Tiger Time > Tiger 1200's (2011 - Now Tigers)

Harsh Ride Fixed

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For some time now I have been deliberating and trying to find a way round the bad ride quality as personally I do not want to be a member of feel every ripple/bump/penny in the road club.

To cut a very long story short, I have had a few issues with the bike and due to these failures I have managed to sort the Harsh ride.

Firstly the rear shock lost its' damping completely overnight.
This was solved by fitting a Wilbers made to measure rear unit which made the rear ride from a hardtail to velvet.
The unit I bought is the 640 model as I ride mainly solo and tarmac based so not much need for all the adjusters. I do go touring on occasions but they will make the unit to whatever spec you require.

I then noticed the fork seals were leaking.
The seals I used were made by SKF and are about £45 for the 4 seals. The off road guys use these and stand up to more abuse than the std seals. Used to fit them years ago to MX bikes and had good reports.
Then I got to the problem of the damper rods. These can be purchased as a complete kit with springs ranging from about £400 to £1750 upwards. I wanted to keep the linear springs as progressives tend to firm the ride.
I took the damper rods apart and with the simple mods carried out ie, enlarging the transfer ports and modifying/reshiming the shim stack and refil with 5wt, oil the front now is comparable with an MX bike but on the road so silky smooth ride with none of the jarring harsh bump transfer.

The front suspension has considerable travel which due to my 84k weight was not used. The front suspension is helped after about half its' travel by a second spring. Under braking this spring is now operating so gives the feeling of excessive dive under braking but in fact it does not dive much past where the helper spring comes in. (Lots of measuring with cable ties). Heavy braking will use all the travel and can feel excessive but in practice is just using the travel available.

This set up has been tailored for my riding style and use, to some it would be too soft and would not suit all riding styles. In retrospect I would have the remote rear preload adjustment as this adjustment is slightly difficult, only for the rare times I carry a pillion or luggage.

As for cornering, the rear is lowered via doglegs 50mm and the forks dropped 8:3mm in the yokes. I can now flat foot (32" inseam) without any problems and have not noticed any appreciable loss in lean angles. 1/4" on the rear tyre outer edge not used and footrests/boots hit the road about the same angle as before.

Just ordered a 640 with Hyd Preload for the Girly , good choice I reckon. Gotta wait 2 weeks though as Easter has slowed things up a bit. Id heared various things about the Explorer ride, but then Its pretty rare to get a bike from the crate with good suspension

Chris Canning:
Doesn't matter what bike you have stock suspension is just made to as lower price as a manufacturer can get away with,this XR that I have now is no different the rear shock is just as bad as my stock 955 shock was.

Chris, the rear shock is actually quite well made when it came to bits. All the parts in the correct place but spoilt by oversprung and overdamped. The front forks however are a different story, cheap damper rod assy instead of the open case units found on dirt bikes.

As an update....

Have covered a few hundred miles since the rebuild and can report the Wilbers rear shock is performing much better than expected, giving a very comfortable ride without stepping out round corners. Very highly recommended.
The forks with the home 'tune' installed are using the newly available travel to their advantage and give a controlled comfortable ride.
It will be interesting to see how the ride varies when the weather gets above freezing!

Chris Canning:
Having not ridden a big bike on anything but either a Wilbers or Ohlins in the last 15 years life is way to short to be riding around with anything else,hence why I'll run the XR in and then ditch the shock it works ok'ish but just lacks quality.


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