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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    There isn't much difference in 2.5 w and 5 w oil, but I wouldn't think reducing overall damping is a good idea for even slower riders. That can cause trouble if you hit something unexpected, especially if carrying more load than usual.

    I can't remember what you have done to your suspension or what problems you're having, but in general, I would work with the other adjustments to find a better balance.
  2. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    In reference to my friends 650 V-Strom I mentioned in the previous posts. We took out 2 shims, leaving .012 x 4 shims in the Intiminators. Shock and fork preload adjusters set as soft as possible. No other changes were made.

    (The stock fork preload spacer length was shortened 5/8" to compensate for the Intiminators when we first put them in.)

    We both noticed the shock rode a bit softer on normal roads and highways. That was our goal in removing 2 shims.

    Then we rode over the same test roads.

    On very bumpy paved roads, my speed was still limited by bottoming of the skid plate over larger bumps. Both compression and rebound damping were good. Removing 2 shims did make the forks a bit more compliant and also made the shock feel a little softer. The change was subtle, just enough to notice, and not nearly as dramatic as I expected. Pretty much just splitting hairs at this point.

    He wasn't too sure he noticed any real improvement in the rough roads and at first thought we should put 1 or 2 shims back in because he preferred having a little stiffer ride overall. However, we both noticed his speed and confidence had increased when compared to riding stock suspension without Intiminators. And in true Ricor fashion, he now aims for the bumps rather than trying to avoid them.

    He is going to keep riding the bike as is and then decide if he needs to do anything else. At this point, it is obvious to me the forks are better than the stock shock, and no use trying to improve the forks any more until he replaces the shock. However, at this time, he does not ride fast enough to need to replace the shock. Eventually, he will.

    I never did feel the forks bottom out. I think that anti-bottoming valve works too good. It slows down fork compression so much you loose the last 3/4" inch of travel. If it were my bike, I would try to drill one hole in it, hoping that would be enough to gain some extra travel. I wouldn't eliminate it. Most people won't need to bother with it.
  3. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    Havent had time to do the blind test with PeteW - work and purchasing a new car and new TV kept me busy with the research and paperwork.

    After reading a few of the posts from Richard from Sonic Springs. I decided to put my 0.90 springs back in (instead of the 0.85). I settle on 0.012 x 4shims plus 0.010 x 1 shim, a total of 0.058 thickness (tried 0.056 and 0.060) - this was much better than before - compliance (especially on small but fast vehicle bumps) without the softness that came with 0.058 with 0.85kg springs before


    I am very happy now - although a comparison with PeterW still awaits..

    Even my wife on the back notice it.
  4. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff Man of Mystery

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    Ace,
    Thanks for all your research...very interesting reading.
  5. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    Met up with PeterW last weekend for a short blast (all sealed stuff) - weather here has been usually hot, which made changing intiminator on the side of road too much to ask - i would die of the heat before the change is over.

    Anyway we swapped bike and had a ride on each others bike. As mentioned in earlier post Pete has a very well modified RT Emulator front (by well regarded local suspension tuner) and a all-adjustable rear Wilburs. Pete weight about the same as me, but is more experienced and rides a lot more off road.

    when i test his bike 6 months ago, i could not believe how well the front end feels, seemingly just floats over any surface imperfection. Compare to the standard intiminator set up i had then, it was like heaven and earth.

    On this test, i have a lot more to smile about.

    On small ridges and surface imperfections on sealed roads. Pete's bike still floats over like nothing exists - i could not feel them. On my own bike, i can feel most of the surface imperfections- not bad in isolation but in comparison, i feel a lot more. Some people might like it, i rather not.

    The upside is that my brake dive on intiminator is a lot better - Both us felt it seemed only dive about an inch and that was it. Obviously scientific measurements (with a zip tie) tells me that it dives a lot more than that on hard brakes, but it just feels a lot less. (so people should not fear going to a softer setting would bring back stock brake dive)

    On tiny bumps, both felt reasonable compliant - i still can feel them, with Petes bike, it feels a bit less - but i think the compliance is the same

    On medium bumps, mine felt a lot more compliant than Petes. His felt a lot harshier in comparison, mine just feels like a soft hit.

    On sealed bumpy roads, i would definitely rather be on my bike - smoother sealed roads - mine brake dive is a lot more controlled, but Pete wins with smoother feel on handlebar.

    Obviously travel is a limiting factors, when approaching the limit of travel going over huge bumps, the hydraulic oil-lock piece will ramp up the damping to stop hard bottoming.

