Intiminator Compared and modified

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

  1. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    The Intiminators create a difference between static sag in the garage and dynamic sag while riding. The Intiminators exert control over hydraulic damping when the forks are moving, and that control does not exert itself when the forks are not moving. Typically, forks with Intiminators tend to ride higher in the travel while riding. Therefor, Intiminators tend to work better with lighter springs and at different static rider sag settings than what was recommended before Intiminators came along.

    What do you mean 43 MM (static) rider sag "turns the ride to crap?"

    If 55 MM static rider sag drops the the front end too low and makes the bike unstable, raise the triple clamps on the forks a bit. If the forks do not bottom out, 55 MM may work good when you raise the triple clamps.

    If the 55 MM static rider sag causes the forks to bottom out, increase the fork oil or preload a bit. Be careful, track the total travel with a plastic tie on the forks, too much oil can cause the forks to hydro-lock and damage seals.

    May be a static rider sag of 50 MM and increasing the oil level a bit will be a good compromise.

    If your shocks are not using all the available travel over the worst bumps you ever hit, maybe reducing shock preload will help.

    2.5w oil will also decrease rebound damping, do you want to deal with that?

    Maybe you need a fork spring one rate higher than stock, not 2 or 3. By their very nature, stiffer springs provide more resistance to compression and also rebound with more force. Therefor, the stiffer springs generally need less hydraulic compression damping and more rebound damping to compensate.

    Without or without Intimininators, spring rates must match damping curves for a set rider weight.
    #61
  2. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    I think you are talking about a lot of general information and perhaps from experience with HD on intiminators in the last few posts - perhaps ensuring all the other variables have been attended to.


    I would suggest that after you have a chance to assist your friend to instal his intiminator and do some testing and tuning on it, then you can give some informed and first hand opinions about the intiminator on Vstrom 650 and rate its performance on Vstroms intented use.

    I would suggest testing and making notes in the following order:

    1) test ride standard bike over windy roads, bumpy roads and unpaved roads - note performance on brake dive, chasis control and bump absorption at speed;

    2) instal the intiminator unmodified and test (1) again, take note especially of larger bump absorption;

    3)vary the thickness of shims and restest;

    4) how does handle on rough roads with bumps/broken asphalt while leaning and changing direction.

    AR
    #62
  3. skirider73

    skirider73 Backroad Hack

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    Isn't this true for any damping mechanism? Be it a cartridge, damper rod, Intiminator, or Gold Valve...sitting in your garage not moving, no hydaulic movement is taking place. What they do is separate chassis movements and wheel movements - I believe this is what you are referring to? <o:p></o:p>
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    Adding preload under the caps (more spacer) creates a harsher ride. Sorry, should have been more specific. 1/2" is about where you want to be.<o:p></o:p>
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    Wish I could; fork tops are level with the clamp.<o:p></o:p>
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    I've never bottomed out with the stock progressives. I don't believe they can truly bottom out, due to hydraulic lock in the bottom of the travel. I'm running oil level at 150MM, per Sonics instructions. I'm temped to pull out some more oil to see if things soften up. Yep, zip tie is there!<o:p></o:p>
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    I've got 12mm of preload under the caps, I don't think going any less will help, and may cause other issues.<o:p></o:p>
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    I was suggesting this to Acerider01. He's got the rebound holes in his rods welded shut; and stated that he's got rebound where he wants it. By going to a lighter weight oil, perhaps he could dial out the harsh compression damping while still maintaining a decent rebound.<o:p></o:p>
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    I totally agree with you here. That's why I think once you start going with a stiffer spring, the 5 wt oil kills the rebound, and creates too much compression. I could drop down to a .85; or, go with a Gold valve, 10wt and keep my .9's, which are using 1/3 travel for sag and most of the travel during normal riding (which is where I want things). This gets to my point on the Intiminators: I don&#8217;t' think I should buy a spring to match their tune! Seems backwards!<o:p></o:p>
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    I've discussed all of this with Rich at Sonic - he agreed that the compression & rebound characteristics need adjustment once you get away from stock springs, and that adjustment isn't available with these units, unless you modify them like AceRider01.

    I'm hoping Ricor comes up with a tuning kit soon. :dunno
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    #63
  4. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    Ricor did send me a "tuning kit" a little while ago - consists of a tool to seperate the intiminator body (i think a soft grip vice is easier); 10X 0.010 shims; 8 x 0.012 & 8 X 0.015 shims.

