete Carbon Lineup, Custom Undertail & CBR 1000 LED, Watsen LED Indicators, Harris Brace, Giles clip-ons, Corbin seat, etc. 2013 BOTY.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 09:44 AM
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Before you drop the serious cash on aftermarket suspension pieces, have you had the sag set and hydraulics adjusted by anyone? If the bike is too harsh, it may have been set up for someone heavier than you.

Don't get me wrong, an Ohlins setup would be baller, but that's also a lot of tires and gas money.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 10:13 AM
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I have a Penske shock and will be getting Ohlins valving on the forks. Because Dan Kyle Racing does not work on Penskes, I asked LDH what I should do to set up the Penske to his Ohlins valving. He told me that the forks and the shock don't know what each other is doing so having them setup by diff people is okay. So thats what I'm doing, forks by DK and shock by GMD Boston
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 10:17 AM
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gt750 View Post
I am wondering if anyone who owns an RC51 with an aftermarket shock could tell me if they notice a big difference in street riding. Or do you think that you could even notice a difference if you didn't know what it had for a shock. I realize that it is never going to be a sport touring bike, but, damn, she is really stiff at both ends.
Lastly, what benefit does the shock link provide from Kyle Racing. Is there much use for a guy to buy that if I am never or rarely, ever going to go on the track with this bike? I am like the other guy asking if I should ppony up the thousand plus dollars for a shock. For the track, sure, but I'm not so sure about the street.
Having done lots of street, track, and finally racing, I've been able to experience both stock and aftermarket suspension in a variety of riding forms.

An aftermarket shock is set up with a much more linear response rate (spring), rather than the progressive rate of an OEM shock. The OEM use progressive rates (springs) to accommodate a variety of rider weight and gear and passenger options. This also allows for a softer street ride, while still providing the firmer ride necessary when doing the sport in sport bikes, at a track for example.

On the track where there is a much narrower range of riding parameters and notably higher rates of speed and cornering, a linear response rate becomes more useful to fast riders and racers. The suspension can be set up to maximize its ability/use over a small range of high speed/cornering activities under specific and consistent conditions (the same rider is used ie weight, type of track as in flowing or short and rough, etc). An aftermarket shock set up for the track will be much firmer and stiffer than an OEM shock to be able to work well under the much higher suspension loads.

An OEM shock, provided it is maintained and is not worn out, works fine for the street. Do you put your knee down often? (I don't condone this on the street) Because I know that a stock shock will easily allow you to ride fast enough to drag knees, on the street or the track. Here is a picture of me on stock suspension on a track-only bike, https://www.rc51forums.com/forums/sho...690#post125690. As you can see, the stock suspension allows very big lean angles, and speed, with race tires.

You can back off the settings on an aftermarket shock for softer feel and comfort in street use, but fast riders would not use those same settings at the track. And on the street the aftermarket shock settings should be changed if there is a large change in rider weight, or passengers are added, or gear added. It is not so much done on OEM suspension.

Most street bikes have soft initial suspension for basic street duty. The RC51 is a relatively rare exception to this, because it was primarily made as a homologation race bike. So interestingly, an aftermarket shock can be set up with its wide range of adjustment (on compression and rebound) to make the RC51 have a softer street feel. Although it shouldn't ride any differently (other than feeling softer).

So, aftermarket suspension is totally not needed on the street. Even at the track I knew many people who weren't fast enough to really need aftermarket suspension. But as I said, an aftermarket shock can be used to give a softer ride on the RC51. It is not the normal way people use aftermarket shocks, but it would suit your needs there just fine. Also, many many many people buy aftermarket suspension on street bikes essentially for the hell of it. It doesn't hurt, it looks cool, etc. I may do it myself at some point on the RC51.... just to put another nice piece on the bike.

Long, but I hope this helps. As for the suspension link question, a good explanation has been provided.






Here is some good info from http://www.peterverdone.com/archive/suspension.htm
Quote:
Most current sportbikes have very high quality suspension, both front and rear, that until recently was only dreamed about by the average rider or racer. Cartridge forks and remote reservoir rear shocks gained widespread use in the mid-ninties. A cartridge fork is essential for the performance minded rider. The presence of external damping or preload adjusters is not very important since proper tuning will archive the desired results. Some top racers feel the need to upgrade their forks to one of the several types of Ohlins Forks, or swap the entire fork cartridge assembly with a K-tech or GP Suspension cartridge unit. While these are beautiful examples of the state of the art, they are far outside the performance needs of most riders or even most racers. Ebay has become THE place to find OEM fork upgrades from other bike models. For riders stuck with the older damper rod forks, Race Tech makes a Cartridge Emulator that can significantly improve the performance of the stock fork.

Two major players are in the rear shock market, Ohlins and Penske Racing Shocks . Other manufactures do exist in this market, but these two are unquestionably at the top. Ohlins has been producing very high quality suspension products for a long time. Penske is fairly new to the motorcycle market, but brings years of knowledge from their domination in almost every other form of auto racing... One of the most desirable traits of the aftermarket rear shock is the ability to adjust to different 'eye to eye' lengths. Some stock bikes may have this feature, or what is known as "Ride Height Adjustment", but most do not. This gives the tuner the ability to change the bikes geometry from the rear of the bike, affecting not only steering angle and trail, but more importantly squat behavior.

Last edited by kwtoxman; 03-26-2013 at 11:58 AM.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Great replies!

The explanation of the shock link makes a lot of sense. As do the replies about an aftermarket shock on the street. Thanks for your replies.
I have owned both Ohlins and Fox shocks. I had the Ohlins on a 1989 Honda CBR600F and the Fox on a 1991 Honda CBR600F2. They both helped, but I only used them on the track. I believe my stock shock to be in good shape, as the bike has only 2200 kilometers on it. I am hoping that it can be rebuilt, or recharged? That would be a good reason to buy an Ohlins or Elka, if it cannot be rebuilt/recharged. Becausee Honda is not supporting their motorcycles for very long, it makes sense to secure wear items like these now. If I can at least change the oil and recharge the stock one, I'll probably stick with it. Though the temptation to upgrade is fairly strong...

Last edited by gt750; 03-26-2013 at 06:09 PM. Reason: smilie issues!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 03:05 PM
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You can get the oem rear shock serviced. A quick google search shows at least 4 places in Canada that service suspension and should be able to do it.

http://stsracing.ca/

http://www.newmansuspension.com/

http://www.rmrsuspensions.com/

http://www.acceltechracing.com
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