Suspension Upgrade worth while for general commuting? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 30 Old 07-06-2016, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Suspension Upgrade worth while for general commuting?

Are suspension upgrades (custom springs, separate compression / rebound damping adjustments, etc.) worth while for the average commuter-strom? I ride interstates 80% of the time, and ride semi-non-aggressively on country backroads 25% of time. I'm mostly solo, but occasionally ride two-up to the movies on the weekend. I currently crank up the rear preload for two-up, and make no adjustments to the front preload. I know a little about suspension from mountain biking...mostly applicable to off-road type stuff.

I guess the real question is directed to folks who's dropped some coin on aftermarket suspension improvements: Is is worth it for just an average commuting machine? Would I notice any noticeable improvement on those semi-non-aggressive backroad sprints?

Thanks.

Previous DL650 Commuter - 2015 DL650 XT
Currently a Super Tenere Commuter - 2017 ES
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post #2 of 30 Old 07-06-2016, 07:29 AM
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Worth it? Not always. I would offer that if you plan to keep the bike for several years it most certainly is worth the cost and labor. If you are just commuting a few miles to work and take an occasional ride you probably are not putting a lot of miles on the bike per year. In other words you can live with how it came.

For those that say they are fine with the stock suspension, no reason to change anything, I will tell you that you simply don't know what you are missing. Ignorance is bliss, but don't preach that there isn't a need for improvement.

I couldn't stand long ( think 800 miles ) days on my 2012 DL 650 as the front suspension was very harsh on small bumps, cracks in the road and so on. I went with stiffer springs ( yes, seems that stiffer would ride more rough but that isn't always so ) and cartridge emulators. I actually modified the cartridge emulators to soften them on small bumps. Much less brake dive now and much smoother ride on Interstates as well as rough pavement and gravel. Really isn't all that expensive and not all that hard to do.
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'12 DL 650 '14 BMW R 1200 RT

WERKS modified clutch baskets for DL and SV 1000's.
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post #3 of 30 Old 07-06-2016, 07:45 AM
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WOW you manage 105% riding. Wish I could do that. If your suspension parts are not broken, don't replace them based on someone else telling you it is better. Suspensions are money. If you want to spend it, then spend it.
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post #4 of 30 Old 07-06-2016, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Worth it? Not always. I would offer that if you plan to keep the bike for several years it most certainly is worth the cost and labor. If you are just commuting a few miles to work and take an occasional ride you probably are not putting a lot of miles on the bike per year. In other words you can live with how it came.

For those that say they are fine with the stock suspension, no reason to change anything, I will tell you that you simply don't know what you are missing. Ignorance is bliss, but don't preach that there isn't a need for improvement.

I couldn't stand long ( think 800 miles ) days on my 2012 DL 650 as the front suspension was very harsh on small bumps, cracks in the road and so on. I went with stiffer springs ( yes, seems that stiffer would ride more rough but that isn't always so ) and cartridge emulators. I actually modified the cartridge emulators to soften them on small bumps. Much less brake dive now and much smoother ride on Interstates as well as rough pavement and gravel. Really isn't all that expensive and not all that hard to do.
I should have mentioned in my OP...I have a 100 mile round trip commute each day. I bought the bike new in late February, and I already have 6,000 miles on it.

One of the issues that started this train of thought is some bumps on I-71 just South of St.Rt. 68. I drive over these every day. It feels like the front tire is off the ground for a few milliseconds after each bump, and the bump feels pretty harsh. The rear shock handles them well...smooth and no noticeable road disconnection. So my brain got to thinking about different damping speeds for the front fork.

Previous DL650 Commuter - 2015 DL650 XT
Currently a Super Tenere Commuter - 2017 ES
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post #5 of 30 Old 07-06-2016, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dino M View Post
WOW you manage 105% riding...
I like to see if people are paying attention
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Previous DL650 Commuter - 2015 DL650 XT
Currently a Super Tenere Commuter - 2017 ES
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post #6 of 30 Old 07-06-2016, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HuntWhenever View Post

One of the issues that started this train of thought is some bumps on I-71 just South of St.Rt. 68. I drive over these every day. It feels like the front tire is off the ground for a few milliseconds after each bump, and the bump feels pretty harsh. The rear shock handles them well...smooth and no noticeable road disconnection. So my brain got to thinking about different damping speeds for the front fork.
In that case you will very much appreciate the front fork upgrade. I still have the stock rear shock, and it is at times noticeably weak. But not a big problem like the front was. The difference in how the front end handles bumps like you mention above is quite dramatic after installing the upgraded springs and cartridge emulators. The job is actually a lot easier than it might seem. Getting the bikes front end off the ground safely is the hardest part! Removing the forks is actually very easy. Removing the front fender can be a chore, it is easy to spin the locking nut on the backside of the fasteners...

'12 DL 650 '14 BMW R 1200 RT

WERKS modified clutch baskets for DL and SV 1000's.
The BEST in chudder control, noise control, and lasting durability! AVAILABLE HERE: www.werksparts.com

Have questions about the clutch in your DL or SV 1000? E-mail Terry [email protected]
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post #7 of 30 Old 07-06-2016, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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If I decide to upgrade the fork components, I'll likely leave that to my local shop. I'll work on a lot of thinks myself (same on my cars / trailers), but I usually leave suspension stuff to the professionals. Plus, I got enough projects floating around the house / garage / yard.

Previous DL650 Commuter - 2015 DL650 XT
Currently a Super Tenere Commuter - 2017 ES
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post #8 of 30 Old 07-06-2016, 11:03 AM
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Can't see which bike you have on Tapatalk.

On my 1k, I adjusted my back spring to feel like a cloud. I do not feel cracks, and the rest gets greatly absorbed. Haven't touched the front adjusters because they were fine with my type of riding.

For me, aftermarket parts would be a waste of money.

If I keep the bike long enough, and the suspension needs to be replaced, I'll consider it if the cost is close or less than oem.

________
2014 VStrom 1000 Adv SE, because army bikes are more adv
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post #9 of 30 Old 07-06-2016, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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can't see which bike you have on tapatalk...
2015 650 xt

Previous DL650 Commuter - 2015 DL650 XT
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post #10 of 30 Old 07-06-2016, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HuntWhenever View Post
I should have mentioned in my OP...I have a 100 mile round trip commute each day. I bought the bike new in late February, and I already have 6,000 miles on it.

One of the issues that started this train of thought is some bumps on I-71 just South of St.Rt. 68. I drive over these every day. It feels like the front tire is off the ground for a few milliseconds after each bump, and the bump feels pretty harsh. The rear shock handles them well...smooth and no noticeable road disconnection. So my brain got to thinking about different damping speeds for the front fork.

I installed the Ricor Intiminator they absolutely got rid of the sharp edge hit. You use a lighter weight oil with them also. I didn't change springs or the preload spacers as I'm in the correct weight range for the OEMs.

They are easy to install, just drop in under the springs. Have to change oil in the forks though which requires removing them.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:13
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