    I have had some correspondance with a guy named Hal who claimed to be associated with Ricor but not actually working there. Nobody seems want to write to me directly to address in detail my queries - apparently they are all busy developing a new product!!! Hal assure me that Ricor will send me another intiminator so i can do a comparison write up with PeterW stock springs as they are certain my issues are solely associated with using 0.85kg springs - (remember stock is approx 0.70 to 0.75) 0.85 is already consider soft by many.

    Ummm - that was 2 months ago! -

    i now have K4 stock springs and will be able to lay my hands on a K8 model (supposely a little stiffer than k4) I have installed the K4 stock springs - remember this spring is SOFTER than k8 stock which came with my bike.

    Well, i have done 200kms on it since, solo and 2 up over bumpy roads and and smooth concrete.

    stock intiminator shim thickness is 0.078 - before putting the stock Wee springs in, i had shim thickness of 0.060 with my 0.85kg springs which work well with my bleed hole mod- My rider weight with gear is about 89kg / 200lbs:


    Trying Stock K4 Wee Springs with bleed hole mod and the following shim thickness settings

    A) shim thickness 0.060 - oil level 155mm: very good bump absorption - brake dive a bit too much (still better than stock) and bike bottom out a little too easily. Chasis control - a little loose. CONCLUSION: needs firmer damping.

    B) Shim thickness 0.070 -oil level 150mm: (still less shim than ricor's 0.078) - bump absoption too firm generally - brake dive very good (i like some brake dive) and bike's resistance to bottoming out good - chasis control - okay - CONCLUSION: perhaps okay for smooth road, but NOT bumpy roads

    C) Shim thickness 0.065 - oil level 145mm (less low compression damping, use less air space to smooth out transistion into anti-bottoming out by oil lock piece: bump absoption still a tiny bit too firm for my liking - brake dive is still good and chasis control is how i want it - turns good - no nerverness - bottoming out a tag sooner than i like

    I am thinking of tryin 0.063 and oil level of 140mm next to give slightly better bump absorption and smoother transistion to operation of oil-lock piece and a little more bottoming out resistance

    Overall observation - softer springs 0.70kg is better for bump absoption than my 0.85kg but not as much as i thought - i had to increase damping to cope with a softer springs - bottoming out resistance is obviously a little better on the 0.85kg - Once the damping is tune right - the difference in two is not drastic.


    more important observation is that - i still have to reduce the shim thickness to 0.063 -0.065 from ricor's 0.078 to handle bumpy roads - so i can now safely say that at least for me, who rides on broken asphalt and bumpy roads a fair amount of the time - Ricor's tune on intiminator is definitely too firm for riding bumpy roads. What i cant say is that is high velocity compliance on changing shims alone - as my intiminator is modified. Dont forget shims have an effect on chasis control as well as bump absorption whereas inertial valve/bypass circuit acts on bump absorption only.




    Other other observation is stock Wee springs is probably acceptable unless you weight over 90kg /200lbs - i think the perfect springs for me would be perhaps a 0.75kg or 0.80kg straight rate- but i am splitting hair by then. So if you are that weight or less you will not have to change springs if you do intiminator mod (compare to RT).








    #64
  5. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    i finally got my stock K8 Wee springs after they lay somewhere in a workshop for the last 10 months.

    The guy measured the firmer part of the spring and told me it is 0.73kg/mm - this compares with PeterW's K4 of 0.70kg/mm (he measured as well) - very similar - the K8 is about 25mm shorter and the spring rates between the softer and firmer part seem closer than the case with K4

    I rode my bike to the workshop with K4 springs in it with the intiminator shim thickness set at 0.063 inch, oil height of 145mm approx. - the bike seem a little "busy" at the small stuff while being compliant on the bigger hits. The whole bike seemed a little nervous when going through many S bends on the road i took and just riding at 110km/hr with a bit side wind (yep i have superbrace). I checked the suspension travel later, and realise i have used all the front travel - and i wasnt riding that hard - i was expecting at least 20mm reserve to cope with any unexpected.

