Great review of the 2004 GSX-R600. You guys were the only reviewers who pointed out the difficulty in adjusting the brake and clutch levers. I just purchased a yellow version and the bike is great, but I would like to roll both the clutch and brake levers downward to make it fit my riding position better. Neither will go downward more than a few millimeters. Any suggestions on how downward adjustment might be accomplished? Thanks!
Ron McLachlan Macon, GA
The good news is you can get quite a bit more adjustment from the brake lever by cracking the banjo bolt and rotating the brake hose away from the fork tube. (This also works on a number of other bikes with radial master cylinders.) After that things get more difficult. A lower-profile banjo bolt (both Russell Performance and Goodridge list something suitable) would help somewhat. On the clutch side, the limiting factor is the switch hitting the edge of the clip-on's riser. You could remove the switch and jury-rig the wiring (if you are desperate and can always remember to check your sidestand and that you're in neutral when you start the bike--I can't). The situation is easily fixed with aftermarket clip-ons with replaceable tubes, which let you move the controls slightly outboard.
I need to know about suspension setup. A while ago I got some settings from your web site for my 2000 GSX-R750, but I did not know those were for track use. At first I loved the way the bike handled in the street, but after a while I noticed it was hitting bumps extremely hard, and it felt like it was going to slide out from under me. I went one turn out from full stiff on everything and two lines showing from the forks. I left the back shock the way it was because I really do not know what I am doing with the back shock setup. Your web site specified to go 23mm from the top, but I don't understand what it is talking about. Please help with this!
George Rodriguez Via SR mail
You are on the right track by slightly backing out the compression and rebound damping adjusters as well as reducing preload for street use, and you can do the same on the shock. Showa suspension typically has its entire adjustment range in the first two turns, so try just a quarter-turn on each adjuster at a time on both the fork and shock. To set your preload, measure from the top of the threads on the shock body to the top of the spring itself, as shown here.
I have a 2001 R1. I fitted Pirelli Supercorsas, with the rear being a 190/55. Your tire shootout ("It Just Keeps Getting Better," June 2002) swayed me to go to a 55 profile. My previous set was Michelin Pilot Sports in 190/50. My question is this: Instead of buying the Yellow Box to correct my speedo for the larger-diameter tire, can I simply get shorter gearing? (My chain is stretched like Van Gogh's clock anyway.) Can your calculator come up with any suggestions?
Jesse Schultz Victoria, BC Canada
This raises an interesting point concerning the different profiles: Your effective gearing is between one and two rear teeth taller with a 190/55 rear tire compared to a 190/50. For your specific change, switching from the 190/50 Pilot Sport to the 190/55 Supercorsa raised your gearing by approximately 3 percent. You could change your sprockets to account for this, but doing so just to correct the speedometer defeats the purpose--the speedo reads more accurately with the bigger tire, as the taller effective gearing takes away some of the speedo's optimism.
OK Geek, this one has me stumped, and I've been building and rebuilding cars for 30 years. I rebuilt a slow-leaking clutch slave cylinder and flushed old DOT 3 out and replaced it with new fluid. Four weeks later the clutch master cylinder started to leak, requiring multiple pumping just to get home. I noticed the 3-week-old DOT 3 was all black. I rebuilt the clutch master cylinder and again flushed it with a different brand of DOT 3. Three weeks later the master cylinder started leaking again, the DOT 3 was all black and the rubber piston seal was noticeably dissolved 30 percent. I put another rebuild kit in and new DOT 3. Three weeks later the same thing happened again. This third time I switched to a new clutch master cylinder by a different vendor than the maker of the rebuild kits. Again new DOT 3. Three weeks later the new master cylinder is leaking and the DOT 3 is all black again. The hydraulic lines are original and not routed any differently from the original and not near any excessive heat source. What's causing this? What am I missing? Score one clutch slave rebuild, two clutch master cylinder rebuild kits from the same vendor, one new master cylinder by an alternate vendor, two different brands of DOT 3 and it still leaks every three weeks. Am I haunted?
Bill Nelson Tampa, FL
Most likely your trouble is originating from the one part you haven't changed--the slave cylinder. If the slave cylinder or its piston are worn or damaged, the fluid will contaminate quickly, even with new seals. Material from the slave cylinder could be getting into the master cylinder, causing the recurring damage to its seal. Replace the slave cylinder and at the same time rebuild the master cylinder and completely flush the system, and you should be set.
Got a question? Send a note to Sport Rider, Attention: The Geek, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.