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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,

As requested and to save reading pages of pages of why and how i arrive to the conclusion after 3years- here are a summary of lists of things one would consider doing to tune it perfect for you:

----------------------->>>>> updated Jul 2012

First thing first - get your Fork Spring correct
While intiminator is being marketed as a drop in fix all solution - i disagree - the fundamental needs to be in the ball part before getting intiminator. Intiminator fixes ONLY compression damping compromises in the damper rod design. It does not change your spring nor rebound damping.

Forks K7 to K11 (not sure about L2) stock fork spring is ok only for people weighing less than 80kg or 175lbs - Sonic Spring Site and Race-Tech (RT tends to be a bit more on the sporty side) site gives you a starting point to get your spring sorted -
For data point: My naked 95kg is good with both 0.90kg or 0.95kg, but i prefer more compliance over sportiness, so i picked 0.90kg spring.


Fork Oil & the Rebound Hole Mod (get your rebound sorted):

Ricor says no need to mod the damper rod just change to lighter oil for Intiminator to work.

Lighter fork oil is regardless necessary for the shims to work well; With light fork oil -rebound damping on stock damper rod is reduced - intiminator does NOT work on rebounds, therefore for rebound damping to be adequate - a smaller rebound hole needs to be machined. While damper rod is out, i would also enlarge the 2 existing damper rod compression hole to 10mm as well to ensure all compression damping is directed towards the intiminator.

Contrary to a lot beliefs about damping - correct rebound damping & spring will give u 90% of your feel on the road. Think about it - springs control mostly your compression motion and rebound ensures that it doesnt spring up and down out of control - rebound damping is the the opposite of spring. You can ride with correct spring and rebound damping only, but u cant ride without rebound any damping - i tried that before

For data point i find my 95kg naked body works well with 0.90kg spring and 1.5m (d) rebound hole provide soft but sufficient rebound. ( i am on Sikolene Pro RSF 2.5w & 5.0w mix giving a viscosity rating of approx [email protected])


Shim Mod (finally - this affects mostly your chassis movement)


Shim stack affects mostly low velocity fork movement (chassis
movement), but also affect high velocity fork movements (bump absorption movement) as the shim stack provides the baseline damping - The by-pass mechanism in intiminator effectively "bleeds" the excessive damping from a hi-velocity movement only above a predetermined movement force.

Original shim stack for intiminator in 2009 is way to stiff for vstrom, way more than the YMMV variation. Subsequent shim stack shipped by Ricor is progressively getting softer.

Get some 0.010 & 0.012 shims when u order your intiminator - i dont think anyone will require additional 0.015 shim other than the 6 that now comes with the stock intiminators unless weighing over 110kg or 240lbs.

To calculate the damping factor for different shim combo: raise the diameter to the power of 3
Eg: 4 shims of 0.012 and one shim of 0.010 diameter will give is 0.000007912 which is about 8% less damping than 0.012 x 5 shims

My current setting with the 0.90kg spring is 0.012 x 4 + 0.010 x 1 on my body weight and spring combo


Drill a by-pass hole for the intiminator (this allow small bumps and road imperfection to be delt effectively)
If after all mods you feel the intiminator does not deal with tiny bumps or road imperfection effectively (ie jarring over them) this will solve your problem - posted by Ranger Ron and on advice from Ricor (now only Ricor suggested that from the beginning ) - I am amazed how effective this solution is. I am guessing the reason this mod works so well is that a certain amount of fluid pressure is needed to push pass those shim stack - the by-pass hole provide some relief before the shim stack is pushed up - a bit like the by-pass orifices of RT emulator. giving a more complaint ride on minor stuff. I find 1mm (d) sufficient for my purpose



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By-pass circuit mod on intiminator (maybe small additional benefit)



see LADDER106's post 17 Intiminator Compared and modified - Page 2 - ADVrider for the correct way of doing it - essentially no need to enlarge more than the internal area of the hollow shaft - the stock oblong orifices is already quite close - this step can be skipped if you have no desire to mod the intiminator even more
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More orifices on 'intiminator body' to allow more oil flow to shim stack mod.

i cant mathematically calculate the benefits of this mod but it is in the same principles used by RT with their gold valve mods to shocks and cartridge forks. Essentially drill 4 additional orifices to the bottom of the intiminator body to allow more oil to follow towards the shim stack - you have to be careful not to drill into the rebound valve springs around the inner outside of the intiminator body.

