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Until we meet again
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I rode a KTM 990 Adventure today and experience good suspension. It pointed out just how poor my untouched stock front end is after 30K miles. Time to improve the ride. I've look around and found threads about how to make the change (nice job Barry), or threads saying what a great improvement it makes. What I don't see is how do I know what spring to buy. It looks like Sonic Springs are what people like, but how do you know which one is correct? I also see people like one weight of oil vs another. Again, how do you know?

I'm assuming that the fact I tip the scales at around 200 lbs full geared up has something to do with determining the correct springs. I just don't how to figure out what to get.
 

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Hey Jon, I don't know what they do for V-Stroms, but I'm using a set of Dual Rate springs from Works Performance in the front of my Dyna, which I believe shares the same Showa front forks as the DL650. I absolutely love them, and if you call and chat, you'll see that those dudes really know their suspension. I had tons of questions, and they were extremely helpful. I want to grab a set of their rear shocks at some point. The front springs made such an amazing difference.

According to their street app guide, they make single rate springs for the DL1000.
 

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Hey Dirt Dad... Just email Sonic Springs and they will tell you exactly what you need in terms of spring and oil weight.

Also, from what i hear a set of Race Tech Gold Valve Cartridge Emulators can really transform the overall feel of the front suspension. About $160. I plan on giving them a try here in the next month.
 

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Yo DD. I talked to the good people at Sonic and it was recommended that for my 240-250 body weight and less aggressive riding style a combination of 15 wt oil and .95 springs. This was a huge improvement over the stock set up especially in warm weather. Minimal front end dive with the new springs and hardly any wallowing in the curves. During colder days the heavier oil has the dampening of a brick but when its warm its a good combo. Now that I'm 20 lbs heavier and a corner carving machine I think that maybe a .1 spring and lighter oil would work better.
 

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Rich Desmond from Sonic Springs is a member of this board. I wound up going with Sonic Springs. At the same time, I converted my '02 fixed cap to '07 adjustable caps. I'm still working on my bike (I just had my first ride yesterday), but can tell that there is an improvement up front.
 

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It looks like Sonic Springs are what people like, but how do you know which one is correct? I also see people like one weight of oil vs another. Again, how do you know?
Use the calculator on the Sonic site and play around with the parameters. It'll get you started.
 

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I rode a KTM 990 Adventure today and experience good suspension. It pointed out just how poor my untouched stock front end is after 30K miles. Time to improve the ride. I've look around and found threads about how to make the change (nice job Barry), or threads saying what a great improvement it makes. What I don't see is how do I know what spring to buy. It looks like Sonic Springs are what people like, but how do you know which one is correct? I also see people like one weight of oil vs another. Again, how do you know?

I'm assuming that the fact I tip the scales at around 200 lbs full geared up has something to do with determining the correct springs. I just don't how to figure out what to get.
I put in Ricor Intiminators and Sonic Springs and it makes a huge difference.

I used the Sonic calculator, but had a question so emailed Rich. He emailed me back: from Alaska.
 

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What Kinda Bike Is That?
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Jon, the calculator at Sonic Springs is a place to get started; but don't use it as gospel. Don't be shy about tapping into Rich's depth of personal experience. I am sure Blair would do the same for you.

Absolutely, your personal weight, all geared up is a factor. Your riding style AND the terrain you ride on, (the majority of the time), is also a factor. I know that Dirt_Mom isn't going to ride on the back of your bike, (and she certainly doesn't want to ride on the back of mine...... Funny, no one wants to.......), so you can rule that parameter out, (two up riding). Luggage and what you carry in the luggage can also be a factor.

If you are taking the time to focus on this, adding Race Tech emulators or the Ricor "thingy-ma-jiggys" is also a good measure too, (I use emulators).

This I will guarentee you, once you start fiddling with the front end, you will always try to squeeze a little more out of it.

Here was my expereince mapped out over the three years I have owned the bike, (Spring of 2007). I did the below, one step at a time just to see what changes each modification made.

Forkbrace first, (Superbrace). Made a big difference.
Sonic Springs, (.90) and 12.5wt fork oil, (50/50 mix of 10wt and 15wt)
Race Tech emulators, (and monkeying around with the preload spring. Currently, I am at 1.5 turns. The factory setting is for 2 turns.).
I also switched to 15wt oil.
I also switched to 10wt oil.
For 2010, I have switched back to the OEM springs and 10wt oil, with 1.5 turns on the emulator, preload springs. I like this setup. I would purchase lighter weight Sonic Springs, but it is an area that I can save a little money by just using the OEM springs which I still have on hand.

