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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK so I have a seal leaking on the right fork. No big deal. Take the fork legs out of the triple trees and go to loosen the Allen bolt found in the bottom of each fork tube. The hex cap on the one in the bottom of the right fork tube is stripped! WTF!! Screwed around with it for a while and ended up drilling the Allen cap off and pushing the damper rod out from the bottom with what was left of the bolt still in it. I'm glad that the copper crush washer was there. When I saw that, it told me to stop drilling. The oil in that right fork was filthy, looked like crude oil. Left fork was good. My guess is the PO changed the left seal and oil and went to take the right fork one apart, chewed up the bolt and figured 'oh well, it ain't leakin' so...'
I'm going to do 'em both up right: new seals, bushings, dust seals, piston rings, Allen bolts, and copper crush washers. The fork springs measure out good 458 mm. New are 459.4 mm. and the service limit minimum is 450 mm.
FINALY HERE IS MY QUESTION.
Should I go with Progressive springs or put the OEM back in?
If you think I should pop for Progressives, would you be so kind as to give me a brief reason why and what I might notice different in handling. By the way, I'm not lowering so I plan on staying with the stock length.
Sorry so long winded.

THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR ADVICE :grin:
DAVE
 

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you have the option of installing Progressives later without having to remove the pesky socket bolt. Then, the only reason you need to take the forks off the triple tree would be to fill the fork oil with a level line. The reason I mentioned "later" is that you have to cut a new pvc collar to adjust for the difference in length of the stock springs. I guess it depends more on how organized and proficient you are, otherwise, put everything back together already, and do the Progressives as a separate project.
 

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Should I go with Progressive springs or put the OEM back in?
If you think I should pop for Progressives, would you be so kind as to give me a brief reason why and what I might notice different in handling.

What you put in depends on what you want out of your motorcycle.

Most stock street bikes (other than race trim sportbikes) are sprung very soft from the factory, usually too soft. They do this to give that soft plush ride that riders like so much. This is great for your azz, but doesn't do much to keep the rubber on the road.

If all you ever do is sedately putt down the well maintained streets in your home town at less than Warp 3, then the factory suspenders properly maintained will probably serve you well. If you add in some speed thru less than smooth twisty's your scooter will handle better with a few suspension tweaks.

The idea is, to have a soft initial spring to absorb small road surface bumps, and then have stiffer travel to prevent front end washout on the bigger bumps. This coupled with the proper damping (oil thickness and valving) is all an effort to keep the rubber on the road and still provide a relatively soft ride. There isn't much you can do about valving without spending big $$$ so that leaves springs and oil.

If you're happy for the most part with your scooters ride, and you don't mind the fork dive under braking that the factory springs give, then 7.5 to 10 weight oil with the stock springs will probably be the way for you to go, with maybe an additional 1/2" spring spacer. But remember, too much preload (longer spacer) reduces suspension sag too much and may allow the forks to top out on rebound. This is bad.

When I was riding an Spirit 11, I ran 10 weight oil with stock springs and added 5/8" to the spacer. That worked well for how I ride and was an improvement over stock. It reduced fork dive under braking and slowed the front suspension just enough. However, I also lost some of that soft ride. I tried 15 weight oil and felt it made the front end way too hard. YMMV.

Just like any performance mod, you need to know what you're doing and/or be willing to experiment to find the combo that works best for your style and bike use. This isn't to say that you won't benefit from an "out of the box" mod, but the whole idea of making the bike yours is to make it do what "you" want it to, not what someone else thinks you need.

Lots of people like Progressive Springs. I've used Progressive, Race Tech, and Sonic Springs. Right now my Venture has Sonic springs in the forks and I am happy with them, but they took a fair amount of tuning to get there and on my bike that means a lengthy total front end dis-assembly. I took it down four times before I was happy with it. Finally got to where I could do the whole thing in about 5 hours. Fully fairing bikes have their drawbacks.

Suspension mods are one of those things where everything you do has an effect on another aspect of the suspension. If it all doesn't work together, you've not done yourself any favor by playing with it.
 

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If you think you are riding soft up front right now, and you think your front forks aren't serviced perfectly then I would WAIT to put progressives in. You will probably be surprised with how differently it will feel once both sides have new bushings, seals and fluid. It made quite the difference with mine anyway. Oh, I also used the oil the manufacturer asked for when I rebuilt my forks. Hard to believe it was the same bike. Once you've did the job and replaced the frozen bolts, it'll be a cinch to go in at a later date and change springs if you feel you still need to do so.
My .02 anyway!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice. I think I'll stick with the stock springs for now and see how she feels. You guys are right, if I want to, I can try the Progressives later. Better get back out in the garage. I've got the clear coat off of the sliders. Now it's time to start the wet sanding (BORING!!), but they'll look sweet when I get 'em all polished up!!
Might as well do something while I'm waiting on the parts.
 
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