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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently purchased a 2019 Yamaha R3. I knew the forks needed some help. The USD forks look cool and all but really aren't very good. I looked all over the place for a upgrade. There are plenty out there for the racer crowd.... Cartridge kits will run you about $1,000 - $1,300. That seemed silly to spend that much on a $5,000 bike? I looked all over the internet, and found ONE cost effective option: The Ohlins FSK-143 "street kit". The kit retails for $250. I installed it myself in about 30 minutes. I didn't even have to remove the forks from the bike. I've done plenty of forks in the past, I don't have any of the "specialty tools". I improvised with common tools, and strap around the front of the frame, hooked to a "come-a-long" hung from the rafters in my garage to support the weight of the bike, and used it to move it up & down as needed (you can see the strap in the picture).

I was surprised to see that Yamaha uses a "progressive rate" spring in the compression leg (left) of the forks. I took a picture of the difference in the springs. The "progressive" spring is the left one in the picture. Progressive rate springs aren't very common in modern sport bikes. They are generally used more in the "cruiser" market. They are more for a one-size-fits-all mentality, but don't really do particularly well at anything. The "straight rate" springs are much better in a sport bike (as long as they are the right spring rate for the rider- I'll get back to that). The spring on the right in the picture is the "straight rate" spring. The coils are all evenly spaced, unlike the "progressive rate" spring next to it.

What you get in the Ohlins FSK-143 kit:
-Four different rate springs- Soft (7.0Nm), Medium (8.0 Nm, Hard (9.0 Nm), Extra Hard (9.5 Nm)
-New spacer
-Upgraded Ohlins fork caps with an "air-release"
-Ohlins sticker kit
-Instructions with detailed diagrams

The OEM springs are about 8 Nm spring rate, and designed for about a 180# rider. I'm about 205#, and when with the 9 Nm rate spring. What you gain is a much "tighter" feeling front end. It won't wollow around in bumps, and provides a much more "planted" feel with the proper spring. I spec'd out the Ohlins recommended oil, and it's nearly the same weight as the Yamaha spec oil that comes in the R3. Since my bike only has about 500 miles on it, I didn't bother with changing the oil. I just dropped the kit in, and rode it! The $250 price tag seems a bit high for the parts you actually end up using (one spring, a spacer, and a couple fork caps), but the improved feel of the front end was well worth the $250 for me. I would recommend this kit for anyone wanting to upgrade the front end on a budget-


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FSK-143-2.JPG FSK-143 -1.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No, they are a different diameter, and have a really odd looking taper at one end. The USD forks on the 2019 R3 are odd in nearly every way-
 

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Cornerslider, thanks for sharing this information.

Since the biggest change is the replacement of the OEM progressive springs, would you get benefit the most by just replacing them with Ohlins fork springs?
How different are the new spacers compared to the OEM ones?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The spacers made up the difference in the length between the OEM springs, and the Ohlins springs, to match the OEM preload perfectly. The 2019-2020 forks are really hard to modify, unless you want to go full cartridges. My R3 is for the street. I'm not gonna dump a bunch of money into suspension for the street. This was a VERY good option, and fit my needs perfectly. I did a K-Tech Razor "lite" shock. Both these choices were a HUGE upgrade, for less than $800 (total). Money spent on suspension, is much better than money spent on intake/exhaust mods on the R3 (in my humble opinion)....
 

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The spacers made up the difference in the length between the OEM springs, and the Ohlins springs, to match the OEM preload perfectly. The 2019-2020 forks are really hard to modify, unless you want to go full cartridges. My R3 is for the street. I'm not gonna dump a bunch of money into suspension for the street. This was a VERY good option, and fit my needs perfectly. I did a K-Tech Razor "lite" shock. Both these choices were a HUGE upgrade, for less than $800 (total). Money spent on suspension, is much better than money spent on intake/exhaust mods on the R3 (in my humble opinion)....
Thank you for the review! Although I am building a track bike it is absolutely a budget build, and I think something like this will fit nicely into my budget plan! I've never done something like this though mechanically, how difficult of task would you say this is to do? I'm fairly mechanically inclined, just haven't done the a front suspension before. Also do you have the link of where you purchased from? Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Brandon Punt, of www.tracksidelabs.com. As long as you have a way to safely support the bike with no load on the front end, it's pretty easy. I never even took the forks off the bike. The instructions are very easy to follow. You can look up the instructions on line to see if you feel up for it. I just did a Google search for "Ohlins FSK-143". Hope that helps you out-
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I don't remember the part number K-tech uses. They didn't have a part number for the 2019 for all of last year. My suspension guy deals with K-Tech on a weekly basis. I had to wait for a couple months because they didn't have a part number for the 2019-2020...... They finally got one, and I got my shock. It has a different part number than the first generation R3, but my suspension guy at www.tracksidelabs.com said that K-Tech eventually told him "all R3's use the same shock". They just assign them different part numbers for the different generations (which makes ZERO sense???) At any rate, I'm very happy with the shock, and would recommend it :cool:-
 

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Finally got the suspension done up. Running the forks with the 8nm spring and 10wt Silkolene fork oil. I now have minimal fork dive but it feels a bit too stiff for my liking for street duty. Patched up road surfaces mid corner are a bitch to deal with. May run the 7nm spring instead or try 5wt oil. I am 70kg at my lightest and 80 at my heaviest. Anyone has experience with this? We dont have many suspension specialists here in my country and was hoping to get a ballpark setup to work off of...
 

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No, they are a different diameter, and have a really odd looking taper at one end. The USD forks on the 2019 R3 are odd in nearly every way-
I totally agree with this. The rebound leg (left fork) doesnt even have any noticeable damping. It's just 2 small springs and if you do end up installing a cartridge kit, you will need to remove the bottom fork leg which is sealed up with so much thread sealant, you will need a blowtorch and really strong arms to remove it. Cartridge kits for this bike are most definitely not a simple drop in part.
 

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Finally got the suspension done up. Running the forks with the 8nm spring and 10wt Silkolene fork oil. I now have minimal fork dive but it feels a bit too stiff for my liking for street duty. Patched up road surfaces mid corner are a bitch to deal with. May run the 7nm spring instead or try 5wt oil. I am 70kg at my lightest and 80 at my heaviest. Anyone has experience with this? We dont have many suspension specialists here in my country and was hoping to get a ballpark setup to work off of...
Salaam sir, I'm the exact same weight as you. I have suspensión meeting in spring. Will report back!
 

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Salaam sir, I'm the exact same weight as you. I have suspension meeting in spring. Will report back!
Seems the Ohlins recommendation is 7.5wt oil (approximation based off Ohlins #5 oil). Found this info from the European installation manual which seems to be far more detailed than the Asian market manual. Might try this soon.
 

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Minor suggestion; if you are getting too much harshness, try dropping the fork oil level some (take a bit of oil out). The air above the fork oil acts like an air spring, and if you reduce the oil level, it reduces the "compression ratio" of that air spring. Doesn't take much to make a significant difference.
 
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