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Rebound damping

Old 08-28-2006, 08:22 PM
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Rebound damping

OK - I've read quite a bit about suspension mods over the years, especially on the SH. (I think I read every page of Greg Nemish's site several times before buying my bike - Thanks, Greg.) Anyway, I'll try to give all you experts all the info I have, and you can (hopefully) tell me what I need to do to make this work.

I bought my 2002 SH new and have made few changes - SS front brake lines, EBC HH front pads, Race Tech front springs, and I drilled eight holes in each exhaust can for the "semi-bafflectomy" effect. I also chucked the stock tires at about 300 miles and now run Pilot Powers. I have been to only one track day (Road America last year), but I hope to do more. I also ride almost all twisties, even my commute to work. I feel I ride "pretty hard" but not like the pros. I have never touched the feelers down yet, but that's not too far away. OK - now to the problem.

I replaced my front springs about 25 pounds ago. I was about 185 pounds when I bought them, and I'm about 210 now. I think I got the 0.90kg springs and cut the spacers to stock (total) length. I can't remember what weight oil I used, but I got the Race Tech brand with the springs. I also used the stock oil height. The springs still don't bottom, even at my "new" weight, but the rebound damping is lousy. I seem to have quite a bit more wallowing this year vs. last year. I have the rebound adjustment maxed out. Some of this must be my bigger gut, but I really didn't gain all that much in one year. Is it possible the oil is "bad" and needs replacement? I would love to replace the valves to gain more rebound damping, but I don't feel comfortable tearing apart the fork internals. Can I make do with a different weight oil? Any other "easy" suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 08-29-2006, 04:12 PM
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You CAN replace the oil with heavier weight, but you will suffer more compression damping as a result, and that's not adjustable. There is one altermative, and that is to grind down the land on your rebound needles. This will allow some more adjustment, but not by a huge amount. I have 10wt oil, 1.05 Ohlins springs, and stock oil height. I ground my needles and I have barely sufficient damping now. The correct answer is to get them revalved, and I will do that this winter when I can no longer ride and have "cabin fever". I've just been busy working or riding this summer. I can revalve them for you for a nominal fee if you'd like. Cost for shims, oil, and labor will be $100.
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:10 AM
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Thanks for the info - I may try to change the oil. Can I do that without removing the forks from the bike? I'd have to open the top and suck the oil out - is that possible? Also, I was wondering if the oil could be "old" - whatever that means - and this could cause the difference I'm feeling this year vs. last year. How frequently do I need to replace the fork oil?

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