If you upgrade your front brake you will have to upgrade the fork springs. I put a M.A.P. oversized front rotor and steel braded lines then *slam* the forks bottomed once you have a real brake on the bike. The stock are so bad, for the price you cant beat it. Though at 150lbs you could try playing with 5 or 10 fork oil. Its cheap and easy to change so see what works best for you and the type of riding you do most. Buy the springs!
As for the other upgrade comment my weight at the time was a little higher, I went to 15 weight fork oil at the same time as the springs and it made a world of difference.
The Aerodynamic Head has just returned from the body shop (ironic, isn't it?). Tweaks to The Booming Voice (tm) and new venting (aerodynamic efficiency is always improving these days) were added, but the Esoteric Wit (tm) remains.
Abe, first I say: Nice Vest.
Secondly: Your sister was hot in Dirty Dancing, but somehow The Head thinks the new sequel will blow unaerodynamic chunks.
And third, as regards your setup, The Head offers the following.
The Aerodynamic Head's Significant Other Head is a racer, and lo, I say unto ye, her head (and the rest of her) is pretty darn fast.
she races for WERA, the club-level association from which AMA draws 90+ percent of their talent. She currently stands somewhere in the top ten for points in no fewer than three regions in her class. She races a clapped-out early-nineties Yamaha Seca II. The class in question is ruled outright by SVs.
In other words: it's the rider, my friend. Keith Code is widely reported to be a perfect a$$, and The Head believes that no matter the competence, a pissed student will learn and retain less. Additionally, The Head distrusts a "no BS" bike, because it is guaranteed to produce the result it was designed to produce, the result that the builder desires, which is not necessarily the best result. But any school is probably better than no school.
Another traveling road-show type school is done by one Ed Bargy. The Head recommends Ed.
You trick out the bike, and eventually you sell it. Be assured that you will not recoupe the cash you put into the components. The learning you do at the school is yours forever, and will not depreciate, like a bike, but will appreciate as you add more miles and the knowledge/skillset fine tunes iteself inside your (now more aerodynamic) head.
That said, some words about the componentry itself.
Ohlins make a fine product. BUT: they have recently picked up a major catalog, and with the new business, they are super-behind on their rebuild work. see, what *they* don't tell you is that aftermarket suspension (forks and shocks), like aftermarket exausts, must periodically be rebuilt. This is typically done by the manufacuror. And Ohlins is having, err, Issues, with their customer service lately. As bad as Corbin. Yes.
Penske make a fine shock for most sportbikes. Mrs. Head rides one on her 929 streetbike. Fox are also decent.
ThermosMan (nevermind the name) is a small operation that does unparralled fork work. Buying the RaceTech valves and such is insufficient: someone must install it. Correctly. The Head recommends ThermosMan. He has a website.
The Head would also like to give you props for looking so carefully at suspension. Very few modern sport-type bikes need more power. But suspension is the one area that can always bring real improvement. In other words, you don't need more Go. You need more Stop, Turn, Stick, and Boing. Also, you need Oingo-Boingo, and Bananarama. But not the Thompson Twins. Ahem...moving along.
Losing rotaional (gyroscopic) weight from the wheels is reee-diculous. The weight savings are so miniscule that ONLY world-class pro racers will even notice the difference, much less be able to exploit it. And those Marchesini rims can be somewhat, umm, soft. They (and those of their ilk) can fold up in street situations in a worst-case scenario, where pavement conditions are less-than-Jake, shall we say. VESRA, a prominent endurance-racing team in the Southeast, recently had a catastophic wheel failure, when the driven hub of the wheel started spining faster than the rim-thingy. The "spokes" folded, wrapping around the hub, and effectively shrinking the diameter. This lead to catastrophic tire failure (think Mat Mladin at Raod Atlanta), and so on and so on. Wheels are therefore bunk, unless you just want to look good, which The Head knows to be an entirely valid reason for buying a thing. Just be aware.
If we take honest looks at ourselves, we can say that the easiest, cheapest, and surest way to lose weight off the bike is to rather lose weight from the rider.
And one other thing: Japanese sportbikes are notoriously undersprung and overdamped. It's just their way. They are not built to American people's sizes, for one thing, and they are building to a price point, for another. Suspension components are (like on cages) a "wear item." So the OEMs put little money into stuff they expect their customers to (eventually) replace.
In the early 1980s, Wayne Rainey and Rob Muzzy used a GPz 750 to contest the AMA Superbike crown, in the year when Honda's Interceptor was new. The 750 was "antique" even back then. The Honda was "The New Hotness." The Kawasaki won. It won because it's not the bike, it's the rider.
I would think the front forks without the extra preload would be well worth it (it's only $70 and 10 minutes anyway.. go look at dual-star.com) If you're only 150lbs and the rear fork is ok, leave it. I needed something more substantial. I know a woman who has put the progressive forks in and swears by them. I would guess she's about 120 lbs.
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