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GS500 front springs suggestions

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by bundy, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Hi All,

    picked up a 2nd hand GS and the front suspension, although not great on this model to start with anyway, really needs some work.

    I am bottoming out on a driveway which I go in every day and diving badly under front brakes, so need to do something about it.

    I want to put in a new set of springs (rather than the 20c coins mod) so I want some suggestions.

    Progressive or standard, what are some brands and models I should be looking at, and rough gestimate on price (doing the installation myself)

  2. thanks,

    been to both places,

    seems there are Sonic springs from USA, about $110 delivered here, not too bad,

    but was really wondering if there is an easier alternative from Australia

    might just go the spacers down the tubes for a start, see if that makes any difference


  3. Many years ago I had a problem with soft springs on a Yamaha trail bike, so I drilled through the fork caps and installed a tyre valve stem (ripped out of an old tube) in each one. Then I could just pump in as much air as I needed. Obviously your fork seals have to be in good condition. Bit fiddly to adjust as you're dealing with a small volume above the oil in the fork. I even tried it for a while with no springs and just the air pressure, which worked really well, but felt happier with the springs in, in case a seal leaked.
    Looking at my GS, you'd have trouble with the handlebars being in the way, but you could maybe use some hydraulic banjo fittings to run an air line to a remote valve, maybe link both forks so pressure is always equal.
  4. Your suspension could be bottoming out not because of the spring, but for other reasons.

    The seals may be cactus or the fork oil may be cactus or low.

    Also I don't like rising rate springs. forks are rising rate anyway, due to the air compression in them. so putting a rising rate spring in them makes them go too hard too quickly.

    My understanding is springs are about $100-150 in Aus anyway. Get someone to select a spring for you that suits your weight and the bike.

    given what you've written and the knowledge that the GS is pretty soft I'm guessing you're going to end up with a spring about 20% stiffer and maybe longer too (depending on the internal geometry of the standard set up).
  5. thanks guys,

    if I were to pop the fork caps off, how would I tell if the oil level is low on a GS?

    and how do you tell if it is stuffed? I have read that it turns pretty ugly fairly quickly, but although looking greyish, still works fine


  6. To check the fork oil level, you need to remove the fork caps (Be careful! If you haven't done it before, ask.) then take out the spacers and springs. Fully compress the forks. Now measure from the top of the fork leg to the oil. For your model, this should be 91mm. If you don't know when it was last changed its worth replacing the oil as it gradually deteriorates with use. Its easier doing all this with the forks out and its not a hard job. I just did mine and it took an hour without rushing.
  7. thanks,

    I have read you have to be careful with the pressure that the caps are under when taking them off, and not to cross thread them when putting them back on.

    Might have a look on the weekend

    Any other tips?


  8. You'll have to take the handlebars off first, but you can leave all the levers, switches etc on them, just rest the bars on the tank (but put some padding on the tank first, or it WILL get scratched!). When you slide the forks back in, make sure the rubbers on the headlamp brackets don't get caught and twisted.
    Good luck!