Adv Versys Aussie style.

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Homerb, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. L.B.S.

    L.B.S. Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,484

    Close enough for my curiousity, no worries :D
    #41
  2. Bart1

    Bart1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    That was me, but I only live in Wales.

    I really like what you have done here, the same thought about using a cartridge from another bike occured to me but I had nothing lying around so just modified what I had.

    Brilliant job !! :clap
    #42
  3. Homerb

    Homerb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Toukley NSW Australia
    Sorry Bart, guess that makes you a crafty non-welshman!
    Where abouts in Wales you live? I spent a bit of time there playing rugby years ago. Loved the hospitality!
    #43
  4. Homerb

    Homerb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Toukley NSW Australia
    OK, so for anyone interested, here’s the details on how I increased the fork travel on my Versys.

    I’d read an article, by a crafty non-Welshman, how its possible to get another 30mm or so by adding a spacer to the bottom of the damper tubes and using longer bolts to hold them in. As the Versys springs aren't very long, any more travel causes the short springs to bind on compression.

    I read this and thought that longer springs might solve this problem.

    I happened to have a set of XLR250 Showa cartridge forks laying about from a parts bike I bought last year.

    I pulled the springs out of the forks, and bingo, they were the exact same diameter and pitch as the Versys springs and a lot longer.

    On closer inspection, not only was the damper rod the same diameter, (10mm)with the same thread (10mm x 1mm) the cartridge tube was the same internal and external diameter, just a lot longer.
    [​IMG]

    This got me thinking, what XLR parts could I use in the Versys to get more travel?

    I removed the left Versys damper rod by removing the nut on the top, and prying the circlip out of the bottom of the cartridge.

    Then I removed the valve body from the bottom of the cartridge and slid the damper rod out.

    The right fork is different because the damper rod is actually a tube to allow for the dampening adjuster which runs inside it.

    I removed the dampening adjuster completely as it’s too hard to get it to work on the longer fork, without making a whole new one.

    The bottom of the right damper rod had 3 small holes drilled in it to allow for the oil flow when using the adjustment. I filled these three holes with soft solder, so it will be easy to remove if I ever want to return the forks to standard.

    Also the right damper rod has an alloy stop halfway along it. Its held in place by a very small split ring. This needs to be removed.

    Now to assembling it all.

    First the left fork.
    [​IMG]
    I cut the XLR spring to 390mm. The spring has a slight taper at the top. Cut the spring at the other end.

