Rear Shock Replacement

August 19, 2008

Note: Today, as I read, and edited this article for my blog, I smiled a healthy grin. In the first paragraph, I make the note of, 30,000 miles as how long the OEM Suzuki shock lasted me. As of today, (February 21, 2012), I have just about 100,000 miles on my motorcycle. That means 70,000, very hard miles on my Hyperpro shock! I would purchase another in a heartbeat!

At 30,000 miles, and with the type of riding I do, my Suzuki OEM rear shock has worn out.  The shock would nearly bottom out over fairly small pot holes, and the rear wheel would badly “track cracks” in the road.  There was a vertical “softness” and a lateral instability of the rear end of the bike.  I have had to significantly “dial back” my style of riding and eliminate my usual long weekend trips, until I could find a shock that fit my priority list of “wishes” and have it built and shipped to me.  That has been a six week wait!  (OUCH!!  Three weeks to gather extra, non-budgeted funds and research, and three weeks to have the shock built and shipped to me.).

I began to do online research to see what shocks were available and what riders were saying about each one.  The purchase cost of the shock was a top concern for me, along with a good warranty and future maintenance, (rebuilding), of the shock.

I settled on a Hyperpro 460 model shock.  It has no “bells or whistles” to add to the purchase cost.  It has a 5 year warranty. The sales and service shop is located on the East Coast of theUS, ( [url]http://www.wilbersusa.com/[/url]).

There are no questions as to “how” I ride and “where” I ride and on what surfaces, (I try to find the dirt!).  By providing this information to Hyperpro, the company was able to build a rear shock that fits me better then the OEM shock.  Also, without the, “Maybe I will ride like this”, or “maybe ride like that”, or “maybe on this”, or “maybe on that.”, I was able to save some money by not building in some of the extras that you will find on other aftermarket shocks.  I could have purchased a 461 model shock, but it would have cost a couple hundred bucks more.  It would also cost more in the future to have the shock rebuilt.  My main goal was to purchase a relatively low cost, very good quality, simple solution for my bike.  The shock was $614 delivered to my door.  I installed it myself, which was very, very easy to do.

First, here is the packaging of the Hyperpro shock.  Tough, plastic case. Shock, manual, tools and cap.  On the inside lid of the plastic case, there is an adhesive label that has all of the specifics of my custom shock.  This same label was affixed to the shipping invoice as well as the instruction manual.  Attention to detail!!!

Here is a shot of the Hyperpro lying next to the OEM Suzuki shock.  The lack of “meat” at the bottom of the Hyperpro shock is a concern to me compared to the OEM shock.  I’ll just have to trust in the engineers on this one.  The length of the shaft, (seen inside of the spring), of the shock is longer and of a larger diameter on the Hyperpro then on the OEM shock.

I placed the motorcycle on its centerstand.

I removed my luggage.  I did not want to impede side access to the rear end of the bike.

Next, I removed the rear wheel assembly to provide maximum clearance workspace.

Then, I removed the seat to provide access to the top of the shock and also to cast more light to the situation.

Not having done a “shock swap” before, out of a “stability concern”, I decided to block up the swing arm to better support the motorcycle.

Disassembly began with removing the hydraulic preload reservoir.

I found that there is a clip that holds the preload hose to the frame of the bike.  I slid the hose out of the clip.

I loosened, and removed, the bottom cushion lever rod bolt from the cushion lever.  The bolt was a little tough to pull out, so I gently tapped it out with a hammer while using an Allen wrench as a drift.

With the lower cushion lever rod bolt removed, I swung the cushion lever rods upward, and out of the way.  (I temporarily fastened the rods in the upward position.)

With the lower lever rod bolt removed, the swing arm could be blocked up even higher to give better access to the shock area.

Next, I removed the bottom shock absorber bolt.

Then, I removed the top shock absorber bolt.  When doing this, I noticed that when I tried to pull the bolt from the shock, there was not much clearance on the left side of the bike for its removal.  I decided that, during reassembly, I would insert the bolt from the right side of the bike, (nut on the left.)

Finally, I was able to slide the OEM shock out.  I said a few kind words of “Thank You” to it for literally saving my butt.  I gently placed it in the shipping box that my new shock arrived in, so that it could get some much deserved rest.

