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Crikey mate!
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230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The guys at Race Tech had the bike for 3 weeks, but today it was ready to be picked up.

Cindy and I got to Race Tech HQ around 9am, and as soon as I spotted the bike I noticed things had changed. It had the new Race Tech shocks on it. But the stance was also very different - more aggressive looking with the back raised. As soon as I sat on the bike I noticed the handle bars moved easier. I was expecting to be tippy toed, with the back as high as it was, but was pleasantly surprised to find that I had no problems flat footing. The front forks had been raised in the clamps also.



We then went on a test ride - what a transformation! It turned so much easier and the ride feedback was awesome. It was obvious that I was leaning further forward, which felt a lot better. Todd took me on a loop around the area that included some freeway, some back roads and a particularly nasty patched, potholed section - it was a great test that helped me get a sense of the range of changes that had been made and their effect on the ride. Todd is around my size and height. Consequently the sag, compression and rebound settings were spot on for me.



When we got back to the shop, we talked about the experience. Todd then suggested we fit the Ohlins to the bike and take it out for another spin. While the guys were working on swapping out the shocks, Todd asked if I wanted to take his Speed Triple out for a run - sure, why not. What a great bike - I could really see myself owning one of those one day.



Back from my jaunt on the triumph, it was time to take the XR out again, this time with the Ohlins fitted.



It was immediately apparent that the rear was not as high, as a result, the front didn’t turn as sharply. As we rode down the freeway I noticed that the front end now seemed more ‘bouncy’. We pulled off on a side street and Todd made some adjustments - we maxed out the ride height on the Ohlins and backed off the compression and rebound on the forks - much better. The ride was much much more compliant, but the steering was still not as good as it was with the longer rear shocks.



We got back to the shop and talked more about the differences. I discussed with Todd my options for the bike. We talked about the riser block that I had on order that would be used with the Ohlins versus using the longer Race Tech shocks.We also talked about the impact of taking weight off the bike, possibly changing the front wheel to a 17″, and looking at some alternative trees.

Long story short, I decided to go with the Race Tech shocks.

Overall it was a great experience. The guys at Race Tech are top notch and really know their stuff. :clap:

Here’s a picture of the bike, with a few extra bits and pieces added, several hours after I got it home. Let me know what you think…



 

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Premium Member
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18,659 Posts
Looks good. Sounds like it was well worth it and the longer shocks as versus riser blocks. Hmmm, wonder where I heard that idea before.:whistling:
 

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Registered
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299 Posts
What all did they end up doing to the forks?
If I understood it right your bike was a development project. Are they ready to sell this service now?
 

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Son of a Son of a Sailor
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195 Posts
Nice write up

Great write up, I lowered my clamps on the forks when I put the lower, flatter bars on, loved the quicker steering. How much rise in the rear with the race tech shocks, how much did they lower the clamps, I lowered mine 25mm

Tony
 

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Crikey mate!
Joined
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230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
+ 50 mm in the rear (I think). Computrack shows we could go higher (and the shocks have the range) but the exhaust bracket and charcoal canister are interfering...

Rushing out to go for a scoot - will double check when I get back
 

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Warning! Fat people are harder to kidnap.
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1,373 Posts
I would like to ask one question. When you are sitting on the bike does the sag allow the front and rear axels and crank line up?:whistling: Later,
 
G

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rhino, great looking bike so far. just paint the tail! :)

the question Fat Billy asked interests me too, how much sag do you get at all when you sit on it?
 

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Creaks When Walks...
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172 Posts
Perspective...

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me too, but I'm not smiling about it...

don't bash the riser blocks...they are removable where the longer shocks aren't!


Honestly, I've NEVER bashed the riser blocks - ever.

OTOH, there are those that have bashed and dismissed the idea of longer shocks. ;)

I think the riser blocks are great... If that's what you want. But if you want to maintain a closer to stock appearance - like I do - and still raise the rear of the bike up a bit to put some more weight on the front wheel and quicken the steering a bit then longer shocks are certainly a viable and well performing option.

And if you have shocks that have adjustable length then you can adjust the ride height to right where you want it. :innocent:

Dallara



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Honestly, I've NEVER bashed the riser blocks - ever.

OTOH, there are those that have bashed and dismissed the idea of longer shocks. ;)

I think the riser blocks are great... If that's what you want. But if you want to maintain a closer to stock appearance - like I do - and still raise the rear of the bike up a bit to put some more weight on the front wheel and quicken the steering a bit then longer shocks are certainly a viable and well performing option.

And if you have shocks that have adjustable length then you can adjust the ride height to right where you want it. :innocent:

Dallara



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you can't really say that one of those solutions maintains a closer look to stock than the other...you easily see it's not factory style :)
 

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Creaks When Walks...
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172 Posts
Again, perspective...