    Now you need a way of limiting the travel to about 200mm or so. I originally cut a 60mm piece of steel tube and slid it over the dampening rod before I fitted it to the cartridge. This limited the travel well, but when lofting the front wheel there was an audible clunk as the forks hit the limit of extension. I removed the tube and decided to fit a couple of 60-70mm springs in its place. I found a set of old XR600 clutch springs in my junk box and fitted two springs to each damper tube to limit the travel and they are a perfect fit! Talk about luck. Clunk gone.
    Heres the clutch springs fitted to the damper rod.
    [​IMG]
    Now you can insert Versys damper rod into the XLR cartridge, then fit the XLR valve body into the bottom of the Versys damper tube with the treaded hole downwards. It fits perfectly. Refit the circlip.
    Thread the 10mm nut onto the damper rod.
    Heres all the bits ready to go together.
    [​IMG]
    You can now fit the 390mm spring with the tapered end up.
    [​IMG] I wasn't happy with the cut end of the spring, so I heated the last coil red hot, and flattened it with a hammer on a piece of steel so it would sit better on the cartridge. As soon as it was flattened I cooled it in water to retain the temper.
    I did away with the original Versys spacer above the spring. I did however remove the plastic collar from the spacer and put it on top of the spring to centre it and allow the preload adjuster a flat smooth surface to spin on.
    [​IMG]
    Fit the steel collar to the bottom of the cartridge and insert the assembly into the fork tube. Insert the 8mm socket head bolt into the hole in the bottom of the fork slider and tighten up. Make sure the copper sealing washer is in place.
    Now is the time to add the fork oil.
    Im still experimenting myself, but my starting point is 500ml of 10 weight oil in each fork.
    I may adjust the quantity and/or weight to suit as I put some more miles on the bike. My initial feeling is 10 weight may be too light.
    When adding the oil, go slowly as it takes time for the oil to flow down into the cartridge. Works the damper rod up and down at least 10 times until you can feel all the air is all gone from the cartridge. This may take some time. Take note of how much resistance is felt when working the damper rod up and down. Remember this resistance when assembling the right fork.
    Now you can screw the fork cap on. There should be about 20mm of spring protruding above the top of the damper tube. You will have to push this down while screwing the cap on. I found it easier to get a 12mm spanner under the nut to hold it up while engaging the threads.
    Tighten the cap against the locknut. You'll need a 14mm spanner for the locknut.
    Left fork is done.
    Right fork is the same with a few small variations.
    When you add the oil to the right fork, bleed it and and work the damper rod up and down, the resistance should be similar to the left fork. In mine it was in intially way less. However, I had dismantled the valves on the end of the damper rods and may have got them mixed up. I suggest you leave them be until you check the resistance between the two forks. I think I ended up using the XLR valves on each Versys damper rod, but as I got them all mixed up I'm not sure. I do know that I now have equal resistance between the two forks. You may have to experiment.
    The right fork goes together the same as the left.
    The only real difference is that the hole in the top of the right fork cap, where the damper adjuster was, has to be blocked.
    I cut about 15mm of 10mm bolt, cut a slot in one end and screwed it in from underneath the fork cap with a screwdriver. I also locktited it so it wouldn't leak.
    Put it all back together and it should look like this.
    [​IMG]
    Hope that was clear enough. Any questions feel free to fire away.



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    #44
  5. Bart1

    Bart1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    No worries at all, I am in West Wales almost by the sea, a good hour past Swansea.

    Great write up, maybe it will inspire more people to do this. :clap

    Would I be right in thinking that basically you just swapped the V's 20mm cartridge tube with the longer Honda one and used the Honda valve at the bottom?
    If so why not keep the rebound adjuster, perhaps I am missing something here ?

    Re oil weights with my setup, ie with the V's valving I found that 7.5w was the lower limit, otherwise there was too litttle rebound damping.
    #45
  6. Homerb

    Homerb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Toukley NSW Australia
    I took the Versys for a good ride last Sunday, including 30-40kms of dirt roads. Im finding with the front forks, while well sprung, the compression damping is too hard. Small bumps are transferred through the forks, to the rider.
    When l modified the forks, l fitted both the Honda XLR valves to the bottom of the Versys cartridges. Think this may be my problem, as originally the Versys forks only had a compression valve in the left fork.
    I pulled the forks out last night and tooks Barts advice and refitted the dampening adjuster to the right fork. I also removed the Honda compression damping valve from the right fork, and replaced the Honda valve with the original Versys valve in the left fork.
    I might get out for a Xmas eve ride to see if its any better later. Otherwise l might look at reducing the preload on the front springs by shortening them a bit.
    #46
  7. Bart1

    Bart1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #47
  8. Homerb

    Homerb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Toukley NSW Australia
    Thanks Bart. I'm wondering if some of my front suspension woes are compounded by the heavy, steel rimmed, sportster front wheel?

