Author Topic: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10  (Read 1207 times)

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Offline Wantabeach

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Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« on: September 20, 2018, 04:42:52 pm »
I'm about 225 pounds and have a top case I plan on loading up and taking some trips with my son.  I would estimate that I might have upwards to 270 pounds on the bike for longer trips.  As it is, the bike dives down when I hit my front brake and riding down the road it feels like I'm drive an old Cadillac from the 70s.  From Murphy's it appears I have a choice of progressive springs or straight weight springs with different ride weights.  I have a few questions:

1) What is your experience with each of these types in terms of ride and handling.
2) Does somebody make progress springs for different weights?  Murphys only has one choice.
3) I'm on the bubble in terms of weight so which straight weight spring should I get?  Everyday riding, I'm 225-230, short road trips I'm 240-250 and long road trips 260-270.
4) What other spring options / brands are available and what has been your experience. 

Straight-Weight Spring Chooses
Normal Riding Style, less than 260lbs, go with 1.1kg/mm
Normal Riding Style, more than 260lbs, go with 1.2kg/mm
Agressive Riding Style, less than 230lbs, go with 1.1kg/mm
Agressive Riding Style, more than 230lbs, go with 1.2kg/mm

All the best,
Paul
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 05:13:24 pm by Wantabeach »

Offline Jim Snyder

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2018, 10:05:32 pm »
It depends on your riding style. I am a spirited twistie rider. I weigh about 195. I started out with progressive springs. They were in the bike about a week before I removed them. I ordered the Sonic 1.1 springs. I ride them for  about 4 years. They were borderline being enough for my weight and riding style. I was about to go to the Sonic 1.2's but sold the bike and bought my FJR. Look at the Sonic website and go by their chart.
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Offline Brooke_Benfield_OR

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2018, 10:20:58 pm »
I have tried both the Progressive Springs and Straight Rate springs. The SR springs were from Race-Tech and was part of their Gold Valve upgrade kit.

I thought the Progressives were...worthless. Too soft, especially in the early travel in spite of cranking the spring pre-load way up.

The Race-Tech Gold Valve kit was a superior solution but was not nearly as easy to install (had to remove forks from bike....).

The problem with damper rods is they work OK up until the fork fluid needs to move fast (like when you hit a pothole edge) and then suspension movement essentially stops and you feel the impact, the bike may bounce up in the air a bit...not good. The Gold Valves (also called cartridge emulators) are designed to handle the heavy fluid flow when pressures spike up beyond a set threshold and when below that threshold the ride is firm and controlled. They work only with straight rate springs so the ride is firmer than with a progressive type spring but actually more compliant with what the road throws at the bike. I think I had the 1.0 rate springs but I'm a little lighter than you and didn't use a top case.

After you get the forks sorted out then you'll want a solution for the shock....it's also a damper rod style outfit.
Brooke Benfield  2013 FJR1300  COG #2185

Offline Mcfly

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2018, 12:26:31 am »
Sonic 1.1's and emulators made ALL the difference on my bike.  I'm 230, but not very aggressive.
This set up minimizes that dive, and adds a bunch of cornering stability.  Worth every penny.  :great:
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Offline Outback Jon

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2018, 04:01:07 am »
I went the cheap frugal route and cut the progressive end of the stock springs and added PVC spacers, along with fresh higher weight oil.  The instructions are somewhere here on the forum.  It made a fantastic difference in how the bike handled.  (I ride quite aggressively in corners.)  If I wasn't planning to upgrade to a C14 in the near future, I'd probably go with straight rate springs and cartridge emulators.   Which I'll probably do anyway, as I need to replace the fork seals on the bike, and I plan to keep it after I get a C14.

I'm 280 and often ride with my luggage overloaded.
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Offline CaffeineMan

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2018, 03:12:36 pm »
Here's a summary of my response to a similar thread in the Tires/Suspension subforum:

I enjoy my '01 C10 a whole lot more now that I've done this:

- Race Tech 1.0 fork springs (straight rate) - $130
- Race Tech gold valve cartridge emulators - $170

I'm medium-aggressive, 260 lbs with gear, often ride heavily loaded with a Givi 52L trunk and full saddlebags.

