Here it is:
Since we all want to make our bikes "ours", we personalize them in many ways, and other ways, we put improved products on like everyone else, but stop shy of truly tailoring them to our exact needs. Suspension is probably the place this happens most. The most popular standard spring rate for a factory installed straight rate spring is .7KG-MM
. That is a good spring for a rider who is about 175 pounds or so. We big 'ol corn fed country boys need springs that are .9-1.0 KG-MM in out forks for a good front end feel on the Road Star.
Now, I have nothing personally against Progressive Suspension, and have bought rear shocks from them for several bikes, and have been pleased with the results.
For my own preference however, the progressive rate springs do not give me the consistency in front end feel that I like, which I first observed in a Used EX500 I had bought with progressive springs in it, and switched to Race Tech straight rate springs. I did not install emulators in this bike, but the springs alone where a big leap forward toward what I felt the front should do.
Not long after buying my 2002 Suzuki SV650, I decided to re-suspend, as I'm much bigger than the "universal rider" it's budget suspension was set up for. I installed a Showa racing rear shock off a GSX-R750 on the back, with a Race Tech straight rate spring, and serviced it with 7.5 WT (vs original 5 wt) oil, and 120 PSI
of nitrogen Set the static sag, and called that end good. In the forks, I installed Race Tech springs, and gold valve cartridge emulators, which give you the ability to tune your damping rate via a calibrated orifice and tuneable spring. In order for them to function correctly, you must drill out the damping rod orifices at the bottom of the damping rod, that are the original metering. Instructions are in the kit. The damping rate on the valve is controlled by a straight rate spring on what is essentially a pop-off valve. Very small bumps are absorbed by the springs, and the air that is present over the oil in the top of the tube. Once the air is compressed to the point of exceedng the cracking pressure of the valve, the valve opens a metered amount and allows fluid damping through it's orifices. If you want less diving under braking, just raise the oil level a tad and force the damping to begin earlier that way. It is a balancing act, but most find that even the base settings are MILES ahead of stockers, and a great improvement over springs alone.