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Probably one of the last rides this year. Bad weather is coming, so I took advantage of today’s cloudy and cold day and dry road for a 100km long ride.
181251
 

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i sold and shipped an entire OEM Versys suspension to a rider in India. he wanted to do the suspension swap on his EX650, then complete the bike setup for riding the remote Indian mountain roads. he reported that the bike was now an exceptional purpose built travel moto. riders of all stripes can have very different impressions, expectations, and requirements of the same basic bike platform.
Very true.

Rode to work today. 2 clicks rear, stock front.

The rear positively seems to me to emulate a bucking bronc - I haven't ridden an actual bucking bronc but have been thrown by a horse -in the way it wants to get rid of me from the saddle. Even with the TIMSUN 712 R at 34 PSI, the rear strut seems SO hard that every single imperfection in the road is amplified and transmitted to my spine.

Which brings me to some suspicions that I have harboured ever since I got the Honda CBR 250R back in 2011 - are suspensions of such bikes unnecessarily hard, do designers think that every rider is a wannabe track carver, do the designers ride their own bikes in real world conditions etc etc.

The only bike whose suspension I could associate with one designed for the actual road conditions, especially of India, is the BMW 310 GS. From Siachen Base Camp (in the Nubra Valley) to Kanyakumari (the southernmost part of the Indian peninsula), 15000 kms in a year, lots of off road and expressway riding. Just brilliant.

I am desperately waiting, willing, wanting for Kawie to intro the latest KLR on 23rd Nov so that I can finally hope to get the bike whose decals I will be cremated with (being Hindu, no luxuries of being buried with the bike a la that Harley Davidson fan in the USA).
 

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Question "oliverider" - in your post about the suspension of your bike - is that w/ the OEM shock?
 

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You'll find a HUGE difference IF you can get the R1 shock....

(y)(y)

:cool:
 

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what is so special about R1 shock? there are plenty of aftermarket shocks out there. I really like Nitron shocks, but they do not have one from the new model, so I went with YSS; very happy with it.
 

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what is so special about R1 shock?
Inexpensive, VERY GOOD, and available to mount to the V650, already set-up for the V by riders moving on to other rides.

:cool:
I'm SURE that an Ohlins shock is better, but you didn't mention them.
 

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Fitted the BMW 310 GS rear strut to the bike on Saturday.

Reasonably simple job. Punched out the top and bottom needle bearings on the stock and punched them into the new one.

The mounting eyelet of the new one is slightly narrower than the stock so added three thin washers to bridge the gap.

The tech who worked on the bike had earlier worked with BMW Motorrad in Pune; when he sat on the bike after the job was done, a big loopy, dopey smile spread slowly across his face and he said," sir, this feels just like a GS. So much more comfy than the stock. I'll recommend this mod to all my Versys 650 clients" and so on.

Increased the preload by 5 clicks and took it out for a spin on some poorly repaired stretches of road. Wow. My back, neck and knee were thanking me and reassuring me that now, they would be fine with the ride plan to Tawang, Anini and Kibithoo.

Good thing I didn't take the old R1 strut. The brand new GS one is as good and readily available for a lesser price.

This Sunday, Ill be riding a bit hardcore off road and will update the experience here.

181280


The stock strut removed.

181281


The new strut installed in the correct direction as on the original bike. No need of cutting any fairing plastic etc.

181282
 

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Good write-up, and GREAT solution to an on-going issue w/ the V650!

(y)(y)

:cool:
 

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Fitted the BMW 310 GS rear strut to the bike on Saturday.

Reasonably simple job. Punched out the top and bottom needle bearings on the stock and punched them into the new one.

The mounting eyelet of the new one is slightly narrower than the stock so added three thin washers to bridge the gap.

The tech who worked on the bike had earlier worked with BMW Motorrad in Pune; when he sat on the bike after the job was done, a big loopy, dopey smile spread slowly across his face and he said," sir, this feels just like a GS. So much more comfy than the stock. I'll recommend this mod to all my Versys 650 clients" and so on.

