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Need your input on installing progressive front springs

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  • Need your input on installing progressive front springs

    My 2008 has 71,000 miles so I figure it would be a good thing to rebuild the front forks and install progressive springs at the same time. I weigh 180 lb and ride solo and would like your feedback if you have installed progressive springs.
    1. Did you cut the PVC spacers to the length that is recommended in the instructions?
    2. What weight fork oil do you suggest?
    3. What measurement did you use from the top of the oil to the top of the tubes?
    4. One set of my new OEM tube shims/spacers appear to be Teflon coated but the other pair do not. Is this normal?
    5. I currently have three large washers at the top of each spring to add a little bit of extra preload. Will I need these with the progressive springs?
    6. Will these springs ride a little bit stiffer than the OEM springs?
    7. Will the progressive springs eliminate some of my side to side wobble as I'm doing high-speed sweepers?

  • #2
    Steve, I run 10w Bel Ray fork oil, which is a very good oil. The bike that I'm working on now has Progressive springs, and I cut the pvc pipe to match the upper tube top. The only pre load is cap thickness. Having said that, I just started to ride this bike and getting a feel on the suspension. I'm thinking that it should have a little more pre load, so knowing your bike I would cut the pvc pipe to add another inch. With the upper tube fully extended, springs in place, the pvc should be about 1" out of the top. When putting the cap on you will be pushing it down to thread it back on.
    I've found that the ride is smoother and am happy with the progressive springs. The progressive springs are quite different then the OEM springs because the more the springs are compressed the more pressure rates are different. Progressive springs are soft at first but the rate gets harder and harder as the shocks collapse. I think I said that right? So your ride shouldn't be stiffer.
    Oil level should be the same as stock. From the top of the inner tube, and the inner tube fully collapsed, no spring in it, the level should be 4.33" from the top. 18.7oz. or .589qts
    As for the washers, I myself would only use one between springs, pvc and cap. It shouldn't matter if teflon coated or not. I would use the teflon coated washers above the springs, below the pvc.
    Not sure about the side to side wobble?

    Comment


    • Shores
      Shores commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Duke. I'm drawing a blank on the items that I said we're not coated with teflon. They are not washers, they are the bushings that attach to the top and bottom of the upper tube and allow the upper tube to slide up and down in the lower tube. One set appears to be Teflon coated and the other set appears to be just raw copper.

    • Duke
      Duke commented
      Editing a comment
      I believe your talking about the slide bearings? If they're the bearings, then the upper bearings are a little larger then the lower bearings.

    • MikeyC
      MikeyC commented
      Editing a comment
      I know that side to side that your talking about on high speed sweepers, gets iffy sometimes. Gets worse if you hit a bump mid corner.

  • #3
    Originally posted by Duke View Post
    I believe your talking about the slide bearings? If they're the bearings, then the upper bearings are a little larger then the lower bearings.
    They are just called metal slides on the parts diagram. They are the only parts that wear in the front fork tubes that you replace. I can’t remember if it is the upper or lower pair, but why do one set of my new ones appear to be Teflon coated and the other pair are not coated and just appear as raw metal? When I did my Vulcan forks, both upper and lower were coated.

    Comment


    • Duke
      Duke commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm not sure why they are different Steve. Are the teflon bearings the same size?

  • #4
    Shores I recently done my springs with Progressive. Followed instructions on cut tube length, used 10w oil to oem spec height with tube fully compressed and did not use spring washer spacer for more preload. I am really happy with the results. They are stiffer than the oem but I find it good this way. Not too sure on the side to side wobble you have.

    I was surprised that the oem spring was not a progressive type spring but rather a straight wound spring. On the XS 650 forums plenty of guys were using straight wound with emulators. But not many were using the progressive wound with emulators. So not real sure why Yamaha would use a straight wound in a heavy bike like the Roadstar? JC

    Comment


    • #5
      Both pairs of metal slides need to be teflon coated.The larger ones are coated on the inside and the smaller ones are coated on the outside. The coating is the material that wears. When I installed Progressive springs I noticed an immediate difference. The forks are very compliant to even the slightest imperfections in the road. I cut the spacers to the recommended length (6 1/2"). Use the supplied washers between the spacers and the springs. No washers above the spacers. I used 5w fork oil to the levels specified in the book.. I can't tell you if there is a better weight or volume of oil because that is all I used so I have nothing to compare. The springs get progressively stiffer as they compress so your forks won't bottom so easily with hard braking. You can always add or subtract to your spacers and/or oil volume later. Make sure your metal slides are coated.

