A "SHOCK"ing but true story..... - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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A "SHOCK"ing but true story.....

For the past few months ive been converting an 09' Bonnie SE to a Scrambled Bonnie and do date have quite a few changes (someday i'll post up what I did and thoughts on how to do it better next time). One of the last things I was working on was suspension. Specifically trying to smooth out the bone jarring and teeth rattling encountered on rough roads.

While I love the bike and the handling (SE model 17" mag wheels) is actually quite good. As in its a blast to ride on sweepers and twisties. What I was having a hard time with is the stiffness of the suspension. Ive owned several 80's UJM's with similar old school type suspensions so I do have a some frame of reference. However in more recent years ive been putting miles on more modern suspension type bikes (mono shock - inverted forks)... Tiger 800's, Vstom's, etc.. so possibly im expecting to much and my bones are getting old

After reading about how so many believe the OEM rear shocks are "horrible" and reading over other opinions about the options available for the bike, I went with the Hagon's (basic model). Being a cheapskate when possible, I had to force myself to stay away from the cheaper options and likewise the more expensive ones weren't an option.

I wasnt able to find a seller in the states so I went with a UK seller who was responsive and quickly shipped them out and about a week later I had the Hagon's on the bike and headed out the next morning for a ride.

Sad to report that the Hagon's provided absolutely no improvement in terms of a softer ride. I actually think they may be stiffer and they are set to the "softest" setting. Thankfully Im currently living in the southwest U.S. and the paved roads are actually very good. Having lived in the midwest (michigan, ohio, new york) where harsh winters and salting roads makes for rough roads, I cant imagine spending anytime in the saddle of Ella (the scrambled bonnie) without regularly losing fillings or crushing vertebrae.

The purpose of this post is to advise others of my experiences thus far with rear shock replacement. Others may somehow have a different opinion, however I can say without hesitation that while the Hagon's provide a slight improvement in appearance, they do nothing to improve the bikes handling or ride.

The search continues as I am planning on using her for some touring in 2017.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 02:54 PM
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I replaced my '16 Scrambler shocks immediately with the TEC Shocks with the heavier springs and rebound adjustment.
The stock shocks did not have rebound adjustments and the springs were a little light. I'm 6'5" 245lbs. I don't fit into the "norm"...whatever that is.
To me, rebound is just as important as preload. It'll help with your teeth rattling
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toad View Post
I wasnt able to find a seller in the states so I went with a UK seller who was responsive and quickly shipped them out and about a week later I had the Hagon's on the bike...the Hagon's provided absolutely no improvement in terms of a softer ride. I actually think they may be stiffer...
The shock should have a spring constant specified to your weight range...regardless of the shock, if its over-sprung its going to be harsh. And from the sounds of it, you have the shock at its lowest preload setting and it either isn't giving adequate static sag or the shock comes way over damped.

I trust you did check the sag...its the only way you can isolate whether the shock is over-sprung or that it simply has bad valving/is over-damped. Also, you should be using about 80% of the shock travel when riding hard/hitting large road imperfections...a small zip tie around the shock's plunger rod will let you know how much travel you're using (and allow you to measure static sag). So the way it goes is to set the pre-load to give the proper static sag (~25mm) and then go ride. Hard. If you aren't using 3/4 of the travel, then you have too high of a spring constant and should drop to the next lighter spring. Or not if you ride 2 up a lot...it's a compromise at best; especially when there is no damping adjustment available.

If you need some guidance on the Hagons, you should get with Mike at Bellacorse. He's a Hagon vendor and has loads of experience with hooking you up with the right stuff. Otherwise, I would recommend going to Works performance to get a decent set of shocks...especially if you need more travel to go off pavement.

Regards,

--Rich
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 06:42 PM
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What about the front? I put in new fork seals and 15W oil. Ouch. Way too harsh. I'm going to go with a lighter oil up front. I don't notice my stock rear shocks causing anything.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 08:31 PM
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Talkto Dave Quinn in Fairfield CT. He is a Hagon distributor and can set up your shocks to suit you.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 08:50 PM
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One thing you should keep in mind...we upgrade the rear shocks to get better ride characteristics...which is not actually meant to give a "softer" or more plush ride. We want the rear wheel to stay in contact with the road when going over decent sized bumps and not so harsh that the ride gets kicked up off the seat. The bike should not compress radically/less predictably when cornering hard.
When I played with preload setting on my stock shocks, yes I could get a nicer, softer feel by turning down the preloading...but then I found weird things happening in corners and didn't like it. Too much preload and decent bumps would buck me off the saddle.
My Hagon Classic II's at the factory setting for preload feel much firmer, don't wallow in corners and I have not been bucked off going over much harsher bumps than I would dare try with OEM's.