I slid the new Hyprerpro shock in place.  I Inserted the top bolt from the right side of the bike, having the nut on the left side; much easier.  I tightened the nut, but decided to torque it after I got the shock fully installed.

I inserted the bottom shock bolt into place.  To match the top bolt, I kept the nut on the left side.

Then, using my torque wrench, I torqued the top and bottom shock bolts.

I dropped down the cushion rod levers and installed their bolt; keeping the nut on the left for simplicity.

I reassembled the rear wheel.  This was a perfect opportunity for me to reverse the axle bolt; having the nut on the left side of the bike, (See? Everything is the same…….).  I did this so that, during future jobs, when installing the axle bolt, it can hold the brake caliper and bushing, while I wrestled with the wheel. It’s an “extra pair of hands” to me!

Next I adjusted the chain, and double checked all of my work before my test ride.

A fellow rider, who has anABSequipped version of the DL-650 V-Strom, (Mine is not anABSbike.), wrote to me with the following suggestion.

“I want to add my experience regarding changing the shock on anABSequipped bike. I don’t know if it applies to others but for me the biggest, by far, problem was getting the stock remote preload adjuster out.  After spending a good half hour wondering how others took it off so easily, I came to the conclusion that no route was feasible without removing stuff.  So, I unbolted the bolt holding theABSbox to the subframe, the one on the right near the original place of the adjuster.  I also unscrewed the two screws holding the rear brake pump in place. Then I wedged theABSsupport and slid the preload adjuster hose under it.  I moved the hose and remote adjuster behind the loose brake pump and it was free.  It then came off easily when dropping the shock.  Everything else went smoothly and super easy.”

Barry B.

“Black Lab”

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Categories: Rear Suspension | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Rear Shock Replacement

  1. Excellent tutorial – as a 7K ABS owner, I don’t relish doing this one day but having your guide for the one-man approach I will also have to use is a big help. Thanks!

    • V-chops

      Thanks BL, I’m about to do this very same job and knew you had done same. If I follow your tutorial I’ll have no probs.

  2. Stephen Lay

    Yes this is great. I am starting this tom. Tomorrow and this will help a lot. I have an ABS bike so I appreciate the added comments.

  3. Bill

    Excellent guide. I’ll be replacing mine in a week or two. Thanks!

  4. Bill

    Job complete! Thanks for the excellent write-up. It totally gave me the confidence to try this myself in my own garage. I didn’t remove the rear wheel and it was no trouble at all.

  5. Michael Nelson

    My Cogent Dynamics Worlds Edge Shock is supposed to arrive tomorrow via FedEx, so I removed the shock on my 2015 DL650 this afternoon.

    I agree, getting the hydraulic preload adjuster out was a pain. Finally it occurred to me I am not going to use the stock shock any more, so I just unscrewed the hose from the adjuster. Yes, hydraulic fluid leaked (caught it with rags), but it came out real easy then.

    No damage to the stocker, it will just have to be refilled and bled if someone wants to use it. I sure will never use it!

  6. ivo kostić

    >The shock would nearly bottom out over fairly small pot holes, and the rear wheel would badly “track cracks” in the road. There was a vertical “softness” and a lateral instability of the rear end of the bike.

    lateral instability noticeable more on high or lower speeds?
    also, how did it feel over a c-grade b-roads’ simillar to this one

    esp. in the bends.
    (really wavy and broken down tarmac)

    how much (if at all) would you say it affected the front end handling?

    • I had to change my riding style! I could not ride as aggressively as I usually did, because the bike was not “planted” firmly on the pavement.

      My rule of thumb is to: First thing done to a motorcycle; change and tune the suspension to the riding style. Second, mount tires on to the rims that match the riding style. After that, do what you want to do to the motorcycle.

  7. christopher hardy

    I have just dropped the rear shock on my ABS 2008 Dl650. At one point I considered putting it back together again and just buying a new bloody bike! And all because of that damn remote preload. Wedge, pull, kick, jam, pry, swear, and …..only an hout later it’s free! How the hell I am going to get it back on again I really don’t know. Sigh. Anyway, without seeing the added comments on here I would have ended up stripping half the bike. Cheers guys!!

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