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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading a ridiculously long thread on a Harley forum all about front suspension (as one does) and much was said about setting sag, after installing bespoke springs...as far as I'm aware, my 94/5' 600 has the long fork springs installed, ie there are no spacers between the spring tops and the fork caps, unless you count the plain washer. Either that, or someone has removed the spacers...
Does anyone happen to know if the older, shorter springs sit flush with the fork tops before the spacers are fitted (with the tubes fully extended), or do the springs sit lower in the tubes with a distinct gap for the spacers? Without taking the springs out to measure the free length I'm non the wiser...

I'm thinking to buy some adjustable preload caps and was wondering wether I'm starting from the right place?

Thanks in advance....
 

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I can't speak for the 600s, my '03 650 springs, with over 150,000km reached almost to the top and I had to slightly compress them to fit the after market adjustable preloaders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm going to have a look this afternoon, seeing as I've got some time off work...from what I gather, honda tweaked the TA front end over the years using different spring lengths (and possibly spring rates?)...maybe at the same time they went to twin disc up front...I've not looked into the 650 springs yet...did the preload caps provide enough adjustability?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The 650 spring rate is definitely heavier than the early 600 but maybe the same for the later 600?
According to Haynes, '95 seems to be the year they got rid of the spacers and used full length springs...then they shortened them for the 650!
No mention of actual rates unfortunately, but I read somewhere that the early used .51kg/mm and the late used .61 kg/mm. I also realised during the course of this research that I really ought to get out more :grin:
 

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The springs are not linear rate so I suppose suggested spring rates may not be accurate.

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I ain't checked mine yet but could have sworn blind my 650 springs where linear rate when I took them out been on the shelf for about ten years as I have some others in that work better with the Ricor valves. I always thought that the progressive springs where all after market stuff ?
 

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'' I also realised during the course of this research that I really ought to get out more ''

Yep that's what really matters
:thumbup:
 

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I ain't checked mine yet but could have sworn blind my 650 springs where linear rate when I took them out been on the shelf for about ten years as I have some others in that work better with the Ricor valves. I always thought that the progressive springs where all after market stuff ?
Hmm, now you have me doubting myself!
It is a while since I had Alp springs out and theres too much other stuff rattling round in my head taking up space at the moment, so I stand to be corrected but I could have sworn they are either dual rate or progressively wound.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I ain't checked mine yet but could have sworn blind my 650 springs where linear rate when I took them out been on the shelf for about ten years as I have some others in that work better with the Ricor valves. I always thought that the progressive springs where all after market stuff ?

This whole Intiminator business is why I ended up disappearing down the TA suspension rabbit-hole! I managed to find a pair of new unused valves on ebay, ages back. They were for a Triumph, but were labelled 41mm HD....so that could stand for Heavy Duty, or it could mean they were actually for a Harley, as loads use 41mm forks, but will suit the Triumph....getting information from Ricor was like getting blood from the proverbial stone, so I left it for a while, to concentrate on other stuff. There was some great info on the advrider thread which I bookmarked, and then the other week I came across a long thread on a Harley forum, which kickstarted the whole thing off again.

I assumed the springs in my '94 were stock, but someone has replaced them with progs. Everyone that has fitted Intiminators seems to agree they work best with softer springs, but this is just a function of how they work in relation to the damping provided by the shims supplied...

So were the springs you ended up using softer than the ones you removed, and did you do any tweaking with the valve shims?

Just whenI think I've got a handle on it................something else crops up to put a spanner in the works.:D

I think I'm going to with three shims and try to locate some original early springs, and take it from there, hence the question about preload adjusters....:happy6:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmm, now you have me doubting myself!
It is a while since I had Alp springs out and theres too much other stuff rattling round in my head taking up space at the moment, so I stand to be corrected but I could have sworn they are either dual rate or progressively wound.

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there's only two ways to find out.....

1) spend several weeks online wading through mind-boggling amounts of spurious information while getting more and more confused, until you reach the point where you go to the garage and remove a spring.....

2) remove a spring.


No prizes for guessing which route I went down :rolleyes::grin:
 

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The spring rates you quoted were correct to the best of my knowledge and the .61kg/mm were in the 650, I replaced them with some I had (Marzocchi forks) which were the same length and the lower spring rate and yes I did a lot of playing about reducing shims and opening up the porting on the inertia part of the valve.

End result far better than standard but I do find because the forks now rely more on oil movement than spring I'me sure they are effected by temperature change a lot more than your standard damper rod fork.
 