Sure there are always more settings, technology that can be experimented with but everything is a compromise and the big variable is the road surface. No system can be perfect for every road situation.
Get something that fits the majority of road conditions you ride on and that doesn't break the bank!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 01:29 PM
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I bought Hagons for my T100. While they were an improvement I was a bit disappointed. So after 2 years LOL I rang them up for a chat. They were very helpful . As I am right at the bottom of weight range for standard springs I bought the lighter springs. They also sent me FOC some bushes and the new style C clip (fits on top of spring).
I swapped the springs and went for a ride. Bloody brilliant !! Bike handles much better and I'm not nearly launched off on big bumps.
Much happier. Why did I wait so long.!!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 460fred View Post
I replaced my '16 Scrambler shocks immediately with the TEC Shocks with the heavier springs and rebound adjustment.
The stock shocks did not have rebound adjustments and the springs were a little light. I'm 6'5" 245lbs. I don't fit into the "norm"...whatever that is.
To me, rebound is just as important as preload. It'll help with your teeth rattling
Quote:
Originally Posted by beemerrich View Post
The shock should have a spring constant specified to your weight range...regardless of the shock, if its over-sprung its going to be harsh. And from the sounds of it, you have the shock at its lowest preload setting and it either isn't giving adequate static sag or the shock comes way over damped.

I trust you did check the sag...its the only way you can isolate whether the shock is over-sprung or that it simply has bad valving/is over-damped. Also, you should be using about 80% of the shock travel when riding hard/hitting large road imperfections...a small zip tie around the shock's plunger rod will let you know how much travel you're using (and allow you to measure static sag). So the way it goes is to set the pre-load to give the proper static sag (~25mm) and then go ride. Hard. If you aren't using 3/4 of the travel, then you have too high of a spring constant and should drop to the next lighter spring. Or not if you ride 2 up a lot...it's a compromise at best; especially when there is no damping adjustment available.

If you need some guidance on the Hagons, you should get with Mike at Bellacorse. He's a Hagon vendor and has loads of experience with hooking you up with the right stuff. Otherwise, I would recommend going to Works performance to get a decent set of shocks...especially if you need more travel to go off pavement.

Regards,

--Rich
Quote:
Originally Posted by 357Bob View Post
What about the front? I put in new fork seals and 15W oil. Ouch. Way too harsh. I'm going to go with a lighter oil up front. I don't notice my stock rear shocks causing anything.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by drlapo View Post
Talkto Dave Quinn in Fairfield CT. He is a Hagon distributor and can set up your shocks to suit you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tornado99 View Post
One thing you should keep in mind...we upgrade the rear shocks to get better ride characteristics...which is not actually meant to give a "softer" or more plush ride. We want the rear wheel to stay in contact with the road when going over decent sized bumps and not so harsh that the ride gets kicked up off the seat. The bike should not compress radically/less predictably when cornering hard.
When I played with preload setting on my stock shocks, yes I could get a nicer, softer feel by turning down the preloading...but then I found weird things happening in corners and didn't like it. Too much preload and decent bumps would buck me off the saddle.
My Hagon Classic II's at the factory setting for preload feel much firmer, don't wallow in corners and I have not been bucked off going over much harsher bumps than I would dare try with OEM's.

Sure there are always more settings, technology that can be experimented with but everything is a compromise and the big variable is the road surface. No system can be perfect for every road situation.
Get something that fits the majority of road conditions you ride on and that doesn't break the bank!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonnys Bonnie View Post
I bought Hagons for my T100. While they were an improvement I was a bit disappointed. So after 2 years LOL I rang them up for a chat. They were very helpful . As I am right at the bottom of weight range for standard springs I bought the lighter springs. They also sent me FOC some bushes and the new style C clip (fits on top of spring).
I swapped the springs and went for a ride. Bloody brilliant !! Bike handles much better and I'm not nearly launched off on big bumps.
Much happier. Why did I wait so long.!!
Thanks to all for the replies and info.

I strongly suspect that like the last poster (Jonnys Bonnie) I am at the bottom of the weight range for standard springs on the Hagons. At 150lbs, the bike barely moves when I mount it (giggity). That is with the Hagons at their softest setting. I also have the Dunstalls with the reservoir (I suspect these are identical to the TEC shocks just re branded). These are a bit "softer" but still ride to stiff. Odd thing is I also have a Thruxton in the garage and it is all stock. The ride is noticably softer. All this has me thinking a few things...

- as was mentioned, I believe the front forks may be adding to the problem with literally coming out of the seat on bumps that I wouldn't give thought too on the Tiger 800.

- rear tire (Shinko 705) is likely stiffer than that on the Thruxton.

- BC Slammer seat is much firmer than stock

I dont need or expect it to ride like a more modern bike (mono shock), but as mentioned ive had several similarly sprung bikes that rode much better.

The search, adjustments and trials continue.... ill sort it out eventually

Thanks again for the replies
-Brian

Best Regards,
-Brian
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 06:07 PM
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:04 PM
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When I first bought my 2012 Scrambler, the biggest disappointment came in the form of the bone jarring ride on those potholed Michigan roads. I bought a set of Hagons from another member here in the classifieds and never looked back. While they aren't perfect, they are far and away better than the OEM shocks they replaced. I've been very satisfied with them.

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