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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for a shock upgrade for my '03 SVS, partly because of my weight (around 210 lbs). The stock shock doesn't give me the cofidence I want when doing more agressive riding. Besides that, I would like to do more trackdays from now on and perhaps make this bike my track bike. I just love it and don't have the cash for now (and some years to come) to buy another one.

So I've been doing a search on shock replacement and I know for sure I don't want a Gixxer shock. So aftermarket shock it is then. I ran across Elka shocks on this forum and would like to know if there are people who can tell me more about them. Like quality, how they handle and what they cost! The threads I found were from early 2004 and I'm positive that there's more information about them by now. Personally I think a 2-way Elka set to my weight and riding style would be enough for me, but perhaps it's more cost effective to buy the 3-way Elka considering the small price difference between them.

Why go to all this trouble for an Elka shock? Well, the suspension manufacturers over here charge pretty high prices for their shocks from my point of view. Lowest price is 400 euro's ( $527) for an emulsion shock, compare with the Penske sport shock with preload and rebound setting only, up to 750 euro's ($990) for a full race shock from Hyperpro, WP, Technoflex/Wilbers, Reiger or Ohlins.

And a friend of mine is going to Canada this summer, so perhaps he can bring me back a badass Elka shock for a good price. I'm still Dutch you know. :D

Any ideas, thoughts or suggestions are more than welcome! :wink:
 

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Ruefus has one and I have one on order. It should be here some time next week.

The Elka's are a fast growing shock company that sprang to life climbing the shock ladder of the ATV world. They passed all other shock companies out there and are now at the top rung. If you race an ATV, Elka is the shock you have.

They are a Canadian based company with a penchant for details. Max at Traxxion helped them develop their new shock line for road and racing use. Most of the Elka's I see are on race bikes. They are the spec shock for the Canadian SV Cup (Diablo series, samething).

I did plenty of research on shocks. I have wanted to upgrade for many many moons and finally did with a healthy push in the back. 8) The Elka has the same features as a Penske at about 10~15% less cost. This is for the Elka Triple adjustable. The double adjustable is the same money as the Penske.

Race and Street Elka shocks are still new on the market but highly regarded by Traxxion. I talked to Mike (the sale manager at Traxxion) for quite some time last week about Elka's. They feature the same easiely rebuildable body as the Penske's and beautiful anodised body pieces. It really is a beautiful shock with the red, black and gold anodising.

Once I get it on my bike, I'll post more up as a ride report.

I would visit Traxxion Dynamics website and go through Virtual Max for recommendations. It's a nice piece of web space to spend time in. It'll explain the difference between the all the shocks out there.

A quick note, that I have learned on my shock research.

Fox - No longer in the Street market. But cheap up grade if found. Works well if revalved and sprung right.
Ohlins - Nice shock but short for early SV and valving needs help. Best bet is to get an Ohlins shock for a 96~99 GSXR and have it revalved, lengthened and respring for the SV.
Penske - It's what the racers use. If you order one, it's valved for the SV and sprung to your weight. Great history and reputation. More expensive than others.
Elka - New to the market, but reputation in old ventures is excellent. Same build principal as Penske. Cheaper than Penske.
Hagon - Never considered, as it's reputation is even less than Elka.
Progressive - Not remote resivoir, great street shock, not good for track bike.
GSXR Upgrade - This is what I am running now. It works okay, but not good. On track days, it fades quickly (cause of my fat ass, 240lbs) even after I resprung it. Worked good as an interm shock. I'm happy with it, but not pleased. Two up taxes it alot!

So after I get that Elka... My riding party better watch out. I'll be silky smooth and faster.... :lol:
 

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well from what i understand from the site elka shock run $735us .-$895us which seems kind of steep to me,for a company that is so new maybe not ? i found a Ohlins for $699us on sale .which seem a little better the hogon shock ran someone $375 plus shipping they are from UK so i dont know if you can get a better deal or not . i dont know what kind of riding you do for myself i have a hard time shelling out $735 banger if i am not racing maybe i am wrong if i am please someone fill me in :)
 

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If you are NOT racing... no need for an Elka or Penske. Get the Progressive. It is great for street riding. There is a fella around Cleveland that has one and loves it.

The Hagon is nice... but not sure about availability or servicability.

If you do track days, think about an Elka double or Penske double. Otherwise the other shocks will be over whelmed at the track.
 

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wacky_woodchuck said:
If you are NOT racing... no need for an Elka or Penske. Get the Progressive. It is great for street riding. There is a fella around Cleveland that has one and loves it.

The Hagon is nice... but not sure about availability or servicability.

If you do track days, think about an Elka double or Penske double. Otherwise the other shocks will be over whelmed at the track.
I wouldn't say "overwhelmed", it's just that if you're going to be pushing to the edge (i.e. racing) then you need maximum compliance in the suspension to keep the tires in contact with the ground, and resistance to squatting for a good exit drive. A good rider can fly around the track on a stock suspension, but it's not nearly as fun and much more dangerous since the traction limits come much earlier, you gotta be comfortable sliding the tires. If you're just doing occasional track days, you'll be fine with any of the mid-tier upgrades. Just make sure whatever you do, you get your shocked sprung and valved correctly for you, it makes a HUGE difference (that means BOTH, not just the spring, valving too). :wink: I thought my Ohlins was pretty good until DucOwner revalved it for me, now it's like I've seen the light!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies so far guys. I already looked at the Traxxion site and used the "which shock is right for me" thing. :D That's why I'm looking at the Elka double for now.

