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Old 10-17-2014, 12:20 PM   #1
Wise Guy OP
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F650GS: Intiminators only? Or should I "spring" for springs too?

Disclaimer: My knowledge of motorcycle suspension is limited only to bits and pieces I've read - mainly on this forum.

I picked up a pair of Ricor Intiminators at an unspeakably low price from someone who bought them, but never installed them on his F650GS.

I'm decent with a wrench, but have zero experience with suspensions, and would just as soon pay someone else to do it.

My questions:

Should I also buy some new fork springs at the same time? I have no idea what's involved in terms of labor, but if 90% of the labor is being done for the Intiminator install, maybe I should go for springs too, right?

If you vote yes for springs, what is out there? I see Hyperpro progressive for $200. Other options?

I ride mostly street, with the occasional dirt road or trail. Nothing too gnarly. Yet. I'm 170lb plus gear.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:51 PM   #2
itsatdm
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Don't own one, so no direct experience. Knowing your weight would be helpful.

I have never seen a straight wound spring for your bike. Besides Hyperpro, Progressive/Wirth/and Wilbers make progressive springs.

If you don't get a current response, Google F650gs + intimidators to find threads on it. Add +ADV for limiting search on this site. I know there are previous posts.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:05 PM   #3
Tom Morrison
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I just added Intiminators and new fork oil, and felt it was a significant improvement over stock. Not an overly difficult procedure either.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:07 PM   #4
AustinXL
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In my Harley Sportster days I added Intiminators and Works Performance dual-rate springs. I did both at the same time so its hard to say which made more of a difference but it felt like a different bike up front after that.
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Old 10-18-2014, 01:54 AM   #5
JRWooden
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There's a thread here on the intiminators...

I'd suggest that you just install the intimnators and see what happens unless you are a very agressive rider you might be all done ...

I found them to be a nice improvement and all I needed.

In the instructions they suggest you cut down the spacer tubes when you install the intiminators. Unless you are a lighter weight person (like maybe less than 160lbs) I'd suggest you NOT cut the spacer tubes down to begin with ........

Some tuning is involved here

and seriously ... the install-thread is very good!
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Old 10-18-2014, 02:06 AM   #6
PeterW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wise Guy View Post
Disclaimer: My knowledge of motorcycle suspension is limited only to bits and pieces I've read - mainly on this forum.

I picked up a pair of Ricor Intiminators at an unspeakably low price from someone who bought them, but never installed them on his F650GS.

I'm decent with a wrench, but have zero experience with suspensions, and would just as soon pay someone else to do it.

My questions:

Should I also buy some new fork springs at the same time? I have no idea what's involved in terms of labor, but if 90% of the labor is being done for the Intiminator install, maybe I should go for springs too, right?

If you vote yes for springs, what is out there? I see Hyperpro progressive for $200. Other options?

I ride mostly street, with the occasional dirt road or trail. Nothing too gnarly. Yet. I'm 170lb plus gear.

Thanks in advance!
Experience from a different bike. Intiminators only first and don't forget the lighter oil. The initial damping is so much higher that unless the springs are grossly light now they won't need changing. Note that PVC pipe will work as a replacement spacer and is very easy to work, so making new spacers may be a better option than cutting down the existing ones, you DO need to be sure to remove any loose plastic from cutting down. (PVC has been in my front end three years, it hasn't deformed, exploded, turned the oil into acid in all that time). Pete
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Old 10-18-2014, 08:49 AM   #7
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The Ricor piece is 14mm thick so it adds 14mm to the OEM preload. On mine the OEM spacer was 200mm long. The OEM spring lengths are 377mm (right) and 378mm(left) = go figure.

TUNING: I felt the OEM front end was too soft and wanted to stiffen it up a bit. After a bit of experimentation and sag measurements plus test rides I ended up with a piece of 1 1/4" O.D. (1" I.D.) PVC cut to 187mm. I added one steel washer for a one half inch bolt that was 2.5mm thick for a total of 189.5. Adding the Intiminator (14mm) the total preload package is 203.5mm.

Using the recommended Amsoil Shock Therapy Synthetic 5 wt oil (need two quarts as the total volume is just a tick over 1 quart) I put 565ml in the left fork and 574ml in the right fork with the Ricor in, spacers and springs out and the fork fully compressed. Notwithstanding the different volume in each leg I measured the oil to be 145mm down from the top in each leg before replacing the innards.

With me on the bike this set up yields a sag of 60mm, slightly more than 33% which is pretty comfortable for my mostly paved road riding. Ricor recommends a sag of 69mm & 38%. This would be a softer than mine. Whatever you do when you get into measuring sag use metric - much easier math.

