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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well today was the first track time I got this year. Weather was absolutely perfect too, not much wind, sunny all day and high right around 70. Having made a lot of changes over winter (switched to slicks, Ohlins TTX shock, Ohlins FG511 forks, all setup for my weight, 30mm offset triples, and superpole seat), I was eager to find out how much faster I could go (if any). Now granted, I hadn't been to this track for 18 months with good weather and at the end of 2013 season, when I was slower, is when I set my best time at this track.

To my disappointment, I improved exactly zip on my time. I did manage to match that time, but after spending $2000+ on the go fast parts (would've been double had they been new) and switching to slicks, I was hoping for at least a couple of seconds, especially because I know I've improved as a rider since the end of 2013, based on my times from my other local track.

Observations:

1. Slicks are awesome! The Bridgestone V01 slicks felt great, especially the front on corner entry.

2. Overall, I felt more confident on corner entry and felt like I could brake harder while trail-braking farther into the turn. That could be a combination of tire and the 30 mm triples

3. Not sure I'm liking the geometry and suspension setup which was set per Dan Kyle's suggestions. As I said, corner entry was better, but I didn't feel too comfortable with the rear jacked up so high. Bike tended to wheelie more, which is weird because you'd think it should wheelie less if there's more weight on the front :confused:...maybe I just forgot how much power this thing had :eek:. Despite using the recommended springs and having sag set, I still bottomed out the forks in 2 of the harder braking corners. I added a 1/2 turn of preload, but I'm skeptical in going more to not have the sag out of the recommended range. It's at 35 mm now on the front. Might have to add a bit of fork fluid and add a bit more compression perhaps?

4. The front tire is definitely rubbing the belly pan by the radiator just as I feared with the 30 mm triples. May end up raising the front a bit. That might also help in compensating for the tall rear.

5. I'm WAY out of shape! Need to lose a bit of weight fast! :eek:

On a different note, I did get a chance to ride a Factory RSV4 track bike, which was the highlight of the day! All I could say is WOW! What a great bike that is! It's better than the 1198 in pretty much every way! I told myself (and my friend) that I would take it easy since I didn't want to bin his bike, but within 1 lap I felt so comfortable on it and confident in the turns that I'm betting I was going about as fast as I was on my bike. It was so agile and easy to ride, for a liter bike, and the top end power blew me away! Everyone I talked to about them before was absolutely right, it's like a 600 but with a hell of a lot more power!

The downside on that is that I liked the bike so much that I want one now...but can't afford another bike of that caliber at the moment :/
 

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Nice observations Rub and thanks for the write up, I was anxious to hear what you thought of the parts.

I wouldn't expect your lap times to be any quicker. It's the same bike and you probably ride the same way. As a beginner, what's lacking is always the rider, not the bike. People put so much emphasis on the machine and not enough in rider development. Plus, now that you've reset the clock on your bike so to speak, it's gonna take a while to get use to all the changes. I have faith, after you make the proper changes to the machine, then you'll have a lot more confidence and maybe able to push harder.

One little story… I had a presumedly properly setup 748R race bike and brought my brand new street-going 848 to the track one day. I rode them both back to back, built 748R and stock 848. Went faster on the 848, A LOT faster, like 5 seconds. Mind you, I had probably 15 track days under my belt at that point. Still, just switching platforms with stock tires taught me something I didn't know about setup. I made a few clicker adjustments to my 748R and went even quicker then I had on the 848. Moral of the story? If you don't know what it's suppose to feel like, then it's really hard to know what's holding you back.

Here are a few notes to your numbers above.

1) The Bridgestone slicks are pretty good. However, they aren't great steering tires, the bike doesn't want to drop into corners like the Pirelli's. Dunlop's have the same problem, they're just lacking that initial fall into the corner. I personally prefer that because it's more linear and more in control, where the Pirelli's always feel like you're going to ride right off the edge if you aren't careful.

2) The 30mm offset clamps will make a huge difference on corner entry, the front will be more stable. However, having made the changes to your forks, thats probably the biggest difference. Now the forks go into the travel under breaking, which is what they probably haven't been doing before.

