Over the next couple weeks I'm having my suspension redone by John Curea. John is pretty well known nationally for his work on dirt bike suspensions, but he's done work on street bikes too. He was also the suspension guru on ThumperTalk up until a year or two ago. I've used him a few times for work on my dirt/dual sport bikes and he's only 15 minutes from my workplace. I spoke to John a few weeks ago to see what he could do for my bike. He's going to revalve the forks (including a new piston) and install heavier springs and oil. For the rear, he's going to revalve the shock and install a heavier spring. He's also going to put the shock on the dyno before the work to get some baseline numbers.
My complaints about the stock suspension:
1) There is way too much fork dive when riding two-up (even with full preload), obviously from soft springs
2) The front is pretty harsh when riding into shape-edged bumps or potholes, with the infamous "thunk"
3) With the preload cranked all the way up in the rear, the action is a little harsh, probably from a lack of damping
4) There is too much rear sag for 2-up riding (even at full shock preload)
5) Ground clearance is limited for offroad riding (duh). I hope to get a little more by decreasing the amount of sag.
So my goal is to correct these issues without spending a fortune. I bought my Wee used and it didn't cost me a lot. I can't justify spending 40% of the bike's purchase price on suspension upgrades. I told John I want the best bang for the buck so that's what we're shooting for. I plan to post up some results here once I get the suspension parts back. I'm dropping off my forks tomorrow for phase I.
In case anyone wants to know, my bike is a 2004 DL650 with 3,200 miles. In the past 2 weeks I've added all the farkles I feel are necessary to make the DL a good dirty-adventure bike. I did this so that my rear sag numbers would not be influenced by the weight of adding more farkles later. I'm 6'3" and 220 lbs. My favorite riding is dual-sport/enduro. My other bikes at this time are a street legal Husaberg FE570 and a plated KTM 250exc. Prior bikes have included a KTM 950 Adventure, a KTM 450exc, a DRZ400S, an '03 FZ1, an '02 ZX6R, and a VX800.
Here are pics from a ride last weekend to give you an idea of some of the trails I've ridden the Strom on: