As many of you know the wee strom front suspension is lacking. After reading some glowing reviews of Intiminators fork valves in the big Dr650 thread I was in contact with the Ricor team. Imtiminators http://store.ricorshocks.com/default.asp are similar to Racetech gold valve emulators & are a step above as they utilize inertia valve technology (to reduce fork dive) in addition to the improved compression dampning (compared to the archaic fork rod technology). Both of these valves sit on top of the rod & under the spring. Emulators require full fork disassy to drill out the compression rod holes and use 10wt oil. These utilize 5wt oil (that flows well through the existing holes) and thus only require only fork cap removal, thus saving shop time/$. In addition the inertia valve enables stock fork springs to be used for most & thus saving additional $ on new springs. Sounds all fine and dandy, but an install and test reveal the truth. Here's a pdf of the 650 service manual http://www.calsci.com/motorcycleinfo/PDFs/DL650K4_svc_man.pdf This is what was sent to me. This is what they look like. Here I am pushing down on the inertia valve. It’s spring load and tuned per bikes application. Ok time to get to work. A helper is useful, but not necessary at times. You’ll need to lift the front of your bike to remove the forks do this job. I have a pat walsh skid plate & use a Harbor Freight atv lift plus I put a jack under the rear tire (as the front end got light & rocked towards the back, after the wheel/fork was off). You need some way to do this: center stand, dan vessel support http://community-2.webtv.net/CHERDAN/MyVStromAccessories/page2.html , hang bike from bars? (you need genmars http://www.zianet.com/genmar/ , read on) Before you lift the bike a few pieces might be easier to loosen while the bike is on the ground. Loosen the top triple clamp bolt (10mm), remove all the preload from the caps (turn screw all the way out with big flathead) & slightly loosen the fork cap (24mm – 15/16”. I have genmar up & back riser and so I did not need to remove my bar to gain fork cap access. If you don’t then you need to remove your bars (& maybe you should do this after the bike is lifted so you have handlebar control). If you’re planning on adding genmars anyway NOW is the time to do it! Loosen the brake caliper bolts (12mm). When the wheel is in the air, these are harder to loosen but not impossible. Lift bike. Remove fork brace if you use one. Remove the speedo sensor cable bolts. Remove the brake line bolts (watch for metal piece behind the fender to fall out) & caliper bolts & move the calipers out of the way/wire them up. You can’t remove the wheel with them attached. You ABS guys will have another wire to work around. On the right lower fork leg, loosen the axel pinch bolt & the (through the wheel) axel bolt (12mm Allen wrench/socket, not a common kit size, got mine at Napa: NBH212M). You need to be under the wheel holding it as you remove the axel as the wheel drops & binds the axel. As the wheel drops, remove the speedo sensor from the wheel. You now have the front wheel off & this might be a first for some of you. This is an excellent mechanics skill to have! Next remove the 2 forward bolts holding the fender on. You can’t remove the fender yet so don’t try. This is Suzuki’s puzzler moment. You need to remove one fork leg to get the fender out. Maybe someone has a trick I missed? Now remove the lower triple clamp bolts and the fork will drop down while the fender likes to fall out. Move slowly (or get help) so nothing hits the floor. Start with whatever side seems easiest for you to loosen the bolts & catch the fork leg & the fender. Remove the other fork. Now is time to work on the forks. I like to work with them on the ground & have a towel down to protect them & for oil spillage. Remove the fork cap by applying downward pressure with your wrench so you don’t bugger up your caps by slipping. The inner contents are under upward pressure (preload). Now sit the cap on top of the spacer and notice how high it sits above the top of the fork tube. This is spring preload (accomplished with varying spacer lengths). In the second picture is how this wants to look when you’re done & ready for reassy. This is achieved by shortening the spacer by cutting it with a tube cutter, hacksaw or other tools. After the cap, will come the spacer > washer > spring (note orientation if one). Pour out the old oil and watch for all the parts. Cycle the fork to remove all the old oil. Be patient to remove all. With the fork totally empty of oil, you need to achieve the proper preload. This is done with the cap preload screw at it mimimum (screwed all the way out) as additional preload can be added by screwing it down farther. The ideal plan is to achieve approx 15mm of preload & thus a max of 30mm can be had with the screw fully in. Adjusting preload is one method to achieve proper sag (25% of fork travel when you’re sitting on the bike). This is the order everything goes back in. Note the washer between the spring & the spacer. My bike came with Wilbur springs (which helped some) & those go back in. Most of you will be happy with stock springs, but you can always change those out down the road, if need be. Remember to change one suspension setting at a time! Now slide the imiminator down with the spring. As they