To me, the tradeoffs are budget vs performance (riding style) vs shop time.  My parameters:  I'm not flush, but I'm not broke. I'm a medium rider, and although I do my own work generally, I'd rather be on the road than in the shop.  ;D

The Race Tech stuff I did is the middle ground between the cheapest/simplest option of replacing the springs/oil and the high-performance and involved option of replacing the entire front end.  Have to take the forks off to do it, but I also replaced the fork seals and added a fork oil drain plug at the same time.
"You put antiseize on those, right?"

01 C-10 Sonic Blue ("Old Blue") - Touring by Sport Touring:  Progressive 465 rear shock, Race Tech emulators and 1.0 springs, EBC rotors, Nissin 4-piston calipers, Spiegler hydraulic lines, Russell Day-Long saddle, Cee Bailey windshield.
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Offline batboy

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2018, 04:21:05 am »
Sonic springs and emulators and 15w fork oil, oh my! I was ready to start dropping things into the shopping cart as I was reading this thread. But, then I remembered something. Isn't spring replacement for the 1994 and newer C-10s? I was thinking the early versions don't have much in the way of options.  Maybe change fork oil and use 15w? Fork brace bracket--worthy purchase or not really needed? I have a lot to learn about suspension on these bikes.

Offline Wantabeach

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2018, 04:53:52 am »
Sonic springs and emulators and 15w fork oil, oh my! I was ready to start dropping things into the shopping cart as I was reading this thread. But, then I remembered something. Isn't spring replacement for the 1994 and newer C-10s? I was thinking the early versions don't have much in the way of options.  Maybe change fork oil and use 15w? Fork brace bracket--worthy purchase or not really needed? I have a lot to learn about suspension on these bikes.

What are emulators?  I saw the springs on Sonics website but not emulators.   Is Gold Value a brand or product?

Thanks
Paul.

Offline Bud

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2018, 09:27:51 am »
Sonic springs and emulators and 15w fork oil, oh my! I was ready to start dropping things into the shopping cart as I was reading this thread. But, then I remembered something. Isn't spring replacement for the 1994 and newer C-10s? I was thinking the early versions don't have much in the way of options.  Maybe change fork oil and use 15w? Fork brace bracket--worthy purchase or not really needed? I have a lot to learn about suspension on these bikes.

There are replacement springs for all of the C10's.  Here's a link to the proper page on the racetech site:
http://racetech.com/ProductSearch/12/Kawasaki/Concours%20ZG1000/1994-2006


Offline Bud

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2018, 09:40:09 am »
Sonic springs and emulators and 15w fork oil, oh my! I was ready to start dropping things into the shopping cart as I was reading this thread. But, then I remembered something. Isn't spring replacement for the 1994 and newer C-10s? I was thinking the early versions don't have much in the way of options.  Maybe change fork oil and use 15w? Fork brace bracket--worthy purchase or not really needed? I have a lot to learn about suspension on these bikes.


What are emulators?  I saw the springs on Sonics website but not emulators.   Is Gold Value a brand or product?

Thanks
Paul.

It would be Gold Valve, not value.  Seems like auto correct creates communication problems on here from time to time.  There have been posts about doing "value adjustments" and I have to scratch my head for a sec and do some interpretation.  That said, gold valve emulators are valves that sit below the spring to make it possible to adjust damping in the forks.  People that have them and have them tuned properly seem to love them.  Straight rate springs and emulators are the cheaper way to upgrade the front suspension.  The next step up is to put a ZRX1100 or ZX9 inverted front end on.  That can run into a bit of money and considerably more time.  Here's a link for the Gold Valves on the Racetech site.  HTH
http://racetech.com/ProductSearch/12/Kawasaki/Concours%20ZG1000/1994-2006

Offline batboy

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2018, 11:21:56 am »
Bud, thanks for the link, but when I follow your link it goes to that page it says 1994-2006 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000.

Found it, there's a separate page for 1986-1993 the Connies. Not as much available, but it does look like they have fork springs.

http://racetech.com/ProductSearch/12/Kawasaki/Concours%20ZG1000/1986-93

Offline Bud

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2018, 11:35:49 am »
Bud, thanks for the link, but when I follow your link it goes to that page it says 1994-2006 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000.

