Intiminator Compared and modified

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

  1. skirider73

    skirider73 Backroad Hack

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    Acerider01:

    I'm running the .9 Sonics with 5wt Amsoil & stock Intiminators. FYI, I tried the same with 5 wt Honda fork oil, and noticed a difference between it and the Amsoil...the Amsoil is much lighter. You mentioned Motul oil in your set up. Might want to research viscosity between the two...the Amsoil is thin thin thin. Could make a difference in your set up if you switched and is what Ricor used in their testing.

    My next step is to order the shims, pull the Intiminators, and play with the shim stack. I'm going to enlarge one of the holes while they are on the bench. I'll post my results. One caveat, as it gets colder here (riding in 40F weather) oil viscosity plays a role in the feel of the suspension.

    I've been following all of those SV threads too. The racers need to be taken with a grain of salt...they know their stuff in a controlled environment, but suspension changes mean lower lap times. Different goals then me. I've been working with Rich D on the spring rates. He's not a huge fan of the Intiminators, and if I remember reading correctly, isn't running any emulators in his race bike. My sag #s are spot on with the .9's, Im 205 with no gear...

    I'm committing to making these things work. The quest continues...:freaky
    #81
  2. skirider73

    skirider73 Backroad Hack

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    If you read what I've posted...been there done that on a stock spring set up with Intimiators.

    To reiterate: for me, with a stock spring, the sag is well over 50mm with a 1/2" under the cap. Adding more preload (spacers) brings the sag in line, but adds a harsh rebound-to-compression transition that is worse that the stock set up. Ricor doesn't consider rider weight & spring weight in their stock set up; it is a "one size fits all" product as-sold.

    I also don't like the chassis dynamics with sag over 40ish mm. You haven't experienced the famous Vstrom highway insability or buffeting issues...both of which is less with a higher front end IMO. Lots of guys drop the fork tubes 15mm ("I read it on the internet, so it must be true") on top of too much sag, which really drops the front down, causing all sorts of stability issues...but I digress...

    I keep the fork tubes flush with the top triple clamp. The Sonic .9's are the proper spring FOR MY WEIGHT, which is 205 not including gear. I'm a 99% road rider, so off road control is secondary to good high speed compliance on road.

    I agree that the stock shock sucks and should be changed out...but it isn't the focus of my discomfort on this bike at this point.
    #82
  3. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    Skirder73,



    I took some video of my ride over some crappy local roads and some nice and smooth roads in the local driver training centre (2km 11 interesting corners). I also took a video of the forks in action on stock springs and am taking some more over 0.85kg springs. Will post on youtube, once i figure how to compress AVI file and send to youtube.

    Would you believe, that 0.85kg spring with 0.061 shim thickness and 143mm air space is about the same in compliance as K8 stock 0.72 progressive with 0.064 shim thickness!!! The 0.85kg has way more bottoming resistance and better chassis stability.

    When 0.070 shim thickness was used with stock K8 springs - the compliance is bad and the thing could still bottom out earlier than i like. So, like you - I can now say I KNOW STOCK SPRINGS AND STOCK INTIMINATOR IS NOT OPTIMAL.
    #83
  4. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    http://www.spearsenterprises.com/Intiminator.html

    This is what Spears says about Intiminators in the SV 650 race bike. This link also contains two animations. The animation where you see the cut away of the gold collar moving up and down is actually for a shock that blows off rebound damping due to shock extension. The Intiminators have the ports above the gold inertia collar to blow of high speed compression damping in the forks.

    Rich D. made this comment after my explanation how the Intiminators works:
    http://forum.svrider.com/showthread.php?t=107708 see page 3 post 21.

    Spears and Rich D. do not agree on how the Intiminators and bike should be set up. Apparently, they do not agree about spring rates either. The main lesson learned on the SVRider forum was "street tuned" Intiminators do not work on the track. Spears developed a "race tune" that does work on the track when combined with other aspects of suspension set up. At this time, I have no idea if there is any similarity in the mods to the Intiminators done by Spears and Ace Rider. I don't know if Rich D. ever tried the race tuned Intiminators in an SV.

    A good full synthetic fork oil should not have any noticable change at lower temperatures. A non-synthetic fork oil will get stiffer at lower temps. It won't do much good to have synthetic in the forks and non-synthetic in the shock. I doubt Amsoil will thicken up at cold temperatures. I use Amsoil, but have not ridden in anything below 60 F in over 15 years.
    #84
  5. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    Wanna Ride,


    #85
  6. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    NEWS FLASH:

    RICOR is now shipping iniminator with a different shim thickness for Vstrom 650

    they are now shipping them with 0.015x1 + 0.012x4 =0.063inch shims instead of the original 0.015x2 + 0.012x4
    =0.078 shims =
    --------------------------------

    this is 20% less damping than original setup - it feels even more in reality
    To those who thinks firmer is better, take note.