    My bike seem to tip into turn easier than his, but Pete says he uses a lot more body weight (from dirt bike background, i guess) so he didnt notice - i use a lot more countersteering and i am not that familiar with his bike, so i am not sure whether thats purely due my unfamilarity with his bike. There's no clear advantages on either bike except they feel different.

    Pete also commented on the improvement my bike had from when he rode that 5 months ago, when the intiminator was on Ricor standard setting.
  6. Big Willy

    Big Willy Gen. Italia

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    Thread resurrection :D

    Now that the holidays have arrived, and it's pissing down outside, figured it's a good time to start playing with the intiminators again.

    I have two sets at my disposal, one set bought for the Transalp when a 50% discount was the go and another set I got off Ebay.

    Despite the packaging on the box I bought from Ricor saying that they have 4 x 0.12" and 2 x 0.15" shims, both sets came with 5 x 0.12" shims and both are for a Transalp.

    I, like Ace Rider and Ladder don't really think the compliance side is up to scratch and personally, I don't see how the Intiminator can be an improvement over stock in this regard as the inertia valve side of it can actually hinder flow.

    Where the Intiminator shines is it's ability as an anti dive device during braking and really needs more work on it's inertia valve setup.

    Going back to the area of the holes calculations on page 1 of this thread, I calculate that if the elongated holes are conservatively 2mm x 4mm, this would give an area of 7.142mm squared per hole or roughly 28mm squared for the 4 of them...not a lot of difference in area compared to the round hole up the centre of the Intiminator which is 30.19mm squared, so a little can be gained here with enlarging of the holes, and possibly a better effect by raising the holes as Ladder has done.

    I, on the other hand, am thinking of drilling one or two largish holes in the brass body of the inertia valve and a couple of corresponding holes in the black tube that it sits in.
    I figure that it might alleviate some hydraulic pressure when it is actuated, allowing it to move downwards more freely.

    Any thoughts before I irrepairably wreck them:ear
  7. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    First - After having the intiminator for so long and still trying different setup from time to time - i can definitely say that it offers resistance to brake dive more than similarily compliant RTGV emulator. Even at very "soft" setting, it resist brake dive more than would expect.

    Second, you will probably find the 5 x 0.012 setup quite okay, although you can try 4x0.012 and 1x0.010 (it work okay for 0.90kg spring);

    Third, I concur that the enlarging of bleed holes would probably only offer minor benefit- but as long as brass part can totally cover the enlarged bleed holes on closed position- there's no harm trying - i too would suggest following what ladder did- it seems logical.

    Fourth - not sure where about in the brass body and the black tube you are talking about - The brass part is there to hold the spring and cover the bleed holes with the top - if you drill the top - it would be a permanent bleed on the system- drill the main part of the brass body - cant see how that helps anything.

    If you are talking drilling the black tube covering the brass valve - i can see that it would seem to offer a more direct escape route for the oil once the inertial valve has opened instead being force down and out. I considered that before but i thought that since the whole thing is covered in fork oil and all the high pressure bleeding does is equalising the pressure between outside the intiminator and inside- it wouldnt make any difference anyway. However i cant see any harm in trying and i stand to be corrected on my understanding of fluid dynamics.

    let us know how u go with the experimenting
  8. Big Willy

    Big Willy Gen. Italia

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    G'day Ace Rider.

    What I've done today...
    1. Welded up rebound bleed holes on damper rod
    2. Enlarged oval holes to 2.5mm diameter
    3. Drilled 2 x 4mm holes through the brass body
    4. Removed 1 x .012" shim from each intiminator (each now has 4 x .012")

    I'm running .70kg/mm springs on the Tranny (standards are .59) and 145mm oil height (5wt Motul Expert)

    As for drilling the brass body, I didn't take a photo but I drilled it about 10mm from the top so that it doesn't interfere with it's job of opening and closing the ports.
    The reason I did it I reasoned was this...
    When the wheel comes up, the brass valve moves down (for the sake of argument :D).
    This same brass valve is encapsulated in that black sleeve so I figured that maybe the oil inside the brass valve couldn't escape fast enough to allow the brass valve to move.
    I'll be up at Sparrow's fart to test it. If it works well, I won't know which aspect of it made the difference, but I won't care if it works well:lol3
  9. Big Willy

    Big Willy Gen. Italia

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    Having ridden it today, I can honestly say that it feels improved.

