suspension update for 2018 DL1000 XT, notes to grimmer - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-05-2019, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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suspension update for 2018 DL1000 XT, notes to grimmer

For those that followed my suspension work on my Vee2 — especially Grimmer and Berksglh — here are some updates.

To recap, I installed a Traxxion Dynamics cartridge and a Touratech rear shock on my 2018 DL1000 XT. The specifics were

1) I weigh 180 pounds without gear. My significant other 140 pounds without geAR.
2) Traxxion Dynamic supplied .90 front springs and called for a 105-mm air gap.
3) Touratech supplied an Explore rear shock — high and low speed compression damping, rebound damoing and hydraulic preload — with 95N/mm (542 pounds per inch rear shock)

While a good starting point, adjustment was needed to perfect.

Up front, the 0.90 spring we're about right form 180 pound rider (one could get away with one .90 and a 0.85 in each leg to create an average of .875 but that's being really picky). The air gap — 105-mm however was far too small. It caused the effective spring rate to be overly harsh in the last third of fork travel. I suspect that TD has had lots of adventure riders complain of fork bottoming so is especially cautious. I am now running 120-mm of air gap and the ride is much less harsh. Firmish to be sure, but well balanced between presenting brake dive and compliance. An argument could be made for 125-mm gap but that's about it. So, for 180 pound riders looking for a starting point, 0.90 springs and a 120 or 125 mm air gap isn't bad.

In the rear, the Toiuratech is a great shock. tremendously well built, but the engineers are the opposite of TD, running softish spring. In fact that 95 N/mm spring is exactly the same as stock. Son while I could make it ride OK with me on board, I needed much initial preload and then when my wife jumped on not was impossible to get the sag numbers we wanted with the peel,oad adjustment offered on the shock. C classic issues with too soft rear spring.

I am now running a 110 N/mm (625 pound per inch) rear spring and the arrangement is darn near perfect. For one thing my installed preload is 9 mm (ideal is 8 to 10 mm while the original spring needed a whopping 15 mm) to get to my desired 52-mm rear sag. Not only that when my wife and our luggage gets on board, jacking the hydraulic adjuster to max gets us to 54-mm sag. That's man almost perfectly balanced spring. Light enough for me alone. Heavy enough for a passenger.

to recap if you weigh 180 lb and your wife is 140, front springs at .90 and a 120/125 mm air gap while at the rear a 625 pound per inch spring combo will get you wishing minor adjustments of where you want to be.

Note SPECIFICALLY to Grimmer. We talked about your (I think) 800 and 900 pound springs and you mentioned how your sag worked out for zero hydraulic preload. That is only part of the equation. You never mentioned what the installed preload was. If the 800 pound spring were fitted without only 6 mm initial preload, that might have got you your sag numbers but still would have been too stiff.

The ideal rear spring arrangement arrangement on our bikes seems to beto hit 50-mm rear sag with zero hydraulic preload but the initial preload (or as some people call it fitted preload) set between 8 and 10-mm. In other words, with the hydraulic preload at zero, the spring's installed length is 8 to 10 mm shorter than its free length (ie just sitting on the bench)

If you indeed have installed 8 to 10 mm installed preload and the right numbers off sag, then I goes 800 pounds is what you need.

Sorry it took me so long to follow up on this.

Last edited by Motocanada; 08-06-2019 at 07:35 AM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-05-2019, 05:50 PM
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Location: I'm most alive when I'm in the north woods on my V2. So lets say Mountain Wi.
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Great info.

Get a chance to do any offroad with it? Im not able to go offroad yet dur to my left ACL recovery (9 weeks post op)

As for Grimmer, I sold him my 700Lb spring and I went down to a 650 which I love at 190Lbs no gear, wifes around 160? (Thats a guess, I dont dare ask).

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post #3 of 14 Old 08-05-2019, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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those numbers all make sense

if you're 190, then 650 would be ideal. 700 might be a tad soft for grimmer if He's really 270 (and grimmer, if you're not my apologies). 725 probably in the right neighbourhood.

