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Suspension and other settings, for a tall and heavy rider


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Some tips for tall and heavy riders: I'm 1.91 mts, 120 kgms. The stock settings in suspension and seat are not good in the FJ-09; so with the guidance of a bikers shop technician, we experimented first at position 1 of the Spring pre-load (default is 4), and then on the minimum (softer) rebound damping setting; I felt my body position was not good, and I was more at floor level, when driving on road on these initial settings. Then, leaving the rebound setting on soft, and going to position 6 of the spring pre-load... the world view changed indeed, when driving. Taller position, legs are not that bent, and I could feel how I better maneuvered the bike. We adjusted front forks as well to have it softer. Seat position was modified to be on the higher mark. The technician mentioned that manual indications on tire pressure were to high: we changed 46 to 32 (rear), 36 to 31 (front). This contributed on softer bouncing .. yet you can slightly feel how the motor does a little bit more effort with these lower pressures. So all these adjustments in general, yield in improvement... not huge but important, specially on the body driving position. For a 1.91 mts person, I could feel the difference.
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  • 1 year later...
I am 6' 260 lbs. I'm more of a sport touring rider than a racer wannabe. I found the rear shock to be under sprung, so I moved up two notches on both the spring and the damping. The front shock seemed o.k. to me.
I no expert on this but my impression is the rear shock is more effected by your weight (and the weight of whatever you have with you) while the front shock seems to be more effected by the way you ride (if you are more aggressive with the brakes you will want a stiffer front end).
I say sag schmag.  If you are heavier than the average Japanese man, don't worry about it.  The bike can handle almost 400 lbs.  Just jack up the rear and off you go....
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  • 2 months later...

I'm more than 400lbs riding all the time, and I've found the following works okay for me for now: 

Hyabusa rear shock. Has compression/rebound adjustment, and of course spring pre load adjustment with two ring collars v/s the stock stepped design. The shock body is threaded, so there is quite a bit of adjustment possible, but I'm running it "Stock" how it came off the Hyabusa, and it's worked great so far.  Same stock Hyabusa spring too.  I was lucky, and found a shock from a very low mile wrecked Busa, I think it was under 3000 miles, so it's basically new. It was stock, and I've not even tried playing with the compression and rebound settings, they worked great as is. I might try backing it off slightly, but it's nice and firm in the corners, while not too harsh on bumps going straight.


For the forks, I've just cranked the preload down to where they are flush with the top cap. No rings/lines showing. Full on preload.  This has helped to cure the dive when hard on the brakes, and really I don't find the stock forks to suck as much as they did on the FZ09. (2014 model I owned for 3200 miles.) The suspension on the 2015 FJ09 is much better for two up, or large riders than the FZ by a long shot.

Future mods will depend on what sort of riding I'm doing, and how things go health wise. I've lost 50lbs since I bought the bike, and plan on more reduction, so perhaps I'll just soften up the valving, and leave it alone. I've considered Matt's mods, to add a compression valve set in the left fork, and re-valve the right rebound set in the right forks, using stock caps of course, for the lowest cost, but very effective changes I've read/seen/reported here.


Changing over the rear shock to the Busa unit was a huge improvement. The stock shock was harsh, did not really feel in control over bumps in corners, and while not the pogo/pony wallow the FZ had, was still lacking the control feeling I was after. The less than 100.00 spent on the used low miles Busa shock, I think it was a 2006 or 2010? That is the range of years IIRC.. Anyway it's a good upgrade, and there is the ability to rebuild the Busa unit later If I wanted to make it even more custom, something not easy to do with the stock welded shut steel shock.

The only down side is I had to cut some of the "underseat" plastic tray. It's no big deal, I'm running a WPS lithium battery, and it's smaller than stock, lighter too, but with me riding, that's a hoot! LOL Is if it matters! :)

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  • 1 year later...

Thread ressurection!

I've read on the internet about the kawasaki rear shock mod for the MT09, wondered if it would also fit the Tracer but that Hayabusa shock compatibility is interesting too. Just to clarify (if adjuster is still posting on this forum), from what year's bike was the shock. Suzuki run hayabusa run as gen1 from 1999 until 2007, 2008 introduced the 2nd gen.

Edited by lospsi
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  • 7 months later...

Profile indicates that adjuster last visited in March 2019. 

The Gen2 Hayabusa shocks list as 330mm, which is the same as my 2019 Tracer. Researching upgrading that bike is what led me here. I believe the same measurement holds true for your model. Thus far, I've not found details on the clevis sizing for the Suzuki though.

Will update further if/when I acquire better data.

  • March 14, 20
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