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VTR250 suspension overhaul, whereto?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by smidge, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. i'm fine with filters and greasing and chain maintenance and all that, but seeing as i've gotta keep my '01 VTR for a year from feb 25 i'd like to hand it over to the pro's and get my suspension sorted out and refreshed

    which leads me to ask, which pro in sydney should i visit?

    has anyone with the same or similar bike had that job done and what kind of dollars am i looking at?

    any advice appreciated!
  2. If you just get heavier oil put in, would cost about $150 (the oil is cheap but labour brings it up obviously).

    I just had my SV front end played with, heavier oil and firmer springs and spacers to suit my weight, $350 all up. Gold valve emulators would have increased it by $300ish.

    Rear end.. not heaps that you can do really. I mean unless you want to spend big $ on an aftermarket replacement (read $1500).. and thats assuming they make them for a vtr250, which is somewhat doubtful? Have you set up your preload properly? That takes 10 seconds with a C spanner.. probably get the shop to set it up for you when they do the front but dont let them charge more for it.

    Get it done at a place that advertises one of their features as suspension work as you want someone who knows what they're doing.
  3. i'm happy twirling spanners on known quantities like how much oil to put in

    but i would like, and am happy to pay for, someone to set up my suspension right as i feel like the ride of the bike and the tires are two areas it can be improved on to make me like it more

    will have a look around, where'd you get yours done mr zog?
  4. Motorcycle weaponry in monavale. Quite a trek from down south :D

    Search for suspension threads, I'm sure there will be some places listed there.
  5. Changing the fork oil is easy. Use 15w if the mileage is less than 30,000.

    You need an accurate measuring device - each leg takes 460 ml after draining.

    Remove the top cap on one side only at a time, otherwise the forks will sink to the bottom of their travel with no springs to hold them up! There will probably be a spacer on top of the spring - remove it now.

    Undo the drain screw at the bottom (rear) of the leg. Allow 10 minutes for all the oil to drain, and remove the spring while doing so. Lay it on some newspaper - it will also be covered in oil.

    After a while gently push the forks up and down to remove the last of the oil. Careful, it can spurt out under this pressure - it won't hurt, just make a mess.

    Refit the drain screw and add 460 ml of 15w fork oil. Then insert the spring and the spacer and tighten the top cap.

    Measure the oil accurately - too much can cause a hydraulic lock - there must be space in the leg for the oil to move as the forks move up and down. Too little is not so critical, but it could reduce the lubrication of the components if 100 ml short!

    The volume of oil does not affect the damping (resistance to bouncing), just the amount or affect of the air spring formed by the oil trapping and compressing the air above it, against the fork top cap.

    If you want to evaluate your suspension check out this post:


    The rear shock is not rebuildable or serviceable by normal means. If the damping is weak (it will bounce up and down - see the suspension guide reference above) you can have it overhauled. I used RAD in Brisbane, who cut the shock open and refilled with heavier oil for just $80.

    You should have a rear shock with adjustable preload - see the suspension guide above for how to set it up.

    It's all work (fork oil, rear shock R&R) that an average home mechainic can easily do. Don't be afraid of the task.


    Trevor G
  6. nice one, thanks trevor!

    its for 40k on it, should i go something heavier?

    i'll have to check out the rear shock, as i think its more tired than the front... not 100% on the preload theory but will do some more research
  7. I wouldn't spend much on the suspension of your 250, it's money you'll never get back. Do a fork oil change, it's not hard to do yourself, and see if that makes it better before you go throwing undreds of bucks at it.
  8. No money spent on maintenance ever comes back, it just has to be done.

    We VTR250 owners know that there is nothing around like them, so any money spent brings a glow to our cheeks and a smile to our ears.

    Suspension do-it-yourself cost me less than $120 for both ends.


    Trevor G
  9. Remeber the bounce test. As you ride and hit a bump, if you rise up on the bike you have too little damping. Fresh oil in the forks of the right weight (viscosity) will reduce or eliminate that.

    Don't forget the static bounce test, too. If you are not sure about something, just ask.

    Try 15w oil first - good for practise. It will certainly be much better than the awful stuff Honda left in there. :) I reckon I could go to 20w now.

    BYA the rider weight has no bearing on the damping needed. Damping depends on the rating of the spring fitted. Changing preload does not affect the damping, either.


    Trevor G