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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I am suffering from "analysis paralysis" on suspension choices.

I have a 2002 DL1000 and I weigh 265lbs nekkid, so obviously the suspension is not ideal. I only have a couple hundred km of butt time on it but I can tell it's soft. Coming from sport bikes it seems REALLY soft. My main issue is I sold my Aprilia because times are tough but I didn't want to give up bikes so a used Vee seemed a good choice but I can't spend so much that selling the Ape becomes moot.

I see 3 options:

1) Leave it and get used to it. Pros it's free, cons it's not ideal

2) New Springs front and rear. Pros better than nothing, cheaper, Cons stock rear shock still weak and under damped for new spring, ??

3) re-valve and respring front, Elka rear. Pro's good as its gonna get, cons $$$$$ and front still not adjustable (K2)?

I only ride about 3-4000km a season right now, work and back every day with nice weather and backroad blasting in my free time. longest trip will be a day trip. Luggage will be occasional and passengers even less so.

I flop between each choice every day it seems, finger on the mouse to buy stuff, back off. Argh.

Not even sure what I am looking for from you guys haha. I just would hate to spend a bit just to end up spending a lot later, but I would hate to go top end when middle ground would be more than good enough for me.

Blah blah TL;DR :thumbup:
 

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I did Elka rear and Racetech Gold valves in the front and it's been great. Buy once, cry once IMO.
 

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I vote for #2, stiffer springs front and rear. Many people are happy with this, even without revalving the shock. For a bit more you could revalve it, depending on it's age/mileage it might need it anyway. The cost of this equates to the amount you ride the bike. If you were doing higher mileage you might go with the Elka (manual preload) and front springs along with an emulator.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
om28 says what my brain tells me is the right choice

Hoologan is what my fear is, crying twice.

Seeing as this may be one of my lowest seat time years coming up I may do the full front end and just respring the rear, recoup some of the cost by selling the spring when I get an Elka?

Make sense or waste of time? We'll see I guess.
 

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I put sonic on the front and a Wiber's spring on the stock rear shock of my DL650 and couldn't be happier with the result. The bike handles like sport touring bike (the fork brace helps a lot too, even more on the 1000).

I would suggest checking out sonic springs fork rate calculator on their website. It allows you to determine the optimum spring rate for your riding style, weight, load, etc under different conditions. It was really helpful to me. Like most people, I ride aggressive when alone and reserved when carrying my wife and full luggage. The calculator let me find the optimum spring rate for both. Turned out it was the same rate for aggressive single riding and docile loaded.

As I said, couldn't be happier with the result. It far from a subtle improvement and it didn't cost me an arm and a leg.

A fork brace does wonders for the DL1000 as well. It eliminates the evil effects of side winds, helps it track straight on highways, and corners much better too.

Richlandrick
 

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I'm a pretty big kid myself. I lifted the rear 1" with lift bones ,(I'm tall as well) that settled the rear of the bike in a way that I like. I added Sonic Springs up front for my weight and riding style (1.1 me thinks) , and an Adventure Tech fork brace. Not perfect , but a heck of a lot better for about 250.00. Your bike is older , so a freshen up (fluid and springs) might not hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I put sonic on the front and a Wiber's spring on the stock rear shock of my DL650 and couldn't be happier with the result. The bike handles like sport touring bike (the fork brace helps a lot too, even more on the 1000).

I would suggest checking out sonic springs fork rate calculator on their website. It allows you to determine the optimum spring rate for your riding style, weight, load, etc under different conditions. It was really helpful to me. Like most people, I ride aggressive when alone and reserved when carrying my wife and full luggage. The calculator let me find the optimum spring rate for both. Turned out it was the same rate for aggressive single riding and docile loaded.

As I said, couldn't be happier with the result. It far from a subtle improvement and it didn't cost me an arm and a leg.

A fork brace does wonders for the DL1000 as well. It eliminates the evil effects of side winds, helps it track straight on highways, and corners much better too.

Richlandrick
Good info, thanks!

I can't seem to find ANYTHING on where to get a Wilbers shock spring. Lots of praise, no infor except dead links and redirects to other sites...:confused:
 

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Timing

Well.. the timing of this post couldn't be better for me..
2012 DL 1000 here and just had Sonic springs (1.0) installed in the forks.
When trying to set the sag I discovered that I have 3" on the rear end of the bike... Too big for that spring/shock.
So... dilemma is the same.. Tough time justifying a $1000 shock for me.
I am in contact with another member here and he has a 2003 shock that has an upgraded spring on it that he is willing to sell to me and also take my OEM shock...
The questions that I have are should I swap a 2012 shock for a 2003 shock with an upgraded spring... keep the 2012 shock and replace with a beefier spring... or of course buy a Cadillac spring..
Plus 1 on Richland Ricks fork brace and the front end of my bike is much better with the new springs.
I truly appreciate this Forum...
Thank you all,
Sandman152
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I decided to buy once, local shop turned out to be an official dealer for Elka and Racetech.

He is saying 1.1 springs and gold valves with an Elka 4 way non preload would be perfect. Seems to match what others have done.

Bye bye insurance settlement...
 

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I decided to buy once, local shop turned out to be an official dealer for Elka and Racetech.

He is saying 1.1 springs and gold valves with an Elka 4 way non preload would be perfect. Seems to match what others have done.

Bye bye insurance settlement...
1.1s are too stiff for you, 1.0s at most.
 

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Springs front and rear - Race Tech/Sonic spring calculators will get you close to the mark for your weight/riding style.

