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

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post #1 of 36 Old 09-19-2012, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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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 36 Old 09-20-2012, 07:51 AM
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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 36 Old 09-20-2012, 10:25 AM
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Rich,

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.

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post #4 of 36 Old 09-20-2012, 10:58 AM
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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 11:00 AM.
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post #5 of 36 Old 11-17-2012, 05:39 PM
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compromise

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 36 Old 11-17-2012, 09:58 PM
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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!

2012 DL650

Gone but not forgotten:
2006 EX500, "Sport-Touring Lite"
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post #7 of 36 Old 08-07-2016, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichDesmond View Post
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.
So it is basically 0.85kg/mm? the lighter 0.65kg/mm will be compressed under weight of the bike.
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post #8 of 36 Old 08-07-2016, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclopathic View Post
So it is basically 0.85kg/mm? the lighter 0.65kg/mm will be compressed under weight of the bike.
Kind of, but not exactly.

You're right, the initial 3" is mostly used up with static preload (that's the amount the spring is compressed with the fork fully extended) and sag. However, because of the amount of static preload you get harshness at the top of the stroke, and because there's too much sag you have less travel to deal with big hits, and the forks are more likely to bottom.
With a straight rate 0.85 you'll have less preload and less sag, keeping the suspension in the working range where the travel available can do you the most good. Less bottoming, less harshness, and a more controlled and comfortable ride.

Rich Desmond
'07 DL650, '01 DR-Z400S, '99 SV650 (race bike), '80 GS1000S, '85 RZ350, '08 Ducati 848
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post #9 of 36 Old 08-07-2016, 02:35 PM
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Rich is The Man! Installed his 0.85 springs in my 2014 DL650, and the ride is much improved. MUCH less front brake dive, feels more stable in general, especially in turns. Not sure if bumps are a bit more noticeable, only rode it for about 15 miles since the install, but even if so, well worth the tradeoff.
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post #10 of 36 Old 08-07-2016, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichDesmond View Post
Kind of, but not exactly.

You're right, the initial 3" is mostly used up with static preload (that's the amount the spring is compressed with the fork fully extended) and sag. However, because of the amount of static preload you get harshness at the top of the stroke, and because there's too much sag you have less travel to deal with big hits, and the forks are more likely to bottom.
With a straight rate 0.85 you'll have less preload and less sag, keeping the suspension in the working range where the travel available can do you the most good. Less bottoming, less harshness, and a more controlled and comfortable ride.
The dual rate springs are pretty typical in car world. The lower rate is used for preload and suspension balance point set up at engagement of 2nd higher rate.

What for? to prevent topping out, and sort out rebound. You basically have less rebound damping while returning to balance point, and more on negative travel. And of cause, more negative travel to keep wheel in contact on deeper potholes.

The point I am trying to make is while you may think dual rate is or isn't a good thing, the effective date of L2+ OEM springs is 0.85, up from 0.7 of Gen1

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