Sealing Ring mod (reduce friction)
The sealing ring can be trimmed slightly to reduce friction between it and the internal wall of the fork -


Other items to ensure your forks is working effectively
Ensure your forks are assembly of equal height - your axle should be easily tighten with just your finger - tool should only be used to do final tightening - hard to tighten maybe unequal height and therefore greater friction; A fork brace is also recommended; ensure correct procedure followed to tighten axle pinch bolt;
 

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Thanks AceRider for taking the time to post your summary of improvements.
I have just fitted intiminators in my 07 wee and can't believe the differance they make to the bike. I also fitted an Elka three way shock (a few weeks earlier) and that made a huge differance too. I weigh about the same as you and also used the .9 sonic spring, but didn't do any other mods (already had fork brace on).
I was wondering why you mixed 5wt oil and at what proportion.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
.....
I was wondering why you mixed 5wt oil and at what proportion.
The mixing of 2.5wt &5wt silkolene was purely to fine tune my rebound damping after everything has been reassembled. Of course that changed compression damping too. From memory it was about 10% 5wt silkolene pro rsf. Basically I sucked out 50ml of 2.5wt and put 5.0wt in. Please don't take the figure as gospel, check manufacturer's data. I am writing from memory now
 

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Very nice write up! :thumbup:

The crucial thing you did right was to address things in the correct order, springs and rebound first, and only then compression.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
......

The crucial thing you did right was to address things in the correct order, springs and rebound first, and only then compression.
hasnt always been the case - aside from spring, the importance of getting rebound damping right before playing with compression did not become clear to me until later in my experimentations.
 

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Will it help handling.

AceRider

Thanks for the write up.:hurray:

In the fall, I bought a K6 Wee that I'm wholly unimpressed with. :thumbdown:To the point where I'm considering selling it. The cornering is... ...well... ...scary. When it drops into a corner it just falls over with little feel or feedback.

So, will an upgrade to the suspension help out?

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter #8
depends on your weight, budget and expectation. For the rear, A re valved re spring shock cost US$450 -$650, a custom ELKA shock starts at $900.
For the front, spring and intiminator/emulator pack cost $300, plus oil and experimentation time.

So for a cost of between $900 to $1500, and some tuning time, the bike will handle at least as good as most stock sports bike.

i rider faster thru tight, technical corners than when i was on sports bike fireblades and FZ1, granted my skills have improved over the years as well...
 

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My Experience w/an '06 Wee suspension

I too was frustrated with the vague suspension feeling of my Strom and the fork dive in particular. I'm a very competent rider of over 30 yrs, a long-time rider coach and have quite a few hours of track experience. I weigh under 170 lbs. I wanted tune my suspension w/a minimum amount of cash and hassle. So I:

Installed Sonic springs a 90kg if I recall correctly.

10 or 15 wt oil don't remember off the top of my head

Murphs Fork Brace

Elka 2-way rear shock

I've run all sorts of DS tires and presently using the Shinko 705 radials.

The bike is extremely competent in all riding situations. It's hard to believe the compression damping is so spot on with such a simple set-up. It handles as competently, as predictably and as comfortably as my old KTM Adv, and VFR did and is equally as nice as my Ohlins equipped GS. In fact I can't seem to dial the GS's compression damping feel to be as nice as the Stroms.

It's not necessary in my opinion to add expensive valving to these bikes to tune the suspensions to your liking - get them right. I suppose however if you're a heavy weight, this might not be the case. But I like to adhere to the simple is often better philosophy.
 

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Thanks guys.
I can whole heartedly agree with the dive issue too. When I've had to jump on the brakes, it was certainly nerve wracking.

Not sure I want to go $1500 though.

So, heres's my numbers:
- K6 Wee with lots of stuff, skid plate, centre stand, crash bars, givi racks + topbox, plus smaller stuff. Got paniers too but only use them when tripping. Typically ride solo.
- I weigh 97kg bare.

What are your thoughts on spring weight? Any list deals on emulators/iminators (?)?

I do like a ride that's not to harsh. Living in Canukistan the roads are frost cracked, pot holed, repaired, tar snaked, etc. Locally, the township tars and chips the roads instead of paving. There's also lots of gravel roads locally that gets washboarded in the summer.
Also, I recently took Lee Parks Advance Rider Control clinic which has resulted in more aggressive cornering. The Wee can't keep up which is what's scaring the hell out of me.

I want to tour up to Alaska in the next couple years. Not sure how that would factor into the suspension set up.

Thanks again for the help and expertice. Let me know what other infor you may need.
 

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I wanted tune my suspension w/a minimum amount of cash and hassle. So I:

Installed Sonic springs a 90kg if I recall correctly.

