Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
657 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I did it finally and have upgrade to forks and shock installed 2 weeks ago. Period of arctic weather here in Georgia was not great for doing a lot of riding to evaluate change, but I rode anyway and have to say - upgrade is worth every last cent!
I have done initial setup of suspension right after I bought Speedy. At that time it was just exchange of fork springs (out with dual rate crap) and proper setting of clickers, which are horribly misadjusted from factory (my thread with description here). This made dramatic difference in riding and I was quite happy. However, when comparing suspension to my friends Tuono I still was finding Speedy suspension lacking. Bike just did not hold the line as good, and ride was still a tad too harsh. Handling was too nervous, with suspension moving with a throttle too much. I did only springs because Racetech did not offer anything for revalving at this time, they were still working on a kit.
At the end of year I was entertaining the idea of getting Ohlins shock, when somebody posted info that Racetech has developed the upgrade. I contacted the shop (GMD Computrack) and set an appointment to get both ends reworked.
What was done: revalve front with new kit, revalve shock and change rear spring to reduce sag. Cost:
- Gold Valve kit for forks+install+oil: $400+$200+$30
- Gold Valve for shock+install+oil+spring: $170+$150+$15+$110
With shop charges, R&R, parts shipping total came to approx. $1300. I dropped off the bike in the morning, picked it up afternoon. They underestimated how involved is to remove rear shock (for a moment even thought about just cutting the band holding remote reservoir, but had done it right, without cutting), but did not charge more for this, treating it as a learning experience. Shock spring was changed from <700lbs to 1000lbs to reduce sag and firm the ride. I specified aggressive street riding for setup. Sag was set to 26mm.
First impressions: I had a taste of it the moment I sat on a bike to and rode off the curb in front of shop. I lifted my butt and braced myself for reaction of the rear wheel and... what a change! Shock have firmly but smoothly soaked the jump, bike felt so much tighter and well sprung! I was after the full day at work, having made morning ride to the shop (50 miles one way), getting dark, rather chilly - and I had a blast for entire 50 miles riding back! Like getting the new bike again.
I tested the bike in the following weekend and riding for next 2 weeks. Bike holds the line like a dream, rising and squat of suspension are gone; I need to lift my butt in anticipation of bumps less often. Change to rear: Kent at GMD asked me if applying throttle at the turn exit does not make bike to ride wide - and it described perfectly previous bike behaviour. Now this is completely gone, I pushed the bike to the limits (80mph in turns I was previously riding 55-60) and no trace of this. When I think how to describe difference, the only word coming to my mind is "floppy" - this is how rear felt before the change as compared to now.
Fork change - obviously more plush, instead of sharp impulses transmitted to handlebar there is all the road feel I need but dampened and softened. There is a 200ft stretch of the pavement I ride every day that was "repaired" last year - new tarmac, but so bumpy that term washboard describes it properly. Riding it at above 30mph makes bike shake so violently, that with the front wheel skipping the bumps, there was no traction left if the braking or any quick change of direction was necessary. With new suspension I rode this patch several times to gauge how much better it is, concentrating on better damping resulting in less stress to hands. I still feel the bumps, but no jarring. There is something else - I realized that riding it even at 50mph I have a traction - I can brake, turn, control the bike. Front wheel does not skip, firmly follows the surface.
I haven't ridden my friend's Tuono after change to compare suspension, but from my recall, now Speedy is at least on a par with it (I feel like it is better, but I'll wait to ride Aprilia to be sure).

So summarizing: upgrade was sure pricey, but worth it? You betcha! I wish I had it done earlier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,724 Posts
Oh bugger Bohdan! Now you've got me thinking about suspension again.
Did you have any trouble with the steering head bearings? I was told they'd need to be replaced, as they were crap and mechanically lock when setting the correct tension.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Thanks. I've been trying to decide whether to have the shock RaceTeched or bite the bullet for an Ohlins. Sounds like the RaceTech will do just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Bohdan

Good to see your happy with the upgraded suspension...
Showa forks are not that bad, usually it's just the standard setup.
For standard production, to suite the lightest to heavy't rider and also the beginner to the advanced rider it's not that bad.
Compromises have to be made.

Now I have to do mine,....
was waiting for Ohlins "internal" upgrades....

Sounds like Ohlins do have something.
http://www.triumphrat.net/speed-triple-forum/101913-quote-from-racetech.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
Hi my friend. You think it's cold in Atlanta....ha ha that's funny. Thanks for the post. I'm going to trailer S3 and have the same work done at Computrack. Way too cold to ride here. I had the rear skip out on me, did not seem like it holds good on a less then ideal surface. No crash, just a change of underwear after!

It does run wide coming out of a turn and rolling on the throttle. I thought it was me and my crappy technique. I hope this helps.

Regards
Larry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
657 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Oh bugger Bohdan! Now you've got me thinking about suspension again.
Did you have any trouble with the steering head bearings? I was told they'd need to be replaced, as they were crap and mechanically lock when setting the correct tension.
No, no problems. My bike will be due for 12k miles service, so head bearings are on my list for checkup, and I'll see if everything is OK. But I do not feel anything wrong with it.

Larry, we had a few days of really arctic weather here, 7-10deg F in the morning (-12..-14deg C). Does not happen often...
That's funny, I also thought that running wide on exit with throttle was because of my unrefined technique. When Kent pinpointed this issue just looking at sag numbers I realized how much good and experienced suspension specialist is really worth. There was a test of shock replacements in MCN - they compared OEM BMW, Ohlins and HyperPro. But most important conclusion was that the upgraded component alone does not make night and day difference in suspension feel and bike handling; this is happening after it is set properly by specialist - on a bike, with a rider.
Go for it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Just had a go at starting to remove the shock. Getting at the resevoir is a bitch but...if you remove the gas tank and side panels, you can get at the hose clamp screw from above fairly easily. Then there is a plastic lip hanging down from the under seat tray (that holds the battery, etc.) blocking removal. You could pull the whole tray but cutting the forward edge of that lip with an exacto knife allows the resevoir to slide out. Removing the front two screws holding the tray in place so it will lift up a bit helps.

