Author Topic: Smooooth's Restoration #3 - Upgrade update and Meanstreak wheel question  (Read 2287 times)

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Offline The Dude

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Hey Y'all,

I'm the one who bought the '02 that Smooooth rejuvenated this past Fall.  I am happy to report that it is running great, and that it is a joy to be riding again.  I have been working and spending as time and funds will allow to upgrade this already wonderful bike into the machine I truly want it to be.

So far:

1)  I have serviced and upgraded the forks with Sonic Spring 1.1's and Racetech GVEs.  I drilled only two holes in each damper rod, and the end results are much, MUCH less fork dive when braking, and a slightly stiffer ride.  Almost too stiff - and the preload is set all the way out.  I'm going to have to ride it a lot more to determine whether to make adjustments.  Can I expect the new set-up 'break in' and become a little more forgiving?  If not, what do you recommend? 

2)  I have purchased, but not yet installed a KB fork brace.  I want to get the front suspension dialed in before adding more parts that are going to get in the way if I have to drop the forks again.

3)  Steel braided brake lines front and back.  Two-line for the front.  Not as dramatic of a change as I thought, but still worth every penny.  Another bleed might help.

4)  Bobbed the semi-truck length rear fender.

Next step is to change out the rear wheel for a Mean Streak, or other 17" option.  Anyone got one to sell?  There's one for sale on ebay for $250, which seems about right, price-wise.  It  doesn't come with the rubber dampers or coupling.  Will the existing ones from my current wheel transfer over to the Mean Streak?  If not, approximately how much will the right parts cost?

Though I haven't posted much, I'd like to say that this site and the people here are fantastic.  Thanks for all the input and help, both direct and indirect.  I'd also like to give a big thanks to TxFatBoy, who has been a great source of information and inspiration.  It's much easier to tear into a job knowing you've got an experienced and capable friend to help you out when you **** something up!!!
Past: '84 KZ700, '91 VFR750
Current: '02 CONCOURS (Smooooth Project #3)
Torque cams, 7th gear, SiSF carb treatment, 2MM, free power upgrade, 17" wheels, Sonic 1.1kg with GVEs, Spiegler brake lines, Murph/KB tubular bar mounts w/ SuperBike bars, yada yada

Offline Pbfoot

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Drive coupling and cushions are the same. Many posts on the conversion. Just use the search bar. Good luck!
If you don't have time to do it right, when do you have time to do it over.                                                                17" wheels, Nissin 4 piston calipers.1kg Sonic Springs.Cartridge Fork Emulators. KB Brace. Galfer brake lines  Free power mod.

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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You're misunderstanding the spring preload and fork stiffness.  the spring stiffness is constant; preload only "lifts" the bike off the spring. the stiffness / harshness you're experiencing is probably coming from the emulator settings and fork oil. Racetech recommends 15wt oil; it's not heavy enough to control rebound (as taught to me by GF in CA)  and the stock springs on the emulators are too stiff for good compression damping. I'm running 30 wt at 150mm, 4 holes in the emulator plate, and 1 turn on the BLUE springs. Much better  ;) Steve
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Offline The Dude

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You're misunderstanding the spring preload and fork stiffness.  the spring stiffness is constant; preload only "lifts" the bike off the spring. the stiffness / harshness you're experiencing is probably coming from the emulator settings and fork oil. Racetech recommends 15wt oil; it's not heavy enough to control rebound (as taught to me by GF in CA)  and the stock springs on the emulators are too stiff for good compression damping. I'm running 30 wt at 150mm, 4 holes in the emulator plate, and 1 turn on the BLUE springs. Much better  ;) Steve

My understanding of suspension dynamics terminology is sorely lacking.  But I know what feels right.  And I should definitely do more evaluative riding before making any changes.  Having said that:  if I understand you correctly, my ride might feel stiff because the current set up isn't controlling rebound well.  The wheel seems to be keeping good contact with the road; there's no pogo'ing, which is what I associate with poor rebound damping.  Please feel free to set me straight.

You said "4 holes in the emulator plate".  Did you mean 'damper rod', or did you add holes to the emulator itself?  Mine had only two holes each (if IIRC).

I think the emulator springs and oil weight are the first things to be experimented with.
Past: '84 KZ700, '91 VFR750
Current: '02 CONCOURS (Smooooth Project #3)
Torque cams, 7th gear, SiSF carb treatment, 2MM, free power upgrade, 17" wheels, Sonic 1.1kg with GVEs, Spiegler brake lines, Murph/KB tubular bar mounts w/ SuperBike bars, yada yada

Offline Sparkie

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1)  I have serviced and upgraded the forks with Sonic Spring 1.1's and Racetech GVEs.  I drilled only two holes in each damper rod, and the end results are much, MUCH less fork dive when braking, and a slightly stiffer ride.  Almost too stiff - and the preload is set all the way out.  I'm going to have to ride it a lot more to determine whether to make adjustments.  Can I expect the new set-up 'break in' and become a little more forgiving?  If not, what do you recommend? 


