REAR spring rate: WHAT IS RIGHT!?!?
I've researched threads on this issue 'til I'm crosseyed and my head is spinning...and I feel I have no choice but to contribute yet another thread to the topic. (Sorry!)
• I have a 2007 DL650A.
• The bike has 39K miles on the original shock.
• I weigh 225lbs.
• I mostly ride solo, but often ride 2-up with my wife, who weighs 140lbs.
• When riding 2-up, we're usually loaded with 3 hardcases' worth of gear.
• So on 2-up trips, we're looking at a total load of 365lbs + gear (so around 390-400lbs total load).
Based on the above, I decided (after reading a pile of threads on this) that I could benefit from a rear spring swap (replace the OEM spring with a stiffer one).
YES—I saw a dozen threads in which suspension experts said "a spring upgrade alone won't help because the damping will be off."
I ALSO saw a dozen threads where people who had only upgraded their rear spring said it was definitely an improvement.
Because I don't think anyone would lie about a stiffer rear spring (but not a whole new shock) being an improvement...I decided to go this route to save money.
NOW TO MY QUESTION: When ordering a new rear spring, I used RaceTech's spring rate calculator...which said at my weight (225lbs) I needed a spring with a rate of 13.312kg/mm. (The site says the stock rate is 8.2kg/mm.)
Great, I was all set! Except...
THEN I started reading threads with people saying RaceTech's calculator is messed-up...and that spring rates of 13-14kg/mm are way too high/stiff.
So now I have this new spring sitting on the kitchen counter...and I really have no clue whether I should install it or not???
Perhaps my biggest question is this:
If a spring rate of 13.4kg/mm is WAY too stiff...WHAT IS THE WORSE THAT CAN HAPPEN?
Will I be hurled off the bike and die?
Will I crash when the rear tire leaves the ground on the tiniest little bumps?
Will this spring destroy whatever is left of my stock shock?
Or is the worst that can happen that I'll just have a slightly harsher ride...but otherwise everything will be fine?
(And will the ride be too harsh when there are close to 400lbs of riders and gear on the bike?)
I'd be GRATEFUL if anyone can help me cut through all this conflicting information!