On the next track day it was time to explore more the new HRC SHOWA shock. All the shock setting was still unchanged, I just want to familiarized my self with the rear end feel first. The Showa is a HRC racing shock so it was designed to be used by rider that more capable then yours truly. I might not have the shock on the limit at all, but I’m certain that the rear end feeling (and overall the bike handling) will be different than with that of stock shock.
The day was bit damp with the rain from previous night. But overall the track was pretty dry. After several warm up laps, I started to push bit by bit. The first feeling was that the rear was stiffer then that of stock shock. I can felt the track bump more then before. Like entering S Kecil, or mid corner R 11. Yet the overall bike handling was much better, more planted especially in S Kecil chicane when you need to flick the bike from side to side quickly.
After quick rest, I go for another round of quick lap. Again, love the feeling on the rear with the new shock. Exiting R1 I can open the gas without much squat from the rear. R2 coming in and out planted. Brake deep in R3 and shift down before R4 all went smoothly. But I just love S Kecil! Coming in with the knee dragged and flick the bike left once I spotted the S Kecil exit’s apex was awesome feeling. S besar chicane after that with its cement patches felt bit bumpy but nothing frightening. The last R10-11-12 hair pin also bit bumpy mid corner but I never felt this quick exiting R12. Whoa!
Just like that I lap in low 1:47. More importantly I did that consistently for several laps! And I have not yet change the shock setting just yet! But though the rear was ok, the bike felt differently up front. Front chatter now more obvious. Especially coming hard charging in R3 with your finger hard on brake preparing for a corner, the front just start chattering to a point it taken away your concentration. I can felt the chattering as well entering R10, especially if I brake pass my braking marker.
With that chatter up front, obviously I need to re tune the stock front forks. Quick reading on the Trevitt’s Sportbike Suspension Tuning, my suspension bible, shows that with that harsh front end feel my stock front forks is most probably bottoming. The possible remedy as suggested by Trevitt book is to add front low-speed compression damping (my stock forks just have compression damping at the bottom of the fork), add fork oil, add front preload, or increase front spring rate. I’ll try to add the compression damping first and front preload. Hopefully no need to change the front cartridge just yet, though that Traxxion Dynamics front cartridge looks very-very tempting! Ha.. 🙂
TO BE CONTINUED..