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As we all know the suspension is very poor. I am considering changing springs and adding valves. Can I get some opinions from those who have already done so? and if the results were worth the effort and expense. Just valves or just springs or both??
 

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I have the most advanced mod you can have, and it's not worth it with the limited travel.

Even the guy who did the mods say that stiffer springs and heavier oil would have done just about the same, because the fork only has an effective travel of one third of a modern motorcycle.

The front end is very planted and never bottoms out, but the comfort is sadly lacking.
 

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RaceTech springs, cartridge emulators and 15 wt. fork oil work fine for me. No bottoming and good ride. I've done this mod on a 2008 and 2011 650. I also changed the rear shocks to Ikons.
 

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It is a scooter w/ limited suspension travel from the factory. Save your money and deal w/ rough roads or ride it on smooth. Or buy a BMW and have good suspension but many other problems.
 

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I think most street bikes are about 6" travel at the front, and the Burg 650 is about 4". It suffers for it, yes, but it's not hopeless. In my case, Sonic Springs first. About $80 for stiffer straight rate springs. With the recommended preload spacers, it was better than stock. No diving. Rough urban pavement beats you up a bit though.

Then came the RT emulators. Not sure they did a whole lot to be honest--maybe when I hit bumps in a turn. They didn't transform the ride as the springs did. $150 or so, but someone sells knockoffs on the web for $30. Bit of a nuisance to install with all the drilling/cleaning.

Decided that the dual straight springs were too stiff, even though the Sonic guy recommended less than the calculator. So I took one of the new fork springs out and replaced the stocker--but kept the shorter preload spacer. Rides more compliant without much penalty, IMO. A bit of dive, though very predictable, doesn't bottom out, still composed over nasty roadways. 10w oil.

I'm largely happy at this point, IKON shocks in the back. Still, I intend to return the other stock spring using the shorter preload spacer, just to see if I can get a smoother response. Suzuki may have given us decent springs after all (230 lb rider).

New springs and oil are good, cheap fix. Try slightly softer than suggested, since the calculators are designed around front heavy bikes with more performance.
 

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It is a scooter w/ limited suspension travel from the factory. Save your money and deal w/ rough roads or ride it on smooth. Or buy a BMW and have good suspension but many other problems.
I 2nd that.. save your money and just enjoy the B650 for what it is. When I want a better ride, I use my Goldwing 1800 F6B. When I want something lighter and easier to handle that can park in tight places, I use my Metropolitan 50cc scooter. Before I had the BMW R1200R and F800GS and yes, the suspension is so much better, while my Goldwing 1800 could out tour my R1200 and F800. I won't even get into all the recalls I got on my BMW F800 and quirks with the R1200-something I learned to accept begrudgingly.

There is no way that my Goldwing 1800 will have the versatility of the Burgman 650. In so many ways the B650 is a better all around bike than my Goldwing 1800.

If I had to choose only 1 bike "AS IS" to commute, tour, cruise, etc., I would choose the Burgman 650.

Living in L.A., traffic bumper-to-bumper most the day, freeways jams, freeway traffic construction at night. The Goldwing 1800 is no picnic even with good suspension.

If you really can't handle the Burgman 650, then I suggest the BMW F800GS. Beautiful suspension in daily traffic and can cruise at 80+mph feeling relaxed, with great ergonomics. There are trade offs in reliability. The BMW F800GS is a dual purpose bike with wonderful suspension on&off road for a mid-size bike, more performance than the Burgman 650.

It's the "TRADE OFFS" that the experienced bikers who own the B650 or B400 don't want to compromise. Sometimes buying another bike is the only solution as it has been for myself. Personally I don't want to put any more money into my K-9. As long as my CVT is doing well I'm happy.
 

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I just had a set of progressive springs for my 1980 Goldwing 1100 sitting on the floor one day and thought HUMMMM. I took my forks apart, flushed out the dark factory fluid and replace the same volumn with Chrysler spec ATF +4. The ATF+4 is a true 10W fluid and is safe for fork seals. Most aftermarket fork oils are so off in the weight rating with some brands 15W being as heavy as another brands 5W, there is no set standard. ATF's have to meet strict standards.

