A better shock for a 650ie?

Technical stuff specific to the Raptor 650

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nickst4
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A better shock for a 650ie?

Post by nickst4 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:14 pm

I'm just wondering if anyone has sourced a tailor-made shock for a 650ie recently?

Swapping for units off other bikes won't get me a spring to suit my (or my Missus') weight. I got a Matris shock for the 1K but the agents say they don't have them for the 650ie, though I'd have thought they'd be the same. Wilbers is a possibility, but even the basic adjustable version is pretty pricey.

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Re: A better shock for a 650ie?

Post by shebee » Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:06 pm

hagon?
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nickst4
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Re: A better shock for a 650ie?

Post by nickst4 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:33 pm

By all accounts, you get what you pay for and the Hagon mono-shocks are not thought of as being any improvement over standard. That's also been my experience with their twin-shocks, largely because their internal stiction is so high. I guess it might reduce after a couple of thousand miles but I want something better NOW!

At the moment, I'm aiming towards the Nitron R1. Good quality and a British manufacturer so easy to deal with.

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Re: A better shock for a 650ie?

Post by nickst4 » Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:37 pm

OK, the order's in for a personalised Nitron R1, the basic adjustable unit. I chickened-out of having Nitron's signature duck-egg-blue spring and have gone for the metallic black option. Is that good taste or lack of courage?

Hopefully, when it turns up in approx 3 weeks time I'll be able justify a quick shopping trip and can report back. Hope it does the job and makes a nice bike even better to ride!

Nick

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Re: A better shock for a 650ie?

Post by nickst4 » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:53 am

Nitron delivered the new shock even quicker than expected, and it is so beautiful I can hardly bear to hide it away under the backside of the bike!

Image
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Re: A better shock for a 650ie?

Post by shebee » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:35 am

Oooh. Pretty! :happyhappy:
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nickst4
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Re: A better shock for a 650ie?

Post by nickst4 » Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:44 pm

The Nitron shock is in, but not without taking metal off the top eye to raise it enough to get clearance for the bolt to slide through. Same thing happened with the Matris shock that went onto the 1K. Machining from alloy, these makers can't match the thin-walled steel eye that Sachs used for the original. It's a pity to have to bodge a new piece, but It won't weaken it enough to matter. I hope... :shock:

So there I was, ready for an essential shopping ride, and the battery has gone down! :angry: The Optimate says yes, the starter motor says no. One cell gone, I reckon. A Motobatt is in the post, but it's a rather weedy one cos there's very little space for the battery in the 650.

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Re: A better shock for a 650ie?

Post by nickst4 » Tue May 05, 2020 10:18 am

The verdict on the Nitron shock is favourable on the first ride, road shocks not being as harsh as before. I needed to back off the spring preload from the supposed perfect setting for me that they dialed in, in order to get any significant sag, but I left the damping as it came. I'll push that nearer to the soft end of the range for the next legitimate trip out, and I imagine there will also be an element of running-in that should make it more compliant. Already, the front and back suspension seem to be more balanced, so I doubt I'll need to modify the front beyond the reduction in preload and fresh oil that I made before.

All good fun!

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Re: A better shock for a 650ie?

Post by nickst4 » Fri May 15, 2020 9:09 am

Update on this: the Nitron shock goes back today for a sensible spring to be fitted.

Despite my specifying a 70Kg solo rider wanting a comfortable ride, they actually fitted a heavier-gauge spring (by 0.5mm) than the original and added preload so the bike didn't sag at all! Sometimes I think suspension specialists only ever think of billiard-table-smooth race tracks. The middle-men of the deal, Brooke Suspension on ebay, couldn't have been more helpful. In the meantime, I risked getting the new Avon tyres fitted to replace the ratchety Continentals, so the 650 should be ready for whenever a legitimate shopping trip is needed, or restrictions are lifted. Can't wait to get the other bikes road-legal again though, especially the Big Daddy Raptor 1K! :nod:

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Re: A better shock for a 650ie?

Post by nickst4 » Sat May 23, 2020 8:28 am

Nitron have now fitted a lighter-gauge spring and once I've got the damping dialled-in to suit, I think that will be it so far as the 650 suspension goes. Bumps and potholes are still very noticeable, more so than with the 1000, but I guess that has a bit more sprung weight to counter suspension movement. At least the 650 now notices it's own and my weight, ie there's some sag!

Other aspects of the 650 still crop up. I hoped the iffy handling at low speeds and slow corners would be cured by new tyres but it still felt the same, so I did what I should have done earlier and lifted the front without any load. Sure enough, there's a real notch in the steering bearings at straight-ahead which must be resisting the minute shifts in angle that come with adjustment of the centre of gravity, especially at low speed when there isn't any giro stabilisation from the wheels. Thankfully, the archives here rendered the numbers of the taper rollers needed, so next week will see a strip of the front end to do a job I've never faced with any of my bikes before! :doh: :thumbsup:

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Re: A better shock for a 650ie?

Post by andybaggies » Sat May 23, 2020 11:35 am

Yeah, I often wonder if after market shocks use firmer springs as a protection against a user boinging into a ditch when pressing on. No doubt its probably also cheaper for them to have one spring for all/many applications

Hopefully you should have enough damping adjustment to counter the softer spring you now have fitted.

I've replaced the steering head bearings on mine and it's one of those that takes a lot of faffing about with wheels/forks/bars/wiring/brakes etc etc just to get to the job in hand. Slow and methodical is the name of the game and you obviously need some way of supporting the bike without the front wheel. The latter was my prompt to buy an abba stand... which is worth it's weight in gold.

One tip, is to remember the order of bearing/cover/washers etc at the bottom of the stem as it's easily forgotten when it comes to reassembly. The lower bearing can be tough to remove and from what I recall I dremelled a cut in it and with a sharp biff from a cold chisel (eek!) it split apart.

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Re: A better shock for a 650ie?

Post by nickst4 » Sat May 23, 2020 1:00 pm

Cheers, Andy. From being sceptical about Dremels for years, I've found my mains-powered one has been excellent for precision-cutting hard stuff so I'll likely do what you did. I'll second your enthusiasm for Abba stands too, as I always use mine on the Raptors. I usually team it with an under-the-steering front lift but that completely disguised the strange 12-o'clock notch in the steering bearings. I have a screw-raise platform for under the motor so I think I'll be OK to do the steering. Might it be the last job to do on the 650 before I let Dianne loose on it? Hope so... :roll:

Nick

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Re: A better shock for a 650ie?

Post by andybaggies » Tue May 26, 2020 4:58 pm

Abba do a kit that fits onto its basic stand that allows the front wheel to be raised off the ground. It involves pulling the rear of the bike down and I've accomplished this be using a bar inserted into the rear axle.

Again, it's proved invaluable. See https://abbastands.co.uk/product-detail ... arm&pid=42

nickst4
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Re: A better shock for a 650ie?

Post by nickst4 » Tue May 26, 2020 10:45 pm

I got that same accessory for the Abba stand and rapidly dismissed it as useless because I simply couldn't pull the straps tight enough. I guess it might work if you got someone to sit on the back of the bike and force the back wheel down first, or used those very confusing ratchet tie-down straps. Maybe I'll give it another try, but putting a lift beneath the motor is a very positive way to unload the front and get full access to the forks.

Nick

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