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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm planning to set the suspension on my 2006 990 Adventure sorted out and am looking for a little advice and recommendations.

I am thinking about having a front respring (.59 950SE) and revalve along with a rear revalve. I ride mainly road but intend to start some light offroad in the near future. I sometimes carry a passenger and luggage too.

I am looking for a suspension tuner in the UK that can tackle the task and that has experience of doing 950/990 Adventures. Has anybody else had this done in the UK? Could you recommend anyone? I am thinking about sending my business the way of On-Track Racing http://www.on-trackracing.com/ but would like to hear from anybody with recommendations.

Thanks. :cool:
 

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I did a bit of research on suspension places in the UK last year, and didnt come across many who had much experience with the 9x0's. I think that is still kinda the case...
Some places thought that going with .59 springs was nuts! :eek: (an indication of not knowing much about the bike!)
Im running 0.62's now on the front - and 160N on the rear (10 more than non-S, 20 more than S).

Given how expensive it was here, and how little experience there seemed to be, I took advantage of some cheap shipping & cheeeep! exchange rate and got it done in the US. However, thats not good for getting follow-up work done - which I knew before hand, but took the gamble.

I have some follow-up work to do on my forks - for which I am probably going to send to Chris (on Track Racing) on the basis of good recommendations - just have to work out how (since I use my bike every day). The work is going to be pretty simple, so maybe I can find someone closer for that.

Clem (on hols at the moment) got his done at http://www.tillitsuspension.com - hes happy with the results. He got 0.59 springs, revalved & lengthened to S-spec too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
MMMmmm

I have some follow-up work to do on my forks - for which I am probably going to send to Chris (on Track Racing) on the basis of good recommendations - just have to work out how (since I use my bike every day). The work is going to be pretty simple, so maybe I can find someone closer for that.
Thanks for the reply mooky. I had searched before posting the question. :)

I assume that you sent your forks off to Superplush in the US? They are supposed to know the Adventure well so what follow up work do you need doing? Perhaps when Chris at On-Track Racing sees what was done with the valving on your forks it would give him a baseline to work with.

Given the current exchange rates, it is actually cheaper getting the work done here in the UK now, the only question that remains is can a UK tuner do a reasonable job? In all likelyhood, even a half arsed job would be better than stock. :confused:
 

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cool dude and mooky:

What do you use your bikes for (cool dude, you did say road and soon some off-road, but what will the alterations be for)?

What don't you like about the standard suspension?

Mooky: Did you ask for specific stuff to be done, or did you explain your problem, and ask them to do what they thought would be best to solve it?

I know you said you wanted 0.59 Nm springs, so why didn't you just change them yourself? Or did the damping range also need to be altered to suit the new springs, or otherwise?

I contacted WP UK about servicing, and was not impressed by their attitude. As a result, I then spoke to someone at WP in Holland (who are in the same building as KTM apparently. I know KTM own some/all of WP but they are not always together) and he seemed to know what he was talking about re the ADV, and not just WP. Maybe it would be worth giving them a try... if it wasn't for the weak£.

TBM magazine got Dr Shox, now Endurotech, to do some work on their long-term test Husqvarna enduro bike. How about them, cool dude? Here's their link: http://www.endurotech.co.uk/
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well....

What do you use your bikes for (cool dude, you did say road and soon some off-road, but what will the alterations be for)?
For me, at the moment it is mostly road riding, including carrying a passenger and luggage. I will soon be starting some light offroad which also will be with a passenger and luggage at times.

What don't you like about the standard suspension?
It is well known that the Adventure suspension is imbalanced. For most riders the front is too softly sprung and the rear is over sprung. For me, the front is way too soft even when set full hard. The rear is ok for my weight and usage.

I know you said you wanted 0.59 Nm springs, so why didn't you just change them yourself? Or did the damping range also need to be altered to suit the new springs, or otherwise?
I could attempt putting the .59 springs (from the 950SE) into my Adventure but that will only improve the spring rate. By all accounts the Adventure needs more mid stroke damping which is where the revalve comes in. Also, there are very positive comments from the US about the affect of revalving both the front and rear. The way I see it, if I am going to have the front done at the suspension tuners then I might as well get the rear revalved at the same time. The cost of a front revalve should be about £200 for the front (springs plus revalve) and £120 for the rear (revalve only).

Whilst it would be great to have a 2nd set of wheels for offroad use, I just cannot justify it at the moment. I am hoping that the suspension work will allow me to use the standard wheels for light offroad without me turning them into tacos. :eek: Again, by all accounts, having the suspension sorted out can allow the standard wheels to cope a bit better.
 

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Thanks cool dude.

£200 sounds like OK value for the front, as that include the springs. I take it that the revalving involves the use of WP parts? Do you expect to send the whole fork legs to the specialist or just the relevant damper parts?

