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Discussion Starter #1
I just put Sonic Springs in the fork of my DL650AK7. (I weigh 230lbs, so put .90 springs in with 10W oil for now.)

Now I'm ready to address the rear. I've done a lot of reading here and seen many options...but many of the posts are dated anywhere from a year ago to many years ago. So I'm just seeking a 2013 update on what is the best VALUE (bang for buck) for the rear shock?

There are obviously 2 ways to go:
a) upgrade the spring (but keep the stock shock)
b) replace the entire shock.

Though I'm willing to spend up to $400 or so (can't afford an Elka!), I'm leaning toward whatever will make the biggest difference for the least $$$. I know you get what you pay for...but I also think that saying is independent of value.

Any advice on current options is much appreciated! Oh, and I mentioned I weigh 230lbs (maybe closer to 240lbs in full gear) and occasionally ride 2-up with my 140lb wife plus gear...so I'm looking for something that can handle the added load for 2-up.

Thanks much!
Scott in WV
 

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Racetech quoted me something around $575 for a rebuild, revalve and respring of my stock '07 shock, basically netting me a new shock built for my weight and riding style. It's a bit above your price range, but seemed like a good deal to me. I also could not afford that, so ended up having it rebuilt to stock specs with stock spring and that cost me about $300, shipping not included. Nice thing about rebuilding the stocker, is you get to keep the hydraulic preload. Getting an aftermarket one with hyd preload is $$$

*** EDIT ***

The RT rebuild takes the OEM shock, welds a recharge bung into it, recharges it, replaces all bushings/slides/glides, rebuilds and refreshes the hyd. preload. Once the recharge bung is installed I imagine you could have any competent local suspension shop rebuild it ad infinitum ... or maybe even said shop could do the whole rebuild for you in the first place. I know that RT did a top notch job on mine and feel it was worth shipping it out to them (Pomona CA)

RaceTech told me that if I wanted to go with a heavier spring (I opted not to) they'd have to revalve the shock to match lest the heavier spring overwhelm the stock valving.
 

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anxious

Looking forward to your replies, thinking along the same lines. How do like the front springs and 10 weight oil? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Looking forward to your replies, thinking along the same lines. How do like the front springs and 10 weight oil? Thanks
The biggest thing I noticed right away with the Sonic springs (.90) was no front-end dive on braking. That's really nice! Otherwise, the ride feels a bit harsher/stiffer, but not in a bad way, just different. I do think it's better overall, because the front of the bike just doesn't seem to "bounce 'n buck" as much as it did before (not that it did much, but you know what I mean).

Some folks say there's no point in upgrading springs if you don't upgrade valves (or install emulators). I don't agree---just getting rid of the front-end dive on braking was worth it (let alone any improvements in the ride). But valves/emulators might help more.

I did both (front and rear) to my KLR a few years ago...and putting a heavier/stiffer spring in back made a much bigger difference than new fork springs (which is why I still want to do that to the Wee!).

Scott
 

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For your budget, in the rear, I think the "better" choice would be a Sasquatch rebuild, and the "good" choice is definitely a proper spring, like you've done up front. The difference will be day and night.

I finally did the "best", which was the Elka in the rear, and there's simply no comparison to a stock Strom. Also did springs and emulators up front.

Yes, a lot of $$$, but.....when I sell my bike, I can almost be sure that if I list my rear shock on this forum, and it's still in great shape, I will recoup more than half it's value....very easily, and very fast. So, at the end of the day, the upfront costs are higher, but I will get so much more performance during the time I own the bike.

That said, first and foremost, replacing the springs, front and rear, will be the the least expensive way to get the most change/improvement....I'm 230lbs as well :)
 

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FYI, Sasquatch won't be working on any shocks for a long, long time....he's currently an all-inclusive guest of the State, if you know what I mean.

That said, Progressive Suspension makes a decent shock, off the rack for around 4 hundred bux. No fancy hydraulic preload adjuster - only a hammer and chisel preload ring, but it's a quality product and is inexpensive.
 

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FYI, Sasquatch won't be working on any shocks for a long, long time....he's currently an all-inclusive guest of the State, if you know what I mean.
Oh, I was not "in the know"......too bad, I know he had some happy customers, guess a couple unhappy ones can really ruin your day though. :jawdrop:
 

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In the budget of $400, you cannot be chooser.

4 options. 1st, rebuild by somebody, Sasquatch is in jail. 2d, rebuild by yourself. 3d, pick up a used one. 4th, 465 progressive w/o remote preload.

I went with the progressive. Got it off ebay, the seller made me an offer, even after that, counting shipment in, and canadian taxes it was nearly $500.

It does make a difference, big or not, it is a personal perception.
 