I should mention that I also have the forks raised 1/2" in the fork clamps.

I would also like to mention that, if you have never done any work on the front end of your bike, at the very least, you are way over due to change fork oil!!!!

And..........if you are going to spend the time on changing fork oil.........you might as well slide in some new springs.........emulators..........and maybe a set of "glide and slide" metals........and fork seals.

All of the info is available on how to do this stuff on this site.

Good Luck!

Barry
 

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Until we meet again
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Discussion Starter #10
I tell ya, I am such a neanderthal on the suspension stuff. I've always just ridden a bike the way it's setup and been concerned about screwing something up and so I never make any changes. Even on my MX stuff I just ride it the way it is.

I've realized I'm overdue for the oil, so I figured I'll be in there, I'll just change the springs too. This is one of those things that I'm expecting be be a "I think it maybe made a difference...not sure." kind of change. I know the fork brace made a huge difference, but I'm taking a wait and see on this one.

Are new seals really recommended? I've seen your thread Barry and it looks like a hell of a lot more work than just a spring and oil change. To be honest that level of effort that would inspire me to hold off completely until something starts to leak and I'm forced to do it. I'm a reasonably capable wrench turner, but I really don't enjoy it.
 

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I rode a KTM 990 Adventure today and experience good suspension. It pointed out just how poor my untouched stock front end is after 30K miles. Time to improve the ride. I've look around and found threads about how to make the change (nice job Barry), or threads saying what a great improvement it makes. What I don't see is how do I know what spring to buy. It looks like Sonic Springs are what people like, but how do you know which one is correct? I also see people like one weight of oil vs another. Again, how do you know?

I'm assuming that the fact I tip the scales at around 200 lbs full geared up has something to do with determining the correct springs. I just don't how to figure out what to get.
As others have mentioned, Sonic Springs and I believe RaceTech have spring calculators. For me, both came out to 1.0kg springs, which worked out great since the PO had given me these springs with the bike but had never installed them. From my research here and conversations with a couple of Suzuki mechanics, I decided on 10w fork oil because I wanted to keep a little softness for comfort. Made a huge difference for me.
 

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I too was a little "reserved" to say the least! If you have a centerstand and crash bars you're halfway there. The only other thing you need is a torque wrench, a couple of sockets,allen wrench, turkey baster, a couple of retchet straps and that's it. I was AMAZED when I took out the 6mo. old oil and found lots of alum shavings? Does it handle better----yes----is it as good as a White Power/KTM set-up---no, but it is a heck of a lot better than stock, for around $100-that's a spring and 2 pints of oil, shipped to your house. E-mail sonic and tell them your weight and how you ride and they will tell you what you need--GREAT PEOPLE!! Actually quite simple if you take your time, and don't hurry things like I did on the first fork leg! Cheers--BB
 

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Good timing with this thread as I'm about to get into the front suspension and brakes myself.

Has anyone modded their original set-up without replacing most of the parts?

I checked this site, VSRI and ADV and found several threads where the springs that replaced the OEM springs were basically shorter springs with a longer spacer. Looks like the progressive (closer spring spacing) is basically cut off and the longer spacer add to make up the difference..

One can easily do this to their stock springs with minimal wallet damage.

Also, the emulators I'm seeing just look like large solid spacers that help compress the spring more??

Please enlighten me if I'm of track here. I haven't found any threads of folks cutting their stock springs.

My thought is to cut the spring down, add spacer to match, drill more holes in the damper, and increase the oil weight?
I'll probably add cbr calipers and a fork brace at the same time.

Ken
 

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What Kinda Bike Is That?
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Are new seals really recommended?
As I mentioned in my above thread, each change I made, I made independently of the others. I took baby steps through my suspension upgrade and maintenance.

Changing the seals does add more work. I did not change mine until the right one started leaking. Then I did them both and also changed the "slide" metals.

I mentioned the seals to jog your memory as to if, "Oh yeah, I also need to deal with that weeping seal as well."

Sounds like you are okay.

Good Luck!!!

B.
 

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I tell ya, I am such a neanderthal on the suspension stuff. I've always just ridden a bike the way it's setup and been concerned about screwing something up and so I never make any changes. Even on my MX stuff I just ride it the way it is.

I've realized I'm overdue for the oil, so I figured I'll be in there, I'll just change the springs too. This is one of those things that I'm expecting be be a "I think it maybe made a difference...not sure." kind of change. I know the fork brace made a huge difference, but I'm taking a wait and see on this one.

Are new seals really recommended? I've seen your thread Barry and it looks like a hell of a lot more work than just a spring and oil change. To be honest that level of effort that would inspire me to hold off completely until something starts to leak and I'm forced to do it. I'm a reasonably capable wrench turner, but I really don't enjoy it.

