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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
CB300F and CBR300R stiff jolting bumpy uncomfortable ride on rough-ish streets. What to do?

Hello. First off I understand that the suspension is limited by its price point but am wondering whether this can be fixed at all?

BACKGROUND- CB300F, 130 pound rider, stock suspension. Rear Preload set to 5, (softest, or I think) 10,000 miles on bike.

Issue is that I ride 40 miles a day at least, easy, and the streets are a mess. by the time I get off the bike I have a headache and back ache from the jolting zero give I get from the back suspension. I've no problem riding this bike on a track or smooth road.

I really feel that it is the rear suspension that is the problem. It is as if it has NO flex or give.

OPTIONS- I can replace the rear shock with an Ohlins HO426 meant for CBR250R but it will fit. Or a YSS MZ366-295TR-14.

OR Is it just not a problem I can fix on this bike and should I spend the money otherwise spent on a very expensive shock on a new bike. Say a CB500X or the likes?

Any advice on the specific shocks and overall experience advice is A+++.
 

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I;m 150 pounds and have the rear suspension at 1 click up. Front fork springs replaced with Hyperpro progressives. Normally have a back ache due to dislocation 50 years ago but I can ride my CBR for 3 - 5 hours without getting off and no back trouble. I'm 81 and have arthritis so your roads must be dreadful.
 

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Are you sure you haven't got the rear preload on the highest setting? If you look at it I think it is pretty obvious which direction pre-loads the spring and which direction doesn't - take a look. If you can't work it out for sure, just move to the other end of the spectrum and try it. It's a 5 minute job (tool needed is under the seat) to do it and then go see.

At the softest setting the rear should work just fine for you. Also, unless you are really heavy, go for no more than 33 or 34 pounds in the rear tyre, so that that provides some "give" too.

The only other thing to consider (other than swapping out the front fork springs and/or changing fork oil weight) is the actual tyres. Half decent radials such as Pirelli Rosso 3 have much softer sidewalls than the hard walled crossplys that come as standard. Radials make for a much more confortable ride, but cost a bit more - not too bad at this size though...
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I;m 150 pounds and have the rear suspension at 1 click up. Front fork springs replaced with Hyperpro progressives. Normally have a back ache due to dislocation 50 years ago but I can ride my CBR for 3 - 5 hours without getting off and no back trouble. I'm 81 and have arthritis so your roads must be dreadful.
Are you sure you haven't got the rear preload on the highest setting? If you look at it I think it is pretty obvious which direction pre-loads the spring and which direction doesn't - take a look. If you can't work it out for sure, just move to the other end of the spectrum and try it. It's a 5 minute job (tool needed is under the seat) to do it and then go see.

At the softest setting the rear should work just fine for you. Also, unless you are really heavy, go for no more than 33 or 34 pounds in the rear tyre, so that that provides some "give" too.

The only other thing to consider (other than swapping out the front fork springs and/or changing fork oil weight) is the actual tyres. Half decent radials such as Pirelli Rosso 3 have much softer sidewalls than the hard walled crossplys that come as standard. Radials make for a much more confortable ride, but cost a bit more - not too bad at this size though...
First of all. Yes the roads in LA suck. I have no idea where my high tax dollars are going. I've hit a pothole so big my phone flew off its mount. It looks like there was a missile attack on some of these streets I kid you not.

Also my rear preload is turned all the way clockwise when lying on the chain side with your nostrils facing the rear wheel. I'll link a photo. I have heard that the rear shock is bad though.
34834
 

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Yes, it looks like you have it set to the softest setting. As much as I'm a fan of aftermarket suspension, I cant help but feel that you would be dissappointed with the results for your application. Given the type of riding your doing I would be looking at changing bikes to something with longer suspension like the bike you mentioned or a BMW310GS or a Kawasaki Versys X-300. Short travel sports bikes will never soak up rough potholes well. I've upgraded the rear shock on my Ninja 400 from stock to K-tech at considerable expense and while it has improved it's handling on smooth to medium roads it still kicks me in the arse on rough bumps.
The front fork springs on the CB/CBR300 are already very soft stock so there's not much you can do there.
 

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I have to agree with Kiwi rider - if you are so unhappy on the softest stock suspension setting you will be needing a bike with longer suspension travel... I'm with you on the CB500X (with upgraded YSS or Ohlins suspension), the bikes Kiwi suggested, or even a CRF250 or something else with more of an an off-road bent... Yamaha Tenere?
 

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I would have said it is set to the hardest suspension, not the softest. It has been turned to maximum ANTI-clockwise (left to right as you are looking at it). Why not try turning as far as you can the other way?
 

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I would have said it is set to the hardest suspension, not the softest. It has been turned to maximum ANTI-clockwise (left to right as you are looking at it). Why not try turning as far as you can the other way?
Yes it's hard to see but if you look to the immediate left of the tang you can see the end of the ramp that increases the preload tension. So the only way it can be turned is anticlockwise which should be the 'harder' direction, but it's hard to see the ramp clearly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, it looks like you have it set to the softest setting. As much as I'm a fan of aftermarket suspension, I cant help but feel that you would be dissappointed with the results for your application. Given the type of riding your doing I would be looking at changing bikes to something with longer suspension like the bike you mentioned or a BMW310GS or a Kawasaki Versys X-300. Short travel sports bikes will never soak up rough potholes well. I've upgraded the rear shock on my Ninja 400 from stock to K-tech at considerable expense and while it has improved it's handling on smooth to medium roads it still kicks me in the arse on rough bumps.
The front fork springs on the CB/CBR300 are already very soft stock so there's not much you can do there.
I have to agree with Kiwi rider - if you are so unhappy on the softest stock suspension setting you will be needing a bike with longer suspension travel... I'm with you on the CB500X (with upgraded YSS or Ohlins suspension), the bikes Kiwi suggested, or even a CRF250 or something else with more of an an off-road bent... Yamaha Tenere?
I would have said it is set to the hardest suspension, not the softest. It has been turned to maximum ANTI-clockwise (left to right as you are looking at it). Why not try turning as far as you can the other way?
My research led me to the exact same conclusion. If I'm gonna invest in shocks I gotta do it on the right bike. Well you guys rock!
 

