Author Topic: Need help with suspension upgrade options for CT  (Read 13544 times)

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  • Offline Tazmool

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    Offline Tazmool

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    Need help with suspension upgrade options for CT
    on: Oct 16, 2017, 10.24 pm
    Oct 16, 2017, 10.24 pm
    Greetings,

    The first riding season with my CT is nearly over, and I'm loving the CT.
    Over the winter I'm planning a few small to do to the CT, but the biggest "small thing" is a suspension upgrade.

    I read the posts on here, used Veejeay's settings (good improvement) however I still find that the front end is HARSH, and overall the harder I ride the more I'm noticing that the stock suspension could use an upgrade.

    I Tour on the bike (this is where I notice the front-end harshness the most)
    I do ride bumpy, gravel, dirt roads (I even off-road a tiny bit, just playing around on dirt)
    I ride twisties and sometimes pretend that the CT is a big sport bike
    I ride mainly solo, with gear on I'm about 85kg, I also carry the smallest Givi bags

    I've read the long posts on here regarding the different suspension upgrades, and frankly, I'm at a loss.
    I am looking for a total upgrade (front and rear) mainly because the front end is "harsh" and the rear shock is not great.

    I am on a budget, and going with the best Nitron rear shock and front fork cartridge replacement would cost me $4000cnd  Plust nitron says I have to sen the forks in to get the kit installed....  which would be insanely expensive (hence why $4,000 is not exaggerating)

    There are no suspension shops in Canada I think....  at least none that I know of that I could ride the bike to and get the system set up, upgraded...
    And even if there was one, I'm 100% positive that if I showed up on a CT (instead of a sport bike, or some HD) they would have no idea what this VFR1200X thing is....  then they'd laugh at the lack of a shifter or clutch lever....  Heck, even the local Honda dealer has never seen a CT.

    The most viable options I can think of at the moment are:
    Replace the front and rear springs with HyperPro progressives...
    This is the cheapest options, but I'm not sure if its the best way to go?

    Option #2
    Change the front fork cartridges to something like Andreani, which seem to be reasonably priced for the kit (including springs)
    Maybe a nitron R1 or R2 rear shock? 

    Any experiences with front & rear suspension upgrades, its cost, and would you  do it again?

    Any and all help is appreciated.

    Tazmool

  • Offline VfuRry   gb

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    Offline VfuRry

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    Re: Need help with suspension upgrade options for CT
    Reply #1 on: Oct 16, 2017, 10.51 pm
    Oct 16, 2017, 10.51 pm
    I've also been researching this, and will probably upgrade my CT's suspension sometime over winter.

    Regarding your option 1:  One suspension outfit over here recommends that the forks should also be re-valved, as well as have stiffer springs fitted.  I don't yet know what re-valving would involve, i.e. whether just drilling out orifices or something more sophisticated.

    I've also been told that the replacement springs would be linear, rather than progressive (as the standard ones are), as the damping is already progressive.

    Another consideration is whether or not to have compression damping adjustment, as well as the rebound damping and preload.  I'm trying to work out how useful / necessary that might be, for the forks.  If you go for option 2, then chances are that you get compression damping adjustment (e.g. one cartridge has compression adjuster, the other has rebound adjuster).

    Regarding the rear shock, that seems a bit more straightforward; the dominant view seems to be that compression adjustment on that end is probably overkill, for this bike, and it seems that you can pretty much choose any one of Nitron, Wilbers etc. and obtain a big improvement vs. original.  Whether or not to have hydraulic preload aduster is a consideration; I would, because I sometimes ride solo, sometimes with pillion, sometimes with luggage.

  • Offline hoppicker   gb

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    Offline hoppicker

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    Re: Need help with suspension upgrade options for CT
    Reply #2 on: Oct 17, 2017, 01.44 pm
    Oct 17, 2017, 01.44 pm
    From my personal experience the front forks need re-valving, springs to suit rider weight and good oil not the gloop Honda use. The rear needs a different shock. My front forks were  reworked by Maxton and I am very happy with the set up. At the same time I fitted one of their rear shocks which somehow I could not set up right for me even after a lot of adjusting. I have since fitted a Fournales air shock which I have pressurised to their recommended pressure. I have found this a lot more compliant over varying road surfaces, much better over small bumps than a metal spring shock. If I were to change the CT for a new one the first thing I would do would be to swap the suspension bits over. For more info check out the thread I started in the suspension section. 
    VF1200X  XRV750 AFRICA TWIN
    BMW K1 HONDA SH125i
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    HONDA NC750D INTEGRA

