Author Topic: Harsh Ride Fixed  (Read 2673 times)

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March 12, 2016, 01:12:37 PM on

Offline metalguru (OP)

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For some time now I have been deliberating and trying to find a way round the bad ride quality as personally I do not want to be a member of feel every ripple/bump/penny in the road club.

To cut a very long story short, I have had a few issues with the bike and due to these failures I have managed to sort the Harsh ride.

Firstly the rear shock lost its' damping completely overnight.
This was solved by fitting a Wilbers made to measure rear unit which made the rear ride from a hardtail to velvet.
The unit I bought is the 640 model as I ride mainly solo and tarmac based so not much need for all the adjusters. I do go touring on occasions but they will make the unit to whatever spec you require.

I then noticed the fork seals were leaking.
The seals I used were made by SKF and are about £45 for the 4 seals. The off road guys use these and stand up to more abuse than the std seals. Used to fit them years ago to MX bikes and had good reports.
Then I got to the problem of the damper rods. These can be purchased as a complete kit with springs ranging from about £400 to £1750 upwards. I wanted to keep the linear springs as progressives tend to firm the ride.
I took the damper rods apart and with the simple mods carried out ie, enlarging the transfer ports and modifying/reshiming the shim stack and refil with 5wt, oil the front now is comparable with an MX bike but on the road so silky smooth ride with none of the jarring harsh bump transfer.

The front suspension has considerable travel which due to my 84k weight was not used. The front suspension is helped after about half its' travel by a second spring. Under braking this spring is now operating so gives the feeling of excessive dive under braking but in fact it does not dive much past where the helper spring comes in. (Lots of measuring with cable ties). Heavy braking will use all the travel and can feel excessive but in practice is just using the travel available.

This set up has been tailored for my riding style and use, to some it would be too soft and would not suit all riding styles. In retrospect I would have the remote rear preload adjustment as this adjustment is slightly difficult, only for the rare times I carry a pillion or luggage.

As for cornering, the rear is lowered via doglegs 50mm and the forks dropped 8:3mm in the yokes. I can now flat foot (32" inseam) without any problems and have not noticed any appreciable loss in lean angles. 1/4" on the rear tyre outer edge not used and footrests/boots hit the road about the same angle as before.
2013 Explorer
2006 Rocket 3
2004 Tiger Lucifer Orange
2001 Adventurer. (Like new).
1993 DR200
1977 Kawa Z1000A1 (Had from new)
1972 BSA A65L
1960 Norman Nippy
1952 Royal Enfield Ensign MK1
2 Crossers
I may as well do it, as I'm gonna get blamed for it anyway.

March 12, 2016, 01:50:27 PMReply #1 on

Offline Timbox2

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Just ordered a 640 with Hyd Preload for the Girly , good choice I reckon. Gotta wait 2 weeks though as Easter has slowed things up a bit. Id heared various things about the Explorer ride, but then Its pretty rare to get a bike from the crate with good suspension
2016 Tiger Sport

March 15, 2016, 08:55:12 AMReply #2 on

Offline Chris Canning

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Doesn't matter what bike you have stock suspension is just made to as lower price as a manufacturer can get away with,this XR that I have now is no different the rear shock is just as bad as my stock 955 shock was.

March 17, 2016, 06:03:52 PMReply #3 on

Offline metalguru (OP)

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Chris, the rear shock is actually quite well made when it came to bits. All the parts in the correct place but spoilt by oversprung and overdamped. The front forks however are a different story, cheap damper rod assy instead of the open case units found on dirt bikes.

As an update....

Have covered a few hundred miles since the rebuild and can report the Wilbers rear shock is performing much better than expected, giving a very comfortable ride without stepping out round corners. Very highly recommended.
The forks with the home 'tune' installed are using the newly available travel to their advantage and give a controlled comfortable ride.
It will be interesting to see how the ride varies when the weather gets above freezing!
2013 Explorer
2006 Rocket 3
2004 Tiger Lucifer Orange
2001 Adventurer. (Like new).
1993 DR200
1977 Kawa Z1000A1 (Had from new)
1972 BSA A65L
1960 Norman Nippy
1952 Royal Enfield Ensign MK1
2 Crossers
I may as well do it, as I'm gonna get blamed for it anyway.

March 17, 2016, 06:48:59 PMReply #4 on

Offline Chris Canning

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Having not ridden a big bike on anything but either a Wilbers or Ohlins in the last 15 years life is way to short to be riding around with anything else,hence why I'll run the XR in and then ditch the shock it works ok'ish but just lacks quality.

March 18, 2016, 09:00:33 PMReply #5 on

Offline metalguru (OP)

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Do the forks too and let the bike use the travel available. Not getting the road drill effect now. Nice and smooth with little dive as helper spring takes over. Handling seems better to as no hopping.
It maybe my imagination but, with the rear lowered and the rear sag set to my weight, the swing arm very nearly sits parallel to the road, I am sure a slight vibe that was there has now gone, perhaps it is because the driveshaft is running nearly straight and not using the UJ?
2013 Explorer
2006 Rocket 3
2004 Tiger Lucifer Orange
2001 Adventurer. (Like new).
1993 DR200
1977 Kawa Z1000A1 (Had from new)
1972 BSA A65L
1960 Norman Nippy
1952 Royal Enfield Ensign MK1
2 Crossers
I may as well do it, as I'm gonna get blamed for it anyway.

March 23, 2016, 01:47:52 PMReply #6 on

Offline blacktiger

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Then I got to the problem of the damper rods.

I took the damper rods apart and with the simple mods carried out ie, enlarging the transfer ports and modifying/reshiming the shim stack and refil with 5wt, oil the front now is comparable with an MX bike but on the road so silky smooth ride with none of the jarring harsh bump transfer.

5wt oil is the first thing I do with a lot of bikes when I feel its ride is too harsh. I did it to the Scram900 and to my 800XC. You'd probably have got away with just that change but I know you like to fiddle way beyond normal duty.  :icon_rolleyes:
For the 800XC I ended up buying Maxton fork internals and a Nitron shock (WHICH ARE BOTH BRITISH!!!) not that foreign Wilbers crap. Support British industry when it's as good as or better than the other stuff. :^_^ :thumbsup :m

Of course, now that the new ones have WP suspension, it seems that Triumph are learning.
2002 955i 72000 miles & counting.
2013 800XC 25000 miles & counting.