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Pick two out of the three, because you'll never have it all.

To relate that to the world of suspension, you can try working out short cuts, but there simply are none. I understand all of us have different standards of 'acceptable'. As an example: I just dropped a lot of money on K-Tech suspension for my R6. Granted, the fork cartridges are still in a set of forks, so I will be able to do a complete swap - change out the shock, change out the forks, and done. I dropped close to 2 grand for that stuff - and I haven't even seen them yet. Why? Because I had the guy mail them straight to T-Man. I dropped that much fuckin' money on those things and I'm not even going to ride on them until I know, without a doubt, they've been serviced and set up - specifically for me. For me, and what I'm going for, there are too many unknowns - when was the last time the suspension was serviced? What springs are in the shock/forks? What's the fork oil height set at? If I don't know those things, how in the world can I go about setting up my bike once the riding season hits? It's like your doctor trying to figure out what is wrong with you while they don't know any of your symptoms.

I get you've been looking to upgrade the pogo stick on your bike for awhile now. And all I can say is - you can try dilly dallying around trying to do shit on the cheap as you have been, or you can do it once, do it right, be happy and not have to touch it again.

I would not recommend just throwing on any used shock you get from anybody for the reasons stated above. I will also say that you just can't throw on an aftermarket shock with no thought put into its set up and expect it to be immediately better than OEM. One of the most attractive things about an aftermarket shock is it's adjustability - and if those knobs aren't put in the right place, it is no better than OEM.

I cannot disagree more with those that make recommendations to try and refresh a shock yourself. None of us have the tools, the nitrogen (or whatever they're pressurized with), and the parts to properly service it. Even if you did take the time, and spend the money to get the tools...you still lack the biggest key to success - the experience. When you work with someone that's been doing suspension for decades, and has hundreds, if not thousands of championships to their name - those are the kind of people that have forgotten more about suspension setup than we will ever learn.

So you might spend a few hundred on a refresh - who cares? Do you want to keep fucking around and spending $50-$100 at a clip with used OEM pogo stick shit, or do you want to just do it once, do it right, and throw on a freshly serviced shock that's been set up specifically for you and just ride?
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Knowing the scope of the performance I am looking for -- at least as good as OEM factory fresh, no real benefit in 5X the cost as I do not have any intention of putting the bike on a track.

I've owned many Japanese bikes with horrifically bad OEM suspension. My biggest issue is normally the rising rate springs, which compromise any damping available. Far better to have a linear spring, so the rates are constant. Even better, if you can get rid of the rising rate in the linkage. More useful consistent performance over a wider range of wheel movement....

Band-aid-ing a later model OEM shock assembly was enough to tell me that the '09 was shot. Can I get it better than it has ever been in the time I have owned the bike? Pretty sure that's a yes. would it be anywhere near as good as the Ohlins I had on my last bike? Of course not. Better, to the tune of cost of used purchase+ plus refresh+shipping? that depends on usage, IMHO. How close does that cost come, to buying factory fresh after market? Enough to warrant doing that, effectively better half-assed approach?
 

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Sounds like you know the short answer...

you can get the oem forks to an acceptable level of performance with simple valving and springs.

However the oem rear shock is simply disposable...

Find a used aftermarket, have it refreshed and set up for your weight and skill level. You’ll be better off in the long run.
 

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Knowing the scope of the performance I am looking for -- at least as good as OEM factory fresh, no real benefit in 5X the cost as I do not have any intention of putting the bike on a track.

I've owned many Japanese bikes with horrifically bad OEM suspension. My biggest issue is normally the rising rate springs, which compromise any damping available. Far better to have a linear spring, so the rates are constant. Even better, if you can get rid of the rising rate in the linkage. More useful consistent performance over a wider range of wheel movement....

Band-aid-ing a later model OEM shock assembly was enough to tell me that the '09 was shot. Can I get it better than it has ever been in the time I have owned the bike? Pretty sure that's a yes. would it be anywhere near as good as the Ohlins I had on my last bike? Of course not. Better, to the tune of cost of used purchase+ plus refresh+shipping? that depends on usage, IMHO. How close does that cost come, to buying factory fresh after market? Enough to warrant doing that, effectively better half-assed approach?
You say there's no benefit in spending 5x the cost of an OEM shock...but you said yourself that you noticed the difference between what you have now and your old bike with the Ohlins on it.

Sounds like it's worth it to me.

Buy a used shock for 500ish, you'll have 700 into it by the time it's refreshed. Keep the OEM pogo stick on a shelf, if/when you sell the bike, put the OEM shock back on, sell the Ohlins for the same 4-500 you paid for it. So you're out the cost of the refresh at the end of the day...big whoop.

Side note: Most of the things we spend money on in this sport is a one way expense. Tires, most aftermarket doo-dads, shit like that. But hard parts, IE, quality motorcycle stands (Pit Bull), the Pit Bull TRS system for those that transport their bikes a lot, after market fork kits, shocks...those things really don't lose value. Yes, there will always be that new to used price loss, but if you're buying stuff used from the get go, the end out of pocket cost is negligible. For example, I have 3 Pit Bull TRS systems...most people would be like "holy shit, you've got $900 wrapped up in bike transport stuff alone"...but so what? If I ever sold out of the sport, I could sell them for $700-ish. So $200 for me to transport 3 bikes in the most secure way possible for a combined total of 80-100,000 miles over the course of 6+ years of being in the sport...money very well spent.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
So, mama insists I buy a new shock rather than a used one. That windfall was considerably greater than I was expecting. Not enough that I want to drop $1.5K on a shock; but enough to let me free up additional funds.

Computrackboston.com has a Penske 8983 double clicker with remote reservoir for $899 with shipping. Just placed the order.

If anyone out there wants to try getting an '09 shock rebuilt, it's yours for the cost of shipping.
 

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So, mama insists I buy a new shock rather than a used one. That windfall was considerably greater than I was expecting. Not enough that I want to drop $1.5K on a shock; but enough to let me free up additional funds.

Computrackboston.com has a Penske 8983 double clicker with remote reservoir for $899 with shipping. Just placed the order.

If anyone out there wants to try getting an '09 shock rebuilt, it's yours for the cost of shipping.
I have been running that same shock on my ZZR and the ZX6r track bike........... You won't be disappointed and it is way better than spending $500-$650 on a used shock then shipping it off for another $200+ to get it actually set up for you........... Buying NEW it comes set up for you and your bike and your riding!!!
smart choice you made!!!!!!
 

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I have been running that same shock on my ZZR and the ZX6r track bike........... You won't be disappointed and it is way better than spending $500-$650 on a used shock then shipping it off for another $200+ to get it actually set up for you........... Buying NEW it comes set up for you and your bike and your riding!!!
smart choice you made!!!!!!
All depends what you mean by getting "set up". Suspension can be as complicated or as simple as you want to make it. Looks like that website he gave at least will get the initial setup knocked out - far better than just a normal 'retail store' that simply serves as the middle man and doesn't actually do anything in regards to customizing the shock for the specific customer. There will still be some tweaking needed, but at least he'll have a good baseline to start off with.
 

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All depends what you mean by getting "set up". Suspension can be as complicated or as simple as you want to make it. Looks like that website he gave at least will get the initial setup knocked out - far better than just a normal 'retail store' that simply serves as the middle man and doesn't actually do anything in regards to customizing the shock for the specific customer. There will still be some tweaking needed, but at least he'll have a good baseline to start off with.
Penske shocks (like nearly all aftermarket shocks) are custom built just for you once you order.........

