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Rear shock bottoming out fully loaded

7529 Views 15 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  greywolf
So this weekend was a maiden fully loaded ride for us to a camping thing up in Vermont. We rode 2-up (about 205 and 160lb) along with gear (two 1550 pelican cases each with a drybag strapped to the top and a givi 52 liter topcase). The bike performed otherwise flawlessly, and while it felt heavy, I had no issues with engine performance. Passing on the highway was fine, and it never felt too bogged down or anything. This is on a relatively new to me Wee with just under 32,000 miles (had it since 27,500)

What did worry me though is that all the way at the end of the trip, 15 minutes from home, the rear bottomed out in a couple of spots. One was a relatively harsh dip, but the other didn't seem like anything out of the ordinary. The suspension was set to max preload in the back with the rear tire at 40psi. I guess at the end of the day, this makes me worry a bit about future rides. I realize that I could probably drag less gear along, but it wasn't THAT much.

How bad is for the bike in general to get that CLANK! back there? Is it a sign of needing suspension work, or just to lay off the extra camping goodies? :confused:
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So this weekend was a maiden fully loaded ride for us to a camping thing up in Vermont. We rode 2-up (about 205 and 160lb) along with gear (two 1550 pelican cases each with a drybag strapped to the top and a givi 52 liter topcase). The bike performed otherwise flawlessly, and while it felt heavy, I had no issues with engine performance. Passing on the highway was fine, and it never felt too bogged down or anything. This is on a relatively new to me Wee with just under 32,000 miles (had it...
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· FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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The bike is undersprung. If I were you, I'd consider getting the shock and fork fixed to fit your needs for both springs and damping at Suspensions by Sasquatch
I saw a presentation by the owner recently and was impressed.
 

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Hmm.. That's definitely something to look into. Googling around seems to show that I'm far from the only one complaining about suspension.

Would having it rebuilt really be comparable to an aftermarket shock? Aside from the downtime, I'm kind of thinking that if it's gonna need some serious work, I might as well upgrade to something better.

And for that matter, what kind of benefit can one expect, aside from not bottoming out, from one of these things? This is my first bike, so I don't have a lot to compare to. I take it this isn't gonna make a Chevy feel like a beemer any time soon...
 

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I cannot believe how delighted I have been after dropping just over a grand on a custom built Elka shock. I never would have expected it would make such noticeable difference for my riding style/level. The bike now feels like it has long, strong legs (the rear, at least). To make it more palatable, I discovered it is even a few bucks cheaper than an OEM replacement. I would expect a Sasquatch rebuild would get you most of the way there.

By the way, I still have my OEM, and I would be willing to sell for a very good price to minimize downtime on a rebuild. I haven't listed it mainly because the rebound screw just turns, and Jay at Sasquatch never got back to me as to whether or not that was a minor or serious issue.
 

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Hmm.. That's definitely something to look into. Googling around seems to show that I'm far from the only one complaining about suspension.

Would having it rebuilt really be comparable to an aftermarket shock? Aside from the downtime, I'm kind of thinking that if it's gonna need some serious work, I might as well upgrade to something better.

And for that matter, what kind of benefit can one expect, aside from not bottoming out, from one of these things? This is my first bike, so I don't have a lot to compare to. I take it this isn't gonna make a Chevy feel like a beemer any time soon...
I spent $ on suspension, around 20% of the cost of the bike all up, last time I rode with the expensive bikes (990's, 1200GS's) I was running up near the front of the pack and I wasn't the one sliding sideways off the road whenever we hit washboards on corners ;).

Still limited by ground clearance in places, but otherwise the "budget bike" performed very well.

So - at least in my opinion - you can get it up there with a BMW yes. The gains from doing suspension work on the expensive bikes aren't as dramatic either - none of the expensive bikes were able to "dial out" the washboards, I could. I think weight and an excess of power had a lot to do with that though ;).

One thing you should find from pretty much any decent suspension change is a lot less harshness everywhere, if those sharp edged potholes in town play hell with your back I'd really recommend it.

Pete
 

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How bad is for the bike in general to get that CLANK! back there? Is it a sign of needing suspension work, or just to lay off the extra camping goodies? :confused:
You've gotta get it fixed. Hyperpro 460 Shock cost me $614 in 2008. Sonic Springs are about $100.
 