I then removed the steel spring spacer and cut my GW's springs just a bit longer than the steel spacer. This combo does give me a bit more fork travel.

I also bought two new rear Progressive brand shocks and springs and the front and rear combo is very good.
 

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I think most street bikes are about 6" travel at the front, and the Burg 650 is about 4". .
Suzuki says 4", but in reality it's only about 3", as they use some kind of gross measuring method, akin to the way fuel tank capacity is listed.

Missing one out of 15" makes less difference than missing one out of four inches.
 

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It's probably measured to the bump stop, which nobody wants to hit to begin with. ;)

Still, I disagree with the "leave it" camp. Spending a bit of cash makes a real difference, at least with my 2003 beater. A brand new 650 might be different story--who knows what little tweaks were made by Suzuki over the years?:confused:
 

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Suzuki says 4", but in reality it's only about 3", as they use some kind of gross measuring method, akin to the way fuel tank capacity is listed.

Missing one out of 15" makes less difference than missing one out of four inches.
I mixed up centimeters and inches, I meant 6 inches/15cm

15 inch suspension travel is monster truck territory.
 

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MXers are getting up there--a stock klx450r has 12.5" travel.

Grave Digger XII is 28" front, 30" rear.:cool:
 

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I have Hagon Progressive Fork springs on my Burg 650 and it has vastly improved the front end. It is planted in the twisties and the braking is greatly improved, with no nodding dog syndrome. Essential upgrade for not much money (£88) I also have Hagons on the rear and this bike handles far better than stock.
I am into suspension upgrades, all my bikes have it, my BM has approx £1500 worth of Wilbers on it, my V1 has Nitron rear and HPA plus Hyperpro Fork Springs, likewise does my DL 650.

The Big Burg for £250 can be transformed down the Hagon route - Simples and its British as well. Ask for the upgraded rears if you are a little heavier or carry a pillion.

WM
 

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If you're not a little heavy, two massive steel rods will be a good substitute for Hagon shocks, at least with the springs you get when you buy them in UK.

Bonus tip: The stock Burgman rear springs fit nicely on the Hagon shocks.
 

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Fiddle-De-Dee

Swapped the other stock spring back into the right fork, keeping the 160mm preload spacer (vs Suzuki's 200mm). Went for a ride. Results?

--Felt slightly busier, you could feel the road more, though not in a harsh way. Driveway curbs and expansion joints weren't as thumpy as before. Not sure what role the emulators are playing, but shorter PVC spacers and 15W are a very cheap fix.

--Braking feels okay at this point, no excessive dive, or that sudden wallowing in downhill turns. Turning actually seems more responsive. The handlebars were slightly off-center (just noticed today, about 3/8"), which could have been the cause.

--No highway runs yet. My commute will be a good urban test this week. So far, so good. ;)
 

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Was a bit quiet this weekend, so I decided to fiddle with the suspension a bit more. The previous setup didn't exhibit any bad manners, street or slab. Railway crossings (worst challenge) and street humps were okay, even with some speed. I'm just determined to tame those manhole covers--they litter the roads every 20 feet around here.

So how about even less preload? From 160mm plastic tubes (+3 washers) to 140mm ones (+1 washer). Early results? No bad manners, front end stays composed under hard braking (smell those EBCs!). The scoot feels "flat" for want of a better term, especially in turns and the steering feels the same. Holds a line and comes to a stop predictably. Always a small, but perceptible wobble before.

Needs more testing on the commute tomorrow. It feels easier to accelerate somehow, but could be imagining it--could be the perceived stability giving me more confidence?
 

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Sorry to be a nuisance. Nothing but good results today. The more notorious bumps and the rail crossing on my route were held at bay more effectively. Recessed manholes and the ever popular exposed concrete road bed were more resistant, but it's hard to fault Suzuki for those outliers. Toronto is absolutely shameful when it comes to maintenance.

Braking and accelerating still feels smoother and more planted. Need some highway runs to gather more information. Going to wait a bit before adjusting the damping at the rear.

YMMV, don't try this at home, consult with certified suspension experts and so on.
 
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