A Suspension Rebuild & Tune Up For My Vstrom

Discussion in 'Technical & Motorcycle Services' started by DavidFL, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #1 DavidFL, Mar 6, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
    83,000 kms up on the VStrom & not totally happy with how my suspension is performing.

    So off to Bangkok it went via Embassy Freight
    dsc_0003-.

    to BDS Performance Tuning the # 1 suspension tuning specialists in the country.

    GTR - IMG_1085.JPG

    & Brad Judd is the 5-star Professional Expert at BDS
    GTR - IMG_1100.

    Needless to say I was highly impressed. Absolutely!

    But to back track a bit......the original suspension lasted only 40,000 kms & was detailed here
    https://www.gt-rider.com/se-asia-motorcycling/threads/tweaking-my-suzuki-v-strom-650.12716/page-2

    It was replaced with Ohlins fork springs & an Ohlins rear shock.
    su823_overall-dl650vstrom-04-11-.

    gtr-img_7630-.

    They were ordered & installed via CMS in Chiang Mai
    img_4487-.


    The front fork oil was replaced after another 15,000 kms; & then unfortunately the rear shock only lasted 24,000kms - a blown seal!
    dsc_1426-.

    There's a long story here, but it turned out my bike was bent from the lightest fall, dropping the bike in the snot at Mae Hong Son in the dark.
    dsc_0048-.

    detailed here
    https://www.gt-rider.com/se-asia-mo...on-kayan-long-neck-new-year.13916/#post-92277

    Fortunately the shock was still under warranty & the extremely good folks at Ohlins in Bangkok actually rang me to say that (1). they would repair it under warranty & (2). the shock was all worn on one side suggesting my bike was out of alignment somewhere = you'd better fit it or you will have a recurring problem. First class service & customer care from Ohlins.

    This rebuild & the process is detailed here
    https://www.gt-rider.com/se-asia-motorcycling/threads/tweaking-my-suzuki-v-strom-650.12716/page-2

    more to come...
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. canthai

    canthai Ol'Timer

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    May I ask why you did not have CMS do the work ?
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    55 let me finish the story...
     
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  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #4 DavidFL, Mar 6, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
    So rebuild # 1 was done at 64,135 kms. Getting 23,000 kms out of the first round. However no complaints because the issue was a bike out of alignment & Ohlins rebuilt the shock under warranty.

    Then in December - 2016 - January 2017 I had a longish, heavy trip in Laos
    IMG_7534.JPG

    Houei Xai - Luang Namtha - Luang Prabang

    Phongsali & "the Lost World At The End Of The Road".

    Road Update - Pak Mong - Nam Bak - Nong Khiew - R1c

    R1c Vieng Thong / Muang Hiam - Phou Lao - R6 - Xam Neua

    I struggled with - the bike & my body on this trip, culminating in a knee that kept dislocating with a knee replacement not long after.

    The escape from Xam Neua riding alone with a knee that kept dislocating was quite an achievement, even if I do say so myself.
    Escaping From Xam Neua & Laos.

    A few months later the new knee was in place & working ok, so I was back in Laos off to Muang Sing
    23100.

    Muang Sing (or Bust). Riding In N.laos For The Boun That Xieng Teung Festival

    The ride was ok but after my return I was still not happy with the suspension.
    The bike was brutal to ride. After a couple of check ups at CMS we were set at the maximum pre load & not going anywhere. What's the solution please?.......no answer!

    So I gave up. Contacted Ohlins & complained yet again. David...no problem send the bike down to us & let us check it for you.
    OR
    Go see Brad Judd at BDS Performance tuning; he's the resident professional tuning expert in the kingdom. We (Ohlins) recommended him highly. What he tells you to do - you do.
    WOW! He's the man then.
    BDS it is.....

    GTR - IMG_1101.

    more to come...the BDS list of errors...
     
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  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #5 DavidFL, Mar 7, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
    So Brad received the bike promptly & in perfect condition from Embassy Freight ok, but I'd forgotten to include the seat key with the bike. After replacing the ignition switch last year I had two keys for the bike. The new ignition key & the old key for the set & fuel tank. The ignition key went down with the bike but not the seat key. The seat key was sent EMS & arrived in BKk a day after the bike.