    I changed to the k8 springs outside the workshop before taking the same road on return - intiminator setting is the same - The nervousness is less and the bump absorption large or small seemed okay - brake dive seemed controlled- but two things bug me -
    (a) Chasis control is not so brilliant - a little reluctant to turn and just generally a little nervous compare to when 0.85kg spring were in the system.
    (b) The suspension travel is used up too quickly - in mild aggressive ride, all but maybe the last 5mm of fork travel have been used where i would normally expect another 20 - 30mm left.


    I am considering going back to 0.85kg spring
    #65
  6. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    Sometimes it takes 1000 tries to find out what doesn't work and narrow things down to what does. It seems you are getting closer to the set up you want. It might be best to simply try to balance things out with small adjustments before making any more radical changes. When I get the overall suspension set up close, I just ignore the actual measurements and complete the fine tuning strictly by how the bike feels and handles. Sometimes it is better to just leave the set up alone for a few rides and see if you can adapt your riding style to the bike.

    Before going back to the .85 spring may I suggest trying to add just a bit more fork oil to prevent bottoming, that may help stabilize the wheel a bit. Reduce shock preload and/or damping (I have forgotten which shock you have) to the point where it bottoms gently (or at least make sure you are using all the travel) over the worse bumps you hit and to make sure the shock is compliant as possible over small bumps and not contributing to your problems. Then set the chassis pitch by moving the triple clamps to get the turning/stability feel you want.

    Being "reluctant to turn" indicates the need to lower the triple clamps. "A little Nervous" may be due to front end too high, poor shock compliance, or too much pressure in the tires. Too much or too little damping in shock or fork can cause the nervouse feeling because in both cases, the wheel is not tracking bumps very well.

    I think you said your triple clamps are already all the way up. That may not be the best position for bike stability. It is possible the front end is too high and light and that may be causing some of the instability problems. A good example of this is when the bike set up is stable with rider alone, but adding passenger and luggage on the back raises the front too much.

    If you find the best set up with the K8 springs, which I think you are saying are a bit stiffer than stock K4 springs, and then find the best possible set up with your .85 springs, and neither is "perfect", your choices are to try and .80 spring and start all over, or pick your best compromise set up.

    I still find it strange you have had to go through so much to find a set up you like. But at least it seems you are getting close and certainly have done a lot more work than most people would bother with. Keep in mind my comments are also meant to help other readers understand various aspects of suspension tuning.

    Can you eplain how the fork oil anti-bottoming gizmo works? I don't understand that. Are you saying you are using all the fork travel before or after getting into the anti-bottoming gizmo?
    #66
  7. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    Yes, but the difference is even more pronounced with the Intiminators.

    On street bikes, you want to get the chassis set up so the bike is "neutral on the bars" while in an "average" turn, constant radius, constant speed, and very smooth pavement. If you are in an average turn, and feel you have to keep too much pressure on either side of the handle bar to maintain the turn, the chassis pitch is not set up correctly.

    If the bike tends to turn itself to the outside of the turn and you have to keep a constant correction on the bars to hold the line you want, you need to lower the front end.

    If the bike tends to turn itself to the inside of the turn and you have to keep a constant correction on the bars to hole the line you want, you need to raise the front end.

    Other factors such has improper rider sag and damping or improper rider technique, bad tires etc can also cause problems, so you have to fix those problems first. Not all turns will be "average", so after you set it to the "average" you have to adjust your riding style to match sharper, faster, bumpier turns. The same is true on dirt bikes, but you work the bars so hard it is difficult to be neutral.

    Generally, if adding preload causes a much harsher ride, you have too much preload trying to compensate for a weaker spring. Sometimes adding oil level will help, sometimes you need a heavier spring, sometimes more compression damping will be needed.


    SHOCKS, there has not been much discussion of how the shocks affect the overall ride, but they cannot be ignored and probably need to be retuned slightly softer to match the forks.

    If you pull out some oil and get more travel, then you know the oil level was too high and limiting travel. If you get to the minimum oil levels and still do not bottom, your springs are too stiff, too much preload, or too much compression damping (chassis circuit).

    Can you describe how the hydraulic lock to prevent bottoming works? I assume it is something besides stictly total oil level.



    Brian at Ricor told me the Intiminator is designed to work with stock springs. But I think you guys who have started trying to tune with much heavier springs are having the most problems. Trying to follow set up guidelines that worked before adding Intiminators is another part of the problem. If you buy an Intiminator, you should follow Ricor's recommendations, not someone elses, at least to start with.