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HyperPro is about $640 last time I checked, put a LOT of miles on mine on the '07, bought another for the 2012.
 

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Some have found the Progressive Suspension brand shock to be an insufficient upgrade over the stock shock.

There have been postings in the past about independent shops that upgraded the stock shock. A listing of these would be a good candidate for a sticky. Otherwise, I'd go with a RaceTech upgrade of the stock shock.

10 wt is the viscosity of the stock fork oil. Upgrading the springs is the first step for the front and can be done separately from upgrading the valving. Of course, springs and valves is better.
 

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I went through this with my ZX9. There was no way to get acceptable rebound from it. By the time I did anything to the OE shock I could get a quality name brand for a couple hun more. It hurt but I went with a Penske & it worked flawlessly until I sold the bike.
 

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FWIW- I picked up an almost new V shock for my 6fiddy. I have 1" raising links but I will still need a stiffer spring for my 200lbs. to get the proper sag. Even with the stock spring it's still better than my original 6fiddy shock. It's hard to beat the bang for the buck ~$200
 

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Discussion Starter #13
After doing a lot of research in the forums (and elsewhere online)...here is what's clear:

1. Doing ANYTHING to suspension is an improvement.

2. There is lots of debate on whether you should replace fork springs without also doing a revalve. I've seen compelling arguments on both sides from knowledgable-sounding people. (My own experience—as per rule #1 above—is that just replacing the springs in my Wee with no valve emulator was an improvement.)

3. There is lots of debate on progressive springs versus linear springs. I've seen some crazy-technical discussions where both sides made convincing arguments (and I still can't discern which side is correct).

4. The number of people seems about equal who just replaced the spring on their OEM shock...versus the people who rebuilt their OEM shock...versus the people who replaced the entire shock with an aftermarket shock.

5. What *seems* to offer the best bang for the buck is to replace the springs (front and rear) without doing anything else.

Scott
 

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Some have found the Progressive Suspension brand shock to be an insufficient upgrade over the stock shock.

There have been postings in the past about independent shops that upgraded the stock shock. A listing of these would be a good candidate for a sticky. Otherwise, I'd go with a RaceTech upgrade of the stock shock.

10 wt is the viscosity of the stock fork oil. Upgrading the springs is the first step for the front and can be done separately from upgrading the valving. Of course, springs and valves is better.
ELKA makes a non remote res sock for like $700 and something talk to Blair.
I almost did what you are thinking the rebuilding the stock shock for $575. Blair is selling the 4 way ELKA for $995. so so for $420 more you have the best ELKA. Then if you should sell the bike take the ELKA off and sell it for $500. on the form. I this best is better. Ojai Jim
 

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Number 5 is the best provided u are not too heavy - say 80kg or less riding solo.

Rear shock - depends where you are getting from - with better exchange rate in Australia(now anymore sadly...) Wilber shock is worth a look - i have seen its internals compare to elka - definitely a higher quality and beefier product. Wilber shock used to cost A$1700 fully optioned compare to elka A$1200 from Blair, cost is now A$1400...

i am still an elka fan, but if i am to upgrade the shock today, i would seriously consider wilber
 

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RT rebuild

When Sasquatch no longer was an affordable option I began seriously looking for another. I found out from the Race Tech booth at a motorcycle show that if you assure the Race Tech technicians you have adequate skills and machinery they will sell you all the parts you need to rebuild and/or revalve your own shock. I told Louie, the head tech I was trained and worked as a repair machinist for many years, have access to machine tools and own and read Race Tech's Suspension Bible cover to cover. Louie pronounced me worthy.

What the shock rebuilders don't seem to want you to know is that the only thing that makes the V-Strom non-rebuildable shock any different from any rebuildable shock is that you have to install a nitrogen recharge valve. So if you have rebuilt shocks in the past you are most of the way there. There is a page on the RT site that shows you how to install the nitrogen recharge valve. (No welding by the way.) If you look that over and aren't intimidated you should be good to go. Keep in mind however that if you screw that part up your shock is toast, so be sure of your skills.

I bought a RT Goldvalve kit, new seals, oil, nitrogen recharge valve, new spring and spring adapters. The GV kit comes with a very complete rebuild instruction video. The instructions also come with a range of valve stack specifications. Unlike the fork kits where you can do it all on line, you will have to call RT for stack specs. You end up with the same shock RT would custom build for you resprung and revalved to your weigh and riding style.

You can also save quite a few dollars by buying the same Eibach springs RT sell from another source. They are typical coil-over car shock springs you can get at Summit or ebay. When I called Louie he gave me such a nice motorcycle show discount on the whole order that getting a spring elsewhere was a wash.

If you decide to go this route, call RT directly. They answer phones but aren't good about returning e-mails.
 
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