Like I said, if the there 650 gets you top 48 to 52 mm sag with 8 to 10 mm of initial (hydraulic preload set to zero) then you are indeed close to ideal
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-09-2019, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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another update

another thing that should be pointed out is that all the damping adjustments in the world won't save your bacon if you're more than 1 spring rate out I mean +/- 25 pounds per inch because that is the normal increments they are sold in

Point of reference. Before the spring change in the rear, my wife complained about the rear suspension despite my upgrade to a touratech and much fiddling with compression and rebound damping. Once the new spring was installed, she was happier but not effusive.

Tonight I upped both HS compression and rebound by just one setting each and she without prompting asked me what I had done to the suspension as it was, to quote, "a magic carpet ride." When your wife asks you to memorize a specific suspension setting, you know you've hit the nail on the head.

Not possible if you aren't at least in the ballpark with spring settings.

For what it's worth
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-12-2019, 05:30 PM
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MotoCanada,

Thanks for the update.

I've been working on my '18 V Strom suspension, but on a plan of stiffer springs and revalving the OEM stock components. I've done a lot of dirtbikes over the years with generally very good results, so I figured I could do this bike too.

Weight-wise, I'm right in the herd here at 185 lb with 160ish passenger (agreed, best to don't ask).

So on to the V Strom...

For the shock, I currently have the OEM shock with no internal changes (yet), with a 650 lb Eibach spring. Installed preload is at 12mm at minimum remote preload adjuster setting and 22mm at max preload. At minimum preload, the ride & ride height are about right for me at solo. With the knob turned to full preload, it's good with the passenger. I haven't taken sag numbers, but my estimate is that the numbers are in the ballpark. The shock with OEM internals is obviously not the hot ticket shock setup, but not hideous either.
The extra spring force makes the rear substantially better than stock, but the shock's internals will absolutely require attention. As expected, the shock is a little short on compression dampening and much short on rebound control. A good G-out bump will make the bike ride like a Buick with bad shocks. Very soon, I will be digging into the shock to make some changes.

For the fork, I have .95 Kg/mm Race Tech springs and 125mm fluid height, 5wt Maxima fork fluid. Interesting that Traxxion Dynamics had you set fluid level to 105mm, but maybe there is meaning to the madness. The lighter springs + small air volume might yield a softer ride, but yet provide the good support for aggressive braking.

So, I've been restacking the fork's OEM shim stacks. The stock parts are a little funky in places, but if you study the numbers, some things can be done. I've been in the forks a handful of times and now, with experience, I can do the job in about two hours from start to finish with the bike ready to ride. The rebound control needed some extra shims (not a surprise), but also the compression stacks needed quite a bit of reduction and I also went to a two stage stack. It works pretty good now.

Also of note, the 2018 DL1000 has a different OEM rear shock part number than the 14-16 DL1000. Not sure what's the diff.

Again, thanks for the report.

BZ Joe

18 1000 XT yellow. Bunch of goodies installed.
2015 Yamaha WR250F- Street plated woods bike
Previous rides- about 25 different bikes, mostly dirtbikes.

Last edited by Bazooka Joe; 08-12-2019 at 05:35 PM.
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-12-2019, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Joe

very thoughtful reply

1) As i said in the note previous to your own, as long as you are in the +/- 1 spring rate range for a specific weight you are golden. Whether the range for 180 is 600 to 650 lb/in I feel it is or assuming 650 lb/in is you ideal the 625 to 675 you've found we're all golden.

2) Theoretically, with a stiffer spring you should actually get by with less compression damping at the spring itself will provide more of the resistance you were compensating with compression damping.

3) Yes, you will need more rebound. You went from 544 lb/in to 650 lb/in, not an insignificant amount. Also the original shock is no ball of fire and you may have some miles on it. I suspect that with minimal tuning though it should be doable. Just ask your suspension guy if he really thinks you need more compression.

4) As i said in my report, I started with the recommended 105-mm in the Traxxions but now am at 120--mm. I also suspect that another five mils your 125-mm would be ideal. On the other hand, my forks are fairly firm still so I would not go to .95 kg/mm myself but if it works for you.

The good part about this is that for anyone working on their suspension on a Vee 2, we have a fairly close consensus of where they should start if they weigh 180 pounds

rear: 625 or 650 pounds per inch
front: ,90 or .95 kg./mm springs and a 125-,mm air gap.

I believe that's a more concise starting point guide than has been available before.

Thanks
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-13-2019, 11:01 AM
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MotoCanada,

Thanks for the detailed reply.

