Author Topic: I really cannot get on with this bike .....  (Read 6617 times)

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  • Offline Shepski

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    Offline Shepski

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    I really cannot get on with this bike .....
    on: Nov 24, 2019, 07.05 pm
    Nov 24, 2019, 07.05 pm
    I am really struggling to get on with this VFR1200X. If i can explain i bought last year a 2011 VFR1200F which i absolutely love, fantastic engine, great handling, but most importantly with a few suspension adjustments a really nice ride quality.

    Within a few days of the Crosstourer being launched i was lucky to have a full morning on a 2 mile old demonstrator, i really liked it. So i thought to myself now that used prices for Crosstourer,s are good especially in the winter lets add a Crosstourer. My bike is a 2013 with 22,000 miles on the clock and really mint condition.

    The problem in a nutshell is really LOUSY suspension particularly the front, there is no comparison between the ride quality on this Crosstourer and the VFR1200F especially on rough roads. I have changed the front tyre from Tourance NEXT to a new Michelin Pilot 4 Trail. I used Veejay,s settings. I rebuilt the front forks with Silkolene Pro 5W oil. Finally i fitted Hyperpro springs. It all makes it very marginally better. The best improvement was the new tyre and the 5w oil. To be honest this bike does not ride bumps it just crashes through them. Last week i had a morning on the new Yamaha 700 Tenere, the way that bike rode the poor roads was incredible, the suspension was just superb. Africa Twin is good as well

    Here in the South Of Britain nearly all the roads are disgustingly poor, so apart from riding up and down the motorway for a ride, it really is not a lot of fun on this Crosstourer

    If anyone has any suggestions, i would really appreciate it. I am just looking for normal quality motorcycle suspension, like the VFR1200F has , it amazes me that Honda can launch a bike like the Crosstourer with such poor suspension, like scoring a massive home goal. Whoever it was who signed off on the Crosstourer suspension needs to be shot, it is frankly lousy and ruins a good bike. My wife has a Royal Enfield Himalayan, now that has incredible suspension in relation to the Crosstourer, she can leave me for dead on any B road, as she floats along, and i follow up crashing through each and every bump.   
    Last Edit: Nov 24, 2019, 07.08 pm by Shepski

  • Offline mzflorida

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    Offline mzflorida

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    Re: I really cannot get on with this bike .....
    Reply #1 on: Nov 25, 2019, 09.11 pm
    Nov 25, 2019, 09.11 pm
    I think you are in the 50 50 club.  Some get along just fine with the suspension whilst others, like me, just don't.  I upgraded the front and rear with Hyperpro products.  Initially, I did find the Hyperpro springs to produce a much more compliant ride and they are still a large improvement over the stock.  But, I am still considering additional options.  The rear Hyperpro shock is simply flawless.  Adreani cartridges are supposed to be pretty good.  Owners really love the Touratech kit.  Several have gone to Traxxion Dynamics.  But, you would have to ship your forks to Georgia, USA.  I cannot recall which member here knew a ton about suspension, but he related that because of the quality of the forks and the stiction that is present, it would be very difficult getting a really great solution to improve the front. 

  • Offline marcparnes

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    Offline marcparnes

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    Re: I really cannot get on with this bike .....
    Reply #2 on: Nov 26, 2019, 01.35 am
    Nov 26, 2019, 01.35 am
    If it helps, I have listed a very high end Wilbers electronic shock for sale. It will take care of your complaints with the rear suspension but shipping cost might be an issue. If you're interested I can figure out what it would cost for you. You can see the ad in the classified section.

    Marc
    Marc Parnes
    2018 Goldwing DCT Tour in Red
    2020 BMW R1200GS
    A Life of Bikes
    AMA Life Member

  • Offline Matlock   gb

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    Offline Matlock

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    Re: I really cannot get on with this bike .....
    Reply #3 on: Nov 26, 2019, 10.18 am
    Nov 26, 2019, 10.18 am
    I feel your pain Shepski  :015: Honda spent all that money on the Crosstourer and then skimped on the suspension in my opinion. I tried the Veejay settings, they certainly quicken the steering, but don't fix the suspension 'feel' for me. I got in touch with Maxton a while back and I've pasted their reply below, which covers the VFR1200F. I queried this with them and, in contrast to your opinion, they feel the issue is common to the VFR1200F as well as the X, but I can't comment as I've never ridden an 'F'.
    So far, I've replaced the rear shock with a Nitron, which is a massive improvement. But, it just highlights how inadequate the front end is now. So, this winter the front forks are off to Maxton.....