    Brad's first comment on the bike

    1. The Scott Oiler is great. You've got the best lubricated chain in Thailand & also the dirtiest undercarriage of any bike.

    1660_0.


    2. Not sure..... Who ever worked on your linkage (previously) over torqued your bolts 》95ftlbs. Should be 35 to 42. So we are moving slowly..... furthermore this adds to the poor performance of your suspension as its now binding the linkage.

    Duh, I thought how could it be that over torqued?
    Only one shop had ever had the shock out & then re-installed it?
    The linkage was so tight the dog bones were binding & not working properly!
    1688.

    3. You have attracted a lot of dirt on your shock rod from the auto oiler!
    1695.


    4. The dirt we have removed from the shock
    1709.

    more to come..the mystery of the under performing suspension is slowly unravelled.
     
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  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    The front forks are over hauled. Checked & cleaned.
    I get photos of every step of the process....
    149040. 149036.

    Everything is cleaned
    149041.

    but it wasn't a pretty sight at times
    149043. 149044.

    & Brad wants to know if I've been riding the bike under water? 55
    149045. 149046.

    The forks are finally overhauled.
    149053.

    We had the local machine shop cut you longer spacer tubes..... the 100mm that was in the bike was too small for you, and not enough internal pre-load.

    We are dead straight
    149064.

    Dual rate Wilbers fork springs are fitted
    1725.
    You'll love the dual rate..... first inch or so will smooth out the road inconsistencies....the second rate will let you rock in the twisties.....I also speeded this fork up to ..... 230 to 240mm per second.

    Brad also mixes up a special blend of synthetic viscosity. ...I know you will enjoy for your mountain twisting

    More to come..
     
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  7. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

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    Been a Hell of a Saga but glad to hear it is Finally Sorted! Your Suspension will outlast Your Bike now Ha Ha! Then You will have to start the entire Process again with a New Bike!
     
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  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    The battle continues..

    The left hand main swinging arm bearing was frozen. To remove it the entire swing arm had to go out to the machine shop for extraction.
    149426. 149427.

    Brad's verdict on my Scottoiler set up....This chain oiler and your suspension are not working well together.... Its becoming a "medium" or "Conduit" for Sand and foreign matter to invade your moving parts and prematurely fail them.

    The build up of gunk is clearly shown here
    149429.

    More to come....
     
  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #9 DavidFL, Mar 8, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
    The rebuilt shock from Ohlins is returned o BDS
    DSC_0006_11.JPG
    a thicker stronger spring, shaft & rubber stop. Thank you Ohlins Asia for the very kind assistance, time involved in researching better options, the fast turn around & the superb customer care! You guys are tops.

    In Asia only buy a shock from Ohlins, they have excellent customer care & technical service at your disposal.


    BDS go to work reassembling the suspension.
    149610.
    all the good stuff!

    149584.
    149611.
    genuinely clean by the maestro!
    And I do apologize for not having a cleaner bike sir. Please forgive me.

    149656.

    Rock n roll.
    GTR - IMG_1102.

    The BDS maestro checks all his calculations on the computer - squat & sag. He makes an adjustment.
    I get told to sit on the bike gently & get off gently. Another adjustment is made. I sit back on the bike, get off once more & hey presto it all works nicely coming back up gently, equally with the front & back working together nicely the way it should.

    It's time to go home...
    DSC_0032.JPG DSC_0036.JPG

    more to come...a summary ++
     
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  10. NELSKA

    NELSKA Active Member

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    Thank you David for sharing this good address with us. From how many kilometers did you feel the weaknesses of the original Suzuki suspensions?
    The Wilbers fork springs and shock absorber Öhlins really has to improve handling and drivability. However, the budget is quite large but I imagine that Suzuki suspensions are expensive and that during a replacement, this upgrade seems clearly the solution to consider.
     
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  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    I felt the original Suzuki suspension drop off after 30,000 kms for sure & replaced it at 40,000. The main problem is getting the right spring on your bike. The standard spring is more than likely for a lighter Asian rider, not a heavy farang riding two-up with luggage most of the time. So imho it won't last too long.
    And the #1 guy for an accurate asessment + suspension tune up is Brad at BDS in Bangkok.
     

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