Front Suspension advice - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL650A - 2012-2016 DL650A 2012-2016 (L2-L6)

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post #1 of 12 Old 08-19-2019, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Front Suspension advice

I'm on my third V Strom and this one is a 2012 bought from a dealer. The PO put on all kinds of great farkles including an Ohlin's shock. I was told the front end had upgraded cartridges but I'm not finding the front end to my liking. The bike has 29K miles, fork seals look good, engine is awesome. Getting the sag right has been a problem because the Ohlin is difficult for me to adjust. However, while riding the rear feels great its just the front "wallows" and doesn't feel planted. I weigh 182 with gear on so the question I have is whether it's worth installing a new front end or just mess around with fork oil. I have no idea what's in there now I just know the front suspension is the weak link in an otherwise great bike.
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-19-2019, 01:24 PM
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possible revolving

but as a start try 0.90 kg/mm race tech springs with the old level set at 125 to 130 mm

That should be almost perfect for your weight.

I have a suspension thread in the dl 2014 to 2016 area

the two forks are very different but the spring rates and oil gap are identical
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-19-2019, 01:56 PM
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Do you have a fork brace? If not that would be part of the problem.
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-19-2019, 02:14 PM
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Before you spend any money, take a look inside the fork and see what's there. The term "upgraded" could mean a lot of things to a DL650 fork. You may have emulators, you could have the entire cartridge system, perhaps simply stiffer springs, or other possibilities. Being your bike has an Ohlin shock, I'd suspect the previous owner spent some money on the front too.

All this said, find out what you have and focus on adjusting those components to your liking.

By "not planted", does it feel too stiff and hopping on bumps? Or rebounding too quickly? Or just moving both up and down without proper dampening control?
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-19-2019, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvr2old View Post
Do you have a fork brace? If not that would be part of the problem.
Pfff. Bunch of hooey. Could be anything from tire pressure to bearings to fork oil.

At 30k miles the forks could use a look inside. Buy a couple bottles of Bel-Ray fork oil and see what's doing.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-19-2019, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. There is a fork brace and I agree we're sort of grabbing at straws not knowing what's in there. I've never done any fork work myself, always had it done by others. I do work on my other bikes but never suspension. I guess it's time to put on my "big boy pants" and give it a whirl.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-19-2019, 06:41 PM
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I weigh 84kg, bout 190lbs, my 2012 had .85 straight rate springs with a ricks brace, cogent DDC drop emulators and 5wt oil, this worked well, very planted.

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post #8 of 12 Old 08-19-2019, 06:47 PM
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Just loosen the top triple tree clamp bolts then loosen the preload adjustment all the way out, then "carefully" take off the top fork cap.....you will then be able to pull out the spacer and springs without any issue. You can easily see if straight rate or not, also be sure to measure the length of spacer. Do your tube caps with preload screw adjustment look stock, or perhaps you have emulators installed?

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post #9 of 12 Old 08-19-2019, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
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Do your tube caps with preload screw adjustment look stock, or perhaps you have emulators installed?
My Gold Valve emulators install under the springs, and the caps are stock. I'd be hard pressed to get to them without dumping all the oil out too. Are there emulators that install in another way?
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-19-2019, 10:54 PM
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Bikehigh,

You are correct- the emulators are under the springs, on top of the damper rods. You can get them out fairly easily if you bend up a "horizontal fish hook" type of thing to snag the top of the emulator. With the "fish hook" thingy locked into the compression spring, you can then lift the emulator straight up and out- just that easy. If you need further explanation or description of the "fish hook thingy", I can take a picture to share.

Triman 11247,
If your fork caps do not look stock, but instead, have compression clicker on one fork and rebound clicker on the other, then you have the Traxxion cartridges. In which case, shout out real loud, "Wooo-who!!!" b/c a pair of those things are about $1000.

And if you have Race Tech emulators, let me tell you some pointers. I worked and worked and worked to get mine to perform. The factory calibration is about a country mile away from what you'll need for a nice street ride. Fork oil weight is important. These calibrations work with Mobil 1 syn low temp ATF and .90 springs. You need to add more bleed holes to the emulator valve plate, change to substantially lighter emulator springs (not the fork springs), back off the emulator spring's preload, and then work with the damper rods. The damper rods have a rebound bleed hole which is too large and flows too much fluid for the stiffer .90 springs. You'll want to weld these holes shut and redrill to a smaller size. I think I have the notes somewhere still. Yup, all of these modifications can be a pain, but when you are done, you'll have a pretty nice working damper rod fork. The compression dampening will be well controlled, but the rebound is still a fixed orifice, so rebound will be too fast sometimes,but feel pretty correct other times. We can't make a silk hat out of a sow's ear.

Hope this all helps.

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