Traxxion doesn't stock them and they take your information and have Penske build it to that spec (spring, valving, length, end joints etc)

Maybe computrack has a stock of them, but they give you the drop down menu option to have it customized to your weight with spring/valving even though it all you do is click buy now it comes pre set up for 170-220 etc......... (for which I am sure means they order straight from penske and have it shipped back to them or drop shipped to you)


So while sure someplace could order up a bunch of Penske shocks for "stock" and then hope they got what people are ordering- why? I sure the fuck would not and do not invest tens of thousands of my dollars into some thing as a guess and then hope people with that specific bike arrive and buy that specific product, especially when you can call up Penske and have it at your door in sub 2 weeks anytime of year!
Sure I have dozens of springs here and even seals and shit to refresh, but that is a different investment than stocking thousands and thousands...... may make sense for a place that only does suspension and has hoards of customers to save the turnaround time

So absolutely custom made for you and set up very well

ZZR shock I only had to change rebound (removed 1/2 turn- because WI back roads are torn up and bumpy as shit and 300 miles of that I would rather have softer than only having the 100-150 miles of good smooth roads ideal)

ZX6R shock I ran it exactly as it arrived for the first year and have a couple times added a click or two or removed a click or two but have never even changed spring preload etc, as the sag etc was all correct right out of the box

Far cry different to have 500 tires on hand where 4 sizes literally covers 95% of the sportbikes out there than to have even 60 shocks (approx same total investment in dollars?) that may cover 15% of the sportbikes out there
 

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Discussion Starter #30
The way Pete explained it, Penske will ship directly to me, after they build the shock. He places the order with them, when he receives my funds. Since he's already sent me the invoice with balance due $0, I am presuming he's been paid, and the order will be placed shortly. He'll send that doc as soon as he gets it.

His expected timeline for delivery to me is mid January, what with holidays, etc.

Perfectly acceptable.
 

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Penske shocks (like nearly all aftermarket shocks) are custom built just for you once you order.........
Like I said, as simple or as complex as you want. Shock length? Can't set the shock length 100% without knowing what rear tire profile you're running, with the 180/60 being much larger than the 180/55, affecting ride height of course. And what about the forks? Stock? Cartridges? What's the length of the carts set to, since most can be adjusted from stock length? And of course, how much fork tube you have sticking up. Springs (front or rear) aren't a 1 size fit all...if that was the case, some racers wouldn't change spring rates from track to track while their body weight stays the same.

But yeah, like I said...you can get a good baseline to start from. And everyone's definition of "setup" is different.

I'd be more concerned with pulling the swing arm and shock linkage and doing a thorough cleaning and regreasing. Not doing a whole lot of good if you swap shocks but your needle bearings are being ground into dust.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
The Penske is finally shipped out, scheduled for delivery next Tuesday. I ordered it as they shut down for inventory and the holidays, they're finally back at work.... Seems like I never get to take advantage of long weekends for wrenching.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
I have a 2013 shock that’s barely used. Free if you want it. If you do, pm me your details.
I thank you for the offer, I've had a '13+ rear shock on the bike for the past few months.... Put that on, when I got done doing the seals and bushings in the fork. It was a significant improvement over the sacked out '09 shock. I can continue to use it until the Penske finally arrives.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
The shock arrived this afternoon, won't have a chance to do much with it until the weekend.... Will post photos in the next couple of days.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
The box this thing shipped in, is not the one I am taking pictures with..... very well packed/packaged, all the necessary mounting hardware, the manual, the plotted performance data with a baseline to an OEM ZX6 shock.

This background is clean and uncluttered, unlike my kitchen table where I generally take photos. :)

My beautiful bride's first comment...... "That blue spring is going to clash with your bike." What do I care? I won't see it when I am on the bike. LOL.

Presuming I will mount it so the remote reservoir is to the left, and will clamp it to the subframe spar behind the passenger peg?
 

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Don't neglect your shock linkage! Take it all apart and clean and regrease before you reassemble everything.
 

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Nice RJ! You will appreciate the difference for sure. I dug up an old pic of my 09 when i first got the Penske, about the easiest way to mount was this wire bundle type clamp, and using the front passenger peg bolt.
I also included a couple pics of the shock linkage before/after, to reiterate what @Otto Man said about cleaning the linkage while you’re in there!






Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Of course, now I am annoyed with myself for putting off the disassembly..... Could have done the first 2/3rds of the work, BEFORE the shock arrived, over the 3 day weekend.....:rant:banghead
 
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