Pages

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Shocking, I know

.
So, according to the Gladius forum, one of the best upgrades one can do to the suspension is to replace the stock shock with one from a '06-'07 GSXR.

Troubadour found one on eBay and ordered it.  $24.50 delivered to our door.  The spring on the GSXR shock comes bright yellow.  I didn't think this would fit with Max's overall paint scheme.

(stock photo from Motorcycleparts from the Gixxer forum)

Troubadour to the rescue.   He took the shock apart and then we found some Krylon paint for plastic that would match Max's frame and cover the yellow.

(GSXR shock with spring painted blue)

The hard part was the removal and reinstall. On Sunday night of our long Memorial Day weekend he decided at 8:00 pm that we could install the shock.  According to the forum it was about a 2 hour job.

I took a picture of the stock shock while still installed.

(Max's stock shock prior to removal)
We then brought the iPad out to the garage to follow the step by step instructions provided.  We needed to raise the rear of the bike to get the tire off the ground.  When one has an unfinished garage one can use ratchet straps strung through the rafters to accomplish such.  The following photo was taken on a closed course by trained professionals.  Please do not try this at home.  :-)

(Yellow ratchet straps lifting the rear off the ground)
While removing the old shock I managed to get a bloody knuckle, but Troubadour bore the worst of it by pulling a chest muscle while trying to undo one of the dog-bone bolts. The same chest muscle he pulled back in January while working on the new closet in our room.  Doh!  The darn thing had just healed too.

The forum suggested that we remove the entire exhaust system.  Some members stated that if your hands were small enough you would not need to do that.  We were in luck. My hands are slender and my fingers long.  We finally removed the stock shock.  Here is a picture of the two side by side.

(Max's stock shock on left - new GSXR shock on right)

Next was installing the GSXR shock.  It was pretty easy to place, but we had to tuck the rubber boot from the bottom of the battery box up onto the frame.  It is a tight fit, but it fits.  Adjustments might be a little hard to make, but supposedly doable.

The new shock installed in Max.

(New shock installed in Max)

(Again, new shock installed, photo by Troubadour)
We finished the job by 10:00 pm (sure enough it took two hours).  I don't think my hands have been so dirty working on a bike since cleaning the chain on my TU250 with a toothbrush.  And even then I don't think they were this dirty.

(dirty, dirty hands)
On Monday afternoon we took the bike out for a test run.  We have no idea what the GSXR shock is set to at this point, so we need to do a little research on factory setting and adjusting the shock.  The shock install thread on the forum has some pretty in depth instructions, but I need to search through the 43 pages again to figure out what page it is on.  Geoff from Confessions of an Ageing Motorcylist fame also graciously emailed us a few articles on setting suspension.  We'll need to peruse those as well. Thanks Geoff.

The bike seemed to be a little smoother over small bumps and it felt a little better in corners.  Of course this was done prior to Chris riding it and he felt it was still pretty wonky.  Imagine if he had of ridden it before.

I have 4800 miles on the stock tires so it may be time for a new set as well.  We'll see. Will let you know how the adjustments go.

Oh, and Monday I caught a quick picture of Basil sleeping in the bed (bottom half of a dog carrier) we made for him on the back patio step.  He loves to sleep in it because when the porch light is on a heating pad under the blanket comes on too.

(Are you comfy Basil?)
- Au Revoir

A bend in the road is not the end of the road.... unless you fail to make the turn." - Author Unknown
.

42 comments:

  1. Great job!! I love the way you painted the new shock, I never would have thought of that, not only smart but willing to get your hands dirty too!
    It looks great and I'm sure it will ride great too once you work out the settings, good luck with that :)

    Whenever I take on a job using online instructions that say something will take 2 hours it generally stretches out to bout oh ... 2 days ... well done again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't really ask hubby to do all the work on the bike. It just didn't seem fair and it was a two person job so that helped. Without little hands he would have had to take the whole exhaust off, what a job that would have been.

      There were several people on the forum that did it in less than two hours but we were happy it only took us two considering the late in the day start.

      Delete
  2. In the picture, the new shock looks shorter than the old one. Is the shock adjustable in addition to the spring?

    Great job jumping into the project and getting your hands dirty. BTW, that cat looks seriously spoiled. A heating pad?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the shocks are pretty much the same size give or take a millimeter or two. It doesn't help that I too the pics on a bit of an angle and I think that is skewing things a bit.

      Yeah a heating pad. He goes out sometime in the night and we let him in when we get up at 6 and in the winter our temps get cold (not your level of cold, but cold for us) so we thought it would be nice for him. We turn the heating pad off during the warm weather though and he still loves it.

      Delete
  3. True ingenuity! Love the ratchet straps through the rafters. Oilburner said his cousins used that same basic method as an engine cherry picker utilizing a beam crossways above the exposed beams. And nearly collapsed the roof/floor on that one. Glad Max isn't that heavy. ;)

    Great work on the replacement. I hope the adjustment is easier to reach than it looks.

