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Daugherty Motorsports Suspension Eval

Old 01-29-2016, 08:56 PM
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Daugherty Motorsports Suspension Eval

I have been debating whether or not to upgrade my suspension. It really seemed pricey to do so and I was not sure the result would be worth the expense. I thought how much difference could it make--it's not like motocross where you need every bit of as good of suspension as you can afford (right?). I finally bit the bullet, saved the money and sent my forks in to Jamie. Jamie has a great rep on this site, so I thought--what the heck! He re-valved my VTR-1000 forks and installed new springs. Even put some spiffy decals on the fork legs. I re-installed them and was jazzed at the new feel--seemed very controlled. I went out on my usual ride today and I have to say I was very impressed (guess good street suspension really does matter)! Front end was plush, supple and stuck like glue. No dive under hard breaking. All the ripples and rough patches in the asphalt that had troubled me in the past just disappeared into the suspension. I was riding much faster and more confidently--I was not afraid to put the front end anywhere on the road. I had also replaced the rotors with Galfer's and lost almost two pounds of dead weight--that also made a big difference in the feel of the front end, with quicker turn-in (highly recommended). Unsprung weight sucks, I love to get rid of it anytime I can.

Now the back end feels stiff and wooden. Good thing I also ordered his modified Honda CBR600 shock ( I did not want to do both ends at the same time--I wanted to feel what the modified forks did for me before taking care of the shock). I'll install the new shock and continue this.

My only (minor) complaint--JD is not the quickest at responding to e-mail--some times does not reply at all. I'm giving him a pass, as some of my questions might not have been worth answering (and Jamie obviously has a life, unlike myself...).

More to follow.

Last edited by Billy16; 01-29-2016 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:41 PM
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I can confirm from personal experience that Jamie is a top bloke to deal with. I would happily recommend his products and service to others, but he does have some off-the-grid moments that leave a deafening silence, just have a little patience. I think that you're right Billy, he has a life away from his suspension business.
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:28 AM
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Good to hear you feedback Billy. Keep us posted. Is there a chance you have a phone number and can call his shop? Email is my goto source for communication because of my busy schedule, but some would rather speak in person. Here's a number I found on his FB page - 2607104049.
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:48 AM
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The times I have called Jamie I have spoken to his answering machine. He is a busy dude.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:56 AM
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Do post what you think the CBR shock is like. I've been looking around for aftermarket shocks used, and folks are still asking high $$$ for them - $400 range. If the JD CBR shock is really good, I might just "spring" for it.


Last fall I replaced my springs with 0.90's and fresh oil, and that made a world of difference to the front.
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:13 AM
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I will do that. If you did not have Jamie revalve your forks when you changed springs I highly recommend that step--it made a world of difference as to how the front end works and feels.

I spent a good part of the day Saturday removing and installing the shock. What a royal pain, but it is like anything else, once you do it you could repeat the procedure in much less time. I had to drop the pipes to remove a linkage bolt (although I read on the forum Jamie saying he never drops the pipes--I just couldn't seem to get enough room to remove the bolt without doing so). Next time I'd try to avoid dropping the pipes by trying harder to remove the offending pipe clamp and see if that would give me enough room. It has to be possible if Jamie does it that way.

Had to remove the gas tank bolts to allow the tank to slide over just enough so I could (just barely) get an end wrench on the upper shock bolt via the opening at the rear of the tank. Must be a better way to tighten this bolt, but the feeder tube fitting for the remote reservoir is directly underneath the top shock mount, which made it impossible to use a ratchet to tighten the bolt (I was able to ratchet the bolt off, as this impediment does not exist on the original shock). Everything went back together smoothly other than that--was just time consuming.

So, waiting for decent weather to try this out. Sag seems to be right on the money with the way Jamie set up the spring. Again, like the forks it feels really good just bouncing up and down on it (not scientific--but it beats the "feels like a board when bouncing up and down on it" test) so I'm expecting favorable results--more to follow.

Last edited by Billy16; 02-01-2016 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 02-01-2016, 01:03 PM
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I do my own suspension work and as well as for others often.. but I admit, I'm an installer,,, not a tuner. I have the equipment and tooling to vacuum fill and degas shocks, install known valving packages (or guestimate) , check, straighten, fix, repair most forks and shocks..... BUT I sent my forks and a used CBR shock to Jamie for his work.
I was not disappointed in the results.

Springs for rider weight, valving for weights and riding style wants/needs, correct oil type, viscosity and amount in BOTH shocks and forks are needed as a package to get the best results.
Doing just one or the other will not get significant improvement..and may leave the rider disappointed in the money spent.
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:03 PM
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Well, I've had a couple of good rides on the new rear end. The bike turns way better now, I can see why Jamie (and others) adds a few mm's to the rear ride height--it really works well with no adverse effects. With the new shock the back end is still firm (instead of harsh) and tracks well. I'm not going to fawn all over the rear shock like I did the front end work, as I'm just not that good at road chassis set-up and feel. I think a better and more telling eval would have been to have tried the new shock with my stock forks. I will award bonus points for now having the trick remote reservoir--looks cool! I was hoping to shave some weight with the new shock, but I think it is about a wash with the stocker.

At any rate, my SH's suspension is 100% better than it was before I had Jamie tune it. The bike has been transformed from a wallowing marshmallow (with a jarring rear end) into into a real road holding turn carving machine. My corner speed has picked up considerably, as I have a better idea of what each end is gonna do and don't worry about hitting something unexpected in the pavement that will upset the bike mid-corner.

My opinion, any money handed to JD will be rewarded with much better suspension. If you are good at set up I'm sure you could really dial this in for that extra 5%. I'm not, so I'll stick with Jamie's settings and enjoy the ride!

Last edited by Billy16; 02-11-2016 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:48 AM
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Glad to hear it works well! Now I need to decide if I shell out the $$$, live with the bike as is, or go off the deep end and buy a new bike blowing multiple thousands and ending in possible divorce.
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:54 AM
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With a write up like Billys, I can't imagine why you wouldn't spring (lol) for the Jamie shock. You will not regret it.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by AndyMX47 View Post
Glad to hear it works well! Now I need to decide if I shell out the $$$, live with the bike as is, or go off the deep end and buy a new bike blowing multiple thousands and ending in possible divorce.
OH.... OH..... OH....... MULTIPLE CHOICE!!!!!

Let's see.... I vote for the last one!!!!

Hold it..... hmmm... could be why my relationships don't last......
Never mind.
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Old 02-11-2016, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyMX47 View Post
Glad to hear it works well! Now I need to decide if I shell out the $$$, live with the bike as is, or go off the deep end and buy a new bike blowing multiple thousands and ending in possible divorce.
Choice #3 might not be necessary, save yourself a wad of cash and a new bachelor apartment---spring for the new suspension and sticky tires and your SH will feel like a new bike, it makes that big of a difference.

Last edited by Billy16; 07-25-2016 at 12:09 PM.
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