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Hi,
Considering a DL650 for mostly weekend rides when I get up and want to explore the backroads for 200mi+. I have a cbr1100xx....great hwy commuter but the extended reach causes pain on longer rides.

I HAD got a new Bonneville for the weekend exploring b/c of the comfy upright seating but HARSH ride sent jolts up my spine on anything but smooth payment. Aftermarket shocks/springs didn't help. Result was back pain during and after the ride.....everyday so I finally gave up and sold it.

I plan on test riding a DL650 at the dealer but wondering if I'm going to face the same issues or does this bike soak up bumps fairly well. I just don't want the jackhammer Bonnie experience again.

Thx for the replies...

ps-only going for the 650....don't want the size, height, price..etc of the 1000.
 

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I consider the ride to be quite plush (150mm travel at both ends) and most reviews I've read describe it as plush as well. The rear suspension is easily adjusted by simply twisting a dial from very soft to quite stiff. I think you'll find it very easy on the back. :)
 

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Throttlehound said:
I consider the ride to be quite plush (150mm travel at both ends) and most reviews I've read describe it as plush as well. The rear suspension is easily adjusted by simply twisting a dial from very soft to quite stiff. I think you'll find it very easy on the back. :)
The knob on the rear has NOTHING, repeat NOTHING, to do with stiffness. It's a preload adjustment. All it does is vary how much suspension travel gets used up when you sit on the bike. How much it sags. That's it. Nothing more. Adding luggage: dial up the preload to keep the rear from sagging too much and screwing up the handling. Adding a pillion: dial it up some more.

As I mentioned in your other thread, I find the Wee Strom suspension to be quite harsh on sharp-edged bumps. This is typical of the cheap/budget suspension put on price-point bikes like the Wee. My Triumph Sprint RS suffered from it as well. Damn accountants. Suzuki should be shot for not putting high-spec fully adjustable suspension on both ends. Suzuki does get props for the remote preload adjuster though.
 

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You're right, it really does control the sag. To me it seems to make the bike handle better 2 up when preloaded to the max. I guess I was equating lack of sag with stiffness but that's not technically correct. :?
 

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The suspension is very good ,but like all bikes can be "improved " to suit your requirements. There are a few postings on fitting stiffer front springs etc .It is a very good bike that can do many things very well and you can have FUN on it . I would ride one for a month or so before deciding on changing suspension .

Go buy a second hand 650 save some $$$ they are very good to ride and you will probably get a few extras .
 

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Throttlehound said:
You're right, it really does control the sag. To me it seems to make the bike handle better 2 up when preloaded to the max. I guess I was equating lack of sag with stiffness but that's not technically correct. :?
Cranking the preload up when riding two up is exactly what it is for. When the rear sags too much, it causes the forks to extend (screwing up the steering geometry), which makes the bike handle worse. Use the preload knob to adjust it so that the rear sags about 1.5 inches (35-40 mm, from fully extended) with whatever load you expect on the bike (rider plus luggage and/or pillion). Yes, it takes an assistant to measure the sag once all the people/stuff is on the bike. It's easy to do and makes a big difference. The front forks should sag a similar amount (35-40mm).

The problem with the Wee is that the springs are too soft so it's hard to get the right amount of sag set, especially if you're heavy, carry lots of luggage and/or ride with a pillion. And even if you do get the correct sag, the spring rate is too soft, so you still have mushy suspension. Feels OK on smooth roads, but quickly shows its budget roots once the pace is turned up on less than perfect pavement.
 

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Nobody has mentioned the rebound damping adjustment on the rear shock. Adjustment of this will also affect the degree of jolt transmitted to one's rear. Unfortunately the front end just has preload adjustment so you are stuck with what you got unless you start playing with oil weight.
 

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AndrewG said:
Nobody has mentioned the rebound damping adjustment on the rear shock. Adjustment of this will also affect the degree of jolt transmitted to one's rear.
Not really. Rebound damping controls how fast the shock extends AFTER being compressed. Too little rebound damping results in a pogo'ing feel. Too much rebound damping doesn't let the shock extend fast enough to follow the road and will cause the shock to pack up if you hit multiple bumps in a row.

The usual cause for the sharp jolt is too much compression damping. Basically the shock is trying to compress faster than oil can be squeezed through the internal holes/valves, so it hydro-locks (binds up, stops moving) and the rest of the jolt pushes the rear of the bike upwards. That's where the getting launched out of your seat sharp jolt comes from.

The forks and shocks on the Stroms do not offer any adjustment for compression damping. I have fully adjustable suspension on my sportbike and added a nice Penske to my Triumph. Being able to tweak compression damping is very important to me. I can soften it for the bumpy roads in PA and easily firm it up for track days or twisty blasts in WV.

The best option is to have suspension that offers both high and low speed compression damping adjustments (high end Wilbers, Ohlins, Penske, etc). You can set the low speed compression damping fairly firm for good feedback, yet keep the high speed compression damping at a value that lets it soak up those sharp-edged hits that cause the jolts.

As you mention, damper forks are a real PITA because all you can really do is fiddle with oil weight and level. It's hard/impossible to find an oil weight that will give a nice controlled ride on smooth pavement and not hydro-lock on a sharp hit. Race Tech emulators attempt to solve this and rumor has it they do a pretty good job, but you're still polishing a turd.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
graham downunder said:
Go buy a second hand 650 save some $$$ they are very good to ride and you will probably get a few extras .
Thanks for the replies.....and a used DL650 comes along very rarely around here. The DL1000 are more frequent. Still thinking about a 1K as well......figure with a 650 seat would sit lower, PCIII and some pipes and it might run as smooth as the 650 and a 43 rear sprocket to get a useable 6th gear......now just have to find a used DL1000 with all this already done... :D
 
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