Otherwise known as DDC.
I have been working with Rick over at Cogent Dynamics and my experience has been very positive. I will get to my impressions but customer service is A+ and Rick and Joyce are just great to deal with.
On to the report. This is preliminary and subject to refinement but here it goes.
I am not a suspension guru and don't pretend to be. I do however have access to a lot of bikes working at a multi-line dealer and I have ridden enough bikes to figure out what I like. This part is very subjective. I like the feel of bikes from BMW such as the 1200GSW and the 800GS. I like the Ducati Multistrada too but it can tend to be firm. The top shelf versions with electronic active suspensions cheat and can gain you compliance when you need it and firmness a millisecond later. Cool stuff.
I don't really ride two up other than my young and light daughter and I don't bomb off road or sit for hours on the freeway. I do commute. I do jump curbs and wheelie over obstacles and just act silly. I don't push hard in the corners really as I have grown to like my skin.
The OEM setup felt wrong to me. From front to back I felt like the bike was doing different things. Bucking and heaving were about all I got from the bike. I also felt the forks were too soft yet not compliant enough? Again from an uneducated guy it felt over damped and under sprung.
I went out on a limb after reading posts here and information on the new product Cogent designed for the DR650 and our bikes. No body was using them in the Strom but the DR community was talking. I did not want to fiddle with "tuning and drilling" which seemed to be going on with other products. I really did not have the fiddle time.
Rick set me up with 0.80 springs, 5w oil, preload spacers and the new drop in cartridge. One important thing to note is that I have in a softer version of the standard damper.
Once installed correctly and the 5w oil filled as specified I set my factory preload about in the middle of the range.
This is what I found
First, it is very apparent that the front and back of the bike is much more balanced. It moves and jives as a unit rather than two ends of a saw horse. The front is much more compliant and soaks bumps that would cause a jarring impulse through the bars before. It also seems more controlled up front. At least as controlled anyway and the damping seems to match the spring better.
If you live in an area that gets snow than like here you have potholes and rough roads. The front end now glides over these road imperfection with much less impact through the bars.
The feel is not as plush as an F800GS which I tend to like but most think is too soft, and the 1200GS which is good and well behaved. Comparing to these bike is a big cap in the feather to what the DDC does to the bike.
I set the bike up to fit me more like an true ADV bike with raised dirt bars, lowered pegs and a tall seat. The DDC turns it into the real deal. I feel I could put on some dirt tires and have a great time with this set up. It may be to plush for big impacts but on the road it feels great.
Rick told me he is just getting these going and is still figuring out how to best position these in the market place amongst the big players and he has some great ideas rolling around. He mentioned the possibility of having a product that has some tenability (a DDC kit perhaps.)
I am super happy with how the bike feels. Even though the bike feels balanced I am pretty sure that I will be asking Rick to get my rear end up to snuff soon
As a side note I weigh about 190 with brown hair and hazel eyes. :mrgreen: