2011 CBR250R suspension too stiff - Honda CBR250R Forum : Honda CBR 250 Forums
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-29-2017, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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2011 CBR250R suspension too stiff

Hmmm, while many others complain of too soft suspension, my bike is too stiff and always was this way right off the showroom floor and now has 4000 miles. It is punishing on anything but smooth road. I weigh 185 lbs (85 kg). The only time I've every thought that the suspension was right was when I was giving an adult passenger a ride (two-up). The bike is stock and I run 29 psi air in the tires. I commute only (never race). The bike is rock steady while underway (no wobble). Non-ABS. I bought a spanner wrench and turned the rear shock spring to its loosest setting but still punishingly stiff. Could there be something wrong with the suspension? I don't see any grease fitting on the rear links or swingarm, are there any? How do I verify that the shock unit, swing arm, and links can move freely over their entire travel? How do I measure the starting suspension sag on the bike? Are there any good aftermarket rear shocks with compression and rebound adjustments that someone can recommend (and that don't break the bank)?
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-30-2017, 08:05 AM
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Your post is a little surprising since from my own experience with my 2011 CBR and everything I've heard, the bike's suspension is TOO soft from the factory.
Are you sure you tuned the shock to it's softest setting? I was always under the impression that it was set at the softest setting from the factory. Even at 185 pounds you should have a noticeable "squat" when you put your weight on the saddle. Not that the shock has a lot of travel, but if you're not getting that then something is amiss.
I think your best bet at this point is to take it by a dealership and have them eyeball the setting you have it at and do a quick inspection if needed.
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post #3 of 18 Old 10-01-2017, 10:04 AM
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Preload should come middle of the road from the factory (mine was at notch 3). Really that won't make much difference in harshness; just adjusting for weight squat. The only mod for the rear suspension is putting in an R6 shock, which will definitely not make it softer. The only other thing would be changing the seat, but I would not recommend attempting any mods to soften the suspension any further.

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post #4 of 18 Old 10-20-2017, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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My Honda dealer gave it a visual inspection and said nothing appears wrong although they agree that the rear seems stiff. (they want me to move up to a CBR500R). My rear preload is in the shortest detent which allows the most suspension sag. I recently took some measurements from the rear axle to the seat frame. With swing arm totally unloaded (hanging) being my starting reference. Then with the weight of the upright CBR250R (only) my bike sagged 1/2 inch (12.7 mm). Then with operator weight the sag was about 1.5 inch (38.1 mm) although this was a difficult measurement for one person.
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-20-2017, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Further thinking: The 2011 CBR250R split and stepped seat tends to make (me) the operator sit way forward virtually hugging the gas tank. This somewhat unloads weight off the rear wheel and probably makes the rear act stiff. (I'm familiar with this effect because this is how I used to stuff the front tire into corners during my motocross days).
Also, I purchased probably one of the first production CBR250R bikes since I pre-ordered before they were ever available to be seen at the dealers. I wonder if perhaps the early production units started out with stiffer springs until they sorted this effect out? Do any of you fast street riders want to trade springs?
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post #6 of 18 Old 10-21-2017, 06:01 AM
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Your sag figures sound about right for a standard bike, nothing abnormal there.
If you buy an Ohlins aftermarket shock you can order it with the spring rate of your choice. Not a cheap option but it depends how much value you put on having the ride you want.
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post #7 of 18 Old 10-21-2017, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfan View Post
I purchased probably one of the first production CBR250R bikes since I pre-ordered before they were ever available to be seen at the dealers. I wonder if perhaps the early production units started out with stiffer springs until they sorted this effect out? Do any of you fast street riders want to trade springs?
It's not that. My 2011 CBR was the first at the dealership (we probably got them the same month since you're in the next state) and my suspension is soft as all get-out on the lowest setting.
I'm 6' and I my butt is up against the passenger seat in normal riding. If you're 185lbs. and your crotch is right up against the gas tank, then upgrading to a CBR500 would probably only increase your problems. But you should tell the dealership "nice try."
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post #8 of 18 Old 10-21-2017, 10:06 AM
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You may be noticing an issue with compression damping rather than spring rate.

That would mean that when you hit a sharp bump the shock doesn't react quick enough and the force is transferred to the frame instead of being absorbed.

Most OEM shocks on anything but top of the line sport bikes are pretty bad. A good shock is expensive, but allows for adjustment of compression and rebound damping. You can also choose the correct spring rate for your weight and riding style. Same with the fork springs. Most of the time they are too soft.

Finding a shock from a higher-end cycle that will fit sometimes works, but mostly not. The differences in linkage design (leverage) and overall length can present more problems than they solve.

I just redid the suspension on my '06 SV650 with proper rate fork springs and fluid, and replaced the junk rear shock with a new Ohlins I was lucky enough to find for cheap. Also added a set of Vesrah RJL brake pads. Those improvements, and a new set of Michelin Pilot Power RSs, made a world of difference in comfort and handling - as well as my confidence on the road.

A bit of cash to do it, but if you are planning to keep the bike for a while it's worth every penny.
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post #9 of 18 Old 10-21-2017, 03:49 PM
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Don't do the R6 rear shock conversion. A buddy of mine used to have one of those. Soft and plush are not words I would link with this bike at all!

2013 CBR250R repsol (sold)
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2007 SV650 (track bike)
2004 XR250R (dirt bike)
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post #10 of 18 Old 10-21-2017, 05:18 PM
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aside from adjustable quality shocks etc,
and as you mention sitting position 'hugging tank
motocross style',, while changing ergos for rearward
hip movement isnt going to change suspension
reaction dynamics so much, it will change your
experience of, uneven upward road forces..

eg, taking speed bumps i tend to rise up on pegs
removing hips thus spine from sudden upward
jolt of the speed bump [speed regulating type]
even riding within surburban speeds..
back/spine isnt designed to take upward jolts
[other than its limited movement S-shape]
which are absorbed thru joint sequence from
toes thru ankles then knees and hip joints..
[try jumping up/landing, legs straight]

if [say] sitting slumped lounge style
with high bars and low forward pegs,
back is arched rearward bow-like
thus 'captured' by seat and subject to
upward jolting forces..
if hands/arms/shoulders are lowered,
feet moved rearward and upward,
now upper and lower joint sequences
have potential for absorbing jolts..
hips will naturally move rearward also
resulting in sitting on, in a riding position,
sitting bones rearward [rather than forward]
giving your natural S-shape spine potential
to further absorb jolt forces getting thru
your natural shock absorbing joints..

bottom line there is rearward hips
rather than motocross style hugging tank
is better generally, taking your mass
rearward but also allowing better responses
thru shock absorbing joints downstream..

easy way to test this is to ride with balls of feet
on pegs, pressing down slightly rather than
just resting on pegs, over some test jolt
such as typical speed humps etc..

as youve identified this motocross position
already, means brain has recognised something
relevant to balance, coordination and control
movements and responses in riding..

simply put, theres a time and place for everything,
including riding a motorcycle,, in motocross
or road racing or over other surfaces..
and reasons for/why, certain ergos are
appropriate or better for one riding style
and motorcycle, yet different for others..

[image someone riding motocross with
riding position of road racing, or the reverse]
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