New to me ZX10R race bike

Discussion in 'Tech' started by ilikebass, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. ilikebass

    ilikebass Member

    Hello all, I'm picking up a friend's ZX10R race bike in about 3 weeks and because I am new to Kawasaki I have a few questions to get me started setting it up for me. It's a '16 with quite a few mods and I'd like to get some feedback on the direction to take it to prepare for the 2021 race season. I don't know all the details yet but here are some questions to get me going, thanks in advance!

    1. Regarding geometry: As far as I know the bike has had the shock shimmed by 10mm but no other geometry changes. There was a post here giving numbers after a geometry measurement on a stock bike with MotoAmerica spec dunlops, the rake/trail was 25.3/115.5 - I assume this is approximately the starting point for most stock bikes. I understand that there is a good amount of variance rider to rider, but what are typically some target values for a ZX10R race bike? I would guess more like 105mm of trail would be more ideal, 115 seems lazy, but again I do not know these bikes at all. Are you guys typically using the steering angle adjusters at 23* or 23.5* positions? Offset I've read is 25mm stock, are you guys increasing this with the +4mm collars to 29mm? I've been looking around and haven't seen a lot about using these race kit parts. Not even sure if you can use the rake adjuster and offset collars together or if it's one or the other. With things like dropping the front, raising rear, and any other changes, does swingarm angle start becoming an issue and if so how far are you typically shifting the pivot? One of the racers in my series is known as "the" Kawi guy and puts out very fast times and also sets up other bikes that are around, he claims he can get the setup pretty spot on so I am assuming there are a few common changes to get these bikes in the right ballpark. Just looking for some details here so I can have some knowledge before talking details with him.

    2. Regarding electronics: The bike has a Woolich set up but don't know anything more than that at this point. The same Kawi guy mentioned above says I really need to get a race ECU/harness to get it dialed. What does this afford that the Woolich does not? I assume there are certain parameters that are only adjustable with the race ECU but what are these and is it worth the cost of swapping if the bike already has the Woolich?

    3. The bike has a TTX and GP fork cartridges which I understand is basically the old Ohlins 25 kit with different pistons and valving. I was told the stroke increases by 10mm and then someone said it's actually closer to 7mm, so two questions - which is it, and do you compensate geometry (assuming you want to keep that the same) by pushing the forks up through the triples by that amount? Not sure what the topout springs are like and if this has to be worked into it. On the topic of suspension, I am 178 lbs. in street clothes, what are similar guys typically running for spring rates? Not sure what the bike has now.

    4. The bike has 3,500 miles, which has been track miles for the last 2 seasons. I am reading that these motors are solid but wonder at what point these are usually rebuilt. I will dyno when I get it and if the numbers are looking good I might assume it could make it through the whole season, is this reasonable given the mileage/usage? Anything to look out for in particular?

    Thanks for any feedback!
  2. ilikebass

    ilikebass Member

    Dang, really nothing guys?
  3. gapman789

    gapman789 Well-Known Member

    Ping Gmay99......I think he was racing zx10's recently. He knows a little about this racin' biz.
    Rising Sun likes this.
  4. Phl218

    Phl218 Lemme ask my wife

  5. D-Zum

    D-Zum Alex’s Ohvale Valet

    I know this is a silly question, but have you actually ridden the bike, yet?

    Before you go all buck wild on this new platform, unless you just have FU money and want to do all this, I'd suggest riding it at a track day or two as "testing days" to get to know it a little.

    THEN maybe consult someone like @Gmay99 on what you don't like, what you do like, and changes that can be made to get the bike closer to your preferences.

    I'd definitely get the suspension sprung for your weight, though....if you're friend that's selling you the bike is 100 pounds heavier, that's just not going to work right from "Hello", and needs to be corrected.

    The rest can wait, I would think. You may be spending money you don't need to spend.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
    Rising Sun and duc995 like this.
  6. ilikebass

    ilikebass Member

    Just to be clear, I'm not asking these questions to buy any parts. I'm asking to know what the general directions racers take the bike because I want to learn as much as possible before getting the bike - especially the chassis because I expect it to take a lot of testing to get it right for me. Good info could save me a lot of time in testing, that's what I'm looking for.I ride some tight and technical tracks, wonder what people are doing to this bike to get it to be competitive.

    I guess you don't know anything about people over the internet, but of course the first thing I will be doing is riding the bike for a few days before doing anything to it. It would be ridiculous to just start buying parts without having any specific problem to address. I rode the bike for 5 laps about 6 months ago and it was too new to me to be able to really say much about what it was doing well and what it wasn't. Electronics wise, if there are some pretty important parameters that only the kit ecu can modify and tune, that would be enough to go ahead and start looking for those parts. I am reading as much as I can find online and talking to people, all I'm trying to do is get some quality feedback on modifications in order to race this bike.
  7. DDK732

    DDK732 Well-Known Member

    I’ve seen the ZX10 set up in totally different directions and still work good. It really depends on the feel you are looking for to feel comfortable and confident.

    The best thing to do is work with someone that knows the bike and can get you dialed in. If you’re in So Cal I could help you.

