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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up my cbr500 today. Im 6'4 and about 260 lbs. I asked the dealer to tighten the suspension for me. They tightened the rear to position 9 which is the tightest. I asked about the front suspension and am told it is not adjustable. If I wanted a tighter front spring I would have to modify the fork caps. Does anyone know about this?
 

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What are the difference between a tight and a loose rear suspension? I'm about to pick mine up, I dont know if I should keep it stock or change it..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What are the difference between a tight and a loose rear suspension? I'm about to pick mine up, I dont know if I should keep it stock or change it..
well Im no expert by any means, but stock is position 3 I believe... set up for average Asian man. They looked at me and just just cranked it up... when I sit on it, the bike still moves down, and riding seems comfortable enough. But I have only ridden with a passenger. I went around my block once alone so I can really say. Sorry.
 

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I just picked up my cbr500 today. Im 6'4 and about 260 lbs. I asked the dealer to tighten the suspension for me. They tightened the rear to position 9 which is the tightest. I asked about the front suspension and am told it is not adjustable. If I wanted a tighter front spring I would have to modify the fork caps. Does anyone know about this?
You can change the fork oil to a heavier weight oil for some "suspension tightening". But spacers can be put above the springs to pre-compress them. This is usually done with PVC pipe. Heavier oil and springs would be a better solution.

Not sure what you are talking about modify the fork caps. There have been mods to change the fork into air adjustable.

For the rear heavier springs may become available. A better solution would be a better after market rear shock which will not come cheap.

The suspension on all bikes will compress some when you sit on them. That is normal. With your weight riding two up will always tax the suspension. The only solution for that is a bigger bike designed for hauling two people with luggage.
 

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I'm 120kgs (no idea what that is in archaic units) and have no problem at all with the suspension in its standard form. Ride it for a bit before trying to muck around with it.
 

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Bikes are designed to carry most of the weight on the rear tyre, hence why the rear tyre is always wider than front. This is prob why there is adjustment in the rear and not the front, remember these are budget bikes not track/performance machines, so suspension adjustment will be limited.
But knowing Honda they always build an all rounder package that works for everyone so u should be able to make the bike comfortable/perform.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Spoke with a few people, everyone referred me to one shop. That place said yes replace the fork oil with 20 weight motor oil. They said it will stuff in the front a bit. I don't know if this is safe or some duct tape and bubble gum repair...
 

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You want the "sag" to be between 30 and 35mm. That is measured by:

Rear:

1. Have a mate hold the bike in a vertical position by the rear grab rails, and lift the bike up until the rear tyre is just about to lift of the ground, and have a second mate measure between the centre of the rear axel bolt and a fixed point on the body (eg, a mark on the rear grab rails). Call that "A" ("free sag").

2. Keep the bike vertical and have the first mate hold the bike steady. You sit on the bike wearing whatever you normally ride in, and sitting on it ike you ride. Have the second mate measure between the centre of the rear axle bolt and the same fixed point on the body. Call that "B". ("rider sag")

The difference A-B = the sag youre after. This should be between 30-35mm.

3. If you are heavier than ~70kg, then you might want to increase the pre-load on the rear. Take the special spanner Honda provides and adjust as per the Owners Manual.

4. Check again. Rinse-repeat until you get 30-35mm.

For the front its the same, however, the CBR does not have any adjustment there. You have 3 options.

a. Pull off the fork tops, and replace the spacer with a longer length of pipe. Many use thick PVC pipe. Re-assmeble and re-measure sag. This will be a lot of guess work, as say 4mm longer pipe wont just get you 4mm more pre-load (ie. 4mm less sag), so you'll be doing it a few times. Be careful pulling the fork tops off: it is a compressed spring, and so will take your head off if you dont have the entire front end held off the ground with straps to the roof ;-)

i. Take it to a workshop and have them check it out professionally. Besides putting in more and better fork oil (to combat the excessive re-bound), they might either:

(a) chop a bit off the existing spring (if its a crap duel rate spring like the 250R) and then put in a longer spacer - which will add pre-load (ie.longer spacer; to reduce sag) as well as stiffen the spring (get rid of a bit of the soft spring). Thats what they did with my CBR250R - night and day, and I only go 65kg! While they were at it, they set up the rear (which was fine on 3 out of 5 on the 250R). Total cost $100 AU.

