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Is anyone happy with the stock fork springs?

Old 02-02-2006, 07:12 PM
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Is anyone happy with the stock fork springs?

I am looking at a dealer new 03 SH and wanted to know if anyone who keeps the stock fork springs are happy with how the bike handles. It seems like a lot of people are going to Racetech springs, but is that just for the track or is it a necessary mod for even just the street. I am about 195#'s, and want a bike that will be able to handle properly for atleast a year before I start sinking more money into it.

Thanks,
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:24 PM
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Re: Is anyone happy with the stock fork springs?

I think some folks get caught up in the MODS, and what will make my bike better, faster, stronger.....All it needs is love, love is all it needs....

There is a considerable difference between the stock, and aftermarket springs etc....can you live with stock for a year?? That sir is the question you and only you can answer....

Hope that helps....
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:36 PM
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You only know what you experience.

A simple sag check/pre-load adjustment will tell one if springs are correct for their weight.
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:04 PM
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Re: Is anyone happy with the stock fork springs?

With both of your experiences on the bike and setting sag properly, have you updated to new springs or have the stockers been OK for you two?
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:07 PM
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Was I happy with them, no. Could I live with them for a year, I did for four. Does it handle ok for a street bike, yes. Is it a fun bike the way it comes . Hope that helps.
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:09 PM
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Superbling has F4i forks and I have gsxr1000 forks.
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:19 PM
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Unfortunately, the springs are right for about a 140 lb rider. Aftermarket springs are nothing special. Its the weight-matching that makes them a VTRs most important mod. I found the Racetech recommendations to be spot on.

97-05 Honda VTR1000F
Select Type of Riding: Street
Rider Weight: 190 lbs.
Recommended Spring Rate: 0.887 kg/mm (use closest available)
Stock Fork Spring Rate (measured): .585 kg/mm (stock)

Play with the calculator at: http://www.racetech.com/evalving/eng...ngname=english
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:24 PM
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140lbs what's that in America a 14 year old? sorry Loco
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by superhawk22";p=&quot View Post
140lbs what's that in America a 14 year old?
Only half of them, really.
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:29 PM
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Re: Is anyone happy with the stock fork springs?

Originally Posted by superhawk22";p=&quot View Post
140lbs what's that in America a 14 year old? sorry Loco
Nah, he's a good 141/142 .....and closer to 15, not 14.....lol
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:32 PM
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Kinda set you up for that one huh.
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by superhawk22";p=&quot View Post
140lbs what's that in America a 14 year old?
That's just the girls.
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:45 PM
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Old 02-02-2006, 10:09 PM
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Re: Is anyone happy with the stock fork springs?

Shhhuwwing, and it's out a de park!!!
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Old 02-03-2006, 12:35 AM
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Re: Is anyone happy with the stock fork springs?

I've still got the stock forks on my bike, and I've been happy with them. that being said, I must say that my forks don't have the trademark squishy feeling that so many people have complained about. and if the previous owner modded them and never mentioned it, it wouldn't be the first time. (he failed to mention the pre-installed jet kit too) also, I don't do track days, so I might not be pushing them hard enough for it to matter. and finally, I've owned 3 roadbikes. this one has the most advanced suspension stock that I've ever owned, so I might not know what "good" feels like. so anyway, for me, for now, they're fine.
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Old 02-03-2006, 07:40 AM
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Well, I've never been ashamed of being a lightweight, makes me that much faster than you. I still don't like the springs, I feel like the SH feels too much of the road, but I'm riding a 1998 and it could just be from age. I rode my buddy's TL (it rides smoother, but not as snappy on the throttle) and we just bought a 04 SV1000, which I will be testing out this weekend.
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Old 02-03-2006, 08:05 AM
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Re: Is anyone happy with the stock fork springs?

The SV1000 was what I was looking at when I fell into this can't pass up deal on the Hawk....I still like them a lot....but I do likes the Hawk... 8)
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Old 02-03-2006, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Loco";p=&quot View Post
Well, I've never been ashamed of being a lightweight, makes me that much faster than you. I still don't like the springs, I feel like the SH feels too much of the road, but I'm riding a 1998 and it could just be from age. I rode my buddy's TL (it rides smoother, but not as snappy on the throttle) and we just bought a 04 SV1000, which I will be testing out this weekend.
Why should you be ashamed,(little pip squeek) it's the rest of us fat bastards that should be. The TL had usd forks much higher quality IMO as far as the SV my buddy has a 2005 and owned a TL as well. He said he's not overly impressed with the SV and wishes he never sold the TL. "Just doesn't have the same punch and isn't as fun as the TL" were his words. Just thought I'd share another owners opinion.
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Old 02-03-2006, 08:56 PM
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Re: Is anyone happy with the stock fork springs?

