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All,

2015 xt. With just over 10k.

I have been on a a few 1500 mile plus trips. The last one was to Death Valley. That one more that the others showed me how how inadequate my suspension is. I have stock suspension. I weight about 200 lbs. Gear, panniers, riding gear.. Must be pushing 280. I can make the bike go down the Highway with all that stuff but get off in the dirt and its just not enough. Especially the rear suspension.

So I have a couple of options. Buy a different bike, wife really hates that one.. 2 I have a pensky sport shock, with a much heavier spring but adjusting that thing is a bear. Option 3 re spring the stock shock as others here have done.

I don't want to offend anyone. I have been a fanboy of vstroms for the 6 plus years. I have had two of them and loved them both but I think in the next year I will be moving on to something else. So... I don't want to put hundreds in to this bike knowing I will never get the money back.

Advice?


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Upgrading the suspension at one end brings out the weaknesses at the other end.

Step 1---springs that suit your loaded riding weight. You need new front and likely rear springs. Is the Penske spring too stiff? The stock front springs are too soft for sure. Sonic Springs

Step 2---revalve the fronts. Cogent Dynamics Drop In Damper Cartridge is the newest and maybe the best on the market.

Step 3---new rear shock, but you already have the Penske, so maybe just the spring needs to be corrected.

And, each step of the way, set the preload so the sag is correct (about 40 mm for our bikes, front & rear) to get the suspension in about the middle of its travel to minimize the chance of bottoming out or topping out.
 

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Might as well replace valves with new springs. But if you think you'll trade up in a year it may be best to just live with it... Fyi, folks have been upgrading suspension on the crf1000L as well.

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"I don't want to put hundreds in to this bike knowing I will never get the money back."

Dropping a few hundred dollars to cure your suspension woes will ultimately save you thousands. But if you want something different I say go for it.
 

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Ron I did 10 days at Moab on stock suspension(6'4"/230) and like you discovered at Death Valley you just can't ride rough stuff fast at all. However, with my complete Daugherty overhaul the bike feels completely different on and off the street. If you are in fact going to keep the bike another year and plan on putting some miles on it, $750 is really not that big of a deal. If you find later that you still want to change brands, then simply sell your forks and spring to a inmate that will swap his stock stuff with you. That way you can recover 50%-ish of your investment.
 
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