To ride in the weekend is what I love to do, waking up early to enjoy the cool air, and rides to twisty road and corners, and to combine real motorcycle ride sensations I GearUp with riding suits to get the pleasure of week-end rides.
Most import is being well protected and of course, in stylish and functional garment which I can to express my individuality with gears that reflect my personality. Malaysia day ride was exciting as we also reviewing the K-Tech suspension now fitted on the front now, previously we fitted to the rear we were so stoked that the MT-09’s handling had improved 1000% compare to the stock suspensions.
I’m a typical biker; I’ve got a bike that’s capable of going fast, probably faster than I can ride it but I want to make it faster still. Two very important thing for me is TYRE and SUSPENSION, no matter how fast the bike can go, carrying corner speed and exiting the corners are more important.
My tire choice after standard fitted tire are almost used up 75% is PIRELLI and BRIDGESTONE, as the tire compound has a very readable character unlike MICHELINS.
Anyway today is not about tire or gears, today is about SUSPENSION, and everyone knows that Yamaha MT-09 need most is a rear suspension upgrade from the stock as its too soft, and wobbles as I enter the corners, in mid corner I cant throttle out as I want because when I gas the throttle the rear sags and i feel I cant get the traction, I want even I am using Pirelli Supercorsa SC2. I know many owners of MT-09 complain about the soft rear and wobble when approaching and exiting a fast corner.
Next step I did was to change the rear suspension fluid to a harder one. Sikolene Suspension Fluid was recommended, however, it only solved the sagging part, with that harder suspension fluid comes the rebound problem as my ass keep leaving the seat with every bump!
We even took the MT-09 to the Johor Circuit last month and track tested it. The 1986 build circuits has its bumps in high speed corner, which I can tell you its scary in mid corner. So that’s for a quick budget fix. I usually feel slightly confident with track skills but not on a MT-09 in track against 40 superbikes in a 5 lap mock up race, although in ended the race in mid pack, I think I could do better when I have better suspension setup, so I at least I know what I want to improve and set about trying to improve it.
This is where I got K-Tech to step in, one of the services they offer is setting up a standard road bike’s suspension.
Fresh from the Isle of Man TT, where K-Tech equipped bikes took the fastest lap in every race, K-Tech are suspension specialists, working with everything two wheels, from motocross to BSB, TT and road riding to AMA. If it’s got springs in it, chances are K-Tech have made it bounce better. I realized what can win on a TT Race at Isle of Man, sure can do wonders on our Malaysian twisty roads!
So I approached K-Tech Malaysia’s main installer man Keith Chia of Chia Motor PJ tells me that suspension isn’t a black art but that every tweak or twiddle is part of an equation. So if you make a step towards improving an area of the bike’s suspension, in doing so you’re also altering another aspect of the equation, this may be a positive change or a negative one.
Knowing what the trade-off is, is key to getting the suspension sorted. Sure, if my forks spring back up too quickly, I can add more rebound to counter this, but I’m not factoring in how else this might affect the bike – that’s the part where my knowledge runs out.
I got all the adjustment set up, so Mr RC Moto to ride on a typical road and alter it to work better.
On a naked bike like the MT-09, its fully-adjustable suspension means that you can adjust compression, rebound and – by adjusting the preload – you can change the static sag.
Out comes the tape measure. Keith measuring the bike’s unladen static sag – the distance the fork slides into the stanchion when the bike is sat supporting its own weight to when it’s lifted up with the wheels hanging.
This is altered with the preload adjuster at the bottom of the fork.
The unladen static sag is then measured at the rear in the same way. In the picture above you can see the measurement being taken for the unladen static sag when the rear shock is supporting no weight.
Once the stock unladen static sag is measured, Keith goes about dialling in more preload to decrease the standard setup’s static sag.
To adjust the compression and rebound, Keith holds the bars and pushes down on the front end then lets it rise back. He makes a couple of adjustments to the compression then pushes down again on the bars.
I ask him what he’s looking for and he said: “I want to get to a stage where it’s not too choked, so when I push down on the bars the suspension is compressing but it’s pushing back too. If it’s choked then it’ll have too much resistance and it won’t compress at the rate I want it to.”
The same goes for the rebound, if there’s too much rebound the forks won’t rise back quick enough.
Every time Keith makes an adjustment with the screwdriver, he bounces the front end down and feels it rise up again.
Keith is looking to get a good feeling for both high and low speed damping. When you hit a bump in the road, you’re using high-speed damping to deal with it. If your suspension can’t react quick enough then the force will be tranferred to the bike with a jolt. Low speed damping is used when you come out of a corner or get on the power. The force the suspension has to deal with isn’t as sudden but the suspension still needs to react to keep the bike stable and allow the rider to confidently apply the power.
Unfortunately, what Keith is feeling for isn’t something you can learn overnight. Even though he’s modest about what he’s doing, years of experience mean he can dial in settings he’s happy with after just a few minutes.
So then, what’s it like now its been K-Teched?
Well, just sitting on the bike, it feels stiff. It doesn’t sag under my lightweight and feels firmer.
The first thing I notice when I roll off the throttle is that there’s much less transfer of weight to the front of the bike. When entering a corner the improvement is obvious. I no longer have to wait for the suspension to settle to throttle out during the fast corner, and less brakes to tipping in, kneesliding is smoother and its like drawing a perfect “C” on the tarmac, you would feel like the wheels are superglued to the uneven tarmac, and ready to turn to the next corner.
When flicking from side to side, the transition feels faster and less effort is required. Before the K-Tech setup I was used to the slightly squishy feeling when applying maximum pressure at the bars at the point it starts to change direction but now the whole front-end feels tight and precise, nimble yet stable. It’s given me the confidence to feel the MT-09 in A Mode, it will go where I want it to go with confidence I never had before
The rear – like the front – feels firmer, there’s less squat under power and when getting on the brakes, it doesn’t spring up but sits squat and feels like it’s staying flatter.
I test all the bikes I ride on the same road, a fast flowing roads with a couple of blind bends and a blend of tarmac surfaces from smooth highway roads, rough tarmac suburban roads and in white/yellow/red lines which I hate . I feels great to unravel this Hooligan MT-09 to its true potential on the streets, especially after roadtested the H2 few weeks before.
The major change wasn’t on the smooth surfaces but how much smoother the bumpy surfaces felt. There are points where the bike gets out of shape, nothing too drastic but enough to focus the mind. With the suspension setup how it should be, it tracked the road much better and didn’t react as much to the bumps, infact I didn’t get any bar waggling at all.
As standard your sportsbike is like going a pair of snazzy running shoes with the laces undone. The K-Tech setup does up those laces, with a double bow.
You can call K-Tech or Chia Motor PJ on 017 3322 302 to talk to them about getting your bouncy bits sorted and also the package price for all models and make. But trust me if you own a MT-09 this is the right choice you will ever make on a aftermarket upgrade.