Increased the preload by 5 clicks and took it out for a spin on some poorly repaired stretches of road. Wow. My back, neck and knee were thanking me and reassuring me that now, they would be fine with the ride plan to Tawang, Anini and Kibithoo.

Good thing I didn't take the old R1 strut. The brand new GS one is as good and readily available for a lesser price.

This Sunday, Ill be riding a bit hardcore off road and will update the experience here.

View attachment 181280

The stock strut removed.

View attachment 181281

The new strut installed in the correct direction as on the original bike. No need of cutting any fairing plastic etc.y

View attachment 181282
good that it worked out for you. why did you put those washers just on the one side and not on two sides, so the shock sits evenly? I personally replaced the shock on g310gs with: https://www.rally-raidproducts.co.uk/bmw-g310gs-g310r/G310gs-Tractive-shock;

it is much more stable. I do like soft shocks, but if too soft, they are not good at cornering and stuff. I fitted bmw shock on hero honda xpulse 200 and it works very nice as it is a very light bike. not so sure about Versys 650... but if you are happy, this all what matters.

just to add, the g310gs shock was bottoming out on the lower setting with x-pulse. so you might want to watch out for it. like going through some potholes or indentations on the road. and if it does, increase the preload to the maximum. V650 is much more heavy that x-pulse, but the angle of the shock is different too, so I am not sure what will be the result.

and I am curious, how does it work with the side stand? does it feel like the bike is too high for the kickstand before you actually sit on it?

since I live in India most of the year, and I have 5 bikes there; now, it is a lockdown to the next century so I cannot go there, but I just want to say that x-pulse is my favourite bike. more than tiger 800. g310gs is lovely too. but I live in Himalayas, rarely riding on straight roads.
 

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good that it worked out for you. why did you put those washers just on the one side and not on two sides, so the shock sits evenly? I personally replaced the shock on g310gs with: https://www.rally-raidproducts.co.uk/bmw-g310gs-g310r/G310gs-Tractive-shock;

it is much more stable. I do like soft shocks, but if too soft, they are not good at cornering and stuff. I fitted bmw shock on hero honda xpulse 200 and it works very nice as it is a very light bike. not so sure about Versys 650... but if you are happy, this all what matters.

just to add, the g310gs shock was bottoming out on the lower setting with x-pulse. so you might want to watch out for it. like going through some potholes or indentations on the road. and if it does, increase the preload to the maximum. V650 is much more heavy that x-pulse, but the angle of the shock is different too, so I am not sure what will be the result.

and I am curious, how does it work with the side stand? does it feel like the bike is too high for the kickstand before you actually sit on it?

since I live in India most of the year, and I have 5 bikes there; now, it is a lockdown to the next century so I cannot go there, but I just want to say that x-pulse is my favourite bike. more than tiger 800. g310gs is lovely too. but I live in Himalayas, rarely riding on straight roads.
Excellent question about the washers and one that I was pondering over too while on the job.

What happened was this:

The width and thickness of the washers available was such that four were too many, two were too less and three were perfect.

Next came the OD of the oil seals on the lower eyelet needle bearing AND the OD of the available washers. Only one washer was of the desired OD such that it would overlap the OD of the oil seal at one end by about 1 mm or so. The other end would not have a washer face covering the oil seal, leaving it vulnerable to ingestion of dust. And another compatible washer was not available.

So, after much discussion and nodding of heads up and own and sideways, we decided to place the washers at one end, to cover the oil seal at that end with the washer and take the shelter of the mounting flange to cover the oil seal at the other end.

In fact, with this placement, the strut is now perfectly normal to the swing arm mount. Had the washers been placed at both ends, the strut would have been at a slight angle to the normal.

Preload I have increased it to six clicks, tested it with my normal 15 kg sand-filled saddle bags as ballast, taken it on bad roads and no bottoming out.