And yes $735 is a lot of money (I wonder if the prices in Canada are lower?), but suspension is a very (if not THE most) important part of the bike. You can have 200 BHP, but if the suspension sucks, you can't use it! And as I'm heavier than average and planning to do some more track days I think a decent shock is a well made investment. And when you're selling the bike, you always can earn part of your money back by selling it again. Good second hand shocks are hard to get, so they're popular. ;)

If you now anything about the new shock wacky_woodchuck, please let me know! Thanks!
 

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The "hybrid" race shock upgrades that DucOwner works up are an option for half the $'s also (http://www.svraceshop.com/suspension.asp#B1). Can't give an account of them in a race situation yet, but the one on my buddy's race bike performed flawlessly at a 3-day track weekend at JenningsGP in January. He said he couldn't tell any difference from his Penske. His rear tire wear after 3 days was very smooth and even (Michelin Pilot H2/M2's), which is a great indication of how the shock works.
 

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soo you can send him a shock, that you get off e bay and he will set it up for you ?it say GSXR shock , but will he do it to any shock say a 636 shock? becouse it said 100buck more if the spring need to be changed . just asking
 

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coyote said:
soo you can send him a shock, that you get off e bay and he will set it up for you ?it say GSXR shock , but will he do it to any shock say a 636 shock? becouse it said 100buck more if the spring need to be changed . just asking
Yea, I think a 636 can be used also, you'd need to e-mail him to be sure. But basically, you send him a "donor" shock that you have and he'll send you an upgraded one (either yours or another one that he already has built-up).
 

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coyote said:
soo you can send him a shock, that you get off e bay and he will set it up for you ?it say GSXR shock , but will he do it to any shock say a 636 shock? becouse it said 100buck more if the spring need to be changed . just asking
If the 636 spring rate is ideal for you (maybe if you ride a second-gen) then that might be something to look into. The GSX-R shocks usually go for cheaper on eBay though. Here's mine he did, haven't ridden on it yet...

 

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I emailed Elka a couple of days ago to get more info. I'm in Canada, and he quoted me the same price (in US dollars). This is the reply that I received:

Hi Evan,

We have two great shocks available for your 2004 SV650. One is our two-way adjustable unit($735US), the other our three-way hi/lo speed compression adjustable unit($895US). Both units are beautifully anodized red/black/gold as well as being fully adjustable in compression, rebound, preload and ride-height. Our shocks are custom built to your weight and intented use. They offer lots of room for rider development and we are always here to help in any we can. The current set-up for the 04 model uses a remote reservoir, but in about a months time we will be switching to a piggyback design where the reservoir is mounted to the shock body. If you have a preference for either that can be your choice for now. I don't really recommend stuffing other makes and models into your bike as there are a lot of geometrical calculations to take into account. Either way if you would like to place an order or would like any more inforamation feel free to give me a call.

Thanks

Brian Gagnon
Sales Representative
 

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yes i have an 04 bike and i am about 192lbs shooting for about 200lbs by summer:)
Even i have heard "I don't really recommend stuffing other makes and models into your bike as there are a lot of geometrical calculations to take into account" from other places too i dont know how much this is true or not ..
 

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If it wasn't true, why would manufacturers design totally different shocks for each bike? It was certainly be easier and much cheaper for them to reuse the same shock in every bike, just changing the length and spring rate to work with the linkage ratio on each particular bike. But instead they painstakingly draw out the unique spring and damping requirements for each bike based upon the linkage ratio, weight and weight bias, power output, etc. and design a specific shock for each application. Not rocket science, but certainly complicated. I didn't know squat about it really until I spent some time hanging around DucOwner's shop and bugging him while he builds the hybrid gixxer shock upgrades for the SV about why he's doing each step the way he is. You definitely need to be a "pocket protector" guy to really understand it all. ;)
 

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ok that being said then why use a GSXR shock or a 636 shockat all why not just get onethat was designed for the sv650?
 

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coyote said:
ok that being said then why use a GSXR shock or a 636 shockat all why not just get onethat was designed for the sv650?
Cause they are cheap and work ok (read, better than stock).

But to get the bike to really work, go big and get a quality aftermarket item.
 

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coyote said:
ok that being said then why use a GSXR shock or a 636 shockat all why not just get onethat was designed for the sv650?
Because they're cheap and plentiful raw material. The shock casing and basic valving circuits are fine, just need to tweak the shim stacks, put in a race tech gold valve, lengthen the shaft, put on a spring appropriate for the weight and linkage ratio, apply some bling, and they're ready to go! Still cheaper than buying an aftermarket unit designed for the SV, which is the bottom line of why anyone would do this.
 

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I've never been a big fan of most of the shock swapping mods. The exception is the 636 on the 03+ bikes. The length and spring rate both look about right, so a guy on a budget can just throw it in there and have it work ok. If I had to re-do the whole shock to get it right I'd just spend the extra and get a Penske.
 

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you get what you pay for. do it right the first time.
 

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So the "you won't outride the cheaper option" philosophy doesn't apply to shocks Kris? :)
 
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