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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Howdy Troopers, After completing my 10,0000 mi. odyssey from San Diego to Panama and back I want the ultimate suspension. I rode about 600 mi of the trip on dirt roads in Baja, Guatemala, Honduras and a little in C.R. I went places and saw things few have seen, especially on a 140 mi. stretch from Tegucigalpa to La Cieba, "north coast, Honduras."

I was going to explore and I did! BUT, THE STOCK SUSPENSION SUCKS on anything but paved road.

The wash board and potholed dirt roads take a mighty toll on bike and rider. My T.B. boots shook, vibrated loose on 2 occasions.

I want to do Nome next year taking full advantage of secluded logging roads / trails that might lead to pristine fishing grounds.

I just replaced my old bike w/ a very low mileage '04 DL 1k. The one I took the trip on was in an accident and totaled.

I've talked to folks here and my mechanic about full suspension upgrades. My mechanic is PRO at these mods but with parts and labor will be about 4K !!! Or almost as much as I paid for this new bike.

I want the suspension to soak up all the small bumps allowing me to cruise consistently in 2nd gear. I was always fighting 1st - 2nd and back with the stock. The bike shook and vibrated horribly. Didn't stop me from doing the dirt but I want comfort and safety this time around.

What would you do?? I have the cash but holy taluza! I really like the strom otherwise.

Mucho gracias, Rob
 

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· FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Race Tech Suspension for a compete very well regarded package.

I bought my Elka before Racetech offered shocks. What a huge difference in handling the rougher road conditions is after the up-grades.
 

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Sasquatch is a Race Tech dealer and setup expert. Jay is also an A class desert racer and B class enduro rider who has tremendous knowledge of suspension setup. Part of his service is micro cross hatch honing of fork tubes and shock shafts. That lowers stiction without oil leakage and I've never of anyone even mentioning it before. Prices are also reasonable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks greywolf, my bike is a daily rider. I live in T.J. and commute to San Diego for my work. Having the bike down for 2+ weeks would be tough not to mention disassemble / reassemble for shipping. Thanks, Rob
 

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You're riding the wrong bike for your needs. Spend that $4k on a bike actually meant for serious off-road riding, and keep your strom stock for your daily commute.
 

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I'd suggest spending some time really educating yourself about suspension for two reasons:

1) without a thorough understanding of how suspension works, what each of its tunable elements do (sag vs spring rate vs compression vs rebound, etc.) you won't have a very good understanding of what you're trying to get out of your upgrades. Bolting on some stuff because someone told you it's the "ultimate" is generally a recipe for wasted money and disappointing results.

2) Short of rebuilding a rear shock yourself, there's really nothing that you can't do. I can't possibly imagine spending $4K on suspension on a Strom. Most anyone can disassemble forks, install emulators and springs, and install a rear shock. Employing the services of a tuner to help get it dialed in after installation will be money well-spent, but you can save a ton of money by installing yourself.

Just my $.02.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks JPK / Surgeon,

Yes I looked at other bikes, ( GSA, 990 adv and KLR) before I bought another strom. I had a 17k budget w/ the settlement I received from the accident that totaled my '05.

I actually bought a KLR and tried dealing with a slow bike. The KLR is best suited for what I want as my 2 riding mates to Panama would blow my doors off in the dirt. I couldn't handle the slow highway cruise speed so I sold it and bought another strom.

The strom is an excellent ride, I just wanted the suspension more responsive able to level out the ride on really bumpy stuff. I know the bike will never run well on sand roads like the Baja picture.

I think what I want it can be done!

And yes 4k is absolutely absurd! :jawdrop: That's why I'm here! lol :thumbup:
 

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You can contact Sasquatch and tell Jay the specifics like your weight and riding style and he'll send you a Race Tech with shim pack specific to your needs. You just install it in your forks or have it installed. You'll need to buy an aftermarket shock. Jay is the only one I know of who is equipped to convert the stock Strom sealed shock to a rebuildable one.
 

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If your not short

You need a KTM

Also 4 K is a rip. There are custom OLEEENS stuff that would cost that but I am sure you can get 80 percent for like 1500.

