Suspension Issues? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-18-2018, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 505
Suspension Issues?

To the collective -

Ok, here's the background. '09 Strom, bought new by me, has almost 36,000 miles. Regular maintenance done all it's life. The bike has given me no grief besides it telling me when to replace the battery. The wife and I ride two up about half the time, so, half it's life. Full luggage rarely the past 6-7 years but hopefully that will change from now going forward.

Last week I noticed that the swing arm had some play when attaching a ratchet/socket on the axle nut. Up/down play, there is no side to side movement at all. Checked the shock bolts and the upper bolt mount had some play. After torquing that checked all the other bolts, cushion and center stand (forgot how much fun that spring was, yes, I took it off since one of the bolts for the cushion sits underneath it). I didn't check the swing arm since you need that special tool and the paint from the factory still lines up on the hardware. There is still a small "notch" (this is what it feels like) of play while on the center stand. It's barely there but I can still feel it. The rear shock is holding up fine, no losing oil or anything.

I have done absolutely nothing as far as maintenance goes when it has come to the suspension. After reading on here, along with the Suzuki maintenance manual, I have a pretty good idea how to get the thing apart and what to check. However, riding season up north here will be done in a couple of months and I am wondering if I'm still good to go until winter when I put it up for storage, as long as I keep checking it and it doesn't get worse.

I am thinking this winter, early next spring, of taking it apart and checking everything and replacing whatever it needs. I figure after almost 10 years it could use it. I guess I should get to the forks as well. Wish I had a insulated/heated garage! That would make this project easier as I'm not looking forward to it anyway.

Anyone with suspension experience, what is your opinion? Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 4 Old 09-18-2018, 02:27 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,806
I'd leave it until winter. I have just over 100k on an '07, and I've serviced the swing arm bearings exactly one time, around 40k ago. I don't have my notes nearby, but I don't recall doing anything beyond cleanup and fresh grease. Though I ride in foul weather often, I rarely do any water crossings on the strom, so that may be a consideration. For the forks, it's definitely time for some new fluid, and consider springs and emulators while you're at it. I have been very pleased with the Intiminators in mine.


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post #3 of 4 Old 09-18-2018, 03:29 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Co Wicklow Ireland
Posts: 252
It is not unheard of for a small amount of play to be in suspension linkages and it is fairly normal on many bikes. I have seen it in many bikes both new and with some mileage on. However I am also aware that the bolts in the Suzuki linkages can be put in dry at the factory. That in itself will not affect wear in the bearings, but the bolts can be a bugger to get out when the time comes.

To be sure with regard to the play you could just undo the bottom shock mount and move the suspension through its arc to ensure the movement is smooth. If it is then all should be well. If it is stiff or feels rough I would deal with it immediately. Removal of the bottom shock bolt and replacement is not a big deal and a few minutes should do it.

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post #4 of 4 Old 09-20-2018, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 505
Thanks to both of you for your replies. I'm kind of leaning towards waiting until winter for obvious reasons but will have to check on disconnecting the shock and trying it that way. I have been feeling guilty about the fork oil for some time so that will definitely get done.

After 4 kids, the last one is still at home, and 4 cars to work on I'm getting lazy about this sort of thing anymore. I don't like suspension work on anything, don't know why, I just don't. Engine work (rebuilding/valves, etc..) doesn't bother me, go figure. Thank goodness I have only one car left to deal with, although it's the oldest of the 4. The joys of working on things that are 20 years old...

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