last updated February 25th, 2002.

Front end setup:

RaceTech .85 kg/mm springs
RaceTech gold valve cartridge emulators, set 2 turns in from loose. I started with 3 turns, but it was too harsh, or imballanced, or something. here is what an emulator does and why you want them.
12.5 weight oil, (I mixed a 10 and a 15 of two different brands and it seems to work fine)
20 mm preload. I used 1" PVC pipe to make the spacer because it's cheap. the instructions that came with the springs said to start with 20mm preload, and it turns out that gives me the right amount of static sag, so I'm going to leave it there.


It appears that mixing 10 and 15 weight oil to get a 12.5 didn't work at all. It could be that the 10 and 15 were from different manufacturers, and each has their own additives that screw up the other's oil viscosity.

When I replaced the fork oil with a straight 15 weight oil it made a huge difference! Holy cow! The "12.5" I had in before never worked nearly as well as the 10 weight (I believe) in the other hawk.

Here's the mail I sent to some people after I made the change:

Rear end setup:

Progressive adjustable shock, set on full hard for compression, and "3" for rebound. I started with full soft for both, and then full hard for both, but that was too much, the rear wheel felt like it was having trouble with traction, so I reduced rebound damping half way. It feels much better now.
the shock is not length adjustable, only preload adjustable. I've got it set at what would be "4" or "5" on the stock hawk shock, and that gives me a ride I like and a static sag that is appropriate. I've only scraped parts in corners twice, and that was when I hit a bump, so I'm ok with the preload, I have enough ground clearance to erase the Michelin man on the sides of my tires. Here's a picture of it before it went on the bike.
I don't know if this is the best way to set it up, and I don't know if the shock is in really good shape, or really worn out. I got it from a guy on the net who said, "It's exactly the way it came off the hawk." That could mean anything. The local GMD computune couldn't get it apart to rebuild it without damaging it, which also means nothing. Someday I'll send it back to Progressive and have them take responsability for it.


Nothing except for stainless braided front brake line and a VFR adjustable lever. I replaced the stock (original) FF pads with EBC HH ones, and it stops really really well now. I expect the difference is a combination of several things I did at once, rebuiding the caliper, rebuilding the master cylinder, and throwning away the old pads. new stock FF pads might have made a difference of similar magnitude. This is all to say "HH pads might not fix a similar problem."
I did find that the lever feel was improved by the stainless lines, and that I really like the adjustable lever. I like having the lever close to the bar so I can get all my fingers around it. I get better control when I can curl my fingers around the lever, it takes a lot less effort, and I don't have to stretch my hand off the bar to reach the lever. I used to like to use two fingers, but that was as much because the lever was far away and I didn't like moving my hand off the bar at all.


I installed a Twobrothers Racing exhaust system in December 2001, and I'm embarrassed to say I really like the sound. At the same time I switched to 4" UNI pod filters and a Factory brand stage 3 jet kit.

I've got it tuned so it's pretty good, but there's sort of a flat spot in the mid-range that I'd like to tune out. The flat spot might be a function of the non-stepped headers, my impression is that the race headers sacrifice mid range to get lots of top-end. I'd believe that based on the butt-dyno testing I've done on my hawk. here are the carb settings I've used, and some history. Before I had the TBR and the pods I was using a stock airbox and filter with a stage 1 jet kit. It helped a lot, made the bike a whole lot smoother and easier to ride.

Transmission, sprockets, chain:

No mods at all. I'm still on the original chain after 15k miles.

Corbin seat:

Corbin has a reputation for comfortable seats, and they deserve it. The Corbin is wider and has a higher back than the stock seat, not just where your butt goes, but in the front of the seat too, under your thighs. This makes long trips much more comfortable, the seat doesn't dig into the sides of your legs or butt. The high back and wide sides add confidence too, I feel like I can hang off the side of the bike farther and still be on the seat, this helps a lot on the track where hanging off can be the difference between scraping some bike part or not. The higher back makes me feel like I'm not going to scoot off the back of the seat when I open the throttle, and that makes me want to do it. The higher back also makes it look like a passenger would slide off more than the stock seat, but the padding is cut in such a way that it's actually more comfortable for the passenger than the stock seat.


Front: Michelin Pilot Sport 110/70-17
Rear: Michelin Pilot Sport 160/60-17
They're wicked sticky, but they get a flat part down the middle too fast for me, I use my bike to commute too. I think next time I'll get the Michelin Mcadam 100X's instead, I liked them on the Ducati I used to ride.