I contemplated new springs. The issue is progressive versus straight rate springs. Here ITSATDM pretty much closes the door on straight rate springs as non-existent. At his suggestion in another thread I contacted Cannonracecraft trying to get the spring rate for the stock springs or straight rate replacements = no love there so the mystery remains. New springs would have to be progressives but I'm pretty happy with the set up as is.
I weigh 185# dressed ATGATT to ride.

AS JR suggests I would work with the Intiminators and preload spacers tuning them first to see what you come up with comfort wise. If you decide you need new springs, that's an easy install without removing the fork tubes. So you can do it later.

As always YMMV.

Here are a couple of threads worth looking at:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=489675
http://f800riders.org/forum/showthre...GS-Intiminator
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Old 10-18-2014, 02:41 PM   #8
vtbob
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I have a F650GS with Intiminators which I put it.

The thin oil they provide is very important. The disc valving give a much more compliant front suspension...better ride, better control. I did not cut down the BMW spacers so I did increase the spring preload a bit.

I am totally satisfied with this approach. ps I'm 210 lbs and ride pretty aggressively on pavement twisties and briskly on dirt roads. I do not do single track with this bike.

I've never been a proponent of stiff springs on a relatively long travel bike like the F650.

However if your riding style finds you bottoming frequently(after you have tried the Intiminators)....then stiffer springs are called for. Adding stiffer springs when you are not bottoming..degrades wheel tracking...wheel control.
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Old 10-18-2014, 08:44 PM   #9
river-rider
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intimadarors

I have the a 2010 f650gs with Ricors installed. The Ricors solved the terrible brake dive. I also have a Rallemoto RM2 steering damper installed which I think is the perfect solution for the dampner-less 650. The weak links are the cast wheels and weight. I agree with those suggest waiting to see if there's any problems after installing the Ricors. I dismissed the need for different springs pretty quickly. Deep sand and mud will continue to challenge most riders of this bike even after ALL upgrades but it's the most perfect interstate to fire road bike I could wish for!
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:33 AM   #10
Wise Guy OP
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Thanks for all the replies!

Guys,

Thanks so much for all the replies.

The majority recommend trying the Intiminators only to start - so I'll stick with stock springs for the first go-round. Probably will be fine for me.

And if I understood it correctly, springs can be swapped later if need be, without having to take the forks off the bike. So my concern about duplicating all the labor is mostly unwarranted.

As for cutting the spacer, it seems more suggest NOT to cut it - at least at first. Sounds like it goes on top, so it could be a fairly easy thing to remove/cut/clean/reinstall if needed. Although, I have a feeling I'll want to cut it, as I'm under 170 pounds, and only have a 29" inseam.

I'm just waffling on whether to do it myself or outsource it. Seems to be lots of differences of opinion on oil level, which parts to have in when measuring oil level, etc.

No special tools required, or recommended, right? Not that I've ever been afraid of buying tools, mind you! I just don't want to get halfway through the job and find out I need to drop $100 on a BMW Forkegnugen Shpringengrabber or some such endangered tool species

Thanks again guys - I always appreciate the collective wisdom here
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:22 AM   #11
PeterW
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Trivially easy job. Buy a hand transfer pump (most auto accessory stores have them here) and pump most of the oil out from the top. That way all you have to do is remove the fork caps and lift out the springs. Some oil being left behind doesn't make an enormous difference - it's not an engine.

Loosening the top pinch bolts is a good idea as they squeeze the cap, but that's the only trick if you do the job the lazy bastards (tm) way.

Pete
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:31 PM   #12
Rgconner
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Use a ratcheting tiedown and a wood dowel/ half inch PVC pipe to compress the springs to get the clip into place.

While not necessary, you can just lean into it with your shoulder, to compress it does make it easier to fit the retaining clip back in place.

I just did this job today for the second time, the first when I put Wilburs springs in.

Adding an inch of pre-compression made a world of difference, I made a separate post about it as to not clutter yours.

FWIW, i am a big rider, 275ish with full gear, 2013 7F00GS
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:07 PM   #13
Wise Guy OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterW View Post
Trivially easy job. Buy a hand transfer pump (most auto accessory stores have them here) and pump most of the oil out from the top. That way all you have to do is remove the fork caps and lift out the springs. Some oil being left behind doesn't make an enormous difference - it's not an engine.

Loosening the top pinch bolts is a good idea as they squeeze the cap, but that's the only trick if you do the job the lazy bastards (tm) way.

Pete
Pete,

Seems logical. Of course, those words have gotten me into trouble before!! But I am all for the lazy way out.

And the bike is a 2012 with only 4k miles on it. So if a little of the OEM heavier weight oil gets left behind, I doubt it would pose a problem.

Now I just need to carve out some free time to do it.

Thanks
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