Sempai's posting on the progressive spring installation: Well we can get around that firewall and filter *L* Here's the page content: Installing Progressive Fork Springs Instructions are for the 1500 Classic & Carbed Nomad From Rudi Kiefer, Wilmington, NC VROC #121 Note: Doing the work is quicker than it took me to write this, so it's really not a big job.
a. Some way to take the weight off the front wheel. I use a car jack on each side of the frame, but there are many different ways.
b. Some small and very small screwdrivers.
c. Wood dowel or similar "tool", 3/4" diameter
d. Woodworker's Kwik-Klamp, or a helper
Should have mentioned: I used a small round stone in my dremel to make a small depression in the clamp to keep it from slipping off. It doesn't affect the use of the clamp for intended purposes. grambo
e. One foot of 1" (outside diameter) PVC pipe, the strong kind (schedule-40 I believe it's called), very cheap at the hardware store. Go to a small store where they will cut a length for you, the big shopping centers will make you buy a whole 10-foot stick.
f. Hacksaw to cut the PVC to 4" length.
g. A very sharp knife to get the Progressive springs out of that ^% #@**!!! factory shrink wrap.
(1) Jack the bike up so the front wheel is slightly off the ground.
(2) Block the front wheel in position so it can't swing around. I put a heavy toolbox on each side of the wheel.
(3) Put a blanket on the tank to avoid scratching by dropped tools, etc. Now do the following procedures on each side:
(4) Remove the chrome cap from the triple clamp. Careful, it's made of plastic and expensive to replace if it breaks. Pry it out gently with a screwdriver or such.
(5) Press down on the bronze-color plug which you see in the top of the fork tube. I used a thick wood dowel. If you don't have somebody to press down on it for you, a woodworker's clamp can be used to apply pressure. Worked for me.
(6) With the plug down, remove the metal retaining ring, using a very small screwdriver. Careful if you work outside, it might go "sproinnnnggg" away into the blue yonder.
(7) Take the plug out and pull the stock fork spring out slowly. I propped it up in a halfway-out position (just stick a screwdriver into it) and took a 1-hour coffee and cookies break to allow the oil to drain down into the tube. This will save you from re-measuring the oil level, although it would be good to do that.
(8) Remove the old spring. Insert the new spring so that the narrow- wound coils face upward toward the handlebar.
(9) Make a 7" long spacer out of 1" PVC pipe available at the hardware store. Get the thick type pipe (schedule-40, I think it's called), not the thin one. It's cheap.
(Note this: I went with 7-1/8 due to my weight... Us big boys need a little more spacer...Bulldog)
(10) Insert spacer on top of the new spring.
(11) Insert plug. Press down on it and insert the retaining ring.
(12) *Very important*! Check carefully to see that the retaining ring is seated properly all the way around.
(13) Put chrome cap back on.
(14) Take the bike off the jacks.
(15) Go for a test ride on a bumpy road and be surprised!
(16) Learn that the remaining limitation on handling are the stock Bridgestone tires. Do preparatory work on the wife (or significant other) explaining the purchase of 2 new aftermarket tires. For more pre-load on the fork springs, you can experiment with longer spacers. Some in our group have had good results with 4.25" and even 4.5" spacers. Enjoy your new suspension, and great handling!
That's a good write-up. But there are a couple things to add. One is changing the fork oil while you're at it. This requires draining the oil and then compressing the shocks to measure the refill amount (where the ratchet tiedown comes in). Also, I just cut off the stock metal spacers to where I still had about 1/2" of it protruding from the top of the fork. This increased the preload a bit. A bandsaw is helpful to make sure they are cut straight. I will make sure the link to the pics works and see what all I can find to post about this operation. In any case, it's definitely a do-it-yourself job for most anyone. grambo
I changed over to progressives a couple weeks ago. The bike is under a year old so I didn't change the oil. Put it on the center stand, slid a floor jack under the engine. It takes so little pressure to tilt it onto the back tire. Covered the tank with a blanket, used a socket and bar clamp to compress spring. Two small screw drivers to take out rings. Pulled the springs part way out to let oil drain back in. The instuctions indicate the new springs displace more oil than the oem, so what ever stayed on the spring I wasn't too worried about. I read some were, I thought that you needed 1 inch pvc to use as a spacer but it was too big. I cut down the oem spacer and put it back in. I might make it 1/2 inch longer if I did it again. Put it all back together with new rings. Works good. I don't feel like my nose is going to hit the pavement now when I brake hard and it handles so much better. Some time I'll go back and see if it really said 1 inch pvc.
Two tips for future fork spring installers:
I had two problems, putting the even amount of fluid into each fork, you can measure volume or measure height of fluid from top of fork. I chose the latter, but I overfilled and had to siphon some out. Not fun, and time consuming. If I had to do it again, I would get the progressive fork fluid tool. Second problem was the #%$ retaining clip. It took 5 minutes to get the first one off, about a minute to get the second one off. I did it by myself. Getting them back on was an even worse job. Tip, use Ray's tip below, but also jack the bike up so the front wheel is completely off the ground, but stable. This will extend the forks to the max and make the compression job Ray describes below even easier. And last tip, find a patient helper and do the job on a day when you are in a very good mood and have lots of patience. I did not use a helper, but I was in a good mood. I think I only cursed once and it was mentally, not verbally. So it is not a very hard job to do, if you have patience. No test ride yet, it is raining :-( Time to go back out and work on the bike :-) For some reason I find working on the bike very relaxing....EXCEPT when working with dumb retaining rings that is. ;-) Sempai