10 or 15 wt oil don't remember off the top of my head

Murphs Fork Brace

Elka 2-way rear shock

I've run all sorts of DS tires and presently using the Shinko 705 radials.

The bike is extremely competent in all riding situations. It's hard to believe the compression damping is so spot on with such a simple set-up. It handles as competently, as predictably and as comfortably as my old KTM Adv, and VFR did and is equally as nice as my Ohlins equipped GS. In fact I can't seem to dial the GS's compression damping feel to be as nice as the Stroms.

It's not necessary in my opinion to add expensive valving to these bikes to tune the suspensions to your liking - get them right. I suppose however if you're a heavy weight, this might not be the case. But I like to adhere to the simple is often better philosophy.
Allonsye; What do you weigh? What's on your bike? (just looking for data points.)

I too need to justify cost somewhat (to save to the trip). How does these suspension changes change how the bike rides in rougher terrain? I'm not asking pure dirt but fire road type riding. Or is road riding and fire road suspension set up completely different?

Lots of Noob questions,
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Front:
I would say try a 0.90kg spring, or 0.95kg spring only if u want to really ride it like a sports bike and prepared to give sacrificing compliance over the rougher bits. try 15wt to start with - but oil weight can be meaningless when compared with other people unless u are using the same brand/model - try compare in "Cst" value. Cost around $100 -$130 DIY depending how many different viscosity oil u tried.

if this is is good enough no need to add intiminator or emulator - all it does is allow u to tune chassis movement a bit more independent from sharp bump movements.

Rear:
I am afraid the stock shock and spring is waaaayyyyy undersprung/damped for you - prepared to spend some $$ for a revalved and resprung shock or $$$ for elka shock.
 

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Thanks for the feedback

AceRider and allonsye,

Thanks guys. Really appreciate your expertice on suspension tuning for the Wee.

Keep up the good technical write ups. Candy for some of us.
 

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For data point i find my 95kg naked body works well with 0.90kg spring and 1.5m (d) rebound hole provide soft but sufficient rebound. ( i am on Sikolene Pro RSF 2.5w & 5.0w mix giving a viscosity rating of approx [email protected])
I assume you mean to shrink the size of the rebound hole in the damper rod to 1.5mm, yes?
 

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Put my Intimidators in on Friday and not nearly as good as I though it was going to be, still dives on hard braking not as harshly but it will go through the travel, I have some 1.0 springs coming as well as a 14.3 for the rear so i'll see what that does.:confused:
 

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I haven't been terribly crazy about my Intiminators either. I had stock springs when I bought the bike, and soon switched to 0.90 springs from RichDesmond. Last December I ordered Intiminators and 5W fork oil from Ricor Shocks, and installed this with the stock springs again. I weigh 175 and almost always have sidecases and topcase mounted. I still get quite a bit of dive under braking, and it's not as compliant as I had hoped. The only thing I can think of changing is drilling the 1mm hole in the top of the Intiminators for compliance. Of course, I can't rule out the rear shock (stiffer spring, but I'm sure with 35,000 miles on it the rest is probably toast at this point) contributing a lot to the poor ride. If anyone is on the fence about Intiminators, please take my experience with a big grain of salt, I really can't make a certain opinion about the front suspension while knowing that the rear is crap.
 

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I would like to see a comparison between the Emulators and the Intimidators, we know Race Tech knows what they are doing.
 

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I would like to see a comparison between the Emulators and the Intimidators, we know Race Tech knows what they are doing.
Race Tech has even worse documentation and support for their gold valves.....they still haven't figured em out.
 

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I would like to see a comparison between the Emulators and the Intimidators, we know Race Tech knows what they are doing.
Hahahaha. Maybe they do, but they don't kow anything about Vstroms.
 

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I would like to see a comparison between the Emulators and the Intimidators, we know Race Tech knows what they are doing.
Acerider and I had two near identical bikes, near the same weight riders, we swapped bikes and compared a few times.

I think the Race tech emulators were slightly better, but I paid for professional install and setup.

Definitely less brake dive with the Intiminators but with stronger springs the extra dive wasn't a problem for me.

Either can work and which is better probably depends more on individual riding style and where you ride. My guess is the RT's would be better on dirt and the Intiminators better on road.

All that said - setup makes more difference than the particular model - either well set up would be a vast improvement on the alternate poorly set up. I think I prefer the stock damper rod suspension on my L2 to the K6 with emulators as well - the K6 was smoother at low speed, but the L2 suspension is behaving very well on dirt with only a slight increase in oil viscosity and feels a lot better on the big hits than the K6 did.

Pete
 
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