....here are my findings:
2004 DL650 V-Strom
I weigh 190 pounds before another 20 pounds of Aerostich and boots, helmet, gloves, etc.
Elka Triple adjustable shock (Thanks [email protected]
Pat Walsh crash bars and skid plate
Sonic .90 Springs
Been riding with this set-up for two years.
Yesterday I added the latest spec Ricor Intiminators, they came woth the .12? shim stack.
I did NOT modify the Intiminators.
I did NOT modify the damper rods.
I did NOT change the fork position in the triple clamps.
I did NOT change the shock settings.
I DID switch from Continental Road Attack II tires to Michelin Pilot Road 3 Trail tires at the same time as the Ricor Intiminator install, so that will muddy the change somewhat.
I just picked up the bike from my tech in Houston and rode her three hours on Interstate 10 to my Louisiana home.
So, my forks were already stiffer with the .90 springs. Here are my thoughts:
The bike is much more "planted". The forks feel very firm, they follow the road imperfections without hopping into the air over bumps, the tire stays glued to the road.
The bike turns and leans in a beautifully predictable and light way. I can lean her EXACTLY the right amount and she stays EXACTLY at the lean angle I place her and requires ZERO correction to keep her EXACTLY where I want her.
The forks transmit more bumps into the bars on concrete rippled pavement. At first I thought to myself, "Uh-Oh, I just made the bike too stiff and she is going to beat me up on trips."
After a few miles, however, as I rode on concrete, then blacktop, then back on concrete, she seemed to soften up a bit.
By the two hour point in the ride home, I was LOVING the new setup. The forks absorb sharp edged bumps like a dream. When I hit a piece of concrete that has uplifted an inch, and I hit the 90 degree edge of slab, the forks just eat it, without transmitting that big bump into the bars. Also, I used to get a slow "pogo" effect front to rear, that is now gone. The bike is flat and stable on undulating surfaces.
The other big change, is when I stopped for fuel. The low speed handling at walking pace, has been transformed. I use to have a heck of a time with this beast at walking speed since I have really short legs. I have dumped my bike over at 2 mph more times than I want to admit.
Now, with these Ricor units, I can perform a feet up, 5 mph u-turn like a pro.
I was not expecting this.
My V-Strom is soooooo much easier to maneuver at slow speed now. Money well spent just for that alone.
I hit a couple of clover leaf interchanges at 80+ mph and she just RAILS. Epic.
I'm very, very happy.
I think Ricor is correct in that you could probably just drop these in with stock springs and be very, very happy.
My .90 springs make this combo just a hair too firm, but I like it that way. Anyone out there who rides more slab and dirt and less twisty roads than I, may prefer the Ricors with their OEM, stock springs.
Again, I performed NONE of the modifications to the Ricors or the damper rods that the above folks have listed.
And the Pilot Road 3 Trail tires are FANTASTIC.
All the best.