Jon,

It really isn't any big deal, just take your time and you're looking at a couple of hours of quality time with your bike. You've met my sweetheart and know she's kind of small and I went with .95 springs and 10wt oil. When she's on, I turn it to 1 line showing, but if I leave it there when she gets off, it's a very harsh ride but great for 65mph entrance circulars....2-1/2 showing is much more comfortable for riding alone but a little wallow can be felt in the harder corners.

It's always going to be like that...it's all about compromise....I know that you mostly ride alone as your wife rides her own bike so you might want to find some middle ground between setups so you don't have to change it often. I do think that I'm going to lower my oil wt to 7-1/2 or 8wt (you can get to that by mixing 10 and 5 wts in different ratios) and see how that works since I don't really like having to change the preload all the time either.

Oh, almost forgot...change the seals while you have them apart....they're cheap and since you already have them off, may as well do it.

jeff
 

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Rjsurfer
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Good timing with this thread as I'm about to get into the front suspension and brakes myself.

Has anyone modded their original set-up without replacing most of the parts?

I checked this site, VSRI and ADV and found several threads where the springs that replaced the OEM springs were basically shorter springs with a longer spacer. Looks like the progressive (closer spring spacing) is basically cut off and the longer spacer add to make up the difference..

One can easily do this to their stock springs with minimal wallet damage.

Also, the emulators I'm seeing just look like large solid spacers that help compress the spring more??

Please enlighten me if I'm of track here. I haven't found any threads of folks cutting their stock springs.

My thought is to cut the spring down, add spacer to match, drill more holes in the damper, and increase the oil weight?
I'll probably add cbr calipers and a fork brace at the same time.

Ken
Ken,

Reread those posts carefully Ken your going down the wrong path.

Those springs are just not cut down versions of the stockers they are stiffer than the softies that come from the factory. Those emulators are more than just spacers they are valves that allow for damping adjustment, along with their installation they require drilling out the damping rods because they control the rebound.

Ron W.
 

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Good timing with this thread as I'm about to get into the front suspension and brakes myself.

Has anyone modded their original set-up without replacing most of the parts?

I checked this site, VSRI and ADV and found several threads where the springs that replaced the OEM springs were basically shorter springs with a longer spacer. Looks like the progressive (closer spring spacing) is basically cut off and the longer spacer add to make up the difference..

One can easily do this to their stock springs with minimal wallet damage.

Also, the emulators I'm seeing just look like large solid spacers that help compress the spring more??

Please enlighten me if I'm of track here. I haven't found any threads of folks cutting their stock springs.

My thought is to cut the spring down, add spacer to match, drill more holes in the damper, and increase the oil weight?
I'll probably add cbr calipers and a fork brace at the same time.

Ken
How much do you weigh? The stock springs are pretty low rate and adding preload at the triple clamp or with spacers doesn't change that.

The Intiminators and Gold valves completely change the valving of the damping: they're nothing like spacers. Next time you ride over an expansion strip or other sharp bump, feel the "whomp" through the handlebars: that's what they get rid of.
 

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I'm 195 and I know the aftermarket springs can be heavier than stock. From what I've read stock is .75 and folks my weight often go up to .9/.95.

What I'm after is a more solid, planted feel overall, getting rid of the small "whomp" as you call it, and reducing the brake dive.

I think cutting my stock springs, adding spacers, drilling holes and heavier oil would help. It has too.
This was a pretty common thing on the VStar 1100 when it was first introduced in 99, and I phucked around with the folk springs on it and it helped a fair amount. Nose dive was bad on it too.

I'm just a little surprised that no-one here has done it, given the extensive knowledge of some folks and the not afraid to tear into something attitude. And those parts are heavily overpriced IMO.


Ken
 

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Hey Black Lab, I'm about to start on my '07 wee forks and like most everyone else on this site I refer to what greywolf and you advise before starting a project. I thought I was up on most of the fork mods until you dropped the replacing of the "slide" metals, could you please explain?

Thanks,

Jeff (SoPaRider); a friend of Perry's from Ellsworth!
 

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I have question/concern about drilling out the holes in the dampening rods in the wee forks. A friend and motorcycle mechanic advised me to do this with caution (i.e; don't do it!), as this could possibly weaken the metal in the dampening rods, resulting in catastrophic failure! Does this really need to be done in conjuction with installing a set of Race Tech Emulators or Ricor Intiminators? Does anyone have some knowledge of this subject to pass along to the unknowing?

Thanks,

Jeff (SoPaRider)
 
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