    Maxton's Fact Sheet.
    HONDA VFR1200F 2010 to 2015
    FRONT
    The forks on the VFR1200F are upside down and have radially mounted brakes. The
    forks are manufactured by Showa have rebound damping and preload adjustment.
    As standard the forks feel very harsh and hard, they have a tendency to ‘kick off’
    every bump in the road and are not very complient. The springs in the forks are
    actually on the soft side, the reason the forks feel so hard is that they have far too
    much compression damping. There is also not enough rebound damping in the
    forks so when you let go of the brake the front end returns very quickly causing the
    bike to run wide out of corners.
    To cure the handling problems at the front of the bike we revlave and respring the
    forks. It is very important the revlave the damping system to cure the problems, just
    fitting softer springs to try and improve the ride quality will make very little difference
    at all. We revalve the compression damping softer and allow the oil to flow around
    the fork easier, then we increase the rebound damping to control the forks extension
    better. We then actually fit harder fork springs to suit your rider weight and also
    modify the damping adjusters to increase the range of damping in the adjuster
    screws. The cost of this conversion is £380.00 + V.A.T per pair fo forks. We will also fit
    new fork seals which cost an extra £25.00 + V.A.T per pair.
    We can also offer a service on the forks which involves stripping the forks, checking
    the internals for any wear and rebuilding the forks with new oil and fork seals. This
    costs £145.00 + V.A.T for the pair. It is rare but If you require any guide bushes these
    would be an extra cost.

    REAR
    The rear unit on the VFR1200F is a Shawa unit, it is a very cheap unit and there are
    two big problems with it. The first is that the rear spring is too soft, which means
    under power the rear of the bike squats down too far and causes the bike to run
    wide out of fast corners. The other problem is that the rebound damping in the rear
    shock is too soft, this means that the rear of the bike extends too quickly which can
    cause the back end to ‘kick’ you out of the seat on a bumpy road. There is another
    problem with the VFR1200F rear end and that is the bike sits too low, which makes
    the bike hard to turn in fast tight corners and also contributes to it running wide on
    fast sweeping corners.
    We can respring the standard unit but this only makes the rebound damping
    problem worse. To respring the standard unit costs £95.00 + V.A.T. We do not rebuild
    or revalve the standard unit, in our opinion it is not worth it. If you want to improve
    the rear of the bike really you need to replace the standard shock absorber.
    We supply our own Maxton unit, its fully adjustable via a shim stack system and has a
    spring measured to suit your riders weight and for what purpose the bike is used for.
    There are two types of unit we supply, the first is a NR4 unit which costs £435.00 +
    V.A.T. Its adjustable for rebound damping, compression damping, preload and ride
    height adjustment.
    The other unit we supply also has a remote reservoir which fixes under the pillion seat.
    This unit has high and low speed compression damping adjustment, rebound
    damping, preload and a ride height adjuster. The unit is called the RT10 Maxton
    shock absorber and costs £605.00 + V.A.T.
    Unless you have problems touching the ground because you are short in the leg, we
    normally set the ride height adjuster on the Maxton shock to raise the rear of the bike
    by 10mm.
    We can also offer a hydraulic preload adjuster to go on either the NR4 or RT10 rear
    shock, this costs an extra £220.00 + V.A.T.

  • Offline hoppicker   gb

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    Offline hoppicker

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    Re: I really cannot get on with this bike .....
    Reply #4 on: Nov 26, 2019, 01.25 pm
    Nov 26, 2019, 01.25 pm
    I came from a 1200GS to the CT DCT and loved the bike straight away. Apart from the suspension. I tried the VJ settings which helped a bit. Tried several different oil makes and weights. Read up a lot on setting everything up, and was still not happy. I contacted Maxton and got the same reply as above. I bit the bullet and had them rebuild the forks and a new rear shock. The front end was a lot better but the rear shock was worse. When I contacted them they advised me to remove the shock and adjust the compression damping, this helped a lot. I was still not totally happy with the rear shock though. I have had a Fournales air shock on my BMW K1 for over 20 years and have been very pleased with it. So when SWMBO was looking the other way I ordered one. This has proved the best of the the three shocks I have tried. I have also changed the Maxton front springs for Hyperpro which are also a slight improvement.
    So as you can see over the past 4 years I have spent a lot of time and money doing something Honda should have done in the first place. I think I have gone as far as I want to now with out spending a lot more money.
    Both my R80/GS and XRV750 Africa Twin have a better suspension on local roads, but the CT is not far behind now.  To me the CT is still a better overall bike than the GS mainly through its build quality and reliability.
    VF1200X  XRV750 AFRICA TWIN
    BMW K1 HONDA SH125i
    BMW R80GS BMW R75/6
    HONDA NC750D INTEGRA

