VTR Firestorm Performance Pressure

I admit it, I’ve been bloody awful at getting out on my motorbike for the last year or two(!). I’ve been busy with other things, babies, etc… I know, bad excuses. OK, the real reason is that I don’t like the bike I have. I have a Honda Firestorm (VTR-1000). It’s a twin pot, first I’ve had, and I hate it. I hate the way it delivers power at low speeds, I hate the way the engine is so bloody relaxed at looney speeds so you feel you’re being a girl (I was weaned on the ’98 R1 and the ’01 GSX-R 1000), and I hate the handling… really, really hate it. I got the fork springs and oil changed by the local guys who race Firestorms, and that made things better, for about ten minutes before I started hating the back end even more.

I pissed around with the damping (update: I meant compression) and rebound, but I hadn’t a clue what I was doing, so it just felt worse. Returned it to factory settings and largely forgot about it. Just counted my blessings when I got a chance to go out and was in the mood to ignore the downsides.

I’ve been on it for about 100 miles this weekend (half of last years mileage!) and today I’m biting bulletts and researching suspension setup. I’m trying to find the standard tyre pressures for it cos I totally forgot what I was running it at when I was track daying it, and I’m really rusty on all of that, but Honda have the frankly terrifying figures of 36 front, 43 rear. I’m really not sure about that, but I guess, after half an hour of searching for recommendations elsewhere. I’m just going to have to try that.

Update 10 mins later: Rather amusingly, explaining yesterdays awful ride that I put down to me being over critical, the front is at 33 (OK) but the rear is at 15! Schoolboy error (and bloody dangerous). Going out to test at 36/43.

Update after 30 minutes ride: Much better. Set at 35/42. Still horrible to ride, but more the engine and power delivery than suspension now. Am going to look at this chap, Shaun Pallister, and see if I can suss anything out with the suspension.

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