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I haven't found the OEM rear shock that awful given my conservative riding habits, and increasing the preload a while back got rid of most of the behaviour I didn't like. But I have wanted to be able to adjust and control rebound damping which is still a bit of an issue, and I thought that the OEM shock absorber is pretty heavy at 6.54 lb and does not work well enough to earn the right to be overweight.

I considered and rejected a number of aftermarket shocks, including the Ohlins offering. For those who are wondering why I would reject the Ohlins shock despite its great, and deserved, reputation:

- For me, in Canada, the best price on the shock with sales taxes is just under $1100 Canadian, and the install labour would be $125, so at least $1225 Canadian total

- It is obvious that the price is "brand driven" versus "worth" driven, because an Ohlins shock for the Honda Grom, where buyer price points are a lot more restrictive, is only about $650. (Marketing lesson here)

- The Ohlins shock is HEAVY - within 0.5 lb of the OEM one!

- I am not wild about having that remote cylinder attached to the left side of the bike

The combination of high price and high weight was just too irritating for me.

But the YSS MZ366-280TRL which has easy preload adjustability, length adjustability, and super easy and convenient rebound damping adjustability, and that is claimed to weigh 4.33 lb looked good to me, and I found a source where it would cost me $426 Canadian. So, with install labour, total cost would be $551. Plus, the YSS shock is "upsidedown" versus the OEM shock. i.e. the heaviest part of the shock attaches to the frame versus the swingarm, minimizing the unsprung weight. This all made the YSS shock look a lot better to me than the Ohlins, given my rather modest demands on a rear shock.

When the shock arrived, I was a bit disappointed to find that its actual weight was NOT 4.33lb, but rather 4.62lb, but it's still 1.92 lb lighter than the OEM shock, and 1.4 lb lighter than the Ohlins.

So, now I have the shock in my hands, and a 9-11 appointment with the local Yamaha dealer to install it. I want to do the install and setup correctly, so here are my questions:

1. SHOCK LENGTH: What is the length of the OEM shock?

2. SHOCK LENGTH: The shock length is easily adjustable within the range of 275mm to 285mm. I had to drop my front end just 2 or 3 millimeters when I installed the Vortex clip-ons, in order to expose enough fork tube length above the triple to properly mount the clip-ons (to get full engagement of the clip-ons). So, that minor adjustment from OEM geometry "steepened" the front end a bit versus stock. I favour agility which implies setting the shock longer than OEM length so that the rear of the bike is raised a bit more maybe. But, I don't want to make the bike "twitchy" or prone to speed wobbles. What length should I set the YSS shock at? For what it's worth, the center-of-eye to center-of-eye length of the shock in its shipping box is 11 inches = 280mm as shipped from the factory. So it is shipped pre-adjusted to exactly midway within its adjustability range.

3. REBOUND DAMPING: The rebound damping is easily adjustable through a dial with a 60 click range, so I figure I can play with that easily after the shock is mounted. But, will turning that dial become "harder" after the shock is installed? And what's a good starting point within that 60 click range?

4. PRE-LOAD PRIOR TO INSTALL: The preload is adjustable via a typical metal ring with spaced holes in it to accept a roughly 1/4" rod tool that is supplied with the shock, along with a 3mm hex wrench to loosen and retighten the locking screw on that ring. But getting the rod tool into the spaced holes could be a little difficult once the shock is installed, so getting into at least the right ballpark before install would be helpful. So, is there a sensible "starting point" adjustment I should make in the preload, before install, if that is even possible when the shock is not firmly held in one place by the bike itself yet?

My R3 is lightened by 44 lb versus stock, but I weigh 195 and I add on about 16 lb of safety gear when I ride, and Yamaha probably assumes a 175 lb rider, so my "net" weight versus stock is maybe only 8 lb lighter than Yamaha would have assumed, and rough weight distribution measurement via bathroom scale says that 54% of bike and rider weight is on my rear wheel.

5. PRE-LOAD AFTER INSTALL: After I have the shock installed, I assume I should take 2 measurements:
- Sag (versus the starting length of 280mm) with just the bike's weight on the shock
- Sag (versus the starting length of 280mm) with bike weight and MY weight on the shock
But, after i get those 2 measurements, how do I determine if I am in the right pre-load range, or how far to adjust the pre-load?