Side stand stance As it were, the V650 had a slightly butt in the air stance. With this strut preloaded to six clicks, it is even more pronounced, a bit like those models flaunting their, well, "assets" in Instagram photos. But that is temporary, as you know; when you sit on the bike, the dynamic sag is good enough for all except really hardcore motocross style terrain.

I am echoing the sentiment that the R1 strut mod is the one best that one can do on the V650. I can literally FEEL the "give" of the rear strut up and down as it does the job assigned to it, almost like the auto lay mechanism on the Abrams/Leopard/Challenger.

Which once again makes me wonder as to how is it that my other V650 rider friends don't feel the stock strut as too hard...perhaps, being brought up on a diet of sports bikes makes one think that a hard rear is the correct one.
 

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Excellent question about the washers and one that I was pondering over too while on the job.

What happened was this:

The width and thickness of the washers available was such that four were too many, two were too less and three were perfect.

Next came the OD of the oil seals on the lower eyelet needle bearing AND the OD of the available washers. Only one washer was of the desired OD such that it would overlap the OD of the oil seal at one end by about 1 mm or so. The other end would not have a washer face covering the oil seal, leaving it vulnerable to ingestion of dust. And another compatible washer was not available.

So, after much discussion and nodding of heads up and own and sideways, we decided to place the washers at one end, to cover the oil seal at that end with the washer and take the shelter of the mounting flange to cover the oil seal at the other end.

In fact, with this placement, the strut is now perfectly normal to the swing arm mount. Had the washers been placed at both ends, the strut would have been at a slight angle to the normal.

Preload I have increased it to six clicks, tested it with my normal 15 kg sand-filled saddle bags as ballast, taken it on bad roads and no bottoming out.

Side stand stance As it were, the V650 had a slightly butt in the air stance. With this strut preloaded to six clicks, it is even more pronounced, a bit like those models flaunting their, well, "assets" in Instagram photos. But that is temporary, as you know; when you sit on the bike, the dynamic sag is good enough for all except really hardcore motocross style terrain.

I am echoing the sentiment that the R1 strut mod is the one best that one can do on the V650. I can literally FEEL the "give" of the rear strut up and down as it does the job assigned to it, almost like the auto lay mechanism on the Abrams/Leopard/Challenger.

Which once again makes me wonder as to how is it that my other V650 rider friends don't feel the stock strut as too hard...perhaps, being brought up on a diet of sports bikes makes one think that a hard rear is the correct one.
I wonder, does it make a difference which side you fit the shock, top up or down? as long as you have an access to the spring preload, which in case of V650 you would have access from both sides...

anyway, it is an interesting experiment. where did you get the bmw rear shock in India, and how much is the cost? as i mentioned, I replaced the shock in my g310gs and fitted it with some modifications to x-pulse. with x-pulse, a very light bike, I needed to put minimum two clicks preload to avoid bottoming out. but then again, i am not exactly a light weight :)

so did you keep the needle bearings (they are on top) or took them out? I just took all out and replaced both eyelet bushings with new ones, from the local hardware shop. one, I had to shave off a bit, and the second required some washers.

as to your comment about the stiffness of the OEM rear shock, it is actually very soft, for an average weight that is. the problem is that it has too little damping, which made me change it to YSS. i felt like i am about to get catapulted up into the air when going through some deep indentations on the road...
 

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I wonder, does it make a difference which side you fit the shock, top up or down? as long as you have an access to the spring preload, which in case of V650 you would have access from both sides...

anyway, it is an interesting experiment. where did you get the bmw rear shock in India, and how much is the cost? as i mentioned, I replaced the shock in my g310gs and fitted it with some modifications to x-pulse. with x-pulse, a very light bike, I needed to put minimum two clicks preload to avoid bottoming out. but then again, i am not exactly a light weight :)

so did you keep the needle bearings (they are on top) or took them out? I just took all out and replaced both eyelet bushings with new ones, from the local hardware shop. one, I had to shave off a bit, and the second required some washers.

as to your comment about the stiffness of the OEM rear shock, it is actually very soft, for an average weight that is. the problem is that it has too little damping, which made me change it to YSS. i felt like i am about to get catapulted up into the air when going through some deep indentations on the road...
Direction of fitment I was told by the mech who did the job, that it is best to fit it in the original format. Fitting it upside down may cause some issues with interference with the role of gravity on the inner fluid. Also, with the original direction maintained, the preload collar is much more accessible compared to fitting it upside down. And the icing on the cake was that no plastic fairing parts were needed to be trimmed to accommodate the upper end.

