Yamaha Thundercats
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Can't believe the difference a bit of oil makes

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Can't believe the difference a bit of oil makes Empty Can't believe the difference a bit of oil makes

Post  SteveCat Tue Jun 29 2010, 21:28

I have been bleating on about my bikes' suspension for nearly as long as I've had it. Had a couple of people test it and said it seemed OK, sooo it had to be me. Well "I've" been getting worse to the point getting around corners is scary, riding the bike is no longer fun.

I've had the fork oil changed today, got 10w stuff in now. The suspension still isn't right though am still bottoming out the front and the back has started sliding, however I cannot believe the difference!

I have mentioned elsewhere that I use quite a bit of rear brake, well today used the rear twice. It's not that I'm trying to avoid using it, but for the first time there has been no need to. In the past using a little front was fine, but 'proper' braking always resulted in the back snaking, more progressive braking meant the back would want to step out, back brake for the most part sorted this out for me. Maybe I can get more than 3 months life out the rear pads now Cool

There's a couple of sections of road I have been using as test samples in trying to corner faster/better. I have managed 40mph occasionally . Today I noticed I added 10mph at least to that, well impressed. It's not the speed I am after but getting around better and till now the speed check seemed the only yardstick.
WOW that felt good, carry onto my pet hate the 90 deg bends. No idea of the speed through these, but to be able to around them without lean in, oops, correct, lean/correct .. land up in the wrong place is fantastic. Rear end started to shout though Shocked

All of this because of some 10w oil!
Next step will be a £40 professional 'adjustment'. I am sure the shocks probably need a service, but will do that later, the rear spring also might need changing (most likely seeing I'm expanding faster than the National Debt).

To make it perfect in one go would be wasted on me.
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Can't believe the difference a bit of oil makes Empty Re: Can't believe the difference a bit of oil makes

Post  greencat Wed Jun 30 2010, 09:50

Steve,

You're obviously getting quite involved with the 'old girl' these days. No I don't mean Pam! Embarassed
You should write a book on you experiences.
Something like 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance'........ or has that been done!

Glad to hear you're making incremental improvements. Very Happy

Chris

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Can't believe the difference a bit of oil makes Empty Re: Can't believe the difference a bit of oil makes

Post  stretchie_ Wed Jun 30 2010, 13:17

Alright matey just an idea.

How old is the bike? Could it benefit from some new springs? I remember putting a set of progressive springs in my Thundercat made a difference, it cost £80 and came with new oil (this was back in 2006 but prices can't have gone that much higher can they?)

Also what is the back set up as? As a spring starts to sag alot of people just turn up the preload, this makes it feel better when you sit on it, or bounce it up and down when parked up, but by turning the preload up what you are doing is taking the upwards travel away from the shock, remember it has to travel back up to where it was with you sat on it but more still.

Just for numbers/illustration sake lets say you have 30mm upwards travel on the shock but it's feeling saggy, you dial up the preload by 15mm, it'll feel better when you bounce it and when you sit on it, but lets say you get out on the road and that annoying BMW driver pulls out infront of you making you slam the front anchors on, the front of the bike dives, and the rear comes up, only now the rear cannot travel up as far because you took 15mm of travel out by dialling up the preload, so it unloads and possibly lifts the rear wheel making it skip along the road.

Just an idea, I'm not saying the problem with the rear is this or that you shouldn't fiddle with the preload, only that at a certain point, dialling in the preload actually has an adverse effect. You might possibly need a new shock.

Hope this gives you something to think about or at least rule out as the cause

Very Happy
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Can't believe the difference a bit of oil makes Empty Re: Can't believe the difference a bit of oil makes

Post  SteveCat Wed Jun 30 2010, 14:21

Cheers Dan that does help thanks.

Bikes 13 years old and I doubt anything has been changed suspension wise in all that time. TBH I have always viewed uprated springs and other changes to be for the more 'serious' rider wanting track riding.

Your Bavarian type motorist example better explains what I have read and one with which I can identify. I suffer from that front end dive at the moment. Think the static sag is OK, but I haven't gotten a tape measure out to make sure - used a shadow and a thumb suck guess :o

Do springs 'wear out'? or is it more the internals of the shock that wear?

I can have the whole lot serviced and re-springed front and back as well as setup for me for £450 +VAT.
Just a twiddle here and there for £40
and a service of the internals for about £150

Was tempted to have a go with the spanner on the rear, but after your explanation best I don't .


Shocked Very Happy Chris, I best not get confused :o
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Can't believe the difference a bit of oil makes Empty Re: Can't believe the difference a bit of oil makes

Post  Rosco Wed Jul 07 2010, 02:52

Hi Steve

That Chris ain't half cheeky!
Dan normally is but is just blinding me with science now.

My tuppence worth of experiece was similar to yours in that the rear never felt quite right and when I eventually got round to trying to adjust anything it was all seized which made my choice easier.

I went for Hagons front and rear. I seem to remember they are progressive ones which I'm guessing are best.
I've had no problems with suspension since.

Even two up with BravePill Euan on the back (a combined total of maybe 28 stone I guess) I don't feel I ride any different nor does the bike act any differently to when I'm on my todd.

When I ordered then from Hagon you tell them your vital statistics (ok - maybe just your weight) and they set the rear accordingly.

National Debt is expanding rather quickly (don't try and keep up) but assuming you're not above 28 stone then I'm sure the old bird will just purr when you get your leg over.

Cheers
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