Jim G
 

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I haven't found the OEM rear shock that awful given my conservative riding habits, and increasing the preload a while back got rid of most of the behaviour I didn't like. But I have wanted to be able to adjust and control rebound damping which is still a bit of an issue, and I thought that the OEM shock absorber is pretty heavy at 6.54 lb and does not work well enough to earn the right to be overweight.

But the YSS MZ366-280TRL which has easy preload adjustability, length adjustability, and super easy and convenient rebound damping adjustability, and that is claimed to weigh 4.33 lb looked good to me, and I found a source where it would cost me $426 Canadian. So, with install labour, total cost would be $551. Plus, the YSS shock is "upsidedown" versus the OEM shock. i.e. the heaviest part of the shock attaches to the frame versus the swingarm, minimizing the unsprung weight. This all made the YSS shock look a lot better to me than the Ohlins, given my rather modest demands on a rear shock.

Jim G
Hi Jim!

I hope you are still around on the Forums. Please do share your Canadian source for YSS shocks in Canada, I can't find anyone!

Thanks!
Taz
 

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5. PRE-LOAD AFTER INSTALL: After I have the shock installed, I assume I should take 2 measurements:
  • Sag (versus the starting length of 280mm) with just the bike's weight on the shock
  • Sag (versus the starting length of 280mm) with bike weight and MY weight on the shock
But, after i get those 2 measurements, how do I determine if I am in the right pre-load range, or how far to adjust the pre-load?

Jim G
Obviously I'm pretty late in responding - did you try Dave Moss channel on Youtube - this is what I'm using to learn the basics of suspension.
 

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Yeah, JimG's been gone for a while. A shame really, he shared a lot of good info with the Forum. But we do have some northern neighbors still active. Maybe Bluebird will chime in.
 

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Yeah, JimG's been gone for a while. A shame really, he shared a lot of good info with the Forum. But we do have some northern neighbors still active. Maybe Bluebird will chime in.
Thanks for the note man.
I discovered when and why. Unfortunately the discussion in that thread was away beyond my comprehension. Would that be @BluebirdR3 ? Just looking for a nice retailer that can source basic parts for our awesome machine!
 

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There are a few retailers in Canada. GP Bikes is the one in Ontario that is probably best, but there are lots of others. Fort Nine is a big one that has good parts. But most stuff is outside of Canada unfortunately.
Thanks man - I'll check out GP Bikes and F9 is my go to since they are in MTL like me, i get my orders in like 2 days lol.
I'm working with Motostarz out of BC for the suspension, Jack is very kind and figuring out how he can source suspension options for me!
 

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What are you doing with the bike ... ? ? ?

The most common suspension kits used on lightweight-class race bikes lately have been Ktech and Ohlins. I cannot say much bad about the Ohlins front and rear on my own race bike. I had to use a rear spring 2 steps stiffer than their original recommendation - that's it.
 

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What are you doing with the bike ... ? ? ?

The most common suspension kits used on lightweight-class race bikes lately have been Ktech and Ohlins. I cannot say much bad about the Ohlins front and rear on my own race bike. I had to use a rear spring 2 steps stiffer than their original recommendation - that's it.
Thanks for the intel on brands! Ohlins are just sooo expensive for someone like me who is starting up (first track day is on the 5th of Sep!)
For now, I'm so tired of the forks bouncing out on me at every imperfection on the road and corners are not 'stable' at only road speeds of like 40/50 kms/hr.
I'm assuming I'll be doing track maybe a couple of times a season to sharpen skills, but I ride daily short urban distances of under 40kms.
I guess I want them to absorb more rather than passing it on to me, the rear is sending shockwaves thru my back.
One person said the bike is not 'heavy' enough for me, so its sending through all back to me.So I guess I need the back stiffer too? I wasn't planning on buying anything until I hit the track and maybe try a bike with upgraded suspensions to get the difference (they rent them out), but rather find sources who sell this stuff who are knowledgeable to help me out to get the most bang for the buck!
One thing is for sure, after all this, my objective is to become the go to person in MTL for suspensions once I retire:cool: cause I can't find anyone and I'm convinced others are looking for a shop too! haha.

Apologies if I don't make sense. Still getting a hang of things!
 

