Tested: JRI Shock Upgrade for the Yamaha YZF-R3 Sportbike

A quality, custom-made shock that thoroughly upgrades the R3’s handling.

yamaha yzf-r3, r3, suspension upgrade, jri shock
JRi shock for the Yamaha R3.©Motorcyclist
yamaha r3, r3 upgrade
Aggressive looks and a lively little motor but marginal rear shock makes the R3 a good candidate for an upgrade.©Motorcyclist

Yamaha's YZF-R3 is a great small sportbike. It has aggressive looks and a lively little motor, but what it does not have is very good rear suspension. The Yamaha's stock shock is softy sprung and severely under damped, making the little sportbike steer heavy and pogo through corners.

JRi, a suspension company based out of Moorseville, North Carolina, decided to do something about the R3’s deficiency. The result is the MC/10 Double Adjustable Remote shock. This made-to-order shock costs $985 and offers six clicks of compression adjustment on the remote reservoir and 30 clicks of rebound adjustability via a ring at the bottom of the shock body. The lower clevis is threaded, providing the option to lengthen the shock by as much as 15mm. The JRi is already 10mm longer than stocker, so right off the bat you’re working with quite a bit of beneficial rear ride height.

With the bike’s rear end suspended on rearset stands the shock bolts up in less than 30 minutes. The R3’s subframe doesn’t have a convenient place to strap the remote reservoir, so we tucked the canister under the right-side trim cover where it fits neatly. Accessing it to adjust the compression damping is as easy as removing two screws and pulling off the panel.

Thankfully, we didn’t feel any need to vary from the shock’s factory settings. Tested on the street and at a trackday at Willow Springs, we were quite impressed with how much this one mod improves the Yamaha. The extra ride height pitches the whole bike forward onto the front wheel—improving the riding position, adding cornering clearance, and quickening steering—while the stiffer spring and stouter damping keeps the chassis under control during aggressive riding. Ride quality is improved, too, since the JRi shock’s more sophisticated compression damping circuitry is better able to cope with hard-edged bumps.

The only downside to the JRi is that the shock’s length makes the R3 lean waaay over on its sidestand. It’s also a pretty pricey piece to throw at a $4,990 bike. Thankfully, that last concern is addressed by JRi’s new 35Pro shock, which offers adjustable spring preload, ride height, and combined compression/rebound damping for just $599. Now JRi just needs to design a longer sidestand!

JRI SHOCK FOR YAMAHA YZF-R3

Price: $985
Contact: jrishocks.com

MC GRADE: A-

Verdict: A quality, custom-made shock that thoroughly upgrades the R3’s handling.