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I would have said it is set to the hardest suspension, not the softest. It has been turned to maximum ANTI-clockwise (left to right as you are looking at it). Why not try turning as far as you can the other way?
Just had a proper look and yes, it is at softest. You would have to turn clockwise (right to left) to go stiffer.:mad:
 

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Just because you change the preload of your shock doesn't mean that you're changing the spring rate. Just though I would mention that.

I'm not 100% sure exactly where you want the sag to be (I generally say ~25-30% of the travel when you're sitting on it) but that only accounts for where the suspension sits when you're static. It still needs to be able to compress and rebound when you're on chuddery stuff on the road but the speed at which it bounces back is controlled by the spring.

Take a look at the R6 shock. You can find them on eBay as takeoffs for fairly cheap. Way cheaper than Penske,Ohlins, Racetech, etc. and they fit pretty much almost perfectly other than you will need to do a little bit of shaving off some metal due to the "piggyback cartridge". Result is that you'll get high and low speed compression and rebound as well as more fine tuning on the sag.
 

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... I'm not 100% sure exactly where you want the sag to be (I generally say ~25-30% of the travel when you're sitting on it) but that only accounts for where the suspension sits when you're static. It still needs to be able to compress and rebound when you're on chuddery stuff on the road but the speed at which it bounces back is controlled by the spring.
Equally important in this area is the internal rebound damping system which as you know is non adjustable on the cheap OEM shock. Another reason to upgrade to an aftermarket shock.
 

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I'm a big shock swapper and have bought a number of used E-Bay shocks for use on my 2016 FZ07. My best change was to a 2000 GSF1200 Suzuki shock. Second best was a lighter rate Eibach spring(expensive) in place of the oem spring on the stock FZ07 shock. These oem suspensions are compromises and a little fine tuning will give you a nice ride. I have had Nitron and Ktec shocks on my bikes in the past and an old cheap($25 to $50) shock is an economical way to go. I'll be doing some swapping with this bike(2021 CB300R) as time goes on and will keep the community informed as to what I've found.
 

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I’m thinking MY 2021 300RA is a bit stiff at times, especially on these Louisiana roads. To be clear, turning the preload adjuster COUNTERclockwise makes it SOFTER? I’d like to try that before considering an aftermarket shock. Many thnx!
 

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First of all. Yes the roads in LA suck. I have no idea where my high tax dollars are going. I've hit a pothole so big my phone flew off its mount. It looks like there was a missile attack on some of these streets I kid you not.

Also my rear preload is turned all the way clockwise when lying on the chain side with your nostrils facing the rear wheel. I'll link a photo. I have heard that the rear shock is bad though. View attachment 34834
By “LA”, do you mean Los Angeles or Louisiana, which is where I live, and I find it hard to believe that the roads could be worse anywhere than they are here (except in Arkansas….no offense, Razorbacks!)
 

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I think a shock with a remote reservoir may work in place of a piggyback reservoir shock. A Suzuki GSXR 600/750 shock that I bought for my FZ07 fit except the clevis wasn't deep enough to fit around the suspension link.I wasn't crazy about grinding the link so moved on to a GSF1200 shock. Works like a champ on the FZ07. This GSXR600/750 shock had four position rebound (between clevis) and multi postion compression adjustment (at reservoir). The spring was light too but probably heavier than the CB spring. The CB spring may fit the GSXR shock but it will take a swap to confirm. The R6 spring is around 600lbs. so probably too heavy for the CB unless you're a "stout fellow". I obtained my information from a very comprehensive spreadsheet created by a group called the SouthFlorida Sport Riders as I recall. It was on the web and infected me with the desire to refine the ride of my FZ07 inexpensively. The aftermarket shocks are worth the money but the used oem sport bike shocks are good investments for the average rider. In the picture, the R6 shock is far right and the GSXR600/750 is far left. In all my experimentation, I found that a slight spring rate change to the stock shock yielded really good results. I used a shock data spreadsheet that I found on the web and I believe it originated with a group named the South Florida Sportsriders. Use your shock bumper to find out how much travel your shock is using and to set sag. Have fun!
 

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I picked up a 2014 CBR300F 3 weeks ago.It has just over 9,000km on it. Still had original tyres which were changed immediately. Left as is it was going to cripple me! I am short to start with (5'5") but to exacerbate situation I have a long torso but very short limbs. Two issues here: (1) can't reach the ground on most bikes, (2) can't reach the bars comfortably on most bikes.

The actual ride of the bike didn't seem to be much worse than other small road bikes I've had. They all suffer from cheap suspension and short travel. The roads around here definitely don't help. They have fallen to bits after 3 years of continual rain and floods with many unlikely to re-open any time soon.

My initial solution was to fit a set of bar-backs (risers that also bring bars back towards you) yesterday. It has helped considerably as I'm now in a better riding position and more able to absorb the bumps. As I don't ever intend riding long distances due to increasing age, I will give it a go for a while. If I still can't cope with the situation one of two actions will be taken: (1) new, or re-damped/sprung rear shock, (2) get rid of the bike.

BruceC
 

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Do you mean a CB300F? The CBR300R has clip-on bars. I changed a year ago from CBR300R to CB300R. The previous model CB was CB300F.
 
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