New rear shock options?

Discussion in '5th Generation 1998-2001' started by Pandemonium, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Pandemonium

    Pandemonium New Member

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    Besides DMr and Nitron, what other options are still out there for an upgraded rear shock?

    Jamie Daugherty is no longer doing his 929 conversions. He is working on something new but it's not yet available and is a few months out. I ordered a Nitron shock almost a month ago. Their website said it would arrive within 14 days but it still hasn't shipped, they don't seem to know when it will ship, and I am out of patience and ready to cancel. However, other than finding & refurbing a used Penske or Ohlins, or doing my own 929 conversion, I haven't seen any other options. Did I miss any?
     
  2. Pandemonium

    Pandemonium New Member

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    I did some Googling and reading forums and came up with these options:

    1. Hagon
    http://www.hagonshocksusa.com/HagMono.htm
    http://www.hagon-shocks.co.uk/catalog/partdetail.aspx?partno=M61077H
    Almost half the price of all the others ($686 with hydraulic preload adjuster, all the others are ~$1000). Lots of good reviews online for the product and customer service. Some folks say it's a lower end, budget product compared to Nitron, Ohlins, etc. but way better than stock. British.

    2. Wilbers
    https://www.wilbers-shop.de/en/Moto...1999&catname=70bf63f8978184a4871efc30f8f39261
    German. Delivery time is ~5 weeks. I've heard many good things from VFR owners with these.

    3. Maxton
    http://www.maxtonsuspension.co.uk/files/products-road.htm
    No idea the price; their website doesn't say. Folks in forums have good things to say. British.

    4. TFX
    https://tfxsuspension.com/product/tfx-141-mono-motorcycle-shock/
    Dutch. Delivery in ~10 days. Didn't do a ton of research but a few folks in forums recommended.

    Any input or opinions on these options? Did I miss any?

    I'm sure tempted to go with the Hagon for that price but I'd like to know more about the tradeoffs, pros/cons, and any experiences.
     
  3. GreginDenver

    GreginDenver New Member

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    I've got a Hagon rear shock on both of my two smaller bikes (a Kawasaki EX250 and a Suzuki GSF400). I've had them for a while now, 9 years for the EX250 and 4 years for the GSF400, with no complaints. Nice build with great materials, very nice ride, easy to adjust and dial in to your weight. The quality is there in the Hagon product, but it's not designed like or intended to be a track or track-day shock the way an Ohlins or shocks that are comparable to Ohlins are. Instead the Hagon is meant to be a sport-riding shock.
     
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  4. Pandemonium

    Pandemonium New Member

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    Awesome, thanks for the feedback! My VFR is my daily commuter for ~30min of spirited highway canyon carving to work. Sounds like it should work well. I'm going to send a message to Hagon to see about delivery times and details.

    Would love any other thoughts on other options, too.
     
  5. OZ VFR

    OZ VFR Insider

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    Thinking of a shock as a track shock, or sport shock, or road shock is completly wrong.
    It is what people say with no understanding of what a shock does.
    There are great shocks, good shocks, ok shocks and crap shocks (original 5G).
    Any one of them can be set up for track work, commuting or touring.
    It all comes down to how much you want to spend, and what you are using it for.
    If you are just commuting, its a waste of money spending on an Ohlins.
    If you spend most of the time in a canyon run, it's the best money can buy.
    Most people that don't see the point on a good after market shock are the ones that don't push a bike, or that have never ridden a well set up bike.
     
  6. JimFife777

    JimFife777 New Member

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    And it is commonly overlooked that suspension upgrading will yield faster/quicker riding and more safely than any engine upgrades. More HP won't get you to your destination any faster if you're not planted and comfortable.

    Many times a shock, often OEM units, are fine for even aggressive road riding, but the valving may not be there for the next level or the dampening peters out as the oil heats up and thins out too quickly. My Ohlins on the 1K was an incredible improvement on the street and worth every penny, even if I don't track it. Yet the stock shock on the 750 has so far proven adequate in sandwiching the knee between the fairing and the surface while keeping the wheels inline.
     
  7. ducnut

    ducnut New Member

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    I’m going to disagree with you.

