A short review of Ricor suspension - Page 2 - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 03-15-2013, 07:13 PM
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Easy fix would be to chop off the close wound coils and replace the length with a solid spacer. PVC pipe would do it.
Your initial spring rate would be higher so you might need less preload but your terminal spring rate would be exactly the same as now (I.e. you still have the same number of coils as when the close wound part of the spring binds).
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post #12 of 20 Old 03-15-2013, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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salty_monk -

My last KLR blew up near Coalinga last October. The upper left side balancer shaft bearing went bad and the resulting grenade activity took out everything.

It was easier to jack up the seat and drive a new bike under it.

Good idea about chopping the soft coils off.

Tom

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'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used. -Napoleon Bonaparte
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post #13 of 20 Old 03-15-2013, 07:49 PM
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Let me know if you try it... Maybe I'll follow your lead!
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post #14 of 20 Old 03-24-2013, 07:43 AM
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Thanks for the write up Tom -

- I am not a suspenison genius - I've adjusted the stock rear suspension once, no maybe twice now, on my 08 ...

I am looking at upgrading the suspension with something up front and maybe a remote-adjustable rear ...

How would you compare your current set up to stock?

Thanks
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post #15 of 20 Old 03-24-2013, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Slowpoke -

In comparing to stock one important consideration is the size of the rider as compared to what Kawasaki designed into the bike.

I stand six foot six and weigh 245, kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip....

No, wait, I'm 6' 2" and weigh 250.

My biggest problems with the stock suspension were lack of spring in the rear and lack of rebound in the rear and dive in the front.

Any decent shock is going to be built with the weight of the rider and load in mind. It will be a vast improvement over stock. The Ricor shock doesn't have any rebound adjustment; my Cogent did. In both cases I was pretty happy with the results.

At the front a new set of springs with a stiffer rate will help control the front end with a heavier rider. I have always had the progressive springs, but am considering going to a straight wound spring as an experiment.

The Intiminators weren't working for me on this trip and, as I mentioned, I think it was the progressive springs that were causing the problem. That's something that can be tuned out, probably, or cured by ditching the progressives.

Brake dive, though, was vastly improved. Brake dive is the transfer of weight from back to front, and you can't stop that without repealing the laws of physics. You can affect how it happens. The Initminators do an effective job of slowing the rate of dive in the front end. My experience with Racetech Emulators is the same.

To shorten the story, I think matching springs front and rear to the rider's weigh class and getting some valving in the forks and a decent shock in the rear is money well spent and the rider will notice and appreciate the difference.

The downside is that the rider has to be willing to do a bit of tuning on the system to optimize it. Even the Cogent shock I have, which was built to order specifically for me, needed some fiddling to get it right.

For a lighter rider it might not be so important, but for a heavier rider it's almost mandatory.

T

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'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used. -Napoleon Bonaparte
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post #16 of 20 Old 03-24-2013, 12:57 PM
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If you don't enjoy fiddling with your suspension I'd suggest the Ricors... All you have to worry about then is spring rate.

With emulators and the Cogent shock you have to make your own adjustment, the ricor supposedly automatically adjusts damping etc.. I don't know how much I believe that but it works well enough. Far superior to stock.

There hydraulic damping option looks nice, expensive though (definitely worth it if you regularly make changes for riding two up etc.....). Haven't been able to justify it myself.
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post #17 of 20 Old 03-25-2013, 07:29 AM
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Thanks Tom and salty monk for the info.

We do ride 2 up maybe 25% of the time. We putt putt around the back roads looking at crops and deer and generally gawking around.

I have ridden a new Triumph Tiger 800XC - for a short distance - 30 mins on road, and an older Tiger 955i, about a day worth, on the paved roads in San Diego county, 1 up and 2 up. Both remind me of a KLR with 100hp :-O

But you immediately notice the fancier suspensions. The Tiger 955i is easy to adjust for the 2 up weight, and corners in a very composed manner while still maintaining a pretty plush ride.

In our home area the riding is mainly all kinds of roads from 4 lanes paved to pasture pickup truck trails, (i.e. 2 wagon ruts). Lots of gravel and some dirt roads. Some sand is available to help keep you in practice picking up a loaded KLR. And mud when it rains. And some roads are gravelled with crush about the size of golf balls to pool balls to stand up to the resource truck traffic. And oh yeah, snow.

I am after a setup that gives the KLR suspension manners more like a Triumph.
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post #18 of 20 Old 03-25-2013, 05:03 PM
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I go from 1 up to fully loaded (say 20lb of boxes & 40lb of luggage) somewhat regularly.
The ricor would be a PITA to adjust the preload if you had to adjust regularly for 2 up. Even with their tool & a good ratchet it takes time & I only have to wind on 3 turns between the two. I would definitely go with the hydraulic adjuster in your case as you'll have to wind on at least twice as many turns I would think....

The damping on the Ricor rear seems fine either loaded or 1 up. I use a 360lb spring (I'm, 165lb). I think the Moab might be able to be made better but you'd better be prepared to play with settings etc & remember to switch them back & forth.

If I was going to ride 2 up a lot I'd also get these preload adjusters for the front forks: http://www.motowizard.com/



I think Emulators or Ricors are fine for the front with a straight weight spring. Again Emulators are easier to adjust but Ricors are much easier to fit (no damper rod drilling, taking the fork apart etc as you have to do with Emulators).
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post #19 of 20 Old 03-25-2013, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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I have the motowizard pre-load adjusters and they are very handy.

saltymonk is right about the ease of install on the Ricors. That's not to say the Ricors aren't tunable; it's amazing the lengths some have gone to in tuning them (and), and shows that you can do wonders with them. Both of those are worth reading, if for no other reason than gaining an understanding of how they work.

Either Emulators or Intiminators are going to need some level of fiddling to get them perfect. It's worth it, though.

T

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'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used. -Napoleon Bonaparte

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 03-25-2013 at 05:26 PM.
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post #20 of 20 Old 03-25-2013, 07:22 PM
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I guess at some point I will probably try a straight rate spring.. either by chopping some coils off what I have & reducing preload to get the right static sag or trying a different spring.

Ordinarily I'd chop some coils out of a stock spring but the stocker is so short I don't think it has enough coils to do that & not bind before you get full travel. I calculated roughly just now & I think 8.5" is all the compression it has until it would bind.

Out of interest on my other bike (a 1978 Suzuki GS1000) which uses the exact same tech as the KLR forks, I just went from Progressive springs (with no emulator) to straight weight springs (I cut the stockers almost in half to make a 43.5lb spring - Progressives start at 38lb & go to 50lb when the coils bind for that model) with an emulator (the one from MIKESXS in an adapter I made myself) & it was a huge improvement.

Both Ricor & Racetech recommend straight weight springs for a reason I would guess!
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