3) Generally wheelies are caused by the rear being too low or overly stiff. What's happening is; when you accelerate , the weight transfer pushes a tun of weight on the rear end. This pushes down on the shock, and if the swing arm angle is to low, the swing arm pivot will be below the rear axel. When this happens, the chain has enough force to literally pull the arm even further down in it's travel, hitting the bottoming system of the shock. When this happens, the front end will come off the ground because the rear can't go down any further. This phenomena is called "squat" and it's the reason why race bikes are setup taller then street bikes. When the bike is setup so the swing arm pivot point never reaches level or below the rear axel, then the energy into the chain can't force the rear wheel down any further. Finding that happy medium is what rear ride height is all about. Look it up, it's called squat and anti-squat.

4) Yep, this is one of the reasons why we raise the front. Outside of simply compensating for the rear end being high.

I too have ridden a lot of very nice bikes, though not fortunate enough to know anyone with an RSV4. I'm glad you had that experience, it opens your eyes to what other bikes feel like. With that said, the RSV4 does have good chassis geometry out of the box. So if you just focus on what you've got, I'm certain you can get closer once it's dialed.

Great writeup Rub! Now you can read that link I posted on the other thread and start to learn how to make your bike work, knowing the DK numbers are kinda so-so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice observations Rub and thanks for the write up, I was anxious to hear what you thought of the parts.

I wouldn't expect your lap times to be any quicker. It's the same bike and you probably ride the same way. As a beginner, what's lacking is always the rider, not the bike. People put so much emphasis on the machine and not enough in rider development. Plus, now that you've reset the clock on your bike so to speak, it's gonna take a while to get use to all the changes. I have faith, after you make the proper changes to the machine, then you'll have a lot more confidence and maybe able to push harder.

One little story… I had a presumedly properly setup 748R race bike and brought my brand new street-going 848 to the track one day. I rode them both back to back, built 748R and stock 848. Went faster on the 848, A LOT faster, like 5 seconds. Mind you, I had probably 15 track days under my belt at that point. Still, just switching platforms with stock tires taught me something I didn't know about setup. I made a few clicker adjustments to my 748R and went even quicker then I had on the 848. Moral of the story? If you don't know what it's suppose to feel like, then it's really hard to know what's holding you back.

Here are a few notes to your numbers above.

1) The Bridgestone slicks are pretty good. However, they aren't great steering tires, the bike doesn't want to drop into corners like the Pirelli's. Dunlop's have the same problem, they're just lacking that initial fall into the corner. I personally prefer that because it's more linear and more in control, where the Pirelli's always feel like you're going to ride right off the edge if you aren't careful.

2) The 30mm offset clamps will make a huge difference on corner entry, the front will be more stable. However, having made the changes to your forks, thats probably the biggest difference. Now the forks go into the travel under breaking, which is what they probably haven't been doing before.

3) Generally wheelies are caused by the rear being too low or overly stiff. What's happening is; when you accelerate , the weight transfer pushes a tun of weight on the rear end. This pushes down on the shock, and if the swing arm angle is to low, the swing arm pivot will be below the rear axel. When this happens, the chain has enough force to literally pull the arm even further down in it's travel, hitting the bottoming system of the shock. When this happens, the front end will come off the ground because the rear can't go down any further. This phenomena is called "squat" and it's the reason why race bikes are setup taller then street bikes. When the bike is setup so the swing arm pivot point never reaches level or below the rear axel, then the energy into the chain can't force the rear wheel down any further. Finding that happy medium is what rear ride height is all about. Look it up, it's called squat and anti-squat.

4) Yep, this is one of the reasons why we raise the front. Outside of simply compensating for the rear end being high.

I too have ridden a lot of very nice bikes, though not fortunate enough to know anyone with an RSV4. I'm glad you had that experience, it opens your eyes to what other bikes feel like. With that said, the RSV4 does have good chassis geometry out of the box. So if you just focus on what you've got, I'm certain you can get closer once it's dialed.

Great writeup Rub! Now you can read that link I posted on the other thread and start to learn how to make your bike work, knowing the DK numbers are kinda so-so.
Agree with your moral of your little story. Hard to know what you're missing out on when you don't know any better! Hence I like to try out different bikes too, different tires, etc.

As far as you're comments...

1) I found the V01 slicks to actually be a good turn-in tire. Definitely way better than R10's and the Dunlop GP-A's that I've used before, which have a more rounded profile. Keep in mind, the V01's are 125's on the front, which are a bit taller than the more rounded profile 120's. The rears are also 190/65, which are also a more oval profile. Not sure how they compare to the Pirelli's since I haven't got to trying out those yet. I didn't think I'd like the feel of these tires because they're not a rounded profile which I was used to before, but I really do. Being able to turn in quicker was nice, and I never got the feeling that the bike was going to drop while at full lean. I used to get that feeling on my old CBR with the Dunlop GP-A's, but I suspect something else was wrong there with the bike, because I didn't have that issue with those tires on the 1198.

