Front End Upgrade - Testimony - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 23 Old 04-20-2008, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Front End Upgrade - Testimony

DO IT!

I just finished riding 610 miles on Interstate, primary, secondary and dirt roads in Maine and New Hampshire and I have to say that a front end upgrade is as essential as ATGATT, (did I get that acronym right?).

I chose Sonic Springs and I have to agree with Rich Desmond that a "straight" spring compared to the OEM progressive, (on an 07 DL-650), is the right thing to do on this bike, (there is now absolutely no "BOING" and very little "dive" to the front end.). I am also glad that I took the time to e-mail Rich with my bike specifics, (weights of everything I added to the stock bike), my weight with riding gear, my riding style and the parameters of the terrain I like to cover. If I didn't do this step, and relied solely on the calculator on his web site, I would have chosen too stiff a spring, (Rich suggested a .90 spring and 12.5 wt oil. He said, "Rule of thumb, undersprung and good dampening." Using the web site calculator, I would have chosen a 1.0 spring.)

Some of you New England riders are familiar with RT 153 that travels the border between Maine and NH. I stuck like glue to the road, (using TKC-80s front and rear.). RT 16 North of Berlin is very "choppy" from the winter. I was riding it at 60 mph and above. Cars were navigating the potholes at 40 mph. RT 16 from Errol to Wilson Mills was even worse, but here again, I was flying. I finished up riding a dirt pretty pot holed road from Solon to Athens, ME, (The, Hole In The Wall Road.)

The front end of the bike always felt like it was on a rail. Every line I chose, the bike stuck to it, (there were some pretty nasty "crown cracks" in the road through nearly all of my journey). I ignored ALL of the "Frost Heave" and "Bump" signs.........grinning every time I "launched". One labeled Frost Heave I hit, I knew was going to be a big one; at 66 mph, the bike came clear off the pavement. When the bike landed, the front felt absolutely solid; sort of like I was a "slot car" on a race track. The rear end was another story........ It wobbled back and forth.

Which leads me to say, "Blair, the U.S. Goverment's policy states that the last two digits of my social security number dictates that my 'Economic Stimulus Check' will not arrive UNTIL the middle of June......." I would be all over the Elka Shock in a heartbeat if it were here sooner..... I know that it will do exactly the same for the rear of my bike as the upgrade I did to the front of the bike.

NOTE 01: I have also added a Superbrace fork brace.
NOTE 02: I did these upgrades after riding this bike 23,000 miles over the same types of roads. I will never do that again. (Step One: Buy bike. Step Two: Upgrade front end and add forkbrace. Step Three: Ride Bike.)

Again, I want to state, if you are an aggressive rider, (AND!), or are riding on different surfaces of varying qualities, I feel that a front end upgrade that is "fit" to you is well invested money for handling and safety sake. It's as important as as All The Gear, All The Time! (Did I say that right?.......)

I have a couple of pics and tips from the work I did that I will post tomorrow in the How To forum.

2007 DL-650 (I gave away in 2012 with 111,000 + miles)
"A word grows to a thought; a thought to an idea; an idea to an act. All the pieces are put together, and the whole is yours."
1942, Beryl Markham: "West With the Night"
"You can talk about doing a thing until everyone finally talks you out of it, or you can actually do the thing"
James Baldwin "Across Islands and Oceans"
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post #2 of 23 Old 04-21-2008, 07:35 AM
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Nice Testimony Black Lab. Your thoughts are pushing me further towards upgrading my suspension.

Thanks!!
post #3 of 23 Old 04-21-2008, 07:45 AM
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When I installed the Sonics last summer it was like buying a whole new bike for $100.00.

'05 GL1800A-The Banana Hammock

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Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. ― George Carlin

Make the world safe for stupid people and you will end up with a world full of stupid people.
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post #4 of 23 Old 04-21-2008, 09:49 AM
 
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Thats good to hear. I too have seriously been thinking about upgrading my front end.

2007 DL650
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post #5 of 23 Old 04-21-2008, 01:53 PM
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What's your weight? I want to do the same (made a huge difference on my SV), just debating whether to go with the same 0.85 springs as I put in the SV.

'06 V-Strom 650 For Sale[/URL], light blue, Givi E36 sidecases, E52 topcase with Admore lights, Madstad, SW-Motech crashbars and skidplate
https://www.stromtrooper.com/sale/166401-2006-suzuki-v-strom-dl650-atlanta.html
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post #6 of 23 Old 04-21-2008, 02:15 PM
 
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Coming from a KLR650, the front of stock DL 650 is wonderful. You mean it actually gets better?

Front end dive is defined in Websters as a KLR on the interstate with a panic stop from 70mph. : )
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post #7 of 23 Old 04-21-2008, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwayne View Post
What's your weight? I want to do the same (made a huge difference on my SV), just debating whether to go with the same 0.85 springs as I put in the SV.
183 lbs with all of my riding gear on. I also had Rich take into consideration the weight of the lights, crash bars, skid plate, etc.

Do some research and reading on the topic comparing other manufacturers. There is a lot of info out there that can get confusing, (at least to me it did!). And, there are different schools of thought on Progressive vs Straight springs.

I am very happy with my choice of Sonic Springs. Doing this upgrade is something that I do highly recommend.

Good Luck!

2007 DL-650 (I gave away in 2012 with 111,000 + miles)
"A word grows to a thought; a thought to an idea; an idea to an act. All the pieces are put together, and the whole is yours."
1942, Beryl Markham: "West With the Night"
"You can talk about doing a thing until everyone finally talks you out of it, or you can actually do the thing"
James Baldwin "Across Islands and Oceans"
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post #8 of 23 Old 04-21-2008, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwayne View Post
What's your weight? I want to do the same (made a huge difference on my SV), just debating whether to go with the same 0.85 springs as I put in the SV.
The 650 Strom's about 40 lbs. heavier than the SV, so in theory that would move you up one rate to a 0.90. Depends though on how you ride the bike.

Rich Desmond
'07 DL650, '01 DR-Z400S, '99 SV650 (race bike), '80 GS1000S, '85 RZ350, '08 Ducati 848
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post #9 of 23 Old 04-21-2008, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Lab View Post
183 lbs with all of my riding gear on. I also had Rich take into consideration the weight of the lights, crash bars, skid plate, etc.

Do some research and reading on the topic comparing other manufacturers. There is a lot of info out there that can get confusing, (at least to me it did!). And, there are different schools of thought on Progressive vs Straight springs.

I am very happy with my choice of Sonic Springs. Doing this upgrade is something that I do highly recommend.

Good Luck!
Glad you were pleased, that's always really good to hear.

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 23 Old 04-21-2008, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichDesmond View Post
The 650 Strom's about 40 lbs. heavier than the SV, so in theory that would move you up one rate to a 0.90. Depends though on how you ride the bike.
I ride it like a big supermoto.

I really do everything with it, extended slab rides at 85, gravel roads and rougher, north Georgia twisties, commute every day, throw the mountainbike on it to get to the trails, and so forth. Do you think 0.90 springs would make it to firm off road?

'06 V-Strom 650 For Sale[/URL], light blue, Givi E36 sidecases, E52 topcase with Admore lights, Madstad, SW-Motech crashbars and skidplate
https://www.stromtrooper.com/sale/166401-2006-suzuki-v-strom-dl650-atlanta.html
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