I'm happpy with them. I don't notice any clunking or squishy feeling either. I've got a bone stock 98 with 8k on it. I bought it last Fall with 2k on it. I'm not a racer. I'm a street rider with good skills and whose main purpose is to stay alive and keep riding and enjoy my bike. If someone claims they "need" stiffer springs they should probably be on a racetrack. Stiffer springs aren't a "need" but probably a nicety. I'm like the previous poster in that this is the most advanced suspension I've ever ridden on and maybe don't know what I'm missing. My SV650S had Progressive springs in it and all I can say is that if felt good.
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Old 02-03-2006, 08:59 PM
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Re: Is anyone happy with the stock fork springs?

IMO the SH looks a LOT better than the SV and....it's a Honda. Only thing I like better on the SV is that it's fuel injected.
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Old 02-04-2006, 02:27 AM
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Re: Is anyone happy with the stock fork springs?

Originally Posted by Les";p=&quot View Post
IMO the SH looks a LOT better than the SV and....it's a Honda. Only thing I like better on the SV is that it's fuel injected.


don't worry, as a SH owner, you're not missing much. I rode my buddy's SV several times, up to around 100mph. the only thing good about the fuel injection, it is smooth. my buddy was on my hawk, and he complained about it being jumpy at slow speeds. the sv is ok, not nearly as much low end grunt. but it does rev a bit higher. but overall, the hawk feels torquier, feels smaller, sounds better on the gas, feels more nimble, and is just plain faster than the SV.
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Old 02-04-2006, 08:39 AM
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Re: Is anyone happy with the stock fork springs?

I like the fuel injection because it leads to longer engine life. The fuel system isn't dumping gas into the cyclinder when it doesn't need it and washing the oil off the bore. Now...don't get me wrong. I'm not going to trade in my SH for an SV because I think the engine will last longer.
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Old 03-04-2006, 11:09 PM
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Re: Is anyone happy with the stock fork springs?

Well, I'm a newb and for that you should disregard what I have to say, but I'm 190-200 without my gear.

The superhawk is my first bike, bought used with 25k miles. I was constantly bottoming out the forks practicing my emergency braking, riding into a driveway, or even just letting off the throttle too hard. Tons of fork motion from most any throttle motion, unless I was super duper smooth. Increasing the preload made the bike ride really hard, didn't feel planted.

Perhaps there was something else wrong with the forks, but the improvement was huge when I switched in weight-matched springs (0.9kg/mm racetech). Took about 90 minutes to switch them in, and that included improvising a way to get the front end off the ground, and lots of decoding the shop manual.
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:30 AM
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Agreed. The springs are 90% of the fix.
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:31 AM
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Can't wait to get mine. Is the job dooable, do you need specific tools?
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by AZZKIKER";p=&quot View Post
Can't wait to get mine. Is the job dooable, do you need specific tools?
I just changed mine yesterday. You need a 24mm wrnech or socket, a 14mm wrench, and a hacksaw to cut your own preload spacers from the tube stock racetech sends. A rear stand and a floor jack will also help alot, but aren't necessary if you have a friend to steady the bike for you.
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:36 AM
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Tell me more about the preload spacers. Do they come with the springs? Because I am only ordering the springs.
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:39 AM
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Racetech, yes. You can also use PVC pipe with washers on the top and bottom. If I remember, 3/4 or 1 inch is the right size. Sounds hokey, but actually works perfectly.
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:40 AM
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So Jim, you are saying if I get them from racetech, they come with the spacers?
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by AZZKIKER";p=&quot View Post
Tell me more about the preload spacers. Do they come with the springs? Because I am only ordering the springs.
What Jschmidt said. If you ordered race tech springs, you will get 2 springs, 4 washers, a tube of preload spacer material (aluminum pipe) and 4 stickers and instructions.

One warning, racetech's instructions for measuring the minimum preload are assinine.

The stock preload spacers are 100mm long, and the stock minimum preload is about 11mm. The racetech springs are 27mm longer than stock, so if you reuse the stock spacers you will have 38mm MINIMUM preload. WAY to much. I cut my (racetech) spacers to 82mm, giving me 20mm MINIMUM preload. I.e. I have 20mm preload with the adjusters on the fork leg all the way out. It seems to be a bit much, but everything on my bike is new. I will give it a few hundred miles for everything to break in, and it should work out o.k.

On my last bike I used racetech springs on, I ended up at 18mm Min preload and it was perfect. This bike should be fine once the springs sag in a little and the fork bushings lossen up a bit.
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