Originally Posted by 996DL
While I'm a big fan of Elka Suspension, Hell they're Canadian after all and have gone to the trouble of offering a shock for the 96+ DR's (Vstroms as well), Cogent Dynamic's motocd.com revamp/upgrade of the oem shock, adds Rebound Adjustment in addition to the oem's compression adj., with it's standard package.
If memory serves correctly, ADV inmate TheFrenchCanadian installed a well optioned Elka on his DR650 and although he's been too busy working/riding to seemingly report back to us
, when I pm'd him some time back he reported it worked great, but truly no better than his riding partners Cogent modded DR's...
And while I'm running a set of early production Intiminators (-50% off retail) in the forks of my pampered DR650 "roadie", I'd lean more towards Cogent or a group buy Elka for a rear suspension choice, but that's just me.
Ricor's msrp, price swings and early entry into the fray, would have me considering longer established competitors, at present anyway.
Either way, an amazing range of choices available, for this beloved cult classic dualsport dinosaur !
Howdy folks! Long time no see!
Yes 996DL you're right - put an Elka on my ride at the very end of the season in '09. Ran it all last year & am impressed with it. Mine has High/Low speed & rebound damping adjustment with a remote reservoir as well as the obvious preload adjustment (they also offer a remote preload ajustment option which I didn't get). Compression adjustment I can tweak while riding thanks to the remote reservoir mounted near my left knee along the vertical frame rail - rebound adjustment is easy to do, but only when off the bike.
Tried two other DR650s with the Cogent Dynamics units too - one was sprung similarly to mine (roughly the same 235lb rider weight) and one was quite a bit softer (my other riding buddy weighs about 155lbs). Both seemed to work as well as my Elka.
I've had a chance to closely compare both the CD and Elka products and there are a few differences between them, though none of the differences would be deal breakers one way or another for me. The Elka uses a larger piston & a beefier looking (?) Eibach spring. The adjustment ring for the spring has a bearing-mounted surface where it rides on the spring, which makes for slightly easier adjustment. Obviously the use of a remote reservoir (roughly the size of a can of soup) means it has more fluid inside it - does this mean the oil will last longer before it wears out? Who knows? One would have to assume probably, but that would depend on the type of oil used too, wouldn't it?
So as I said, none of the differences would be a deal breaker for me one way or another - performance is the same (though I'm no suspension expert by any means...). I've come to really enjoy being able to adjust the high/low speed damping independently, but by the same token the cylinder is a bit of a pain to position. I've just invested in an FCR carb for this season, I'm hoping I can get it mounted easily enough without having to screw around with the Elka's cannister, which is always problematic... Price on the Elka was somewhat more, but you also get a slightly heavier duty unit. Elka offers suspension unit service as well - $95 for a standard service/inspection & $165 for a standard service/inspection plus valving modifications. The standard service includes oil change, nitrogen refill, seal head, wearband, shims, o-rings & dyno testing.
I've never seen Ricor's shock, just realised they were offering it a few weeks ago. Would be interesting to compare all three options side by side wouldn't it?
That being said, I'm currently running Ricor's Intiminators in the forks and they are fantastic! One of the other guys with a Cogent rear shock (the one that is of similar weight as me) has the identical Eibach fork springs without intiminators, so I had a chance to try the two - what a difference! We're both running .52 springs but I've got the intiminators in with 5wt Amsoil fluid and 10wt fluid (both have similar preload). Mine just soaks up the bumps and irregularities. I hardly notice them - while the bike without intiminators is far more jarring and hard on the wrists. There was a bit of sticktion (or drag) if you will with the intimnators when first installed, but that went away after a bit of use. Well worth the investment!