    Before I spend too much more time on the front end, I'll replace the front wheel with something lighter. Missed out on an alloy BMW wheel the other day on ebay. Got sniped with one second to go!
    #48
  9. Homerb

    Homerb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Toukley NSW Australia
    Well I finally got around to updating the headlights, wasn't happy with the look of the last lights. I picked these up at the wreckers for 90 bucks.
    [​IMG]
    I'm still having dramas with he front suspension. I read somewhere that the rebound damping should be 4 times stronger than the compression damping. My compression damping is about the same as the rebound damping so I need to do something about reducing it.
    Had a nice ride yesterday in the mountains near my home.
    [​IMG]
    #49
  10. DustyRags

    DustyRags Idiot

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    931
    Location:
    The Beast, California
    Looks fantastic!
    #50
  11. Bart1

    Bart1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    Coming along nicely :clap

    You have mail.....
    #51
  12. Homerb

    Homerb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Toukley NSW Australia
    Thanks Bart, you've cleared that up for me. I'll give it a go next week and report back.
    #52
  13. mousitsas

    mousitsas Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,006
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    While this is true for the rear shock, I am not sure it is for the forks of an offroad bike. Have you tried a lighter oil?
    I pressume it is the high speed compression you complain about, right?
    #53
  14. Homerb

    Homerb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Toukley NSW Australia
    Well I've been riding the Versys for a few months now and while I'm pretty happy with it overall, I'm still not happy with the forks. I was going to take the bike to a suspension guru, but couldn't find one close to me, so when I found a complete YZ250 front end on Gumtree near me for just $150.....I got thinking how hard could it be to fit these
    [​IMG]
    to this
    [​IMG]

    Due to the diameter of the YZ fork uppers, I used the YZ triple clamps and to my surprise its almost a simple swap. The lower bearing I used is a 55mm X 30mm tapered roller bearing and it fits fine. The upper bearing is a bit trickier. I needed a 55 x 28mm bearing but no-one makes them so I used a 52 x 28 tapered roller bearing and used strips of steel to shim the upper bearing cup into the steering head. Worked OK I think. Time will tell if its tight enough.
    I had to alter the spacers I made for the front wheel to centre it, but to my absolute amazement, the Versys front axle is a perfect fit in the YZ forks.
    [​IMG]
    I just have to find a nut to put on the threaded end and its sweet!
    [​IMG]
    Hoe it looks all bolted up
    Tomorrow I'll look at fitting the brake disc and caliper.
    #54
  15. duxrneet

    duxrneet Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    675
    Location:
    Melbourne, AUS
    Good work. Might be worthwhile to drop it off at a suspension shop. They could revalve/respring with a bit of expertise.
    #55
  16. Homerb

    Homerb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Toukley NSW Australia
    [​IMG]
    Well got the YZ250 forks mounted, and the Goldwing wheel fitted after removing the right hand disc. I'm waiting on a braided brakeline to replace the Versys twin caliper lines.
    #56
  17. Homerb

    Homerb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Toukley NSW Australia
    [​IMG]
    I used some 8mm ally plate to adapt the Versys disc to the Goldwing hub.
    It all fits quite neatly to the YZ forks.
    #57
  18. DustyRags

    DustyRags Idiot

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    931
    Location:
    The Beast, California
    Bad ass! Can't wait to hear how it rides! :clap
    #58
  19. Homerb

    Homerb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Toukley NSW Australia
    I'm now waiting on the rebuilt, resprung and revalved R6 shock to arrive and I can get on with getting it set up properly.
    #59
  20. Homerb

    Homerb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Toukley NSW Australia
    So my rebuilt R6 shock is fitted, the Goldwing front wheel is on and the YZ forks are sorted. Went on a 400+ km ride on the weekend and I'm really happy with the handling on road. Did some fast dirt road on the way home, and I've noticed a problem with the handling.
    [​IMG]
    Due to the length of the forks, the rake and trail are more than is ideal, and this becomes apparent when trying to negotiate fastish corners on the dirt. It goes round corners like a bus!
    I think I need to reduce the rake/trail somehow to something more inline with modern dirtbike figures, around 25-27 degrees.
    I really don't want to alter the frame, and am thinking about some sort of adjustable triple clamp to pull in the rake a couple of degrees.
    Does anyone know how I can achieve this without cutting and welding the frame?
    #60