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Discussion Starter #1
I am searching for low cost ways to improve the suspension action on my 06 DL1000. Yeah, I know, some of you will come back with some wisenheimer remarks about dont be so cheap, just pay to have it done etc. - I guess you are made of money, and I am not (I do have to retire some day so I can ride more after all!).

My goal is to reduce some of the harshness felt riding off pavement, caused by rocks, washboard or similar "square edged" bumps, while retaining good control, bottoming resistance etc.

I know from having done my own fork revalve (s) on off road bikes, a common modification is to drill larger compression dampening holes in the damper rods. Similar to what is shown here

Motorcycle Suspension

(this shows a DL650 however). I understand the DL1000 has cartridge style forks however (and the caution regarding those in the above link is duly noted) I have done some searches here, but can not seem to find anyone who has done this (maybe I am not using the correct search terms).

Has anyone done similar for a 1000? I suspect with some of the drop in cartridges etc. some may have you do it (not sure though, and my intent for now is to not buy those!). I do plan to upgrade my fork springs to a heavier weight.

If you have done this - results? What weight and volume of oil did you use?

Any constructive input appreciated!

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks PT. I am familiar with those. My goal however was to find some way to take a step towards improving the action, without spending the $ (ie modifying what I have without cash outlay). I am sure some improvement will be realized simply with springs and fresh fork oil of proper weight and volume...but is there another no/low cost option is the question at hand.
 

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There isn't much you can do that's free. Springs and oil will make a noticeable difference, try that first and then evaluate your other options.
 

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Rich - I kind of expected that given these are cartridge type - but had hoped there might be some nifty easy mod. I most likely will do as you suggest - Sonic springs of course.

95% of my riding is two up, easily 50% of our riding with camping gear on board, and 40% of the time off pavement. My goal is to focus on improvement when off pavement, most specifically harshness - my hope is a more plush ride that does not blow through the stroke to quickly or become walllowy. Right now, I have had to crank fork preload to the max - which makes sag on the front still 2.25".

- the calculator show me teetering between a .95 and 1.0. Based on "standard/sport touring", "normal street", my weight geared up at 230 (working on decreasing that!), bike at 520, with tankbag yields a 1.0. The 520 bike weight is based on specified weight of 458 plus 36 for fuel plus 26 lbs for farkles like skid plate crash bars, empty panniers and brackets etc. (wild guess on that 26 lbs...). Dropping that weight just 10 lbs put me at a .95. Focusing on the "plush" desire - would you suggest going with the 1.0, the .95, or based on some other comments you have made saying the calculator comes in a couple steps heavy for the likes of the Vstrom, perhaps even a .90?

- for fork oil weight and volume - I have seen your suggestions of a 10 weight frequently. I am wondering if I should consider a 7.5, but run a bit greater volume? Would that make sense? If so - what level as a starting point?

Mike


FWIW - I will also be addressing the shock spring rate, and may end up having a revalve done.
 

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Mike,

I'd go with 0.95s and 7.5w fork oil. Given your weight, riding style and priorities I think that will get you close to what you're looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Rich. I will give that a go. Next on the agenda then is deciding what I am doing for the shock!

Interesting on how the wife's comfort can dictate those priorities!
 

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Mike,

I'd go with 0.95s and 7.5w fork oil. Given your weight, riding style and priorities I think that will get you close to what you're looking for.

Usually OEM fluid in damper rod or cartridge forks is ATF. ATF is in the 7-10 weight range.

The problem with suspension fluids is that there is no industry standard for viscosity. One manufacturers 5wt can be another's 10 weight.

Here's a page with more info about that then you probably want to know!

You need to modify the shim stack in the cartridge to alter the fork action. Changing fluid tends to just move the problem area(s) around e.g. more oil will stiffen up the fork won't dive as much but it will be even harsher on the low speed, heavier oil slows the fork so rebound will have to be cranked down and you loose the low speed again. You need to change out the springs 1st off especially if your riding double then work on the shim stack.