    First, you contradict yourself. You state there’s no such thing as track, sport, or road shocks. However, you go on to say it’s a waste of money for an Ohlins, if all you’re going to do is commute. You just categorized. Did I miss the “commute” category? To help the uninitiated, a lot of times, shocks are loosely generalized into categories, based on features, to help people get a better idea of where the shock may fall into a realm. There’s nothing wrong with this, as it really helps those who don’t live, eat, and breathe this stuff.

    Second, you cannot setup every one of them for whatever purpose you desire. Many shocks simply do not have the capacity/capability to withstand what they’re going to be subjected to.

    Third, pricing differences can involve several factors. But, the primary things to focus on are features and materials. Tolerances are extremely important, as well, but will take a serious suspension shop to point out differences between brands. Despite looking the same, there are dramatic differences among them and that’s where the “quality” comes in. It does not just “come down to how much you’re willing to spend and what you’re going to use it for”.

    What I’d suggest to the OP is find a very good suspension manufacturing shop, who possess a suspension dyno, routinely blueprint customer components, and are willing to spend a little time with you. Many of them have heavily scrutinized available products to determine what is or isn’t quality (Just because it’s a brand you’ve heard of or people say it’s great, doesn’t mean it was made well). If a shop is missing any of the above, I’d move on. Why? Because there are so many who are nothing more than retailers and/or installers. Since suspension is poorly understood by most, it’s easy to bullshit people into buying stuff, even by manufacturers.

    Lastly, quality suspension will be felt, with every mile you ride the bike. With the help of a good shop, I’d discuss with them what features are most important to you, what you plan to do with the bike, and would have an open mind concerning cost. As you add features, the price is going to go up. Some shocks, by design limits, cannot be equipped with certain options. If a shock has the full menu of features, but, costs less than the most basic shock from a noted brand, something had to be left out to get it to the pricepoint (not always, but generally, though). Some features one deems important, because of whatever influences, may not ever be used. Are you really going to fiddle with compression, rebound, preload, and length with every changing condition or payload? Do you really need infinite high- and low-speed adjustments? Some shocks can be retrofitted with different ends, springs, etc. and used on another bike, should you move on. Is that important? What sort of work has been done to the frontend? Is that going to create an imbalance in the bike? These are just a few of the things a quality shop can help you walk through to arrive at the best fitment for YOU.
     
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  8. DaHose

    DaHose New Member

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    I just created a thread on a shock upgrade option that I finished this weekend. You should take a look at it Pandemonium.

    Jose
     
  9. Pandemonium

    Pandemonium New Member

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    Thanks, Jose!

    I ended up harassing Nitron enough that they finally sent me my shock. It arrived nearly two months after I ordered it thought their website says orders arrive within 2 weeks. I may start a thread warning people of their horrid customer service and slow lead times.

    Now that it's on the bike, it's a dream. Phenomenal product, stupidly bad service. If I were to do it again, I'd go elsewhere. The great product doesn't make up for the hassle.
     
  10. DaHose

    DaHose New Member

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    That's mucho no bueno that their customer service is so crappy, but at least you have a nice shock now. I would definitely stay away from a vendor like that. If that's how they treat you when they need to make a sale, what will it be like if you ever NEED them in the future?

    Jose
     
  11. bmart

    bmart New Member

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    I have a Penske 8981 shock on mine.
     
  12. Pandemonium

    Pandemonium New Member

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    Thanks bmart

    Just to keep a catalog of available options for anyone that finds this thread in the future, I found two lower price options through a Facebook VFR group.

    Shock Factory:
    http://www.shock-factory.co.uk/m-shocks-honda-over650.html

    YSS:
    http://www.yssusa.com

    I don't know anything about them other than they exist and still make 5th gen shocks. They both look like somewhat lower end emulsion type with less customization than something like nitron, but likely still way better than stock.
     
  13. bmart

    bmart New Member

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    I think that someone mentioned Hagon. I had one on my CB-1 and really hated it. Perhaps they work better on some models than others, and for limited use applications.
     
  14. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader New Member

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    I bought and fitted a Shock Factory shock and a pair of hagon progressive fork springs to my bike over winter and have just had a chance to get some miles on it this morning now its finally stopped raining and wow. . .this thing is like a completely different machine. Handles so well and feels so planted , not like the wallowing death trap it was . Very happy
     
  15. bmart

    bmart New Member

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    If you decide to make another move, try the proper straight rate springs for your weight. you'll never go back to progressives!
     
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