fit tightly they are hard to cock sideways. Pull out the springs & flashlight down the tube to look at it. Is it setting correctly? Pull the tube out fully extended, put all the rest back in, & sit the cap on top. Now measure how much preload you have. You’ll have something different than me (Wilbers are 11mm longer than stock). I’ve got 41mm & want 15mm. I need to cut 26mm off my spacer tube to achieve this. I used a pipe cutter because it cuts evenly & cleanly. A hacksaw will work, but draw a line all the way around to so don’t have an angled cut. File it smooth and rinse w/ soapy water so no metal shavings or water are now in the fork. Mine came out a tad over 15mm but I’m happy. Preload is set correctly, so take everything back out and it’s oil time. Fully compress the forks down. The oil height is measured by the space from the top of oil to the top of the fork tube. There are many ways to measure the oil height (or air space). I researched height people used and found a range from 140-150mm (stock 143mm). I split the dif and used 145mm (which ended up being 16oz of oil, how perfect to split the bottle between 2 forks ). I made this gauge (with zip tie) which I hung over the edge and filled to it. Other use turkey basters & remove oil to a certain level. Take you time filling at the end. It’s easier to fill than remove. The oil height needs to be measured with the intiminators in place, but you have to first fill the oil mostly with them out. This is because you need to cycle the forks to remove all the air in the system but this is hard to do with them in place because of the tight tolerances. Cycle the forks and looks down in till you don’t see/hear any air from below. Compress the forks & place the intimtators in the fork and push tem down so they set on top of the rod. I used a clean long dowel as I did not want to use the springs (to push them down) & then pull the wet springs back out wasting oil & making a mess. Press in several places to seat them fully. Finish filling with oil & measure to 145mm. Extend forks fully and place in springs > washer > spacer > top cap. Press down with cap & cycle a few times to make 100% sure everything is seated. Measure preload again and this will verify everything is properly in place. Use your socket tools and press down the caps and thread them back on. Press straight down & watch for cross-threading. Move slowly. I like to press down with my tool, hold the lower fork leg with my knees and spin the upper fork leg to thread the cap on. This keeps the cap going down & straight on to the threads. If you can, at this point, torque caps to 16.5 ftlbs (198 inlbs). If not, just snug tight & torque later on the bike. Good job! Now to the other leg. The forks need to go back on the bike. I’m using the 15mm raised tube mod for better wind handling. I’m right handed so I like to do the right one first so when I’m working on the left one (right one looking at it), I can use my right hand to control the fork while I position the fender in place with my left hand. Those funny Suzuki engineers and their strom fender. After the fender is positioned in place (& stays there), move the fork all the way up in the triple clamp to desired position & clamp a bolt to hold in place. The torque spec for these 3 bolts is 16.5 ftlbs. Remember if you now need to torque your top caps, you need to loosen the upper bolt & thus the lower bolts need to be done already. At his point the fender get bolted back on , but don’t fully snug all bolts until you later cycle the suspension in prep for the axel pinch bolt. I’m a fan of blue locktite stick! With the 2 rear fender bolts comes the brake lines & calipers. I like to place the caliper hanging over the side fork reflectors so they are out of the way for easier wheel installation. The wheel & speedo sensor goes back on & torque the axel bolt to 47 ftlbs. Make sure speedo cable is positioned correctly. You need to be under the wheel to hold it up & put the sensor in place & then place the axel through & get it started. Have your 12mm wrench & axel next to your left hand! Grease the axel & speedo unit seal lightly if it's not. Since the wheel is off, this would be a great time to check your wheel bearings for notchyness. Calipers get torque back on to 28 ftlbs. Before you put the axel pinch bolt back on your suppose to push down and cycle the forks 5x to center everything. You’ll need to put bars back on (oh how you long for those genmars right about now), drop the bike, hold the brake and cycle he forks. Torque the pinch bolt 16.5 ftlbs & then snug up the rest of the fender bolts. Put back on brace if you use. Done. If someone sees an error, omission or change needed let me know & i'll edit my post. UPDATE: since i love these things, added some iminators to my dr. came up with an alternative method to measure for preload with a dry fork. thought about how it took some time to get them back out of the middle of the forks (they're a tight fight) and so i put these together this way. on the strom use this order (because the adjustable cap has part the hangs below) -spring -imtiminator (either direction) -washer -spacer -cap i took a preload measurement put together this way and just before the final cap install at the end. preload was the same as it all fits together with the same spacing no matter how you put it together.