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What Kinda Bike Is That?
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DO IT!

I just finished riding 610 miles on Interstate, primary, secondary and dirt roads in Maine and New Hampshire and I have to say that a front end upgrade is as essential as ATGATT, (did I get that acronym right?).

I chose Sonic Springs and I have to agree with Rich Desmond that a "straight" spring compared to the OEM progressive, (on an 07 DL-650), is the right thing to do on this bike, (there is now absolutely no "BOING" and very little "dive" to the front end.). I am also glad that I took the time to e-mail Rich with my bike specifics, (weights of everything I added to the stock bike), my weight with riding gear, my riding style and the parameters of the terrain I like to cover. If I didn't do this step, and relied solely on the calculator on his web site, I would have chosen too stiff a spring, (Rich suggested a .90 spring and 12.5 wt oil. He said, "Rule of thumb, undersprung and good dampening." Using the web site calculator, I would have chosen a 1.0 spring.)

Some of you New England riders are familiar with RT 153 that travels the border between Maine and NH. I stuck like glue to the road, (using TKC-80s front and rear.). RT 16 North of Berlin is very "choppy" from the winter. I was riding it at 60 mph and above. Cars were navigating the potholes at 40 mph. RT 16 from Errol to Wilson Mills was even worse, but here again, I was flying. I finished up riding a dirt pretty pot holed road from Solon to Athens, ME, (The, Hole In The Wall Road.)

The front end of the bike always felt like it was on a rail. Every line I chose, the bike stuck to it, (there were some pretty nasty "crown cracks" in the road through nearly all of my journey). I ignored ALL of the "Frost Heave" and "Bump" signs.........grinning every time I "launched". One labeled Frost Heave I hit, I knew was going to be a big one; at 66 mph, the bike came clear off the pavement. When the bike landed, the front felt absolutely solid; sort of like I was a "slot car" on a race track. The rear end was another story........ It wobbled back and forth.

Which leads me to say, "Blair, the U.S. Goverment's policy states that the last two digits of my social security number dictates that my 'Economic Stimulus Check' will not arrive UNTIL the middle of June......." I would be all over the Elka Shock in a heartbeat if it were here sooner..... I know that it will do exactly the same for the rear of my bike as the upgrade I did to the front of the bike.

NOTE 01: I have also added a Superbrace fork brace.
NOTE 02: I did these upgrades after riding this bike 23,000 miles over the same types of roads. I will never do that again. (Step One: Buy bike. Step Two: Upgrade front end and add forkbrace. Step Three: Ride Bike.)

Again, I want to state, if you are an aggressive rider, (AND!), or are riding on different surfaces of varying qualities, I feel that a front end upgrade that is "fit" to you is well invested money for handling and safety sake. It's as important as as All The Gear, All The Time! (Did I say that right?.......)

I have a couple of pics and tips from the work I did that I will post tomorrow in the How To forum.
 
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Nice Testimony Black Lab. Your thoughts are pushing me further towards upgrading my suspension.

Thanks!!
 

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When I installed the Sonics last summer it was like buying a whole new bike for $100.00.
 

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What's your weight? I want to do the same (made a huge difference on my SV), just debating whether to go with the same 0.85 springs as I put in the SV.
 

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Coming from a KLR650, the front of stock DL 650 is wonderful. You mean it actually gets better?

Front end dive is defined in Websters as a KLR on the interstate with a panic stop from 70mph. : )
 

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What Kinda Bike Is That?
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Discussion Starter #7
What's your weight? I want to do the same (made a huge difference on my SV), just debating whether to go with the same 0.85 springs as I put in the SV.
183 lbs with all of my riding gear on. I also had Rich take into consideration the weight of the lights, crash bars, skid plate, etc.

Do some research and reading on the topic comparing other manufacturers. There is a lot of info out there that can get confusing, (at least to me it did!). And, there are different schools of thought on Progressive vs Straight springs.

I am very happy with my choice of Sonic Springs. Doing this upgrade is something that I do highly recommend.

Good Luck!
 

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What's your weight? I want to do the same (made a huge difference on my SV), just debating whether to go with the same 0.85 springs as I put in the SV.
The 650 Strom's about 40 lbs. heavier than the SV, so in theory that would move you up one rate to a 0.90. Depends though on how you ride the bike.
 

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183 lbs with all of my riding gear on. I also had Rich take into consideration the weight of the lights, crash bars, skid plate, etc.

Do some research and reading on the topic comparing other manufacturers. There is a lot of info out there that can get confusing, (at least to me it did!). And, there are different schools of thought on Progressive vs Straight springs.

I am very happy with my choice of Sonic Springs. Doing this upgrade is something that I do highly recommend.

Good Luck!
Glad you were pleased, that's always really good to hear. :)
 

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The 650 Strom's about 40 lbs. heavier than the SV, so in theory that would move you up one rate to a 0.90. Depends though on how you ride the bike.
I ride it like a big supermoto. :D

I really do everything with it, extended slab rides at 85, gravel roads and rougher, north Georgia twisties, commute every day, throw the mountainbike on it to get to the trails, and so forth. Do you think 0.90 springs would make it to firm off road?
 

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I ride it like a big supermoto. :D

I really do everything with it, extended slab rides at 85, gravel roads and rougher, north Georgia twisties, commute every day, throw the mountainbike on it to get to the trails, and so forth. Do you think 0.90 springs would make it to firm off road?
Probably the 0.90s then. How much do you weigh?
You shouldn't use lighter springs if you're going off-road, but you might want to go to a little thinner fork oil.
 