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you can't really say that one of those solutions maintains a closer look to stock than the other...you easily see it's not factory style :)


Well, I guess that's all in how you look at it, right? ;)

In my opinion the risers don't look anywhere near stock, whereas just running longer shocks literally doesn't alter the appearance at all...

But again, that's just my opinion.

However, I can certainly understand and respect your opinion, and that it's different than mine.

But back to the point - I never bashed the risers. Not now. Not ever. OTOH, there were some that completely disparaged the idea of longer shocks when such an idea was first proposed. Some even tried to say they would cause problems that the risers would not.

Apparently Race-Tech doesn't agree with the idea longer shocks won't work. Neither do I, and I have longer rear shocks on my XR... Just like RhinoWerx does. And mine work fine... :whistling:

Dallara


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Premium Member
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18,659 Posts
don't bash the riser blocks...they are removable where the longer shocks aren't!
I think I was the one who posted the question about the blocks. I didn't "Bash" then, just presented an opposing opinion from a very experienced company. And really it was approached from the view of opposing the statement that had been made that said that shorter shocks were somehow more stable.
As for the longer shocks not being removable, really??? two bolts each ??? back to stock. This is really a silly discussion.
 

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A few roos short in the front paddock
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88 Posts
G'day Rhino
I believe the stock shocks are 350mm. eye to eye. Did I read correctly, the length of shocker you settled on the Race Tech was about 400mm.
Second question where did you get the mini indicator lamps. I am considering putting on a lower bars with Zero rise and am concerned about the standard lamps contacting the tank.:) Thanks,
marx
 

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Creaks When Walks...
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172 Posts
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...And really it was approached from the view of opposing the statement that had been made that said that shorter shocks were somehow more stable.
As for the longer shocks not being removable, really??? two bolts each ??? back to stock. This is really a silly discussion.

I know what you mean. When I mentioned longer shocks (both here and on the XLForum) it was said that longer shocks would somehow "flex more"... Which is really stretching it considering how stiff the swingarm is and how much stiffer and stronger just about any aftermarket shock is compared to the stock Showa's... And that longer shocks always meant more wheel travel, and that more wheel travel was somehow a bad thing, too.

Rather than get into a debate at the time I left it alone. I didn't bother to mention that installing the shock risers essentially moves the upper shock mount forward and "lays the shocks down" more than stock - both of which increase wheel travel.

And when Benny mentions that the shock risers "are removable where the longer shocks aren't..." he neglects to mention that you really wouldn't want to use the shock risers with the stock shocks anyway, so when you used the risers you would be replacing the shocks, too. After all, the dampening is limp in the stock shocks, and it will only be way worse when subjected to the higher leverage ratio you end up with using the shock risers... ;)

Dallara



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Crikey mate!
Joined
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230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
G'day Rhino
I believe the stock shocks are 350mm. eye to eye. Did I read correctly, the length of shocker you settled on the Race Tech was about 400mm.
Second question where did you get the mini indicator lamps. I am considering putting on a lower bars with Zero rise and am concerned about the standard lamps contacting the tank.:) Thanks,
marx
RT shocks are currently set at little over 400mm - as mentioned, once we deal with the exhaust hanger and charcoal canister, we'll bump 'em up some more.

Indicators are generic kellermans.

Current rear sag is set at 36mm

Cheers,
-Jack
 
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RT shocks are currently set at little over 400mm - as mentioned, once we deal with the exhaust hanger and charcoal canister, we'll bump 'em up some more.

Indicators are generic kellermans.

Current rear sag is set at 36mm

Cheers,
-Jack
36mm from what condition to what condition? bike on the ground vs. rider on or jacked up vs. on the ground?

Dallara, as we all agree the stock shocks are crap. So I see one slight advantage in riser blocks at least for us euro guys. We want to use aftermarket shocks anyway but we may not get a legal approval for longer shocks therefore I add riserblocks (wich are illegal too) but are removable in if I have to show the bike somewhere.
 

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Warning! Fat people are harder to kidnap.
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1,373 Posts
Dallara, I remember the shock flex comment and I agree with the swing arm and good shocks flex shouldn't be an issue. I think the flex issue could be the frame. Does altering the geometry give the swingarm more leverage to flex the frame? Our bikes have a flex mounted engine and a mild steel frame so when you push it it will give a bit. With the longer shocks how much sag is recommended. Isn't lining up the axels and crankshaft important for handling on a street bike? I know that went out the window on dirt bikes with their long legged suspension but it still applys to pavement pounders doesn't it? Even the XR750 flat trackers are fairly in line also. It seems that it matters to bikes with 4-6 inches of travel. The newest roadracers are more focused on central mass for flickability. Wondering outloud. :cool: Later,
 
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