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VTR250 - no shock damp(ing!)

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by I Adore Vic, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. Hey all. Has anyone else had a problem with the shock absorber on the their VTR250? It came to my attention on the weekend that I have no damping at all. It's like riding a pogo stick. Looks like hte seal has failed and oil's leaked out and now I have to take it in to the mechanics to get the whole thing replaced. It's a warranty job so I don't have to worry about $$ but yeah, the inconvenience is a pain. Hope it's sorted soon.

    From those I've spoken to, this isn't a normal occurance. The oil should only need to be replaced every 30000km or so. Spewing.
  2. Well with your big fat butt what do you expect :p (actualy it's a rather tidy cute butt :oops: ).
    but nope it'd be pretty rare for that to happen on a bike these days.
  3. Actually woodsy, I don't mind being accused of having a big fat butt - beats being told I don't have one...(pooh). :LOL:

    And I was told that it wasn't my fault! So there :p
  4. That sort of thing usually only happens if a bike has been sorely mistreated, wheelie-jumped over speed humps, stoppied and generarlly flogged by a large fat rider.

    ...Which is odd, can't think of how that might have happened to yours!

    /I keeding, I keeding!
  5. i've got that prob too.... had a few close calls where the back wheel has skiped mid corner.... aghh new underpants :oops:

    need to get that fixed next pay
  6. Yeah I had a couple of interesting moments like that on Tawonga gap...didn't know at the time it was the suspension. Just put it down to the extra weight on the back of the bike (loaded with bag and tent etc) and a rear tyre that needs replacing.

    How bad is your Ed? Any oil still leaking or is it pretty much all gone and you're riding it with nothing there? (mine's stopped leaking cos there's nothing left to leak). I ask because I'd like to keep riding mine and just take it easy, but am worried about doing damage to myself or further damage to the bike. Just till the warranty gets sorted and they can fix it.
  7. mine leaked out on the trip.. :( and i've been broke since then...
    next pay should be golden ticket... also need front springs as i'm missing 8cm of the left fork :-O
    might have to start pimping my self out....

  8. But you're still riding it? Right? Cos then if anything happens I can just say 'Well Ed's still riding his!' ;) :LOL:
  9. Re: VTR250 - no shock damper

    speak to someone that knows that what they are talking about and you will find 30K is way overdue for the oil
  10. Re: VTR250 - no shock damper

    I have just had my 24000 km service done and no mention of it.
  11. We're talking rear shock? You won't find changing the oil in any of the service guides. It's a general recommendation and good practice (+ you'll notice how much nicer it is to ride), but the age or condition of the oil won't cause it to leak unless you have had something go wrong and you've continued to ride it.

    Shocks DO wear out, especially cheaper models, but normally a change of oil improves this markedly. Forks are generally easier to service and repair, rears are harder due to their construction. Some are sealed, some or serviceable. Serviceable shocks can be rebuilt by most good suspension shops.

    It's a Honda, they're good about warranty items unless you've neglected or abused the bike.
  12. It's the rear cejay. The bike's been regularly serviced at the correct intervals. It's last service was approx 2000km ago. Nothing was mentioned at the service about it.

    It's covered by warranty so hopefully this will all be sorted out soon - with no further problems.

    I was told by the mechanic that it's through no fault of my own - unless I had a heap of dry mud or stuff around it, which I haven't.

    Johnnie - the guy I spoke to about it is pretty knowledgable when it comes to bikes. Like Pete said, he's just had the 24k service and no mention of it. This bike's only done 16000km.
  13. Re: VTR250 - no shock damping!

    Firstly, the "damper" is the name for the shock body - you still have one of those but it has lost its "damping". It no longer controls the bounciness of the steel spring.

    Is there oil leaking out down the body of the damper unit?

    If not, it possibly has suffered internal damage - a valve is stuck off its seat, or the spring steel washer which contols the "shim" which is the actual valve might have broken. If it is under warranty still then none of this matters - they will simply replace it and bin it, or send it back to Honda.

    In my case, damping was not great when I bought the bike at 21,000 km. It got progressively worse until at 33,000 km (a month ago) I sent it away to be rebuilt. These shocks, like most motorcycle units, are not rebuildable - they are cut open and then rewelded shut after the repair is completed.

    There is no maintenance that a normal rider or mechanic can provide for a rear shock - there is no procedure to change the oil. This link has the story and contact details for the QLD firm who did an excellent repair on mine, which only needed fresh oil. The usual quote for a non-rebuildable shock is around $300. I was quoted $180, and only charged $80.

    >> They won't let me post the link - I am under 5 :-( <<

    >> It's in the "Modifications and Projects" forum under "Adjusting the ride height on the VTR250"

    The ride is much better now. Mind you, even as it was, I never experienced any handling problems due to the lack of damping - these bikes have an incredible frame-to-power quotient!


