Bluey and I have covered over 70,000km (45,000 miles) since she’s been with me.
To date, our time together has been relatively trouble-free, with only a sprocket carrier bearing and the usual wear and tear items needing replacement.
Things like brake pads and tyres… the usual stuff.
You might be thinking the bearing failed prematurely (66,000km – 41,000 miles) because I didn’t keep to the maintenance schedule.
You’d be right if the bike in question was only ever ridden when the sun was shining and never left sealed pavement.
This is not true for Bluey and I.
We’re together daily, and get caught in some wicked storms, like the one in this link <link>; and it’s not unusual to find ourselves 10km (6 miles) up some dirt road.
Her rear shock has always been set on 6 of 7 clicks compression, even with just me on her.
So it came as no surprise when Bluey started to lose some of her sure-footed-ness in corners, and a bit Pogo stick like on undulating surfaces.
I’ll admit I’m no lightweight, tipping the scales at around 100kg (200 lbs). So that probably doesn’t help either; factory suspension being what it is and all.
Yes, I know, I know. I’m heavy bugger; but it’s only because I’ve got big stomach bones.
With so many miles under her wheels and the combined weight of me, the pillion and all our luggage being carted about all over the east coast of Australia a few months ago, it was inevitable that aforementioned recipe would produce the straw that broke the camels back.
Obviously, I’m not a full on head for the hills and scratch the foot-pegs kind of rider. So spending mega-bucks on an Ohlins setup was not even on the radar.
Far too many dollars for this little ghost.
As a cost saving measure I looked into rebuilding the rear shock… but was told it was not rebuild-able.
Then in the same breath was told it could be made rebuild-able, with some modifications (?!).
This would come at a cost of AU$350.
Add to that, AU$200 for a new up-rated spring and I was looking at AU$550.
This of course was dependent on the factory valving being serviceable. If the valving was beyond repair, I was looking at an additional AU$200 for gold valves.
That’s AU$750 all up, plus courier costs. I’d also be without Bluey for at least a week.
It soon became apparent this route was not going to be as cost-effective as initially though.
Particularly when you consider that you can get an entry-level aftermarket shock with continuous adjustment on pre-load, custom spring rate, rebuild-able and comes with a 5 year warranty for about the same money.
You can guess which way I’ve decided to go with this exercise can’t you?
Chuck in a set of progressives springs for the front, and Bobs your uncle and Fanny’s your aunt: A suspension setup that’s a huge improvement over the factory, or any rebuilt offering.
So a week ago, I persuaded the minister for finance to release the required funds, and ordered new suspension for Bluey.
In all honesty, I’ve spent more than I wanted too.
I figured its a long-term investment, and it’s better to be happy with the result than to regret not doing it right in the first place.
I’m really looking forward to the new suspension, and the return of Bluey’s sure-footed-ness.
… Now, where did I leave that workshop manual?
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