Should I have my Ohlins 30MM extended?

Discussion in 'General' started by Andre Pettas, Sep 10, 2020.


Should I have my 30mm's extended?

  1. Leave them

  2. Extend

  1. Andre Pettas

    Andre Pettas Member

    Bike: 2009 Yamaha R6 with 17+ bodywork. Ohlins 30mm front, TTX GP rear.

    I've been told by people such as Bryce Prince that I should absolutely have my 30mm's extended. I've also been told by people such as Evan Steel that they usually do not recommend it.

    I primarily race out of Arroyo Seco in NM, which is an extremely hard braking/accel track with practically no flowing/high speed turns. I also raced with CVMA 2019-20 and won both Am Middleweight championships with just regular Ohlins 30's.

    I'm looking for feedback on what to do. Most people tell me that I should have them extended, however the people that are telling me this tend to ride on long flowing, smooth tracks. Have any of you done this and regretted it?

  2. rob linders

    rob linders Well-Known Member

    Are you on a R6?

    Bryce is very knowledge on those. Our 08-10 R6’s had the front extended 10mm as I recall.
    Andre Pettas likes this.
  3. noles19

    noles19 Well-Known Member

    What's the bike doing that you don't like?
    Andre Pettas likes this.
  4. stangmx13

    stangmx13 Well-Known Member

    I think you’d have a hard time finding an R6 winning expert races or competing in MA that doesn’t have extended forks. You can run the forks inset into the top triple to get some extra ride-height. I did that for a year. But my base setup is now a few mm taller than that. It’s nice to have that option.
    Andre Pettas likes this.
  5. Andre Pettas

    Andre Pettas Member

    I don't have any huge complaints at the moment. Ive been losing some weight, so I'll need to make some spring changes if this progress continues. One of the issues I've had is my zip tie is always riding the bottom. Whenever I try adding preload, it makes the bike impossible to turn mid corner. I've been using 10.5 springs, so I experimented with 10.0's, which made the front end feel like jello under any hard braking. I've since swapped a 10.5 in and have a 10.0 in the front, which seems to be ok.

    My forks and TTX are long overdue for service, so I was seeing if I should have it done while I send them in. Just didn't want to do something that would cause issues/limit options.
  6. Andre Pettas

    Andre Pettas Member

    Yes, 2009 R6 with Ohlins 30mm. Bryce is very knowledgeable and has done quite well. Evan Steel also ran a 600 team and won a few titles if I recall. That's where I'm stuck with what to do.
  7. racerx13

    racerx13 Well-Known Member

    What is Evan’s reasoning to NOT lengthen the forks?
  8. Sabre699

    Sabre699 Wait...hold my beer.

    What's wrong with a trifle of extension?

    [​IMG] :D
  9. Hyperdyne

    Hyperdyne WERA 15

    I have to reiterate a question that was already asked. What's the bike doing you don't like? Or what do you wan't the bike to do that it won't/can't.
    Andre Pettas likes this.
  10. Andre Pettas

    Andre Pettas Member

    I had addressed this question a few up :)
    Sabre699 likes this.
  11. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    How close are you to Bryce in laptimes? If not very then get more track time before worrying about it.
    Shocker, D-Zum, badmoon692008 and 2 others like this.
  12. Andre Pettas

    Andre Pettas Member

    51's at Chuck, within 2-3 seconds of the lap record at Arroyo on a 600 set by Tomas Puerta. I think Bryce run's 46-47's at Chuck?
  13. Andre Pettas

    Andre Pettas Member

    Here is what Evan Steel told my exactly. The majority of people I talk to have told me to extend my forks. Evan's one of the only ones that has advised against it, and he has a wealth of knowledge.