    It still gets a little confused with a series of BIG potholes but generally I am no longer tightening the sphincter in anticipation.

    I will add that I used the same fluid that came out of the forks as I didn't have any new stuff available...so fluid can be ruled out of the equation.

    The aspects that I liked...

    1. More compliant over small stuff. More relaxing to ride. Can loosen grip
    on the bars
    2. Love the new rebound feel. Much more confidence inspiring
    3. Removing 1 shim seems to have given more feel back to the braking
    (by diving a bit more, you know how hard you are braking)

    The suspension isn't perfect by a long shot, but the bike isn't a KTM Adventure either so for it's intended purpose i.e. sealed roads with occasional sojourn onto dirt roads and firetrails, it'll do just fine.

    I will add that as the front end has improved, I now have to tweak the rear again (Gubellini with adjustable rebound and compression, remote reservoir).
  10. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    0.70kg spring is very light (about the sames as K7 onwards stock) - you must be very fit unlike most of us:rofl

    Do you have any 0.010 shim for testing purpose? 4 x 0.012 would be very light for my spring but might be okay for yours.

    Closing the rebound hole completly might be give too much rebound damping especially with a 0.70kg spring - I use 1.75mm hole for a 0.90kg spring - I would have tried leaving the stock rebound hole along with a 0.70kg spring.

    I am guessing your excessive rebound damping might be causing packing when u go over a series of bumps causing it to feel funny?

    your motul expert 5wt has about the same viscosity rating as my factory line 5wt.

    I never seen or heard of "Gubellini" rear shock? got a link?
  11. Big Willy

    Big Willy Gen. Italia

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    Hope this works
  12. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    sorry didnt realise u are talking about a translap, such my comments on spring, shim setting and rebound hole size would obviously be incorrect.

    Changing my teflon bush recently seem to have reduced friction and the oil seem to be less black than before - not sure if that info helps.

    The link provided is interesting especially they seem to indicate some sort fork rebuild kits for DL650 with new damper rod and some form of complex valving system?
  13. Big Willy

    Big Willy Gen. Italia

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    This is the translation...
    The kit fork made by FG Special Parts, you can greatly improve the behavior of the standard range without excessive investment or complicated changes. Provides an excellent base for hydraulic calibration (specifically designed for each motorcycle model) by using special hydraulic components (such as pistons, valves, tapered blades or pins) derived from competitions. All components that are installed inside the original fork can be restored at any time.
    Looks like they're made for a few different models too.
    KIT FORCELLA Suzuki V STROM 650 2006 - FG Gubellini - Sospensioni - Shop Fg Special Parts

    At the current exchange rate, it works out to be $220 Australian plus delivery but less 20% tax would make them $176 plus delivery, not too bad compared to Gold Valves and Intiminators if they are any good
  14. Wanna Ride

    Wanna Ride Adventurer

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    Be careful when riding after modifying the oil flow around the inertia valve. Oil flow helps stabilize the yellow inertia collar to prevent it from bouncing up and down unrestrained. If you happen to hit a resonant frequency, the front tire may hop and loose traction.

    The worst case scenario is the front wheel losing traction under hard braking just before a corner, just before a guard rail, just before a cliff, just before a river with a water fall.
  15. Big Willy

    Big Willy Gen. Italia

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    I see your point and it is a good one. So far, no worries.
  16. Tetreves

    Tetreves Been here awhile

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    I installed a set into my WeeStrom over the winter. I got out riding this past week or so, and can say that I have not noticed significant improvement in the front end, especially when it comes to brake dive. A buddy has Intiminators in his DR650, so I had him take a look at the movement, and he agrees, it is not at all what his experience is with Intiminators.

    I can grab the handlebars and get significant movement out of the front end, and after braking to a stop the front end pops up as it rebounds, very similar to what it did before the install.

    I'm 185, running stock springs. I was careful to follow the instructions precisely, including cutting the spacers and resetting pre-load. Is there something I could have messed up in the install process that would cause this type of problem?
  17. NordieBoy

    NordieBoy Armature speller

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    Pulled the springs, dropped Intiminators in flat bit first, correct oil level, then springs, then spacers?
  18. Tetreves

    Tetreves Been here awhile

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    Yes, exactly that.
  19. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    do u know what shim combo is printed on your packaging - is there any improvement from stock at all?
  20. Tetreves

    Tetreves Been here awhile

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    I don't think I have the any longer. If there is an improvement from stock, its minor-if any- and not at all the huge improvement other riders report.