Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Shocking Development

News has filtered through that Bobskoot had recently passed away. It's left the motoblogging community reeling as just about everybody in the blogging community knew Bob. May you now rest in peace Bob and ride long and hard where ever you now are.

It's been raining the last few weekends so I haven't been able to get out for a ride lately. I decided that it was finally time to unleash the moths from the dusty cobweb riddled thing I call a wallet and splurge on getting my rear shock rebuilt. I've only been talking about it for about 5 years now. Maybe with an up and at em attitude like that I could become a member of the West Coast Procrastinators.

I pulled the rear shock out which took about 5 minutes and on the advise of Stu who you saw in the last post I did, I took it down to Teknik Motorsport suspension specialists at Penrith for the rebuild. I met Nick the owner, who was knowledgeable and pretty fair with the pricing.  I also got them to put in a new spring as the original fitment spring is only weighted for a 69kg rider. I had always had the spring pre load turned up to 1 from hardest and it was still too soft. It's never been any good really. The shock bump rubber at the base of the spring has crumbled into dust and is also in need of replacement.

One well past its used by date R1 rear shock

Here's the shock back with the new spring and bump rubber installed. My massive girth required a spring that could launch a shuttle into space once compressed. They re-valved the shock as well as Nick said if they didn't the rebound would send me over the moon. I didn't want to take him up on that offer so I duly had them do the re-valving. I can't afford the trip into space let alone the moon.

One rebuilt R1 shock complete with new spring and bump rubber

Compression Damping screw with
pre-load below that

Here it is fitted back into the bike, it wasn't to difficult at all really. I reset all of the pre-load, rebound damping and compression damping back to factory settings.

Then I adjusted them harder by 1 notch each. I'll give that a shot for a starting point and adjust from there. It has to be much better than when it was new.

The pic on the right shows the Compression damping screww at top with the blue ring and under neath the preload is set to 5. 4 is factory standard setting. Now just to set up the sag again with the new shock.

Below is the rebound damping screw also circled in blue.

Rebound damping screw

During the works I also pulled out the rear hugger just for some better access. What I discovered was a little disturbing. On the left hand side of the swing arm where the plastic bolted to the aluminium bracing arm the plastic had rubbed it's way into the metal. There is a pretty deep groove there at about 1mm deep. See picture below. Pulling all this stuff apart has just shown me that there is a lot more cleaning to be done. I guess there nearly 15 years of dirt, mud, clay and crap under there. 

Is Plastic mightier than aluminium? You be the judge.

Anyone got a hose?

I hadn't finished there either, as I had some bling arrive in the post yesterday that needed installing. I had broken one of the plastic windscreen bolts when I did the fluid change last month. They are really cheap plastic screws so I ordered some new ones from the interwebs. Shiney new blue anodised aluminium bolts.

And to go with that some new bar end weights to replace the stone chipped rusty original bar weights. And not just any bar weights R1 bar weights. She's all blinged up now.


  1. It isn't the sooting into space that will get you, it's the re-entry, lol.

    Looks like you are race ready now, new shock and getting your bling on.

    1. Hahaha, yep all good to go. Just need a nice warm day....

  2. Bling is good - can never have enough.

    Might look at my suspension at some - it's had to put up with me for 108,000kms...

    1. I've only just started the bling after 14 years. I'm a bit slow.

      108k, i'd say it probably a tad tired by now.

  3. will be interested to hear how the shock goes with the right spring being put in and more adjustments to fiddle with
    hope it makes a huge difference to the ride

  4. Hey Steve,nice of you to reference the West Coast Procrastinators - 5 yrs planning for a shock would see you well and truly qualified for admission!

    It looks like they did a nice job on the shocker re-build. I had one done on my VFR and they also recommended a different spring. The 'fella actually weighed me in all my bike gear as a starting point. You may find that with the rear done you may need to give the front forks a 'birthday' as well.

    I must admit that I'm a bit inclined to set and forget when it comes to suspension settings. Unfortunately you then tend to adapt to deterioration, rather than being pro-active with adjustments. Mind you, accessing the rear shock on the ZX14R is difficult with no remote adjusters at all