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Discussion Starter #1
Is there one?

I'm a total newb to it and for the longest time I was under the impression it had to do with the pre-load on top of the triangle.

However, after reading a bunch on it (I am squirrely in my front end), It occurs to me that I was under the wrong impression of what the procedure really is.

So my total newb question is, is there a tutorial, with pics, for people like me who don't have a damn clue what they are doing, but are decent with a wrench?

I just don't want to F this all up is all.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Uhh, NM. I used my eyes, brain, and mechanical ability. Not to mention a measuring tape, and a 10mm wrench...
 

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For those who still want fork raising tutorial...

There should be some info on the site regarding the process.

Here's a hint for people searching for something on any particular website. Go to google, type "site:" into the search box, immediately followed by the name of the website you want to search, then a space, then type in the keywords. Google will then search only that website for your keywords. Your search on stromtrooper.com for fork raising might look like this, for example:

site:stromtrooper.com raise forks raising forks


In any case, raising the forks is easy. You simply rig up the bike so that the front end can't sag (a center stand is a good starting point), then loosen the clamps that hold the left and right fork in place, then move the fork shafts up in the clamp and re-tighten. Exactly how you raise them, or conversely let the bike sag down and therefore slide the forks upward through the clamps, is up to you. Raising them about 15 mm seems to be the sweet spot.

HOWEVER, if your front end is squirrely, as you say, I would check a lot of other things first.

1. Is the bike squirrely when riding a particular patch of road, such as one with a lot of grooves or cracks in it, or rain grooving? If so, there's nothing wrong with the front end of your bike, that's normal.

2. Next things to check, in this order: wrong tires, worn out tires, wrong tire pressure, incorrect preload on front or rear shocks for your weight, too much weight in rear, something loose with the steering bearings, something wrong or altered with shocks.

If it's none of those things, or you still have a problem after adjusting all of those things, then you may be very sensitive to steering issues, in which case you might want to install a Superbrace or Ricks fork brace, which will tighten up the front end, noticeably for most people.

But I wouldn't start off jacking with raising or lowering the forks. Suzuki engineers know what they're doing, and messing with the steering geometry should only be done when you have enough miles on the bike to know what you're looking for in the fork adjustment, because it will change the way your bike handles under different circumstances, and you want to be sure that's the change you're after.
 

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Do the left and right separately. One side will hold the bike up while the other side is adjusted. It's way simpler than propping up the front of the bike to the correct height. Loosen both sides without otherwise supporting the front and the triple clamp can drop to the fork seals.
 

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Good point

...about doing one side at a time. I actually thought about that after posting, but figured that anyone adjusting the forks would see that if they didn't support the front end, or didn't do one at a time, then depending on how your were set up, the forks would slide in or out excessively.
 

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Put the bike on its centerstand. Put a floor jack under the front exhaust pipe and barely lift the front wheel off the floor. Loosen the three bolts on each side that hold the fork tubes in the triple trees. Let the jack down a twitchet while bashing the top triple tree with a rubber hammer. When you go more than 15 mm, jack up the front and move the forks back down to the 12~15 mm range. Tighten the clamping bolts. You're done. On an ABS bike, be sure the distribution block between the forks can not contact the lower triple tree at full compression.
 

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That is a lot more work than necessary.
 

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More work... or not.

The original post got me thinking about raising the forks in my bike again. Although I have no beef with the steering on my 09 DL1000, it is a fact that, at relatively high speeds, or going into a strong wind and highway speeds, I always had the gut feeling that the front wheel was a bit light. That is, that it needed more downward push. Some downward push is provided by my Givi windshield, I'm sure, since I have it raked back at about a 45 degree angle. Still, I've often moved as far forward as possible on the seat and leaned over whenever I got that gut feeling that the front wheel wasn't planted. Again, no real evidence, just a feeling.

So, spurred on by this thread, I raised the forks about 1/2" (12 mm) from their OEM position this morning and rode the bike about 175 miles today, making a huge loop from Hemet to Banning up through twisting mountain roads to mile-high Idyllwild, down to Palm Desert, through the broiling heat to Palm Springs, through San Gorgonio Pass (that's the place you see in movies with about 10,000 gigantic wind turbines) into a 45 mph headwind while going 75 indicated, back to Banning and home. Took side tours on dirt and old asphalt for the hell of it.

Two things:

1. If you have a fork brace on your bike, you can't -- I couldn't-- move one side of the fork at a time more than a slight amount. You have to loosen both simultaneously and move both simultaneously. It was still easy -- I just stacked some lumber beneath the skid plate to about the right height, loosened all clamps most of the way, then tapped on the triple tree until I got what I was looking for, then tightened it all up.