Found it, there's a separate page for 1986-1993 the Connies. Not as much available, but it does look like they have fork springs.

http://racetech.com/ProductSearch/12/Kawasaki/Concours%20ZG1000/1986-93

This thread is for a 2006.  I didn't track down the year of your bike, so I didn't show the link for the earlier model.  On the page you listed, it shows springs and the gold valve emulators.  The emulators btw, are the same part number for all years of the C10.  What is it that you need besides the springs and emulators?  Bushings and seals can be bought from mama Kaw unless you're sending your forks to them for service.

Offline batboy

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2018, 11:45:32 am »
Good point about the thread topic saying 2006. But, I figured one front forks thread was enough, so I didn't start a new thread. Lots of great info in this thread. Carry on.

Offline CaffeineMan

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2018, 01:53:49 pm »
As Bud pointed out, there are emulators for the 86-93 C10.

You may have figured this by now, but just in case anyone else finds it useful:

The full product name is slightly more informative.  "Gold Valve Cartridge Emulator".  Its a valve you insert to allow damping rod forks to emulate cartridge forks.  You drill more holes in the damping rod so that it has no effect on damping.  Instead the "gold valve" provides the damping and you can tune that by various methods explained on Race Techs website.

http://www.racetech.com/page/title/Emulator%20Tuning%20Guide

It's tunable for compression damping, but not rebound damping, so it's not as good as some cartridge forks.  But, if you have an old-tech bike with damping rod forks, it's huge upgrade.  I have them on my C10 and my old EX500.

As far as I know only Race Tech makes these.  You can get the springs from Sonic apparently, but I have Race Tech springs as well and am happy with them.
"You put antiseize on those, right?"

01 C-10 Sonic Blue ("Old Blue") - Touring by Sport Touring:  Progressive 465 rear shock, Race Tech emulators and 1.0 springs, EBC rotors, Nissin 4-piston calipers, Spiegler hydraulic lines, Russell Day-Long saddle, Cee Bailey windshield.
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Offline Wantabeach

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2018, 04:14:43 am »
Here's a summary of my response to a similar thread in the Tires/Suspension subforum:

I enjoy my '01 C10 a whole lot more now that I've done this:

- Race Tech 1.0 fork springs (straight rate) - $130
- Race Tech gold valve cartridge emulators - $170

I'm medium-aggressive, 260 lbs with gear, often ride heavily loaded with a Givi 52L trunk and full saddlebags.

To me, the tradeoffs are budget vs performance (riding style) vs shop time.  My parameters:  I'm not flush, but I'm not broke. I'm a medium rider, and although I do my own work generally, I'd rather be on the road than in the shop.  ;D

The Race Tech stuff I did is the middle ground between the cheapest/simplest option of replacing the springs/oil and the high-performance and involved option of replacing the entire front end.  Have to take the forks off to do it, but I also replaced the fork seals and added a fork oil drain plug at the same time.

So you went with the Race Tech springs instead of Sonic?  Your total weight and mine would be about the same.  I'm 225 on a good day but packed I could be 250 real easy.  I noticed that you went with the 1.0 spring which appears to be the heaviest.  Is that rate comparable to the Sonic 1.2 or is this apples to oranges?

Thanks
Paul

Offline GeorgeRYoung

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2018, 12:05:44 pm »

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2018, 12:51:30 pm »
Alternative damper valves:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/V-Twin-41mm-Fork-Damper-Valve-for-Harley-24-0361/292607819257?epid=671622052&hash=item4420c8fdf9:g:AGMAAOSwkKBbJuS7

I installed them in a Suzuki SV650 which also has 41mm forks, worked fine.

http://web.ncf.ca/ag136/SV650/forkEmulators.html

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

{I think the size of the C-10 forks are 41mm}.
For clarification; Will these work in ours? (2003)
    Did they work well for you?

Ride safe, Ted
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 10:07:27 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline CaffeineMan

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2018, 12:08:05 am »
Here's a summary of my response to a similar thread in the Tires/Suspension subforum:

I enjoy my '01 C10 a whole lot more now that I've done this:

- Race Tech 1.0 fork springs (straight rate) - $130
- Race Tech gold valve cartridge emulators - $170

I'm medium-aggressive, 260 lbs with gear, often ride heavily loaded with a Givi 52L trunk and full saddlebags.

