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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there fellow TLers. I'm in a quandry - and I look to all you experienced and knowledgeable TLers out there to help. I've managed to convince my better half:hail that this year for my b'day she should free up some of my hard earned to invest in some handling enhancements for my TLS(V). I've been watching and trawling the forums and searching t'internet for all I can about which way to go and how to maximise 'bangs for bucks' if you get my drift (well, I am Scottish, so like to look after ma pennies). It seems to me that you can just about spend what you like to upgrade and so far it seems the pecking order is Bitubo, Maxton, Ohlins, Penske. There are probably more, but that's all I've found. As my bike's probably not worth much more than a grand, even a Bitubo seems to be about to add 50% to the value of the bike.:coocoo
What seems strange, is that with all these old TLs out there, and so many apparently getting broken up on the likes of E-Bay, where are all the 2nd hand shockers going? Is there some inner sanctum where dodgy shocker deals are done? If so, can I join? Are there only a few bikes in the UK (oh, that's where I'm from, by the by) with upgraded rear shock/dampers?:dowhat
Finally (I know, I do go on a bit, but I'm desparate to use this opportunity to upgrade) is there an option to get the rear rotary damper reworked? I read something in a Superbike review once about someone who did this I think. Is that worth doing and more cost effective?

Well, anyone out there willing to point me in the right direction? I'm off to Isle of Skye mid-year and would like to have my bike sorted by then as I'm going with a pal on a 1098S and another on a Monster and with my riding style I need all the help I can get.

Cheers for listening.:)
 

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there is a section on reworking the stock damper in the frequent mods secction i think just use the search button.

bitubo is the best option.

crazymofo has an ohlins coming up for sale and the currency adjustment to oz would make it attractive. but you still end up with the soas.

theres no real cheap way out here, perhaps you can temporarily surrender you r scottish heritage and lash out on the old girl :lol
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
there is a section on reworking the stock damper in the frequent mods secction i think just use the search button.

bitubo is the best option.

crazymofo has an ohlins coming up for sale and the currency adjustment to oz would make it attractive. but you still end up with the soas.

theres no real cheap way out here, perhaps you can temporarily surrender you r scottish heritage and lash out on the old girl :lol
Thanks for the response, Stu. I contacted Crazymofo about the shock - awaiting a response. The rotary revalve article seems to be about an Australian company. Cheers, Al

BTW - do any of you UK TLS owners know where they sell Bitubo shockers in the UK? Their site lists one stockist - I've e-mailled them but not heard back yet.
 

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Fwiw i am still very happy with the Hagon damper i fitted awhile back,its no Ohlins but for the money ive no complaints at all.A bit cheaper than the Bitubo.
 

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I have a different opinion.

Yes, the stock TLS damper sucks; mostly it has too much sticktion, settles to different heights after each bump, etc.

BUT the '97 (you did say TLSV) front fork is even worse, and the improvement from a Race Tech gold valve and stiffer front fork springs is INCREDIBLE on a '97!!!!

Then changing to a progressive-valved steering damper also makes a HUGE difference! I endorse the top-of-the-line Hyperpro!

Then you should consider a stiffer rear spring, or new rear shock and spring. Losing the weight from the rear of the bike is also a wonderful thing.

Then relocate the battery, using a TLR battey box.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Cyclecamper,
Sounds like I need a lot of work to get my TLS sorted then. You mention the Race Tech gold valve and stiffer front fork springs mod. I see that you can also get a NITRON Track shock for the TLS - anyone with experience of this one? It seems to be about £511~. Looks like the RaceTech fork mods are around ~£140 - does that sound about right? PDQ M/c Developments seem to do all that stuff. Anyone any experience of them? Questions, questions, eh? This feedback I'm getting from you guys out there really is invaluable. I just got back from a weekend of glorious sunshine in the South Lakes (with t'family and in the car) - some fantastic sounds floating about up there - esp. the V-twins!! Can't wait to get the bike sorted and join them. I'll be up there (Barow) next weekend as Crooks Suzuki are replacing my tank then (see post on '97 tank recall). Thanks again for all the help and advice - please keep it coming. Anyone in the NW of England with sorted suspension want to add their ideas or opinions?

cheers the noo!
 

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You can make very significant improvements to the '97 fork on the cheap. The stock compression valves are very very hard, but you can have the passages enlarged via EDM for only a few dollars. You can put in stiffer used fork springs from a different model, or you can shorten the sprign (which raises its rate and makes it stiffer) then make a slug out of tubing to get the right loaded height back. You might also be able to just swap the forks with later-model forks, but I'm not an expert on what exactly changed internally to make the later forks much more compliant...you might be able to buy and modify late-model compression valves and then swap them into the cartridges quickly. The labor is a lot, if you can do it yourself and get the oil level exactly correct, and understand what you're doing so you can fine-tune it yourself, you can do good.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, it's started then. Ordered a Bitubo rear shockie. Should have it either next week or the one after. Tank being replaced tomorrow courtesy of Suzuki UK. Front end next (Race Tech Gold Valves is it?) Thanks for the help and advice guys. It really helps.
Laters...
 

