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Discussion Starter #1
Tonight I rode my buddy's SV. It's literally the exact same as mine except I have my shock-preloads set a bit higher. His corners a lot better than mine! When pushing down on the forks it appears to have slightly better dampening and seems to be smoother, especially when cornering at 25mph.

His bike was on the sales floor (with 1 mile on it), and mine was built out of the crate when we bought it. Is it likely that the dealership built the two bikes differently? Or is the fork oil not messed with during the build and the oil amounts are just that much different from Suzuki?

Either way tomorrow I'm going to see what it will take to replace with 15w oil but I don't have any stands so I may need to pay a shop to do it. Anyone have a guestimate what I might expect to pay?
 

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It's possible that since your preload is set higher the larger load on the springs is causing them to rebound more violently.
 

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If you change the fork pre-loads does it handle better?

Also, what about the rear shock?

I don't know about pre-'03 but I can adjust my rear suspension.... are they set the same?
 

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I don't know about better, but you may like it more. With stock components there isn't much to work with, there will always be a compromise of some sort (ie for avg weight to get proper sag you'll be overloading the rebound damping). Just play with it and see if you like one setting better than the other. If you can't tell the difference then don't worry about it. I never even set sag on my stock shock, just picked the setting which felt least like shit.
 

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about the front fork thing. DYI. get instructions first though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'll try changing my preload to be the same as his and see if it makes a difference. For changing the oil, I've read that I can just jack up the front of the bike using a tree stand and remove the caps at the top of the forks, then suck it out or whatever.

Is there anywhere with good instructions for doing it that way or a better way?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I thought about setting mine the same to see but didn't think that having it set to high would do that to the bike... but... it did! I set mine the same as his and my bike now corners just the same. Much better!

Thanks for the suggestion!

BTW - both our bikes are k5's.

PrtclMn001 said:
If you change the fork pre-loads does it handle better?

Also, what about the rear shock?

I don't know about pre-'03 but I can adjust my rear suspension.... are they set the same?
 

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Bet they're different colors and ask anyboby, the color makes all the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
LOL, both yellow!

There are only a few differences. He's got carbon-fiber-ish aftermarket brake, clutch handles and bar-ends. I've got aftermarket front turn signals and a removed restrictor.


Froggin sV said:
Bet they're different colors and ask anyboby, the color makes all the difference.
 

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Warning - Unscientific facts follow below


I have changed the fork oil in 3 different SVs, all first generation bikes (?99, ?01, and ?02 models). In the ?01 the amount of oil was not equal between the two forks. As a matter of fact, it was very low in the left fork (IIRC it was the left one). With all the seals intact and no leaks, I had to assume that they messed up when they put the bike together. When I drained the oil I made sure to measure it, because people here on the board previously reported wrong or uneven amounts of oil.

So there?s a slight chance that your bike doesn?t have the correct level of oil in one or both forks.
If you have the manual you could check it yourself...

Marcos
 

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Check tire pressures, check preload and adjust to between 30 and 35MM total sag. Go to the Tips n' Tricks section of this site and you will find a tutorial on changing fork oil. If you weigh 175# or less use 15W. More than 175#, try 20W.

"Better" and "worse" are subjective terms in suspension setup. Different people feel comfortable with different setups. Stick to the recommended sag front and rear, in general, unless you are going to the track and have time to experiment.
 

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How much do you weigh and what settings did you end up with? I'm 155 and have the stock preloads running. The rear seems like a pogo stick on any big bumps. The bike even seems to jump off the ground a bit in the rear. Post starter? Any others?
 

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FWIW preload won't change the handling characteristics, it only adjusts the static sag so that you're using the spring completely within its useable range. it categorically does NOT change the spring rate and make it stiffer. so unless you are bottoming out or topping out your forks, changing the preload will make absolutely NO difference to handling. all preload does is make it so that you don't bottom out or top out the forks. same for the preload on the rear sh!t (i mean shock).

i would guess that if the bikes truly are handling differently, then there is either a defective damping rod or the bike was assembled improperly with different weight fork oil or not enough fork oil.
 

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Varom, you need to check the sag on both ends. What you are describing sounds like topping out. That is, you don't have enough sag in the rear. When I had a stock shock in the rear I had the preload backed all the way down, soft as possible. I weigh 165# in gear, and barely got to 24mm sag.
 

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To the original question:

If your front spring preload was set higher your bike most likely road higher in the front. This will make it turn in slower.

Another big factor is tires (brand, pressure, and wear). These will make a huge difference.

The dealership does not put the fluid in the forks. This is done at the factory. I have never put a Suzuki together out of the crate (several Hondas though) but I would imagine the most the dealership does is install the front tire, wind screen, mirrors and maybe position the handlebars. Then they would add engine oil, fill and charge the battery, check the tire pressure and wash all the cosmolene off.

BUY A FRONT END STAND.... The kind that picks the bike up from the steering stem. I have a DMP stand that I bought off of ebay for less than $100. It is very well built and works great. It is an invaluable tool and can be used on many different bikes. Makes removing the front tire much easier, and you will have to do this at some point. FYI, to use this type of stand you will need someway of supporting the rear of the bike, with either a rear stand or jack stands.

....then change the fork oil yourself. It is not that difficult if you are somewhat competent with tools. Removing the forks to drain them is the best method for removing the fluid. Sucking the fluid out will not remove all of the fluid. Then set the fork oil by level not quantity. The level is usually 130mm (+/-5mm) from the top of the tube (springs out and fork compressed).
 
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ridesideways said:
FWIW preload won't change the handling characteristics, it only adjusts the static sag so that you're using the spring completely within its useable range.
Unless the preload is set too high. Because preload affects the level of force at which the spring starts to compress. You're essentially riding a rigid until you overcome the preload. It may not be immediately obvious to someone without setup experience WHY it's taking so much effort to keep the suspension loaded in a turn. (When I put a new shock on my first sportbike, I rode around for like 2000 miles before we went on a tour and I put on 30 lbs of luggage and it handled SO much better....)

But as to the original guy's question, are both bikes brand new? Fork oil can show signs of wear pretty quick on a bike that's ridden hard.
 

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Ivan said:
I know changing preload doesn't change spring rate. I know absolutely it will not make the spring stiffer (physics 101).

However, the difference between what I know to be true and what manifests itself seems to be great. I like to ride with my preload all the way out because it feels more compliant in the turns but I am forced to ride with a high preload setting because it stops my bike from wagging its tail during braking.

In my opinion there should be no difference in handling and feel with preload...but there is. I can't figure it out.
it will if you have progressive springs
 
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