Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Emulators and springs

Recommended Posts

Having a few days off I decided to take care of my long list of "bike to dos". This afternoon I installed the Racetech emulators in the front forks of my DR650.

I picked the kit from PC with the new seals, fork oil and heavy duty Racetech springs. First impression is the bike sits a bit higher since it doesn't sag as much with my weight. Riding up and down the street when I hit the front brake it dives about like my dirt bikes. That's a bit less than before. Not sure about the settings on the emulators. I left it the way it came figuring I can always adjust it later once I break the code on this new gizmo.

Tomorrow morning, I'll do the rear shock. I have a heavy duty spring and a gold valve ready to go. Hopefully I won't run into any snags so I can test the pig out on some of the nearby culvert jumps by lunch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats cool. Post up your thoughts on the mod and tell me if you think it was worth the coin. I've been on the fence about this for some time. The stock stuff is just to soft...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning I started the rear shock revalving and respringing project. It’s really not too difficult but it is time consuming. Keep in mind you have to disassemble parts of the bike to remove the shock before you start. The hardest part I had was going through the pile of shims and figuring what each was. None are marked so it pays to segregate them by size and thickness using a digital caliper or micrometer in mm.

My initial riding impressions with the whole front and rear suspension mods are "I like it!" Although all I did today was ride pavement. I did reduce the preload on the forks springs to about 1/4” down from the 3/4 suggested in the PC documentation. That may be without the HD springs. The shock spring helped stiffen the rear up a bit and got rid of excess sag. Right now I’m thinking well worth the roughly $600 I shelled out for the whole set up.

More at a later date……..I have a nasty hill climb to conquer!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went to an OHV riding area in the NF of North Ga (Whissenhunt). I hit the trails pretty hard to see how the suspension behaves with the new mods. All in all it was much better than before. I have a much easier time launching the bike from the jumps with the proper orientation. No more nose dives due to rear supension extensions and the top of a jump. I only got it about 2 feet off the ground and that's all I ever really wanted from this pig. The down side is I blew the fork seals. Not sure why. The front end kit from PC comes with new (Moose Racing) seals that are two piece (seal and dust cover) as opposed to the one piece OEMs. I'm going to reinstall the OEMS tomorrow and see how the hold with the new valving caused by the emulators. They did just fine with the OE set up.

This is definately worth the expense if you plan to ride "aggresive off road" with the DR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Went to an OHV riding area in the NF of North Ga (Whissenhunt). I hit the trails pretty hard to see how the suspension behaves with the new mods. All in all it was much better than before. I have a much easier time launching the bike from the jumps with the proper orientation. No more nose dives due to rear supension extensions and the top of a jump. I only got it about 2 feet off the ground and that's all I ever really wanted from this pig. The down side is I blew the fork seals. Not sure why. The front end kit from PC comes with new (Moose Racing) seals that are two piece (seal and dust cover) as opposed to the one piece OEMs. I'm going to reinstall the OEMS tomorrow and see how the hold with the new valving caused by the emulators. They did just fine with the OE set up.

This is definately worth the expense if you plan to ride "aggresive off road" with the DR.

I recently fitted springs and emulators and a cogent DIY rear upgrade also.

What settings have you used with the emulators and how do you find the forks for compliance ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I recently fitted springs and emulators and a cogent DIY rear upgrade also.

What settings have you used with the emulators and how do you find the forks for compliance ?

They are set at whatever Procycle sells them for the DR650. I'lll look up the doc's and see if it says exactly what it is. I did add the heavier (55) springs and initally the 3/4 inch of preload. That was too stiff. Once I dumped most of the preload the forks were fine. Its definately stiffer than OE but that's not saying much since OE is mush on the DR. Its a slight bit stiffer than my Husky 310 or KTM 300 EXC. But that's ok for me figuring the bike is heavier and has less suspension travel so it has to do more with less space.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had one of my upgraded moose seals leak on me after 1,000 miles (the stock ones never leaked and I had 9,500 miles on them) I used a piece of 35mm film to clean the leaking seal and it has been OK since. If I need to replace the seals again I will use OEM parts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had one of my upgraded moose seals leak on me after 1,000 miles (the stock ones never leaked and I had 9,500 miles on them) I used a piece of 35mm film to clean the leaking seal and it has been OK since. If I need to replace the seals again I will use OEM parts.

This morning I just finished reinstalling the orignial OEM seals. They are certainly tighter than the Moose Racing seals. I did not want to use these since they have 26,000 miles on them. But I want to ride and don't want to have the bike down for a week waiting for new ones. These OEM never leaked. They aren't really that old (09) but have been on for many miles. I'll replace them once I get new OEM ones next week end. I'm getting really good at fork seal replacement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They are set at whatever Procycle sells them for the DR650. I'lll look up the doc's and see if it says exactly what it is. I did add the heavier (55) springs and initally the 3/4 inch of preload. That was too stiff. Once I dumped most of the preload the forks were fine. Its definately stiffer than OE but that's not saying much since OE is mush on the DR. Its a slight bit stiffer than my Husky 310 or KTM 300 EXC. But that's ok for me figuring the bike is heavier and has less suspension travel so it has to do more with less space.

I also found fork preload of about a 1/4" to be good.

If the emulators are straight out of the RT bag they should have the yellow springs fitted at 4 turns of preload from memory. I started at 3 turns and found it too harsh - back at 2 1/4 turns of preload is much, much better. It is surprising how tunable this is.....

I am going to experiment with the softer blue emulator springs next.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I also found fork preload of about a 1/4" to be good.

