Sonic Springs and Gold Valves Emulators questions - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 18 Old 10-04-2009, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
Rjsurfer
 
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Location: North Carolina
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Sonic Springs and Gold Valves Emulators questions

I just purchased Gold Valve Emulators from Blair and will be ordering Sonic Springs tomorrow. I'm getting tired of all the brake dive, especially since swapping out the front pads to some better quality ones.

According to the Sonic Springs web site it looks like .90k spring rate are the ones I should be ordering. I'm 165lbs and always ride with 15lbs of protective gear, combined with the 500lb weight of the Wee.

What weight fork oil would you recommend, there are a few choices?

Lastly, can this install be done without removing the forks?

Thanks

Ron W.

07 Wee
07 DRZ400 SM (wifeys)
16 T Sprocket
Short screen & Washers
Replaced 'P" shooter
35W halogen rear signals
RT Gold Valves
Sonic Springs
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post #2 of 18 Old 10-04-2009, 08:26 AM
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Talk to Rich about the oil...but I can tell you that it can't be done with the forks on the bike. It's soooo easy to remove them though. If you can take your front wheel off...it only a few more bolts.

BTD.
post #3 of 18 Old 10-04-2009, 09:05 AM
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To install Race Tech Emulators, you will have to remove the forks from the bike. There is some "machine work" that needs to be done to the damper rods, which are bolted inside the bottom of your fork tubes, so the forks need to be removed. (The metal work can be accomplished with a good, electric hand drill and a sharp 1/2" drill bit. I paid a friend to drill the holes with his milling machine.).

You will also need to cut down your fork spacers to allow for the extra space the emulators take up inside the fork tubes. Your Sonic Springs will be shipped with a length of PVC tube that you will be instructed to cut to the appropriate length for spacers. I chose to reuse the OEM metal spacers and I recut those to the appropriate length to allow for the height of the emulators, (the extra space they take up), and to give me the proper preload to the fork springs during reassembly.

What weight fork oil you choose depends upon what type of riding you do the majority of the time.

We both weigh about the same.

I will share my experiences.

First, here is a thread on changing oil and springs: HERE.

But, I think a better written description, (with photos), of how to remove the forks to work on them is HERE.

Since doing the above spring work, I have installed R.T. emulators, (you can see them in the Fork Seal tutorial.). I have tried 12.5wt oil, 15wt oil and recently just changed to 10wt oil. The 10wt oil is where I am most happy with the performance of the bike. I also prefer the Gold Valves adjusted to "1 1/2 turns" instead of the factory "2 turns" of preload on the spring.

I ride fairly beat up roads here in Maine and Québec and New Brunswick, Canada. I try to find back roads; dirt roads to ride. The above setup, (Sonic .90 springs and Race Tech emulators), coupled with my Hyperpro rear shock provide me with the performance that I need to handle the surfaces that I ride on.

Although not the prefect solution, the Race Tech emulators do help with high speed compression surface irregularities, (pot holes.), over the OEM setup Suzuki provides. Dialing in the setting that works for you, takes some patience and experimentation.

Once installed, to adjust the emulators, you do not have to remove the forks from your bike, but you will need to remove the fork caps, spacers, washers, and springs to be able to "fish" the emulators out of the bottom of your fork tubes, (I use a welding rod with a "barb" bent into the tip to make "hook" to retrieve the emulators.). When removing the above items, work slowly so that the existing fork oil has time to drip and run back down into your fork tubes off of the parts you are removing.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE!: The very first time I adjusted my emulators after installing them, I had a "Mortaine Moment" and removed both fork caps without jacking up the front of the bike. That is more accurately described as an "Oh $hit" moment as the second of the two fork caps pops off as it nears bearing unthreaded during removal because, the whole weight of the front end of the bike is bearing itself on the fork caps. What happens? The fork cap pops off and the front of the bike does an irrecoverable, front end dive, until it bottoms out. Scared the hell out of me. But, no damage done. Lesson, jack the front of the bike up when removing fork caps!

Once you remove your damper rods from the fork tubes, you will need to drill or mill 1/2" holes through the rods near the bottom. There are 6 ("compression") holes in my damper rod.


Braze the small damper hole closed. You can use Mapp Gas and a brazing rod purchased from Home Depot or Lowe's. Before brazing, remove the plastic oil ring from around the upper neck of the damper rod to prevent the ring from deforming or melting from the heat generated during your brazing job.


Good Luck!

Barry

2007 DL-650 (I gave away in 2012 with 111,000 + miles)
"A word grows to a thought; a thought to an idea; an idea to an act. All the pieces are put together, and the whole is yours."
1942, Beryl Markham: "West With the Night"
"You can talk about doing a thing until everyone finally talks you out of it, or you can actually do the thing"
James Baldwin "Across Islands and Oceans"

Last edited by Black Lab; 10-04-2009 at 11:13 AM.
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post #4 of 18 Old 10-04-2009, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
Rjsurfer
 
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Posts: 539
Barry,

Great info on the install.

I'm a little worried about closing up that one hole, I have a local auto garage that does a lot of stuff for me and I know he does mucho welding, that's something he could do with standard welding equipment?

One poster mentioned the 650 is an easier install, do you know why?

Thanks

Ron

07 Wee
07 DRZ400 SM (wifeys)
16 T Sprocket
Short screen & Washers
Replaced 'P" shooter
35W halogen rear signals
RT Gold Valves
Sonic Springs

Last edited by rjsurfer; 10-04-2009 at 10:09 AM.
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-04-2009, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjsurfer View Post
Barry,

Great info on the install.

