Question on suspension - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL650A - 2012-2016 DL650A 2012-2016 (L2-L6)

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post #1 of 14 Old 10-18-2019, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Question Question on suspension

Lately I've been getting some squirrelly behavior in bumpy turns and also seems to bottom out easier in potholes and such.
The bike - a 2015 DL650A is a daily commuter and has about 26,000 on her. Seems like I shouldn't be having any suspension issues with relatively low miles.
No leaky forks or anything like that.
Suggestions on what to check or adjust?
While we're on the topic of forks - how often should your change the fork oil and seals?
What about the rear suspension?

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post #2 of 14 Old 10-18-2019, 07:57 PM
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Do you have a centerstand? You could grab the rear wheel while it's off the ground to see if it has lateral play. Also check wheel bearings front and rear, and the steering head bearing. Get the front wheel in the air (may take a helper) and move the handlebars back and forth. Feel for a detente in the middle. Push and pull on front wheel to see if there's back-and-forth movement. Either could mean loose or damaged bearing.

The service limit for the stock front fork springs is 435mm. There are some bushings inside that are made of a softer metal and could wear out, but mine have been in for ages and I don't notice anything weird. My personal approach to the seals is that if they're not leaking, I leave them alone. I wipe the inside tubes down with a damp rag after riding through rain or bugs. 78k miles on the current build, 24k on the previous.

My bike got a new rear shock at 135k. It made a noticeable difference in comfort. One linkage needle bearing was dry as a bone, and the galled up needles fell right out. It would be a good idea to lube them proactively every once in a while. If you have a centerstand, it's an easy job.
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-18-2019, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brojon View Post
Lately I've been getting some squirrelly behavior in bumpy turns and also seems to bottom out easier in potholes and such.
The bike - a 2015 DL650A is a daily commuter and has about 26,000 on her. Seems like I shouldn't be having any suspension issues with relatively low miles.
No leaky forks or anything like that.
Suggestions on what to check or adjust?
While we're on the topic of forks - how often should your change the fork oil and seals?
What about the rear suspension?
I like to start diagnosis of a problem with easy-peasy checks, to help cut down the frequency of senior moment episodes; like when I called the HVAC people out for $80 service call because the furnace would not turn on. He reset the breaker that I had purposely tripped to change the filter. Have you checked the tire pressures? A low tire can sometimes feel like the suspension is bottoming out. You shouldn't be bottoming our on a daily commute, unless your route is through the Rubicon. Try raising the preload a click or two, and do the checks that @Fox suggested.
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-18-2019, 09:31 PM
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From your post I assume that the handling has deteriorated in the time that you have owned the bike, and it is not a case of you have been dissatisfied with the handling since you purchased it. My '13 has adjustments on the top of the fork tubes, you could consult a manual to learn how to adjust these. The preload (front and rear) is determined by the sag or how much the suspension collapses when the rider gets on the bike in full gear. Once that is set, then you play with compression and rebound dampening. I've noticed that as I get used to a bike, I will demand more from its handling and start tweaking the settings.

Fork seals and internal bushings usually get replaced when the seals leak, although if you have time, inspect the bushings before you replace them. I changed the fork oil on my ST (Honda) at around 35k miles and 8 years. I would probably do the same on my DL 650.

MCN has run a few very good articles on how to adjust sag and the basics of motorcycle forks and shocks.
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-19-2019, 11:30 AM
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I suggest viewing some of the Dave Moss videos on motorcycle suspension tuning. Hopefully they will help with your pproblems.

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...pension+tuning
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-19-2019, 12:19 PM
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Brojon.....how much do you weigh and how much gear is on the bike?

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post #7 of 14 Old 10-19-2019, 01:04 PM
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Just to be clear, you are talking about the forks bottoming? Not the rear shock?

If it is the fork have you or anyone else raised the fork tubes to lower the front end?
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-19-2019, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brojon View Post
Lately I've been getting some squirrelly behavior in bumpy turns and also seems to bottom out easier in potholes and such.
The bike - a 2015 DL650A is a daily commuter and has about 26,000 on her. Seems like I shouldn't be having any suspension issues with relatively low miles.
No leaky forks or anything like that.
Suggestions on what to check or adjust?
While we're on the topic of forks - how often should your change the fork oil and seals?
What about the rear suspension?
While I agree with much of what's posted above, it's also possible that the rear shock has faded enough to be causing the problem. The damping is marginal to begin with and it just goes downhill from there as the miles add up. There's some variance from bike to bike, and a lot of variance in how bad it can get before some people will notice.
I bought an SV650 that had about 18k on it, and the rear shock was completely shot.

If all the standard checks don't help, put a good shock on the bike.
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'07 DL650, '01 DR-Z400S, '99 SV650 (race bike), '80 GS1000S, '85 RZ350, '08 Ducati 848
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-19-2019, 08:31 PM
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Suspension is likely worn at that mileage. Certainly setting a DL up with decent suspension transforms it.

A DL1000 shock will drop in and improve matters no end. Firmer springs (which come out about right for real people rather than 60kg Japanese test riders) better design and more damping. You can also have the stock shock rebuilt and revalved or buy an aftermarket shock.

Front, the easiest was Intiminators, drop in and change to 2.5wt oil, job done. Buy them from ebay not the original manufacturer. (The inventor retired or died and the people now running the business aren't worth the effort of dealing with, the ebay resellers are OK.). There are other options but that's far and away the easiest.

Final comment though, tires with odd wear patterns will also cause that squirely feel.
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-20-2019, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorpsychology View Post
I like to start diagnosis of a problem with easy-peasy checks, to help cut down the frequency of senior moment episodes; like when I called the HVAC people out for $80 service call because the furnace would not turn on. He reset the breaker that I had purposely tripped to change the filter. Have you checked the tire pressures? A low tire can sometimes feel like the suspension is bottoming out. You shouldn't be bottoming our on a daily commute, unless your route is through the Rubicon. Try raising the preload a click or two, and do the checks that @Fox suggested.
Dang near. They let the utilities get away with murder in this town - essentially throw some sticky black crap in the hole and let cars pound it down. As a result some of teh back roads look like the Air Force used it as a target range. Seriously. After I took a job downtown I learned I had to take those back roads to avoid commute traffic. Within 6 months I noticed my topcase wobbling and I inspected - a 1/8" steel bracket had snapped in half one side and the other side about to follow. I had noticed it bottoming but it was a cruiser so I didn't think much about it - but indeed I had a flat shock and the swingarm had some wobble. Six months! So I traded it in on the DL650 and it has handled this stuff with great aplomb.
My tires came in so changed them out. Didn't notice anything in the tree like a notch, rear looks good. Maybe it was the tires. About to go for a ride and find out!

"The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it."
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2015 DL650

Last edited by Brojon; 10-21-2019 at 11:00 AM.
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