Fork spring change - help - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL650A - 2012-2016 DL650A 2012-2016 (L2-L6)

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post #1 of 14 Old 08-11-2012, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Fork spring change - help

Per this thread: https://www.stromtrooper.com/dl650-20...te-2012-a.html, I'm ankle-deep in this job.

A few questions:
1. Does the Glee use the same axle bolt as the Wee - 12mm? I need to go get one.

2. How the heck are you supposed to remove the front fender? There are two small hex bolts which thread into what seems to be metal disc behind the plastic. Turning the bolts just spins the disc. There seems to be a channel in the plastic which one can reach up into, but no clearance for any tool I own. I'm a little miffed how terrible this design is.

3. Is the fork oil height still 150mm for the 2012?

4. Sanity check: 290# rider = 1.1kg springs + 15wt oil. The heavier oil is supposed to slow down the damping to compensate for the beefier spring, if I'm understanding it right.

5. Go with recommended spacer length, which looks to mimic stock? Will my high weight mean that I should plan on more pre-load via a bigger spacer, or is that what I'm accomplishing by using the higher-rate springs and a longer spacer will go too far?
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-11-2012, 10:23 PM
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The axle does take a 12mm tool. The heavier spring handles the job rather than more preload. Your spring manufacturer ought to have info on spacer length and air space over oil.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
See https://www.stromtrooper.com/general-...nicknames.html

Please vote in the poll on what Strom(s) you have at https://www.stromtrooper.com/informat...-you-have.html
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-11-2012, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, GW.

The springs are Sonics; for which the instructions seem to be for <=2011 Stroms.

I don't know if anything changed fork-wise, but I'm sure you do.

Also don't know if the 2012 has been around long enough for RichDesmond to have much experience with them (I'm sending him my stock springs so he can measure them, e.g.).

Also also I'm a moto suspension idiot and can use all the help I can get.

I'll rip into them tomorrow once I have the axle wrench and will try to document for the community... assuming I can get the *^$%& fender off, that is.
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-11-2012, 11:39 PM
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There are differences but it's likely the air space and spacer length will be the same. It appears you'll be the one to let us know for sure.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
See https://www.stromtrooper.com/general-...nicknames.html

Please vote in the poll on what Strom(s) you have at https://www.stromtrooper.com/informat...-you-have.html
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-12-2012, 11:50 AM
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Oil level will be the same. How long is the stock spacer?

Rich Desmond
'07 DL650, '01 DR-Z400S, '99 SV650 (race bike), '80 GS1000S, '85 RZ350, '08 Ducati 848
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-12-2012, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Rich, my stock spacer measured 3.938" - I assume this translates to a nominal length of 100mm.

I will get pics up later, but right now my bike is in pieces and I've run into a small issue: the stock springs are about 17 3/8" long; your Sonics are 16 3/8".

The underside of the cap has a washer/ disk cotter-pinned on it, and the cotter pin interferes with the PVC sitting flush on the washer because the PVC's thicker walls cover more of the washer surface than the stock spacer's.

Choices seem to be:
-notch the PVC to "bridge" over the cotter pin. The pin seems to turn with the cap, so screwing the cap on would drive the spacer around, potentially abrading some of it off to mix with the fork oil.
-use the stock spacer and stack a short (1"-ish) PVC spacer on top
-source some different spacer material
-cut down the cotter pin to create some clearance

Haven't decided on what to do yet, taking a break to chew on it a bit.

EDIT: Ok, now I know I needed that break: The cotter pin is just thru the underside of the preload screw to retain the washer so you can't back the preload screw all the way out of the fork cap. I'm going to be brave (and expedient) and just remove the cotter pins, and try and remember to NEVER exceed "5" on my fork preload (I doubt I'll ever touch it again once I'm done with this install).

Last edited by phoenixsteve; 08-12-2012 at 03:30 PM.
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-12-2012, 06:43 PM
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You can just use the stock spacer. You DON'T want the new spring/spacer to be the same total length as stock, it needs to be a little shorter, otherwise you'll have too much preload and not enough sag.
If you want to use the PVC, cut it to the length in the instructions. You can either pull the cotter pin as you describe, use a small straight cotter pin that you then bend around so it fits inside the PVC, or just put one of the washers between the PVC and the cotter pin.

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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 #8 of 14 Old 08-12-2012, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichDesmond View Post
You can just use the stock spacer. You DON'T want the new spring/spacer to be the same total length as stock, it needs to be a little shorter, otherwise you'll have too much preload and not enough sag.
Ok, that doesn't make sense to me. The stock arrangement had TOO much sag with a "weak" spring; I'm replacing the with a "strong" spring. All things equal, my sag will get less. Assuming the springs have been matched to my weight, why would I have NOT ENOUGH sag with the same length assembly?

In any case, I wish you'd replied earlier, because it's all back together and I rode it around the block to make sure my front wheel didn't fly off.
Brake dive is noticeably better, not enough miles to judge handling.

I ended up just leaving the cotter pins out.

It's all written up with pics steve68: Fork spring swap.

I'm going to go out and check my sag to make sure I'm not sitting on top. What do I want - 30% of travel for 90% road, 10% tame dirt roads?
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-13-2012, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixsteve View Post
Ok, that doesn't make sense to me. The stock arrangement had TOO much sag with a "weak" spring; I'm replacing the with a "strong" spring. All things equal, my sag will get less. Assuming the springs have been matched to my weight, why would I have NOT ENOUGH sag with the same length assembly?

In any case, I wish you'd replied earlier, because it's all back together and I rode it around the block to make sure my front wheel didn't fly off.
Brake dive is noticeably better, not enough miles to judge handling.

I ended up just leaving the cotter pins out.

It's all written up with pics steve68: Fork spring swap.

I'm going to go out and check my sag to make sure I'm not sitting on top. What do I want - 30% of travel for 90% road, 10% tame dirt roads?
The stock setup has enough preload to give reasonable sag with a relatively weak spring. If you use that same amount of preload with the stronger springs you get less sag. So in almost all cases you setup the new springs with less static preload (i.e., a shorter total spring/spacer length) in order to get the sag correct.

40mm is a good total sag number for the Stroms.

Rich Desmond
'07 DL650, '01 DR-Z400S, '99 SV650 (race bike), '80 GS1000S, '85 RZ350, '08 Ducati 848
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-13-2012, 10:59 AM
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A pvc pipe spacer can have its top notched to clear the cotter pin.

For anyone who doesn't know, sag is the measure of how much the front or rear end drops when you sit on the bike, fully loaded, ready to ride, passenger on also if carried. Sag is adjusted with the preload. This gets you in about the middle of the suspension travel so you have less chance of either topping out or bottoming out over bumps. If you can't get the desired sag setting, you need different springs for your loaded riding weight. (And in some cases, even if you can get the sag right, different springs improve the ride.) Here's more:
Suspension Adjustment

While one is messin' with their forks, keep in mind that the fork oil deteriorates with time and heat. After a couple of years or more, there is a sludgy mess in the forks. Removing and draining the fork leg, flushing with solvent (I use paint thinner), drain, flush with light cheap oil (I use hydraulic jack oil), drain, then refill with the correct fork oil is a help. The stock fork oil weight is 10 wt. A synthetic fork oil will live longer and give less change from very cold to very hot.

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

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Last edited by PTRider; 08-13-2012 at 11:03 AM.
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