    For some reason I thought Sir Basil was an indoor kitty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too am glad Max isn't heavy enough to collapse a roof. Brad had the system set up for changing tires and it just worked out for this too. Hand to have.

      Basil would have been an indoor cat except we got him as a companion for Baxter who was outdoor. We would have liked Baxter as an indoor cat but the shelter said he'd already been returned once by someone who tried to keep him inside. He was very vocal when not let out. So because Baxter went out, so too did Basil when we brought him home as a stray kitten.

      Basil only goes out when we are home. I let him out when I get home and he wanders in and out and sometimes come sin and sleeps half the evening away inside. He comes in when we go to bed and then sometime in the night he will meow to go out and I let him out. He is always waiting to come in at 6 when we get up. He is very good with routine.

      Delete
  4. Those hands aren't dirty- you can still see skin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are dirty for me, lol. Just not dirty for you.

      I always wear gloves when I garden so they don't get dirty very often.

      Delete
  5. Intense little project there. Oh, and we've already tried this at home. We have a chain pemanently wrapped around the rafters for quick attachments. It even predates the motorcycles back to our Son's VW days...ah the joys of a motor hanging out in the garage.

    I hope the new shock does the trick. (and hope all the smashed fingers and pulled muscles heel quick!) Love the color matching on the shock - nice job!

    That is one happy cat! Do not disturb! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure helps to have exposed rafters. Of course it doesn't help insulate the garage, but it works for projects.

      Do not disturb is right. I so wanted to go out and rub his belly, but I resisted.

      Delete
  6. Getting your hands dirty is almost as much fun as getting your bike dirty!

    Looks like a job well done, I hope you can dial in a some settings that will settle Max down. You may even end up with less tyre wear...

    Hope Troubadour heals up quick - most importantly, can he still ride?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did have a sense of accomplishment when done. I'd still rather get the bike dirty though.

      We need to find some time to get the adjustments dialed in. We seem to be busy and Troubadour taught last weekend and is teaching again this weekend too.

      And yes he can still ride. He did take the car one day but he was picking up some tomato plants from a coworker so it worked as an excuse. He was pretty darn sore the first 3-4 days though. Better now, not healed, but better. Would take more than that to stop him from riding, lol,

      Delete
  7. Good for you! Sorry about the pulled chest muscle, get some arnica cream, it works,

    Hate. To say it the best pic is of Basil, spoiled rotten kitteh!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always forget to buy arnica. I know it is great for stopping bruising but I don't think of it for sore muscles. Thanks for the reminder.

      Yeah, Basil is a good photo subject. He is a really spoiled kitteh, I agree. But he likes it.

      Delete
  8. Looking good Brandy although I'm inclined to think that Brad's pulled chest muscle is an (un)subtle ploy to get you to do the job yourself :-).

    Your biggest bonus will come when you've set up your sag properly for your particular body weight. Best of luck!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He knows I am not strong enough. But after he pulled the muscle I suggested a breaker bar to get the bolt undone. He did wonder why I didn't suggest it before the pulled muscle. I just didn't think of it.

      Thanks Geoff, I am looking forward to getting the sag, rebound and dampening set.

      Delete
  9. Just dont try and adjust Brad sag. Oh err. Nice to see you improving your bike by putting in sportsbike suspension. Turn it up pretty hard and it'll handle great but the down side is you'll get a hammered ass. Oh and Max's other fix is braided brake lines. Then she/he will be a great bike.

    PS Those hands were not dirty. I'm a tradie and I should know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think if I tried to adjust Brad I might get my hand slapped......or not (cue evil grin)

      With as unpadded as the seat is on Max I think my butt would be bruised if it knocked me around too much more over the big bumps, lol. Steel braided brake lines are also in his future. I know that will make a huge difference. Going back to the stock ones on Max after the steel braided lines on the Bonneville was a trip. I definitely needed more stopping distance.

      Delete
  10. Too bad about the tweaked muscle. The bloody knuckle seems to be part of standard operating procedure for any work involving a wrench.
    ~Keith

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I think you are correct, bloody knuckles are a prerequisite when wrenching.

      Delete
  11. Wow, a wrenching post. I'm jealous. I love that you painted the shock. Great kitty pic. He does look comfy. I can imagine he LOVES the heating pad. I hope you are able to correct the wonkiness soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I am sure you could find something to wrench on yours.

      Yes he loves, loves, loves his heating pad. Damn spoiled kitty. Good thing Brad didn't need it for his pulled muscle, he would have had to fight Basil for it.

      Delete
  12. Oh, and I forgot to say that's a great quote!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I laughed when I saw it because it was so appropriate for motorcycles and yet was under the heading 'adversity'.

      Delete
  13. Trobairitz:

    your hands don't look that dirty at all. Wait until you work on a greasy engine with crud under your nails that takes weeks to wash away. I was thinking of an upgrade too, but too late for this year. V-stroms are known for weak brakes, so there is a GSXR front caliper upgrade to 4 piston, rather than 2 piston and along with braided brake lines, is supposed to make a huge difference.

    if a fork brace isn't available make sure your forks are parallel and your front wheel is aligned

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't like crud under my nails - that is why I use gloves when gardening. I can't see me ever doing any engine/maintenance work so in depth my hands would be worse, lol.

