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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

Does anyone know the minimum service length for the fork springs for this model. My manual states 290mm - mine are 270mm, but I am not certain my manual relates to the k6. I am not sure if all the various models (K1 - K7) shared the same fork spring dimensions, so if anyone can throw some light on this, I would be grateful. Ideally I don't want to have to fork out (no pun intended!) for new springs if they are still serviceable.

Thanks
 

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Are you sure the springs are stock? If so....they're below the minimum spec and this would be a great time to change over to straight weight springs which work much better. The stock variable versions make sense for a manufacturer who has no idea how heavy the rider will be so they try to cover all bases, but as the owner you can choose the proper spring for your weight and find better performance.
If there's a chance that the springs have already been changed then measuring them to the stock spec won't work as many aftermarket springs can be longer or shorter than stock. If they're variable design then it's likely they're stock but still worth double-checking as aftermarket versions do exist. Don't worry about the cost.....the proper straight weight spring is WELL worth the investment if needed.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi
Thank you for your reply.
The spring and the spacer look like the ones in the manual - but I dont know the length of the stock spacer, so cannot be sure if they are original or not.
Guess I will have to try after market ones.
You mention straight weight springs - are these none progressive (windings same pitch all the way down) ? Never tried them, and for some readon thought that progressives were better - but have no real reason to have that view.
Appreciate your help.
 

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Yes....a straight weight spring will be wound the same for the entire length so the movement is consistent throughout the travel. The problem with progressives happens when a heavier rider gets on and the soft initial portion gets used up which reduces the travel available to deal with bumps. And when the suspension does compress it's getting into the very stiff section so it can result in harshness. This same phenomenon happens with a very light rider where the initial spring might be fine but when it compresses gets to a way heavier section than would be ideal if it were a single weight spring.

With a proper spring for your weight and riding style you can set sag at the recommended 25mm or thereabouts and have the rest of the travel at the same rate which normally is felt as a much better ride. I weigh about 200lbs in riding gear and have .90 RaceTech springs installed....and they work nicely.:) Suggestion: if you look at a spring calculator to determine the proper spring for your weight... and you end up split between two springs, going for the lighter choice will work better for street. Remember that the spring just holds up the bike and the lighter one will only need a wee bit more preload to hold it at the same level. You've not got enough travel to worry much about coil bind, so lighter works well most of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Rob

Thanks a ton for detailed info. I have never really been too clued up on suspension, and probably put up with poor set ups on my bikes longer than I should have.
I decided to stop that with the SV and make an effort get it to handle better, and starting by changing the fork oil and now the spring.
Will have a good look through the web tonight for some new springs.

Thanks again.
 

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Happy to help if I can.:) Oh....on the fork oil, be sure to not go too heavy. The 650's seem to like a fairly thick fluid but the 1K's normally don't. Stock weight is about 2.5w and early on I tried some 10w and it pretty much locked up the fork...not good. On the street best compliance will be found with the thinnest fluid that still allows you to dial up enough rebound and compression. Mine has Redline Extra Light and works pretty well as we have some of the most technical and fun roads in the North East but they suffer from winter and poor maintenance so compliance is a must if one is to ride swiftly with safety.
While you are attending to the suspension take note that the rear shock spring tends to be very stiff for solo and once you've improved the front you no doubt will start to notice it lacking in the rear. That's part of the fun of the SV's! They're totally rideable stock but can easily be improved as you go along to get better and better. Great bikes.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Rob
I bought the oil and seal kit from Pyramid and that came with 7.5 grade oil. Will give it a whirl.
Love the SV - rideable, a bit quirky, bullet proof and easy to maintain. Shame they stopped making them.
Appreciate your help (y)
 

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If you have the stuff already.....give it a go.:) Just be aware that the fluid might be on the stiff side for you and understand if the forks seem to lack compliance where the problem lies. I tried a bunch of different fluids by removing the springs and sucking out one then replacing with another trying to find where the limits of the stock shim stack were so there's always the option of blending to find an optimum point. Mike Schmidt has done lots of fork work on the later SV1K's (K3-4 had serviceable forks where ours aren't easily worked on) and figured a way to get them apart and then back together so the shim stack can be altered to taste. They tend to be a bit on the harsh side and if all else fails moving the shims around can allow much better compliance if needed. I haven't gone that far as of yet but am still mulling the idea around....the really light fluid is almost good, just don't know if it's worth the effort to get that little bit more you know.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Had a chat with a guy named Teut at TW Suspension Tech - really helpful guy. He guided me through selcting the appropriate K Tech spring, and have ordered it. Suspect the spring will be spent trying to find suspension perfection !
 

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Ah.....well done! Curious as to your weight and spring selected? And a caution when searching for 'perfection'....I don't think the mechanicals are up to that task with the best we can do is 'a whole lot better'. There is some amount of friction involved along with limited travel available so there are other forks that offer more performance but maximizing what you have will be a lot of fun and great excuses for 'test rides' to sort things out. Keep us appraised of your experiences so we can follow along and share the joy.:)
 
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