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Author Topic: Front and rear suspension now modified  (Read 188 times)

potboiler

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Front and rear suspension now modified
« on: November 06, 2013, 09:09:45 AM »
I’ve completed my front and rear spring replacement in an attempt to get a more comfortable ride. I replaced the rear springs with the dual rate ones offered by Hitchcocks (part No. 200043). These were 190 grammes lighter each than the Indian originals fitted to the gas shocks, so should have a little more ‘spring in them’.
The front fork springs are the progressive ones also from Hitchcocks. They appear to have the same coil pitch (even at the closer pitched end) as the original Indian ones but do weigh 100 grammes less, so again should have more spring in them.
Fitting the fork springs isn’t a very easy or quick job. The fork leg stud nuts were very tight and needed a good whack with a hammer on the rachet to free them. Next ( no matter what the Hitchcocks website technical article says) you will not get the studs to go up inside the slider very easily. I found it best to remove the legs from the bike and hold them in an 8” vice and hit the stud with a drift. Hitchcocks say that a fork valve port spanner is essential to undo the valve port at the bottom of the fork tube. However, I managed to loosen the valve port by tapping it around with a ‘special’ tool I made (see photo). This did produce slight burring on the castellations but these are easily removed by a file.  The fork studs are such a tight 'interference' fit through the bottom of the sliders that even hammering the slider using a socket as a drift just causes the spring to bounce against the slider. So, I used some fine emery cloth and oil to just ream out the hole in the slider a little. It still needs hammering to get some of the studs thread to show through and then you can just fit the stud nut and pull the rest of the stud down. I used the trick with a piece of greased thin polythene wrapped around the end of the fork tube to insert it through the oil seals.
I found that with filling with 200mls of SAE5 fork oil the level was only 46.5cm from the top (instead of the 37-38cm stated in the manual).
Well, what difference has all this made to the ride? Not as much as I would have hoped. I am only 140lbs so don't add much inertia to the bike. The rear shocks are still bumpy compared to rising rate Japanese suspension - but I guess that is probably the fault of the crude gas damping in these things rather than the new softer springs fitted. The front end feels quite good now, it's less harse and doesn't dive or wallow but then I don't ride my bike hard anyway. If I was to take this quest to the next level, I think I would get some custom made Hagon shocks with the lightest springs and softest damping they can offer. I've just bought Hitchcocks sprung single saddle and the Machismo sprung twin seats to experiment with but that's a subject for another time.