Suspension question for a 990

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by Dagwood_55, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Dagwood_55

    Dagwood_55 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,356
    Location:
    The Ozarks
    I've beat around this question before and never really got a answer, so sorry, here goes again.

    I know and I've read all the "who's best to build the 990 suspension" I'll get all kinds of SPS is the best, Javier is the best, My bike has been transformed, My bike floats and all this. And I've talked to James and Javier both and both are very nice guys and I appreciate them taking time to talk to me.

    So, I ride a 07 990 S. About 50/50, all off road is forest road, some a little rocky. I don't ride baja style all out wide open thru the desert racing at 90 mph. I'm an older, more conservetive rider, but I do want a plush ride without kick back or rebound. And the "dive" has to go.

    So, now I've got 2 leaky fork seals on my stock forks with 24K miles on them. I also know I need heaver springs for the forks, so I've now got to decide weather to send them from AR to CA for a SPS/TT rebuild or drive to the local Pro Action shop.

    I guess there is no good, quick answer to my question, but I'll try. What does SPS/TT suspension shops do that the local suspension shop cant do? Do they know deep, dark secrets about our bikes?? Do they sprinkle magic dust on them while working on them? Or can I take them to the local suspension shop and the mech look at a chart for this spring, this valve, this oil and rebuild it to certain spec's and be plenty good for the avg JoeBlow rider. Will there really be a WOW factor with SPS/TT?? I know the only way to know for sure is to take identical bikes to each shop and get them done...

    I've used big name shops twice (not SPS or TT). Both on small dirt bikes, one was great and one not so great, But even when I spent $800 on the not so great suspension, you should have heard me on the first ride around all my buds, "Man this is the latest, greatest, ect!" So I know them more we spend, the better its gotta be! At least for a while.

    So, just looking for your thoughts, not necessarily your testimony on how well your SPS/TT bike is?? May be a little techy info (but not too techy).

    BTW, I think the 990 S suspension is pretty darn good as stock (without the dive)
    #1
  2. Qwik

    Qwik Adrenaline Addict

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,981
    Location:
    Sunnyvale, California
    I thinks it's more about experience and knowledge of the machine than anything else. They know what works and can get it done right the first time. Then again if you have a local guy who does good work......
    #2
  3. Dagwood_55

    Dagwood_55 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,356
    Location:
    The Ozarks
    Thats about along the lines of what I'm thinking. If I call the local PA shop tomorrow and he's never heard or worked on an Adv, I'll probably pass. And a lot of this comes from me not knowing jack about suspension. I could prolly go back bone stock and be too ignorant to know better.
    #3
  4. henryroten

    henryroten Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    265
    Location:
    Back in sunny So. Cal!
    I believe that a factor to consider in choosing either Trail Tricks or SPS is the fact that they both own ADV's and thus are more informed about what the bike needs and doesn't need. Javier at TT told me that it took him 2-3 years to get his 950 SE dialed in to his satisfaction and ended up with a custom needle in the shock. I went with SPS because they cost less and I am not going to race the thing, just ride it in medium to rough trails.

    One thought, if you are not that unhappy with the overall package but hate the dive in the front end, put a set of .64 (or less) springs in it (easy to do) and see how it goes. Might be all you need for a lot less $$.
    #4
  5. FakeName

    FakeName Wile E Coyote SuperGenius

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,893
    Location:
    San Diego
    To make this decision easier, TT is closed- no longer operating.
    #5
  6. henryroten

    henryroten Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    265
    Location:
    Back in sunny So. Cal!
    Wow, didn't know that.
    #6
  7. Dagwood_55

    Dagwood_55 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,356
    Location:
    The Ozarks

    Thats the kind of info I'm looking for.

    And I'm not saying SPS or TT is the only name brand, big time shops to use....
    #7
  8. DuctTape

    DuctTape Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    351
    Location:
    Kansas
    Well don't feel like a lone wolf because I was wondering why I had to send them in my suspension rather then them just sending me out a kit since I like to wrench on my own stuff. So after a couple of weeks of searching the net, multiple emails and hours of reading I ordered all the parts to revalve and respring my own forks.

    The kit includes the Following:

    Race Tech's Motorcycle Suspension Bible

    Race Tech Fork Seal Driver 48-47mm

    Fork Seals by SKF for WP, KTM & Husaberg

    Red Line LightWeight 5 Wt (Yellow) Suspension Fluid. 16oz

    Race Tech Gold Valve Fork Kit G2-R Gold FMGV 2820G

    Race Tech Fork Oil Level Tool Pro TFOL 02

    SuperPlush .64 Fork springs (Will be running the Safari Tanks)

    KTM Hard Equipment Fork Cap Removal Tool

    G2 Remote Fork Bleeder System

    Plus links to articles and videos that should assist me in getting this done.

    Then after I get the forks sorted out I'll tackle the shock which I also have a shopping list for.