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For the moment, just do your first few track days with the stock suspension (but hopefully with better tires!) until you sort out what's what. Aftermarket track-oriented suspensions are not designed for ride comfort - for racing, ride comfort simply is not a consideration. If you get a chance to try a bike with better suspension, by all means do that.

Overly soft suspension doesn't necessarily translate into a soft, comfortable ride. If it leads to the suspension hitting the jounce bumpers ("bump stops"), it's going to be harsh!
 

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Thanks for all the intel. Just read up on tires and I still find it hard to believe tires can make such a difference! talk about lack of understanding lol. This is an easy test and I can always sell tires in the market. Will report back !
 

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Thanks for all the intel. Just read up on tires and I still find it hard to believe tires can make such a difference! talk about lack of understanding lol. This is an easy test and I can always sell tires in the market. Will report back !
I replied to your other post about the OHLINS FSK-143 fork kit. Brandon @ www.tracksidelabs.com is an authorized dealer/service center for both Ohlins & K-Tech. I have a K-Tech Razor "lite" on my R3, as well as my wife's R3. I bought both from Brandon for $495 USD each. I don't know how it all works with Canada? I know he does service work for some Canadian racers (we both live in MN). I've had better luck with K-Tech shocks than Ohlins. They both work we'll, but K-Tech has better factory support/better service- in my limited experience. Good luck-
 

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K-Tech has better factory support/better service
This is what Jack from Motostarz (in BC) mentioned as well. He is trying to source the FSK143. While he is working that, I'll start shopping for some tires before my 1st track day in Sep!
Thanks so much for the info about tracksidelabs. I saw this link mentioned quite a few times in the forum.
 

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You may want to take a look at the Dunlop Q3+ as a tire choice. They are a dual compound tire, meaning the "center" of the tire is a stiffer compound (for longer tire life on the street), and the sides are a "softer" compound for better traction in corners. I ran the Q3+ on my FZ-07 for three seasons (mostly track days). When they lose traction on the sides, it's very gradual. I never had an "oh $hit" moment- PLENTY of warning when they were losing traction.... I eventually went to Michelin DOT "race-rubber". If you choose to ride the track, get better tires- period! If not the Q3+, then get something better than OEM.... Good luck-
 

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This is what Jack from Motostarz (in BC) mentioned as well. He is trying to source the FSK143. While he is working that, I'll start shopping for some tires before my 1st track day in Sep!
Thanks so much for the info about tracksidelabs. I saw this link mentioned quite a few times in the forum.
Funny.... I gave Brandon (@ trackside labs) a "heads-up" that I've been promoting him on the forum... He said he's been getting emails from around the globe, that were "oddly specific" about the OHLINS FSK-143 kit 🤣.... He thought it was some kind of "scam" at first, but laughed, and said "I guess I'm going international now 😂-".....
 

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international now
Power of the WWW :D - it is a small world after all! Thanks for trying it out and reviewing for us street riders man! Even noobs like me appreciate it.
I won't bug Brandon just yet, the import duties are too brutal. I ordered a couple of tiny things from TST for my bike since the local reseller couldn't get them for some reason and I learned my lesson. Automotive parts duties is high. To the point I'm willing to live with whatever I have until my next trip down south and bring it back with me via the holiday tax allowance.
 

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Dunlop Q3+
The tire is sold out in our R3 size fpr the Greater Montreal Region :ROFLMAO: They will be back in stock at some point I'm sure - I have a strong feeling the tires alone might solve my issues to an acceptable level and I can leave suspensions alone for another season or 2. The reviews are through the roof.
 

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Since you live in Montreal, I have a couple of suggestions for you.

Accelerated Technologies, a.k.a. John Sharrard, is near Buckhorn, Ontario. Yes, I know that's still a haul from Montreal, but he deals with both Ohlins and Ktech, and deals with lots of roadracers and track riders. Home - Accelerated Technologies BUT ... John is much more of a "telephone" guy than an "internet" guy, so don't email ... pick up the phone.

There is a local suspension guy in Montreal, but I cannot remember his name. A whole bunch of CSBK racers deal with Turcotte Performance www.turcotteperformance.com I don't think they are Ohlins or Ktech dealers themselves but I'm sure they know who the local guy is.
 
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