(b) if you are too heavy, then (a) wont work and you'll need new stiffer springs. I was quoted $180 for new springs.

(c) get an entire custom set up ;-) with adjustable front shocks pre-load (why bother, if only you ride it, its basically a one time set up) and re-bound. Ditto rear. You're looking at the better part of $1000.

BTW, the suspension specialist literally LOL'ed at the "plush" suspension on the 250R. He explained that "plush" was code for "soft as ****!" LOL. I nearly LOL'd at how much more planted the bike was immediately after getting on it. Why Honda went with a dual rate spring I'll never know...this might be okay for a Cruiser style bike...but my guy had never seen it on a sports bike. He tunes suspension for race bikes, and gets credit / thanks from winners. I guess they wanted a "plush" ride and a nice little bit of excessive nose dive when ya hit the brakes (Wow! Those brakes work well! LOL) for the noobs.

The first job after the first service with any 500R I get will be to get the shocks "fixed", as it sounds like Honda have gone for the "plush" feel again ;-)

Dave
 

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What are the difference between a tight and a loose rear suspension? I'm about to pick mine up, I dont know if I should keep it stock or change it..
If the suspension is too loose the bike will feel les "planted" on the road, especially while cornering. If there are bumps on the road, it will "bump steer" while you go around: sort of hop hop sideways a little.

If its too tight, then you'll know as it will bump too hard over dips/pot holes so to speak, in the road.

I knew mine could be better set up (even if its my first bike), as after a few months I got sick of my nuts ending up on top of the tank LOL, having to shove myself back onto the seat properly when I went over relatively small bumps, feeling it nose dive under heavy braking practice and rebound a lot when I stopped, and feeling it "bump steer" on long sweepers with a few depressions in the road.

It gets worse if the rear is too tight and the front is too loose (most likely case as these 500's if the 250R suspension set up is anything to go by). The rear might be a little over damped, and the front soft as $hit = unbalance bike (front too much balloon like bouncy, the rear far too stiff bouncy).

Its hard to tell if its your first bike...take it to a bike suspension place. They will set up the rear properly (at least) and tell you what they can do for the front...for about $30-$40 AU (that's what my guy charges for a proper set up and consult.

See my post above :)

Dave
 

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Spoke with a few people, everyone referred me to one shop. That place said yes replace the fork oil with 20 weight motor oil. They said it will stuff in the front a bit. I don't know if this is safe or some duct tape and bubble gum repair...
Bandaid solution. In any case, its not a home handyman job.

Go to a proper bike suspension shop. They will set the bike up as best as it can be for now (ie. adjust the rear pre-load properly) for a few $ (is like 5 minutes work), and tell what can be done for a variety of $.

Dave
 

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If I wanted a tighter front spring I would have to modify the fork caps. Does anyone know about this?
Garbage, or else you misunderstood them :) Replacing the springs to stiffer ones means removing the fort tops, changing the sring, and replacing the original fork tops. Changing the fork tops to adjustable pre-load ones can be done, but at >220lb, you'll probably need stiffer springs rather than adjustable fork tops as they will never get you the sag toy need.

See my posts above.

Dave
 
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I currently weigh 170 and my 500r rides just fine rear suspension set to 5 the front suspension has been fine for me even under hard braking I am 6'3" as well so no big deal for me feally at higher than 5 in the rear it was not that comfortable crappy roads in this part of california
 

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Both the 500's and the new CB 1100f have 41 mm forks. Honda makes a nice pretty
gold color fork cap for the 1100 chappies who aren't satisfied with the stock
color.

You can easily swap that out for your non adjustable fork cap.

By twisting the screw there, you can add additional compression to the fork
spring.

Or as CBR Dave says above, you can substitute a longer spacer in the fork for
more compression and save yourself the money that you would have spent on
the fork caps.
 

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