Another page to check out Race Tech Cartridge Forks
 

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deciding what I am doing for the shock!
1--Spring to suit loaded riding weight
2--Either upgrade the damping inside the stock shock, or buy a better shock. The better shock does the best job, but the upgrade works well for less. Decide how much you are willing to spend, then ask for a list of shops that can do the job or suggestions for a new shock.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
PT...its a matter of not wanting to dump to much money into a bike I fully expect to replace within a year or less (I have my eye on a KTM 990 a local guy is expecting to sell before to long). I know from having owned literally dozens of bikes, you dont recover a very high % of costs for things like suspension work.

Your points are valid. I learned from years of racing off road (with a decent trophy shelf to show for it) the importance of springs and valving. I have revalved and resprung every single bike I have raced.

For my purposes with the Vstrom, I know I do not wish to spend the $ on a new shock. I just want to improve it for the sake of the coming summer as my wife and I plan to ride about 1,100 miles of the CDR, Banff down to Dubois Wyoming. We rode Dubois into Colorado this past summer - had a great time with the crappy stock suspension, but know there is better out there.

I have determined 2 basic options that appear most cost effective - having Jamie Daugherty revalve and spring, or I may simply do the spring. The deciding factor(s) will be the cost of the remaining list of non suspension related items to take care of on my various bikes - final stages of restoring a 76 Penton, normal other off season work on my KTM such as top end, tires, etc, clutch chudder work on the Strom,) all before the snow melts!
 

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PT...its a matter of not wanting to dump to much money into a bike I fully expect to replace within a year or less (I have my eye on a KTM 990 a local guy is expecting to sell before to long). I know from having owned literally dozens of bikes, you dont recover a very high % of costs for things like suspension work.

Your points are valid. I learned from years of racing off road (with a decent trophy shelf to show for it) the importance of springs and valving. I have revalved and resprung every single bike I have raced.

For my purposes with the Vstrom, I know I do not wish to spend the $ on a new shock. I just want to improve it for the sake of the coming summer as my wife and I plan to ride about 1,100 miles of the CDR, Banff down to Dubois Wyoming. We rode Dubois into Colorado this past summer - had a great time with the crappy stock suspension, but know there is better out there.

I have determined 2 basic options that appear most cost effective - having Jamie Daugherty revalve and spring, or I may simply do the spring. The deciding factor(s) will be the cost of the remaining list of non suspension related items to take care of on my various bikes - final stages of restoring a 76 Penton, normal other off season work on my KTM such as top end, tires, etc, clutch chudder work on the Strom,) all before the snow melts!


Shims are cheap if you want to DIY. The "trick" is knowing how to set-up the stack. There are plenty of formulas for dirt bikes. A quick Google didn't turn up anything for the Strom but there is this: Shim ReStacker looks kind of intimidating to me but I'm not a math guy!
 

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PT...its a matter of not wanting to dump to much money into a bike I fully expect to replace within a year or less (I have my eye on a KTM 990 a local guy is expecting to sell before to long). I know from having owned literally dozens of bikes, you dont recover a very high % of costs for things like suspension work...
In that case a good aftermarket shock may make the most sense. They hold their value really well. Buy one, ride on it for a year and pull it off and sell it when you sell the bike. You won't lose much at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In that case a good aftermarket shock may make the most sense. They hold their value really well. Buy one, ride on it for a year and pull it off and sell it when you sell the bike. You won't lose much at all.
Agreed. If only I could find a good used aftermarket shock at a decent price!

There was an Ohlin's on here recently for $650 as I recall...but spring rates were off...add in say $130 to get proper spring on it, plus shipping...way to expensive - and fact is - I dont want to shell out the original $650! I had a line on a used Ohlins without remote preload - had 20,000 ish miles on it - but it was $500 plus shipping, plus would need a different spring...again, still getting pricey!

So if anyone has a good used aftermarket shock (or revalved OEM), with a reasonably close spring rate at a really good price...let me know!
 
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