While suspension is important on a road bike, it is critical on a race bike, and more so on a small bike with only 60hp where it’s all about the handling.
This one had supposedly been set up for the track for a 75kg rider, which should have been fine for Steve and myself, but it felt way too soft. Just riding around the car park you could tell something wasn’t right.
The brakes were useless as well, they felt spongy and they were binding badly. As this is a later model NC30 it has adjustable forks (the earlier ones have only preload adjustment) and unless you’re a serious racer the only thing they really need are stiffer springs.
As this already had up rated springs fittted there was probably some other reason they felt too soft. Pulling them apart soon revealed that the right fork leg had about half the amount of oil it should have, and what was there looked old and nasty.
I cannot imagine why you would do this on purpose but it didn’t appear to be leaking so we’ll never know. Anyway, we filled them with the correct amount of 10 weight fork oil and put them back together.
The rear shock felt ok, and seems to have been modified. It has a non standard spring (presumably stiffer) and has had some sort of compression adjuster fitted in-line between the shock and the remote reservoir. It was however, a disgrace and had a lot of surface corrosion so it would need to be taken off and cleaned.
While it was off we made an adjustment to the suspension linkage. The NC30 sits a bit low at the back so a common mod is to raise the rear a bit to sharpen up the steering and give more ground clearance. There are two ways to do this. The expensive way is to fit the rear shock from an Aprilia RS250 as it has height adjustment and is a better shock anyway, the cheap way is to fit the “dog bone” linkage from an NC35 or shorten the existing one from 113mm to 109mm (centre to centre). Steve’s father-in-law owns his own machine shop JOM ENGINEERING so guess which option we took?