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The bike is undersprung. If I were you, I'd consider getting the shock and fork fixed to fit your needs for both springs and damping at Suspensions by Sasquatch
I saw a presentation by the owner recently and was impressed.
He was at the ADVrider Westfest Rally in Darby, MT and I had plenty of time for suspension discussions. One of my winter projects this year is to rebuild/upgrade the suspension on my Wee, on both ends.
 

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Of many improvements to the handling, "I wasn't the one sliding sideways off the road whenever we hit washboards on corners" is the top improvement I've found.

The strom suspension is both low budget and weak springed. Getting the springs right for the actual loaded weight is essential. After that, improving the suspension response increases the fun factor and maybe safety. Fixing just one end shows up the limitations in the other end.

In the front, just getting the correct spring rate for the actual loaded riding weight, plus the right fork oil viscosity is a big help. The Vee benefits from RaceTech Gold Valves. The Wee benefits from either Ricor Intiminator damping valves (with stock springs for most riders) or RaceTech cartridge emulators. Be prepared to remove and readjust any of these to get them to best suit your riding conditions and riding style.

The rear benefits from a Sasquatch shock rebuild or a shock replacement from Elka or Progressive Suspensions or Ricor or Hyperpro or Ohlins or..... Some of these have compression damping rate set when assembled and requiring a return to the shop for changes (Sasquatch $190, some others) and others are fully adjustable (Elka, some others).
 

· FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Once Jay at Sasquatch does the initial work on a stock shock to make it rebuildable, any competent suspension tech can work on it. Jay does spring and damping work to fit the rider's weight and riding style. He also does a micro honing of the shock and fork sliding parts similar to honing a cylinder wall but less noticeable. He says it reduces stiction greatly and does not cause leaking.
 

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? do you put the racetech in place of the stock Vee cartridge. I have seen articles where they say just to drop in the racetech which i find hard to believe.

I also found 1 article once where someone put new shims etc. in the stock cartridge. I am surprised that there was not more work in this direction.
 

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The stock suspension is crap.

I solved this problem for two-up camping with these:

http://www.stromtrooper.com/v-strom...-progressive-465-remote-preload-adjuster.html

http://www.stromtrooper.com/maintenance-tech-farkles/62450-progressive-street-springs-11-1533-a.html

Total cost for shock, springs, and fork oil was about $750 (not including tax).

I've done several 2-up day and camping trips since the conversion; riders 180 and 150, full Touratech panniers, an E52, and dry bags lashed to the panniers and the top case (dunno the weight, but it's a lot); tires 36 front, 41 rear. It is much more civilized now. Less harshness, less brake dive, no wallowing, and holds the sag where it needs to be. It could still stand to be a little stiffer in the rear, but for the off-the-shelf price, it's a huge improvement.
 

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? do you put the racetech in place of the stock Vee cartridge. I have seen articles where they say just to drop in the racetech which i find hard to believe.

I also found 1 article once where someone put new shims etc. in the stock cartridge. I am surprised that there was not more work in this direction.
http://www.stromtrooper.com/190184-post3.html
Ask and Ye shall receive:

Installing Race Tech Gold Valves in 1000 (with pics)
I just did this mod to my Vee last weekend. the instruction sheet is a bit confusing as it's for many different version. I had to put a propane torch on the capscrews in the bottom of the forks to get them loose. this was the biggest hurdle, you do need a set of calipers or a micrometer to measure out the shims, be sure and use the drill size posted. be sure and use care when stacking the shimpacks onto the bolt so as not to catch them on the threads! These things are a little fussy but with patience and some attention to detail not too bad to do. (WARNING! DO NOT ADD BEER TO THIS UNTIL THE JOB IS DONE).
I also got my .95 springs from sonic and I went with the "c-31" shim pack arrangement.
Now if the snow would leave I could go out and give her a test run!!!
 

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Sasquatch

I did the sasquatch rebuild and Jay put a heavier spring on and it is even maybe to the point where it is a bit to stiff solo with no luggage but any load beyond that is a huge improvement and I am sure will take care your problem. (i am still toying with replacing that heavier spring with my prior hyperpro progressive spring with spacer but Jay thought it could bottom and bind with the spacer so i also bought and used his spring)

Greywolf - I am glad to hear that you are impressed with Jay's presentation as that makes me feel even better about that investement. Where did you see that?

I found Jay good to deal with.
 

· FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Jay was at the Boise V-Strom West rally in July.
 
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