Those of you who frequently ride on a race track, or even twisty mountain roads, would know that being able to tweak and adjust your suspension settings can go a long way in improving your lap times. If shaving milliseconds off your lap time isn't where you get your kicks, well, a fine-tuned suspension setup undoubtedly makes for a more enjoyable, not to mention, confidence-inspiring ride.
At the grassroots level of racing, and even among newbie riders in general, the Yamaha YZF-R3 has long been a popular sportbike. The smallest member of Yamaha's YZF-R sportbike range available in the global market, the YZF-R3 has all the makings of a versatile, do-anything sportbike. Its low seat height makes it approachable to all riders, while its docile motor delivers power at a very predictable, linear fashion. Apart from making this bike an excellent beginner motorcycle, all these attributes contribute to making this bike an exceptional track bike, as well.
Over the years, a rich aftermarket has blossomed for the Yamaha R3. Hundreds of performance oriented upgrades from brakes, exhaust systems, and suspension components have surfaced from both well-known and obscure name brands alike. When it comes to suspension upgrades, however, few other brands come close to Swedish suspension experts Öhlins, and its NIX 22 and STX 46 suspension kit for the Yamaha YZF-R3. With decades of experience and innovation in the highest tier of motorcycle racing, Öhlins has perfected the recipe of adapting racing technology for use both on the street and on the track.
The Öhlins NIX 22 catridge kit is a direct replacement for the stock front suspension cartridge of the Yamaha YZF-R3. The company claims that it delivers performance gains thanks to stable damping characteristics which lend themselves to confidence-inspiring cornering. To make things even better, these superb damping characteristics can be tailor-fitted to your needs and preferences via adjustment knobs at the top caps. The Öhlins NIX 22 cartridge kit for the Yamaha YZF-R3 retails for 653.86 Euros, or the equivalent of $772 USD.
Meanwhile, the YZF-R3's rear suspension also gets the full Öhlins treatment with the STX 46 Supersport monoshock. Just like the front kit, the STX 46 features a whole range of adjustability, and superior damping thanks to an externally mounted reservoir. It makes use of a monotube high-pressure gas setup, with knobs for adjusting rebound and compression damping separately. Ride height can also be adjusted according to your preferences and track or road conditions on any given day. As for pricing, the Öhlins STX 46 retails for 988.06 Euros, or $1,165 USD.