Curing the K6 thou's bumpy bits.
Previous posts dealt with the suspension upgrades on the trusty '06 Gixer. The shock was re-shimmed, serviced and fitted with a linear rate spring. No problems there (with my limited ability at least). The 43mm Kayabas were re-shimmed and filled with fresh oil but, due to funding, came back with the standard 0.95kg progressive springs.
As the months progressed, they started to leak oil and preload adjusters were screwed right in to try and prevent bottoming out. The front was getting very harsh to say the least. Put up against modern bikes and she was beginning to show her age. Smooth roads were fine, but the bumpy stuff was iffy, sometimes scary.
A couple of emails to Traxxion Dynamics and they sorted me out with their straight-rate springs with an overall rating of 0.975kg. I just had to choose the fitting method for the type of spring - either cut the spacer, or alter the top-out springs within the cartridge. I decided to leave the cartridges alone and just cut the spacer.
Forks were stripped as per, leaving cartridges in place, then the old seals were taken out and plenty of brake cleaner inside the outer fork tubes to remove the dirty residue. Photos are limited unfortunately - I got carried away with the job and forgot to take enough of them!
Spring compressed ready for the fork top to be removed from the damper rod assembly.
New springs, note the extra length.
Traxxion provide all the instructions on how to measure the amount to be cut away, but they'd already given me the nod that 40mm was the way forward for the Gixer. The picture below shows the 40mm cut off the spacer (left), and new holes drilled in what's left for the spring compressor.
With new oil seals fitted, it was time to refill with oil and put them both back together. I'm running with the Suzuki standard air gap of 101mm.
(Both forks were leaking, and when I stripped them they had an air gap of 140mm - no wonder they were getting harsh!)
I slipped the forks back into the clamps and refitted the mudguard, wheel and calipers. I only tighten the lower triple clamp bolts once the wheel is in and the suspension bounced up and down a few times. This relieves any tension/twist when fitting the wheel etc.
Road test time.
I think we're onto something here. I basically just set my compression damping at ten clicks out, rebound at seven clicks and the preload to the first line on the adjusters.
A blast along some of my favourite roads and I've still got an inch of travel in reserve! What a difference. It feels so much more stable in the bends now which could be as much do with oil level as well as the different geometry. I'll experiment with less compression damping to see if I can get a softer/more plush ride next.
Overall, I'm happy as. No leaks (for now), and the bike's actually easier to ride. A highly recommended mod. If you're not using a zip tie on your stanchions, go get one now. That little plastic tie is a mine of information!