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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, does any one have any experience, opinions, or information about the effectiveness of modifying stock forks and shock on the zx6r.

Let me clarify: there is a local suspension guy who modifies stock internals, from what I understand he changes shim stacks, top out springs, alters the holes, the fluid, and whatever else which I don't really understand yet fully. I know guys who he has done this for and they are running at top track day and competitive FMRRA race levels with only stock suspension fully modified by him. The other more conventional route is to buy either K-Teck, GP, or Ohlins and swap those in and adjust. The latter is much more expensive. What his company is offering is much cheaper and it's a custom built package front and back, and offers track side support. These are key advantages for me being new to all this, since I have not meddled with suspension settings yet on my own. So far I've only had someone (the same guy) do a baseline set up for track riding on my bike and it's performing well enough for now. This is something I think I'll have to decide at some point as I go faster and push harder.

So what are your thoughts on the differences? And does it seem that I am making a good choice to go this modified fork route at some point rather than spend twice as much on name brand components?
 

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Can a person change the valve stock on a stock valve stack.........sure, grind off the tabbed over nut, disassemble and put whatever stack you want in place of what is there..
Will that ever work as well as an aftermarket cartridge- absolutely not, not even close....

oem components parts are sloppy loose especially the cartridges they put in the forks and you get a shit ton of bleed by around the cartridge and overall sloppiness in fit

will it be better than bone stock, sure..........

perhaps this person is installing new racetech or omni compression and rebound (or other brand) valve kits? and if that is the case, just buy brand new Ak20's and a penske rear and be all in for about $2000 and be done with it, 100x the performance for maybe 2x the cost

to me if you feel the suspension is not holding you back (and it likely isn't and won't for a long time) just keep running what you have and spend the monies on things more important??? like more track time

Do you have good new bushings and fresh oil in the forks along with the correct spring rate springs? likely really as far as you can go economically and worthwhile on stock components becasue once you start spending $350 or more on valving stacks for the forks and $120 for springs, you just spent $470 plus labor (likely atleast 1.5hrs more labor than dropping in Ak's) to get about 10% of the benefit of simply buying Ak20's for about $925 which take about 1/4th the time to install and work far better......

But everyone has an opinion..........
 
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Yes, it sounds like the guy installs RaceTech's internals. The biggest one being, the RaceTech Gold Valve Fork Kit & Gold Valve Shock Kit.
This is what I had done

Everything RaceTech
Forks: New fork springs. Same spring rate, but RaceTech springs are far superior to OEM springs.
G2-R Gold Valves
RaceTech SuperSlick Fork Oil.

Shock
RaceTech Shock Springs. Had them powder coat the spring Kawi Lime Green (default is dark blue) The Spring Rate was definitely MUCH stiffer & my info sheet I sent in, I submitted I was 155lbs, so that tells you how crazy soft the rear shock spring is.

I also had them install the Rebound Separator Valve. Cheap part, but makes a world's of difference. The one shock damping settings aren't 100% isolated. If you dial in some compression, it changes the Rebound curve a bit & vice versa. Now it doesn't.
Spring Collar
RaceTech SuperSlick Fork Oil
FULL Shock Rebuild included at no additional cost, just pay for the parts; bladder, needle, seals, etc.


It's the best money I've spent on my bike & I've dropped $7k in this bike.
Unless you're racing in the top classes, then this is a perfect way to go. If you race in the beginner, intermediate or novice class, this is the way to go. Its not super expensive, it's completely custom tailored to you, your riding style & your riding preferences.

Spending $2k on forks & $1800 on a shock us a huge waste if money for 90% of us.

Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
 
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Yes, it sounds like the guy installs RaceTech's internals. The biggest one being, the RaceTech Gold Valve Fork Kit & Gold Valve Shock Kit.
This is what I had done

Everything RaceTech
Forks: New fork springs. Same spring rate, but RaceTech springs are far superior to OEM springs.
G2-R Gold Valves
RaceTech SuperSlick Fork Oil.

Shock
RaceTech Shock Springs. Had them powder coat the spring Kawi Lime Green (default is dark blue) The Spring Rate was definitely MUCH stiffer & my info sheet I sent in, I submitted I was 155lbs, so that tells you how crazy soft the rear shock spring is.

I also had them install the Rebound Separator Valve. Cheap part, but makes a world's of difference. The one shock damping settings aren't 100% isolated. If you dial in some compression, it changes the Rebound curve a bit & vice versa. Now it doesn't.
Spring Collar
RaceTech SuperSlick Fork Oil
FULL Shock Rebuild included at no additional cost, just pay for the parts; bladder, needle, seals, etc.


It's the best money I've spent on my bike & I've dropped $7k in this bike.
Unless you're racing in the top classes, then this is a perfect way to go. If you race in the beginner, intermediate or novice class, this is the way to go. Its not super expensive, it's completely custom tailored to you, your riding style & your riding preferences.