If the emulators are straight out of the RT bag they should have the yellow springs fitted at 4 turns of preload from memory. I started at 3 turns and found it too harsh - back at 2 1/4 turns of preload is much, much better. It is surprising how tunable this is.....

I am going to experiment with the softer blue emulator springs next.

Thanks. I feel the same. The stock emulators are harsh for road use. On the highway I feel every little bump from the road through the handle bars. I wasn't sure if it was being caused by the heavier fork springs, emulators or a combination of the two. I'll try backing it off.

BTW I put 80 miles on the bike today with the old seals and no leaks. I did a combination of dirt roads and pavement. Nothing like what I did at the OHV area yesterday. I may try to hit some of that tomorrow and see if it still holds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks. I feel the same. The stock emulators are harsh for road use. On the highway I feel every little bump from the road through the handle bars. I wasn't sure if it was being caused by the heavier fork springs, emulators or a combination of the two. I'll try backing it off.

BTW I put 80 miles on the bike today with the old seals and no leaks. I did a combination of dirt roads and pavement. Nothing like what I did at the OHV area yesterday. I may try to hit some of that tomorrow and see if it still holds.

Back them off to 2 turns. I am going to try 1 turn out before trying the softer springs.

I didn't notice more brake dive or falling through the stroke on bigger hits by backing off the emulator spring preload - just greatly reduced all the feedback through the bars...

What oil height and weight are you using ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m using the 10 wt and the oil height is 6.5 inches from the top of the tube (full compression). I backed them out two turns and road it. It was a bit softer but I still feel road bumps a 40-55 MPH. Once I get above or below those speeds it’s less noticeable. Are you using heavier fork springs also?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had one of my upgraded moose seals leak on me after 1,000 miles

Moose fork seals are defintely NOT an upgrade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Called RT today regarding the handlebar senstions from road bumps at moderate speeds. They advised try the 15wt oil with the 2 turns on the emulators. They said its possible that the rebound dampening is not what it should be with the 10 wt oil and that could be causing the high road feel sensation. I have two new OEM seals coming. Once I get those I will swap the oil during the installation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Called RT today regarding the handlebar senstions from road bumps at moderate speeds. They advised try the 15wt oil with the 2 turns on the emulators. They said its possible that the rebound dampening is not what it should be with the 10 wt oil and that could be causing the high road feel sensation. I have two new OEM seals coming. Once I get those I will swap the oil during the installation.

Please post your impressions of the change to 15W oil.

Mine could do with more rebound damping for going over jumps, but I think that would make it pack on gravel road corrugations.

The problem is the rebound circuit is still a fixed orifice bleed that won't satisfy all scenarios.

FYI - I'm using 0.48 fork springs with 7mm preload, 135mm oil height, 10W oil, emulators with yellow springs fitted at 2 turns out. Rider weight 200 lbs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will do. I just measured the sag on my forks and I'm only getting 1.5" inches of sag from full extension with me on the bike. That tells me the RT springs are a bit too hard since fork sag should be about 2.5" with me on he bike. I had this happen once before on a Honda CRF230F and I fixed it by inserting the original spring on one side and used the stiffer on the other. It worked great. I'm going to try that tomorrow and see how that works on the DR. My new OEM seals won't be in until next week so I won't get to swap oil til then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the RT spring calculator is a little way off - I'm using quite a few sizes softer than it recommends and the sag is just right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the RT spring calculator is a little way off - I'm using quite a few sizes softer than it recommends and the sag is just right.

Yes I agree. I ended up re-installing one OE spring back on one side and now the sag is perfect. I'm still waiting on my new OE seals. Once I get those I'll swap to 15wt and see if the light bouncing sensation I get at 40 - 50MPH goes away. The forks on this bike are a major PITA. No way to drain the fluid other than remove forks from tripple or undo valve rod screw. I guess I could try a pump of some kind but I don't want to have to buy one for hopefully a one time mod.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I agree. I ended up re-installing one OE spring back on one side and now the sag is perfect. I'm still waiting on my new OE seals. Once I get those I'll swap to 15wt and see if the light bouncing sensation I get at 40 - 50MPH goes away. The forks on this bike are a major PITA. No way to drain the fluid other than remove forks from tripple or undo valve rod screw. I guess I could try a pump of some kind but I don't want to have to buy one for hopefully a one time mod.

I am going to try some 15W myself as I think my rebound is underdamped.

Have you ridden your bike with the softer spring combo yet ?

If you haven't you may want to before changing oil weight as you won't need as much rebound with the softer spring combo..

Please post your results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Installed new seals today. I also changed out the yellow springs for the blue on the RT emulators. I turned the tension screw in abut 4 turns. It measures 1.230 from the top of the hex screw to the emulator body. I then filled the tubes up with 15tw oil to a level of about 6" from the top with the fork compressed and emulator in place. Although it was threatening tornados I took it our for a short spin. The dampening is now softer. It's no where near as harsh. I'm still runing one heavy spring and one OEM. The fork dive is still under control compared to OE. I plan to take the DR off road tomorrow. That's the real test. I'm hoping the front will work as well as the back for off road use, while maintaining some degree fo road manners. So far so good with the new settings.

Update: Hit the Forest Service Roads today in the AM with the new set up. Unfortunately rain put a damper on extend riding or any aggressive work in the woods. From what I can tell hitting ripples, pot holes, and erosion cracks on the ground this change was in the right direction. I still want to launch the bike a bit on some tame jumps to see how the front end will react as compared to the rear. That will be on my “to do” list for next weekend.

Edited by T30

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×