Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Brisbane Qld Australia
For those that remember several months ago I embarked on a project to upgrade the suspension on my ZX 14R 2012. Standard the suspension was IMO sub-standard, the front suspension had a sag out of the box of around 54mm while the rear was somewhat better, wallowing and then harshness when the dampening was turned up to control the wallow. With gear I weigh around 126 Kg.
I started by buying a second hand set of forks from the US, I then purchased some Racetech 11n/mm springs & some 20mm Ohlins supersport valves. While I had them apart to do the machining for the ABS I had both fork legs re-chromed & the bottoms powder coated, once reassembled you could not tell them from new except for the colour difference. I had the fork oil changed to a 10 wt to allow for the extra dampening required for the stiffer springs.
I then removed the existing forks & replaced them with the upgraded ones. Immediately the problems with the rear suspension were apparent, so a Penske 8983 was ordered, this was matched to the machine & my weight at no extra cost from Hardracing/Penske.
After fitting the new shock, on the first ride it was like the bike had been transformed from a harsh wallowy ride into a plush controlled ride, & while some tweaking of the suspension has been necessary ie setting sag, rebound & compression settings (which actually do something now) all the time it has been improving, & now I beleive it is exactly were it needs to be for the performance of the bike. The bike is now much more responsive to road surface irregularities & has a much more planted feel. There is no more running wide & I am much more able to change lines mid corner. ie It now steers where I want it to go!
For those considering suspension upgrades for this bike I say JUST DO IT The cost to do this was around $1800.00 aus but would be considerably less if you were to use your existing forks. I still have my original forks sitting untouched in a packing box.
IMO this has been well worth the money spent, the bike is now a joy to ride, & I beleive tyre life will also improve as the suspension is keeping the tyres in contact with the black stuff more consistently. The bike is now easier to ride & safer on poor roads.