Intiminator Compared and modified

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by AceRider01, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. Ladder106

    Ladder106 It's a short cut, really

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    Hi Twowheel,

    I've been working with RegH on the xrv.uk.org forum about the 650.

    One of the risks we took with the Transalp development was that we could not have any development feedback from the later model TAs since they were never imported to the USA.

    We discovered that the 650 (PD10) has a stiffer front spring (.6kg.mm as opposed to .5kg/mm) and the spring goes all the way up to the fork cap with no solid spacer.

    On most bikes with a solid spacer, 12-15mm is trimmed from the spacer to compensate for the space taken up by the Intiminator valve. On the 650 this is obvioiusly difficult.

    The result is that you have more front pre-load and also a stiffer front spring. Given this, the shim stack is most likely too "stiff".

    I think RegH has the revmoval tool and the shim kit. If so, you might be able to share for just the cost of post.

    Apologies for offering slightly "incorrect" settings. It's easily remedied with some mods.

    I'd be happy to assist in any way I can.

    Ray
    #21
  2. ravelv

    ravelv from Baltic side of river

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    Wasn't the 650cc Transalp RD11? PD10 is one from 1997 till 1999 with dual brakes in front but with 600cc engine.

    #22
  3. Ladder106

    Ladder106 It's a short cut, really

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    I probably misquoted my TA model numbers.

    What's after the PD10s??
    #23
  4. Ladder106

    Ladder106 It's a short cut, really

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    I just received a quick e-mail from Don at Ricor.

    Here is his comment about modified bleed holes:

    So......it sounds like it's OK to do this keeping in mind that some chassis movement can make the inertia valve open due to pressure.

    Obviously, without some special "high speed nano-camera" in the fork, I can not be certain that this is not occuring. However, it doesn't feel like it is.

    Given that, I'm going to call raising the bleed holes a good mod. So far, I like it in both the Transalp and the Dr750.
    #24
  5. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    I think it your your enlarging the bleed holes would have more to do with allowing better flow over high velocity fork drive than the timing issue - but i agree that it helps and if i was to do it again, i will do what you have done.

    I wonder what "situation" is ricorr referred to? perhaps hard braking over slightly uneven surface, which may slighly confuse the intiminator.

    When i examine the intiminator, it looks like the opening of inertial valve - high speed circuit -(gold sleeve) is more movement induced rather than pressure induced, like it is in RT Gold Valve. The opening of shims on intiminator is more pressured induced.
    #25
  6. Ladder106

    Ladder106 It's a short cut, really

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    One of the first bikes the Intiminator was designed for was a Harley.

    I think what Don is means is that if enough pressure builds up behind the intertia valve the valve could be forced open and bleed off when it was not supposed to.

    Possible this was found to happen with a much heavier bike than ours.
    #26
  7. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    correcting myself: intiminator valve (high speed circuit) is fork slider acceleration induced.

    hold the iniminator body and move it up suddenly, the valve (gold sleeve) "flutters", - momentarilly remain stationery while the rest of the iniminator is moving up, before it catches up with the rest of intiminator. This momentarily exposes the bleed valve, allowing high speed damping relief.

    It is that moment of inertial by the gold sleeve on sudden movement (associated with wheel movements) which makes it different from the RT and other emulators which relies on the build up of pressure for them to work.


    From what i could see, pressure build up on the upward movement of oil should have no effect on accidently moving the gold sleeve (inertial valve) to expose the bleed orfices. The gold sleeve actually has to move down in relation to the rest of the intiminator body for the bleed orfices to be exposed. The upward build- up of the pressures on oil movements during an encounter of a bump should actually hold it close not open. It is only because the inertial of the gold sleeve on the sudden movement of intiminator, the bleed holes are exposed - not pressure.

    The only time it would be force down and exposing the bleed holes, is when fork oil is travelling down forcing the gold sleeve against its resting springs.

    It is quite a clever design. How well it works in practice and over a large range of bikes / riders weight / springs and enviroments encounter only time will tell. My own experience and what others have said is that it is so far so good, but it needs tuning as it is NOT a magic bullet for all situations, as much as one would like it to be.

    It might very well work for harley riders in standard tune.

    I wonder who actually designed the intiminator valve because it would be insightful to have a discussion with that person. I feel like we are all trying to solve a jig saw puzzels here.
    #27
  8. Ladder106

    Ladder106 It's a short cut, really

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    I think I did not make myself clear.