    God made winter for wrenching!
    #8
  9. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    30,482
    Location:
    Western Mass
    After all that, only one end is done? Shit, I'd send it in!
    #9
  10. Dagwood_55

    Dagwood_55 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,356
    Location:
    The Ozarks

    Now you may have something going. Where did you order all this?? When is you kit coming in and when you gonna do it?? I wanna know more....
    PM if you'd rather...
    #10
  11. DuctTape

    DuctTape Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    351
    Location:
    Kansas
    Most of the Racetech stuff is off of Amazon.com ($128 for the valve kit shipped) and the springs, remote bleeder and fork cap removal tool is from KTM twins.

    I went with the Racetech G2 because it'll give me the ability to change port size by changing restrictor shim diameter. It also has the ability to preload the valving stack for dive control. http://racetech.com/page/title/Gold Valve Overview

    Slaven racing has springs that are about $30 cheaper but I decided to start with Superplush since they have been well proven and if I'm not happy with the SP.64 I'll try a Slaven spring for giggles.

    Since 98% of riding time is spent in the slow speed damping circuit and the biggest change in this circuit from a tuning standpoint is a change in fork oil viscosity I decided to go with Red Line. Redline has 5 different viscosities with a very high Viscosity Index. As stated above a change in viscosity will change the damping circuit so what I'm looking for as a rider is fork behavior that is the same throughout the ride beginning to the end regardless of temperature and I felt Redline will give me this once I find a weight or mixture I like the behavior of.

    Anyway, everything is ordered and I'm just waiting on delivery to get started and at 51 it sounds like we might be looking for the same front end set up.

    Oh yeah, I also have a 12ยบ enduro high flexx bar I'll be installing.
    #11
  12. T-Mac

    T-Mac orange

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Would 950 Super Enduro fork springs fit the 990 S with some spacers?
    I'm asking because I'm about to try this option.
    #12
  13. Marko888

    Marko888 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Okanagan BC Canada
    Suspension tuning is science, not really a "one size fits all" sort of thing. Valving must match spring rate, combination must match bike setup and rider skill/weight/intended use.

    I'd echo the comments above about using someone who has experience RIDING these bikes in the conditions you wish to ride, and there will be an additional benefit to using a tuner who is also an avid, and well accomplished rider. If I was in the US, I would probably try Jeff Slavens, as he seems to be very well respected, and owns and rides an ADV.
    #13
  14. T-Mac

    T-Mac orange

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    All said is true, but I'm not looking for the perfect setup.
    If I was in the US I wouldn't be asking my question. It seems it's harder to find springs in Europe.
    I know the SE fork springs are shorter and wider than the 990 S so I wonder if someone ever tried to mount them.
    #14
  15. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,430
    Location:
    On a RTW ride - currently SE Asia on the way to OZ
    Yes they will fit with some spacers. You might have to sand down your springs guides a little bit due to the thicker wire, they will drag/bind otherwise.
    #15
  16. DuctTape

    DuctTape Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    351
    Location:
    Kansas
    I hope no one here thinks by any stretch of the imagination that I think I know more then the people at places like Superplush, Slavenracing, etc because it just isn't true.

    Dan Kyle of Kyle racing basically set up both my Ducati and Aprilia for the track. He transformed both my bikes from fast exhausting to ride, accidents looking for places to happen to cornering and braking works of art. Because of him I'm not only faster but safer doing it. There is no substitute for experience.

    The difference between those two bikes and my 990 is I never sent anything to Dan. I installed and made all the changes myself under his tutelage. By doing this I'm able to set up both of those bikes for different tracks and conditions and don't see why my 990 should be any different.

    Like one member wrote. Suspension is a Science and Science can be learned, tested and applied.....................okay I added (Science can be learned, tested and applied) myself. LOL
    #16
  17. T-Mac

    T-Mac orange

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Can anyone share the SKF seals part numbers?
    #17
  18. RoundOz

    RoundOz Plenty of seasoning

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,019
    Location:
    West Nebraska
    Just wondering what your list adds up to...

    From what you are saying you might be playing with damping settings by disassembly and by changing fork oil. I think this is one of he main reasons a lot of guys go with people like Superplush...they have the accumulated experience of hundreds maybe thousands of rebuilds and customers to get the work done right the first time (mostly). A lot of riders (self included) don't have the time to mess with multiple disassemblies and adjustments, or the experience to know what to change to correct bad behavior. More power to you for tackling this yourself...the satisfaction of getting it right is priceless and the knowledge you gain in the process put you in a better position than the off-the-shelf buyer.
    For me it always boils down to a time vs money thing, and I am poorer than the average KaTuM owner on both. I do my own wrenching because of shortages on both fronts (and I am 4 hrs from anyone I would trust to play with my pride and joy), so this is the reason for the first question, and also the main thing the OP has to consider.

    #18
  19. Hipster

    Hipster Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,818
    Location:
    Mpls, Mn.
    SKF fork seals alone are about $70, for under $100 you can get SKF seals, upper & lower bushings and mid valve piston seal with KTM p/n R14020 rebuild kit for 48mm forks.
    #19
  20. T-Mac

    T-Mac orange

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Cool! Thanks!
    #20