Suspension tip from the top

Kev-Rd2-2013

It’s Curtains for stiff suspension.

Many riders set up their suspension too stiff. Don’t take my word for it … that’s the advice from someone who should know – Kevin Curtain.

He’s won so many Australian championships and international races, he’s forgotten. In fact, long after we chatted to him at a Yamaha Racing Team ride day at Queensland Raceway he was still tallying them up on his fingers … and there’s no Wikipedia entry or official website to consult.

Anyway, his advice to road and track riders is not to set the suspension too stiff. His pit crew call it “old man setting”, but it seems to have served the multi-superbike champion quite well.

“I set them up so it doesn’t take too much energy out of me,” he says. “It’s easy to ride so at the end of the race you aren’t exhausted. I don’t do a whole lot of training. I just stay active; golfing, skiing, swimming. And I just keep winning.”

There’s no thoughts of the 46-year-old hanging up his leathers just yet and he’s competing this year in the Formula Xtreme series. “I don’t know when to stop. I was going to stop years ago but I just enjoy it so much. I’ll keep riding until I start to go backwards, but I’m still winning races, so why stop.”

Kevin has a road licence, but he reckons it’s too dangerous … although he admits he’s one of the biggest dangers.

“Yamaha gave me an R1 but I’m a bit too stupid. I have no appreciation for the hazards. You are going 100km/h and it feels like you are just walking. I get my speed thrills out of water-skiing and boating.”

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