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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone, I thought I would share my install experience fitting a rebuilt F4 shock in my CBR500RA today. After months of watching threads on aftermarket shocks and gathering as much information as possible I had decided to go the used route for a fully adjustable shock. In my case, I didn't feel spending nearly a grand or more for an Ohilns or Penske for just street riding made sense to me. While it is a cheap alternative, a GSX-R Shock won't fit an ABS model though, due to the box for the ABS module.
I searched around and found that the CBR600F4 (99/00) is the same length and stroke as our stock shock. The only problem is the F4 stock spring is 800lbs and our stock is 600lbs. Since embarking on this quest I know of 2 others on here (Gizmo and Xch) who have also fitted this shock with no problems other than where to fit the reservoir.

I was able to get a used 00 F4 shock for only $20 off eBay. I sent it out to Jamie Daugherty at DMR (www.daughertymotorsports.com) to be completely rebuilt with a new spring for my weight (675lb rate). Jamie is a Honda VF specialist and rebuilds these F4 shocks all the time to retrofit them to older Interceptors. I paid under $200 for everything. New Hyperco spring, full rebuild and shipping! I strongly recommend if you decide to go this route and buy a used shock, that you get this done. This is a 14-15 year old shock. New internals/seals, fresh oil and nitrogen is a must or you will be wasting your time and never feel the benefits. Remember too, if you want more options on the res placement, NOW is the time to get a longer hose put on!

Removal of the stock shock was a simple affair, I also referred to the "how to" video by Fishbowl as well (1000 thanks!). The whole thing was very easy with the right prep. Fitting of the F4 shock was simple, I fed the reservoir up first, then the shock. I put the lower bolts in first, then lined up the upper. If you stick with the original short hose, you will be very limited as to placement unless you have the hose replaced during the shock rebuild. I do not ride with passengers, so I kept it short, removed the left side passenger foot pegs and put in an L bracket to hold the reservoir there. Everything looks good clearance wise. Though I will admit it is very close to the coolant tank just as others have said about fitting replacement shocks. I guess Honda went very tight with packaging on this bike. It is not hitting it though. That being said, I did not have to cut anything, or alter anything other than the passenger peg removal, which was my choice. To me, I like this better than using the GSX-R shock, because you do not have to cut anything. Something tells me my Honda Warranty will like that! You can swap the stock back in at anytime without anyone ever knowing a thing.

I will take it for a nice ride over this weekend and try and get the settings dialed in and let everyone know how it rides. I have already replaced the fork springs (YZF600R's) and put in preload adjusters up front, so hopefully the bike will be a much more improved handler for a very small amount of money.
My goal here was to upgrade the entire suspension front and rear for under $300 and I have succeeded. I have seen some spend as much as $2000 on suspension alone on this bike. I can fully understand that investment if I were racing it and wanted every last bit of edge, but I am not. I wanted to replace the cheap non adjustable suspension on this bike and get a better everyday ride from it. For ABS owners, this is really the only used option out there, but is a great affordable option for a fully adjustable shock.
 

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Nice work! :beers

I'm upgrading the front suspension and may do the rear as well. I also have an ABS model. Will wait to see how it feels first with the front suspension upgrades. I'm a light guy, 155lbs fully geared after a big lunch.

Does the stock tool still work to set the rear preload?
 

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Really nice! Let us know how it feels, I am really interested, specially if you say that you can swap back to the stock. I have the extended warranty so that is quite important... Is it easy to do it?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Really nice! Let us know how it feels, I am really interested, specially if you say that you can swap back to the stock. I have the extended warranty so that is quite important... Is it easy to do it?

It was very easy, as long as you have the proper tools. You need 2 long socket extensions for the top bolt, with an 8mm hex bit for the left side. The other 2 were simple metric bolts. You also need a torque wrench for reassembly. You will also at least need the scissor jack with the wood block. You have to take the load off the shock in order to get it out. It's also is best to remove as much as you can from the bike to have access to the area. The fairings stay on though. I also have the extended warranty, so I wanted this to be easily removable with no modifications needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Nice work! :beers

I'm upgrading the front suspension and may do the rear as well. I also have an ABS model. Will wait to see how it feels first with the front suspension upgrades. I'm a light guy, 155lbs fully geared after a big lunch.

Does the stock tool still work to set the rear preload?

Yes it does. I was happy to see that. It's a much better adjusting collar as well on this shock. Unlike the stock you can ACTUALLY see the numbers!

Like you I did my front suspension first. You are going to find that once the front feels great, you will notice the back feels worse than ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok, took an hour long ride to try it out. A whole lot smoother ride now! I am still playing with the settings to see where the sweet spot is, but so far it is a whole lot better over bumps, and barely any squat under acceleration. It felt pretty good in corners too, but it was very hot and humid out here today so I didn't want to push it too hard on the first ride with the change. I also set up the preload to make sure I had my rider sag set. I got it at 29mm on setting 2. I will attach pics of what I used to measure it and a better pic of how I routed the hose for the reservoir.
 

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Love it man! I wanna get one for myself now! :D and I have to say that ebay buy was a steal! And it's off another Honda bike and as we know Honda like to use similar specs for a lot of things ie. Pegs, levers, bars and now suspension
 

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Looks like I will be doing this as well.. I want to do full suspension. What do you recommend for ALL the nessasary parts for the front shocks? I apologize I'm very new to the whole bike scene so I'm not overly knowledgeable on what you can do suspension wise or what's involved
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Looks like I will be doing this as well.. I want to do full suspension. What do you recommend for ALL the nessasary parts for the front shocks? I apologize I'm very new to the whole bike scene so I'm not overly knowledgeable on what you can do suspension wise or what's involved
Depends how far you want to go with it. At the least put a set of Racetech fork springs in there, you can also get some preload adjusters to go with it. That is the minimum to upgrade the front, but as with anything the sky is the limit. Use the search bar at the top this page and look up Racetech, also look around the suspension section of this forum, there is a ton of info in it, including how to threads.
 