As you are riding two-up, off-road, I can see that you'll need to make suspension changes. I was going to ask if you're very fat!

What sort of off-road riding are you doing (two-up)?

If you were off-roading solo, perhaps it would be better and more economical to get another bike to do that with. But if you have to buy one for the wife as well, that could get expensive!

People, mainly sports bike riders, who've ridden my KTM have commented about the soft front. I admit it's soft, but I don't think it matters, once you accept it. I does not bottom out, and in some instances the dive helps. I'm not accustomed to riding in-line fours, so am in the habit of using the V's engine breaking. I find the suspension perfect on rough single-track roads as found in rural-France, -Spain and Portugal. I'm reluctant to stiffen it in case it's not as plush on those roads. . I'm 85 kg, and I ride solo.

Thanks again. Please let us know how you get on.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello Johnny Foreigner.... ;)

£200 sounds like OK value for the front, as that include the springs. I take it that the revalving involves the use of WP parts? Do you expect to send the whole fork legs to the specialist or just the relevant damper parts?
At On-Track Racing it is £110 for a front end WP service including revalve. The springs are £80-90 although I have seen them for £72 at Bikers Jersey. The rear service and revalve is £120. I intend on dropping the bike off when I am next in the neighbourhood (June). I imagine that the work involved is just a few hours. I cannot comment on whether WP parts are used but I cannot imagine that shims differ too much.

As you are riding two-up, off-road, I can see that you'll need to make suspension changes. I was going to ask if you're very fat!

What sort of off-road riding are you doing (two-up)?

If you were off-roading solo, perhaps it would be better and more economical to get another bike to do that with. But if you have to buy one for the wife as well, that could get expensive!

People, mainly sports bike riders, who've ridden my KTM have commented about the soft front. I admit it's soft, but I don't think it matters, once you accept it. I does not bottom out, and in some instances the dive helps. I'm not accustomed to riding in-line fours, so am in the habit of using the V's engine breaking. I find the suspension perfect on rough single-track roads as found in rural-France, -Spain and Portugal. I'm reluctant to stiffen it in case it's not as plush on those roads. . I'm 85 kg, and I ride solo.

Thanks again. Please let us know how you get on.
LOL - I weigh about 120Kg in riding gear and my passenger is about 90Kg. If you add a bit of luggage to that then you can see the weight involved. :eek: The offroading I will start doing will also be in France (Alps and Pyrenees).

Like I said, word on the street is that having the suspension revalved can save the standard rims (which are too wide for serious offroad) from becoming tacos. Whilst I never intend on becoming the next Meoni, I would like to try to keep the standard rims as I mostly ride on the road and therefore cannot justify full on offroad wheels. I will also make sure that the wheels are correctly tensioned and switch tyres from the standard Scorpions to TKC80s.

Ever mindful about insurance companies and my KTM warranty, I will be sticking with approved tyres for the time being... :cool:
 

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LOL - I weigh about 120Kg in riding gear and my passenger is about 90Kg. If you add a bit of luggage to that then you can see the weight involved. :eek: The offroading I will start doing will also be in France (Alps and Pyrenees).

Ever mindful about insurance companies and my KTM warranty, I will be sticking with approved tyres for the time being... :cool:
Ooop! Sorry. :redface:

I thought only Scorpions and Metzeler Karoos were approved, then I checked in your manual (as opposed to mine) and saw TKC80s! But my manual (2004)does say Karoos are OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ooop! Sorry. :redface:

I thought only Scorpions and Metzeler Karoos were approved, then I checked in your manual (as opposed to mine) and saw TKC80s! But my manual (2004)does say Karoos are OK.
Yeah, for the 990 Adventure (non S) only the standard Scorpions and TKC80s are authorised, probably due to the ABS. On the 990S, the Karoos are authorised too.

The full list of authorised tyres for all KTM models is here http://www.ktm.com/fileadmin/systemdata/downloads/tire_authorization_KTM_models_EN.pdf :cool:
 

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Thanks for the reply mooky. I had searched before posting the question. :)

I assume that you sent your forks off to Superplush in the US? They are supposed to know the Adventure well so what follow up work do you need doing? Perhaps when Chris at On-Track Racing sees what was done with the valving on your forks it would give him a baseline to work with.

Given the current exchange rates, it is actually cheaper getting the work done here in the UK now, the only question that remains is can a UK tuner do a reasonable job? In all likelyhood, even a half arsed job would be better than stock. :confused:
Yup. I sent my stuff to SPS. Its a bit of a long story - but the bike I ended up doing that for was stolen in August (about 3 weeks after I got the new suspension on it). James is a super-nice guy and sorted me out with some replacement S-spec suspension (resprung and revalved) - and I sold my originals (non-S) just recently.
The issue I have with my forks is that they are a bit sticky - which, if it werent for international shipping involved, I would get James to sort out for me - and hed do it for nothing.
The probably cause, we think, is that the guides werent machined down enough to accommodate the thicker springs - so we think they might be the cause for the friction. James hadnt done many at this weight springs before, so thats maybe why ...