    There is some, considerable??, misunderstanding how the Intiminators work, if they work, how to make them work, etc etc, especially from people who could not get them to work the way they expected. To some extent that is true of all suspension components. Regardless, Ace Rider seems to have demonstrated how the Intiminators can be tuned, even it he did it the hard way. By the way, welcome to my club, I've been there before with different bikes, different stuff.

    I don't know if my input is helping or just making this thread longer and longer. I think I'm getting too repetitive. But this sure is making me very curious to start working on my buddies Wee Strom when he gets back into town.

    I am beginning to wonder if the overall compression damping curve of the progressive rate fork springs, the hydraulic oil lock anti-bottoming mechanism (or whatever you call it), Intiminators, preload and oil level are simply not allowing for a smooth transition through out the entire range of fork travel.
    #67
  8. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    Wannaride,

    #68
  9. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    I agree that at a constant state on a smooth road the damping systems are not working, including the Intiminator. If that is all you ever rode on, you would not need any suspension. But from a dynamic stand point, braking, turns, bumps, properly tuned Intiminators matched to other properly tuned suspension components, and when compared to stock damper rod suspension, the Intiminators will hold the forks higher, not the entire bike. Although reducing shock preload is common. I guess I am going to have to qualify my statements.

    In the past I have mounted plastic push rods used for radio controlled airplanes on the suspension with the moving end next to a piece of tape on the gas tank to track suspension movement with pen markings. I am planning on doing that before and after on my buddies bike, if possible, to provide some actual measurements.

    I have admitted that. Most of my responses are meant to help other readers understand different aspect of suspension tuning.

    I looked at the links you provided. It looks like a valve that closes at the end of the travel to limit oil flow through its ports. If I read your last statement correctly, for sporty riding over bumpy surface, you try to set up the forks to use all but the last 35 mm. Then keep the last 35 mm in case you hit a really big bump. That makes sense to me.

    Do you mean that by reducing the air chamber at the top, which typically reduces bottoming out in forks without anti-bottoming valves, also reduces the forks tendency to slam hard into the anti-bottoming valve? If so, then the air chamber and anti-bottoming valve work together. If they work together, then the V-Strom forks would be much more sensitive to small changes in oil height than normal damper rod forks. Correct? Then a 5 mm change in oil height will make a big difference in bottoming or not bottoming of the V-Strom forks. Most damper rod forks, a 5 mm change in oil height is barely noticeable.

    Is it possible your anti-bottoming valves are sticky or dragging, and would that throw off your whole damping curve?

    Brian weighs 200 or 220, I have forgotten which, and says the stock spring works for him.

    You and all the other people having difficulty with their suspension, Intiminators or not. I didn't mean it directed to you personally. I have had the same problems setting up suspensions you are having, so I understand your frustration. I have a lot of respect for what you have figured out.

    But then there are the people who just drop them in, notice an improvement, and never have to make another adjustment. That leads me to the conclusion either they are not nearly as sensitive to how their bike handles as you or I am, or they just lucked out and happened to have the other suspension components set up to match the Intiminators.

    I told Brian this the last time I talked to him. I will call him and get specific set up recommendations for the V-Strom. It may take a few days, I don't sit by the phone at work, and neither does he.

    I am here because I want to be, and to learn how to set up my buddies V-Strom.
    #69
  10. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    Wanna Ride

    #70
  11. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    http://store.ricorshocks.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=53
    This is the official announcement of Ricor and Spears Enterprises working together to develop "race tuned" Intiminators for SV's on the race track. Spears will be selling and supporting "race tuned" Intiminators for the SV's.

    http://forum.svrider.com/showthread.php?t=107708

    See post # 10 concerning my conversation with Spears concerning basic concepts of how to set up suspension after adding Intiminators. Comments from riders pretty much stopped concerning the "race tuned" announcement. A few guys who bought "street tuned" Intiminators for race track use were not very happy. I don't know what they are trying to work out at this time.

    Keep in mind, I am known as XLXR on that, and other forums. This forum would not let me sign up as XLXR.

    K7?? Do you mean K4 (70 kg)? That is the typical compromise between softer and harder springs. Soft springs are smoother over small bumps better, but bottom out over large bumps. Hard springs ride stiffer over small bumps, but don't bottom out over large bumps? My general impression, without having any experience with V-Stroms, is that is just too big a jump in spring rates. Based on that information alone, I would say use the lighter spring, but add oil to control bottoming. It may require a very accurate measurement of oil level, my guess to within a 5 mm tolerance. It may be that you need a spring in between the two.