    Generally, I start with stock geometry and go from there. The really fast guys I’ve worked with tend to like the bike tall with a short wheelbase and appropriate spring rates, but not everyone likes the bike set up like that.

    The most important thing is dialing the bike in for your riding style and what makes you the most confident and don’t get stuck in the mindset that there’s only one way to set the bike up.

    Hope that helps
    KneeDragger_c69 and ilikebass like this.
  8. ilikebass

    ilikebass Member

    Thanks DDK. I've read some of your other posts about the bike.

    My first track bike was a Ducati 996. I ended up settling on running the bike tall with the front and rear both raised from stock (the rear a lot, front just 5mm or so). My 675 I also ran high in the front and basically stock in the rear. I know all completely different bikes but seeing you say that I reckon I would probably like a tall setup. I'll keep in mind a shorter wheelbase. For those who run them tall, can you give any specifics about where the bike ends up numbers wise just so I have a general idea? FYI this is exactly the feedback I was looking for, thanks for offering your insight.
  9. DDK732

    DDK732 Well-Known Member

    I always keep the shock at 315mm and raise the rear height with the shims. I’ve seen a range of 6 to 9 mm (321 - 324 mm) total height but I’ve heard of guys going taller too. Up front I’ve ran everything from 5mm to 0mm to -1mm. A lot of times the track and track conditions direct the set up.

    When the bike gets taller it holds the line better and flicks easier, but stability gets worse. Just need to find that balance you’re looking for.
  10. ilikebass

    ilikebass Member

    Stock there is a 5mm spacer is that right? So when you mean total height you are adding the additional shim width to the existing 5mm? And the 315 I assume is measured with a shock puller, do you know off hand what the stock length is (not sure if there's a topout so maybe not comparable)? Also any thoughts on the steering head angle adjusters?
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
  11. D-Zum

    D-Zum Alex’s Ohvale Valet

    I wasn't trying to be insulting...I read your questions as a "Going Balls Deep" enthusiastic post, and maybe that initial impression was off the mark. Sorry.

    I agree with DDK.
  12. DDK732

    DDK732 Well-Known Member

    That is with the stock shim (5mm) removed and yes, the 315mm is with the shock stretched. I believe the stock shock length is 310mm.

    I’ve tested all the kit headstay collars and have had the best results with the +4 mm collar. It did create better stability and improved front feel. Some guys do like the 23 degree collar, again it’s really based on the feel you’re looking for.
  13. Goldie

    Goldie Well-Known Member

    Geometry setup is the hardest for the bike. I'm an average height guy :) but it felt like I was reaching for the bars waay too much so I put zero offsets clip-on (Jason Disalvo uses also) and that fixed my problem. Rearsets was another issue. Felt like the rearsets was way too far back with the woodcrafts and unnatural, so I replaced them with Bionamici rearset and moved them all the way forward and down vice the standard back and down. I also run the Woodlich and it's plenty good for a retired expert pace but you need to have it dialed in. I had some issues with the autoblipper via woolich initially but have found the sweet spot and have no more issues. I do plan to take the bike to KWS this offseason to have the Woolich software dialed-in. I actually run Andreina carts so I can still use the OEM gas setup and Ohlins rear and this setup works good for me. Some have said the Andreania carts won't get stiff enough under hard braking when railin during a race, but this is not a problem for me. Perhaps because I'm slower than those saying this? Last but not least, the bike responds very well if you raise the entire bike. You can start that by running taller tires in a 60 or 65 series (See Pirelli) vice a 55 series tire. My 2cents cause I aint no GMAY99. :)
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
  14. moto316

    moto316 Well-Known Member

    510mm from top of lower triple tree to center of axle is what I've been running on my front end with the K-tech 20DDS cartridges (they have some extra travel compared to stockers) and 314mm shock length plus the 5mm spacer in rear. This is on pirelli's, looking to possibly make some changes with the bigger sizes I'm running now.
  15. ilikebass

    ilikebass Member

    I had a few insightful conversations over the last few days, two of which were with MA Stock 1000 racers who ran the ZX10R.

    Two ranges for SA lengths were given and are similar, they are 598 - 604 mm and 597 - 602 mm. Stock is approx. 591 mm (someone please confirm). One of the racers said he ran the bike tall but also long at 602 - 608 mm.

    Here's a story from a tuner who set up one of the Stock 1000 bikes: bike had 12.4 degrees of SA angle when he started working with it (target is typically 12.6 - 12.8 degrees, stock is around 12.2 I believe) with 112 mm of trail. Rider wanted sharper steering so they intended to drop trail numbers. They raised the rear of course, but because that would get the SA angle out of range. The solution was to flip the pivot, taking the angle down to 11.7 which allowed them to jack the rear end up more to get the steering geometry more aggressive - by doing so they got back to the right angle range and reduced trail enough. They went up approx 10 mm at the shock and ended up with 108/109 mm trail which apparently worked well for the rider.

    Tuner said the target trail for a non-pro like me should be about 105 mm to start. For perspective WSBK/MotoGP values are typically around 112-115 mm.
  16. stangmx13

    stangmx13 Well-Known Member

    Have these tuners giving you numbers to run seen you ride the bike...

    Try not to fix problems that dont exist.

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