Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,320 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just wanted to comment that I rode with two of my buddies a couple of weekends ago, and had a chance to ride on a Vstrom 650. Being used to the riding position on my Legend, it didn't have great ergos for me, but the stock suspension really blew me away. Having gotten back on bikes in 2007 after 25 years off, even I could tell the stock Legend suspension sucked, and I did the progressive springs and intiminators up front, and a ZX11 in the back. That was a big upgrade, but after riding the Weestrom, it was like a buckboard in comparison. Since I love this bike so much, however, I think I am going to save up and spend some serious money on the suspension and see just how good it can be. I'm thinking maybe Traxxion or Penske. The Hagons sound better than stock, but probably not nearly as good as the Penske.
I liked the higher riding position of the Weestrom too, but couldn't live without my triple engine and TORs. It did lead me to believe that a Tiger 800 or 1200 might not be a bad choice for a second bike for me, but I really can't imagine the Legend in the garage while I was riding something else. I guess I am just too attached:rolleyes:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
649 Posts
The way you ride that legend I'm amazed that yous two are still attached!:D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,462 Posts
Hi ssevy,

I'm guessing that what you're looking for in suspension may be similar to me? That is, you want your cake and eat it too as regards getting a good ride quality, but having enough control to keep everything planted while you ride the nuts off it in the twisties, regardless of bumpy tarmac? (Maybe not riding this way all the time, but being able to when the mood strikes!)

Anyhow, this is what I've been at these last 3yrs or so. It's been quite a learning curve & I must confess that not everything I've written about it on the way I would write again now. In some ways each new upgrade & discovery has been a somewhat humbling experience in realising yet another layer of the onion that I'd not previously believed existed.

So I'll offer you a few thoughts on what I would have done if I'd had the benefit of this hindsight at the beginning & enough money (or even a bit more) to do it in one go.

First off, ready adjustability is needed - at least for front sag/preload & low speed (of suspension travel, not mph) compression & rebound damping for both front & rear. Additionally, high speed compression adjustment is useful too & reasonably affordable at the rear, if not, unfortunately, at the front. Adjustability is needed because road terrain can vary a lot, as can rider preferences where even with very good suspension, there are still compromises to be decided esp for street riders.

So we're talking a change of forks to something 'fully' adjustable, and imo, more money/effort is needed here than the rear. Without spending $1000s, the only route I see is swapping in something from a sport bike. And in hindsight (& with budget) I would get some better internals fitted from the off as well - correctly sized linear springs & the best valving from someone like Racetech or Traxxion etc that can be afforded, with the parts fitted and shimmed by them or one of their suspension experts/shops (eg forum member Tmod).

As to which sport bike forks to start with, the key decision is whether to keep the stock spoked wheel or not. If the answer is 'keep' (the cheaper option too), then I'd suggest the 96-03 ZX7R forks are as good as any (with upgraded internals) & you know the conversion is possible (& I can help with dimensions for the few machined parts needed). Link to the thread I posted:

http://www.triumphrat.net/hinckley-classic-triples/164910-zx7r-96-03-usd-fork-conversion-legend.html

As for the rear, I don't think the sportbike swap in options are too bad at all. But the best options do need the battery mount modified & the lower half of the rear airbox removed for some. The 08 ZX6R unit I have now feels pretty good & has both low speed & high speed compression adjustment. I reckon the spring is around 10 to 10.5 kg/mm - near enough to optimum for solo use. That said, something like a Penske is much more affordable than high end front options & I'd say worth it if the budget is there. I'd definitely get the high speed compression & hydraulic preload options if I had enough cash to buy a 'base' model.

As a final thought, I've recently fitted a Bridgestone S20 'sport' tyre on the front. I can't entirely pick out what proportion is this tyre & what is the RT (compression) Gold Valves (coutesy Tmod's excellent advice & service), but the grip is phenominal - dry or wet. I doubt, on the front, wear will be much different to a sport/touring option - it would have to be very bad to not choose a sport tyre again!

For the next rear, I'm not sure yet what to buy, tho' I'm going for a 150 section as I think this size is a better fit on the 4.25 rim & actually give me more rubber at the edges as a result. The 'sport' option (S20) is only available in 150/60, but a more comfortable 150/70 in a longer wearing sport/touring (eg Roadsmart II) is probably all the grip I need at the back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
I'm open to reasonably priced mods that aren't too difficult to install, but there comes a point when, well, if you want a sport bike, you should buy a sport bike. There is a limit to what can be done with the T3 bikes. They are big, heavy bikes after all. One might was well put mag wheels and a spoiler on a Cadillac.

The T3's are what they are. Accept them or move on. Of course I realize different folks have different ideas about what they consider "reasonable" mods; nothing wrong with that.

It also depends on your point of view. My previous ride was a Buell Blast, which makes the Adventurer suspension feel plush and sophisticated. Talk about a cart-like suspension, that bike had it. I also had a YZF600R, which the T3 will never match. But at the end of a long ride on the Adventurer, at least my wrists aren't screaming as they were with the YZF600R.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top