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Discussion Starter #1


I can now say without reservation that I effing love this bike!

I have ridden her for 3 years and although she has brought me championships and has been a great performer, I would not say that I was loving the bike. My main gripes have been that it felt heavy to steer and simultaneously nervous feeling which is an odd combination. It did not inspire confidence and was a very exhausting bike to ride. Turning while trail braking would always go wide (and I had to compensate). We tried unsuccessfully to tune these things out over the past few years. I stuck with the bike because all of these things could be overcome and because the chassis was stable (despite a little chatter) and the motor is simply superb. It outshines everything else in the middleweight class.

Flash back to a month ago; I was instructing at the Penguin school when one of my fellow racers had some concerns about their bike and asked me to take it out since we had the same bike. I took it for a few laps and was amazed at how different it felt than my own. It was practically falling over due to bad geometry but it really got me thinking. I asked if he would mind if I got some measurements from his bike and he kindly agreed so I took it to my amazing sponsor Computrack: Boston who has a laser measuring system at the track. I already had my own measurements so I took this new data home with me to ponder.

I spoke with Pete at Computrack during the month about building what is essentially a hybrid between the two vastly different geometries to take the best of each and put it into one workable tune. Fast forward to Friday where I was once again teaching at Penguin. I went out for my morning sessions with my students and had about a 2 hour break for lunch and when we take the advanced group out on a track walk so I dropped my bike off with Pete and waited.

When the time came to go back on the track I admit that I was a bit nervous. This was a massive change in geometry and I was wondering how it would behave and if I would be able to adapt to it...or if it would even be a workable geometry. A few millimeters off in any direction can make a massive difference. I know my way around suspension and geometry, but Pete is a fucking magician.

I immediately felt more confident. The bike was simultaneously more stable and yet so much easier to steer. It was perfectly stable but also far more agile than it was before. Turning went from a massive effort to nearly telepathic. I still need to muscle the bike a bit but nowhere near as bad as before. I actually almost went off on the inside of a turn because it just...went. Pete also managed to tune out the nervousness that I was experiencing before.

It...was...AWESOME and this is just a start. I am sure that there is a little more fine tuning that can be done as I get more seat time.

I was so elated that I rode for the next 4 hours with only a handful of short breaks for fuel which was not something I could have done on my previous setup and now I can't wait to get back on the bike.

I have said multiple times here and elsewhere that if I could have taken my previous GSXR bike and transplant the ZX6R engine into it that I would have the perfect race bike. I can happily say now that this is no longer the case as the ZX6R has surpassed every aspect of my former race bike. It is truly the weapon that it was meant to be.

My next time at the track will be at the 2 day Penguin school in June followed by the Loudon Classic where I will actually return to racing. I am very excited for this and I can say that this excitement has been missing for some time.

**EDIT: before someone (everyone) asks me for my setup numbers: don't. I haven't raced on it yet so it has not been thoroughly tested in my book. What I can tell you now is that the bike likes lots of trail, to be tall in the front, and have a longer wheelbase than most other bikes.
 

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I know electronics but have NO idea on how to effect any of the changes your mentioning.
Before getting to numbers, what are you/they measuring. HOW does one change them.

I thought, this was a frame thing. Can't be if it's adjustable.


OH,, fantastic new's. Imagine getting the bike dialed in is sweet.
 

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I've got to ask: does your bike really need to be so tall in the front that you needed fork extenders? After the Racetech treatment to my forks they were lengthened by 15 mm; after sliding the forks down in the triples I gained another 5 mm ride height from stock; that's 20 mm of increased front ride height without having fork extenders. I would think that is plenty right there...

Oh, and that's awesome that you found your happiest settings!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I know electronics but have NO idea on how to effect any of the changes your mentioning.
Before getting to numbers, what are you/they measuring. HOW does one change them.

I thought, this was a frame thing. Can't be if it's adjustable.


OH,, fantastic new's. Imagine getting the bike dialed in is sweet.
This would be a good place to start: http://zx6r.com/racing/60532-chassis-geometry-101-why-using-rear-brake-racetrack-can-ok.html

I've got to ask: does your bike really need to be so tall in the front that you needed fork extenders? After the Racetech treatment to my forks they were lengthened by 15 mm; after sliding the forks down in the triples I gained another 5 mm ride height from stock; that's 20 mm of increased front ride height without having fork extenders. I would think that is plenty right there...