      Comment


      • #6
        Thanks for all the replies you guys! And Cooch, bingo! You win the case of beer for identifying that the large bushings are coated on the inside and the small ones are coated on the outside. I couldn't see that until I took them out of the package. I was waiting to remove everything until I got the forks disassembled. I'm ready to hoist the handlebars up to the rafters with rope and pull the tubes out. lots of disassembly and reassembly so I want to get it right the first time and not have to go back in there again to change spacers, preload or oil. Thanks everyone!

        Comment


        • Chooch
          Chooch commented
          Editing a comment
          If you get a chance post some pictures of your suspension system No, not your forks, the suspension system that suspends your bike from the rafters. It sounds interesting.

      • #7
        Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_20210516_121503389.jpg Views:	1 Size:	3.37 MB ID:	122420
        Originally posted by Chooch View Post
        If you get a chance post some pictures of your suspension system No, not your forks, the suspension system that suspends your bike from the rafters. It sounds interesting.
        Just two ropes across the rafters and down to the handlebars to suspend the handlebars and top Triple tree so that I don't have to disassemble the handlebars from the triple tree. I'm not suspending the bike, the front of the frame is on a long 4x6 block that I leverage up with a steel pipe handle. It's much more stable than a jack when you just need to lift the front or the rear wheel.Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_20210516_121517299.jpg Views:	0 Size:	3.42 MB ID:	122419

        Comment


        • Chooch
          Chooch commented
          Editing a comment
          Simple and Reliable. I like it.

      • #8
        I too recently changed to the Progressive on a 2003. Cut pvc per instructions, which made them the same as stock when placed in tube. I used 10w per instructions, which is less than stock. I placed closer coils on bottom, which may take up more space. I now “feel” more of the road imperfections (it’s stiffer and at first seemed like something was wrong). But when I stop now with the handle bars turned it does not “dive” causing me to pucker! That and the Roadwing has created a totally different suspension. I am liking it. Side to side wobble - I do not know.

        also - if you have a boat prop wrench, it works perfectly for tightening the neck bolts. The prong was for bending tabs, but my Mercruiser prop wrench worked perfectly.

        Comment


        • Shores
          Shores commented
          Editing a comment
          I believe the stock oil is 5w. I used 7w last time and will try to use 10 this time. I am not removing the steering stem since I did the bearings already. I'm just doing the fork tubes.

      • #9
        Both are supposed to be teflon coated. If one isn't, it's worn down to bare metal.
        You can tell that's happening when you dump the oil and it looks like black coffee.
        Mine was like that when I put in Progressive springs at around 35k miles.
        I went with 7.5wt oil (mix 10 & 5 @ 50/50 ratio), spacers same as stock.
        Rides fantastic & I could feel the improvement before I was out of the driveway.

        Comment


        • #10
          I got the tubes taken apart and reassembled yesterday. The slide bearings were all Teflon coated, one pair on the outside of the bearing and the other pair on the inside of the bearing. I just couldn't see it looking through the package. I plan on using 10 weight fork oil. Is that too heavy for my weight of 180 lb with no fairing on the front?

          Comment


          • #11
            How was the old bushings? And how much mileage was on them?

            Comment


            • #12
              Originally posted by Jclevesque View Post
              How was the old bushings? And how much mileage was on them?
              About 50K mi on the bushings and half of the Teflon on the lower bushings was gone, which is on the outside of the bushings and it didn't appear any of the Teflon was gone on the upper bushings which is on the outside of the bushings. The oil was a very dark gray, the color of the teflon. I had 7w oil in there and will be putting in 10w oil.

              Comment


              • #13
                So I just finished the job and took it out for a couple test rides over the bumpiest roads I could find. Wow! As great of an improvement as when I added the road wing to the rear. Much smoother hitting potholes, in fact I found myself looking for them. What a cheap improvement! About 200 bucks for the springs, bushings, oil seals and new fork oil. You need to read the instructions carefully. The OEM fluid level is 4.33" below the top of the tubes but the instructions say do not go less than 5.5" because the progressive springs will displace more oil. I followed that suggestion as well as the recommended 6.6" length of the provided PVC pipe. I used 10w Belray fork oil. The tube caps were even easy to install by myself. Now on to lube the swingarm bearings and order a clear view windshield with a vent and recurve.

                Comment


                • #14
                  Congrats! Progressive springs has been on my list for a while and I think your experience has pushed me over the top.

                  Comment

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