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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. I am a fairly new rider looking to upgrade my forks. I have looked at the sonic springs site and found what spring rate i should go with but I am unclear on the oil weight i should go with. I mostly commute to and from school on the bike but me and Pops sometimes hit up the mountain roads. I like the twisties but dont have enough time to ride in them too often (mechanical engineering student)... tons of schoolwork. I am just looking for recommendations. I weigh around 200 with my riding gear on and ride an '05 naked.


How do oil weights affect ride? and what would you recommend for me?


P.S. love the site. have been visiting and reading for a long time now.
 

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Prolly 20 wt. That's what Rich Desmond of Sonic Springs recommended for me for similar weight (I'm 220 lbs.) and use. Why not shoot Rich a PM and find out for sure? He is a great guy to deal with.

My understanding is that the oil weight affects the damping, but again, ask Rich.

I've seen 15 wt. recommended by some, but my understanding is you use that if you are going to install cartridge fork emulator valves, in addition to heavier springs. The emulators help with the damping, so the oil doesn't have to work as hard to do that. It's a "better" way to handle the damping deficiencies of the SV's damping rod fork, but it means spending another $180 or so. (Check out RaceTech Gold Valves if you're interested.)

I've also seen people reason that 15 wt. is better if you're looking for a plusher "street" ride, but then again, I've also seen 25 wt. recommended for racing/trackdays. Maybe others can comment on this.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks ill get in touch with rich. I dont plan on doing trackdays for a while so the 20wt makes sense.
 

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Just to clarify, by "racing/trackdays" I meant a dedicated track bike. 25 wt. is prolly too heavy for street use.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i figured thats what you meant. Maybe one day ill be lucky enough to have one of those. ;D

Has anyone out there tried both 20wt and 15wt oil in their forks. I am just curious as to personal preference based on experience.
 

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As a point of reference, Suzuki factory spec for the SV is 10 wt.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i cant seem to find Rich's ID on here. could you send me that or do I need to contact him through the sonic springs site?

also is there a way to search for people based on their name and not there ID?
 

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RichDesmond.
 

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I weigh 195 and run 20wt, It works well for me. I've ridden my friends old ZR-7 with 15wt and same spring rate. The 20wt seemed a little more responsive and had less front end dive on braking but they were two different bikes as well and that could of had a lot to do with it. But I would go with the 20wt. What springs rate did you end up getting? I believe mine are .85 but I have gained a few pounds since that was calculated, Lol
 

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Hey guys. I am a fairly new rider looking to upgrade my forks. I have looked at the sonic springs site and found what spring rate i should go with but I am unclear on the oil weight i should go with. I mostly commute to and from school on the bike but me and Pops sometimes hit up the mountain roads. I like the twisties but dont have enough time to ride in them too often (mechanical engineering student)... tons of schoolwork. I am just looking for recommendations. I weigh around 200 with my riding gear on and ride an '05 naked.


How do oil weights affect ride? and what would you recommend for me?


P.S. love the site. have been visiting and reading for a long time now.
The oil provides the damping that controls the motion of the bike on the chassis. Thicker oil = more damping. The important thing is to have the right amount of damping for your situation. Not too little, not too much. :)

For most street riders 20w is the way to go. A fairly lightweight person who's just using the bike for general touring/commuting, no sport bike type riding, may like 15w better.
FWIW, the SV needing 20w is unusual, most damper rod forks work best with 15w.
 

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I'm weight -150. 20 wt.was too stiff for me. 15wt. seems better.:) 20wt. was like a rock at 30°.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For most street riders 20w is the way to go. A fairly lightweight person who's just using the bike for general touring/commuting, no sport bike type riding, may like 15w better.
FWIW, the SV needing 20w is unusual, most damper rod forks work best with 15w.

Thanks Rich. Ill probably go with the 20wt because i do occasionally go up to the mountains. It doesn't get too cold down here in South Carolina so I hope the oil won't get too stiff.

Thanks again for your response.
 

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I'm 220# and used .90springs w/ 15Wt Maxima fork oil (not sure if brand has effect).
I certainly noticed a difference from stock.

I didn't go the recommeded 20wt b/c I was afraid it would be too stiff/bouncy on the streets.
To give an idea of my riding style, I don't take the bike to the track, nor do I know how to lean w/ a knee out. I don't wheelie, I don't endo, I don't burnout. I'm just a simple commuter :)
 

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I put my springs/oil in last November and rode most of the winter, down into 30-degree weather. While it is stiff, it's very controlled (no pogo stick bouncing).
 

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Hi all - newbie here.
I had the fork oil on my roundy (01) changed for 12.5wt at around 16000 kms.
Didn't seem to make that much difference.
I intend to fit Race Tech springs .85 rated (fat old bugger), they recommend 20wt.
Interesting to see a recommend for 15wt with gold emulator valves.
I will be fitting gold emulators with the springs.
"Plusher ride" means softer hits on the bumps or am I reading too much into the statement.
I ride pretty hard so will stick with 20wt (when everything turns up).
Will let you know how these balance up with an 04 ZX10R shock I've just fitted.
 

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I weigh around 200 with my riding gear on and ride an '05 naked.
...me too, 'cept it's an 08.

you don't say if you are just changing fork oil - if so, i have no reason to doubt the standard advice of 20wt. if you're gonna do the springs and emulators (which i recently did - very nice improvement!), the oil viscosity should be lowered. my local suspension guru (Rod at RMR) pointed me towards 0.90 springs with 10wt oil, and I think he hit it right. it's still in the 30s and 40s up here, and i've been pleased with the comfort plus control so far, without harshness. i suspect 15wt will be the way to go when it warms up, partially cuz i'll ride harder on warm dry roads.

p.s. the air gap is really important for the ride too. i'm on 120mm, and i think i recall seeing rich desmond suggesting 125mm. this is certainly an area worth experimenting a bit with. more air = softer but 'bouncier'. change by 2mm at a time.

cheers,
 
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