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Discussion Starter #1
My bike has 21,000 kilometers on it and I'm feeling the front suspension a little "soft". You know, when you apply the front brakes and the bike leans forward (a lot).
Do you think that if I change the oil for a thicker one, I will make the suspension a more firmer?
Does anybody have experience this or do some simple mods in their front suspension?
Thanks!
 

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how much do you weigh? may be a good idea to respring for your weight as well as modifying haydraulic viscosity
 

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Discussion Starter #3
mmm... I'm 210 pounds.
I know this bike has a soft suspension but with the years it become softer...
 

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Springs control the weight, damping controls the speed at which the springs compress and extend.
Simply replacing the OEM oil to the stock height will definitely improve the response, but as you find the softness an issue, yes, you would probably appreciate the next grade up as the oil ages and thins.
 

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21000 kilometers isn't too early for the fork oil to be needing replacement. It gets pretty contaminated and watery. A higher weight oil wouldn't hurt either.

A big part of the reason for the soft suspension is the progressive rate springs. Unfortunately, those springs are a big part of why the bike dives like it does under hard braking. Upgrading the spring rate and going with constant rate springs is probably not a bad idea given your weight, and not very expensive.
 

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To help with front end dive Ricor Intiminators are your best friend.

Last year I was frustrated with the front of my DL. When running over things like manhole covers the vibration would reverberate up through the bars. I know the forks are antiquated technology and was going to pull the trigger on some fork internals to help smooth things when I talked to a buddy that has a DL1000. HE had talked about a fork brace doing wonders to help the front of the bike. I ordered one and he was right. While the front end still isn't Ohlins the fork brace made the front end light years better.

For the record I also have a fork brace on one of my DR's and there is no discernable difference w/ or w/o. But on the DL its night and day.
 

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My new to me 2012 650 would really dive when I hit the front brake. I'm about 190 pounds geared up. I installed stiffer springs and emulators and went to a heavier fork oil. Made a huge difference. Also upgraded the rear at the same time. Whole different bike now.
 
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To help with front end dive Ricor Intiminators are your best friend.

Last year I was frustrated with the front of my DL. When running over things like manhole covers the vibration would reverberate up through the bars. I know the forks are antiquated technology and was going to pull the trigger on some fork internals to help smooth things when I talked to a buddy that has a DL1000. HE had talked about a fork brace doing wonders to help the front of the bike. I ordered one and he was right. While the front end still isn't Ohlins the fork brace made the front end light years better.

For the record I also have a fork brace on one of my DR's and there is no discernable difference w/ or w/o. But on the DL its night and day.
Another vote for intiminators and their recommended fresh oil. My 2012 650 23,000 miles that fork oil was nasty. I'm 210 also
 

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Fresh heavier oil will slightly slow down "brake dive". Heavier springs will be needed to really help that. These V STroms have a poor front suspension to start with. Adding cartridge emulators, proper rated springs, and the right viscosity oil is worth all the money spent on these.

There will always be brake dive on these, that is part of the geometry of the suspension. But it can be reduced and much more control maintained when the modifications are made.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Changing the oil it's an easy job and cheap... I'll do that and try a Fork Brace. Any brand you could recommend?
 

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Another vote for intiminators and their recommended fresh oil. My 2004 650 had VERY nasty fork oil! A big improvement. You will not regret the money spent on this improvement.

They come up used here every now and then.
 

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If you're going to change the oil properly by removing the forks and dumping/pumping it out, it's no more trouble to change the springs. I had good results going to .95 Sonic springs and 15 weight oil, I'm about 200 lbs. with gear. If you want it a little more plush than sporty, you can use 10 wt. oil. I couldn't believe how nasty the stock oil was at only 3 or 4,000 miles. I'm sure cartridges would help even more.

A fork brace won't help with brake dive, but does have other benefits. I recommend Adventure Tech.

http://www.adventuretech.biz/fork-braces.html
 
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I talked with Klaus from HyperPro shocks (I have one on the rear... my OEM died at 15,000kms, incredible)... anyway, he told this:

"The OEM springs are not progressive as far as I know, at least not true progressive or rising rate, they may be dual rate. A dual rate spring is soft up to a point and then it changes all of a sudden to harder rate.
You can try changing to a thicker rate oil just to get an idea of how it feels. It will not change the sag but the damping will be harder.

The Hyperpro progressive springs (true progressive or rising rate) will eliminate the dive under braking and are still “soft” enough at the beginning to not transmit the small ripples from the road to the handlebar. Hyperpro is using SAE 15 oil for the forks.
"

And as G-DUB said; "If you're going to change the oil properly by removing the forks and dumping/pumping it out, it's no more trouble to change the springs", I will change the springs too, it's not much money considering the benefits I can get. This people from HyperPro know their job, really.

