Riding on a sunny winter day and some suspension adjustment.

Riverhead > Woodcocks Road > Matakana > Wellsford > SH16

First ride in close to a month! Feels good to be back on the R1 after so long. I had a few brief moments of target fixation and panic braking on Woodcocks road as I had forgotten just how much of a decreasing radius some corners were! There were also some really sketchy patches along Ridge Road going to Riverhead where there was water run-off from the farmland mid corner. When moments like that arise, it is better to trust your tyres and your bike, commit to the corner and constant throttle through rather than standing the bike up and braking hard to brush off speed. The latter can often lead to you washing out the front or running off the road due to lack of commitment and target fixation!

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Just waiting for a mate
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You’d never know but this GSXR1000 has over 80,000kms on the clock.
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The cafe a few shops down from the 4 Square has some great pies!

Suspension talk

I found that there was a small rebound issue on the rear tyre with the trailing edge of the tread being raised up. After some quick research here: Bike Trackdays Hub the conclusion is that the rear rebound is too fast. What this means is that after the suspension is compressed, the shock extends too quickly. The opposite of this is if the suspension does not settle back fast enough, meaning the shock extends too slowly and you’ll skip over the surface as it fails to maintain contact with the ground.

The rear adjuster on most sport bike rear shocks is located at the bottom of the shock as circled below in red on the R1.

2010-Yamaha-YZF-R1b

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This was easily remedied on the R1 by turning the rebound adjuster clockwise.

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I have turned it in by 2 “clicks” and will see how the tyre responds in future rides.

I had previously adjusted my sag and rebound settings with a couple of friends. A rough setting of the rebound can be had by bouncing the front and rear of the bike and seeing how it returns to a stable state. Once the front and rear return at the same time and do not cycle more than once (bounce the bike and watch that the shock does not bounce more than once) the suspension is roughly set well enough to ride. The rest of the finer adjustment comes while riding and reading tyre wear as I am doing now.

This is all still a huge learning curve for me and learning to ride the R1 well enough first is a challenge in itself. I need to be able to ride it well enough before I can actually feel how small adjustments to compression and rebound affect the chassis and the ride quality. As it is right now for me, I personally cannot feel the difference between 2 clicks of an adjuster either way, however 4 clicks does make the bike handle differently depending on what damping setting has been adjusted.

The following website: Technicalities: Rebound Damping talks about rebound adjustment on suspension and how there is not real “perfect” suspension setting. The settings come down to the rider and how they feel on the bike and because every rider is different, there is no “one size fits all” setting. A prime example is in MotoGP where both riders from the same team will have very different suspension and tyre settings to suit how they ride and how the want the bike to behave.

This is the diagram of how rebound affects feeling, traction and comfort, shamelessly stolen from the website above.

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I hope this article has been mildly interesting! Follow me on Facebook to see more of these articles as I learn and develop as a rider.

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