What Kinda Bike Is That?
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mount Desert Island, Maine
Jon, the calculator at Sonic Springs is a place to get started; but don't use it as gospel. Don't be shy about tapping into Rich's depth of personal experience. I am sure Blair would do the same for you.
Absolutely, your personal weight, all geared up is a factor. Your riding style AND the terrain you ride on, (the majority of the time), is also a factor. I know that Dirt_Mom isn't going to ride on the back of your bike, (and she certainly doesn't want to ride on the back of mine...... Funny, no one wants to.......), so you can rule that parameter out, (two up riding). Luggage and what you carry in the luggage can also be a factor.
If you are taking the time to focus on this, adding Race Tech emulators or the Ricor "thingy-ma-jiggys" is also a good measure too, (I use emulators).
This I will guarentee you, once you start fiddling with the front end, you will always try to squeeze a little more out of it.
Here was my expereince mapped out over the three years I have owned the bike, (Spring of 2007). I did the below, one step at a time just to see what changes each modification made.
Forkbrace first, (Superbrace). Made a big difference.
Sonic Springs, (.90) and 12.5wt fork oil, (50/50 mix of 10wt and 15wt)
Race Tech emulators, (and monkeying around with the preload spring. Currently, I am at 1.5 turns. The factory setting is for 2 turns.).
I also switched to 15wt oil.
I also switched to 10wt oil.
For 2010, I have switched back to the OEM springs and 10wt oil, with 1.5 turns on the emulator, preload springs. I like this setup. I would purchase lighter weight Sonic Springs, but it is an area that I can save a little money by just using the OEM springs which I still have on hand.
I should mention that I also have the forks raised 1/2" in the fork clamps.
I would also like to mention that, if you have never done any work on the front end of your bike, at the very least, you are way over due to change fork oil!!!!
And..........if you are going to spend the time on changing fork oil.........you might as well slide in some new springs.........emulators..........and maybe a set of "glide and slide" metals........and fork seals.
All of the info is available on how to do this stuff on this site.
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"