Battling some other non-suspension issues, but wanted to do a quick ride report on the inserts.
Couple weeks ago compeleted a fun backcountry exploration romp through BC's Cariboo region. Covered 1,600 kms (1,000 km off road - 200 km of which we went faster over rougher ground than either the GS or I enjoyed), but lots of fun times nonetheless!!
Overall, the inserts performed great! For reference, I was travelling one up with some camping gear in soft bags, so a bit loaded but nothing too heavy, and using the shorter spacers (less preload).
High speed (90km/hr) gravel roads were a treat - the GS carved them up like a pair of long skiis. We also had a DR650 and I think we both agreed that the GS was more stable and easier to ride in the high speed gravel. The DR did feel more exciting, but for our riding ability and style, the DR wasn't actually any faster in these conditions.
On looser surfaces (and tighter corners), the GS front end sometimes ploughed if you weren't up on the tank and throwing the bike into the corners like a dirt bike, and once the front end started to slide out, the loaded bike became a whallowing scary mess to get back into control. The DR on the othehand, while somewhat twitchy (maybe due to less steering rake) was actually much more predicable and you could steer more with the throttle and slide around much more comfortably a la dirtbiking styles. This may have been more related to the fact that the GS was wearing TKC's while the DR had more aggressive nobbies, but the point of the comparison is more to comment on the wierd way that the GS handled once front wheel traction was lost as opposed to how easy it was to loose traction. Not sure if this is a function of how the inserts are responding, or if this is just a manifistation of the flex inherent in the GS frame, or perhaps a rider issue!
In any case, in other news, I only really bottomed out the fork on one cross ditch, which really surprised me because there were lots of big bumps at high speeds!
Still want to spend more time with the clickers (thanks for the PMs), but so far have the compression set about 3 clicks out from middle positon (puts me at about 6 in from fully out I think), and rebound set in the middle (9 clicks in from fully out). Still feels a bit harsh on really corregated wash board type surfaces, so need to play still. I find it hard to decide on rebound in these settings. Is the harshness because it is rebounding too fast or not rebounding fast enough before hitting the next corregation!? Need to experiment I guess.
On pavement, the bike handles very very well, a marked improvement from before, and I can't wait to try putting on some more street oriented tires to further stretch its legs!
Overall, very happy. I am happy taking the GS fast on gravel roads and going slow on rough stuff (even single track), but still not convinced that it is fun (or a good idea) to ride the bike hard and fast on really rough rocky terrain.
Only complaint is that my brand new fork seals are already leaking!?
Not really the fault of the inserts but still bothers me. Thinking I'll install seal savers - just never really thought that they suit the look of a GS.
Anyway, my 2 cents. Hope the other inserts are working out for everyone! Cheers, JB