2) Probably a little too much fork travel! I did get pretty much full travel with the Showa forks as well. Probably within 3-4 mm of what I saw today with the Ohlins.

3) Yes, I know about squat. My guess is the rear is about too stiff perhaps and it's not able to squat as much. Shouldn't be a ride height issue cuz it's plenty high. My sag is set at 25 mm now, so I might let off a bit of preload and see how that goes. Of course too much squat can lead to transferring too much weight to the rear when you first get on the gas leading to the bike going down...as well as the other end of the spectrum that causes wheelies as you mentioned.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh and one other issue...does this look like early stages of hot tearing, or am I being paranoid? This was after maybe 20 laps or so and the pace wasn't even that fast.
 

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Meh, that tire wear isn't bad actually. You're gonna get that on a cold track surface. This is why it's nice to have a pyrometer and measure the track temp's as well.

I agree about the Bridgestone profile, it's sharper then the Dunlop's which are very lazy. The Pirelli's are another world though, they just fall into the corner, kinda like the older Michelin's I used back in the day.
 

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You'll get used to it, what you have done is completely changed the bike from what it was. Maybe some pro lessons are in order now the bike is basically setup now, don't sell it!!!
 

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I think you have altered too many and too much on your bike without having to push the original setup. You just now need to gain confidence and relearn an entirely new ride. I have two track bikes the 1098 and an 07R6 and I would switch to the R6 after lunch and to be honest its a lot more fun than the 1098. As for you, you just need to slowly push with a guidance of an experience rider.

S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I can't say that I was really pushing the mostly stock setup to its limits...but then again most of us don't, otherwise we'd be pro racers. We make the upgrades that we do in order to hopefully get a better feel for the bike and get more confident on it and if that happens, lap times will gradually drop. I know for sure that a much better rider could've gone way faster on my bike even with my previous stock setup, as is the case for the way it's setup now. Still though...I just figured that a better setup would make me more confident on the bike right away, but it hasn't after the first day on it.

Snow, I used to have a CBR600 track bike as well a couple of years ago that I used for a whole season, but I didn't like it as much to be honest. Yes, it was easier to ride, but now as much fun IMO.
 

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Well I can't say that I was really pushing the mostly stock setup to its limits...but then again most of us don't, otherwise we'd be pro racers. We make the upgrades that we do in order to hopefully get a better feel for the bike and get more confident on it and if that happens, lap times will gradually drop. I know for sure that a much better rider could've gone way faster on my bike even with my previous stock setup, as is the case for the way it's setup now. Still though...I just figured that a better setup would make me more confident on the bike right away, but it hasn't after the first day on it.

Snow, I used to have a CBR600 track bike as well a couple of years ago that I used for a whole season, but I didn't like it as much to be honest. Yes, it was easier to ride, but now as much fun IMO.

I was afraid of wrecking my 1098 when I first started and then I told myself that it's only a 1098. :yo:
 

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Rubbish, good post. I'm itching to get back out on the track -- I'm signed up for 25 May at VIR, but it's wishful thinking at this point considering I still haven't been cleared by the doc to really start doing anything beyond the stretch bands and single-leg balance stuff I'm doing for my hip surgery rehab.

If I am able to ride I'll be on my 999, but I'm picking up my 749s in June on my way out to AZ. I plan on getting Dan Kyle to set me up as well as putting Ohlins valves in the Showa forks, and considering I'm throwing a 28mm offset Ducshop triple on there I'm interested to see how he has me set it up to avoid rubbing on the radiator. I got a 749r shock and linear link to put on too, so it's going to feel a TON different from my 999.
 
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Hey Rub, quick question…

Did you do anything to the rear of your bike outside of set ride height and spring preload? Are you using a linear rate link? For some reason I thought you had one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey Rub, quick question…

Did you do anything to the rear of your bike outside of set ride height and spring preload? Are you using a linear rate link? For some reason I thought you had one.
No, my funds ran out, so that's going to have to wait. Since the shock that I got was not machined for a linear link, I just kept it that way and I'm using the stock progressive link.

Other than that, just set compression and rebound to what I felt was ok. I'm at 14 clicks out (from all the way in) on compression and 18 clicks out for rebound.
 