    The Works Dual Rate Spring kit is the only spring that can be adjusted to suite the rider's needs. I called them, but they don't have a current listing. They may be able to set one up if they knew the specs of the stock spring. But like I said earlier, that is adding a whole another level of complexity.

    http://www.sportrider.com/tech/146_9510_tech/index.html

    This is the best article I have ever found explaining spring rates and effects of preload. The graphs are for straight rate springs. Progressive rate springs will have a bend in them somewhere along the line where the spring transitions from the initial to final rate.

    http://www.sportrider.com/tech/146_9612_tech/index.html

    Here is another on suspension damping, look at the graphs. Keep in mind, these do not apply to Intiminators.

    Click on the TECH link and then click on the TECH ARTICLES drop down link, start at page 5 and read the suspension related articles backwards from page 5, the first ones, to page 1, the most recent ones, That is one of the best suspension guides I have ever read. The HOW TO link also has some good information.

    Refering back to the graphs of the straight rate springs and damping curves. Considering the overall spring/damping curve indicating the final combination of initial and final spring rates of a progressive rate spring, the anti-bottoming valve, preload, oil level, the Intiminator's circuits, interaction with the shock's characteristics, tire pressures etc etc, the graph of the V-Strom fork's chararistics will look like a pretzel.

    I think this indicates small changes to the overall spring/damping curve of the 650 V-Strom forks can have a much greater effect than expected, especially where the different factors interact. This should also explain why some guys hit on the right combination, and some guys don't. Pure chance.

    Exactly how big are these pot holes you are trying to tune your forks to absorb?
    #71
  12. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    Back to basic suspension theory. All the modifications you made to the Intiminator and welding up one rebound damping hole make sense in relation to trying to get the Intiminator damping curves to match your .85 spring. Now you probably cannot go all the way back to the stock .70 spring. You might be limited to trying only one step lighter spring.

    In theory, springs lighter than previously recommended work with the Intiminators because the Intiminators do more of the work hydraulically, so the spring can do less. Your modifications have gone in the opposite direction.

    In theory, lighter / stiffer is not adequate descriptions for progressive rate springs. Progressive rate springs have to be discussed in terms of initial rate, final rate, and crossover range.

    In theory, you might need a spring with .73 kg initial rate for about the first 1" of travel, have a transition range of about 2 1/2"" to the .85 final rate, and then crossing over to the .85 rate before the anti-valve kicks in.

    Then you can discuss progressive spring rates and damping curves with everyone who says straight rate springs are better.
    #72
  13. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    Wanna Ride,

    thanks for the link - for those who want to understand how intiminator works, the following threads are a good read:

    http://forum.svrider.com/showthread.php?t=107708

    http://forum.svrider.com/showthread.php?t=110636

    They include comments from Richard @ Sonic Springs and other current ameteur racers.

    Wanna Ride /XLXR, sorry to say that i have to agree with a few others in those threads who has done a better explanation than i did - i think your explanations/understandings have been somewhat coloured by Ricor advertising materials:evil

    Wanna Ride, i really suggest you assist your friend with his intiminator instal ASAP and test ride the bike yourself. Perhaps you can test your own theories by some tuning and see how close they match your expectation.

    I have never ridden harleys, but if your theories and conclusions were drawn from your harley experience with intiminator, i would say Vstrom must behave very different from harleys, perhaps closer to SV650.





    I tried 140mm oil height with 0.064 shim thickness with the stock K8 (0.72) springs. The 140mm oil height and shim combination is an effort to counteract the softness of springs relative to my weight.


    Compare that too my previous optimal tune on 0.85kg springs with 155mm oil height and 0.060 shim thickness, i am yet to decide which one is the overal better one.

    Guess that perhaps 0.80kg or 0.75kg is a better option in order to handle both big and small bumps and potholes around here - if i can get those springs to try.
    #73
  14. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    I was able to speak with Brian at Ricor for a minute. But we did not complete our conversation because of bad cell phone connections and I had a meeting to attend. I don't have time for more long explanations today. I have some other ideas to work on in relation to the V-Strom 650. I will post up results when I can get my hands on one, but that may take a month or two. In the meantime, if anybody else has any questions about anything said on this thread, please speak up.