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Don't know what happened to my reply but its disappeared I'll try again:)

The springs I used were out of some Marzocchi forks I had, same length as the 650 and the lower spring rate of .51kg/mm as against the 650 .61kg/mm and yeah I did quite a lot of playing with the shims ended up with quite a bit less in there also opened up the porting on the inertia part end result was the forks were far better.
One thing I have noticed though is that because the fork action relies more on the hydraulic action than the spring they do seem sensitive to temperature difference a lot more so than a standard damper rod fork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Don't know what happened to my reply but its disappeared I'll try again:)

The springs I used were out of some Marzocchi forks I had, same length as the 650 and the lower spring rate of .51kg/mm as against the 650 .61kg/mm and yeah I did quite a lot of playing with the shims ended up with quite a bit less in there also opened up the porting on the inertia part end result was the forks were far better.
One thing I have noticed though is that because the fork action relies more on the hydraulic action than the spring they do seem sensitive to temperature difference a lot more so than a standard damper rod fork.
That was a bit weird...I got a notification email earlier to say you'd replied but couldn't see it on the thread....:confused:



Well, after utterly convincing myself I had progressive springs without spacers, it turns out I've got the short springs (571mm) and spacers! So someone has replaced the originals at some time in the past, and I don't need to find the softer springs...happy days!

I do need to find somewhere that sells the shims though...I read that they're the same as the ones used in Fox shocks. Trouble is, I don't think Fox will sell them separately. I measured mine with a cheap vernier and they're too thick.

The heat thing is an issue...I guess you'll have to renew the oil more frequently than normal. According to Dave Moss suspension guru, fork oil loses its ability to maintain its working temperature range the harder it works....
 

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What size Rico's shims do you want? I have a few knocking about from when I was peeing about with the valves on the vstrom!
It's a minefield.

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Sounds like you have the right springs anyway. Iv'e had my intiminators since mid 2009 so don't know how much they have changed/developed since then but re. the shims mine came with 3 x 12 thou and 2 x 15 thou = 66 thou in each valve, after four reductions I ended up with 37 thou in each having got hold of a couple of 10 thous which I had given so ---- 1 x 10 1 x 12 1 x 15

The size of the shim stack may vary to achieve the same result because of the clearance around it I have known one valve body from the same period to be a different size internally which obviously makes for faster or slower oil transfer.

The OD size of the shim is 950 thou and the bore is 500 thou

All I meant when I mentioned temperature change was that when it dropped cooler/cold there is quite a noticeable difference in fork action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What size Rico's shims do you want? I have a few knocking about from when I was peeing about with the valves on the vstrom!
It's a minefield.

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Based on people's experience with them on the TA, it seems like the best compromise is:

stock early springs (571.5mm, soft),
stock oil level 5W (as a starting point),
stock spacers or pvc cut to accommodate the additional height of the intiminator
1 x 0.015
2 x 0.012
(24mm/.95 OD 13mm/.51 ID)

Shim wise, I haven't been able to find somewhere with a vernier accurate enough to measure what a I have, but I have three shims, 1 thicker and 2 thinner, but the same. The thicker of the two looks nearer to 0.025 when compared to my imperial feeler guages...

In short, I'd need 2 @ 0.015 and 4 @ 0.012.

Fox definitely use these in their MTB shocks but i'm still waiting to hear back from the one guy who said he might be able to source them singly, rather than in multiples of 10! :rolleyes:

If you have the above that would be fantastic! I'd obviously reimburse you, to the tune of whatever youthink is a fair price...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sounds like you have the right springs anyway. Iv'e had my intiminators since mid 2009 so don't know how much they have changed/developed since then but re. the shims mine came with 3 x 12 thou and 2 x 15 thou = 66 thou in each valve, after four reductions I ended up with 37 thou in each having got hold of a couple of 10 thous which I had given so ---- 1 x 10 1 x 12 1 x 15

The size of the shim stack may vary to achieve the same result because of the clearance around it I have known one valve body from the same period to be a different size internally which obviously makes for faster or slower oil transfer.

The OD size of the shim is 950 thou and the bore is 500 thou

All I meant when I mentioned temperature change was that when it dropped cooler/cold there is quite a noticeable difference in fork action.
I bought these from a guy last year, who bought them a good while back who never got round to fitting them, before he sold the bike. they were then kicking around his garage for a while before he had a clear out, so as they're the ones with brass inertia valves, I'd say they sound like a similar vintage to yours!


I've been up in the Lake district camping this week, so it was a good opportunity to try the bike out with loaded panniers for a reasonable distance. I knocked the rear preload adjuster nut round a few threads to account for the extra weight. The bike was great on long, sweeping A roads and super planted on the short stretch of motorway, passing lorries etc, but on the tighter stuff and the little roads around Keswick where the tarmac is rougher, the front end was bobbins! Quite harsh and jittery with the extra preload and weight on the rear. Didn't help that I got caught in a monsoon over Shap Fell... :eek:

I'm just hoping the intiminators will go some way to making the bike feel more assured
 

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I have 5 of .3mm shims if you are interested, google says they are 12 thou.
The lot for say a tenner plus a couple of quid post I'm around most of the time if you want to pop in. Leigh WN7, depending where in Lancs you are?

Phil

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