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alexisan 06-29-2012 09:01 AM

How much to invest for decent suspension?

I havent even bought my F8 yet and I must read that the suspension needs work.,,hmmm...
From your prospective: What must one invest at least to get the suspension right for offroad use?

Respringing is obviously not enough..

Thanks, Alex

Ronin ADV 06-29-2012 10:43 AM

This is a very expansive question and it depends on many variables such as what exactly you mean by "off-road". The cost can also vary quite a bit from a couple hundred for springs to a couple thousand for a full overhaul (new fork cartridges and new rear shock). I suggest using the search function and reading some of the suspension threads & the Ohlins threads.

HappyHighwayman 06-29-2012 12:13 PM

~$200 for new fork springs and guides, and $200 in labor if you can't do it yourself.

alexisan 06-29-2012 01:52 PM

We'll I am reading so much more about 1000s of dollars to get it right...only stiffer springs will do the job???

HappyHighwayman 06-29-2012 02:00 PM


Originally Posted by alexisan (Post 19021586)
We'll I am reading so much more about 1000s of dollars to get it right...only stiffer springs will do the job???

I dunno, I feel for my riding style/skill and where I ride mostly that's all I need. Rarely do or will do off-roading.

alexisan 06-29-2012 03:10 PM

Ok, so prob Not...

Maxacceleration 06-29-2012 08:32 PM

How picky are you?
If you are 160-200 lbs it just might be ok.
'Cruising' off pavement it may work for you. Banging & thrashing about you might want an upgrade.

Some people just like to snivel spend & spend money.

Snowy 06-30-2012 12:00 AM

I sum it up in a couple of videos:

I don't have one of my BMW (solo) on this trail, but I have one on my DR650. I ride them very similarly, except that the BMW suspension means I have to be a lot smarter and a fair bit slower in places.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

If you want to do this, I'd say in Aus$ terms, you're looking at about $3K.

The BMW will do it. But you will pay for it.

Snowy 06-30-2012 12:11 AM

Here's the BMW doing this track 2-up:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

and then my DR650 with RMX 450 suspension front and back, resprung and revalved and a lot of time and effort.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The BMW 2up is moving about 1/3 of the pace of the DR and that is about it's practical limit.

Solo I can push the Big Fat Bavarian along at about 3/4 of the DR pace, but then things like rims get bent regularly.

So it needs an upgrade to the front end.

I already have the heavier Ohlins springs, and with good dampers they'd be adequate. As it is, I'm working on a transplant option. A full MotoX front end, 0.55 springs and a heavy duty billet race hub, off road race rim with single Motard disc and 4 piston caliper.

I have an Ohlins and a Showa USD option, as I have full sets of both, but I'm thinking a conventional DRZ front end with the older conventional motoX internals, sprung and valved to suit the weight.

My aim is to be able to run the same sort of trail pace that I can comfortably do on the DR all day (the pace in the video of the DR is about what I stick to all day out bush, very few mistakes, and next to no close calls, day after day) and also be able to throw the wife on the back and bang through a forest to a camping spot for a weekend.

LukasM 06-30-2012 06:59 AM

Snowy if you want to it to handle well keep in mind the geometry when you do the fork transplant. Not just length and stroke but also triple clamp + fork bottom offset etc should match the BMW stuff.

I bet the Showa stuff is quite different, IME the Japanase use a different steering head angle and then run triple clamps with a lot more offset.

Snowy 06-30-2012 07:18 AM

Yep, they do. More offset in the triple, depends which one I use as to the axle offset. But very close to the axle offset it has now. Length of the Showa is 40mm longer. I'm running about 65mm rider sag at the moment on the front. It's high because I have a pillion most of the time. By the time I fit the Showas and set the rider sag at about 100mm, or 1/3 of the stroke, it'll be the same as now. Running the same spring rates as now.

So it'll be very similar, just with about 10mm more offset.

The DRZ front end is actually the closest, but there's almost nothing in it.

They are all narrower by about 20mm than the dual disc front end on the BMW. So I use a billet race wheel with the big brakes.

I've measured, and remeasured, and measured again.

I have a KTM set of triples that I measured, and they will fit the 06 Showas I have, but not the 07.

While I've been off work for months with the shoulder reconstruction I've either been flat broke or busy with other things so I haven't actually committed to tearing it apart. I don't want to start it and grind to a halt on funding.

With the DR, I tore it apart on a Saturday morning and I was riding it Sunday afternoon. A lot of angst about cutting up the frame and welding it all back together fuelled that build.

This time around I want to assemble all the bits, and then just do a simple change over.

I'm confident it'll be a lot better than standard.

LukasM 06-30-2012 08:09 AM

10mm more offset is quite a lot, that might feel pretty unstable... But I guess you will only know if you try it. :evil

Snowy 06-30-2012 08:13 AM

That's part of the reason for assembling everything that's required and doing a straight swap.

If it's no good it's all straight back off and restored in an hour or so.

MTrider16 06-30-2012 08:56 AM

:rofl That is such a subjective question.

1. Have you ever modified or adjusted a motorcycle's suspension for a better ride?
2. Do you know what Sag, rebound, and spring stiffness does for your bikes suspension.

If you answer no to both questions, keep the stock suspension and save your money.


Maxacceleration 06-30-2012 09:05 AM

You guys are going the bucks up route for sure.
And doing the racer wannabe pace.
Slow the beemer down a bit for the touring loaded, tourist looky lou types and stock or closer to stock bike is more manageable.
You guys wanting to set-up and ride at Dakar or timed enduro speeds are missing what many want to do with their bmw.
Go ahead and run your race pace and get blown off by a stock KTM.

Slow(er) riders won't need as much (or any) suspension work. Intermediate riders may do fine with stock suspension or they could be picky and have a pocket full of money for suspension upgrades.
I'm not pitching slow riding, just noting different riders needs.

In my experience, you put on a go fast suspension, on these heavy (for fast off-road) bikes and you end up with a stiff or harsh suspension for those who ride at slower speeds.

My current experience is on the lowly 658. I pounded it for 800 miles off road (OBDR) and bottomed it a few times. It still ran straight (no side kicking).
Ground clearance was the issue. I destroyed to bottom side.
I lifted it, got ground clearance, a go fast suspension and lost plush.
I suppose it needs more work.
The F800GS spec Hyperpro in the rear though, is plush. I went backwards on the forks.
My point is, to Mr new rider or Mr intermediate the stock suspension is ok.

Regarding fork dive. A lot of people complain about fork dive on the brakes.
It is an inherent characteristic of forks. Take it away and your suspension is less supple in rough conditions. Now if your forks go straight to bottom out on the brakes, yes that is too much fork dive. But a nice controled dive, to me, is a sign of my supple forks...

Carry on with your trickery.

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