    The gostar link Ace Rider posted above has lots of good information.

    I did speak to Brian about progressive vs straight rate springs. He has had good success on different bikes in addition to the V-Strom with both types of springs. So there is no clear advantage one has over the other when combined with the Intiminators. The key is the overall balance achieved between all the related factors. Proper spring rate(s) are important whichever type of spring used. He did verify he weighs 210 lbs and did hammer on the test V-Strom 650 over bad enough roads to be satisfied with the stock spring. I'll try to contact him again for more detailed information.
    #74
  15. skirider73

    skirider73 Backroad Hack

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    Well, I just received an email from Brian at Ricor, with a link to their store online.

    http://store.ricorshocks.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=54

    Apparently the kit you received free will cost me $51.95 plus shipping according to his email:

    "You will need the take apart tool and the .012 shim kit if you want to go softer."





    <o:p></o:p>
    #75
  16. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    Sorry to hear that, guess they are getting a bit hungry for $$$, so they can employ a guru to answer our questions here.:evil :evil


    If it makes u happy, you should know that:

    1) you dont need the removal tool - i think it is actually harder than just using vice with soft grip. - unless you intend do this track side or on the side of the road:D Make sure you take the plastic sealing ring off the intiminator before you clamp them to the vice.

    2) u already have 0.015 x2 and 0.012 x 4 shims each on the stock intiminators (unless the combination have since changed), you only need to buy the 0.010 x8 pack - that will give you all the shim thickness combination you need from 0.000 to 0.100 on 0.001 increments(stock is 0.078) - i dont know why they are selling the 0.015 and 0.012 - they are NOT needed, unless you lost them.


    May I also suggest you put a extra small washer under the top nut to faciliate easy removal while the forks are on bike. (see my pics in the thread)

    Anther thing is that you might want to snip of 1-1.5mm off the plastic sealing ring on the outside of the intiminator body - that ring generated too much stiction to the inside of fork tube - you could hardly slide the thing up and down. This also helps to take a tiny amount of the harshness out as there is less stiction. - Downside of that is that there will be a little more free bleed from the system - not an issue on the compression, but if you are not modifying the rebound hole - the 5wt oil on stock suzuki rebound is just too soft IMHO, even without this mod. This mod would make slightly worse again.



    Regarding the rebound - at 0.85kg spring with my 195-200lbs rider weight, it's just about right once you welded the hole shut, perhaps a 0.5mm hole, if one could be drilled, would be a perfect compromise for comfort and handling. With 0.72 K8 stock progressive, it's only a tag firm for crappy roads I ride.


    Good luck, and dont forget to post your findings, especially after 200-300kms where any placebo effects have worn off.








    #76
  17. skirider73

    skirider73 Backroad Hack

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    May 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Penacook, NH
    Let me ask you this. Would you suggest going with gold valves at this point? I can run 10 wt for the rebound, the free bleed is better, and adjustability is with a screw. I'm only pulling the damper rod once to work on it. Assume roads 50% better than yours. I'm the same weight & riding style as you also.

    I'm also considering the AK 20. Money is becoming less and less important, as I spend more and more free time messing with this thing.

    Thanks again!

    :thumb
    #77
  18. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    695
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    Skirider73,

    I like how you put it - $$$ is becoming less & less important.

    First, let me say that I probably would not bother with AK20, even if i dont have actual experience with it - A well tune damper rod front end, match with a proper shock (ELKA or Wilburs triple clickers) on the DL650 is more than enough. From what i read, AK20 is way better than stock, but like the rest, not a magic bullet. Can you imagine if you want to change the compression on it - how much do you know about shim stack combo!!

    SAVE the $$$ and buy a proper rear shock now, or spend them on the front springs and tuning parts.



    This leads to the second part of my answer - intiminator or RT gold valve, you need to spend some time and effort on your own to customise to your preference. I have a lot more experience with intiminator, but i sold the RT gold valve too early before i have a chance to play with it.

    RT has the benefit of being out longer, and there's a lot more info (not necessarilly accurate) out there on DL650 or more importantly SV650. Intiminator is still in its infancy - but you have the benefits of reading my adventures with them:D


    It's really not that hard to do the mod or tuning, but you must spend a bit of time and take good notes.

