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A man without Ale.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:shock: :shock:

Okay well not really but i thought a snappy title may get more responses. :D

I think i need to upgrade my suspension: and suspention i know little about..:? okay i know bugger all.

So three questions: What have people used... ohlins, Wp, hagon? My bike will be used for two up touring, on and off road .. so i need an adjustable one... what is the best for my needs.. (taking value for money in to account) Ohlins is most exxy, Wp #2 and Hagon a distant 3rd...

Where can i get one at a reasonable price? the ohlins model that fits the AT is the 46hrcs type.. they are never on ebay for the AT but it is the same model that fits the VFR and others.. Am i right in assuming that these are set up differently and I could not buy one of them ( because you can get these off ebay) and fit it.

Lastly if i have to save up the £££ (which i will, bank account it pretty tight right now), is there anything i can do in the mean time.. the spring is in about the middle position. How much is the ride changed by adjusting this (not just hight)....
 

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Nexus 6
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Zander, not a guru by any means but I know a bit. The shock units that are the same but fitted to other bikes will still fit on the AT like you say, however, things like the spring rate will be different, the valving in the damper unit will be different as well. None of this is impossible to over-come, just costs money and the services of experts (well, for the re-valve anyway).

Adjusting the spring pre-load has various effects, some of which are more noticable than others. If you were to increase the pre-load (screw the collar down to crush the spring) the bike will 'sag' less when you sit on it. This is good news if you intend to ride 2-up a lot as it stops all of your available travel being used up just by you both sitting on the bike. But, this also means that the ride will be harsher as the bike has to hit bumps harder to make the spring move now as it it is under more force to start with - ride is bumpy, grip at the rear wheel can be effected on bumpy roads as the damping now has more work to do as it is effectively controling a more powerfull spring and cant always keep up.....

i could go on for ages and ages, but I will say, save up and buy the shock with the most adjustment you can afford then dont be afraid to experiment with it till you get a feel you like. Go for a progressive spring, rebound and compression damping, a remote resevoir and any clour other than pink. Then treat it as an investment and look after it.
 

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I've spent a lot of time figuring out what to do with the rear suspension and at the end, I've bought an Ohlins. It is the only one made for AT, that I've found that have the hydraulic spring preload adjuster. I figured out, that if I'm going to spend 550EU for a cheap semi adjustable mono, and solve the problem half way, it would be better to spend an additional 300EU and get an Ohlins, fully adjustable mono. That is my opinion.
 

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My mate purchased a new Oilins ( at the bike show) and paid £585 for it
waited six weeks and fitted it.
I've ridden his bike and can find a lot more use for £585.
Unless you are 'REALLY' going off road, REALLY modifying the whole of your bike
In short
Its a waste of money

But its only my opinion? :wink:

Magwa :thumb:
 

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Cant stop 'tinkering'
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I'd say buy a new Hagon shock and spring, and if you are going touring anywhere where there are no bike shops (middle of the desert perhaps :?: ) take your old shock as a spare.
 

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If you are driving the AT alone and in normal condition, then a suspension upgrade is a total waste of money. But if you are two up on a trip with lagguage, or if you are driving off road, then a suspension upgrade is not a waste of money. This is my opinion.
 

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whys the rum always gone?
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mladen said:
If you are driving the AT alone and in normal condition, then a suspension upgrade is a total waste of money. But if you are two up on a trip with lagguage, or if you are driving off road, then a suspension upgrade is not a waste of money. This is my opinion.
agreed if your doing a lot of work with weight on the bike its the one area you can inprove the @ if you not touring with a load or doing a lot of two up work then its not going to make a great deal of difference 550 sovs gets you a whole lot of other stuff :teeth:
 

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I had an Ohlins on my RD-07 and it was very very good. Having said that though I have recently spent some money on my RD-04 and did not buy an Ohlins as I couldn't justify the price - there was other stuff that I wanted/needed more than the Ohlins. In the end I went for a stiffer spring in the OE shock.

This is the info. that Hagon gave me when I enquired about a replacement shock from them


"The Hagon monoshock for your bike is £217.02 ex-vat.

"Our Hagon shock has adjustment for pre load as well as compression and rebound damping linked on a single adjuster.