    Trevor G
  14. Thanks Trevor. Up until Sunday I never knew what damping was. There's no signs of oil leaking but I put that down to it having all leaked. The guy who noticed the problem said it's probably been like that for a while.

    Thanks for the handy info/'link'. I'm taking it in this morning to get looked at. Am also determined to get to know the workings of this bike a bit better. The chain became very loose over the wknd as well - this could have been caused by the rear shock problem.
  15. Re rear chain getting loose:

    They need adjustment from time to time. Do you use chain lube?

    Chain lube does not help the chain as much as it helps the sprockets, since the chain will be a sealed, O-ring type. Lubing the chain (on the inside, rather than the outside run of the chain) keeps the sprockets lubed and reduces wear.

    If you lube your chain frequently, just a little at a time, the centre rollers should always appear black, never shiney. I always do this with chain driven bikes and very seldom replace sprockets - they just do not wear unless neglected. I am talking about 50,000 km on sprockets...

    If you allow the chain to wear too much before replacing it it will also cause undue sprocket wear. It's much cheaper in the long run to correctly and frequently lube the chain and never have to replace sprockets, than take the "no maintenance" approach.

    A chain is very unlikely to suddenly stretch. It is more likely that it has worn unevenly and unless you have a rear wheel stand and spin the wheel to lube the chain and check its tension, you probably would not notice this unless the bike just happened to stop with the loose part of the chain hanging down. Move the wheel a little further and you will probably see the chain "tighten up". That's why, when you adjust the chain, you must always rotate the wheel to find the tightest point and adjust that to have the required slack.


    Trevor G

    PS You are doing well!! ;-)
  16. Yeah but I didn't lube this chain as often as I should have (was slack about it). It's not looking too good so am replacing it with a new one which I'll be looking after better. :wink:

    Wow..loads of info there Trevor. Thanks. I get what you're saying. Spoke about chain tension with the mechanic as well and after speaking with him and you and watching the guys tighten it on Sunday, I'm feeling fine about having to adjust it whenever the time comes.

    As for the rear shock, they took photos of it today and emailed these through to Honda. Hopefully get an immediate okay back from Honda and if so, might have ti all done by next Wednesday (when they do the chain and new rear tyre and new rear brake pad as well - purse says OUCH!)

    lol..thanks for the encouragement. You've provided some really clear and easy to understand information for which I'm thankful...not easy for me to get my head around this stuff..not for me anyway.

    Am also interested in doing a basic maintenance course - will have a look at what's available.

    Ta again :)

  17. I find that in 5,000 km with frequent lubing that you only need to move each chain adjuster about 1/4 turn.

    It's important not to overtighten a chain - it should never show "tension" but should always have the required amount of slack. A tight chain will pass by with a distinct "whirring" sound - very bad because it wears out gearbox/countershaft bearings and rear wheel/drive sprocket bearings.

    If you start with the chain just a little bit tight (in other words, not enough slack) and go for a ride it actually gets tighter!

    The other thing to watch is wheel alignment. As you adjust the chain adjusters the wheel can move sideways as well as back. In other words, if you don't adjust both sides evenly then the wheel can end up pointing one way or the other.

    There are several tricks which can be used - I just sight along the rear wheel towards the front, and then move my head to each side until I can see the appropriate edge of the front wheel. At the same time I look at how much of each sidewall is showing on the back wheel (and after making sure that the front wheel is always pointing dead straight ahead).

    You need good light on both sides of the bike for this to work, and a stand so that the front wheel does not flop over to the side.

    Alternatively, as long as you adjust each side in turn just a little, as long as the bike shop has correctly aligned the rear wheel when they adjusted the chain, then you should be OK. The marks provided on the swing arm for chain/rear wheel alignment are usually not accurate.


    Trevor G
  18. jeez rosie, youve had some bad luck with this bike.
    mines done 55000kms now, so i guess im a tad overdue for a fork oil change? :LOL: (and sooooo much other stuff)
  19. The rear shock went on my GS, just got it fixed today (under warranty YAY!)

    The main issue of riding around with a shock with no damping is that if you go through a dip in the road, the shock compresses and then decompresses with enough force to possibly throw you off, or near off the bike. Take it easy in those bits of roads.

    Cheaper bikes come with a rear shock that is sealed, and as such can't be rebuilt and can't have the oil replaced, but should last longer (yea right :roll: ). They need to be replaced, and it will be expensive to replace with an OEM part (The one for the GS was $400 odd without labour). Given that cost, you might find it worth while tracking down a second hand one, or aftermarket if it doesn't get covered under warranty.