Now all I need to do is find a way to support the bike safely for a week or two while the shock gets done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I did it finally and have upgrade to forks and shock installed 2 weeks ago...
I’ve been waffling on what to do with my suspension. I tried a HyperPro rear spring last summer and it did nothing. I disliked it so much that I didn’t bother putting the front springs in. The RaceTech valves and springs seem to be the most economic way to go without buying a new shock… but I’m still concerned that it may not be what I want.

My main complaint when riding my S3 is hitting bumps that will completely knock the holly crap out my lower back. It’s like somebody kicked my feet from out under me and I hit the floor on my butt. It’s very painful to the point that I ride jockey style most of the time on country roads, or until my legs give out. I’ve adjusted my sag/ compression settings for my weight of 190-200 lbs without gear and can see that I need new springs and valve work. I’ve never had this problem with my previous bikes and their suspension was nothing special.

So Bohdan, how does the RaceTech setup smooth out the hidden land mines on rural roads?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,724 Posts
My main complaint when riding my S3 is hitting bumps that will completely knock the holly crap out my lower back. It’s like somebody kicked my feet from out under me and I hit the floor on my butt. It’s very painful to the point that I ride jockey style most of the time on country roads, or until my legs give out. I’ve adjusted my sag/ compression settings for my weight of 190-200 lbs without gear and can see that I need new springs and valve work. I’ve never had this problem with my previous bikes and their suspension was nothing special.

So Bohdan, how does the RaceTech setup smooth out the hidden land mine on rural roads?
Just out of interest, have you tried dialing out the rebound completely. I'm a similar weight to you and and found the rear quite nasty as well. No rebound and increased compression (while far from perfect) feel's much nicer on the back and a$$. I'm getting way more grip too!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Just out of interest, have you tried dialing out the rebound completely. I'm a similar weight to you and and found the rear quite nasty as well. No rebound and increased compression (while far from perfect) feel's much nicer on the back and a$$. I'm getting way more grip too!
Yes, I've experimented with every setting I can think of or have read about. In all fairness to the bikes suspension, I have a degenerative disc disease and there might not be a good suspension set up for my back. Crap! I'm only 49 and not anywhere ready to give up riding yet. I might have to switch over to a dual-sport or supermoto with more suspension travel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
657 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
So Bohdan, how does the RaceTech setup smooth out the hidden land mine on rural roads?
As usually, your mileage may vary. For me it is perfect balance between comfort and handling right now; and I have suspension set on the firm, sporty side. I never complained about the seat, but right now it feels more fitting and supportive. Bike behaves like it no longer bucks under me on bumps, it is more like integral extension of me to the road (this is not my lame attempt on poetry, I'm just trying to provide accurate description of what I feel, and this is always difficult).
Definitely upgrade have eliminated all the sharp jolts to both my butt and handlebar, ride feels much, much smoother, bike moves with me being the integral part of movement, not bumping me up; there is no feeling of shock bottoming on potholes.
Again, for me - I reached optimum, cannot see the need for any improvement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
657 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Finally got a chance to ride my friend's Tuono. It's confirmed: my Speedy's suspension is now on a par with Aprilia's, only better - because set properly for my weight and riding style. Given that Tuono is considered to have one of the best out-of-a-box suspensions, quite not bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
936 Posts
Finally got a chance to ride my friend's Tuono. It's confirmed: my Speedy's suspension is now on a par with Aprilia's, only better - because set properly for my weight and riding style. Given that Tuono is considered to have one of the best out-of-a-box suspensions, quite not bad.
Bohdan are you comparing the Tuono RSVR or the Factory Version, The R has Showa/Sachs combo and the Factory has Ohlins all round.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
657 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Bohdan are you comparing the Tuono RSVR or the Factory Version, The R has Showa/Sachs combo and the Factory has Ohlins all round.
It is 2007 Tuono 1000R - standard, not factory, so Showa/Sachs. Still, in the department of suspension and handling it is cosidered as "best and most refined out of the box" (Motorcycle.com Streetfighters Shootout).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
936 Posts
It is 2007 Tuono 1000R - standard, not factory, so Showa/Sachs. Still, in the department of suspension and handling it is cosidered as "best and most refined out of the box" (Motorcycle.com Streetfighters Shootout).
I'd like to find out what make's the Aprilia Showa's so much better than the S3 Showa's. I had the 02 RSV Mille and was pretty indifferent to the suspension ( Showa/Sach's ) Then I rode the 04 Factory ( Ohlin's ) and man what a difference, the ride was comforable plush and compliant
that bike tracked like it was on rails and it wasn't even set up for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
I'd like to find out what make's the Aprilia Showa's so much better than the S3 Showa's. I had the 02 RSV Mille and was pretty indifferent to the suspension ( Showa/Sach's ) Then I rode the 04 Factory ( Ohlin's ) and man what a difference, the ride was comforable plush and compliant
that bike tracked like it was on rails and it wasn't even set up for me.
Aprilia Showa's are adjustable rebound/compression both legs.
Aprilia has more knowledge on suspension setup. (from racing)
More thought gone into standard setup. (so development costs more)

Everything is made to a price. unfortunately
Just depends on the target competition.

BTW Aprilia's front Showa's can be revalved with Ohlins internals.
The Sachs rear, can be revalved, but price wise just put an Ohlins in there.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top