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Discussion Starter #1
Posted the other day about rear suspension settings (number of clicks) as just wasn't happy with the feel of the suspension. Took the bike to Jordan's in Leeds, they reckon the bike looks low and suggested replacing rear shock for a 'Hagon'

The bike is a 2003 v2 but only has 7K on the clock....

I know very little about this so am kind of at their mercy and not loving the the thought of the £300+ bill....is there any tell tale sign or check I can do to reassure me their advice is sound as other mechanics have seemed unsure of the Vara's rear suspension?

Don't know is helpful but it is an absolute 'b*st*rd to get on it's centre stand.

Thanks
 

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Sorry Bluemoon can't help. If it was mine I would screw it up as hard as possible then slacken off about five clicks. Try it and see. Mine has 17000miles on original shock and chain.

Good luck, it's been said here before and I totally agree the problem with the vara for me seems more the front than the back and when my fork seals go I will upgrade to progressive springs.

Good luck
 

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2 bikes = twice as happy
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Mine is very sensitive to settings on the rear shock as well tyre pressures. Current setup for two-up is compresion damping 1turn back from max and preload 8 half turns back from max. Rear tyre at 45psi, front standard 36psi.

Solo I back off the preload about 5 and the rear tyre down to 40.

I would have a play about before shelling out on a shock. And I agree with richie - the front end is pretty crap too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies...but here is were I get confused

You talk about compression dampening and preload..which one of those is the black plastic knob on the right side of my 2003 v2 that you can turn a total of 32 clicks (I think) from - to +....

I was not aware that I could change anything other than this on the v2...or am I being stupid....steady :)

Thanks
 

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yours is different to mine - I think it changed with 2007 models. Preload will be the big black knob. It's easier to adjust on the centre stand as the bikes weight is off the spring. This just preloads the spring and so makes it stiffer before you sit on the bike. You should be aiming for the bike seat to drop by an inch or two when you sit on it.

Compression damping is usually done by a big flat blade screwdriver with the adjuster at the bottom of the shock. I don't think your bike has this. But you will have kneel down and look right under bike. If it's got one I would start with finding the middle of the range and try that. Increasing the compression has the effect of slowing down how fast the shock can compress - it literally restricts/increases the size of the hole the shocks oil gets squeezed through when you hit a bump. Increasing compression damping feels a bit like increasing preload but it's not the same thing.

I am no expert on these things I would simply advise having a play with your settings before buying a new shock. For example if you are 20stone or something you will need plenty preload and bit extra in the tyres. On the other hand if you weigh 10 stone standard is probably about right. I have read somewhere on here what the standard settings are - do a search.

Good luck with it
 

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I'm sure my 2005 ABS model had both preload and rebound adjustments and I'm positive I read in the owners manual that only the ABS models got it. and non ABS models got preload adjustment only. Maybe someone with a injected Vara could check the owners book.
 

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Mines an 07 Fi & abs var. It's deffo different from bluemoon's as the preload is on the left and the compression damping adjust is on the right underneath. I say compression damping adjust but you might he right that it's actually rebound adjust.
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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Thanks for the replies...but here is were I get confused

You talk about compression dampening and preload..which one of those is the black plastic knob on the right side of my 2003 v2 that you can turn a total of 32 clicks (I think) from - to +....

I was not aware that I could change anything other than this on the v2...or am I being stupid....steady :)

Thanks
The black knob on the side is the preload adjuster, my shock packed up at around 15-17k miles got a direct replacement from david silver it was nearly half price on the 3-4 week wait period cost around £240. I'm 99% certain you have no rebound or compression adjustment on these shocks can't remember seeing any on mine
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the responses...gonna nip down the Honda dealershiop and have a look at the suspension of the varas on show to see if mine looks goosed by comparison.

Thanks again
 

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I reckon that if your shock has gone you'll be in no doubt. When you hit a bump the rear will continue to bounce long after the impact as the spring compresses and decompresses. Very uncomfortable and in some situations very dangerous. Should be some evidence of leaking fluid down the piston. Hagons seem a good replacement but you might consider getting your shock reconned (look on e-bay- costs much less than new unit-about £80 fromm memory- but you have to send yours off so will be without the bike for some time.
If the workshop based their diagnosis on bike looking low be wary. I'd expect them to push the rear of the seat down or get their leg over and test the rebound.
 

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Woo hoo, some confused concepts here!

Ride height is affected by the "preload" adjuster (big black dial on the left), by spring sag and by front fork location. Spring sag increases with age and usage, so although 7k isn't much mileage, 8 years is quite a long time if the bike is usually parked on the side stand. A low ride height will make it difficult to get the bike onto the centre stand. Before shelling out several hundred quid try just increasing the pre-load. Ignore the "factory setting" 'cos it's an oldish bike. Set it to the right height for you.

Also double check if the front fork triple-clamps have been dropped down the fork legs. That will lower the overall ride height. If you like a lower ride then leave it; if you'd like it higher then raise the triple clamps (on the centre stand, one side at a time and with a mate on hand to help!!!)

(There are two main reasons for replacing a rear shock. Usually it's to do with leaking dampers which causes the bike to bounce after a bump, as Jackdaw says. The reason your mechanic is giving has nothing to do with this. The second reason is if the spring has sagged.)

Damping doesn't affect ride height when stationary, so ignore this for now. I think V2s didn't have any adjustment anyway. (Later Varas have rebound adjustment only. Reducing rebound adjustment will increase the feeling that the tail is kicking up after a bump; increasing it may make the rear squat down over a long bumpy section making it less compliant.)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That's really helpful stuff DDY...Thanks

I can almost visualise readers face planting into the palms of their hands and sighing deeply at this next question....oh well, gonna ask anyway :)

If I replace the shock...do I get a new spring as well as the cylinder component:thumbup:??

And...will I be able to easily identify if the front has been lowered ? (can't get to the garage to look at the mo as did my ankle playing footy last night)

Thanks
 

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That's really helpful stuff DDY...Thanks

I can almost visualise readers face planting into the palms of their hands and sighing deeply at this next question....oh well, gonna ask anyway :)

If I replace the shock...do I get a new spring as well as the cylinder component:thumbup:??

And...will I be able to easily identify if the front has been lowered ? (can't get to the garage to look at the mo as did my ankle playing footy last night)

Thanks
New shock will include the spring. The whoe unit bolts unit top and bottom.

Front fork - the fork are topped with a big shiny nut that keeps everything together inside. The flange of the nut should be more or less flush with the top of the fork bracket (the big lump of metal that links forks to steering). If the fork is sticking up at all then the front has been lowered.
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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:p

Now thats my kind of language, I'm learning everyday on this forum...thanks Austin
If your changing the shock why don't you change the bottom suspension linkage bearings aswell and then grease them. Might aswell do it while it's all in bits it won't take long and then it a job not needed for another few years
 

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Someone from this site posted a knackered Vara shock (for a 'project...')

Upon stripdown it's pretty obvious that the shielding around the damper body actually holds moisture & crap. I'm in no doubt that, that was the demise of this particulay shock as the damper rod had corroded, chewing the seals & losing it's oil.

Not really a help on the thread but may help someone on here.

I reckon a decent crap deflector is in order :thumbleft:.

Phil
 

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its a known thing for varaderos, something i knew about before i bought mine 3yrs and 12k miles ago and fully expected to have a hagon by now being a big lad and carrying plenty of gear, but its holding up very well touch wood.
maybe the secret is to wind it up a few clicks from new, standard settings were way too soft from me and giving it some preload probably gave it a fighting chance.
 
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