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Well, it's started then. Ordered a Bitubo rear shockie. Should have it either next week or the one after. Tank being replaced tomorrow courtesy of Suzuki UK. Front end next (Race Tech Gold Valves is it?) Thanks for the help and advice guys. It really helps.
Laters...
make sure you get the right spring rate (for your weight) for both front and rear!
 

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Sounds to me like a pretty good plan.

Just so you know it never ends (yaah-ha-ha-HAAAH demonic laugh). Next would be to reduce wheel weight. Cheapest way is to convert to used late-model wheels from a GSXR or SV1000 (consider a 5.5" rear too) and sell your stock wheels, which ends up being a nearly free upgrade but requires a spacer on the discs or calipers up front. Used Carriozerra wheels are another popular option. Or wait until next birthday and get the BST carbon-fiber wheels?

Then, outside the realm of suspension, in my opinion a '97 needs a clutch upgrade to the late-model extra-plate 6-spring unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sounds to me like a pretty good plan.

Just so you know it never ends (yaah-ha-ha-HAAAH demonic laugh). Next would be to reduce wheel weight. Cheapest way is to convert to used late-model wheels from a GSXR or SV1000 (consider a 5.5" rear too) and sell your stock wheels, which ends up being a nearly free upgrade but requires a spacer on the discs or calipers up front. Used Carriozerra wheels are another popular option. Or wait until next birthday and get the BST carbon-fiber wheels?

Then, outside the realm of suspension, in my opinion a '97 needs a clutch upgrade to the late-model extra-plate 6-spring unit.
I'm a bit ahead on this one - I've a gixxer 600 wheel getting sprayed up as we speak, thus reducing the rim width to 5.5" so my 180 section tyre will have a better profile. My clutch was slipping badly (7k - ~9k rpm) so I replaced the plates with an EBC HD set (however on mic'ing them up, they appeared to be almost exactly the same thickness as the originals). I didn't go for a set of HD springs as I believe it can make the clutch a tad heavy. Anyway, for the time being, clutch is behaving itself again. I was after one of Rifleman's clear clutch covers - a mate of mine has one of those nasty TL wannabes (Duke 1098S) with a ccc and it looks the biz. Sent a PM to Rifleman but haven't heard back yet. Is he still participating, do we know? Oh, and I guess I now have a Black TLS tank of a year 2000 TLS for sale. As usual, it has no filler cap or pump etc but it is in very good condition. It isn't originally black (as it was advertised on e-bay when I bought it) but has had a very good respray (with metalflake in it) including cutting in the SUZUKI stickers so that they are completely flat. I just had my '97 tank replaced by SUZUKI UK (TVM!) and now the tank I bought to replace the leaky original is surplus to requirements. So if anyone is interested in the UK???
 

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If you've read my thread: I'm in suspension heaven... (the link is in TLRChris's first post) then you'll know my views on the matter. You've got your Bitubo, so for the front I'd reccomend Race-Tech springs and gold valves, and get them installed and shimmed by someone who knows what they're doing. After i set my sags and fine tuned I decided my front was a bit soft, so I got the installer to add a bit of oil to make the set-up stiffer. It is important that you get springs that suit your weight and riding style; and get it shimmed for the same.

If you can't afford a new steering damper, as I can't; you can drain it and re-fill the stock one with 2.5 wt fork oil. This makes its action a lot lighter, but it'll still save a slapper. Not that this is an issue for me - since my upgrade I've hit ripple strips whilst wot in third, still leaning; before my upgrade that would've induced a good headshake. Now she is completely stable and shows no propensity to slapping at all:).

IMHO the biggest part of getting the most out of new suspension is setting it up correctly. I got a lot of good info on this out of the links in TLRChris's sig. Thanx mate - brilliant. 1st and foremost, SET SAGS:laugh. Read the thread Bouncy Bitubo to see what can happen if you dont :lol. The rest takes time; and make sure you write things down as you do them.

Do all this you'll have a new/old bike that you can fall in love with all over again;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks TLJimmy. Some excellent advice there. I've had a few bikes in my time but have only dabbled in suspension set-ups. I guess the message is set the sag then progress slowly, one step at a time. It looks like the front end rebuild is high on the priority list now. Anyone in the UK (North West) know where'd be good to get that done? I'm off to read Bouncy Bitubo thread now....
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ha! Managed to intercept the delivery of my new Bitubo and Steve from Zion Moto has agreed to upgrade the spring to fat [email protected]$£@^d rate - some good advice from you guys just in the nick'o'time! I checked the rear dynamic sag on my TL with the standard set-up it's running just now. I measured 55mm! I guess that it needed sorting out anyway. Is it easy to adjust the sag with a Bitubo shock? Is it a case of fitting, measuring, removing, adjusting, fitting, measuring, removing, adj..... or can the preload adjustment be carried out with the unit fitted? (Just gettin' me ducks in a row!) It looks like there's damned little access with the SOAS.
 
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