For a 1000 each you can get new near best shock and fork internals

Spend 4 months in a GYM win win
 

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Though hesitant to wade into the diversity of opinions here I will offer something from my own experience. I have an '04 DL1000 and I ride about 60% pavement and 40% gravel/forest/fire roads with occasional "rough stuff", generally due to necessity rather than plan. I love the Vee in every respect but for the suspension, which I found bottomed out far too easily off the pavement. At 16,000 miles I was really thinking of moving into something like a GS but just could not see myself going into that world. I looked at the new Multistrada sporting front and rear Ohlins, but nobody seems to be seriously taking a $20K Ducati of the road to really see what it does... my friend and master mechanic Steve convinced me to install the Racetech progressive front-end. In my case I have to say it was very much like getting a new bike. The entire character of the bike changed. On the road it is imminently more "flickable" and responsive, but it was OK on the road before. But off the pavement it is a different machine. Yes I invested $2K in the project, but that was last Fall and almost 10K miles ago, but I can now easily see myself taking this bike to 50K miles or more. In fact just this week I had a custom seat built based on that very fact. I still have the OEM rear and would love to replace it as well... maybe a winter project this year.

I know many will say "the Vee is not an offroad bike" or "get something made for the purpose" and there is something to be said for that. When I bought my Vee almost 4 years ago I owned a GL1800 Goldwing, a KLR650 and an FJR. Over the 4 years since I have sold one after another, with the last holdout being the KLR. In every case I found that the Vee did everything that I wanted to do, at least well enough that it rendered the other bikes unnecessary in all but a few circumstances. I have most definitely tested the limits of the bike off-road, and hauled it back over and repaired it more than once as a reward. I guess I would like to try a KTM990 or GS800/1200 sometime and see if, at my riding skill level, I could really tell a difference. And of course now the Tenere and Tiger 800XC can be added to that mix. But I don't expect to be considering that decision for another couple of years and another 25K miles, as the Vee is the bike for me for now...

Final comment is that I have seen a really capable rider take a 20 year old standard bike with street tires through stuff that would bury a Hummer. I have also seen a less experienced rider dump a GS1200 Adventure in casual roadside gravel. The end result, much like golf, comes from the aggregate capability of the equipment (bike) and the skill of the player (rider). That's why there are at least as many opinions as there are people offering them! The one thing that you can absolutely take to the bank is that there is no "one size fits all"!

And with that you can add yet one more opinion to the mix. :hurray:
 

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I have the $1395 Traxxion AK-20 on my 650. It's the way to get a cartridge fork instead of the inferior damper rod type. The 1000 already has a cartridge fork though so getting the spring rate, valving and shim pack right should be all it needs.
 

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Sasquatch is ... Part of his service is micro cross hatch honing of fork tubes and shock shafts. That lowers stiction without oil leakage and I've never heard of anyone even mentioning it before.
GW, When I talked to him at WestFest, our discussion around the rebuild of my front forks centered around him shipping the correct parts (valving, spring, etc) to me and me rebuilding them. There was not suggestion that I would have to send my forks to him for this separate processing.

In your opinion, are the advantages of having this done enough to warrant the added expense of his process, his labor expenses and shipping the fork assemblies both ways? Or, is this just the third layer of frosting on an already overloaded cake?
 

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That's something to ask him. I don't have actual experience.
 

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I am always saddened that some knowledegable individual would take the VEE catridge and invent a shim stack etc so you could revalve cheap.

YEs racetech but a shim stack and spring would be worth like 35

Where's Curnut when you need him. Was also depressed that an off road long travel resevoir shock for a jeep was 149

My Yamaha I buffed the tubes in the direction of travel and had noticably less stiction and ZERO weeping
 

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FWIW...

...I installed the Elka Triple Adjustable shock on my '04 DL650 V-Strom and installed .90 Sonic springs in the forks with 12 wt fork oil.

I weigh 180 pounds and this totally transformed the machine and I am thrilled with how she handles now.

I'm all in, installed, with these mods for less than $2,000.
 

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I've gone from one extreme to the other when it comes to suspension changes on over 15 bikes.

Cheapskate Level - new fork springs, change oil weight/level and out back, new spring, fresh nitrogen charge and heavier oil.

Loony Level - Ohlins everything, literally. Fork assembly, shock and steering damper.

Best results - in the middle, actually. Lee @ Traxxion Dynamics setup one of my bikes to absolute perfection. He listened to what I wanted, what I had experienced before, etc. Best thing I can say is that once the static and rider sag were set and damping tweaked accordingly, I never thought about the suspension again.

By that I mean the bike just went wherever I wanted it to and the suspension did what it needed to in order to keep me in control. I wasn't always thinking/sensing what was going on in the chassis beneath me as I had with other bikes which were not setup as optimally. I found I could concentrate more on lines and smoothing out my riding style.
 
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