Its for doing this follow up work that you want to use a suspension tuner nice an close to you.
 

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cool dude and mooky:

What do you use your bikes for (cool dude, you did say road and soon some off-road, but what will the alterations be for)?

What don't you like about the standard suspension?

Mooky: Did you ask for specific stuff to be done, or did you explain your problem, and ask them to do what they thought would be best to solve it?

I know you said you wanted 0.59 Nm springs, so why didn't you just change them yourself? Or did the damping range also need to be altered to suit the new springs, or otherwise?

I contacted WP UK about servicing, and was not impressed by their attitude. As a result, I then spoke to someone at WP in Holland (who are in the same building as KTM apparently. I know KTM own some/all of WP but they are not always together) and he seemed to know what he was talking about re the ADV, and not just WP. Maybe it would be worth giving them a try... if it wasn't for the weak£.

TBM magazine got Dr Shox, now Endurotech, to do some work on their long-term test Husqvarna enduro bike. How about them, cool dude? Here's their link: http://www.endurotech.co.uk/
While I use my bike for as my main (only) transport, my desired usage - the usage I set the bike up for - is offroad riding. Have done some weekends down Salisbury - planning a trip to Spain/Portugal in Spring and Morocco in the Autumn - with as much offroad riding as possible.

The standard suspension was way too light for me. Im 6'8" & 135kg. The sag measurements reflected that. While I never bottomed out the standard suspension, it dived badly on braking & when hitting a hump, the front would absorb too much of it & rear would kick up (one exacerbates the other).

I had some discussions with James (and couple others on advrider) about what sort of riding I would be doing - the sag measurements, etc with the stock suspension & we came up with the spring weights.
I didnt request anything specific with the valving (I dont know enough to be able to give any intelligent instructions) - just the sort of riding I would be doing. Some revalving is necessary for the heavier springs (to dissipate the energy the heavier springs store/release).
That will provide a pretty good starting point - and as I get more experience 'tuning' the suspension, I am hoping I can give better feedback to someone to make future valve changes if its necessary.

Ya, my experience with WP UK wasnt great either.
They demonstrated pretty weak knowledge of the LC8 offroad bikes - told me I was crazy for considering 0.59's (despite the fact these are stock on the SE) - and generally treated me with contempt. I cant say Id recommend them.
 

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People, mainly sports bike riders, who've ridden my KTM have commented about the soft front. I admit it's soft, but I don't think it matters, once you accept it. I does not bottom out, and in some instances the dive helps. I'm not accustomed to riding in-line fours, so am in the habit of using the V's engine breaking. I find the suspension perfect on rough single-track roads as found in rural-France, -Spain and Portugal. I'm reluctant to stiffen it in case it's not as plush on those roads. . I'm 85 kg, and I ride solo.
Well, ultimately what youre trying to achieve with spring weight is a good sag measurement (correct rider sag without having too little static sag).

Firstly that means youve got sufficient suspension travel to gently absorb impacts without bottoming out. The less travel you have to start with when you hit a bump, the more rapidly you have to absorb/dissipate the energy before reaching the end of the travel - the harsher it responds.
Thats true also of the spring - you can increase preload to give you the right rider sag measurement - but excessive preload & the progressive nature of the spring's compression means that its in the steeper part of the force vs displacement curve - ie harsher.

In short, good sag gives you a plusher ride if youre in terrain thats going to exercise the travel of your suspension.
 

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The fact that both of you are aiming to tailor your suspension for off-road use, and that you are both big old boys, explains a lot.

I'm happy with my suspension, but also open to ways of improving it.

Currently, my front sag is 60 mm which is a little more than what my starting point would be - rule of thumb being 25% x full travel, which is 57.5 mm of my 950's 230 mm travel.

As I've said, I'm happy with the way it works now. Over a fair period that included my most aggressive road riding on bumpyish surfaces, I can see that I am using most of my front travel, but not all, as I have not experienced bottoming out. My suspension is set to KTMs Comfort recommendations, but with a bit more preload.

For sure I would need to stiffen the front up if I was to ride fast on bumpy off-road ground.

mooky: You said you're experiencing sticking that could be down to the thicker 0.62 springs. Is this because the springs have more diameter? Are they WP? Usually for another bike?

Also, can you not alter the damping via the shims yourself? If the set-up is pretty close, why can't you go one step softer/harder to get what you want?

Thanks.
 

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On these heavy bikes, 20% is probably a better sag target to aim for.

(BTW you can whack a zip tie round your fork stanchion to keep track of your maximum downward travel)

The 0.62 are custom-wound springs - theyre not available off-the-shelf.
As for adjusting the damping myself - I have a lot to learn before I get to that point... there is an art to it.
 