To me, the tradeoffs are budget vs performance (riding style) vs shop time.  My parameters:  I'm not flush, but I'm not broke. I'm a medium rider, and although I do my own work generally, I'd rather be on the road than in the shop.  ;D

The Race Tech stuff I did is the middle ground between the cheapest/simplest option of replacing the springs/oil and the high-performance and involved option of replacing the entire front end.  Have to take the forks off to do it, but I also replaced the fork seals and added a fork oil drain plug at the same time.

So you went with the Race Tech springs instead of Sonic?  Your total weight and mine would be about the same.  I'm 225 on a good day but packed I could be 250 real easy.  I noticed that you went with the 1.0 spring which appears to be the heaviest.  Is that rate comparable to the Sonic 1.2 or is this apples to oranges?

Thanks
Paul

My understanding is that a spring rate is a spring rate (kg/mm) so 1.0 is the same across manufacturers and can thus be compared.

Here was my decision process:

I went with Race Tech because they've been around forever and I've had good experiences with them.  I used this setup (Race Tech springs and emulators) on an EX500 track day bike (no racing) with good results.  This is nothing against Sonic, I just don't have any experience with them.  I remember around the time Rich Desmond and Sonic springs first started to get noticed because my first bike was a new '99 SV650 and he was racing one at the time, so his company has grown since then.

The 1.0 rate is the highest Race Tech makes for the C10.  I think this is just because by the time rates > 1.0 got popular, they essentially had stopped developing springs for the C10.  If you look at Sonic's choices for the C10, they start at 1.1, so they're clearly filling a market Race Tech doesn't and (fast) folks here clearly like them.

I was fine with 1.0 because I was not willing to optimize entirely in favor of performance over comfort.  I figured that was enough of an improvement over the stock springs which are 0.61  :-\

I was a little worried that greater than 1.0 spring rates on the C10 would result in too harsh a ride for me in all-day multi-day touring situations.  Even cartridge emulators only add better control over compression damping.  There's not much control over rebound damping - only changing the fork oil weight.  What would that mean to ride comfort?  I just didn't want to find out the hard way.  Note that Race Tech does make > 1.0 springs for the C14, which has real cartridge forks with adjustable compression and rebound damping.

I'm not a 95% rider, I'm more of an 80% rider.  1.0 fits me perfectly.  Plus, some day I may lose weight.  :D
"You put antiseize on those, right?"

01 C-10 Sonic Blue ("Old Blue") - Touring by Sport Touring:  Progressive 465 rear shock, Race Tech emulators and 1.0 springs, EBC rotors, Nissin 4-piston calipers, Spiegler hydraulic lines, Russell Day-Long saddle, Cee Bailey windshield.
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Offline CaffeineMan

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2018, 02:16:45 am »
One other thing:

I have a '97 C10 as well, that I left stock, so I could do a side-by-side comparison, riding one then the other.  My '01 setup was amazing compared to the stock '97!  The front end tracked better.  I could adjust my line in the middle of a corner MUCH more easily.  No diving under braking!  Highly recommend the new straight-rate springs and emulators, if you can afford it.
"You put antiseize on those, right?"

01 C-10 Sonic Blue ("Old Blue") - Touring by Sport Touring:  Progressive 465 rear shock, Race Tech emulators and 1.0 springs, EBC rotors, Nissin 4-piston calipers, Spiegler hydraulic lines, Russell Day-Long saddle, Cee Bailey windshield.
17 C-14 Candy Imperial Blue ("Baby Blue") - Sport by Sport Touring

Offline Wantabeach

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2018, 03:08:54 pm »
It depends on your riding style. I am a spirited twistie rider. I weigh about 195. I started out with progressive springs. They were in the bike about a week before I removed them. I ordered the Sonic 1.1 springs. I ride them for  about 4 years. They were borderline being enough for my weight and riding style. I was about to go to the Sonic 1.2's but sold the bike and bought my FJR. Look at the Sonic website and go by their chart.

