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Discussion Starter #1
hmmm... I'm not sure how to be humble about this, but.. living in Los Angeles has some perks besides the weather, like having some friends, who have friends.. who can afford to rent out an entire race track, along with all the accompanying corner marshals, and obligatory medical staff and even a private trackside photographer, for a completely private track day for a very small group of people to enjoy. ...and I somehow got invited to it!

This comes with the benefit of having pretty much no rules that are normally associate with organized track days, meaning I could run cameras wherever I wanted. Generally cameras affixed to giant poles (as required for the 360 camera) or attached to one's helmets are not allowed at track days for safety purposes. So I used this opportunity to record some footage and cut together a montage of my best lap of that day. The microphone on the 360 camera has been blown for a while from having it too close to the exhaust, and the GoPro is just wind noise anyways, so enjoy some Bee Gee's instead...

Some pics from that day:
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Ungarisch, these are awesome track pics! Great photos and awesome bike! You inspired me and my son to attend a trackday. I will be enrolling myself and my son for a 3-day track seminar before we do the circuit. :)
 

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Ungarisch, great video. Looks like a blast and that extension for the 360 is awesome! I need one! Bee Gees are cool, but the exhaust notes are much sweeter :) Time to invest haha!

Hey did you change out your forks again? I remember you selling a set a while back.
I got mine back and it's still ****. Plus they now leak with only 2mi. on them. Taking it in to let them do the labor (removing) this time and to investigate why the steering feels way heavy (if that makes sense). Been putting it off since last summer, I know, but my wife has been sick (Parkinson's) and I've been battling as a caregiver but the months of 2 to 3 hr sleep intervals have taken it's toll Feeling exhausted, depressed, selfish, extremely sad (weird right), irritable, blah blah blah. NEED TO RIDE!!! haha, care-giving for someone is the most difficult job I've ever had. Brutal, for me anyway. Hope I can fully recover and get back to being in the saddle but this chapter is not yet over.

I'm going in to talk with the manager but If the dealership won't honor their less than perfect work, then I may just table the forks and upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
dang man.. that's an extremely fucked situation to be in. I'm really sorry for what you must go through. While not equivalent, I just got out of a 12 year long relationship, and I thought I was going to feel lonely and depressed but I must say having 2 happy go lucky dogs around me 24/7, it's impossible to feel blue surrounded by them. Also, getting preoccupied with wrenching on bikes and going to track days really made it a painless process.

Regarding my front suspensions, as you probably know, since the 3rd gen Z was a "recession bike" and they didn't sell very many of them, pretty much no one made fork cartridge kits for it, while for the 4th gen all the major suspension brands did. Mainly because it used the same Showa BPF forks as many other bikes and the 4th gen sold better. So I decided to convert my entire front end over to 4th gen. But in order to keep the 3rd gen fork fairings (best looking thing of the whole bike) as well at the 3rd gen headlight (I prefer it over the 4th gen), I had to reuse my 3rd gen triple clamps to do so. Only problem with that was the the lower triple clamp on the 3rd gen is 52mm while the 4th gen Showa BPF fork is 53mm in diameter. It wouldn't physically fit without enlarging the bore. The upper clamps are the same 50mm on both bikes.

I emailed about 5 motorcycle related CNC / Machine shops about having them bore out my stock triple, sent them the clip you see below, and most got back to me with either some ridiculous pricing (like $450 setup fee and $120 for machining), or they said they are not interested in doing one-off's like this or said that it can't be done. Honestly I thought this project was done for, that is until I found this small CNC shop next to my house and went down in person to explained to him what I needed. To my surprise the guy's answer was $80 and if you can wait 30 minutes he could do it right now. The guy spent a good 15 minutes perfectly aligning the clamp to his CNC table and milled it out for me in a few minutes. Went home, installed it and both upper and lower triples lined up perfect. It wasn't until later that I realized how critically precise this machining needed to be for it to even work at all, but he did a perfect job.
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Once I got the forks mounted, the next challenger was that the wheel physically didn't fit. Luckily the caliper to caliper spacing was identical between the 3rd and 4th gen, however the wheel spacers were different size, so I went back to my CNC guy and had him machine my stock wheel spacers down from 15.5mm wide to 13mm, and now the 3rd gen wheels bolted up perfect on the 4th gen forks.

Last challenge was that the 4th gen fender mounts were completely different from the 3rd gen, and since I really wanted to reuse the 3rd gen fender and sexy fork fairing, I designed an adapter which my CNC guy milled out for me for $60.
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So now that I have completely retrofitted 4th gen forks onto a 3rd gen Z, it was time to order Ohlin's FRK cartridges, because that was the whole point of this entire conversion. Placed on order for it, a few weeks goes by and I get an email saying the 4th gen Z Ohlins cartridge kit has been discontinued by Ohlins and is no longer available for sale. Bummer... I then went to K-Tech's UK website and again it says that the 4th gen 25IDS cartridge is also discontinued, then luckily I happened to check K-Tech's US website where I saw that it lists it as available but on backorder. I shoot off an email to K-Tech USA asking what's the deal and if it really is discontinued, and within an hour I get a reply back saying that it's an error on the website and that he shows 2 in stock in the UK. Disaster averted! maybe I didn't waste all this time and money on the conversion! Though I'm now thinking that if I was to email Ohlins Sweden I probably could have ordered the Ohlins cartridge as well.

So now I have a 3rd gen Z for a full K-Tech fork setup, which has really transformed the bike. If I had to rate it worse to best the 4 fork setups i've had on this bike, I'd say that the original 3rd gen forks were the worse, followed by then stock 4th gen BPF forks, followed by the RaceTech built 3rd gen forks, and best being the current K-Tech cartridge in the 4th gen forks. If you're not a track junkie, I would probably just have RaceTech install new rebound and compression GoldValves into your stock 3rd gen forks, re-shim / re-spring it for your weight and riding style and call it a day. I'd say that the Racetech GoldValve setup was about 70% as good as the K-Tech setup, especially on the street. The main difference between the two is that while in the middle clicker both setups are simialr, the K-Tech clickers make a way more noticable difference while the stock forks with GoldValves have less of an affect while doing adjustments. If you're a set it and forget it guy, the GoldValves will do you good.
 

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Wow, what a journey! Glad it worked in the end, whew!! Lots of work for sure.

I agree the GoldValves sound bout right for me.

Have to disassemble -still- and get it to stealership.

Don't turn on my pc as much these days and I don't own a smart phone! lol

I've always believed that different circumstances lead us to the same emotional result. So thank you for the encouragement. It's good to be reminded of the good things that lie ahead.

Have a good one sir. I'll be on the low down peeking in every now and again.

Peace out!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
it's kinda hard to describe over the internet, unless you're a pro racer and know exactly how to give suspension feedback to your race engineer.

Best I can describe it is that when your have **** suspension and/or setting, you feel that something isn't quite right, it really takes away your confidence, especially when the bike reacts in an unexpected way on the limit. But when you have a properly dialed in setup you just go faster without thinking about what's happening beneath you.

On the stock BPF forks I was trying my heart out to get down to the 2:12's at my local track. When I switched to the K-Tech's I hit the track at a steady pace to get myself familiarized with the new setup, not pushing just getting to grips with it, and to my complete surprise when I pulled into the pits I saw a 2:10 on my lap timer. Unfortunately I ran out of tire by mid day so I didn't have a chance to really push with my new found confidence, but I'm going back again March 13th, this time with tire warmers, and hope to drop another 2 seconds off my time. My friend said that a 2:07 is the best I can expect on street tires, and that's with a real sportbike.
 
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