Effects of wheel and suspension mods

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Well-Known Member
Mar 1, 2009
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How much difference do 17" wheels and tires make to handling? What about USD forks wheel and brakes from a 95 GSXR1100? Is that a good choice? I am a heavier rider. Do the forks need to have heavier springs? Is this difficult to do on USD forks? I have done racetech springs and emulators on stock forks before. Just wondering if anyone has a similar combo?


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Dec 25, 2021
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I cant tell you a lot about the USD fork, since I am using the OEM fork with progressive springs. That serves me well.

What I can tell you is that the differences to swap out the OEM rims and tyres into 17" is a massive improvement. Especially when you live and ride in a mountain/hill area with lots of bends - thats where I live. For expample we are planning a ride to Umag, Croatia where they have a big V-Max meeting. This is just about 500 kms, but even on google maps its about 10-11 hours to get there. Without breaks, filling stations and whatever we do usually in a days time.

However. In my opinion swapping to 17" rims and 180/190 mm wide radial tyres rear transfers the bike from a vintage construction into a very useable modern bike (as far as possble). I feel a lot safer to ride it and the fun feeling the power and able to manage or even control it when you ride on narrow roads is really endless.

I also swapped out the rear suspension and now honestly I dont have any wobble, also on uneven roads in high speed curves. It was expensive but also a remarkable improvement. I feel very safe and feel like never even coming close ot the limit of my ability riding my 30++ years old ride.

To be honest, making all the improvements for handling leaded to the limits of the OEM brakes, I had fading quite soon and I had to improve the brakes this winter. Not very expensive, but I hope now I have also eliminated this flaw. The guy who sold me the bike has improved the bearings and guides already, so - handling is important for me and I am happy with my Max after all work done on her.