Wow....I'm surprise you felt those were not enough given your weight?????  Could you expound on why you felt that way?  Seems like those would have been fairly stiff given your weight.  You must be carving pretty hard.

Thanks,
Paul
« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 03:12:08 pm by Wantabeach »

Offline Wantabeach

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2018, 03:10:29 pm »
Sonic 1.1's and emulators made ALL the difference on my bike.  I'm 230, but not very aggressive.
This set up minimizes that dive, and adds a bunch of cornering stability.  Worth every penny.  :great:

So still a little dive?  I really hate that.  Do you think the 1.2 would be better.  I'm looking for a confident ride feel.

Thanks.
Paul

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2018, 03:19:30 pm »
I'm no expert on the damping etc of the front end.
I don't have the "feel" to honestly know the effect... So I will not get into the oils/emulators etc...
I do know you don't have to spend the $$ to stiffen the front end.

What I've learned (from others) is cut the stock springs to stiffen the front end, and increase the resistance to dive.
     Many have cut their stock springs successfully for zero cost..
  I recently set up my C-10 for my nephew. (Approx. wt 250).
  I used my Progressive (brand) springs and removed 4" from the tightly wound end's...

I suggest you cut your stock springs and replace the section you removed with a spacer.
 To find the amount you want, cut them 1" and do a ride.
   If it's not e'nuff, remove another 1".
   If that's not e'nuff, remove another 1/2", etc etc etc.
By doing this you'll be able to search for your ideal amount of dive/resistance.

Takes very little time to remove/cut/replace the springs each time..

Ride safe, Ted
« Last Edit: September 28, 2018, 01:26:24 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline Mcfly

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2018, 10:51:50 pm »
Sonic 1.1's and emulators made ALL the difference on my bike.  I'm 230, but not very aggressive.
This set up minimizes that dive, and adds a bunch of cornering stability.  Worth every penny.  :great:

So still a little dive?  I really hate that.  Do you think the 1.2 would be better.  I'm looking for a confident ride feel.

Thanks.
Paul


The dive is GREATLY reduced, but the front end has to compress some.  I really
don’t notice it during braking.
Performance -- Rear: C14 Shock - Front: Sonic 1.1 w/emulators, Fork Brace - SISF Jet Mod & Ex Cam Sprocket - Tokico front brakes
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Offline Daytona_Mike

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2018, 11:53:51 am »
Sonic 1.1's and emulators made ALL the difference on my bike.  I'm 230, but not very aggressive.
This set up minimizes that dive, and adds a bunch of cornering stability.  Worth every penny.  :great:

So still a little dive?  I really hate that.  Do you think the 1.2 would be better.  I'm looking for a confident ride feel.

Thanks.
Paul
If you want no dive  then you require the emulators in conjunction with Sonic 1.1 or 1.2 . I weight 240 and ride aggressively and with a heavily loaded bike for long distances so 1.2's for me.
I did a lot of testing to get the front end to be compliant and handle well and also to  not  nose dive  under proper (yet heavy) braking.  I could pop the emulator valve if I hammered the brake but if I did correct  braking methods ( squeeze slow to compress the suspension first and  then hard braking) with  zero to   very little  nose dive.   The emulators did a great job ( I drilled 2  extra holes in the emulators for better  high speed damping and stiffer emulator springs so the valves would not open (pop) on hard braking but would pop open on rough roads- pot holes and rail road tracks.
My issue with C10 emulsion tube forks was always poor rebound damping.   To get the correct  rebound damping (extend open once and not oscillate)   I had to go all the way up to 50 weight fork oil.   
That was the best I ever got the front suspension.  You also have to upgrade  the stock rear shock  too. ( It is a very poor -non valved- poorly sprung- POS. IMHO)
« Last Edit: September 28, 2018, 11:59:36 am by Daytona_Mike »
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2008  C14 Silver Dammit Full AreaP- Flies are put back in SISF_Flash
2011  KLR650   688 piston ported and polished
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Front fork springs - 2006 C-10
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2018, 01:28:18 pm »
Does anyone know if the fork caps from the later C-10's will fit the early models??

Ride safe, Ted
14 Connie (Traveler II) / 03 Connie (Buddy)
Gone but not forgotten; 87 and 00 Connies..

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