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Discussion Starter #1
I think Elka put too light a spring on my shock. I weigh 200 lbs and they put in a 500 lbs spring. It sure seemed like I had to crank the crap out of it to get 30mm of preload.

So, is changing springs as simple as spinning off the top ring and somehow releasing the bottom clip or is there special equipment necessary?
 

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You'll need to compress the spring somehow to get it unscrewed.
There's enough pressure contained there to rip out the last few threads on an aluminum shock body.

Best take it to a refurbisher. Go check out the pits at a local trackday.
Very likely to be someone there with a reputation for getting things right.
 

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You'll need to compress the spring somehow to get it unscrewed.
There's enough pressure contained there to rip out the last few threads on an aluminum shock body.

Best take it to a refurbisher. Go check out the pits at a local trackday.
Very likely to be someone there with a reputation for getting things right.
::) Funny how firm opinions can be stated on the internets ::)
Motorcycle shock assemblies are not McPherson strut assemblies.

I think Elka put too light a spring on my shock. I weigh 200 lbs and they put in a 500 lbs spring. It sure seemed like I had to crank the crap out of it to get 30mm of preload.

So, is changing springs as simple as spinning off the top ring and somehow releasing the bottom clip or is there special equipment necessary?
You hit the nail right on the head.

You unscrew the preload rings until there is no tension on the spring, ride the spring up and remove the circlip.

Like the post above mine said, you can usually trade the spring for another rate for little if no money from most suspension shops.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
You unscrew the preload rings until there is no tension on the spring, ride the spring up and remove the circlip.
Awesome. I very much appreciate your help. This gives me the option of doing it myself if Elka agrees they gave me the wrong spring and offer to send me a replacement. I prefer not to waste time shipping the shock if it's something I can easily do myself. At the same time, I don't want to splatter my brain against the garage wall.

Man I'm frustrated. This is the third issue I've had with these guys. If I miss a track day over this I'm going to be torqued.
 

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::) Funny how firm opinions can be stated on the internets ::)
Motorcycle shock assemblies are not McPherson strut assemblies.



You hit the nail right on the head.

You unscrew the preload rings until there is no tension on the spring, ride the spring up and remove the circlip.
unless shock has hydraulic preload adjuster and you need spring compressor.
 

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unless shock has hydraulic preload adjuster and you need spring compressor.

On an SV?

Maybe a 'Wing or a Beemer ... or anything else that costs over 20 grand.

ALL the quality shocks I took apart, the spring can be removed quite easily.
Includes gixxer and zx OEM shocks.

I actually now have 3 springs in my garage not including the one on the bike.
 

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:thumbsup:

;D
 

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I guess the next question is... have you gained some weight lately? :p

Perhaps it's time to step on a ISO certified scale.
 

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I think Elka put too light a spring on my shock. I weigh 200 lbs and they put in a 500 lbs spring. It sure seemed like I had to crank the crap out of it to get 30mm of preload.

So, is changing springs as simple as spinning off the top ring and somehow releasing the bottom clip or is there special equipment necessary?


:) At 200 lbs without gear, a 500 lb spring is where you should be,

A heavier spring will only serve to make your ride harsher, The goal is a plush ride, with total control.

If your sag is set properly, determine the middle settings on your rebound and compression, and ride your bike,

Then work on one of either rebound or compression at a time until you find the sweet spot on your shock for you and your bike,

It will all be good,

BTW: if I were riding on the track I would be looking for the 25 - 30 mm sag, and I prefer for closer to 30 so that the suspension is more pliable and forgiving.

On the street, I would look more like 32 - 35 depending on if I was into commuting or twisties as my main target,

The spring, as has been stated is not particularly hard to remove, or change,

Enjoy the ride, and best regards,
Blair
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I appreciate all the responses. Getting the sag in the ballpark so I can incrementally take on rebound then compression damping is exactly my goal, I just can't seem to get solid sag numbers. In all the research I've done and advice I've got from others the recommended spring range has been between 500 and 525 lbs, but like I said I had to crank the heck out of my 500 to get 30mm.

I think part of the problem is that I'm tall with long legs (6'3", 36" inseam). In order for me to get into a tuck I've got to scoot my butt way back in the seat. I'm theorizing that compared to the rest of the population I put an above-average amount of weight on the rear. As further evidence, I've only got .90 kg/mm springs in the forks with zero preload and I can't consistently get 35mm of sag while in a tuck.