Thinking on my shock's compression dampening.... Agreed, I really should not need any additional compression dampening, and actually, probably less. There is probably an explanation to my bike's behavior.
My shock only has 4600 miles on it, and even when brand new on the first day I rode it, was a little short on compression and very short on rebound dampening. Stock rebound screw setting yielded a rapid rebound with the stock shock spring preload setting. With the stock shock spring at full preload, I needed to turn the rebound adjuster screw all the way in and then it was acceptable for that full spring preload.
I gave a thought about asking for a warranty claim on my shock, but a "weak" shock isn't very easy to quantify unless it's "schaa-boing!! & clack-clack" type of thing. That and the nearest dealer is 100 miles away, so it'd be 3-4 hours on the road to probably be told "Sorry, but your bike works if you turn the rebound screw all the way in, so nope we're sorry you drove all this way, but just keep on riding until it pukes and then we can do something..." I'm thinking I'll find something amiss in the shock, such as the nut is not fully torqued or a warped shim or debris in the stack or a warped piston surface.
If I were riding solo, I'd probably switch to a 600 lb shock spring or maybe just stay with the stock spring.

Fork springs... If I were strictly solo rider, I'd drop down to .90 springs or maybe even down to .85 springs if I wanted a plush street ride. The .95 springs are a tighter sportbike feel. But, since I ride two up ~80% of the time, my bike needs to be tuned mostly towards two up. I really like those .95 springs for those times when I need to get into the brakes for the deer, turkeys, bonehead drivers, etc.

"My suspension guy"- That's me. I usually do my own stuff unless I get really stumped, or too busy with my day job.

Thanks again for leading the conversation. I don't know how many people are diving into their suspensions, but if anyone is, I hope our postings are useful.

Bz Joe

18 1000 XT yellow. Bunch of goodies installed.
2015 Yamaha WR250F- Street plated woods bike
Previous rides- about 25 different bikes, mostly dirtbikes.
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-13-2019, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Agreed

One thing — and this is for outsider, not =you Joe since you're already on it — Joe's comment for .85 springs should only bet for light solo riders. I have .85s in my 2003 DL1000 and not only don't they handle as well as my .90s, they don't ride as well either.

Indeed — and within reason — every ride improvement I have made to a Suzuki V-strom — both 2003 and 2018 — has been the result of STIFFER springs. That's both front and rear. Soft springs just end up bottoming out and other terrible things.

Thanks

Last edited by Motocanada; 08-13-2019 at 04:55 PM.
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-13-2019, 02:29 PM
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Motocanada-

Great thread, I hope people find this stuff useful.

Thanks for the clarification on the .85 springs. I have not used those rate springs in my forks myself. I was going with a gut reaction to the ride firmness of my .95 springs and thinking that something less would likely yield a softer ride.

On the topic of bottoming, here is a point for the 2014+ V Strom 1000 owners. The forks on the 2014+ DL1000 are "bottoming cone" forks, meaning, they have a hydraulic damper system which comes into play in the very last ~.50" of travel. This "cone" system prevents/reduces the very harsh G-force and/or noise of your bottoming forks. What this means, is that while you may not feel or hear the harsh "clack", you are essentially bottomed. If in doubt, put a zip tie around the fork tube to monitor suspension travel used, but be sure to be moderate with the brakes so as to confuse the exact time your suspension travel was used. Rigging up a GoPro would be a good method to observe when the zip tie moves. A GoPro probably isn't fast enough to clearly and closely follow the suspension over bumps.

18 1000 XT yellow. Bunch of goodies installed.
2015 Yamaha WR250F- Street plated woods bike
Previous rides- about 25 different bikes, mostly dirtbikes.

Last edited by Bazooka Joe; 08-13-2019 at 02:32 PM.
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-13-2019, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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good point Bazooka about the tie wrap. I have a piece of tape wrapped around my fork stanchions that represents 160 mm of travel, in other words, just bottoming. The reason I knew that 105 mm of air gap wasn't enough was that even riding over a speed bump while braking at full ABS intervention failed to get me within 10-mm of full travel. Never getting near bottom is almost as bad as always bottoming and as you know Joe, the last, say 30-mm of travel is all about the air gap and not about the size of springs you're using,
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