  • Offline Grabcon

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    Offline Grabcon

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    Re: I really cannot get on with this bike .....
    Reply #5 on: Nov 27, 2019, 01.42 pm
    Nov 27, 2019, 01.42 pm
    I have read several threads on this forum about the inadequate suspension of the CT, but I have also seen that this is not across the board of all members it has been from a few members. I have nearly 20,000 miles on mine in the last two years. My riding covers a lot of different road types and surfaces. The majority 75% is two lane roads, 10% interstate and the remainder unimproved roads, but not two track or single track trails. The two lane roads where I have ridden are typically mountain roads in Colorado so a lot of curves and not much straight. I really have not had any complaints about my suspension.

    So what I would like to hear from those that complain what the issues are. I also don't think one can compare the F model and the CT. They are completely different classes of motorcycles. Either explain your personal preferences to suspension or compare to a different model or brand in the same class. Saying that the suspension is lousy or is trash doesn't do it.

    It doesn't ride down the highway like a Goldwing, it chatters in heavy high speed cornering, it bucks like a bronco, etc.

    I am not trying to sound like a jerk, I just want to understand. Maybe I am just complacent or maybe my riding style is not as aggressive as other having issues. But honestly I ride fairly aggressive on certain roads scraping pegs every now and then.

    In The Barn
    2016 VFR1200X - Mine, 2016 BMW F700GS - The wife's bike, Brad

  • Offline hoppicker   gb

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    Offline hoppicker

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    Re: I really cannot get on with this bike .....
    Reply #6 on: Nov 27, 2019, 02.38 pm
    Nov 27, 2019, 02.38 pm

    I would expect an adventure style bike (CT) to have a better ride quality than a sports tourer (F). I think the CT should be more compliant to different road surfaces because of the amount of suspension travel it has. The front forks seem to have too much stiction. By that I mean they need a hard jolt before they move, a small bump or hole is not enough to compress or extend the forks this means the rider only has the seat to absorb the road defect. The rear swinging arm and final drive are a large mass of metal to move quickly enough to absorb road undulations. When I follow my mates on their GS's I am always surprised to see how much the rear wheel moves all the time, following the road surface. I think this must be because of the paralever design. Half of the rear suspension movement seems to be by the swinging arm itself and the other half by the pivoting final drive unit.
    I would call my K1 a sports tourer, with less suspension travel than the CT. The ride though is better than the CT until it gets to really bumpy roads when it does not have enough suspension travel to absorb the bigger bumps. Up the speed on it though and it is in its element, handling beautifully. The ride quality on my R80g/s and old Africa Twin suit the rubbish road surfaces in the south east of England perfectly. Its because I ride the various bikes over the same roads that I feel qualified to say that The standard CT suspension is not good.
    A question for Grabcon. I see your good lady has an F series BMW. What is the ride like on that compared to your CT, over the same roads.
    VF1200X  XRV750 AFRICA TWIN
    BMW K1 HONDA SH125i
    BMW R80GS BMW R75/6
    HONDA NC750D INTEGRA

  • Offline Grabcon

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    Offline Grabcon

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    Re: I really cannot get on with this bike .....
    Reply #7 on: Nov 27, 2019, 03.02 pm
    Nov 27, 2019, 03.02 pm
    *Originally Posted by hoppicker [+]
    A question for Grabcon. I see your good lady has an F series BMW. What is the ride like on that compared to your CT, over the same roads.

    Good question. First I have only ridden her bike on pavement and at that time it had a set of Mitas E-07 that were nearing end of life. Because they were squared off the handling was questionable. I have just changed the tires out to the Continental TKC 70's. But I fine her suspension a bit squishy, it does have ESA and honestly I notice much difference between the three different modes, with that said I have not ridden her bike over a few miles at a shot. Not like mine where I will do 200 miles for breakfast. But my wife says that she does notice the effects of ESA modes. I also have 60 pounds on her.
    In The Barn
    2016 VFR1200X - Mine, 2016 BMW F700GS - The wife's bike, Brad

     



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