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On these heavy bikes, 20% is probably a better sag target to aim for.

(BTW you can whack a zip tie round your fork stanchion to keep track of your maximum downward travel)

The 0.62 are custom-wound springs - theyre not available off-the-shelf.
As for adjusting the damping myself - I have a lot to learn before I get to that point... there is an art to it.
Why does the percentage of sag depend on the weight of the bike? If the spring rate is correct it should not matter if the bike is light or heavy. I would say: as there's plenty of travel, one can afford to give a higher percentage of it to sag. I'm talking on-road, don't forget. A little more sag can come in very handy at high-speed on rough roads as the tyre can track the surface more effectively. At least providing better for tyre-wear (especially rear). At most better for traction, grip and stability. It might not need the full 60 mm of sag, but the force becomes weaker towards the end of that 60 mm outward stroke, so it handy even if you don't use all of it most of the time.

Yup, I use a zip tie monitor travel, but it won't indicate bottoming unless you know exactly where that point is. It's not enough to take the manufacturer's travel figure for that. I'll be able so discover where bottom is when I strip the forks to change the fluid. Up until now I've relied on feel.

I accept what you say regarding suspension revalving being an art, but if you are happy with what the main man has already done, but you think the range needs to be a little softer, for example, can you not do that yourself?

I've had experience with RaceTech Gold Valves (not suitable for our WP forks). The inventor was obviously superior, but once I'd bought his device, I was capable of tuning it to my precise requirements as long as I could work out what I wanted... that was the difficult part for me.

Suspension is not easy, as you say. Two friends have had work done by Maxton - one thinks it's why he stacked his BlackBird; the other's lost too much damping after having a stiffer spring fitted. It's why I'm reluctant to experiment without more understanding.

Cheers for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sounds like...

It sounds to me like you chaps know what you are talking about, at least compared to my limited understanding. :confused:

Wouldn't it be good if an "expert" or even a suspension tuner could add to this thread? Perhaps I am overthinking things here (very unlike me :rolleyes:) and that any half knowledgeable professional could revalve an Adventure for any given usage and weight....

Anyway, mooky, did Superplush do this to your forks?

 

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It sounds to me like you chaps know what you are talking about, at least compared to my limited understanding. :confused:

Wouldn't it be good if an "expert" or even a suspension tuner could add to this thread? Perhaps I am overthinking things here (very unlike me :rolleyes:) and that any half knowledgeable professional could revalve an Adventure for any given usage and weight....

Anyway, mooky, did Superplush do this to your forks?

No idea - but I am guessing that is from a thread on advrider on precision concepts?
 

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Why does the percentage of sag depend on the weight of the bike? If the spring rate is correct it should not matter if the bike is light or heavy. I would say: as there's plenty of travel, one can afford to give a higher percentage of it to sag. I'm talking on-road, don't forget. A little more sag can come in very handy at high-speed on rough roads as the tyre can track the surface more effectively. At least providing better for tyre-wear (especially rear). At most better for traction, grip and stability. It might not need the full 60 mm of sag, but the force becomes weaker towards the end of that 60 mm outward stroke, so it handy even if you don't use all of it most of the time.

Yup, I use a zip tie monitor travel, but it won't indicate bottoming unless you know exactly where that point is. It's not enough to take the manufacturer's travel figure for that. I'll be able so discover where bottom is when I strip the forks to change the fluid. Up until now I've relied on feel.

I accept what you say regarding suspension revalving being an art, but if you are happy with what the main man has already done, but you think the range needs to be a little softer, for example, can you not do that yourself?

I've had experience with RaceTech Gold Valves (not suitable for our WP forks). The inventor was obviously superior, but once I'd bought his device, I was capable of tuning it to my precise requirements as long as I could work out what I wanted... that was the difficult part for me.

Suspension is not easy, as you say. Two friends have had work done by Maxton - one thinks it's why he stacked his BlackBird; the other's lost too much damping after having a stiffer spring fitted. It's why I'm reluctant to experiment without more understanding.

Cheers for your help.
Well, the trouble with too much sag on road is the way the bike 'pops up' on acceleration - or as you cross over vertical on a left-to-right turn. You end up with a lot of rocking-horse action - and it throws the geometry off.

The lower % sag number was recommended to me by a suspension tuner - his rationale is that given the bike is quite heavy, it allows the suspension to take bigger hits - or be more plush in the damping in the early part of the stroke (because there is more stroke left to take up the bigger hits).
As you say, there is a downside - in terms of the wheels tracking well over choppy terrain... etc
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Certainly

No idea - but I am guessing that is from a thread on advrider on precision concepts?
Yeah, that's the one. Informative and I may even try polishing the springs.. :p as it may be the only thing that I can do myself.
 
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