So, according to the Gladius forum, one of the best upgrades one can do to the suspension is to replace the stock shock with one from a '06-'07 GSXR.
Troubadour found one on eBay and ordered it. $24.50 delivered to our door. The spring on the GSXR shock comes bright yellow. I didn't think this would fit with Max's overall paint scheme.
|(stock photo from Motorcycleparts from the Gixxer forum)|
Troubadour to the rescue. He took the shock apart and then we found some Krylon paint for plastic that would match Max's frame and cover the yellow.
|(GSXR shock with spring painted blue)|
The hard part was the removal and reinstall. On Sunday night of our long Memorial Day weekend he decided at 8:00 pm that we could install the shock. According to the forum it was about a 2 hour job.
I took a picture of the stock shock while still installed.
|(Max's stock shock prior to removal)|
We then brought the iPad out to the garage to follow the step by step instructions provided. We needed to raise the rear of the bike to get the tire off the ground. When one has an unfinished garage one can use ratchet straps strung through the rafters to accomplish such. The following photo was taken on a closed course by trained professionals. Please do not try this at home. :-)
|(Yellow ratchet straps lifting the rear off the ground)|
While removing the old shock I managed to get a bloody knuckle, but Troubadour bore the worst of it by pulling a chest muscle while trying to undo one of the dog-bone bolts. The same chest muscle he pulled back in January while working on the new closet in our room. Doh! The darn thing had just healed too.
The forum suggested that we remove the entire exhaust system. Some members stated that if your hands were small enough you would not need to do that. We were in luck. My hands are slender and my fingers long. We finally removed the stock shock. Here is a picture of the two side by side.
|(Max's stock shock on left - new GSXR shock on right)|
Next was installing the GSXR shock. It was pretty easy to place, but we had to tuck the rubber boot from the bottom of the battery box up onto the frame. It is a tight fit, but it fits. Adjustments might be a little hard to make, but supposedly doable.
The new shock installed in Max.
|(New shock installed in Max)|
|(Again, new shock installed, photo by Troubadour)|
We finished the job by 10:00 pm (sure enough it took two hours). I don't think my hands have been so dirty working on a bike since cleaning the chain on my TU250 with a toothbrush. And even then I don't think they were this dirty.
|(dirty, dirty hands)|
On Monday afternoon we took the bike out for a test run. We have no idea what the GSXR shock is set to at this point, so we need to do a little research on factory setting and adjusting the shock. The shock install thread on the forum has some pretty in depth instructions, but I need to search through the 43 pages again to figure out what page it is on. Geoff from Confessions of an Ageing Motorcylist fame also graciously emailed us a few articles on setting suspension. We'll need to peruse those as well. Thanks Geoff.
The bike seemed to be a little smoother over small bumps and it felt a little better in corners. Of course this was done prior to Chris riding it and he felt it was still pretty wonky. Imagine if he had of ridden it before.
I have 4800 miles on the stock tires so it may be time for a new set as well. We'll see. Will let you know how the adjustments go.
Oh, and Monday I caught a quick picture of Basil sleeping in the bed (bottom half of a dog carrier) we made for him on the back patio step. He loves to sleep in it because when the porch light is on a heating pad under the blanket comes on too.
|(Are you comfy Basil?)|
" A bend in the road is not the end of the road.... unless you fail to make the turn." - Author Unknown.