If your sick of being jolted and jarred by the front end I found RT Gold Valves and their recommended shim stack made a noticeable improvement in ride quality.

The OEM rear shock handles a heavier spring OK without losing to much rebound damping. Not a bad compromise in regards to the cost of a good aftermarket shock.

Cheers,

Tony
 

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Discussion Starter #13
1.1s are too stiff for you, 1.0s at most.
racetech and sonic both say 1.1 (1.059 and 1.1). Is that wrong? I don't know anything about spring rates beyond what calculators tell me. :thumbup:
 

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I think it depends on how you intend to ride the bike. The spring calculators tend to be leaning towards street only, whereas for off-roading you might want to dial it down a notch to be a bit softer. You can always add some preload if need be.
 

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Don, I am close to you in size and weight, I went with Racetech front springs and an oversized spring on the rear shock, both bought from SV Racing out of Blaine WA.... he is a site sponser here and the set up has proven very good for off road as well as street riding, and I ride a LOT.

Talk to Blair at SV.... :thumbup:
 

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racetech and sonic both say 1.1 (1.059 and 1.1). Is that wrong? I don't know anything about spring rates beyond what calculators tell me. :thumbup:
What weights and selections are you putting into the Sonic calculator?

Keep in mind too that the extra inch or so of travel that the Stroms have compared to most street bikes means you should go slightly softer on the springs.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I spoke to my local guy again and he said 1.0's would be better after talking to racetech. The calculator said 1.1 but he thought 1.0 would be the better way to go. Seems in line with what you guys are saying.
 

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I just installed the cogent doc's up front and Ohlins with preload adjuster. The front I'm not ecstatic about but I don't know that any other cartridges would be better. The shock I absolutely love. Got it for quite a bit less than the Elka, not quite as much bling as the elka but still pretty.
 

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Spend less.

Warning! Opinionated & long-winded rant follows: if you want to try before you buy consider modifying the std springs. Cutting turns off increases the rate.
If you don't want to cut, fill the gap between coils with rubber washers, it works for the NASCAR guys, it will work for you too. add up the remaining gaps to be sure you keep 160mm or so of stroke before coil binding.

bear in mind that every increase in the spring rate will require an increase the rebound damping to compensate. heavier oil will do that but will also increase the compression damping. Which will hurt you on big hits. Drill the comp damping holes out to 9.5mm to mitigate a bit though this will cost presicion and control on the slow speed damping range or see below for a real solution. Digression follows: In my opinion, all the big name spring rate calclulators aim at smooth street use (maybe as a means of managing the the excessive high speed comp damping? My opinion only of course.). If you ride potholes and gravel, lower rates are better though the limited travel of the DL fork requires a compromise. It's not a supercross bike! Aim for laden sag of about 40mm.

Back on topic: in my opinion, best bang for buck is to change the fork oil (SAE10) and set your laden sag & tire pressures correctly, next is do the above and ignore the rear shock aside from setting sag and rebound damping to suit (assuming it's servicable). All you need is fork oil, some 3/8" rubber sheet, a 3/8" drill and patience.

more expensive, but better is get a wilbers econoline shock set up for you and how you ride or get the std shock rebuilt to suit (because nitrogen charged shocks are unsuitable for home mechanics to work with). Spending any more than this is, frankly, overkill for street legal riding. Digression follows: before y'all flame me, bear in mind I found the cheapest wilbers better than my fully adjustable ohlins (different bike), likley because it has no adjustments for me to mess up...

Back on topic: ... and fit one of the variuos compression damping improvers (gold valves, ricors etc) with the std fork springs (see above to adjust) and follow instructions for setting up to damping to your preference. once you've worked out your final spring rate, buy a spring of that rate if you feel the need. (find an online spring rate calculator, it's not a mystery, just mechanical engineering & calculation)

Clearly, best is to splash out on a cartridge fork conversion and <favourite brand> fully adjustable shock. this will likley cost more than buying another bike though, your descision of course.

It's worthwhile fitting new bushes and seals to your forks before you start, though this will add another $150, and be sure the staunchions are perfectly parallel (glass plate and feeler blades and firm joint calipers are good enough and cheap). Adding a fluid drain plug while your sliders are off will be valuable later when setting up rebound damping using differing oil viscocities.

There is a learning curve doing this stuff. I've been amatuarishly working this out for 20yrs with many harsh lessons along the way. Paying an expert will get you good results fast although you will still have learn how to use those results on the road, and depend on how well you understand and explain your requirement to him/her.

All the above is my opinion, offered with good intent. You are responsible for verifying and/or using any of it. I hope it goes well for you,

MattC.
 

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Megadon, we're the same weight and I also came from a sportbike background, each bike having Race Tech or similar setup forks.

Just do the forks for now.

Rick and Joyce, owners of Cogent Dynamics in NC did my fork work, I wouldn't go anywhere else. After speaking with Rick about my realistic goals, we chose 1.0 springs for a still compliant ride (these things aren't supposed to be like a TLR or GSXR), fluid change and juggling the stock valve stack a bit. He has a shock/fork dyno so you're getting tuned results based on what he's seen that works well for these bikes and what the owners describe they want as an end result. I didn't need a full-on valving kit as he was able to get the damping just right as I always ride solo and with a small top case.

I've had this setup for 2 years and the bike was night and day transformed...no more crazy fore/aft pitching like a teeter-totter with hard acceleration and then braking.

The rear end, I just maxed out the preload and the damper screw is turned 1/4 turn from maximum. The bike overall works very well with this minimal change and expenditure of money. If you think you still want to do a shock you can always spend more money later..
 
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