100% street, PR3 & Ricors installed ride report: - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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Suspension and Tire Tech For all discussions related to your suspension and tire set-ups.

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  #1  
Old 12-15-2012, 09:37 AM
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Default 100% street, PR3 & Ricors installed ride report:

....here are my findings:

2004 DL650 V-Strom

25,000 miles

I weigh 190 pounds before another 20 pounds of Aerostich and boots, helmet, gloves, etc.

Elka Triple adjustable shock (Thanks Blair@SV Racing)

Fork Brace

Pat Walsh crash bars and skid plate

Sonic .90 Springs

Been riding with this set-up for two years.

Yesterday I added the latest spec Ricor Intiminators, they came woth the .12? shim stack.

I did NOT modify the Intiminators.

I did NOT modify the damper rods.

I did NOT change the fork position in the triple clamps.

I did NOT change the shock settings.

I DID switch from Continental Road Attack II tires to Michelin Pilot Road 3 Trail tires at the same time as the Ricor Intiminator install, so that will muddy the change somewhat.

I just picked up the bike from my tech in Houston and rode her three hours on Interstate 10 to my Louisiana home.

So, my forks were already stiffer with the .90 springs. Here are my thoughts:

The bike is much more "planted". The forks feel very firm, they follow the road imperfections without hopping into the air over bumps, the tire stays glued to the road.

The bike turns and leans in a beautifully predictable and light way. I can lean her EXACTLY the right amount and she stays EXACTLY at the lean angle I place her and requires ZERO correction to keep her EXACTLY where I want her.

The forks transmit more bumps into the bars on concrete rippled pavement. At first I thought to myself, "Uh-Oh, I just made the bike too stiff and she is going to beat me up on trips."

After a few miles, however, as I rode on concrete, then blacktop, then back on concrete, she seemed to soften up a bit.

By the two hour point in the ride home, I was LOVING the new setup. The forks absorb sharp edged bumps like a dream. When I hit a piece of concrete that has uplifted an inch, and I hit the 90 degree edge of slab, the forks just eat it, without transmitting that big bump into the bars. Also, I used to get a slow "pogo" effect front to rear, that is now gone. The bike is flat and stable on undulating surfaces.

The other big change, is when I stopped for fuel. The low speed handling at walking pace, has been transformed. I use to have a heck of a time with this beast at walking speed since I have really short legs. I have dumped my bike over at 2 mph more times than I want to admit.

Now, with these Ricor units, I can perform a feet up, 5 mph u-turn like a pro.

I was not expecting this.

My V-Strom is soooooo much easier to maneuver at slow speed now. Money well spent just for that alone.

I hit a couple of clover leaf interchanges at 80+ mph and she just RAILS. Epic.

I'm very, very happy.

I think Ricor is correct in that you could probably just drop these in with stock springs and be very, very happy.

My .90 springs make this combo just a hair too firm, but I like it that way. Anyone out there who rides more slab and dirt and less twisty roads than I, may prefer the Ricors with their OEM, stock springs.

Again, I performed NONE of the modifications to the Ricors or the damper rods that the above folks have listed.

And the Pilot Road 3 Trail tires are FANTASTIC.

All the best.
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2012, 12:14 PM
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I understand the stock 2012 springs are a bit firmer than earlier models. I installed Intiminators with the stock 2012 springs. Only one short ride, and no really big hits to report upon, so, I don't know if I'll want to stiffen them up or not. On my KLR, I had significantly stiffer springs, which did make pavement a bit less plush, but, I needed that stiffness for the hard off-roading I was doing. As I got older, I began to slow down, and went all the way back down to stock springs...and it was SO SMOOTH.

It's a guess to hit it just right on the first try. Don't be afraid to swap to a different rating. Once you settle on a spring-rate, you can sell the ones that didn't do as well.
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2012, 09:18 PM
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What about the stock spacers? I am planning on bringing mine to a local engine shop and have them cut off a 1/2" so that the preload adjusters will be usable. It's my understanding that doing this is a good idea since the Intiminators push the springs up about 1/2".
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  #4  
Old 12-18-2012, 10:23 PM
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Spacers need to be cut a bit less than 1/2 inch, to make up for the thickness of the Intiminator base plate.

You know, you can use Plastic Plumbing pipe, if you'd like. Just de-burr it well. Get the diameter that most closely approximates the outer diameter of the stock spacer.
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  #5  
Old 12-18-2012, 11:09 PM
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Yes, the spacers need to be the correct length (shorter with Intiminators, maybe different with aftermarket springs) so the sag remains the same, 40 mm 5 mm. (Sag is how much the bike drops on its suspension from unloaded to when you're sitting on it geared up and ready to ride. This puts the suspension in about the middle of the travel to minimize the chance of topping out or bottoming out. This is set by the preload adjusters and the length of the spacer.)

V-notches on the top of the 1" PVC pipe to clear the cotter pin in the preload adjuster works well.

Shooter, the only spec you left out was the inflation pressure you're running in your PR3 tires. I'm running the stock pressure, 33F/36R, following the recommendation of the Michelin telephone rep. They're working well for me. (One consideration with the choice of tire pressure is the condition of your roads. The tires are the first impact absorber, and higher pressures transfer more impact harshness to the rest of the suspension, the bike, and the rider.)
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Last edited by PTRider; 12-18-2012 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:04 AM
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I've never read about setting Sag on a VStrom, but, I believe on all the other bikes I've had, Sag is properly set when it is about 1/3 from the top of the total suspension movement distance. IOW, if you have a 9 inch total possible travel, Sag should be 3 inches from the topped out position. If you have a 6 inch total possible travel, Sag should be 2 inches from the topped out position, etc.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:32 AM
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It's not half. The biggest forces are in compression so 1/4-1/3 of its 150mm maximum stroke would be best. About 40mm is good.
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  #8  
Old 12-20-2012, 10:41 AM
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Default Just got the PR3s and Ricors.......

.......rode home from shop. Rode for 9 hours yesterday on all kinds of roads. Bike is awesome on rippled pavement.

I ran the sticker pressures on the bike's frame----33F/41R.

I'll try 36 rear and report.

Thanks for the info from the Michelin Man.
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  #9  
Old 12-20-2012, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackheart View Post
I've never read about setting Sag on a VStrom, but, I believe on all the other bikes I've had, Sag is properly set when it is about 1/3 from the top of the total suspension movement distance. IOW, if you have a 9 inch total possible travel, Sag should be 3 inches from the topped out position. If you have a 6 inch total possible travel, Sag should be 2 inches from the topped out position, etc.
33% is too much sag for street bikes. 28-29% is better. The Strom actually has about 140mm of travel, so 40mm of total sag works well.
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2012, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichDesmond View Post
33% is too much sag for street bikes. 28-29% is better. The Strom actually has about 140mm of travel, so 40mm of total sag works well.
Excellent! Thank you!
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