I got both bearings on both struts punched out. Then, substituted the 310 GS ones with the stock Versys ones. Fortunately, no differences in dimensions in both sets that needed any grinding etc.

I am 91 kgs and yet felt the same sense of being catapulted out from the seat. It became so serious that I knew that I would not be able to ride to the places I had dreamed of with the stock setup so the change.

The mech had wanted to experiment with reducing the oil quantity in the assembly by draining some of it while the remote adjuster tube was being removed from the tangle around the frame member. When I demurred, he then recommended that I do some rough rides with the 310 unit and if that felt too soft even with max preload, we could experiment with the reduced oil option.
 

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Nice cloudy day so I take 70km ride.
When I back home I see this: (it was perfectly clean before ride)
181338


Don't have time to clean him today, because until motorbike cool down it will be night.
So cleaning will be tomorrow.


Also checked how the sausages are progressing with drying, and put them to smoke along the way.
Around Christmas they will be ready to eat, at least these thin, thick ones will need more time to dry fine.
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Discussion Starter · #536 ·
Took a week off work and headed off.First day to New Plymouth,glad i got a rain suit,it poured for 100km.Got a clean run over Mt Messanger,all the tight twisties and no traffic.Next day left into a howling gale,terrible conditions,easy roads but I was weaving all over the road.Some call it adventure riding,some call it dumb.Made it to Taihape,330km and exhausted from the beating I took.Next day over the Gentle Annie one of the best roads in NZ.From 5th gear sweepers to 25kmh hairpins.Great scenery too,very little traffic.Carried on up to Wairoa,always a good ride,330km for the day.Next left for Tokomaru bay with a trip out to Mahia.Still feeling tired from windy day 2 days before,it really knocks me around.Next day left for Whakatane,hwy35 is a real gem,not much top gear stuff,up and down the gears,left right left right stuff.330km for the day.From Whakatane home 200km of boring road.All up I did 1650km and had blast.

Happy riding














took
 

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Too frosty and cold today
So checked out the preload on the versys forks on the newish to me V650
Found the left fork to be set at 7 turns out and the right to be at 4 :-(
@80kg I set them both to 7 turns out
and the damper to to 2 turns out

Will try get out for a run during the week to see does it make a difference

Also managed to remove a stripped bolt with some freezing spray
 

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When MY kids were little I always had them ride in front of me, so my arms surrounded them. I also made a piece of seat-belt webbing into two 'stirrups' by looping the ends (at the appropriate length) so that they could support themselves by "standing", supported in their stirrups. I also carried a long scarf - my son was starting to fall asleep (my ARMS were around him!!!) so I stopped and tied the scarf around BOTH of us (below HIS arms), then continued the ride, NOW not concerned he'd go to sleep and fall off. The kids were taught that THEY would hold onto MY arms around my wrists, and OF COURSE - ATTGAT!

(y)(y)

:cool:
 

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When MY kids were little I always had them ride in front of me, so my arms surrounded them. I also made a piece of seat-belt webbing into two 'stirrups' by looping the ends (at the appropriate length) so that they could support themselves by "standing", supported in their stirrups. I also carried a long scarf - my son was starting to fall asleep (my ARMS were around him!!!) so I stopped and tied the scarf around BOTH of us (below HIS arms), then continued the ride, NOW not concerned he'd go to sleep and fall off. The kids were taught that THEY would hold onto MY arms around my wrists, and OF COURSE - ATTGAT!

(y)(y)

:cool:
Nice, I’ll give that a shot next time we ride.
 
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