I'm a little worried about closing up that one hole, I have a local auto garage that does a lot of stuff for me and I know he does mucho welding, that's something he could do with standard welding equipment?

Thanks

Ron
Ron,
Yes he can.

I can assure you that I was totally overwhelmed when I started down the path of upgrading the front end of my bike. I really don't know much about doing stuff like this, (often finding conflicting and erroneous information about how to deal with springs and Race Tech emulators.), and it was confusing.... Now, having removed the front end and openning up the forks several times, I don't even think about it anymore. It has become second nature as to all that is there. I really don't know how it all works, (mechanically), but I have made it work fairly well for me and will give positive testimony that, Sonic Springs, Race Tech Emulators, and a forkbrace, (I have a Superbrace installed), are a vast, vast improvement over the stock OEM front end setup.

Upon Rich Desmond's, (owner of Sonic Springs), recommendation, I installed my new Sonic Springs and new fork oil, (12.5wt), BEFORE purchasing the Race Tech emulators. His theory is "baby steps" and I thoroughly agree with him, (doing this can save you money by not purchasing something that you may feel you do not need; meaning the emulators.).

If you are comfortable soldering copper tubing together, you can braze your own damping rods. Google the topic and watch a video or two on Youtube. Even if you have your local mechanic do the work, do a little "self-educating" to take the opportunity to learn a little more about your motorcycle. It's exactly what I did to learn how to do what I did. In the end, I purchased an Oxy-Acetylene welding system to do other jobs around the house and on the motorcycle. (HERE'S and example).

Again, take your time and break the project down into small steps. Pre-think it through and even make a written list of what work needs to be done, and in what order. That is what I did. This allowed me to study each step and to make a decision whether a given step was in the correct order or not BEFORE I started the actual work. As I said above, I don't even think about it now.

Lastly, if you haven't purchase a service manual for the mike, I encourage doing that as well. It will provide you with written directions along with photographs that can fill in "gaps" that may be missing from what you glean from the web and online forums. Most importantly, the service manual will provide you with the proper torque specifications that are necessary during reassembly. Personally, I got tired of flipping through the pages to find and re-find torque specs. I finally took a big, black magic marker and scrawled, in big, bold handwriting, the most common torque settings that I need directly on to a wall of my work area. During reassembly of whatever I am working on, I just have to look up at my wall and see the numbers that I need.

Barry

2007 DL-650 (I gave away in 2012 with 111,000 + miles)
"A word grows to a thought; a thought to an idea; an idea to an act. All the pieces are put together, and the whole is yours."
1942, Beryl Markham: "West With the Night"
"You can talk about doing a thing until everyone finally talks you out of it, or you can actually do the thing"
James Baldwin "Across Islands and Oceans"

Last edited by Black Lab; 10-04-2009 at 10:34 AM.
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post #6 of 18 Old 10-04-2009, 10:37 AM
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I worked with Rich on spring rates. FOR ME, my 215 LB frame works best with the .9's. I started with .95's but they were too stiff.

My sag is at 43 MM with 15mm under the caps with the .9's.

Why are you changing out the stock springs? Your weight seems in the ballpark for those springs. Unless you are looking for straight wound springs. Also, the Ricor Intiminators might be a good product if you keep the stockers. Its another option.

'07 Vstrom 650
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post #7 of 18 Old 10-04-2009, 10:39 AM
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Note that the suggested amount of oil required to replace the springs (2 pints, I think) is not enough if you disassemble the forks and clean everything up. You will need a few more ounces.

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post #8 of 18 Old 10-04-2009, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Lab View Post
Braze the small damper hole closed. You can use Mapp Gas and a brazing rod purchased from Home Depot or Lowe's. Before brazing, remove the plastic oil ring from around the upper neck of the damper rod to prevent the ring from deforming or melting from the heat generated during your brazing job.


Good Luck!

Barry
This is timely...I'm looking for someone local to braze this for me. Can you share details on how you did this yourself? I'm a noob to welding...

'07 Vstrom 650
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post #9 of 18 Old 10-04-2009, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmo3373 View Post
This is timely...I'm looking for someone local to braze this for me. Can you share details on how you did this yourself? I'm a noob to welding...
I used my oxy-acetylene torch system.

Here is where you need to take the time to read.

2007 DL-650 (I gave away in 2012 with 111,000 + miles)
"A word grows to a thought; a thought to an idea; an idea to an act. All the pieces are put together, and the whole is yours."
1942, Beryl Markham: "West With the Night"
"You can talk about doing a thing until everyone finally talks you out of it, or you can actually do the thing"
James Baldwin "Across Islands and Oceans"
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post #10 of 18 Old 10-04-2009, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordSmoke View Post
Note that the suggested amount of oil required to replace the springs (2 pints, I think) is not enough if you disassemble the forks and clean everything up. You will need a few more ounces.
You are correct.

When I did my initial install, I ran out of oil and I made up the difference by adding a couple of tablespoons of the original fork oil.

Last week, I changed out my 15wt oil, readjusted my emulators and added 10wt fork oil. I purchased Motorex fork oil in a 33.8fl oz container from my local dealership. It was just enough to fill my fork tubes to the 150mm level that is recommended by Sonic Springs for the DL-650. I have a little left over.

2007 DL-650 (I gave away in 2012 with 111,000 + miles)
"A word grows to a thought; a thought to an idea; an idea to an act. All the pieces are put together, and the whole is yours."
1942, Beryl Markham: "West With the Night"
"You can talk about doing a thing until everyone finally talks you out of it, or you can actually do the thing"
James Baldwin "Across Islands and Oceans"
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