Issues after replacing my front fork springs - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-15-2016, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Issues after replacing my front fork springs

I went to a very reputable shop in my area to have them replace the OEM front fork springs on my Glee with a pair of 0.95kg rate springs from Sonic Springs (I'm a big fella). I also had them put in new fork seals and new fork oil. After about 20 miles with the new set up, handling is much improved and nose dive is greatly diminished, but I'm noticing a few issues. I'm not sure if they are just in my head or if they are actual issues, and I want to make sure they are real before I call up the shop and ask them to look at the bike.

1. When I start up the bike and drop it into first gear, the ABS light stays on for maybe 30-60 seconds before turning off. If memory serves, the ABS light used to turn off immediately after putting the bike in gear. Is this a problem, or is this normal after the brakes are removed (and will stop in a few more miles)?

2. The bike feels much buzzier, all over the rev range.

3. I hear a high pitch almost whistling noise from the front end starting around 70 mph. I suspect maybe this is due to the new fork springs exerting more downforce on the front tire, and it's just the sound of the tire on the pavement, but it's definitely new.

A couple things to note: 1) the Sonic Springs instructions say you need to cut new spacers for the forks because the spring length is different than the OEMs. When I went to pick up the bike, the guy told me the mechanic didn't need to cut the new spacers because the OEM spacers fit fine. Perhaps this is causing some of the issues? 2) There is a small gap in the fork brace where it clamps together on the outside of the forks. When I brought in the bike, the fork brace was clamped all the way together (I bought the bike with the brace installed and don't know if maybe the first owner overtightened it).

With all these variables, I fear it might be hard to troubleshoot these issues, but just wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts or ideas. Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-15-2016, 04:33 PM
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1) The ABS light only goes out after the bike is rolling for a few seconds.

I'm no help for the other things.

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post #3 of 14 Old 09-15-2016, 05:41 PM
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1. As the Dutchman says, the ABS light goes out after the bike starts rolling, the computer has to get a speed reading before the ABS can work, that is normal.

2. Don't know, unless something was not tightened correctly.

3. The new springs can't exert more downforce, that depends on the weight on the front end. The stiffer springs change the amount the forks compress with whatever weight/load is on them, ie. they will dive less.

4. I think that one might be in your head.

The length of the spacer will affect the sag (the amount the forks compress from full extension with you and normal load sitting on the bike). The OEM spacers may have "fit fine", but that doesn't mean they are the right length for you. You need to research what the right amount of sag is (others here may know) and cut the spacers to suit if necessary. Too long spacers=not enough sag= higher riding front end=forks "top out" going over bumps. That can cause loss of traction, also higher riding front end means a change in steering geometry, with more trail, which will give slower steering.

Sounds like that mechanic never heard the expression "When all else fails, read the instructions!".

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Last edited by strominateacup; 09-15-2016 at 05:43 PM.
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-15-2016, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
2. The bike feels much buzzier, all over the rev range.

3. I hear a high pitch almost whistling noise from the front end starting around 70 mph. I suspect maybe this is due to the new fork springs exerting more downforce on the front tire, and it's just the sound of the tire on the pavement, but it's definitely new.
You have a change in attitude front to back which will shift the noise coming from the motor and tires. - You have less "sag" on the front so you are tipping the riding position back a bit and wind will blow through the bits and pieces at a different angle and carry sound differently. You;ll get used to it tho a whistling can be annoying ...I assume you are wearing earplugs?


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post #5 of 14 Old 09-15-2016, 06:58 PM
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where to post this

your question was really of a generic nature. Too bad it got moved to here.

Current Bike: 2007 ABS Wee, rebuilt forks with Cogent DDC, Elka rear shock, tapered roller steering stem bearings, fork brace, Admore top box lights, LED side-only turn indicator lights, Powerlet outlet, frame sliders, Givi windscreen, Givi top box.

Prior Bikes: 2003 EX250, 2007 DL650 (non-ABS)
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-15-2016, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Dutchman View Post
1) The ABS light only goes out after the bike is rolling for a few seconds.

I'm no help for the other things.
This is definitely it. My memory didnít serve me right after all. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by strominateacup View Post
1. As the Dutchman says, the ABS light goes out after the bike starts rolling, the computer has to get a speed reading before the ABS can work, that is normal.