      Will check the forks. Heavier fork oil has also been recommended as well as checking the 'fork bearings" or at lest I think that is what PolarBear called them.

      Delete
    2. Trobairitz:

      I forgot to have my "Fork bearings" replaced too, but I did have the fork oil replaced

      bob
      Riding the Wet Coast
      My Flickr // My YouTube

      Delete
    3. Hi Bob, you're right about the brakes on the DL being a bit inadequate on the road. I'd be keen to do the upgrade too except that the brakes are probably safer like they are off road - nothing worse than grabbing a handful and having the front end wash out on you! I do need to replace all the pads though...

      Delete
  14. I am amazed at your (Brads and your's) wrenching skills, and the idea of painting the spiral of the shock is marvelous.
    Sometimes I wish I had a garage, too... but it comes with a house, and with us traveling around so much, it simply doesn't make sense to buy such an asset. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's Brad - all Brad. I am lucky he is so great with home renovations and his mechanical skills with the bikes. If it was just me I'd throw money at it and pay a shop because I'd be lost.

      We've only been homeowners for 9 years (3 at the last house and 6 at our current house) I can definitely see the benefits of both owning and renting. Of course when our yard work overwhelms us, I can see the benefit of condo living. Sigh.

      Delete
    2. Trobairitz:

      OR you can just "leave" the yardwork undone, like we do and just cut the lawn.

      In Vancouver the homes go up faster than you can save, so you have to buy what you can afford or they will be out of reach. Condo living is good as long as you have good neighbours, but sometimes the rules are too restricting.

      bob
      Riding the Wet Coast
      My Flickr // My YouTube

      Delete
    3. Trobairitz:

      read this:

      http://thethirtiesgrind.com/2012/06/07/absurd-vancouver-property-of-the-week-june-7-2012/

      bob
      Riding the Wet Coast
      My Flickr // My YouTube

      Delete
    4. I can't get that link to load so I'll try it from home later where the system isn't as busy.

      I can only imagine the scary prices of Vancouver housing. Prices down here are still reasonable in my opinion unless you get into the larger cities.

      Delete
  15. Nice job on the mechanical work. Ratchet straps over the joists. It works as good as the pipe through the ladder trick. I hope the new shock helps with your handling issues.

    We have adopted 6 cats that have come to us as strays. All are neutered males and they all pretty much get along. When we lived outside of the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area, we had a large plastic storage bin with a hole at one end. I had lined the inside with rigid foam insulation, an old, small, down blanket, and an electric kennel heater from Walmart. We used to keep it under the deck. One of our cats, Orangie, was a feral barn cat. He used to sleep in the bin year round. It took him years to trust us enough to come in the house. A few years ago, we has a pretty severe winter and his ears got frost bit and were bleeding. That motivated him to come in. Now he wouldn't go out if you left the door open all day. He's still very skiddish, but he sleeps on our bed and will spend hours on my lap.
    Since we moved up north, none of the cats are let out any more. There's just too much wildlife in the backyard! And they don't seem to mind. They growl like dogs when a Bear walks through the yard!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny how kitties that like to be outside all the time can learn to love being inside. Orangie sounds like he turned into a big softie Basil as an only cat stays inside more and more, but he doesn't like to use the litter box. He prefers the great outdoors, so sometimes he goes out for a few minutes then comes right back in. At least he uses the litter box if we aren't there to let him out. We are lucky that he never makes a mess in the house or scratches furniture.

      Speaking of wildlife I saw our old cat Baxter nose to nose with a raccoon on the back deck before and Basil has been close to one. I went to see if Basil wanted in and saw there was a raccoon with his hand in the water bucket. I opened the door and he ran off and I picked Basil up and brought him in for the night. Luckily he didn't give chase.

      I love it when cats growl like a dog. Our cat does that at people walking down the street. Wonder what he'd do if he saw a bear, lol.

      Delete
  16. I'm amazed that the new suspension unit replaced dthe original - it seems to have completely different fittings?? Has the ride height changed?

    Lovely shot of Basil!

    N

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were able to use the original bolt at the top, but had to buy a new one for the bottom 5 mm longer. Otherwise we used stock bolts for everything. At least the new one shock is completely adjustable.

      Delete
  17. Looking good! (the shock and the cat!)

    ReplyDelete
  18. It will be interesting to see how the new shock transforms Max's handling. Good job getting your hands dirty too. Gotta like a girl with small hands...;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too am curious about the new shock. Didn't make it out on the bike this weekend though, so maybe next weekend.

      Ha ha. You know what they say about a girl with small hands right?......

      .......she needs small gloves, bahahahaha

      Delete
    2. Yeeeaahhh....something like that.....;)

      Delete