Replacing rear spring on stock shock - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 22 Old 09-16-2013, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Replacing rear spring on stock shock

I'm starting this thread over since that last one got hopelessly thread-jacked.

My last two long distance two-up trips have shown me that the stock rear suspension on my 2012 DL650 isn't really up to the task of my weight (240), passenger weight (about 130), and cargo. In searching the forums, most of the info available seems to apply to pre-2012 models, and I'm not sure if the rear suspensions between the 2012 and earlier models are the same. I get the impression that they aren't.

Has anyone replaced a stock rear spring with a heavier duty spring on a stock 2012 650 rear shock? If you have, can you describe the installation process, and whether or not you ultimately found that it was an improvement?

With all due respect to those more knowledgeable than I, I'm not looking for four pages of argument on suspension theory, sag settings, why preload is a myth, or anything else. Suspension mods are expensive, and replacing a spring is the cheapest one you can do; I'd just like to know if anyone has done it for the reasons I outlined above, and whether it solved the problems I described.

Thanks.

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post #2 of 22 Old 09-16-2013, 11:19 AM
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I am going to move this to the general forum because the question applies to any any V-Strom model. I know some people have replaced the spring on their shock on other model V-Stroms and it does help heavier riders. Turning up the damping to match is a good idea too. Sorry about the threadjacking. I'll keep an eye on this one.

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
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post #3 of 22 Old 09-16-2013, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much, Greywolf.

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Last edited by RCinNC; 09-16-2013 at 11:33 AM.
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post #4 of 22 Old 09-16-2013, 12:44 PM
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A member here posted on this topic on another forum, a heavier spring on the stock shock. He reports a real improvement. I'm not sure what year wee he has, hopefully he'll see this post and reply.
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-16-2013, 02:08 PM
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Removal is simple. First thing is to back off the preload as far as it will go. Remove the side cover. There are 3 bolts on the lower shock collar. Remove them and the shock will hang. Support the swing arm so it doesnt drop. Remove the 2 bolts holding the preload. With a 10 and 12 mm wrench you can disconnect the line from the unit. It has a one way valve on the line so no fluid will be lost. Be careful as you twist of the actuator to not let the fluid leak out. There will be a washer and a rubber o ring. It is best for instal if you put the on the threaded end of the line. There is a bolt through the top of the shock to remove. Slide the shock and line out through the bottom.

You will need a .5 mm allen wrench to loosen the screw holding the preload collar. Very odd size not commonly used. This is the hard part. You will need a press to compress the spring to get to the retaining ring on the top of the shock. Mark the position of the set screw in relation to the shock so reassembly is with the line and collar in the same relationship. Once you remove the retaining clip release the pressure on the spring and take the collar off. It is best if you purchase the extra plates for the top and bottom of the spring as they sit prouder for the heavier spring. They will sit inside the top and bottom. Put the collar back on and position it on the marks previously made. Put back in the press and compress the spring and collar. Put the retaining clip on, most usually on the second grove from the top. Release the spring and tighten the set screw. Install the bolt thru the top of the shock. Feed the line back into position. Reinstall the 3 bolts on the bottom shock mount. To reattach the line it is easier if you reach from behind and push the line forward and down as you will need to screw the preload actuator to the line keeping the opening up as you twist the actuator to the line so as to not lose any fluid. Tighten back up with a 10 and 12 mm wrench. Screw in the 2 bolts to mount the actuator. Put the side cover on and you are just about done. Turn the knob and start counting the clicks when you feel a start to resistance to where you can't turn any more. In all there are about 38 clicks but it may be 8-10 real light before resistance. Count the clicks from the start of resistance, you will tell the difference, to the end. Keep track of the number. From full preload, back off 19 clicks. That will put you in the bottom quarter of your preload. Go ride it. Make no more than 2 clicks at a time and ride it again. If you need to at any time you can always screw the nob all the way in and back off 19 clicks to keep a baseline. That way you always know where you are.
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post #6 of 22 Old 09-16-2013, 02:18 PM
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I decided to find a thread since I was almost certain the hydraulic hose did not need to be removed though it may be easier.

https://www.stromtrooper.com/v-strom-...r-springs.html

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

Last edited by greywolf; 09-16-2013 at 03:46 PM.
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post #7 of 22 Old 09-16-2013, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywolf View Post
I decided to find a thread since I was almost certain the hydraulic hose did not need to be removed though it may be easier.

https://www.stromtrooper.com/v-strom-...r-springs.html
Thank you for linking that post. I'd seen references to that wooden jig in another post, but I couldn't find it. This was really helpful, thanks again.

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post #8 of 22 Old 09-16-2013, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistedT View Post
A member here posted on this topic on another forum, a heavier spring on the stock shock. He reports a real improvement. I'm not sure what year wee he has, hopefully he'll see this post and reply.
Thanks TwistedT....Greywolf found that earlier post and linked it for me. Very helpful, many thanks.

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post #9 of 22 Old 09-17-2013, 08:05 PM
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-17-2013, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Guitarhack, I really want to thank you for that link. I wish I'd found that before I posted my question, since it pretty much answered everything I was asking. It was a great write up with great pictures (I like your use of the pipe clamps; even easier than building the wooden jig). Based on your write up, it looks like an upgrade I can tackle at home.

Was there any problem getting that retaining ring off? Did you just use pliers (and not a special tool I might now have in my toolbox)?

Again, thanks a lot....

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