Elka and Race tech. - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-01-2013, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Elka and Race tech.

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I just had an Elka rear shock and Race tech fork springs with GVE installed in my 2012 650. Of course there is snow all over the place so I don't have a great write up yet, however I can tell you a few things.

#1. Fit and finish of the Elka is amazing.

2. When I sit down now it feels different. The only way to describe it is to have you think about those Baja racing trucks going over small jumps and landing softly. That is what it feels like. As of now all my setting are in the middle.

3. I really have nothing to say yet about the Race Tech except seems like it is easier to compress the front end. I have not ridden yet.

4. The compression adjuster looks like a nitro canister. When I went to go pick it up, a Harley rider at the shop who was walking by asked me if I installed a nitro kit on my bike.

5. Blair at sv racing is a first class act.

More info and write up to come.


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2012 650, Centerstand, lower cowl, accessory plug, grip protectors, hot grips, fork brace, mirror extenders, crash bar, auxiliary lighting front and rear, madstad, California Scientific medium windshield.
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-27-2013, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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I went for a ride last evening. It was about 36 degrees out but no wind and the roads were dry.

I live on some acreage so I went around some grassy trails I have cut. The stock suspension really made this a jarring uncomfortable ride.
The ride is much better now on that type of terrain. Very stable and the little bumps are soaked up very well.

I then pulled out to dirt roads that had sand 2-3 inches piled up in the middle and hard pack over the sides. So a mixture of both loose and hard. It also had some washboard mixed in.
This is where I really started to smile. The bike was extremely forgiving and stable. I was traveling 10 miles per hour over where I felt comfortable before.
With stock suspension and stock tires I had that riding over marbles feeling.

(I also recently installed a K-60 up front-- so that helped with stability)

The washboards were muted and the bike felt more planted.
I jumped up and down on the pegs at speed and that Baja racing truck feel is how I would describe it. A controlled float over bumps.

I have never been on a BMW adventure touring bike -- but I would guess this is how they feel. Not sure about that.

The combo of the ELKA and Racetech with the K-60 upfront is perfect for where I live and what kind of surfaces I have to encounter here in rural Iowa.

(Before anyone asks -- I already sold my stock rear shock to a fellow stromtrooper)

2012 650, Centerstand, lower cowl, accessory plug, grip protectors, hot grips, fork brace, mirror extenders, crash bar, auxiliary lighting front and rear, madstad, California Scientific medium windshield.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-01-2013, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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I finally had a chance to do some adjustment on the new suspension. The rear has adjustments for high and low speed compression, preload and rebound damping.

The front has preload adjustment.

I first started by setting all knobs to the middle clicks. This felt great but I wanted to see how soft I could get it.

I then went softer on all knobs except rebound -- I split the difference from totally to the left and in the middle.

This setting felt great and I tried it out on street, dirt, grass and washboards. Even some small drop offs.

I then split the differnce again and went even softer. This was not bad but it felt better at the previous setting so I went back.

I still have not touched the rebound setting. It feels fine to me. (It does not launch me in the air after being compressed)

The front spring adjuster has 3 lines showing.

After everything was set the way I liked it -- I asked a friend to come over and measured the sag. first unweighted and then weighted.

The front was 51 mm and the rear was 51.2 mm

The handling is better then ever-- but the best part is riding over washboard surfaces -- over 25mph the bumps smooth out.

2012 650, Centerstand, lower cowl, accessory plug, grip protectors, hot grips, fork brace, mirror extenders, crash bar, auxiliary lighting front and rear, madstad, California Scientific medium windshield.

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post #4 of 8 Old 04-01-2013, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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2012 650, Centerstand, lower cowl, accessory plug, grip protectors, hot grips, fork brace, mirror extenders, crash bar, auxiliary lighting front and rear, madstad, California Scientific medium windshield.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-01-2013, 02:13 PM
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You'll like it even better when the weather warms and the oil in the forks and stock thin a bit.

About 40 mm sag, both front and rear is recommended. With your 50+ mm setting there is more chance you bottom out the suspension when you ride rough stuff in a spirited manner. That is 40 mm suspension compression from having the tire in the air to you sitting on the bike in your riding gear.

Consider either the RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators or the Ricor Intiminator damping valve to take the front to the next level.

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

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post #6 of 8 Old 04-02-2013, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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The GVE's were put in with the springs initially so I cannot comment about the feel without them -- but I can say that turning the adjustment out 1.5 full turns made a difference to me in the choppy stuff.

2012 650, Centerstand, lower cowl, accessory plug, grip protectors, hot grips, fork brace, mirror extenders, crash bar, auxiliary lighting front and rear, madstad, California Scientific medium windshield.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 09:50 AM
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Who at Elka?

Who did you talk with at Elka and which shock did you get?
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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I ordered the shock through Blair at sv racing. He is one of our sponsors and is great to work with.

There is a cheaper Elka option which does not give you as many adjustments. The shock would still be a big improvement over stock. If you are only on road --I would go with the less expensive option. Rail road tracks are lots of fun. My buddy slows way down on his stratoliner and I will speed up. The rear shock soaks up road imperfections once you dial it in --which was pretty easy to do.


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2012 650, Centerstand, lower cowl, accessory plug, grip protectors, hot grips, fork brace, mirror extenders, crash bar, auxiliary lighting front and rear, madstad, California Scientific medium windshield.
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