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  1. #1
    Active Member bayoumanPIBE's Avatar
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    Default Smoother Performance Adjustments or Upgrades

    I love my 2014 ST-S, however, I'd love her more if the driving experience was a bit smoother.

    The bike leans to the left and right on some back roads and behind windy vehciles on highways where I feel the shocks and/or other parts should do more to ease the driving.

    I've been reading other posts, but I cannot find an answer if the following are the only options to change or adjust to make the riding/driving a bit smoother. Are there more?

    Here's what I'm thinking of thus far.
    - Tires are good, so I'm not replacing those now...unless front tires make a huge difference.
    - Elka stage 2 shocks front and rear "or" BajaRon's Custom Performance Front Shock Adjusters. I was told the shocks that came on my ryde were not adjustable. Not sure if it'd be better to adjust them or buy new ones.
    - BaJaRon sway bar
    - BajaRon's Billet Aircraft Quality Aluminum Heim Joint Link Set (I'm not sure if these help the ride or if they are for decoration to replace the plastic ones what I have.)
    - Would a wider or any seat help with me swaying as well? I know I want a seat that's more comfortable, but if it also helps with swaying, then I'll take that into consideration as well.

    Are there any other parts of the Spyder I have overlooked which could benefit an upgrade or adjustment?

    Thanks all!!

    2014 ST-S SE5 named "Keira" /
    "Life's short...Play it by ear and ryde!"

  2. #2
    SpyderLovers Sponsor BajaRon's Avatar
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    Great questions! I hope I can help. But in the end. Whatever I say is just 1 more opinion.

    - Tires are good, so I'm not replacing those now...unless front tires make a huge difference.
    If your Kendas are good, there is no need to replace them. These are not contributing enough to your issue to be a concern. Get good automotive tires when these wear out.
    - Elka stage 2 shocks front and rear "or" BajaRon's Custom Performance Front Shock Adjusters. I was told the shocks that came on my ryde were not adjustable. Not sure if it'd be better to adjust them or buy new ones.
    Obviously, you will want to check to see if your front shocks are adjustable. Easily done. If they are adjustable, the body of the shock will be threaded with 2 large ring nuts with slots in them for a spanner wrench. If you just have steel retaining plates for the coil spring top and bottom, then you do not have adjustable springs. It is interesting that every Spyder up until the 2013 models had adjustable shocks. The Spyder still needs them. Not sure why BRP decided to remove them. But I can tell you that the engineers do not have the last say in the the final product. The marketing department and the bean counters will overrule the engineers just about every time. The good news is that beginning in 2014, BRP began putting some decent (hydraulically) shocks on the Spyder. So adding adjusters is a less expensive option. Though it won't give you Elka performance. They do offer a worthwhile improvement.
    - BaJaRon sway bar
    Always an option, and will directly address the root problem you are having. I recommend the bar kit upgrade over the shock adjusters as a first step if you do not want to do both.
    - BajaRon's Billet Aircraft Quality Aluminum Heim Joint Link Set (I'm not sure if these help the ride or if they are for decoration to replace the plastic ones what I have.)
    The Billet Aluminum Heim Joint Link Ends are definitely pretty. But the real value in them is at least 2 fold. First, the factory links are a composite plastic. They stretch and compress under load. This lack of rigidity reduces the ability of the sway bar to control lean. Just installing rigid links will improve the function of a stock sway bar. Though not nearly as much as changing out the entire system with a sway bar upgrade kit. Second, my F3 sway bar is stronger than the factory RT sway bar. The composite plastic links are not up to the task and may fail. The stock links are subject to fail with the stock sway bar as well, though this is rare. The upgrade links are an integral part of the overall sway bar upgrade system. That is why I do not sell these bar kits without the upgraded links.
    - Would a wider or any seat help with me swaying as well? I know I want a seat that's more comfortable, but if it also helps with swaying, then I'll take that into consideration as well.
    A different seat may well be in your future. But though it might make it easier to stay in the saddle. It isn't going to address the root problem of excessive lean. And it will not give you the improvement in overall control and handling that you are looking for. Only a suspension system upgrade will do this.

    Are there any other parts of the Spyder I have overlooked which could benefit an upgrade or adjustment?


    The only other recommendations I would make are;
    1- Laser Alignment
    2- Correct and even tire pressures. (Important to have both front tires at the same pressure). I recommend 18-20 psi for front and 24-28 psi for rear. Assuming you have the stock Kendas mounted.
    Last edited by BajaRon; 08-12-2019 at 01:05 PM.
    Only SLOW people have to leave on time...