    I agree with everything you said in your last post and think I understand the "inertia" concept pretty well.

    The main point is that I think what Don (who I believe is the inventor/designer here) stated when he wrote:

    ....is that chassis response.....most often heavy braking (on a smooth surface so the inertia valve is not supposed to move).....COULD create enough pressure moving oil up through the center of the valve, out through the 4 holes and against the inertia valve - to move the gold inertia valve down. Don's saying that the valves are tested so that this does NOT occur and is the reason that the holes are shaped and located the way they are.

    I was just thinking that this would be most likely to happen on a heavier bike like the Harley that's got our bikes outweighed by 100 lbs at a minimum.

    Modifying the high speed bleed hole (the ones hidden by the gold inertia valve) COULD in Don's opinion create this condition. He was trying to explain why the holes are located like they are.

    My response was that a lighter bike just might be able to get-away with modifying the holes to a position further toward the top of the valve allowing them to open "earlier" in the movement of the inertia valve.

    In fact, both my Transalp and DR750 exhibit the same firm damping under braking that they did before I modified the holes. So, for whatever reason, I don't think this "pressure induced movement" is a problem....at least not for me at this point.

    Hopefully that will explain my idea more clearly.
    #28
  9. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    yes - my apologies - i agree what u were saying. i didnt read your post carefully - working and reading this does not go together.

    I still dont understand how the weight of bike would be a factor in whether the unintentional "position" to occur?

    one would think that they could make gold sleeve longer so as to have a longer period where vertically elongated bleed holes can be gradually exposed to provide a more smooth curve in relieving damping pressure on mid and high velocity travel. That will go well with your theory on the "porting" too. It should also give greater security in making sure the unintentional exposure of bleed holes doesnt occur.


    Do you think Don is the actual designer of the product?
    #29
  10. Ladder106

    Ladder106 It's a short cut, really

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    I just thought that a heavier bike would build more pressure inside the fork on heavy braking. Not certain but I also think that Harley uses smaller diameter (like 38 or 40mm) fork tubes which, hydraulically, will result in higher internal pressures. Plus....I just like to pick on Harleys.


    Don Richardson is the guy with the original Full-Floater patents with Suzuki. I think he's the main inventor guy behind this although in a small operation, I'm sure that everyone contributes ideas.
    #30
  11. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    Ladder106

    would be great if Don would charm in for discussion on forum like this. Or ricorr can publish some technical details on their website. I realise not all are interested in the details, but i think most strom riders and adventure riders are a bunch detail orientated tinkers that would appreciate the availability of such information even if they do not want to "tune" things at this point.

    :D perhaps i should just speak for myself.

    I know they are busy developing new products, but how about helping existing customers who could do a lot of promoting for them.



    BTW, i still think if more high velocity damping compliance is required, the most effective way is to increase bleed holes (or porting as you described); if the only concern is that the inertial valve will "free blow", then increase coverage area by gold sleeve could easily minimise that risk; although i really cant see how that can happen with my current understanding of intiminator design.

    As my suggestions to Ricor:

    1) enlarge bleed holes size by about 50%; perhaps slightly enlongate the gold sleeve (inertial valve) and/or center shaft to minimise "free blow" risk.

    2) a number of shims be included as part of package - i dont think they would cost them that much more, alternatively raise the price by say $5, but include the shims to allow people the opportunity to fine tune to their requirements;

    3) establish a knowledge base to suggest shim thickness settings depending on rider weight; springs used; riding style/preference; and types of roads ridden. It gives everyone a starting point. If there is a knowledge base like that - most can get very close to his/her ideal setting within 2 or 3 adjustments - or they can just use the suggested settings.
    #31
  12. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    BTW, in your experiementing, ladder106, do you think different shims arrangement with the same thickness produce the same effect in damping?

    For example, to arrive to a total shim thickness of say 0.06 - i could either use 0.012X5, or 0.015x2+0.010x3 or 0.010x6 - do you think all three combination would produce the same effect on damping characteristics?

    In a normal shim arrangements where the outside diameters are different, a wider shim is used to control low velocity damping and smaller shim is used to control high velocity damping- the different combination would make a difference -

    but ricor's shims are all of the same outside diameter, so there should be no difference? then the question would be why not use the same principle of as a normal shim stack and use different outside diameter shims?

    am i missing something here - Ricor probably thinks i ask too many questions:rofl ....
    #32
  13. TommyDuncan

    TommyDuncan Been here awhile

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    I was just at Ricor two days ago. They used my KLR to develop the new rear shock for the 08 and up models. It is awesome! I will be posting a review after I go on an overnight trip through almost every condition available in this part of the world.

