Best $1.36 I've ever spent on suspension... - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Best $1.36 I've ever spent on suspension...

Put about 200 miles on dad's Vulcan in the last week after getting her running again. The front suspension's really been pissing me off, bottoming out on any decent size bump, bouncing all over the place between accelerating & braking.

Really would like to get some Progressive springs on it, but so far I've been trying to keep the resurrection as cost effective as possible. So, out of curiosity, tonight I slip a zip tie around the fork tube, pull the front brake, pull the suspension all the way up, slide the zip tie down against the wiper seal, let it back down and sit on it to check sag.

2.125" static sag. Again, Two and One Eighth Inches... Seriously? No wonder it's been bottoming out! That only leaves less than four inches of fork travel to use it's using a good chunk of that just on the normal roads, let alone any "bumps".

So, off to Lowe's I go and return with a 5 foot stick of 3/4" PVC for $1.36.

Pulled out the old spacers, cut new ones 1.125" longer than stock, and reassembled.

I've put Progressive springs in several old bikes, so I have an idea of what to expect. I'd have been happy with this result if it had cost me $75 instead of 36 cents (technically on the way home I found a dollar bill in the road...)

Static sag is now just a smidge over 1", and it rides 100% better. Takes the quarter round curb up my driveway with just a little bump instead of the harsh whack that it had before, and feels very well balanced with the stock shocks. Not nearly as nice of a ride as a "new" bike, but very well balanced front & rear. I can live with that.

So, for those of you looking for cheap mods, let me recommend this one, just be sure to have a helper around for reassembly time, as I'm not sure I could have done it without the third hand.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 01:28 AM
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I have a few questions trying to figure out why the seemingly excessive sag.
How old is the bike?
How many miles on it?
Were the previous riders large men, ie #300?
How big are you?
Was it ridden hard over rough ground?

Any other items you can think of to explain the soft front springs?
Thanks. Just trying to understand why the springs are so beat-up.

OH BTW, thanks for the tip!

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
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Last edited by OlHossCanada; 05-21-2011 at 01:30 AM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 09:10 AM
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Would low fork oil cause the same symptoms?

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlHossCanada View Post
I have a few questions trying to figure out why the seemingly excessive sag.
How old is the bike?
How many miles on it?
Were the previous riders large men, ie #300?
How big are you?
Was it ridden hard over rough ground?

Any other items you can think of to explain the soft front springs?
Thanks. Just trying to understand why the springs are so beat-up.

OH BTW, thanks for the tip!
Well, good call Hoss, if this excessive sag isn't "normal" it would be nice to whittle away at why.

Bike is a '98
Going to roll over 7500 miles in about 20 minutes when I take the kiddo on her "daddy date" for breakfast.
I'm about 190 w/ gear.
No clue about the first 4500 miles, but it's been babied since then.

Honestly, I can't say we've ever check fork oil levels on her. Pretty sure last night was the first time I'm popped the caps. I've got a pint of 10 wt & a pint of 20 wt PJ1 sitting in the garage right now and actually thought about mixing the two for some 15 wt. and flushing & refilling the system to spec. But I really anticipate some Progressive springs to be procured in the next month and didn't want to waste the oil...
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 12:46 PM
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Fork oil level should not effect sag...... But it be a good idea to check the level anyway.

My project bike came with some pretty soft springs, as they sagged twice what my 02 did....and I am under 155lbs.

I think the springs just wear out.... Not dependant on rider weight really, just perhaps poorly tempered springs? Metal fatigue?

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abyssdncr View Post
Well, good call Hoss, if this excessive sag isn't "normal" it would be nice to whittle away at why.

Bike is a '98
Going to roll over 7500 miles in about 20 minutes when I take the kiddo on her "daddy date" for breakfast.
I'm about 190 w/ gear.
No clue about the first 4500 miles, but it's been babied since then.

Honestly, I can't say we've ever check fork oil levels on her. Pretty sure last night was the first time I'm popped the caps. I've got a pint of 10 wt & a pint of 20 wt PJ1 sitting in the garage right now and actually thought about mixing the two for some 15 wt. and flushing & refilling the system to spec. But I really anticipate some Progressive springs to be procured in the next month and didn't want to waste the oil...
Thanks for the reply. It would be easier to understand the soft springs if the bike had a lot more miles, or was more beat up, or if you were a really big guy.

I still think a large PO, riding hard, would contribute to more metal fatigue than a smaller rider would. Still seems like early failure at 4500 miles.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9127
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-26-2011, 07:08 PM
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The only drawback to this mod is that you lose that amount of travel in the suspension. In this case the 1.125"

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