  3. #3
    Active Member h0gr1der's Avatar
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    With what Baja Ron said. I ride an RTL which is a bit more portly. I did most of my installations one at a time so I could kind of tell which ones worked, and how much they did. My bike came with bad tires, so I swapped them first. That masked some of the other issues. Here's my take on the order I should have taken (for my RT).

    1. Laser Alignment. Too little and the bike wanders, way too little and the bike darts. Mine had too little.
    2. Baja Ron sway bar with links. Made it handle like a slot car, yet still rides good.
    3. Baja Ron Pre-Load adjusters. Not necessary, but great to maintain front end clearance (and hence alignment) if you load the bike down heavily.
    4. Tires. I'm very fond of car tires, especially the good ones listed in the forum.

    After these changes, if it still doesn't do what you want, then the shock upgrades. Mine got steady and smooth before having to change the shocks.
    h0gr1der
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  4. #4
    Very Active Member Grandpot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by h0gr1der View Post


    With what Baja Ron said. I ride an RTL which is a bit more portly. I did most of my installations one at a time so I could kind of tell which ones worked, and how much they did. My bike came with bad tires, so I swapped them first. That masked some of the other issues. Here's my take on the order I should have taken (for my RT).

    1. Laser Alignment. Too little and the bike wanders, way too little and the bike darts. Mine had too little.
    2. Baja Ron sway bar with links. Made it handle like a slot car, yet still rides good.
    3. Baja Ron Pre-Load adjusters. Not necessary, but great to maintain front end clearance (and hence alignment) if you load the bike down heavily.
    4. Tires. I'm very fond of car tires, especially the good ones listed in the forum.

    After these changes, if it still doesn't do what you want, then the shock upgrades. Mine got steady and smooth before having to change the shocks.
    Yep! And in that order.
    2011 RTS
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    Experience is recognizing the same mistake every time you make it!

  5. #5
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    I can tell you that when I bought my 2013 ST with only 2k miles on it, it had a shimmy at about 60-65 mph. I pulled both front tires and had them checked for ballance -- both checked out. However, I still had the issue after having the front end aligned and installing Baja Ron's sway bar. It finally disappeared when I put regular Forza car tires on the front. The Kenda tires were bad from the get go -- and I'm not the only one this has happened to. Not saying that's necessarily your problem, but don't just assume that the Kenda tires are ok.

  6. #6
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    OK, my personal experience. I have a '13 ST-L. When new, wallowed around like a '68 Chrysler. First I put BajaRon sway bar and links. Amazing difference. No more wallow. I have to say here that my alignment has always been good. I got 28K miles on my front Kendas and expect to do as well with set. The suspension was poor from day one and by 35K miles it was toast. I put Elka Stage 2s all around as I ride 2 up and it turned back in to a sports car.

    Your suspension components are different than mine so I would do the sway bar first, Alignment if you feel it is needed and then address the shock issue depending the depth of your wallet. Probably shock adjusters (if possible) before replacement.

  7. #7
    SpyderLovers Sponsor BajaRon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fulltimer View Post
    OK, my personal experience. I have a '13 ST-L. When new, wallowed around like a '68 Chrysler. First I put BajaRon sway bar and links. Amazing difference. No more wallow. I have to say here that my alignment has always been good. I got 28K miles on my front Kendas and expect to do as well with set. The suspension was poor from day one and by 35K miles it was toast. I put Elka Stage 2s all around as I ride 2 up and it turned back in to a sports car.

    Your suspension components are different than mine so I would do the sway bar first, Alignment if you feel it is needed and then address the shock issue depending the depth of your wallet. Probably shock adjusters (if possible) before replacement.
    Shocks on the 2013's were very poor. BRP supplied much better units for the 2014 and later models.
    Only SLOW people have to leave on time...





  8. #8
    Active Member Haze's Avatar
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    I have a 2013 ST that has a BaJaRon sway bar. I initially added spring preload adjusters and felt a handling improvement.
    The ST is notoriously undersprung. Finally at Spyderfest I had stage 2 Elka shocks and springs (from an RT) added to replace my stock shocks and springs. The Elka's made an amazing improvement in stability and highway high speed tracking. No more dive in cornering or issues with cross winds or truck passing. New shocks and springs are my best farkle so far.
    David C
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