    Don is the inventor/designer of the Intiminators. He loves to chime in and offer assistance whenever possible. The KLR shock has been such a success that they are taking deposits and churning them out as fast as they can. The CNC machines are running day and night at the moment and they are postponing development on a few other projects because this is taking up all their time and capacity.

    I will send him a link to this discussion and hopefully he will chime in if he can find some time.

    He gave me a few hints about what is coming up in the future and it sounds very interesting. I also suspect that individual parts will eventually become available as soon as supply and demand is under control.
    #33
  14. thistle66

    thistle66 Been here awhile

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    I'll chime in to say that - although I don't have the knowledge to offer anything constructive, I'm following this thread with huge interest, as I'm sure many others are. I have Intimators to install when I get round to it (very busy atmo) but meanwhile am learning a ton from all this.

    I'm impressed by the diligence with which you guys are looking to maximise the tuning potential of this product.

    Am hoping to soon hear about the Ricor rear shocks for the Triumphs & how they'll fare offroad...I'm still holding out with my crappy OE springs.



    #34
  15. Ladder106

    Ladder106 It's a short cut, really

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    Good question. Short of a lot of experimentation I don't have the real answer.

    I wondered about this also. Maybe since the higher speed bleed is controlled by the holes under the inertia valve, the different sizes aren't necessary. I have to learn much more about how these valves work before I completely understand this thing.

    Asking "too-many" questions is how we make things work better.

    BTW, two Transalp riders in the UK have enlarged their bleed holes as I did and are both very happy with the results. Don at Ricor has just contacted them and said that he feels that there is a "mismatch" between their spring and the damper set-up. They are working together to improve this area and this is made even more difficult because Honda hasn't imported a Transalp to the US since 1990.

    The great thing is that Ricor (in addition to doing lots of other things) continues to be very responsive to rider input and is working to improve their product for the owners of many different models. Their KLR rear shock has received great reviews and they deserve all the success that they get.

    Here's hoping that the business/legal/lawyer end of things doesn't make things impossible for them to continue.
    #35
  16. dirty-desmo

    dirty-desmo n00b

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    Thought I would find you here:rofl
    #36
  17. Steph T

    Steph T n00b

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    You know me, I always do my homework thoroughly :1drink
    #37
  18. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    I didn’t find an official introduction section, so here is my formal introduction. I’ve been riding a long time, lots of bikes, and used to race local motorcross and desert. Ricor gave me a set of Intiminators and Vibranators back in Febuary to help the public debut on XL Forum for Harley Sportsters where I am known as XLXR. Ricor is aware of my attempts to help out with suspension problems on different forums, but I do not work for them. They are not responsible for anything I say here. But then, neither am I.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I read this thread from the start. The first thing to understand about the Intiminators is that they work differently and the rest of the bike needs to be tuned differently. Virtually every negative comment about Intiminators has been due to the rider not understanding how the work, how the effect they handling of the bike, and how to set up the bike accordingly.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The old concept of high and low speed compression damping is altered because the Intiminators have two different hydraulic circuits. The Inertia valve/wheel circuit opens the ports (which Ace Rider drilled out) to blow off hydraulic damping due to the wheel being pushed up from a bump in the road. The Inertia valve/wheel circuit does not distinguish between high and low speed compression of the forks because it is trying to allow the front wheel to move up as fast as possible. Any upward movement of the wheel opens the ports and blows off virtually all hydraulic damping related to that upward wheel movement. Basically, the Inertia/wheel circuit is more position sensitive than velocity sensitive. Once the ports are opened by the initial upward movement of the wheel, the vertical speed of the wheel is limited by the fork spring, stiction, and oil level/air chamber.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The shim stack/chassis circuit supports the weight of the front end while the wheel is moving up over a bump and during brake dive. Like all shim stack systems, this circuit is velocity sensitive. However, it is sensitive to the front of the chassis moving down (fork compression). But is not sensitive to fork compression caused by the wheel moving up.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    That is the hard thing to understand about Intiminators. Fork compression due to the wheel moving up is controlled separately from fork compression due to the chassis falling down. The magic is how they blend together.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The stock damper rod still controls rebound damping through the stock rebound holes.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AceRider, if I understand what you wrote correctly, I think your problems were likely caused by the excessively stiff fork spring. Intiminators change the old rules about suspension tuning. I suspect a big part of your problem is not trying to tune the rest of your bike to match the Intiminators.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    First question. Are your forks bottoming out? If not, I would recommend reducing fork preload and oil height until you get them to bottom out over the worst bumps you ever hit. This way you know you are using all available travel and that an excessively stiff fork spring, too much preload, or excessive oil height is not limiting fork travel.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I have read other complaints about not enough rebound damping. Only a few people on a few different bikes feel this way. Excessively stiff fork spring rates cause excessive rebound, especially over larger bumps. Regardless of what other suspension companies recommend for fork spring rates, Ricor almost always recommends a lighter spring rate. Essentially, a softer spring transfers more control of the forks from the fork spring to the Intiminators.