"It comes complete with all tools for adjustment and fitting
instructions.

"The Hagon shock is guaranteed for 2 years and is fully rebuildable.

"We can also supply custom built Hagon monoshocks including seat
lowering options, you can specify reductions in your seat height in
10mm increments from standard to a maximum of 50mm.

"Please state proportion of solo/pillion/luggage use and weights of
rider(s) when ordering.

"If you choose the bigger reductions you may need to modify your side
stand as the bike will not lean sufficiently for stable parking it
will also be more difficult to lift the bike onto it's centre stand.

"We can also custom build for heavy rider & pillion, Light solo only,
harder and softer springs. £251.06 ex-vat.

"Many of our Hagon monoshocks can be supplied with the added
convenience of our Hagon hydraulic preload adjuster at a cost of an
additional £106.38 including vat. This is a great benefit if you are
touring.

"We can also supply Hagon fork springs for your bike at £53.20
including oil and fitting instructions. Our progressive spring kits
are designed to retain a comfortable ride at the top of the fork
travel while offering superior control under hard braking."


So that's £400 for a custom build with remote pre-load, almost Ohlins type prices!
 

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Last of the Minoans
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I went for an OEM shock for an early RD07 (mine is a 2001 RD07a) which has damping adjustment on it (later bikes lost this). For what I want it's fine, and Wemoto were doing them at the time for £125, so at that price it was a bargain. Note that Honda list several different numbers for the shock during the RD07 run, but all are interchangeable (from memory, Ohlins and Hagon both list a single adjustable shock for the RD07).

Probably the best compromise would be to get one of the custom shock builders to re-valve the OEM one with damping adjustment, and put on a new spring. It would be a shock taylored to you, but would cost around what I paid for mine.

Stig
 

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A man without Ale.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks everyone.. I do do a of solo riding but I also do a lot of two up touring (that is what Anubis is for).. so the shocker is something that i feel that i need to think about...

I like the idea of a Hagon beuing custom built for my needs.. at at 400£ for a custom system... are they Good? I have only never really heard much about them.. but that does not mean much as you only really ever hear about WP and Ohlins.. I was leaning towards WP (if it is good enough for KTM racing.....then...)

"If you choose the bigger reductions you may need to modify your side stand as the bike will not lean sufficiently for stable parking it
will also be more difficult to lift the bike onto it's centre stand.
:shock: :shock: it is possible to make the @ harder to get on the centre stand?!?!? :shock: :shock:
 

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Last of the Minoans
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Back in the 1980s Showa was thought of as pretty good too. I don't think the standard shock is that bad for solo work - mine did 83,000 miles before being changed, and to be honest the replacement didn't really make that much difference. You hear bike journos talking about needing to change shocks after only 20,000. Maybe that's necessary on sports bikes, but I'm not so sure about ATs and TAs.

By the way, I never have a problem getting my AT on the centre stand - just aquired technique.....

Stig
 

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I also find the standard Showa perfectly fine; it suits the all-round qualities of the AT really well. The one on my '94 RD07 got a bit soggy at 53k-miles (fair enough) and also the preload adjuster is hoplessly stuck. I just bought me a 2001 one from eBay with (alleged) 11k on the buckle from someone who bought a custom made Hagon to lower down the bike.
I may want to patch it up a bit but at £20 I can't go wrong far :D
 

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A man without Ale.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dont get me wrong. I thing the showa (oem shock) on the AT is fine when it is just me, or me and the missus on the back.. but load all our gear on top of that. and the bike is several inches lower and it just does not handle bumps all that well.. here in the uk it will not be an issue.. but back home where 30% of the roads are dirt we will suffer.. so while i am makeing £ I want ot buy all the exy stuff!
 

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Xander said:
back home where 30% of the roads are dirt
Pah, 30%, that's nothing, wait till you see the public roads in the Gloucester / Stroud area where we live, you wont' see any tarmac at all because of the dirt and potholes :lol:

I see what you mean, you need more than just "a compromise".
I once had a WP on a BMW R100GS-PD which worked really well, fully adjustable to the extreme and serviceable as well, which despite the high price can still make it a sensible investment (assuming you going to keep it for a while): most OE shocks are either disposables or really tricky (and expensive) to rebuild. But this was 10 years ago, maybe WP is no longer the bee's knees in suspension land?
 