    Ricor just sent me an email telling me that they will send me a set of intiminator for me to do a comparison on...

    Now that Ricor obviously realised that the original shim thickness (0.078inch compare to now 0.063inch) was way to firm for street applicantion, even taken into rider preference, they want me to do a test to see whether changing shims alone is sufficient without the high-velocity /wheel circuit mod Ladder106 and i did.

    FYI, I now set my shims at 0.058 for my 0.85kg springs for my 89kg body.


    I think i am going to enlist PeterW's help to do a blind test. He is about the same weight and riding style as me and he rides on crap roads like i do too. Plus he rides on a wilbur rear shock and excellently modified RT emulator front, so he knows how good the Vstrom front can get.

    I will make sure both intiminator uses the same shim thickness. I will sent him out for a run on one set of intiminator and then on other set and ask him for his opinions on both - only i will know which set has to modified intiminator. I will then report his finding together with with mine and publish here.

    Now i just have to wait for the intiminator to turn up, find a suitable time and find a suitable short route, incorporating smooth S bends, broken asphalt/potholes and bumpy sections for such an experiement!


    AR
    #86
  7. skirider73

    skirider73 Backroad Hack

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    So they have 5 vs 6 shims now?

    I've got a pack of .010's and .012's to mess with. I'm curious as to whether 5 .012's or 6 .010's (for example) would have the same damping rate...
    #87
  8. duckrider

    duckrider Been here awhile

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    I would be interested in the mods to the RT emulator. Not to hijack, but I guess the thread is about making DL front ends work.
    #88
  9. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    PeteW is not that interested in pulling things apart - he is i think worry that things would not be the same after that, i think.

    Maybe u can ask him next time his front is due for a service to make a note of what the suspension guru did. I ask the same suspension guy last Thursday and he said he couldnt remember unless he dig up three books of records and have a look.

    but these are the variables:

    1)rebound hole mod if any;
    2) number and diameters of bleedholes on the emulator's cap
    3) rate of spring on emulator- (including using spring rates outside of RT's 3 springs they can supply with all emulator)
    4) preload of spring on emulator;
    5) i think PeteW used a Wilbur's progressive front springs

    People normally just adjust (4), but the suspension guru believes unless you are on smooth roads and dont do much off road, (1), (2) & (3) need to be changed to make them work for strom, especially if you ride on crap roads all the time.
    #89
  10. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    According to PT Rider from VSRI - see reply #90
    http://www.vstrom.info/Smf/index.php/topic,10393.90.html

    they now have 0.015x1 & 0.012x4 = 0.063.

    I tried having different combination to arrive at the same total thickness to see whether different combination makes a difference - but honestly i couldnt tell any. so i stopped worrying about it, just focusing on the total thickness. But i concede that in theory, it should make a difference.

    Perhaps someone can try the different combination trick and see whether they notice a difference.
    #90
  11. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    I receive a new set of intiminators - this set comes - 0.015X2 + 0.012x3 = 0.066 printed on the box.
    #91
  12. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    Is that the new standard set up, or is it something meant to match your .85 spring? ( I think you're using a .85 fork spring.)

    I was able to get a good test ride over a variety of road surfaces on my friends 07 V-Strom 650 with stock suspension and Continental Trail Attack tires. He weighs 215 lbs in gear and was using only about 2 1/2" fork travel and never bottomed fork or shock. He rides at a beginner level.

    I weigh 260 lbs and ride harder/faster than most. I could bottom the shock easily. I used most of the fork travel over bigger bumps, but never felt the forks bottom hard. Overall, I was surprised how well the stock suspension worked at slow to medium speeds. Higher speeds and bigger bumps made the wheels hop and loose traction for me.

    Next weekend we will put in the Intiminators and do another test ride. I haven't decided which shims to use. I will probably reduce fork and shock preload in attempt to get him to use more travel. He definitely does not need a heavier fork spring. We'll see if I need a heavier fork spring after adding the Intiminators.
    #92
  13. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    Wanna ride,

    #93
  14. flux_capacitor

    flux_capacitor I know a shortcut!

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    Wow, you guys are insane! :lol3 I just got a set of Intiminators from Ricor as well (for my Tiger) and imagine I'll get some good feedback from them, but you guys are taking this to a whole new level! :D
    #94
  15. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    in search of perfection or something close to it...

    but i have to say - they should have come from Riccor - 90% perfect, so none of these should be necessary.

