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Biggest Change with a rear shock?

Old 03-07-2008, 09:38 AM
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Question Biggest Change with a rear shock?

So being not very mechanical or very knowledgable about suspension, I have a question. I am having Greg do my front suspension. I completely justify the cost for that. But seeing what the cost on an Ohlin rear shock is, what are some of the biggest differences I would feel with doing regular street riding by installing a Ohlin shock?
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:56 AM
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The stock shock has poor damping capabilities. It makes up for low damping stiffness with high spring stiffness.

An aftermarket shock will have more sophisticated damping, allowing the use of a softer spring. The result is a much more supple feel from the rear end and the ability to adjust stiffness with damping. On the street, I would say the biggest difference would be in ride quality.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:10 AM
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Honestly, once the front end stops diving and hitting hard on bumps after the rebuild, you'll notice the rear shock is pretty damn stiff. After I racetech'd my front, I noticed all of a sudden the rear shock felt worse. After finding a shock on EBAY, the bike really felt so much better.

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Old 03-07-2008, 10:26 AM
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So, do you think by only doing the front that I will actually be worse off (comfort/performance) than with just stock suspension front and rear?
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:46 PM
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Yup.

Stock, the front end sux more than the rear. Greatly improved the front and the rear's poor qualities will surface more readily.
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:34 PM
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You'll be happy with just doing the front... you'll be thrilled doing both... that's how I'd explain it. You should do the front regardless of your decision on the rear shock.

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Old 03-07-2008, 03:55 PM
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Carl, when you hit a bump the front will pretty much absorb it. When the rear goes over it the back end will kick up which will transfer some weight to the front. This is pretty much what you'll feel. The front and rear will sort of be fighting themselves because they're not balanced. Now, we discussed the roads in your area and you said they were in pretty good condition, so you may not have any issues with the shock for a while.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:31 PM
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My experience with a Penske is as RCVTR described it. But another helpful effect with a higher quality shock is the ability to adjust it for carrying a passenger. I just add two turns of preload and set the low speed compression damping to the max. The bike is very stable and the suspension is, to use RCVTR's term, supple.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:54 PM
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This is probably a good time to revisit the difference between spring stiffness and damping stiffness.

A spring applies a force that varies with the how far it is compressed. So the spring force is proportional to the suspension position.
A damper applies a force that varies with the rate of change of suspension position, or suspension velocity.
If you have damping that is linear and active over a wide range of velocities, you can use it to prevent overtravel on bigger hits, but remin soft over smaller ones.

This allows the use of a softer spring and suspension that works well over a wider range of conditions. That is where the supple feel comes from.
I believe the stock shock uses only orifice damping, so it gets really stiff at high suspension velocities.
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:48 AM
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Thanks everyone....

Hey, thanks to everyone who contributed to this post. It really helps out those of us who aren't completely sound mechanically but yet still love to ride the Hawk. All of your feedback is beneficial.
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Old 03-11-2008, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by RCVTR View Post
The stock shock has poor damping capabilities. It makes up for low damping stiffness with high spring stiffness.
Except it's stock spring is too soft for most US-sized riders. I've found the damping AND the spring to be soft. Even with the stock spring I had the damping set at 1/2 turn out. Just my experiences...

Last edited by JamieDaugherty; 03-11-2008 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:06 PM
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Middle road mod

I installed a Hyperpro progressive rate spring on the stock shock and racetech springs on the front all a little heavier than my actual weight (about 195-200lbs) I used about a 13 weight oil and dropped the tubes about 20mm in the front. All together just under $300 for suspension goodies.
I don't ride aggressively enough on the street to justify the gold valves or the penske stuff, but she's very stable and smooth on the twisties and handles 2-up well.
I use the twin clickers and all that stuff on race bikes for knee down hard cornering, the only time I put a knee down on the street is crashing. We've all done enough of that.
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Old 03-16-2008, 08:30 AM
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Talking

Anybody got any guidance about how to mount a new rear shock....

I have a Penske inbound and I don't want to take the whole subframe assembly off & kill my riding time.
A basic procedure would be helpful.
Thanks in advance....
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