GSXR’s Suspension Sweet Spot

Do you remember riding those 2 stoke motorcycles? Remember the narrow rpm band that you have to stay in to get the best performance from the bike? The GSXR 1000 that I have now is like that. No no…the engine is nice and torquey and has power everywhere. Its the suspension settings that I am referring to.

For some reason, the bike’s suspension needs to be set just right or it sucks to ride the bike. My current bike settings are found here.
If you note, the front tyre pressure is set at 34.5psi (standard is 36psi). Does 0.5psi make a difference? Oh yes, perhaps its due to the design of the bike or its hyper-sensitive steering, geometry or whatever, that little 0.5 psi makes a difference.

The last couple of days I was having a very uncomfortable ride. The bike was bumpy and during turns where there are bumps, the bike felt harsh and did not give me confidence to lean the bike over. It all made for a nervous and uncomfortable ride. Before that I checked my tyre pressures as they felt a bit low. The bike was feeling a bit “mushy” and does not seem to want to turn accurately. So I checked the tyre pressures and found them a bit low. They were 33psi front and 38psi or so at the rear. So I brought out my trusty $8 air pump and tyre gauge and proceeded to pump them up. I remembered exceeding the front pressure and bringing it up to 35psi, but thought that a small difference like that would not matter. The rear I remembered pumping it up to 40 or 41psi ish.

These tools are those that I use to set the suspension. The “C” spanner is not pictured here. The ones I always have in my tank bag are the tyre pressure gauge, adjustable spanner and screwdriver.

After that, the steering improved but the bike became so bumpy and uncomfortable resulting in the loss of confidence. Two days later, I rechecked the rear pressure and brought it down to 39-40psi ish. The rear felt much better  and now I can feel the difference between the front and rear. The front was hard.

So this morning, I rechecked the front and brought it down by just 0.5psi and presto…the bike became more compliant yet steers well. The bumpy sections do not feel so bad any more and confidence was restored. This bike has a narrow window where it feels perfect. Maybe I am anal about suspension settings (which I am), but this bike demands such attention from its rider if he wants to enjoy the ride.


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