I think you don't understand why you're drilling the holes in the damper rods.  You need 4 holes in each rod so that the compression dampening is controlled by the emulators.  Why did you only drill 2 holes?  follow the instructions from race tech and you can't go wrong.  You tune the compression dampening with the little bypass spring and # holes on top of the emulators. 

Did you check sag after you finished?  It also sounds like you might have too much preload on the spring.  You said you had the adjusters all the way out and that would depend on the spacer length you installed on top of the springs. Its nice to use those adjusters to dial in the proper sag or ride ht.  Race Tech or Sonic springs has some great info about how to do all of this.
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Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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nice catch sparkie, my mind converted "2 holes in the damper rod" to "2 holes in the emulator" . you are 100% correct, The Dude needed to drill all the other holes out in the damper rod so it's no longer effecting the oil control.

 And yes, i have drilled 2 extra holes in the emulator piston plate to allow oil movement at small shock movements.

 Currently by having only drilled the 2 holes in the damper rod (iirc don't they suggest 6?) you are still having the damper rod control damping, and then you're stalling that movement with the emulator. Sure, it would feel stiff on compression. HTH, Steve
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Offline The Dude

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Ok, I think I've learned enough from this conversation already to know where I got off track and what I need to do.  I'll report back if I need more help, or when I get it finished right - whichever comes first.  THANKS!!!
Past: '84 KZ700, '91 VFR750
Current: '02 CONCOURS (Smooooth Project #3)
Torque cams, 7th gear, SiSF carb treatment, 2MM, free power upgrade, 17" wheels, Sonic 1.1kg with GVEs, Spiegler brake lines, Murph/KB tubular bar mounts w/ SuperBike bars, yada yada

Offline WillyP

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Offline txfatboy

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Thanks for the props David. Happy to help when I can. You can do a lot worse than listen to these guys when It comes to optimizing the factory Connie forks.  :great:
Woody

2014 V-Max Matt Gray, air box and exhaust mods, reflashed ECU, now over 200 hp. Currently accepting donations for rear tire money.......
1991 Connie, 17 inch wheels, modified swing arm, ZRX1200 forks with full race tech gold valves a springs  and 6pot Calipers, zx9/ zzr1200 hybrid rear shock, 2 min mod and exhaust cam sprocket from SISF, tubular handle bars, hywy pegs, HID headlight and running lights.

Offline The Dude

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I'm not going to go into all of the details of my stupidity.  But, in short, Sparkie was right: I didn't understand why the holes were drilled in the damper rods.  I read something along the way about 'not drilling out the other two holes', which I mistakenly thought was referring to the damper rods, but was really talking about the emulator plates.  Pulled the forks again yesterday and today, drilled all the damper rod holes per Race Tech: 6 total at 5/16ths.  Based on lots of searching, I went down to the blue springs with 3 turns of preload on the emulators and did NOT drill out the other two holes on them.  Not yet, anyway.  Using 15wt Bel-ray at 150mm.  I had the correct amount of fork spring preload, again per Race Tech.  I had to turn the preload on the caps six turns in each to bring it to 33mm of static sag.   Don't know how many lines showing because of the risers, and aging eyes.  The rain has supposedly passed, and tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful.  Looking forward to a test ride and will follow with a report.  Thanks again to all!
Past: '84 KZ700, '91 VFR750
Current: '02 CONCOURS (Smooooth Project #3)
Torque cams, 7th gear, SiSF carb treatment, 2MM, free power upgrade, 17" wheels, Sonic 1.1kg with GVEs, Spiegler brake lines, Murph/KB tubular bar mounts w/ SuperBike bars, yada yada

Offline The Dude

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Oh, and I've got a good lead on a Meanie wheel WITH rotor, AND I've already found someone to do the machining on it.  Things are progressing nicely!
Past: '84 KZ700, '91 VFR750
Current: '02 CONCOURS (Smooooth Project #3)
Torque cams, 7th gear, SiSF carb treatment, 2MM, free power upgrade, 17" wheels, Sonic 1.1kg with GVEs, Spiegler brake lines, Murph/KB tubular bar mounts w/ SuperBike bars, yada yada

Offline Lee

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Re: Smooooth's Restoration #3 - Upgrade update and Meanstreak wheel question
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2018, 05:17:48 pm »
Know this is an old thread on Emulators, but it is very, as in, extremely helpful in providing insight in to how those work and should be set up. Thanks all!

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Smooooth's Restoration #3 - Upgrade update and Meanstreak wheel question
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2018, 06:15:47 pm »
In post 9 he said 33 mm of "static" sag?
I cut the springs recently on my bike to stiffen them up.
I then tried to set sag on my front end (no emulators).
 I watched you tube video's to get a procedure to follow..
  They recommended 35-40 mm sag with rider on bike.

Did I goof completely or am I forgetting to add a decimal point?

Ride safe, Ted

Yes, I know his post was a long ago.
 Hoping someone can advise me on setting the front sag.
 This discussion seemed like an opportune place to ask.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 09:06:02 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline WillyP

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Re: Smooooth's Restoration #3 - Upgrade update and Meanstreak wheel question
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2018, 08:38:15 pm »
And this is why bumping old threads is a bad idea.
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