Monday, May 20, 2019

Ride in the morning, maintenance in the afternoon

Chilly overcast weather today with a threat of rain the whole time we were out riding.

Dan K. rode his Ural M70 Solo motorcycle, Rich K. rode his V-Strom 650, Dana W rode his bright red K75 BMW EML Sidecar Rig while Spat and I rode our respective rides from yesterday.

 View of Needle Rock with Mt Lamborn enshrouded
by rain clouds behind it.

 Dana W's lovely EML Rig
"No, it's not for sale, I asked"

Rich K. led us on a 99% paved route through the area, and though the weather was chilly, it was quite the enjoyable ride.  Not much to take pictures of though due to the clouds obscuring the landscape in the distance.

We returned to Hotchkiss for lunch at a burger joint and afterwards retired to Rich K's sumptuous workshop to work on Yagi's front forks.  You see, I'd been feeling the top of the fender hitting the underside of the triple tree on the big dips and holes, basically bottoming out the front suspension.  Not good.

We tried reducing the amount of the forks showing above the triple tree by perhaps 1/8" but still some unwanted impact, though it felt better.

First though, Rich showed me how he checs his torque wrenches through the use of a Beam Wrench which is apparently consistently more accurate, see the setup below.

Rich is retired with over 35 years experience as a Porsche mechanic, so he knows his way around tools.  He now prefers to only work on motorcycles and he had volunteered to help me with Yagi's suspension.

The process proved pretty simple and in line with what I'd read up on via the usual online methods.

 Removing the fork caps

 Using a dipstick to measure existing level (145mm from edge
of fork hole to the back edge level of the fluid within.

Rich ended up filling both forks up with additional fluid, bringing the level to 115 mm.  This will increase the resistance and prevent the suspension from bottoming out hopefully.

 Speaking of bottoming out, the above is basically what the
front front was doing when hitting those big dips and holes
yesterday!  The above shows the forks compressed to do
the measurements previously mentioned.

We then rode down to the hardware store to get some 3/4" PVC tubing.  I rode Rich's V-Strom 650 (what a beast) and he rode whis KLR; Dan K who'd been kibitzing this whole time, came along as well.

Upon our return (and no, no incidents with me on the V-Strom), Rich carefully sawed off two 1" sections of PVC pipe to act as spacers to add preload to the spring and thereby increase resistance:

Carefully, and with two new washers, he placed the spacers atop the stock springs and then using a socket wrench and pressure, installed the caps back onto the forks.  Care must be taken here as there's quite the amount of pressure on the cap while you're installing it!

All buttoned up, I took Yagi to a nearby "test trail" that Rich uses after he works on his motorcycles.  I'm happy to report that the small dips and holes I found failed to bottom out the suspension!  So prospects look good for when we next ride out to the dirt trails to see.  My tanks to Rich for his time and skills, he made the job look easy and it didn't take much time at all!

We also can remove perhaps 1/4 of the plastic spacers I had used to raise the front fender 1" from the fork brace in order to enable better removal of mud accumulation on the front tire.  We'll see if that's needed.


RichardM said...

I had added the pvc pipe spacers to the BMW front forks as the front end was bottoming out after I added the sidecar.

redlegsrides said...

Hopefully these will do the trick RichardM. Thanks for commenting.