2. Don't know, unless something was not tightened correctly.

3. The new springs can't exert more downforce, that depends on the weight on the front end. The stiffer springs change the amount the forks compress with whatever weight/load is on them, ie. they will dive less.

4. I think that one might be in your head.

The length of the spacer will affect the sag (the amount the forks compress from full extension with you and normal load sitting on the bike). The OEM spacers may have "fit fine", but that doesn't mean they are the right length for you. You need to research what the right amount of sag is (others here may know) and cut the spacers to suit if necessary. Too long spacers=not enough sag= higher riding front end=forks "top out" going over bumps. That can cause loss of traction, also higher riding front end means a change in steering geometry, with more trail, which will give slower steering.

Sounds like that mechanic never heard the expression "When all else fails, read the instructions!".
Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it. Between everyoneís explanations, things make sense and Iím pretty sure everything is fine.

The one outstanding issue is the spacers Ė Iím pretty sure you are right and that the spacers arenít the right size. When I dropped off the bike, I gave them a copy of the Sonic Springs instructions which they ignored apparently. I guess all else didnít fail in their eyes?? I will have to do some research and figure out the OEM spacer length, and what the replacement spacers are supposed to be. I am really un-handy, thatís why I had a shop do the work, but Iím confident I can handle changing out the spacers since the forks can stay on the bike for that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macdoc View Post
You have a change in attitude front to back which will shift the noise coming from the motor and tires. - You have less "sag" on the front so you are tipping the riding position back a bit and wind will blow through the bits and pieces at a different angle and carry sound differently. You;ll get used to it tho a whistling can be annoying ...I assume you are wearing earplugs?
This is very interesting and I think you are spot on here. Yes, I wear earplugs. Maybe once I sort out the spacers and the proper pre-load adjustment, the bike will have the right attitude and the whistling will stop.

Thanks again everyone!
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-15-2016, 08:41 PM
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changing spacers

take weight off front wheel, else you might get a surprise (I did)

Current Bike: 2007 ABS Wee, rebuilt forks with Cogent DDC, Elka rear shock, tapered roller steering stem bearings, fork brace, Admore top box lights, LED side-only turn indicator lights, Powerlet outlet, frame sliders, Givi windscreen, Givi top box.

Prior Bikes: 2003 EX250, 2007 DL650 (non-ABS)
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-15-2016, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kiwi_outdoors View Post
take weight off front wheel, else you might get a surprise (I did)
Thanks for the reminder. Probably would have forgotten to do that. What surprise do you get? A fork bolt through the ceiling, or worse, right to the eye?
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-16-2016, 08:33 AM
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1. Find out what the recommended amount of sag is (call it S).

2. Extend the forks fully by jacking under the bash plate or exhaust, (I'm assuming you have a center stand) then measure from the bottom triple clamp to the dust seal on the fork leg to get a reference measurement (call it R).

3. Remove the jack, sit on the bike in normal riding gear and bounce the forks a couple of times, get someone to take that measurement again (call it S1). R-S1 is your actual sag (Sa). If Sa is less than S, then S-Sa is the amount you have to cut off your spacers.

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and the holes are very small, that's why rain is thin.
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-16-2016, 11:58 PM
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You can test this, maybe with a helper.

You want about 40 mm of sag, both front and rear. Sag is how much the bike settles from wheel-in-the-air to you sitting on the bike fully geared up.

Put a cable tie around one inner fork tube. (The skinny shiny tube.) Get the front tire off the ground and slide the cable tie up against the seal. Put the front back on the ground, sit on the bike wearing your usual riding gear. Jiggle a bit to settle the suspension. Get off. Raise the front tire off the ground. Measure how much the cable tie was pushed down the tube. If it is less than 40 mm, back out the preload adjusters and test everything again. If more than 40 mm, screw down the adjusters and test everything again. If you can't get to 40 mm, tell the shop that did the work that they don't know anything, and have new spacers made so you can get to 40 mm.

For the rear, raise the rear tire off the ground, measure from the axle to a point on the rear fender. Get on, etc. Your helper measures again, subtracts from the original measure, and adjusts the shock preload adjuster to get you to about 40 mm.

All the rest of the problems you mentioned have nothing to do with new springs unless the shop guys took the bike for a ride and damaged something.

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