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uncomfortable ride

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by handymanradiator, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. This is my first XS650 project. We live 4 miles on gravel. We lightened the bike to approximately 365 lbs. Love the performance/gas mileage, however, we bought the $80.00 shocks from MIKESXS and the bike is entirely too stiff. Momma won't ride!!!
    This is low budget gravel road cruiser that runs perfect. It just doesn't "ride".
    Without spending a ton of money, or any major modification, what shocks will bolt on
    and smooth our ride? I'm 6ft2in 170lbs mommas 5ft 90lbs. I have always perfered a
    "softer than normal" suspension. Most of our ride is under 60 mph on county blacktop and gravel (poor roads). I have heard 550 Virago, DT250. Any recommendations??
     
  2. bdholsin

    bdholsin XS Enthusiast

    Isn't there an adjustment on the shocks to soften them?
     
  3. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

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    Those shocks are notorious on the internet for being way too stiff. Otherwise good, but unusable :) A special talent the Chinese have for things motorcycle.

    You can google around for Redwing shocks which are just a bit more, but they're getting scarce. You can get them sent to you with springs suitable to a certain weight range. I tried to order a pair a couple of months ago but they were backordered by the place that had a price I liked.
     
  4. jamesgs4

    jamesgs4 fuck this, let's ride!

    eat more, you two are too skinny.
     
  5. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    How much "sack" do you have if it's not much maybe shorten the springs? The shocks are junk to you as they are anyways what will it hurt?
     
  6. paulie

    paulie XS650 Member

    Progressive Suspension shocks with the standard springs will work great and can be bought through most bike shops. Cutting the springs on your shocks won't make them softer, but, shorter and stiffer instead.
     
  7. grizld1

    grizld1 Grumpy old man Top Contributor

    Right, paulie! Guys, the term is "sag." Spring rate increases in straight proportion to reduction in length. Since the suspension should never be set up with springs at zero or negative preload, shortening springs will reduce sag. Harshness of ride is not just a function of spring rate/preload, but also of damping. A junk damper won't perform no matter what you do with spring rate.

    Handyman, you'll find that shocks with eye-to-eye free length of 13-1/2" to 14" will greatly improve steering. +1 re. Paulie's advice; Progressives are easily available. Get them from a vendor who knows enough to make a good recommendation on springs. For your use, set preload for laden sag of around 35 mm., and set fork preload for the same sag in front. For procedures, Google "Paul Thede plush ride."
     
  8. tonyc

    tonyc XS650 Guru

    Mike at 650Central talked me through the correct springs process for my weight and style of riding. I went with Progressive shocks and springs about $250 plus.
     
  9. thanks for the input, we are going to start eating more and look for some higher quality shocks.
     

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