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Last of the Minoans
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WP still fitted to KTMs I believe.
 

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Xander,

I have a fully adjustable ohlins on my RD04, its magic, I reckon road / dirt/ solo or two up its a huge improvement on a new standard shock let alone a worn one. However it still required some work on the damping stacks and spring rates to be perfect to me, even an ohlins is a bit generic in its set up for the "average" rider so a bit of time getting it exact for you is worth while., I put the standard shock back in when i got the ohlins serviced, what a shock I'd forgotten how much better the ohlins is, spend the $$ and also some time to get it set up specifically for you, you wont regret it.

For the forks, get the right rate springs for your weight, Ive got .7's and some racetech emulators and the forks are almost as good as moden cartridge forks and adjustable to boot. It's worth having a good suspension tuner set it all up specifically to you.

Ive spent about $AUS2000 on my suspension and it's far and away the best mod Ive done in my long list, high comp OS pistons, flowed head, ceramic coated headers, muffler, braided lines etc etc, if I had to pick one mod the suspension woulb be it.

I thought seriously about buying a KTM 950 but after riding one, my susp is just as good now so i didn't
Greg
 

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A man without Ale.
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lord Stig said:
WP still fitted to KTMs I believe.
Did some one say that they are not??? :?
 

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A man without Ale.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
atgreg said:
Xander,

I have a fully adjustable ohlins on my RD04, its magic, I reckon road / dirt/ solo or two up its a huge improvement on a new standard shock let alone a worn one. However it still required some work to be perfect to me, even an ohlins is a bit generic in its set up for the "average" rider so a bit of time getting it exact for you is worth while., I put the standard shock back in when i got the ohlins serviced, what a shock I'd forgotten how much better the ohlins is, spend the $$ and also some time to get it set up specifically for you, you wont regret it.

For the forks, get the right rate springs for your weight, Ive got .7's and some racetech emulators and the forks are almost as good as moden cartridge forks and adjustable to boot. It's worth having a good suspension tuner set it all up specifically to you.

Ive spent about $AUS2000 on my suspension and it's far and away the best mod Ive done in my long list, high comp OS pistons, flowed head, ceramic coated headers, muffler, braided lines etc etc, if I had to pick one mod the suspension woulb be it.

I thought seriously about buying a KTM 950 but after riding one, my susp is just as good now so i didn't
Greg
Thanks Greg, It really helps knowing that from you (as you know the roads/track that we have in Oz). I am about to ask some dum questions but suspension is somethin i know 0 about..

When you talk about the damping stacks is this different from the adjustment nob? If so: is it the valve? and do you have to get this changed by a suspension pro? Changing the spring rates I assume this means that you change the spring for one that has a differnt "k", am I right or am I even dummer then I thought? Aslo I was not going to change the front springs for a while..(i.e. do it in two bits..) is this a mistake would it throw the bike off balance? You say to get the right spring rate for my weight how do i do this with the vastly differnt types of riding i require my At to do? and what are racetech emulators?
sorry for lots of questions!! :oops: I really do thanks all you for your advice.. i hate spending heaps of chash on something i dont know bugger about!
 

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Last of the Minoans
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Of course not Xander, just a reply to robelst who said:

But this was 10 years ago, maybe WP is no longer the bee's knees in suspension land?
Regardless of who owns the company, I figure they can't be too bad even if they aren't the bee's knees. My feeling is that KTM punt out a fairly good product with decent components, notwithstanding known faults. A lot of failures on 640 Adventures and other LC4s might well be more to do with the kind of use they get than any major weakness. Likewise the number of failures of Ohlins you hear about - maybe overloaded bikes on corrugated roads? Who knows, but at least Ohlins has pretty good after sales service or so I hear.

Tiz your money good sir. Pray thee spend it well....

Stig
 

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A man without Ale.
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Tiz your money good sir. Pray thee spend it well....
Dam! I was going to ask for donations so that i can test it out for the benifit of all on the site... :shock: :D :teeth: :shock: :D :teeth: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
 
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