HRC called it CUSHION ASSY, RR with Part No. 52400-MFJ-R11, it commonly known as shock or mono-shock. It was a racing parts by HRC for CBR600RR. The unit is made by SHOWA that supply almost all the suspension for HRC bike up to the MotoGP level. Only just late last year some HRC’s bike starting to use OHLINS, the most well known brand for suspension in MotoGP when Dovisioso started to test and used them in 09’MotoGP race, but before that HRC almost exclusively used suspension made by SHOWA for their MotoGP bike.
Some say since OHLINS no longer own by YAMAHA in 2009 then HRC started to try and use OHLINS for their MotoGP bike, but hey we are not here to talk about OHLINS and HRC, let just installed the SHOWA shock in my CBR!
I have considered to upgrade my stock suspension for quite some times, with the rear shock as the priority. My choice was between the Ohlins TTX and the SHOWA. Ohlins, the TTX version not plain vanilla Ohlins, is very popular for track bike suspension. Almost all my friend (that rides other then Honda) at my racing club use them so knowledge sharing is a plus, but I can get good price for the SHOWA from my other friend that have extra unit spare for his racing team so I choose to follow the good price!
Upgrading and changing the rear shock is a major change for the bike that can change the way the bike handling for bad or for worse. So before the upgrade I took my CBR for dozens of lap at my local track and try to memorize how the stock shock felt during corner, bump, acceleration, etc. Once I felt enough then its time to install the SHOWA.
Removing the stock shock is not a mojor work, can be done quickly. Once the stock shock removed the SHOWA can be installed. It was fit perfectly. Check out bellow the stock shock and the SHOWA. The main different (aside from its color) is the hydraulic preload adjuster, so hammer is no longer necessary to adjust your rear shock preload, nice!
The build quality of the SHOWA also top notch! Almost bling-bling! quality :) Shiny with color coded adjuster. I hope I don’t ruin it if I crash!
Beside the standard compression and rebound damping adjustment there is also ride height adjustment so you can change the bike geometry for more stability and/or agility. And just like any other “race” components, the adjustment can be done quickly with the adjuster easily accessible for a quick tune during pit in.
Once installed, I cannot wait to give the CBR a try. I keep the setting as what it is at first, there are about 20 clicks of adjustment for each adjuster (surely hope for less, since no way I can felt the different between 8 clicks and 9 clicks of adjustment). I have not set the sag just yet, let alone the damping setting, but sitting on the seat I can felt the shock is more hard and firm compare to the stock unit.
Several laps at the track I was sure I can felt the rear-end more planted. Especially in S Kecil chichane and the last R10-11-12 hair pin. Also during acceleration and hard braking the rear-end felt more stable with less movement compare to the stock. It was harder yes, but I feel more confidence on it. With my fuel indicator started to flash I returned to the pit, still need more time to adjust it but my track time that day had ended.
Next is to setting up and fine tune the suspension myriad adjustment, the sag, rebound and compression. I need more track day!
TO BE CONTINUED