2012 DL650 fork spring rate - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL650A - 2012+ DL 650 2012 +

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post #1 of 6 Old 09-19-2012, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
RichDesmond's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 2,113
2012 DL650 fork spring rate

I've been curious about this since the bike came out, given Suzuki's claims and the reports of people here that the suspension felt firmer than the earlier bike. Phoenixsteve was kind enough to send me his old set and I got around to measuring them today. They look to be a standard dual rate design, and the physical measurements indicated that they'd be a little on the soft side. The results:

0"-1" - 0.644kg/mm
1"-2" - 0.652kg/mm
2"-3" - 0.652kg/mm
3"-4" - 0.760kg/mm
4"-5" - 0.846kg/mm
5"-6" - 0.849kg/mm
6"-7" - 0.852kg/mm

Normal dual rate pattern, 3" of soft, an ~1" transition zone and then the rest at the stiffer rate.
Surprisingly soft, given the owner feedback. By way of comparison the lightest rate we sell is 0.85, and that's only suitable for light riders who's usage is moderately paced commuting and touring. Most people need anywhere from 0.90 to 1.10.
I'm now wondering about the damping, and how it differs from the 1st gen.

Rich Desmond
'07 DL650, '01 DR-Z400S, '99 SV650 (race bike), '80 GS1000S, '85 RZ350, '08 Ducati 848
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-20-2012, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
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The L2 seems better, quite a bit better, so I assume Suzuki messed with the damping but the only way to be sure is to pull a couple of sets apart and start measuring.

Less dive under braking- which was really noticeable on my stock K6 and the L2 is much more capable off road, soaks up the large ones a lot better. The L2 also didn't wallow as badly in high speed corners stock.

I had professionally set up emulators in the front of the K6 and apart from the L2 being harsher on the small stuff it feels as good as that. It doesn't feel the same, but it was predictable and capable stock where the K6 felt scary when pushed hard when it was stock.

That said, I did move my rear shock over when I upgraded, which helps the front end as well, and I did put slightly heavier oil in the front after a year, which made things work even better for me. Some of this may be improved weight distribution of the bike as well.

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post #3 of 6 Old 09-20-2012, 11:25 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 1,716

Thanking for posting this data - it's one step closer to demystifying the new L2 setup

well next step is for those who has done a proper oil change by taking out the damper rod to measure both the compression and rebound orifice -

of course perhaps a better rear shock is contributing to the overall positive feeling.

i am actually still quite happy on 0.90kg spring with a 97kg out of shower body these days.

L2 Glee;


SOLD: 06 FZ1; 04 Fireblade; 02 Fireblade; 97 CBR 600
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-20-2012, 11:58 AM
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Location: Braintree, Massachusetts
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It felt soft yesterday, Rich. I was on a knarly patched concrete bridge deck for at least a half mile yesterday, and didn't care for the way the front end felt at all. Suspension is still stock with the exception of Ricor valves in the forks, but I have not modified the valves, changed the shim stack, gone to 5wt, or plugged the rebound hole in the oem damper rod as yet.

This is really the first road I've been on that shows how much room for improvement there still is. It's 40 miles away, but will be my new test road.

Hope to get this work done in the next few days.

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

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Last edited by tmcgee; 09-20-2012 at 12:00 PM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-17-2012, 06:39 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: cambridge ontario
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Would you rather have a ride that was good 10% of the time the way it was built or 90%? Look for the 90% and that is what you should ride/drive. Compromise on the smallest things for your situation. Its like the the dude that buys a $50,000 pick up to tow his $40,000 trailer for 2 weeks of vacation, and then complains the rest of the year that he spends too much on gas!
Stupid hurts and is hard to fix!
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-17-2012, 10:58 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: S.E. Michigan
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So far I've been pleasantly surprised with the 2012's suspension. I haven't done a thing to it nor have I felt the need. (175 lbs, mostly back roads / commuting / and a bit of twisties when I can.) Both my Kawasakis (C10 Connie, and EX500 Gen2), had ridiculously undersprung forks; in fact for the 500 I had to change out front and rear springs and even then it was tended to wallow when pushed in the corners.

I've spent a lot of money on the V-Strom but it's all been on farkles! It's good to come across a bike that has a decent suspension in stock form. At least for my type of riding- we'll see about that if I go back to Deal's Gap next year!

Gone but not forgotten:
2006 EX 500, "Sport-Touring Lite"
2003 C-10 Concours
2012 WeeStrom
2005 FJR1300 - sold
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fork springs , glee

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