Oh, and that's awesome that you found your happiest settings!
Thanks bud, and yes. I am well beyond that and into the fork extenders.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
WOW! And you can still get on and off it, and get a knee down... without knowing any better you would think that lowering the rear would do the same thing, but I guess not! Must be that swingarm length/angle and squat effect at play.
I had to do both =)
 

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Some day I'd love to try out a WELL-setup ZX6R and see how different it feels from mine, because I'm pretty much noticing the same symptoms with mine that you said you had before the geometry change. Steering does feel a bit heavier than it should and it seems like it's going wide while trail-braking, so I can't get on the gas as early as I'd like to. The only thing I've really changed over the winter was the shock spring...went to a softer one, but no geometry changes were made.
 

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So glad to hear it Slo after everything you have been through. Reading this makes me look forward to getting back on the ZX6 even more, even after 2 full track weekends in a row!
 

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Some day I'd love to try out a WELL-setup ZX6R and see how different it feels from mine, because I'm pretty much noticing the same symptoms with mine that you said you had before the geometry change. Steering does feel a bit heavier than it should and it seems like it's going wide while trail-braking, so I can't get on the gas as early as I'd like to. The only thing I've really changed over the winter was the shock spring...went to a softer one, but no geometry changes were made.
That softer spring is probably allowing the rear ride height to decrease, simultaneously increasing front end rake and trail:laughing. Thus slowing steering.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
that is a cracking looking bike mate,
Thanks King! I am really happy with our team's livery. She has a few bruises now but still turns heads =)

Some day I'd love to try out a WELL-setup ZX6R and see how different it feels from mine, because I'm pretty much noticing the same symptoms with mine that you said you had before the geometry change. Steering does feel a bit heavier than it should and it seems like it's going wide while trail-braking, so I can't get on the gas as early as I'd like to. The only thing I've really changed over the winter was the shock spring...went to a softer one, but no geometry changes were made.
I'd still like to ride a well set up zx6r :p. Time will tell if this one qualifies, although I think it may. This is one of those situations where you know what you know, and don't know what you don't know. As far as I knew, the bike was set up well until I tried someone else's.

So glad to hear it Slo after everything you have been through. Reading this makes me look forward to getting back on the ZX6 even more, even after 2 full track weekends in a row!
Jealous that you get to spend 2 weekends in a row at the track but thank you! I am excited to get back to the track myself.

That softer spring is probably allowing the rear ride height to decrease, simultaneously increasing front end rake and trail:laughing. Thus slowing steering.
All true, but I think he was having the issue before he changed the spring =)

Glad to hear you're in love!

So for the rest of us...Set the preload and keep it stock?! :wink :laughing
Sure, that works just fine =) The OEM forks are actually very good on the current gen. The shock still sucks a tepid bag of sweaty monkey testicles but it is still better than nothing =)
 

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I'd still like to ride a well set up zx6r :p. Time will tell if this one qualifies, although I think it may. This is one of those situations where you know what you know, and don't know what you don't know. As far as I knew, the bike was set up well until I tried someone else's.
Exactly!! Many people (myself included I'm sure) would get on a bike and either like it or not. If they don't like it, they say the bike brand/model just sucks, but it could very well be the geometry setup and suspensions. You can have the same bike feel great or it could be completely terrible if you do enough changes in the wrong direction on it.

A guy I know who used to ride an R6 told me pretty much the same thing when he jumped on an AMA Supersport R6 and said he didn't realize what he was missing out on until he got to ride the AMA R6. He was amazed in how much better it handled even though it was pretty much the same as his bike.
 
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Some day I'd love to try out a WELL-setup ZX6R and see how different it feels from mine, because I'm pretty much noticing the same symptoms with mine that you said you had before the geometry change. Steering does feel a bit heavier than it should and it seems like it's going wide while trail-braking, so I can't get on the gas as early as I'd like to. The only thing I've really changed over the winter was the shock spring...went to a softer one, but no geometry changes were made.
Could this be the reason your lap time are not where they used to be?
 

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Could this be the reason your lap time are not where they used to be?
There's no way a slight change in spring rate makes a difference of 7-8 seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Still feeding data but looks like I added +28.5mm front ride height and subtracted 14.7mm rear ride height and added 6.2mm of trail from my last setup o_O
 

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Still feeding data but looks like I added +28.5mm front ride height and subtracted 14.7mm rear ride height and added 6.2mm of trail from my last setup o_O
Whaaaat??? :eek:
 
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