I did a shakedown run at Hallett, OK last month which is a tight, rough track. At that time the ride height was at 336mm (it's now at 340). Compared to my old ZX-10R shock the rear tire cleaned right up after just one session. Last year I had .85 kg/mm springs in the forks with improperly-drilled rods. There's certainly less dive in the front while on the brakes with the .90 springs and Traxxion rods, but the bike still felt better while trail braking into the corner (I'd prefer to be done with the braking before turn in). I'm considering putting the .85 springs back in.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I spoke with an Elka rep this afternoon who was really helpful. He said 200 lbs is the dividing line between a 500 lbs spring and a 525. We agreed that with as much preload as I had to crank in to get to my 30mm target a 500's too light. They’re sending me a 525.

Now my problem is that I’m dying to make it to a March 15 track day but he said I need a spring compressor tool. Hopefully I can find someone local to help me out.

Here's a few pieces of information that might be helpful to others. Elka's recommended free sag is 5-7mm. There's 67mm of shock stroke.

As embarrassing as it is to admit the reason for my crazy sag numbers up front was that I wasn't getting a good top-out number. I assumed I was muscling the front up high enough, however when I got it up on a stand and took a measurement I realized my mistake - the front wheel must be off the ground. I went from having the adjusters screwed all the out to all almost all the way in to get 36mm of rider sag.

I think I need to cut some longer spacers. I cut the current ones to 1" above the top of the fork tubes, however the caps didn't make contact with the spring until the last few threads. I think they need to be more like 3/4" from the top.

Finally, I read about a couple suspension CD's form Dave Moss at Catalyst Reaction last year. I finally broke down and bought set and watched them last weekend. The fact the I'm no longer chasing my tail trying to get the right spring rates and sag settings is worth more than the $40 I spent on the CD's. The guy even responded back to my stupid, newbie questions. I can't wait to take on rebound then compression damping next.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Here's an update for anyone who cares (I hope this information helps somebody someday). The spring's as easy to remove as Currently said. No spring compressor necessary. You simply back the preload ring completely out (up) so that you can push the bumper up the shaft far enough to slip the circlip out. Be extra careful not to nick the shaft.

It’s also not necessary to remove the rear wheel in order to remove the shock. I use a steel rod in the swingarm pivot hole with a jack stand on each side as well as a hydraulic lift under the engine block to hold the bike steady. I always remove the foot pegs in order to get the stands as close to the frame as possible. Then I put a couple 2x4’s under the rear wheel to keep pressure off the mounting bolts.

I cut some new fork spacers to 4 1/4" which put the adjusters midway in their range. I used regular old 1" PVC pipe rather than conduit. I got better results with a 5/8" - 2 1/8" pipe cutter than with a ratcheting blade cutter.

Now hopefully my 525 lbs spring will be here soon and my sag numbers will be closer.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
As of Tuesday last week Elka assured me they had a 525 lbs spring in stock which I should get sometime this week. So I burn a precious vacation day today to make sure I had plenty of time to get everything installed and adjusted before hitting the road tomorrow afternoon for Sunday's track day. I waited patiently all week, but when I got home from work yesterday afternoon there still was still no springy package of joy waiting at my doorstep.

I immediately sent an email to make sure it was on its way but by lunchtime today I still had not got a response. When I called the guy he said ‘I know it went out at least by Monday, let me check. Oh…wait, that’s spring’s on reserve.’

I realize honest mistakes happen and I've tried to be a nice guy but I've run out of patience. I’ve had to chase these guys down for specs to figure out they built the wrong shock, then they tell me the correct part will be here this week, then they tell me it didn‘t even ship. Oh, and there's not enough space to get a common 24mm wrench onto the ride height adjuster jam nut.

I previously blew one track day flopping around on a weak spring, now I've blown a vacation day expecting my parts to be here and I'm going to miss another track day altogether. At this point I’d gladly sell Elka their dam shock back and either get a Penske or Ohlins or have my ZX-10R shock rebuilt.

Dam it. I’m freaking pizzed out of my skull.
 

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Go to the hardware store and buy a 24mm wrench for around ten bucks.

Take a surface grinder or a bench grinder and remove an eighth inch on each side of the wrench.

or

buy one here. www.traxxion.com

Website seems to be down right now but give them a call and they will sell you one.

They also can sell you some Hyperpro springs.

Used should run you about 75 to 100 bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I can’t get Traxxion’s website to cooperate either. I ground down a cheap wrench earlier.

My point is that these guys are supposed to be experts but they can’t seem to get a stinking thing right which is costing me track time, vacation time, frustration and money.
 

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Send a polite letter to the officers of the company letting them know of your experiences.

Elka is a good product, they need to know what kind of clowns are on their support lines.

You can get these names by doing research on the business filings or incorporation statements which are typically public access documents.
 
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