    "It’s very easy to make them 10mm longer, I honestly don’t remember if yours are currently 120mm stroke or 130mm stroke, but easy to check. My personal feeling is I don’t do it unless your looking for something specific. Like higher front ride height, more trail, softer front fork without getting to the bottom as quickly etc. for me it’s kind of a trend that comes and goes, we had 140mm stroke forks in 2007, and I currently know at least a few GP teams are running 115mm stroke forks at times. "
    backbone likes this.
  14. stangmx13

    stangmx13 Well-Known Member

    theres practically no drawback to extending the forks. if you dont like the extra ride-height, you run the forks 10mm higher up in the clamps. IIRC, extending these carts is removing one spacer on the rebound rod and installing longer preload spacers. thats childs-play for a good suspension tech and should be cheap.

    u are riding the bottom and tried SOFTER springs? I would have tried stiffer springs with less preload to stay further off the bottom under hard braking and help the bike turn mid-corner.

    zip tie at the bottom isnt a "problem". bottoming over braking bumps is a problem. is that occurring? if not, the next question to ask is "why arent you going faster"?

    riding the bottom is some justification for extending the forks. you get more usable travel, decreasing your "chances" of bottoming with the same springrate.
    Andre Pettas likes this.
  15. Andre Pettas

    Andre Pettas Member

    From the setup Evan Steel had worked on with me with the 10.5's, I had maybe 8-9 turns of preload in. Any time we'd add more preload, it'd get the bike off the bottom of the forks, but my mid turn suffered dramatically. I had quite a few people at CVMA suggest trying to run lighter springs with more preload to help this situation. I had a pretty nasty wreck (lowside) at CVMA May 31st that may have been a result of bottoming out at full lean. I made the change to softer springs with more preload after this, and although it helped through flowing esses without hard braking, any major brake zone felt like jello.

    I'm also aware that the zip tie being at the bottom isn't always a big deal. Arroyo is an incredibly bumpy track, and this can make it seem like the forks are bottoming when in reality it's just heavy bumps in certain areas causing this.

    I started racing towards the middle of 2018, so I'm still fairly new to racing. I took 5 championships with ASMA, and 2 championships with CVMA in 2019, although amateur, and not carrying much weight, still should be a sign of decent progress. I'm not set on extending my forks, just trying to figure out why every single suspension person at CVMA, and a lot of people faster than me are telling me to do it. With my suspension overdue for a service, wanted to see if I should get it done while having them out of the bike or not.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2020
  16. TX Joose

    TX Joose Well-Known Member

    Advice #1: Don't ask multiple " experts" what you should do. Find a guy you trust and go with him. If you want a second opinion, stop using the first.

    Advice #2: Determine what you want the bike you do better, and ask your resident expert how to get there.

    Advice #3: Service your suspension and get seat time.
  17. noles19

    noles19 Well-Known Member

    My advice is don't chase other people's suspension set ups that specifically, I've done that on my r6 and it was unrideable for me.
    I'd go with what your suspension tuner recommends
    Knotcher and Andre Pettas like this.
  18. stangmx13

    stangmx13 Well-Known Member

    Softer springs at CVMA is kinda the default setup. The track is flowing and rewards corner speed and mechanical grip. So it can be beneficial to sacrifice some hard braking ability in your setup to favor apex speed. You have to know that going in and you may need to adjust your riding. Maybe you brake a little sooner & lighter in the hard braking zones because the softer setup requires it, but your lap time still ends up being faster.

    At some point, you will probably need different setups for different tracks. Based on your description of Arroyo Seco, that track and CVMA may be at opposite ends of the spectrum for track layout. So it might already be time for different setups. Don't be surprised if one set of fork springs is great at one track and garbage at another. The CVMA guys may be giving great advice for CVMA, but we cant assume it will work great for other tracks.

    But back to your original topic. Extending the forks adds options to the setup. It allows racers to use softer spring rates or taller ride-heights that arent possible with the stock cartridge length. That's it. You arent required to use those springs or that ride-height, you just have the option. I know a lot of R6 racers using those options and you've met plenty too. But who knows if those things will work for you. On top of that, maybe Evan Steel found a good setup that works without those things. But such a setup definitely isnt common in AFM, WERA West, or CVMA.
    Andre Pettas likes this.
  19. Andre Pettas

    Andre Pettas Member

    Well stated. I appreciate the feedback. My current suspension tuner (Bobby Loo - Motorrev Suspension) wants to extend my forks as well. I may just go with his advice and go from there. Thanks for all the feedback!
  20. SundaySocial

    SundaySocial Blue and Gold

    I just extended my forks.
    IMO, this solution opens up additional options, and makes the chassis transition easier.
    An “Easy to make adjustment” for turn in, or mid corner, improvements.
    Andre Pettas likes this.

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