Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: West Chester PA USA 19382
Suspension cure for the 2000 R1
Well, I figured I'd share this with all of those interested. The last year has been tough to say the least. The suspension on my R1 was not all that good to begin with even on the day I purchased the bike from the dealer new. Within the last year though, things got really bad - way too soft very quickly. After reading everything I could find about the suspension on the Y2k R1, the best piece of information I acquired was from Fast Bikes magazine.
One of the writers, Scott Frost, AKA Frosty races the 2000 R1 in the British Superbike Series. His words were basically this... You wonder why many guys on R1s like wheelies? That's because the suspension was not sorted from the factory and at aggressive speeds shows up as the bike will change lines easily with accel and decel (this is a bad thing). It's been made a point however, that becuase the bike changes lines with loading and unloading suspension action - the problem is not in the chassis (Thank Gawd). So what to do? First off, the rear shock is junk. Honestly it is, there's no way around it if you want to go fast. It needs to be replaced. I chose the Penske 6 position adjustable Compression and 25 position adjustable rebound. Set the sag and the rear problem goes away. Now onto the feeble front end. For $700 roughly, you can have Traxxion Dynamics completely rebuild the front for you. I decided because of my weight (about 150 with gear) that I should be able to stiffen up the front enough for me with a fork oil change to a thicker weight.
Now the stock weight is 5. I figured that the next jump, 10 weight, was probably too stiff for me so I mixed a bottle of 5 weight with 10 weight to get 7.5. I filled the forks and called my buddy Geoff, cbr600f4gd, to help me dial it all in. We set the front sag and both of us too her for a ride. Now Geoff has extensive track time and he noticed right away that the rebound dampening settings on the front fork were way too soft. This was allowing the front to spring back up after breaking in corner entry which weighted the rear tire, causing it to spin and/or upset the entry line. (Does this sound familiar guys? This is the main complaint about 98-2000 R1s). Well we dialed the rebound dampening all the way up and the results? The bike feels like it's riding on rails. Completely planted front and rear.
Now to make a quick point or two and try to nutshell it. I probably could have gone with 10 weight fork oil. The rebound dampening is set at max so with thicker fluid I would gain some of the range of the settings back. Also, the fork springs are undersprung for my minimal weight! No joke people, the preload is dialed all the way up as far as it goes.
I hope that someone can benefit from this information. It was quite a learning expirience for me and took me a quite a while to get the bike where it needed to be. It is better now than it has ever been, hands-down way better than factory and it cost me less than $800. Well worth the time.
Fairing repair / Plastic Welding / Gas Tank Repair / Fabrication and Customization
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