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Probably the 0.90s then. How much do you weigh?
You shouldn't use lighter springs if you're going off-road, but you might want to go to a little thinner fork oil.
Wearing shorts and sneakers I'm at 182 right now, plus boots, pants, jacket, helmet.

I have the emulators in my SV, too, not sure if I'll do them on the strom though. I'm also not looking forward to realizing how much the rear wallows when the front end is stiffened up.
 

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Wearing shorts and sneakers I'm at 182 right now, plus boots, pants, jacket, helmet.

I have the emulators in my SV, too, not sure if I'll do them on the strom though. I'm also not looking forward to realizing how much the rear wallows when the front end is stiffened up.
The 0.90s will be good.
The V-Strom rear shock is a lot better than the one on the SV, although still not great. At 8000 miles I've got the rebound damping almost maxed out. When I get back from Alaska it'll be past time for a rear shock. :)
 

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The 0.90s will be good.
The V-Strom rear shock is a lot better than the one on the SV, although still not great. At 8000 miles I've got the rebound damping almost maxed out. When I get back from Alaska it'll be past time for a rear shock. :)
Went onto your site to order the springs, completely forgot to ask you what weight oil you're recommending (I'll order that with the springs). Thanks, Rich!
 

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My Front End Story

Here was my front end project completed this week.

K2 DL1000 added Sonic Springs 1.0 kg/mm (I'm 6'5", 260), EBC Brakes, new Tourance, SuperBrace. All Balls wheel bearings

My ride before was not bad, but on heavy braking, I had serious front end dive, on hard bumps it was tough to control, and at freeway speeds in heavy buffeting I would begin to "pogo" down the road. Lastly, I had the dreaded decelleration wobble (no hands, not sure why I would ride with no hands, but..)

While it's hard to say what component made what difference, it's like a new bike. Much more responsive in the front end, less wallow in the turns. I didn't realize how premature in my turn apex I had been to allow for the handling until afterward.
The ride now feels a little "stiff" to me on really bumpy roads, but a dream in the twistys.

The wobble is gone, I believe due to throwing out the trailwing. I had good tread, just a horrible tire (not saying all trailwings are bad, but mine was ugly).

The pogo'ing is gone.

Finally, The folks at Sonic Springs are awesome, while I would not expect this to be typical, I was getting techincal support via email on a Sunday night.

The entire job was pretty easy (I've never done this before).

MY only recommendation is to take your time, make sure you torque bolts correctly, don't forget to lock-tite the critical ones. The front end is kind of important.
 

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get a forkbrace cheap newbies!

If a forkbrace qualifys as "front end upgrade, the murph's kit one that I installed was an easy upgrade that worked. I avoided one thinking, the forks are connected to the wheel, what good could yet another connection do? Well, I guess it stops a lot of needless movement down there after all. I'm kind of surprised how many of you change springs, but I noticed many of you that have, also have had many different bikes(maybe that had great suspension?). My strom is only the 3rd streetbike I've ridden, and beyond the "dive" it does when I brake spastically, It seems fine to me. Maybe I'm just not realizing the strom suspension sucks? I have an anakee front and a tourance rear sitting here ready to be my next handling improvement.
 

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Living the Stereotype
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I'm about to pick up my bike with new .95 Sonic Springs, 50/50 mix of 10/15 wt. oil and a Continental TKC-80 on the front, I've got a pretty new Tourance out back.

My Superbrace is en-route, I'll have it in a week.
I'm going to further modify the stock fender for now.

My Olympia Jacket is with Mabel the seamstress getting mended. (really, Mabel.) I just learned Olympia Motosports is headquarterd about 12 miles from my house, they were happy to give me a bit of fabric for the repairs.

I'm looking forward to this new setup, especially on the local Forest Service Roads. I'll post a report as soon as I get it all together and spend some time with it.
 

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Just rode after complete Race Tech make-over and 1.0 spring.

More responsive steering with out raising the forks thus keeping the stability I like about the V.
Very compliant in rough road surface.
Much less front end dive under braking or deceleration like stock.
More confident in sweeping curves and turns under acceleration.

1.0 may be a bit stiff (6'7" 210lbs) so may try some .95

Spring alone may be a start but the valving makes it all work together. Very much worth the money even if at full pop.

Next is to install the new Elka Shock.
 

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Just rode after complete Race Tech make-over and 1.0 spring.

More responsive steering with out raising the forks thus keeping the stability I like about the V.
Very compliant in rough road surface.
Much less front end dive under braking or deceleration like stock.
More confident in sweeping curves and turns under acceleration.

1.0 may be a bit stiff (6'7" 210lbs) so may try some .95

Spring alone may be a start but the valving makes it all work together. Very much worth the money even if at full pop.

Next is to install the new Elka Shock.
:) Thanks Andy, I couldn't agree more; The Race Tech Valves in the DL1000 or the Gold Valve Emulators in the DL650, coupled with the SuperBrace really bring the front ends of the Vstrom together, with the right springs,

Anyone looking for the Race Tech parts of SuperBrace is welcome to email me at [email protected] and I will be happy to help you out right away,

Enjoy the ride, and best regards all,
Blair
 
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