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I've got an ebay shock sitting in my basement right now, waiting to go on this weekend. I'm going to try it out without rebuilding or changing spring rates at first. Mostly, this is due to the fact that I'm a big dude (over 280lb now... gotta get back down where I belong!), but I am also curious just how much damping may have been lost due to age/pressure loss in the shock. If it's a bouncy mess it's coming right back out and getting sent out for rebuild, but I have a distinct feeling that it will be an improvement on my current situation, given that I can easily bottom out the rear end even at preload setting 7 or 8. I've also got some fork preload adjusters to toss in while I'm at it. I'm not expecting much without a rate change, but I sit so far back on the seat that I haven't had any issues with the forks' excursion.
 

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Palate, it just requires your front end being suspended off of the ground and undo the cap on thetop of the forks. Remove them and the plastic spacer, then the springs, add a little bit of fork oil if necessary, depending on how quick you removed the springs and screw on the new preload adjuster caps with the adjust all the way out to start with.

Droman, I picked up my forks today and will pick up the shock on Monday.

What length is your remote reservoir tube now?

I have new springs, emulators and rods done, seals and new oil and the adjustable preload caps for the forks, and a full rebuild of the rear shock with a Gold Valve, oil and regas done. Just waiting on the tuning specs for the CBX Gold Valve. The old oil was pretty gross and there was no gas left in my 600 shock. It was still a marked improvement over the oem shock. :honda

Can't wait to have a ride next week.
 

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Picked up the shock today and fitted it, will have a quick ride later on.

Full rebuild and fitting of Racetech Gold Valve to the CBR600F4 shock, tuned for the 500 :clap



Bits that were replaced
 

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Palath, When installing Racetech fork springs you'll also have to cut new spacers. They supply an aluminum tube to use but some people have used PVC pipe. Either one is fine. Search "spacer length" for more info and ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Palate, it just requires your front end being suspended off of the ground and undo the cap on thetop of the forks. Remove them and the plastic spacer, then the springs, add a little bit of fork oil if necessary, depending on how quick you removed the springs and screw on the new preload adjuster caps with the adjust all the way out to start with.

Droman, I picked up my forks today and will pick up the shock on Monday.

What length is your remote reservoir tube now?

I have new springs, emulators and rods done, seals and new oil and the adjustable preload caps for the forks, and a full rebuild of the rear shock with a Gold Valve, oil and regas done. Just waiting on the tuning specs for the CBX Gold Valve. The old oil was pretty gross and there was no gas left in my 600 shock. It was still a marked improvement over the oem shock. :honda

Can't wait to have a ride next week.
My shock has the original reservoir hose on it, which is pretty short. I had asked if they could put a longer hose on during the rebuild, but for some reason they didn't. Was no biggie for me as I don't use the passenger pegs and mounted it there. But options will be limited with the short hose.
 

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CBR600F4 Suspension Upgrade

Good Morning All

I have been following the suspension upgrade threads on this forum for quite some time, and this weekend I was able to acquire a second hand CBR600F4 rear shock for peanuts after spotting it on eBay. As such I went and bought it. It is off a 16,000 mile 1999 CBR600F4 and is in pretty good condition.

Following this I emailed a number of local and regional suspension specialists to see what they could do. Here is the reply from one of these specialists which sums up what most have said.

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Hi Scott,

Many thanks for your enquiry. I have outlined some options below for you to consider:

(Option 1)

Forks:
Have a full front fork tune which will involve a complete strip down, installation of Race Tech Gold Valve with a bespoke shim stack and bespoke springs selected to suit your weight. The forks are fully reassembled with a setting established to suit you.
The cost for a full front fork tune is £395.00

Shock:
Replace the stock shock with a Nitron NTR 1 built bespoke to suit your weight (This shock will give you much improved damping and control and are excellent value for money with respect to the actual quality of the shock.

Cost = £393.00 inc VAT

Return Postage = £15.00

Option 2

Forks:
Have a full front fork service which will involve a complete strip down clean and inspection with fitting of new fork seals. The forks are fully reassembled with bespoke springs selected to suit your weight and some initial base setting established.
The cost for a full front fork service with bespoke springs is £205

Shock:
Have the CBR600 shock fully stripped and serviced then reassembled with new seals and internal bushes and a bespoke spring fitted to suit your weight.

Cost = £205

Optional Extras:

Spring Re-powder Coat = £25.00
Shock Body Strip and coat = £30.00
New Bump Stop = £15.00
New Hydraulic Hose = £40.00


Once again the return postage will be £15.00

***

What are your thoughts on this? Option 1, Option 2 or a mix of both? My current thinking is to go down the race tech route for the front suspension and get the CBR600F4 shock refurbished for the rear. Is there any significant gains by getting a brand new Nitron NTR R1 in comparison to the refurbished CBR600F4 shock?

Also, do the costs look about right? They look a fraction expensive to me, but that appears to be the going rate here in the West Midlands (Stoke-on-Trent, UK).

As always, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Scott
 

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Sounds like option 1 for the front includes emulators (valve?). Still sounds high to me, especially given how much stronger the pound is than the dollar, but then again if you're not comfortable doing the labor yourself, it doesn't sound all that bad. With this as my first bike, I feel that any improvement would be welcome. I don't have a benchmark in my head to compare it to, so I suppose I don't see as much benefit in fully upgrading the front, whereas I can see an obvious need to beef up the rear to support my weight.
 
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