    The Intiminators have a seal on the outside that prevents oil blow by during fork extension/rebound. While welding up rebound compression holes was needed on other brand valve bodies that allowed rebound damping blow by, it is not a good idea with the Intiminators. An easier way to get more rebound damping is to try 10w oil. But I would try a softer fork spring first. 5W oil usually did not provide enough rebound damping with non-Intiminators set ups, but usually does with the Intiminators.
    <o:p> </o:p><o:p></o:p>
    Did you lower the triple clamps on the forks? Properly set up, even with softer fork springs, forks with Intiminators will use less travel. This makes the front end ride a bit higher. With the Intiminators, static chassis pitch will be different from dynamic chassis pitch. Even though you may have the same rider sag and chassis pitch measurements while sitting on the bike statically in the garage, the Intiminators will cause the front end to ride higher while actually riding. Due to this difference in dynamic ride height, it is common to have to lower the triple clamps on the forks to get the same turning ability you were used to. I wonder if the tendency of the front end to ride higher is sometimes misinterpreted as lack of rebound damping.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Do your shocks bottom out? The Intiminators tend to reduce front to rear coupling. Front to rear coupling is where the force pushing up on the front end, pushes down on the back end. Excessively stiff forks will push the front end up, that force will be transmitted to the shocks, the shock springs gets additional preload from that force, making the shocks feel stiffer. After adding Intiminators, it is very common to be able to reduce shock preload a notch or three. If your shocks are not bottoming out over the worst bumps you ever hit, it might be a good idea to reduce shock preload. I have read several reports where simply reducing shock preload has transformed the ride.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    One you have determined the minimum fork and shock preload by verifying they will bottom out, then you can make other adjustments to compensate. Maybe increasing shock low speed compression damping, or adding a bit more oil to the forks.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Hope this helps.
    <o:p> </o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    #38
  19. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    XLXR, i have read some of threads on your other forums too. Happy to see you here too - still it would be nice for the inventor of Intiminator to drop a few lines himself. I am aware that they are busy developing some new products but how about support for existing customers!


    I should also stress my comments relate to Vstrom 650 and no other bikes. They might well work very well with other bikes and their intended use.

    I am not an expert by any means, but i have good understanding of the principles of damping and many hours trying out different combination setup on intiminators in my Vstrom 650.


    #39
  20. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    I'm not trying to shoot any messengers, just having a discussion about suspension set up and how the Intimininators effect set up. My comments are more general in nature, and are directed to other readers as well to help them understand all the different aspects of suspension. To be clear, I have not set up a V-Strom. A friend of a friend has one and he needs help setting it up, but we have not been able to get together yet.

    A common compliant about Ricor is they are hard to get in touch with. They are aware of that. The success of the Intiminators has kept them very busy.

    There is some disagreement over how the Intiminators work with respect to isolating wheel movement from chassis movement. I think the disagreement is more related to the degree of isolation.

    There is also a wide range of rider reports with different bikes about how they feel how well the Intiminators work. To some extent, that is true of all suspension mods. Keep in mind, Ricor sets up the Intiminators to work for the "average" rider. I am not so sure the "average" rider will need to go through the extent of modifying the Intiminators like you have. However, maybe the V-Strom is a different animal. Give me some time to do more research and I will try to help you find some answers.

    I read a few of the threads here related to the Intiminators. If you can provide me links to threads specifically related to V-Strom and Intiminators, I would be happy to read them to look for common problems/solutions.
    #40