Spending $2k on forks & $1800 on a shock us a huge waste if money for 90% of us.

Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
Lol, Ive poured about 8,000 into aftermarket parts on my bike and it’s basically a full super sport spec machine. Gas charged k tech cartridges, DDS pro rear, and all the other goodies. Where exactly did you spend that $7,000?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #6
to me if you feel the suspension is not holding you back (and it likely isn't and won't for a long time) just keep running what you have and spend the monies on things more important??? like more track time

Do you have good new bushings and fresh oil in the forks along with the correct spring rate springs? likely really as far as you can go economically and worthwhile on stock components becasue once you start spending $350 or more on valving stacks for the forks and $120 for springs, you just spent $470 plus labor (likely atleast 1.5hrs more labor than dropping in Ak's) to get about 10% of the benefit of simply buying Ak20's for about $925 which take about 1/4th the time to install and work far better......
Start with getting the right spring rate, set it up and go from there.
To both your points, yea I only weight 160 with gear and the spring seems fine after I had the baseline set up properly. And comp and reb were also set and so there's no pogo-ing or weird feelings. My tire wear seems ok from what I can tell from watching videos by Dave Moss and others. I definitely have a lot more to learn and develop as a rider before this current suspension needs to be improved. But I saw a listing on a different forum for a set of forks with race components set for the same weight as me for a good price, and was considering to buy them now to "squirrel" them away for when I need it down the road. When I was talking to the suspension guy, that's when he's explaining the benefits of letting him do the mods on the stock components instead. I'll be reading all your comments and learning for a while longer before I make any changes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Unless you're racing in the top classes, then this is a perfect way to go. If you race in the beginner, intermediate or novice class, this is the way to go. Its not super expensive, it's completely custom tailored to you, your riding style & your riding preferences.

Spending $2k on forks & $1800 on a shock us a huge waste if money for 90% of us.
Yea I started reading some of the Suspension Bible, and reading the history behind Race Tech, fascinating. It's starting to make sense that some components can be altered to work better in relationship to each other. The tough part is coming to the decision of which direction to go down, since I'll be committed to one or the other once I decide. Unless I had two track bikes lol. Thanks for your input! I watched a 20 minute video where Dave Moss takes apart the 2012 zx6r fork and it really looks like it is a very capable piece of stock equipment. Maybe just a few minor tweaks and it will perform better, but never as good as the top shelf stuff.
 

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Yea I started reading some of the Suspension Bible, and reading the history behind Race Tech, fascinating. It's starting to make sense that some components can be altered to work better in relationship to each other. The tough part is coming to the decision of which direction to go down, since I'll be committed to one or the other once I decide. Unless I had two track bikes lol. Thanks for your input! I watched a 20 minute video where Dave Moss takes apart the 2012 zx6r fork and it really looks like it is a very capable piece of stock equipment. Maybe just a few minor tweaks and it will perform better, but never as good as the top shelf stuff.

So here is the comparison in my mind and experience............ and I do a shit ton of suspension work.....

new springs and new oil set to a proper height and viscosity then all the adjusters (preload for sag, rebound and compression damping_-fiddle fucked with to the best you feel.............. gets you about 15-20% improvement over just stock how it was shipped for an average decent rider (sounds like where the OP is at now, very noticeable when you ride)
This often is done for $250 or less parts and labor

The next jump up is doing the axxion valves (traxxion) or Gold Valves (racetech) where you are going to easily spend at minimum $600 to have them installed parts and labor (you may notice 5% more improvement or if your way out of the weight range and are now running a 1.0 or larger spring you may see a 10% improvement..........)
if you skip step one and just go straight to this and have to buy springs too- you'll be $700 out of pocket or more
So for $700+ you see at best a 25% improvement over bone stock from the factory at best!!! (sounds like this is what the guy is selling, and from where you are at- you might not even be able to tell this was done for the extra expense........ trust me I have had atleast 5 customers in the past 10 years I could not convince to just spend the money on the AK-20's after doing the forst step of (correct springs and oil and settings) and after they plunked out another $600 to do this step they could tell no difference from step 1...ie they felt they wasted their monies!!!


The next jump............... best bang for the buck and biggest improvement you will ever see..........
buy Ak-20's and have them installed, install is fast and cheap compared to any of the other work.......... One can buy Ak-20's brand new for under $1000 for sure and labor is likely to not be more than $150 to install
So for your $1150 or even $1200 you will see a night and day 100% improvement over stock craptastic shitbox mass produced junk................

