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SM Conversion Done - Have some Questions!


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Hi guys,

Well I finally converted my '03 'S' into motard trim via a pair of Rad 17" rims and hubs fitted with ContiForce SM rubber. Went with Rad as they were the only ones offering speedo drive tabs. Put on an EBC 320mm front rotor too with the stock pads and caliper. Bike is a lot of fun in the city with this setup, haven't pushed it yet as the rubber is still so new, but so far it appears to have endless grip. 👍

So I have a couple of questions and hoping someone out there can assist:

1. What tire pressure should I run in my 17" wheels? Perhaps someone with a real SM model can tell me what their manual recommends?

2. What is the ideal gearing.. I'm currently running 15/41 but still find I work through the 5 gears pretty quick.. not so bad in the city, but once out on the highway it feels like I'm at redline very quickly.

3. Suspension settings.. what are you guys using for compression & rebound on both the front and rear? If find the factory settings pretty soft and would like the bike to wallow and brake-dive less.

Thanks!

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tyre pressure depends on what tyre you run but about the 30psi mark should be ok.

what you have there is the std sm gearing but you could always drop a couple of teeth on the rear.

the suspension depends on your weight honestly the factory settings are

front:

compression 13 clicks out - top of fork

rebound 17 clicks - bottom of fork

rear:

high speed damping 1-1/8 turns out - nut

low speed 10 clicks - screw

rebound damping force - 14 clicks out

hope that helps

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+1 tire pressure has more to do with the tire than the bike. Go read the sidewall on the tire. I run the tires on my 'SM at max pressure, but I'm a fat bastard.

+1 on suspension being about your weight. If you're gravitationally endowed, you'll need to get stiffer springs for the forks and the shock. (Mine had to be custom wound:lol:!)

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the suspension depends on your weight honestly the factory settings are

front:

compression 13 clicks out - top of fork

rebound 17 clicks - bottom of fork

rear:

high speed damping 1-1/8 turns out - nut

low speed 10 clicks - screw

rebound damping force - 14 clicks out

Thanks, so these are the factory settings for the SM? Not sure they would apply however as my S suspension is different (conventional forks)... dunno if the rear setup is the same?

Anybody with an S have any recommended settings for SM use?

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+1 tire pressure has more to do with the tire than the bike. Go read the sidewall on the tire. I run the tires on my 'SM at max pressure, but I'm a fat bastard.

+1 on suspension being about your weight. If you're gravitationally endowed, you'll need to get stiffer springs for the forks and the shock. (Mine had to be custom wound:lol:!)

I weigh about 215 if that helps.. I was hoping for some opinions on actual PSI numbers and suspension settings which work on an S in motard trim.. and you are right, knowing the rider's weight would be useful info too. Thanks!

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Thanks, so these are the factory settings for the SM? Not sure they would apply however as my S suspension is different (conventional forks)... dunno if the rear setup is the same?

Anybody with an S have any recommended settings for SM use?

they are the factory sm settings,

to have the best out of your suspension for sm use they would idealy need to br revalved and set up by a professional

but u can use those base settings and tweek a click at a time till your happy.

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  • 11 months later...

I am looking to run a set of street wheels on my new S, and was told that a 19" F / 17" R might be better, but very expensive since I would need custom built wheels.

If I go with pre-built supermoto wheels (17" F / 17" R) it would save me a lot of $, but doesnt this make the front end really twitchy?

Dont get me wrong, I love the look of SM wheels, but I dont need an SM bike. I just need a bike that I can also use for commuting, and would rather not have to commute on Trakmasters.

Is anyone adjusting the suspension to compensate for the fast that they just lowered the rear about an inch and lowered the front about 4 inches?

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I don't know why you don't want to run those tires on the street other than maybe wearing them out a little faster. But you can get good dual sport tires from a number of manufacturers for 21" and 18" wheels if street riding is your main goal.

The S will handle just fine on the street with the stock wheels and any tires you put on it - knobs, trials, dual sport or street. Unless you are pushing to extreme [racing type] limits, any limitations will be your skill or comfort level, not the wheels or tires.

...ken...

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I suppose the Trakmasters are fine for the street if you are just loafing around town, but I dont entirely trust them at full speed going through the canyons. It's also crazy windy here, and thought it may be a little easier to deal with the wind if I dropped the bike a couple of inches (with smaller wheels/tires).

The obvious solution is probably to ride a street bike and save the DRZ for weekend trails, but I love the DRZ so much that I decided to sell my old airhead.

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No reason you shouldn't be able to push the knobs in the twisties unless you're trying to scrape the pegs. But you can change the tires on your existing wheels if you want something more streetish. You can get Pirelli MT43 trials tires that stick like glue to rocks or pavement and still work pretty fine offroad. Or you can get dual sport rubber that will still handle some off-pavement riding.

As far as smaller wheels improving the handling in gusty crosswinds, don't count on it. I have an SM and it's no different than any of the other dirt or street bikes I've ever owned (17 or so). The only solution to better handling in those conditions is to improve your riding skills in those situations. The biggest change to make in buffeting winds is to grip the tank hard with your knees so you can relax your upper body. This will allow you to relax your death grip on the bars and stop making extra steering inputs. This also works really well in gravel. You'll be much happier, more relaxed and it won't cost you a cent. 👍

Or you could get a street bike, too. That's what I did because I'm doing way more highway riding than I expected when I bought the DRZ. I found a sweet single-owner '94 GS500E for a really good price just before xmas. New fork seals and a set of Heidenau K60 tires will be added before spring and she'll be ready for anything short of serious trailriding. I'll have the Dizzer for that.

...ken...

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Done deal. If the SM is no better in wind, then the wheels/tires are a moot point. No attempts at scraping the pegs, but you never know whats around those turns sometimes, especially here.

I bought the Airhead for just this purpose, but it's no fun to ride compared to the DRZ, especially since the DRZ is faster, stops better and turns better. Maybe I just need to find something more along the GS500 range. I think I like looking at the airhead more than actually riding it.

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