  • Offline whitegloss

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    Offline whitegloss

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    Re: Need help with suspension upgrade options for CT
    Reply #3 on: Oct 17, 2017, 04.07 pm
    Oct 17, 2017, 04.07 pm
    From my experience progressive springs will make only a slight bit of difference. The crosstourers front cartridges are very basic and if you remove them out you will see that they are not very sophisticated for the job of managing the cts achilles heel, its weight. I think this is why you never see a definitive fix for the ct front forks in my opinion

  • Offline Maverick

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    Offline Maverick

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    Re: Need help with suspension upgrade options for CT
    Reply #4 on: Oct 17, 2017, 08.08 pm
    Oct 17, 2017, 08.08 pm
    I thought the std suspension was actually very dangeous, the wallow under a but of undulations was in fact leathal

    Cheap option was to use hyper poo front springs and new oil and second hand wilbers rear. Improved and rideable but can be a bit harsh on the pot holes on the rear.

    Front was deemed a bit to soft compared to the rear, so firmed up to better go with the rear.

  • Offline Tazmool

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    Offline Tazmool

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    Re: Need help with suspension upgrade options for CT
    Reply #5 on: Oct 17, 2017, 09.50 pm
    Oct 17, 2017, 09.50 pm
    Thank you so far everyone,

    I see I'm not the only one that's considering the suspension upgrade, and the consensus is that an upgrade is warranted.

    I have come across a few posts saying that the std suspension is "dangerous" but I just don't see it.
    Maybe its because my bike is still relatively new (2016 'w <8000km on the clock) but I find the bike handles the twisties fairly well for its size and height.  I do agree that the CT Achilles heel is its weight, but at the same time, I've seen some well ridden goldwings that would put a lot of riders to shame so it can't be weight alone. 
    My old ST1300 rode well, and it was about >100lbs heavier than the CT.  If anything, the CT is actually an answer to my wish list when I had my ST13.

    The CT is no sport bike, and my previous bike would fly rings around it on the road, but my old B-King could not do so many things that the CT can.
    But I digress, and I do love my CT!

    What do you guys think of the HyperPro street-box suspension upgrade for the CT?   It comes with a relatively basic rear shock, front springs and fork oil?  Would it be enough?   or should I search for something better?

    VfuRry, stiffer front springs?  I thought the stock springs were already too stiff for the bike, using Veejays settings (which made a big improvement) I have the front pre-load backed almost all the way out....   ?

    Hoppicker, what was done to your front suspenders?  did they re-valve?  re-spring?  did they add adjust-ability? or just revalve?  Progressive? or std springs?   I have read your post regarding the fournales shock, its definitely interesting.... I've never heard of a rear shock like that...

    Tazmool

  • Offline Hartley   england

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    Offline Hartley

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    Re: Need help with suspension upgrade options for CT
    Reply #6 on: Oct 18, 2017, 10.07 am
    Oct 18, 2017, 10.07 am
    Ive recently had my suspension upgraded as ive posted on another thread but I wouldn't have called the standard setup dangerous or lethal.

    I did 21k on my first CT and just under 10 on my current one on the standard gear and it was ok. Many owners are perfectly happy with the original gear. 
    I would agree in certain circumstances it would wallow and the front end harsh which were some of my reasons for changing.
    Also the fact that I felt that 2 up with luggage the back of the bike was to low which obviously effects handling.

    I'll also admit that that curiosity played a large part too, for the first time I find myself in a position where I can get the work done and see what its like to have kit built to my weight.

    It would not havebeen the end of the world if I hadn't got it done.


  • Offline Maverick

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    Re: Need help with suspension upgrade options for CT
    Reply #7 on: Oct 18, 2017, 06.39 pm
    Oct 18, 2017, 06.39 pm
    I call it as I see it and felt it, bloody dangerous when not on smooth roads, suspension goes out of kilt and bike could end up anywhere.

    Weight as you say it not an excuse the Pan St 13 which I use is just so smooth and inspring and a spirited ride is actually suprising good, unlike the CT........14 reg, but could be older.