    At least with reduced shim thickness they are shipping now - things should be a closer than how they suppose to perform
    #95
  16. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    His fork rider sag was 1 5/8". The 2 1/2" travel was measured with a plastic tie of the fork to see how much the fork compressed when he rode over a speed bump at 25 mph. He got the same 2 1/2" travel when tried to do a stoppie to measure fork dive. In total he was using 4 1/8" fork travel. He is a beginner level rider. He does not hit big enough bumps fast enough to use all the 6" of fork travel. There is no way my buddy needs a heavier fork, or shock, spring. He doesn't us all the travel now. I intend to reduce preload to get 2" rider sag, use .012 x 6 shims, Amsoil 5w oil at the same level as currently in the forks, and leave the shock preload alone for the next test ride. We will do the same measurements for fork travel under hard braking and over the speed bumps.

    After reading your ride reports, the stock suspension was far better than I expected. It makes me wonder if we are talking about the same bike. Perhaps Suzuki has different factory set ups for different regions of the world.

    If I took it slow, or stayed on smooth roads, the stock suspension worked pretty good. It was a bit on the loose side overall, but that is how I like my suspension. Once I started riding fast on rough roads, I was able to easily over ride the stock suspension. (Keep in mind I used to race motorcross and desert. So "slow" for me is faster than most people will ever try to ride a V-Strom on rough roads.)

    I found not enough damping which let the wheels hop and loose contact with the ground and a too weak shock spring which made the shock bottom too much were the real limitations, not the stock fork spring.

    Hopefully, we will get the Intiminators installed and complete road testing next weekend. I will post a detailed report after we are done.

    Some of us do that, but be careful, you have a different bike and your riding skills and style may not make it necessary to take things so far. Plenty of people, with all different kinds of bikes, just drop the Intiminators in and ride happily ever after. Sometimes I think the rest of us are cursed.
    #96
  17. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    If you take the fork off and meausre the actual available travel from full extension to full compression, you might find there's only about 5 5/8 of travel and not 6" as suzuki advertises.

    I believe that the intiminator setting u have is "adding to the spring" and hence why he is not using all or most of the travel even when doing stoppie:huh :huh :huh .

    should the rider sag be set at 1 5/8 rather than 2 for road riding?

    For him to stick with stock springs for now i would try Riccor's latested setting of 0.015x2 + 0.012x3 = 0.066.

    0.070 would probably still be too harsh.
    #97
  18. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    My previous ride report was totally stock, we have not added Intiminators. I suspect adding Intiminators will reduce fork travel, therefore I need to soften the forks so he will use more travel. Changing one variable at a time to see the effect of each individual change is time consuming. I may just do all the changes at once. I can try different shim stack combination's if I need to.

    Slower riders on smoother roads can use more rider sag than heavier riders on rougher roads. If there is only 5 5/8" total fork travel, 1 5/8" rider sag would be about right. However, you must also take into consideration he is using only about 1/2 total travel, therefor a reducing preload to increase rider sag may help him to use more travel. The actual effect of reducing preload will depend on how much the current preload spacer is compressing the spring when the forks are fully extended.
    #98
  19. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    He is a 210 lb slow rider and thought the bike rode better. I weigh 260 lbs and ride faster than most people will try to ride a 650 V-Strom.. I thought the suspension was WAY WAY better at high speeds on rough paved roads. I could still bottom out and hit the skid plate, and that limited my speed. However, both front and rear tires were able to maintain contact with the road much better and that made it much easier to ride fast on rough roads. I have read other reports where slower riders on smooth roads don't seem to feel much difference after adding Intiminators. To me, at speed on rough roads, there was a huge improvement.


    If I were setting the bike up for myself, I would need heavier springs front and rear. I would also need a better shock. I used 5 5/8" fork travel, and that is all there is. After adding the Intiminators, we used 1/8" to 1/4" less travel over speed bumps, hard braking, and at 70 mph on the highway. Overall, at reasonable speeds to avoid bottoming, I thought the damping was about right with stock shock, stock fork springs, and Intiminators.


    We both felt the bike rode a bit stiffer over smaller bumps in normal city and highway roads. Not bad, just different enough to notice. We reduced preload in both the shock and forks to minimum with the external adjusters in attempt to soften it up a bit. He is still test riding solo and loaded up for weekend trips to decide what to do next, if anything. When loaded for weekend camping and with the shock set a zero preload, he bottomed on the skid plate over big bumps. He needs to increase shock preload when loaded to see if that will prevent bottoming when loaded. He was not able to bottom the shock or fork when solo.


    The next report may take a week or two so he can get enough testing in under different conditions to see if he wants to make anymore changes. We may take out some shims from the Intiminator to see if that softens the ride when solo.
    #99
  20. atermon

    atermon Been here awhile

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    great report, let us know how the shim diet program is going.
    I thought of using even lighter oil, 2,5 wt maybe, but not sure after all.