But another issue Klaus make me notice is that I have my HyPerPro rear shock is +1" so that changes the geometry of the bike, mostly in rough roads. He recommended to raise the front tubes by 10mm. But I'm afraid to do that because they are in the limit position... Is there any adapter or whatever I can use to raise front height just a little?

Thank you guys for all your help!
 

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I talked with Klaus from HyperPro shocks (I have one on the rear... my OEM died at 15,000kms, incredible)... anyway, he told this:

"The OEM springs are not progressive as far as I know, at least not true progressive or rising rate, they may be dual rate. A dual rate spring is soft up to a point and then it changes all of a sudden to harder rate.
You can try changing to a thicker rate oil just to get an idea of how it feels. It will not change the sag but the damping will be harder.

The Hyperpro progressive springs (true progressive or rising rate) will eliminate the dive under braking and are still “soft” enough at the beginning to not transmit the small ripples from the road to the handlebar. Hyperpro is using SAE 15 oil for the forks.
"

And as G-DUB said; "If you're going to change the oil properly by removing the forks and dumping/pumping it out, it's no more trouble to change the springs", I will change the springs too, it's not much money considering the benefits I can get. This people from HyperPro know their job, really.

But another issue Klaus make me notice is that I have my HyPerPro rear shock is +1" so that changes the geometry of the bike, mostly in rough roads. He recommended to raise the front tubes by 10mm. But I'm afraid to do that because they are in the limit position... Is there any adapter or whatever I can use to raise front height just a little?

Thank you guys for all your help!
IMHO straight rate springs are much better! I would contact member Rich Desmond of Sonic Springs. He will NOT steer you wrong HA!!!! Anyway for 210LBS I wouldn't go more than .90KG spring, especially for off road stuff, and 10Wt. oil will help too! I would do that and a fork brace. Takes a couple hrs if you remove the fork tubes- best way to get rid of all that nasty old fluid.You can flush them with ATF- Automatic Transmission Fluid!
 

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DO you know what oil grade uses the front suspension?
I can't find that in the manual
Its a little thinner than 10wt but real close. The manual states 10wt, I believe. . You will need to remove the fork legs to get ALL the old oil out.Remove the fender, front wheel and brake calipers from the mounts. Hang the calipers with a coat hanger or wire from somewhere on the body. I use my crash bars! Loosen the fork caps a little bit.If you don't loosen them first you will NOT be able to get them off as they will just spin! Then loosen the pinch bolts and slide the forks down through the clamps. Remove the caps, spacers and springs and pump out the old oil into a bucket by pumping the slider over the fork leg. I would then use some ATF or other cheap hydraulic fluid to flush ALL the old oil out. Fill each leg with about half a Qt/Ltr and pump them for a couple minutes. Then pump/drain them again. Leave them inverted for 1/2 hr to let all the old fluid and hydraulic rinse out. When you reassemble them you have to add the oil first. Compress the legs all the way down and add about a pint to each leg. You will then need to bleed them by pumping the sliders for a couple minutes till you see NO bubbles coming up. Let them set for a bit to further purge any air from the fork. You will then need to set the fluid height. I use a Turkey baster with a zip the on it to gauge the height. You want about 150mm gap, with after market springs and your 210lb weight, from the top of the fork tube(while compressed) to the fluid level. The turkey baster makes it easy to suck off any extra fluid. You may need to first add a bit more fluid to the fork then suck out the excess again to get the 150 mm space. You then extend the fork, add the spring, spacer and washers. Then carefully screw the cap back on. Its very easy to get the threads crossed up a bit so take your time. There will be some spring tension so you have to push down on the cap a bit to get the threads to start. Again take your time and get it threaded right. once you got em kinda tight you will need to slide them back into the clamps and tighten the pinch bolts so the caps can be tightened all the way. The caps just need to be snug as they have o rings to seal them. Torque down your pinch bolts, replace front wheel calipers and fender and you can go ride. Make sure to recheck all you torque specs after you are done.:wink2:
 

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I may have went a bit overboard but I got an AK-20 Axxion Cartridge Kit. Really has firmed up the front end.
 

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I'm going all out when I do my front end, it is pricey for sure but will completely transform the front end. This system is also easily taken out and used in another bike too, yet another reason I am seriously considering this.


http://traxxion.com/product/cartridge-kit-ak20s-dl650/
 
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