Suzuki SV650 Riders Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hopefully this will help someone else who is feeble-minded and maybe save Rich at Sonic Springs another idiotic phone call:

I recently bought a used 2006 SV650, and I knew the minute I test-drove it that I was going to need to replace the springs for my pixie-like 200+ heft or else get my balls replaced after every riding season. I owned a Bandit 600 a few years back and had to do the same thing to that bike, but I had a shop do the install. Reading through the Sonic Spring threads on the forum, I somehow deduced that it would be possible to replace the springs without removing the forks, so I decided to give it a try the "easy way" -- oops! Now, I am reasonably capable, but as I get older, I am prone to taking shortcuts (I know it should be the other way around, but alas it is not), and I sometimes miss the concept and only focus on the instructions -- this is one of those occasions.

I started off the install with no rear stand, just the bike on the side stand. Now, I actually did pretty well, but basically couldn't get the oil level dialed in very well and miserably failed with it came to cutting the spacers. Why? Well, that's where the basic concepts come in: you need to fully compress the forks to get the oil level correct, and fully extend the forks to get the spacers measured properly and installed (the measuring requires the forks to be fully extended and this is really the only reasonable way to get the caps back on). I called Sonic (assume I talked to Rich, but didn't ask because I already knew what I needed to do really and was feeling a bit stoopid) and was told that "the instructions were written for a reason."

Well, being stubborn and having already wasted some effort going down my chosen path, I only half complied. Once I had the concepts straight, I realized I needed a rear stand, so got one from T-Rex off eBay on the pronto. I then started over: got the bike on the rear stand and jacked it up under the engine to extend the forks, then removed the caps and springs. Dropped it down fully to compress the forks and re-measured and corrected the oil levels. Lifted the front back up until the forks were fully extended, installed the springs and a washer, then measured, cut and installed the spacers and put the caps back on. A note on the spacers: I realized that it was pretty important that the spacers be exactly the same height below the top of the forks so that the relative settings on the pre-load would be the same. When I first tried cutting the spacers, I used a hacksaw, but wasn't happy with "squareness" of the cut, so I got out my chopsaw and got them perfect. As it turns out, my (0.90 rate) springs with one washer on top of them were both exactly 6-inches below the top of the forks, so I cut two 5-inch spacers per the Sonic instructions to subtract an inch from the total measurement. And, amazingly, it worked! I took a ride today and am very happy that I will not be needing replacement balls, at least as a result of slapping them on the tank! The springs are great and improve the handling and ride dramatically.

EDIT: As pointed out below, I kind of glossed over the fork oil replacement aspect... I did change out the fork oil using the "syringe with tubing" method described elsewhere on the forum. The preferred method is to remove the forks and invert them to drain the oil, which then also allows you to compress them and extend them by hand as needed since they are off the bike. As for conclusions, I would say this is a reasonable approach if you have a rear stand and the ability to lift the front end (jack or straps), which you need no matter which way you do the job. The main drawback to not removing the tubes is probably that you can't fully drain the tubes. I actually had some oil absorbent rags that I ran down to the bottom of the tubes on a wire to sop up the oil in the very bottom, but I would have really been in trouble if I had lost one of them down there. It is also a bit messy with the tubing method, which is why everything is covered in the picture below -- me no likey fork oil all over my grips, controls and mirrors.

Here she is the way I ended up rigging her for the job:


And here are the spacers (love that saw!):
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,378 Posts
Yeah, I'm sure that was Rich you talked to. Nice guy, but don't tell him I said so it'll go to his head for sure. ;)

I don't see where you changed the fork oil. You might want to do that soon if you didn't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I'm sure that was Rich you talked to. Nice guy, but don't tell him I said so it'll go to his head for sure. ;)

I don't see where you changed the fork oil. You might want to do that soon if you didn't.
Actually, the "syringe with tubing" trick is what sent me down this path, so indeed, I did change the fork oil, albeit not by the preferred method of fork removal and inversion. I guess I left that whole aspect of removing the forks out of the write up.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,378 Posts
I guess watching Rich do the whole thing makes it look easy. I'm spoiled, I know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,575 Posts
Yep, that was me. :) Glad you got it all worked out.
I have to admit I was a little taken aback when I realized that you were trying to do the job with the bike on the sidestand. I was surprised you got as far as you did.

For everyone else reading this, one of the biggest misconceptions is that not taking the tubes off saves time and/or is easier. It's not, it actually takes longer to use the suction method, and makes it harder to cut the spacers and set the oil level correctly. And of course you always leave some crap in the bottom of the tubes doing it that way, since the damper rod prevents you from getting to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
When I installed my springs I cut the spacers the wrong length and installed everything back before i realized my mistake, that added another hour and a half. It's good to hear you figured everything out and I'm sure you will love the new suspension, now you just have to figure which rear shock you want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,520 Posts
I was unsure about removing the forks when I changed my springs and oil. I mean, they're such a vital part of the bike, They hold the friggin' wheel for cryin' out loud! Then, with the help of a friend (thanks Shane!), I ripped those suckers out and had it done in no time. Simple stuff!

Hell, the hardest part was finding a 12mm allen wrench for the front axle and removing the headlight assembly. After that it's just a few bolts and they drop right out. Be sure to have a torque wrench, though!
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top