2. I think raising the forks makes a difference. The bike tracked around corners pretty well when I first got it, tracked even better when I put the Superbrace on, and now it just seems like it's on rails at high speed, and even seems better at lower speeds on grooved pavement, cracked pavement, and tar-snaked pavement, all of which I rode over today.

Could it be my imagination? I don't think so.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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I have a fork brace and move one side at a time. The previously mentioned rubber mallet comes in handy.
 

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Question?????????
I have thought about lowering the front on my DL1000 since as stated here it feels light especially around big trucks and wind.
Would just lifting the back 5/8" give the same results?
I'm concerned about lowering a bike that I might take on a dirt road.
Mike
 

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Raising the back or dropping the front should provide the same areodynamic results at the fairing. It's about the angle of attack.
 

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I believe in is mostly aerodynamics as far as stability is concerned. The change in center of gravity will have some involvement. A higher CG will slow transition to lean, or flickability, slightly.
 

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change in steering geometry

Lowering the front (raising the forks) will also transfer a slight amount of weight to the front wheel. Imagine a uniform longish geometrical shape, such as a log. If two people are carrying the log, one person at each end, when the log is horizontal both will be carrying equal weight. I the log is tilted, such as one person raising his end above his head, or when carrying the log down a set of stairs, weight is transferred to the lower person--even though the log's center of mass has not changed. Of course the very slight tilt to the bike body/rider/luggage system induced by a raising the forks 15 mm won't make much of a difference in this case.

Lowering the front also slightly changes the steering geometry -- rake, trail, etc. -- and in theory lowering the front any amount from OEM position should make the bike correspondingly "twitchy", for lack of a better word.

The same effect is noted on bicycles--a lot of attention is paid to steering geometry of mountain bikes, for example, for good reason: you're constantly making split-second steering adjustments, often radical ones. Up to a point, a steeper fork angle reduces forward-motion stability, which enables you to ride a bike with no hands, but increases turn response, or flickability.

However, the amount of mechanical steering change (as opposed to aerodynamic change) induced with a 15mm fork raise on a V-Strom is probably so small that it's probably undetectable by most people. Still, it's there.
 

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However, the amount of mechanical steering change (as opposed to aerodynamic change) induced with a 15mm fork raise on a V-Strom is probably so small that it's probably undetectable by most people. Still, it's there.
I find it noticeable, for the good. I stay on the pavement and use a fork brake plus steering stabilizer so am glad for the quicker steering. Even with the front lowered, it has more rake and trail than the average sport bike. Rake/trail of 26°/4.33" is stock.
 

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Agreed...

Instead of "most people", I should have said "Most people who don't have a huge amount of miles on their bike" wouldn't notice the difference.

I amended my previous post to mention weight transfer to front wheel due to fork raising -- another benefit in addition to aerodynamic benefit. On a 700+ pound bike/rider/luggage setup, even a slight tilt would put a tiny bit more downward pressure on the front wheel.
 

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The major weight transfer is from the front wheel moving back slightly. It isn't very much as you said. The aerodynamic and geometry changes make much more difference.
 

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Good point...

...I wish I'd measured the bike's length before and after raising the forks. The change would be quite small percentage-wise, but again we're dealing with a substantial weight to begin with so a slight forward shift in the center of gravity along the bike's long axis will make a difference.
 

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Another effect of Fork Raising

Two weeks ago I raised my forks 1/2 inch. Then 300 miles or so later I noticed that when the blinking pump light came on my gasoline gauge, it came on at a somewhat lower mileage than normal. However, there is always some variability in mileage.

So I burnt through another tank of fuel and the same situation occurred. Therefore, I believe that lowering the front of the bike slightly changes how the fuel gauge reads. I know that 2 readings is a statistically invalid conclusion. But, I will keep note of it for the future.

Gary
 

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I think it will make a difference. I know parking on a slight grade does.
 

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Two weeks ago I raised my forks 1/2 inch. Then 300 miles or so later I noticed that when the blinking pump light came on my gasoline gauge, it came on at a somewhat lower mileage than normal. However, there is always some variability in mileage.
Gary
Hmmm...so if I raise my bike I can go farther on a tank :biggrinjester:

Seriously, parking on the sidestand reads low first thing in the day too and goes back to full after I am upright and riding (when it's in that ready to drop a bar range). I rely more on my odometer and usually refill at 200-225 miles.
 
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