Best bag for bucks (suspension) - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-27-2012, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Eastern Shore of Maryland
Posts: 549
Best bag for bucks (suspension)

Being unemployed I can only upgrade on a progressive level. After upgrading my 01 Goldwing with Traxxion components then going to a Buell Uly I miss the great suspension. I want to upgrade my suspension but due to limited funds what is best to do first, front forks or rear shock? I will do one this year and the other next summer. I ride almost exclusively on paved roads with a very occasional gravel road.
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-27-2012, 11:38 AM
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Location: Ice Harbor, WA
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Your info says that you are retired, not unemployed. That may still mean that you have a limited source of $$.

Your info also says that you own a DL650. Before you can expect decent replies you'll have to provide more information:
  • what do you not like about the suspension?
  • how heavy are you?
  • how much gear do you pack?
  • do you have a fork brace?
  • are you an agressive rider?
  • moderate rider?
  • mild rider?

There are likely many other questions that will arise.

If you weigh 150ish pounds and don't pack much gear, I'd say leave the rear alone for now and work on the forks.
If you weigh more than 150ish you should get the springs set for your weight front and back.
While you're in the forks you might as well replace guides, glides, seals and some may say that you need emulators.

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post #3 of 7 Old 11-27-2012, 12:47 PM
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Being unemployed, you'll prolly lose some weight. That will help out with your stock rear shock spring situation. You can always get your dremel out and cut off a few fork spring coils at a time to increase your spring rate (but replace the missing coils with a spacer made from PVC pipe so you don't lower your ride height). And, try fresh fork oil and adjust the oil level to fine tune the feel (raising oil level reduces air volume and increases the air spring bottom out effect).

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post #4 of 7 Old 11-27-2012, 02:54 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: oregon
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Without getting into snarky comments about your personal finances and weight it sounds like you've sampled good suspension in the past and find yourself missing, it. No big surprise since the suspension on the wee Strom is fairly crude.
I looked at the various possibilities and decided to go with Racetech components, springs, oil , emulators in the front and then have them rebuild the rear shock. The front end pieces are a bit over $200. The rear shock is going to cost around $500. I'm going to do them at one time but if money is tight it could be that the relative costs play a part.
I can't tell for sure but I don't think one end is markedly worse than the other as they come stock so it may be something of a toss of a coin on where to start. The one thing I am sure of is that any meaningful upgrade to the rear end, whether it be shock rebuild or replacement is going to be the more expensive end of the two to tackle.

Joe S.
'12 Concours
'11 DL650
'01 HD FXD
'09 HD XR1200
'79 BMW R100
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-29-2012, 11:22 AM
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Location: Santa Clarita, CA USA
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You might want to talk to Rick at Cogent Dynamics. Quite knowlageable, nice guy. Very helpful on the phone,
No affiliation, just a satisfied customer.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-29-2012, 01:00 PM
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Location: Washington, the state
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Do the front first. Rich Desmond, Mr. Sonic Springs and a strom rider and stromtrooper, offers excellent advice as well as excellent springs. Blair at svracingparts is also tops. (I'd get Rich's springs and Blair's RaceTech parts.)
First, get the springs that suit your loaded riding weight.
Second, find the fork oil viscosity that gives you the best response with stock damping.
Third, improve the damping with RaceTech cartridge emulators, modify the damping rods, and find the best fork oil viscosity for this set up. Alternately, Ricor Intiminator damping valves at the current price ($180) modified to Acerider's description including a modified damper rod work very well; I have these and like them a lot.

Next year do the shock. There might be someone who will modify the stock shock to improve the damping. I don't think the Progressive Suspension brand shock is enough improvement to justify its cost. Your alternatives are Elka, Íhlins, Hyperpro, Wilber, (is there another?). Doing without the remote preload adjuster saves a coupl'a hundred bucks. Two way damping adjusters (compression & rebound) are cheaper than three way (high velocity & low velocity compression & rebound).

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post #7 of 7 Old 11-29-2012, 01:49 PM
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Location: Minnesota
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If on a budget (aren't we all?), I would suggest to go with stiffer fork springs and verify fork oil level. For solo riding with a rider less than 225 lbs total of rider + cargo, you'll be good enough for the time being.

Since the OP likely has extra time, then do this for free stiffer fork springs:

I ran these for a while, but swapped to Sonics while I was trudging thru tuning the Race Tech emulators. From the seat of the pants, my modded springs felt something close to that of the .90 Sonics.

05 Red DL650- With a bunch of goodies
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Previous rides- about 25 different bikes, mostly dirtbikes.

Last edited by Bazooka Joe; 11-29-2012 at 01:52 PM.
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