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OK cool…. yea, you're probably running into the progressive link issues. You don't necessarily need to shorten the shock in order to make the linear link work. It helps to put the shock in the right part of the stroke AND makes it easier to fit the components. However, it's not a necessity. Just need to cut the aftermarket ride height adjuster down 7mm per side and you'll be fine. Put it on your short-short-short list for whenever you got money. I think you'd find it makes a world of difference.
 

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Rub, my ohlins nix 30 info came with a chart about the air spring with the different oil levels. see if you can find that online or pm me and I'll scan it and email it to you. Over the years I have need more fork oil for my very hard braking.
 

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Rubs I'm 240lbs+ with gear and don't ever bottom out the front forks under heavy braking. I run the same 30mm nix forks. It would help to know the difference between your static and rider sag. My bike was setup by Motion Superbikes. I have virtually no difference between my free sag and static sag. The rider sag might be 10-15mm with me on the bike. When you change your triple you effectively move the front axle under the bike more and shorten the wheel base. Make sure your eccentric is rotated as far back as possible to gain the maximum swing arm length. This helps turn in and mid corner stability tremendously. It will also keep your front wheel from coming up as easily. On my 848 I bumped up my rear sprocket to a 41T, added chain links and now I can run the right 180/60 tire for tracking the bike. Also have a longer wheel base. Make sure your sag is set tight and you shouldn't be touching the radiator. I'm on a 27mm triple setting and don't rub. It's because your front end is too soft. You should not be bottoming out the forks. Make sure you have the right springs. I have no preload on my forks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Rubs I'm 240lbs+ with gear and don't ever bottom out the front forks under heavy braking. I run the same 30mm nix forks. It would help to know the difference between your static and rider sag. My bike was setup by Motion Superbikes. I have virtually no difference between my free sag and static sag. The rider sag might be 10-15mm with me on the bike. When you change your triple you effectively move the front axle under the bike more and shorten the wheel base. Make sure your eccentric is rotated as far back as possible to gain the maximum swing arm length. This helps turn in and mid corner stability tremendously. It will also keep your front wheel from coming up as easily. On my 848 I bumped up my rear sprocket to a 41T, added chain links and now I can run the right 180/60 tire for tracking the bike. Also have a longer wheel base. Make sure your sag is set tight and you shouldn't be touching the radiator. I'm on a 27mm triple setting and don't rub. It's because your front end is too soft. You should not be bottoming out the forks. Make sure you have the right springs. I have no preload on my forks.
Holy shit! What springs do you have? I'm similar weight, maybe about 5 lbs less with gear and I have 10.5 N/mm springs in the forks (per Dan Kyle's suggestions). Weird thing is I had either 10 or 10.5 before in the stock Showas and I didn't bottom those out...might be a difference in the forks themselves and/or fluid level. The fact that you say you have virtually no difference between free sag and rider sag is scary...but maybe you prefer it that way. My sag was initially set at 36 mm, out of which 18 is the free sag. That's with about half preload (as in half as much as it will go). 10-15 mm (if that's close to the total sag) is way too stiff of a front. I wouldn't like that, and I'm not sure that any one would even recommend that, but I guess it's working ok for you.

For the time being I plan on just adding a bit more preload and raising up the front.

I have had no issues with the rear tire rubbing, but I'm running a Bridgestone V01 which is 649 mm in diameter (nominal...it grows while riding like any other tire). I'm running a 37 sprocket with 14 on the front. I don't really want to mess with chain links until the time comes to replace the chain, so swingarm length will stay as is. Stability is not an issue, the bike feels great in that perspective.
 

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Hey Rubbish, fellow NE rider here. Moved here almost two years ago. Just picked up a new (to me) Pani a couple weeks ago and I'm looking at hitting the MotoMonday on the 18th...were you planning on doing it as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey Rubbish, fellow NE rider here. Moved here almost two years ago. Just picked up a new (to me) Pani a couple weeks ago and I'm looking at hitting the MotoMonday on the 18th...were you planning on doing it as well?
Yeah, I know we've talked before on this forum. I believe you had an 1198 or 1098 for awhile? Then a streetfighter...I think?

I'm not planning on going to RPM (MAM) any time soon. I was just there last Monday for the first MotoMonday....plus this weekend I'll be at MPH as long as it doesn't rain, and next weekend going to Blackhawk Farms in IL.
 
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