    Regardless of what Ricor says and whichever one you end up with, i would suggest you take the damper rod out and , if you are not comfortable, pay a suspension shop to drill out the compression holes - this ensures all compression damping is done via the RT emulator or intiminator. I would also reduce the rebound hole as well, to say 1mm if possible. My local suspension work shop charged me AU$20 ($17US) to weld the holes up.


    You would need to get a set of 0.85kg or 0.90kg springs. I have 0.85kg springs.

    After that, you can start playing with the settings. With RT emulator, you might want to
    (a) buy a couple caps to play with the bleed hole sizes-their chasis circuit damping (low velocity damping); < not many know this><NOT well as this with play can you know people lot a>

    (b) a softer spring - this effects how fast the blow-off is once bump absorption is required (high velocity damping); < RT only has 3 springs - you might need to make them if you want other rates><RT you a it make to someone get have rate, different want if 3, stock only>

    (c) adjust the preload on springs to change at what fork speed or size of the bumps would cause the blow-off to happen. < this is what people plays with most, but not (a) and (b) which is just as important.


    So the cost of RT testing and tuning is not so straight forward either and you will need to pay for those parts


    WITH intiminator,

    (a) get the 0.010 shims, you can now play with the chassis circuit (low velocity damping). this will also affect your bump absorption characteristics to a small degree;

    (b) if you are still not happy about bump absorption compliance, then enlarge the bleed holes one at the time to give yourself a little more compliance without effecting your chassis control circuit.

    (c), if you are really anal about it, you can change the spring which holds the inertial valve to change when the system decide its a wheel movement. this is similar to (b) on RT tuning, but the effect would be very sensetive - i really wouldnt bother with it.


    My optimal setting with intiminator - 0.85kg Sonic springs, 0.061inch shim thickness, rebound hole welded shut, modified wheel circuit holes, 5wt Motul Oil, and 143mm air space;

    recommending you: 0.85kg sonic springs 0.061 to 0.063inch shim thickness; rebound hole welded shut, enlarge 2 only bleed holes like ladder73 did, 5wt oil, 143mm air space.

    you can try 0.90kg spring with 150mm air space and start with 0.061 shim thickness and may go down a little from there.


    PeterW has a very well tuned RT valve by local suspension guy - he runs Wilburs progressive (0.9 approx) - he is about the same weight and similar riding style and rides more unpaved and off roads than i do- nothing else is known - but you can try convincing him to take the RT emulator and have a look at what tune it has - good luck there.


    MY conclusion - Intiminator really has potential, but i wish they provide more tuning support - to be fair though, RT's support is not much better, but people have play with its products more.
    #78
  19. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    So Cal, USA. Too far from the desert.
    First read the Sport Rider and the other link posted above to get a good understanding of all the different aspects of suspension tuning.

    Next, consider if you want to buy a better shock. If you do, buy it now, so you can tune everything at once. If you go to the extremes tuning the forks, and then switch to a better shock, you may have to start from the beginning.

    This is a MAJOR change. If you go with the Intiminators, you will probably be better off just trying the stock spring, stock damping holes, 5w oil and fine tuning preload, oil height, shock preload, and chassis pitch to start with. This is Ricor's basic recommendations, which do work for other people. That will give you a good feel for how the basic settings work together and then decide if you need to go any further.
    #79
  20. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    695
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    Even Ricor advise intiminator works enlarge compression holes - so drill them while you have them out - You really need to increase the rebound on stock or heavier springs - so do something about it while you have the damper rod out.

    Stock springs is not going to be enough for your weight. but you can easily change later - put a zip tie on the fork and see what how much travel you are using. better still put a camera to record the fork movements - i did.

    I changed to K4 and K8 springs and while stiffen up compression can compensate the softer springs somewhat - it creates a lot harshness and you will still be running out of travel once the wheel circuit is open.

    Damping is dissapate the spring energy, let springs do the job of holding things up and absorp bumps.

    After one week on stock springs (0.70 & 0.72kg) and 3 different shim settings - 0.070, 0.065 and 0.067 - and a couple different oil level - i went back to 0.85kg springs with 0.061 shim setting and dont forget i prefer compliance over ultra firm - do you see my point.

    have a read of links i posted a few threads back about SV650 forum - some very good comments there.
    #80