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Author Topic: Poor man's suspension upgrade  (Read 1695 times)

JVS

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Poor man's suspension upgrade
« on: September 11, 2013, 01:18:09 AM »
Hello everyone!

Hope you're all doing well. After a long time, I have finally upgraded my Bullet's rear suspension to what I had wanted since I purchased the bike. My primary motivation was the looks/cosmetic side of things. I wanted the original 1950s Bullet look, with the springs in full shrouds - black and stainless/chrome look.

Firstly, these are not Hagons, hence the topic title. I had wanted Hagons so badly since I saw Scotty's thread regarding them and reading other people's reviews about them. I was literally |--| this close to buying them from Dave Quinn. However, Dave was not confident sending 16kg springs with soft/medium damping all the way to Australia as it would be a lot of time waste sending springs back and forth across multiple continents if they didn't suit me. They were also cheaper to buy from the US, including postage. It came around to be around $350. Dave recommended that I purchase the shocks from the Australian Hagon dealer, who is selling them for $330..plus postage. Now, I was kind of reluctant to spend so much dough on a set of shocks. Keep in mind that I absolutely love Hagons, and have nothing against them. I was almost about to buy them.

Secondly, after giving up on getting the shocks, I was looking up suspension sets for REs on Ebay in my free time. All in hope of finding some full shrouded 320mm springs. On the 7th or 8th page of the search query on Ebay, I stumbled upon these - http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Classic-Triumph-BSA-British-Bike-shocks-12-5-320mm-1960s-70s-80s-/321195457719?ssPageName=ADME%3AL%3AOU%3AAU%3A3160&nma=true&si=Q4X9%252Ff5%252FOMmozyzB4ciC8zSKj6A%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

They are made by a wholeseller back in England http://www.tecbikeparts.com/ But they also have a distributor here in Australia, albeit in another state. These shocks have 5 pre-load settings and are progressive. Also, people upgrade to modern type gas-filled springs, but in this case, these are oil-based. So all in all, I purchased these for AUD $65, asked the seller to bush them with 10mm bushings. Bought on Saturday, and got them today  ;D

They arrived nicely packed -



Good quality on the finish -



Lets do this!

But in my excitement I realised that I can't remove the stock spring bolts without removing the rear mudguard due to its mounting bars. I think you don't need to remove the fender, but can just loosen the lower mounting brackets and shift it up to remove the bolts. But in order to make it easier for myself, I just removed it. And to remove the mudguard/fender, we have to remove the seat -



Out with the old -



And in with the new. No problems whatsoever with the bushings. Fit perfectly. -





Looking sexy!

Assembled everything back and took it out for a spin. This is how they look on the Bullet now -















As far as riding goes. These are around 18kg/cm as the supplier does not stock 16kg/cm. They are on the softest preload setting and as I went for a short ride, I took a route with quite a number of speedhumps/bumps, some irregular road surfaces etc and can easily say that they are an improvement over the stockies. They might be oil based, but they are softer than the OEMs, although they are still a bit hard on the bumps, but no way near the OEMs. As they are progressive, I noticed the ride was way smoother than before, and I actually liked the riding experience. It was quite comfortable. I am very happy. For $65, they are awesome.

All I need to do now is to replace the front-fork oil within the next couple of weeks and it should run like a charm. Then just change the tail-light to 1960s style, and wait for the tyres to wear out...then I get me some K70s. Bullet complete!

Thanks for reading  ;)

P.S. Thanks to Ducati Scotty for his Hagon thread, and fellow members for contributing useful information all over the forum, through posts and PMs.

Sons continuing wars, our fathers were enemies


Bulletman

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Re: Poor man's suspension upgrade
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2013, 01:40:36 AM »
Nice Job JVS..looks nice..
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wildbill

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Re: Poor man's suspension upgrade
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2013, 02:43:37 AM »
old skool indeed-wouldn't mind trying them myself.  jvs - total price including postage
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JVS

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Re: Poor man's suspension upgrade
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2013, 02:50:42 AM »
Thanks guys!

@wildbill
Total cost incl. postage was $81 from Brisbane to Sydney.
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BRADEY

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Re: Poor man's suspension upgrade
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2013, 06:05:39 AM »
That looks very period !

ace.cafe

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Re: Poor man's suspension upgrade
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2013, 06:38:38 AM »
I agree. Very vintage looking appearance.
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DanKearney

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Re: Poor man's suspension upgrade
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2013, 09:06:08 AM »
Those are the perfect style for the bike.  Nice find.

Cheers,

Dan K.
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High On Octane

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Re: Poor man's suspension upgrade
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2013, 09:18:11 AM »
I'm glad you like them.  I've been eye balling them myself as they look identical to the original shocks on the Blackhawk that are completely worn out.  Now that someone has actually verified that they are a good shock I think I might be buying a set as well.  Thanks for sharing!

Scottie


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Ducati Scotty

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Re: Poor man's suspension upgrade
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2013, 10:19:08 AM »
Those really look great on the B5, super clean!

Scott

barenekd

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Re: Poor man's suspension upgrade
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2013, 02:48:10 PM »
Looking great! Just like Girlings! Get the fork oil changed, you won't believe the difference!
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Royalista

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Re: Poor man's suspension upgrade
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2013, 03:37:48 PM »
Well documented report, and good looking indeed. Excellent  8)

Just a question, if you don't mind. How does the muffler compensate for the lack of a heatshield?
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crush02342002

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Re: Poor man's suspension upgrade
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2013, 09:04:55 PM »
looks good! im kinda partial to the open springs myself though but those shocks look perfect on your bike. Good job

ace.cafe

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Re: Poor man's suspension upgrade
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2013, 09:18:06 PM »
From an aerodynamic drag perspective, the shrouded shocks present less air drag than the chaotic and turbulent air flow thru the open springs.
Not that it makes a huge difference in overall drag, but it's something.
Little things can add up.
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JVS

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Re: Poor man's suspension upgrade
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2013, 10:57:23 PM »
Really appreciate your comments, people. I am glad that you all like it as much as I do.  :D

How does the muffler compensate for the lack of a heatshield?

The muffler by itself? It's doing well. Of course it gets very, very hot, but most of the English chrome on the unit is holding well as you can see in the photos. If you look carefully (last pic and 4th last pic), you will notice that I do have a heatshield covering the header pipe to silencer connection. It is the 30cm heatshield that I got from Hitchcocks UK  :)
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Tri750

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Re: Poor man's suspension upgrade
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2013, 10:58:51 PM »
Most likely, they are made by EMGO. Taiwanese copies of the Girlings used on Brit bikes. Nothing wrong with them at all, but lighter riders will find them a bit stiff stiffley sprung. Good find.
I have a set in my cabinet for some future project once I find it. They were on sale so I grabbed them up.
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