So you look at the cost vs results and tell me which option really is the best............. damn clear to me step 1 if you are on a budget gets a mnice improvement for little monies

step 2, total waste of time and monies

Step 3 is the golden ticket you covet and everyone should go straight to this unless they simply go to step 1 and are satisfied there...............

step 3 will give you a little better tire life and the bike will simply work and feel better

I have no idea where people think front suspension is $2k...........maybe buying ohlins and getting hosed on install I guess or if you are buying gas charged cartridges (totally unnecessary for mere mortals on the street or the trackday junkie and for 98% of the club racers too)

For the rear, just buy a brand new double clicker Penske for $1000 or less and be done......... it can be installed at home in under 30 minutes while doing a rear tire change and adjustments are super easy-
bam for $2000 or $2200 you have the best front and rear suspension you could ever need or use unless and until you ever get to be a MotoGP superstar................ which lets be honest here...............none of us ever will be even remotely close to that level, not even 75% of that level
 

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I had a similar situation and hopefully this thread will help. Traxxion AK-20 vs GP suspension 25mm

I couldn't get better lap times for a while and it was due to improper technique and messed up bike geometry. Best advice I can give you is to only change one thing at a time and DOCUMENT. Set baseline suspension, go out and ride and write how the ride felt and where you can improve. If you make an adjustment, make one adjustment, WRITE IT DOWN and learn from it.

Get a shock if you want to spend some money. You may not go faster but at the very least you'll get better tire wear. The rear shock has a lot to do with how the front will behave.

Download and read this . ROAD SUSPENSION SETUP GUIDE
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I went with the stock fork rebuild by a local company. I trust these guys, they do the same stock fork rebuild on a local racer's R1 and he gets consistent podium wins, so they know what they are doing. For a very good price all the work was done, and they will do future adjustments as I improve with the bike. Plus I get the track side support, and all the lengthy discussions about what the components are doing so I can learn it all. These are all added benefits for a noob like me. So I just picked up my bike yesterday, and it's got an initial plushness, but its also firm when you push it quick. He modified the front forks to control compression on one side, and rebound on the other... in addition to various other internal changes and upgrades. I'm still trying to learn about it all, so I can't really explain it yet till I fully understand it better. But I'm gonna take it out on the track on Sunday and it should be quite a new experience.
 

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I ride 15yr old stock internals and oil weight with springs for my weight🤷‍♂️. Its all about your comfort level so you can turn your brain off and just be free to express yourself through riding. It's a lot like using a musical instrument to play jazz (so I've been told). Just get what you need to be comfortable and go shred some rubber.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As a follow up, my last track day with the modified forks and shock was VERY impressive. I kept everything else the same, Q3+ tires, etc. and rode the same way I only know how at this point. First session out I was 3 seconds faster than my previous best. So then during the rest of the day I was hitting 1:35s repeatedly (PBIR, intermediate group) and still just getting to understand and feel that now I can push the bike more. Overall, I believe the modified fork and shock was a better price to value option for me now at my stage of learning. Plus for what I paid, the guy will continually make further modifications as I progress if I need it to perform differently. Next up, putting on Pirelli TD's and SBS dual carbon brake pads and heading to Miami Homestead Speedway for the next track day, and I'll see what kind of improvement I get down there.
 

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So..where can one get this work done within 100 miles of south CT...sound like a good plan.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So..where can one get this work done within 100 miles of south CT...sound like a good plan.
The company I had this done with is called Vital Speed Racing and the guy's name is Ray and I can put you in touch with him, but I'm pretty sure the bike needs to be here because it is a customization that is specific to the bikes weight, geometry, etc...

But I was reading your original post on the other thread, and I think a simpler and cheaper spring swap like these guys are suggesting would be more fitting for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
What's cool about what I have now is that my right fork controls only rebound damping and my left fork controls only compression damping. Both can still have preload adjusted of course. But now the two damping abilities have been separated between the two forks, similar to some of the higher end products. One benefit is that I can alter one type of damping without having any compromising effect on the opposing damping control. Also, we went with a super light oil to work better in high velocity movement, and the internals have been altered and modified to control the lighter oil in a much more controlled and precise way. The rear shock was also modified similarly with super light oil and modified internals.

Now both the front of my bike and the rear of the bike has a very soft feel; during slow velocity movements it's very plush. But as soon as I bounce hard on the seat or push the nose into the ground it get's super firm. So now when I go a little harder into corners and start trail braking further, the bike feels nicely firm and planted. I think this will be more than adequate as I continue to develop and eventually become an advanced level rider. I did actually sign up for an advanced track day last time, but I got some feedback from a few guys that I should hang back in intermediate longer. I need to get about 5 seconds faster to be at about the ideal lower end of the advanced group pace. Which I'm okay with because it motivates me, and besides I really do have a lot of things to work on. I'll post a video here of my best session from my "debut" appearance in the Advanced group lol. As usual, any and all feedback is appreciated!

 

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So..where can one get this work done within 100 miles of south CT...sound like a good plan.
Check out local race tracks and trackday orgs, they will know who is good in your area!

It is not some super magic that only one person knows.........
 

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Going to contact the nyst track mechanic..hes there every weekend so any mods he helps me with..hes there when im there..
 
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