Suspension fix for a 2004 Yamaha Fazer 1000

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Q. This is my second Fazer 1000, an ’04 model after several Blades and R1s. Ticking nearly all of the boxes: performance (Akrapovic system) and practicality aswell as all-day comfort, the glaring weakness of the bike is the suspension which is overwhelmed by the power of the bike when driven at ‘fast road’ pace on the undulating Scottish Highland roads.

I have fitted Hyperpro spring kits front and rear, but the rear shock loses virtually all damping abilities especially when worked hard.

Now, while I know Ohlins is a market leader, I haven’t got the budget. I have contacted Maxton and they seem to provide a good level of advice and products, but I am confused by the amount of makers out there and could do with some impartial advice.

While I do not do track days, I can assure you that I am looking to maximise the handling of the bike as it is suiting me and my son who sometimes rides pillion with me.

Is it worthwhile going the full hog and getting front and rear done together at say Maxton, or do you think the likes of a Hagon rear shock would change things dramatically?
Ian Rendall, email
A. I think that as a first step you should see if anyone will rebuild the original, especially as you have already changed the springs. If that isn’t economical, then the next solution is a Hagon shock with some damping adjustment suited to the load the bike carries, and the nature of the roads you are riding up there.

After that, you’re looking at bespoke builds and set-up with Maxton, KAIS or PDQ

Of course, you can’t uprate one end without the other catching up. Bearing in mind that you already have new-ish springs in the forks, then I would experiment with different fork oil weights and amounts.

It’s easy to spend more money than you need to, so set a budget and think about any tweaks you might like. For example, you say you ride with your son a lot, then simple preload adjustment at the road side will be a priority.

Are you the last of the late brakers, or do you like to give it loads on the exit of bends? Do you want it to be fast steering or ultra stable? Is it preferable to feel it moving around under you, or stiff as a board?

Also take a look at the “suspension set up” thread in the Technical section of the Ask The Expert forums on our website.

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