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Motorcycle maintenance - Tina Marie's Ramblings
Red hair and black leather, my favorite colour scheme...
skywhisperer
skywhisperer
Motorcycle maintenance

Me, after the maintenance
Originally uploaded by SkyWhisperer
I've been wanting to do something about the suspension on the GS500 for a while now. The forums said the easiest upgrade was to drop in a Katana shock - it would just take puling 3 bolts, dropping the old shock out, and sliding the new shock in. I found a nearly-new Katana shock on eBay for $25, but it's been too hot even at night to replace it.

But this weekend, we got a rare summer cold front (down to 78F today, which is unheard of in August). It was too rainy to do anything else, so I figured it was worth tackling the suspension.

And for the first time ever, in as long as I have been working on things, it went exactly like the book said it would. We had to wiggle the rear wheel a bit to get everything lined up, but it just dropped out and the new one went in.

It made a huge difference. The back end of the bike is about an inch higher, and a lot more firm. I didn't ride it, because I also need to replace the front tire, but I think it's going to make a big difference in the handling. I might even back the preload off a bit.

Then I pulled the front wheel, but CycleGear has my new tire, and I missed closing time by half an hour. I'll get it replaced and put it back together tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to riding it on Monday - who wouldn't be excited about a firmer rear end?
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Comments
arthur_sc_king From: arthur_sc_king Date: August 17th, 2008 05:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Kewl! (Well, except for the knee bruises....)

Hey, if I get this LA-area job, I might get a motorcycle for commuting rather than a car. Honda Rebel 250's seem to be popular down there ... any other suggestions? (Remember, cheap is important!)
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: August 17th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wouldn't get a 250 if you're going to be commuting on the freeway. You need more power for acceleration at freeway speeds. Pretty much any 500 would be fine, though - Shadows are common and cheap, if you want a cruiser. If you want something more sport-bike-ish, there are tons of Ninja 500/GS500s around.

(and they're not bruised, just dirty. :))

Edited at 2008-08-17 05:03 pm (UTC)
arthur_sc_king From: arthur_sc_king Date: August 17th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah so re the knees. Couldn't tell.

I don't think I want a crotch rocket; I tend to be a stand-up kinda guy, even in places (e.g. skating) where I should bend my knees and hunker down a bit more. But I don't think I want the extended-front-wheel-forks thing, either ( = cruiser?).

I guess what I'd prefer (at least until I take lessons and try different things out) would be a "classic" style, like the venerable CB750. (Not the 750-ness, just the shape.) Wonder what's out there in a 500 (was there a CB500?).
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: August 17th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
There is a CB500. That's technically a standard. The extended-front-forks thing is more a chopper thing. A Shadow is a cruiser:

http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/photos/2006models/2006-Honda-Shadow-SabreB.jpg

Standards are hard to find these days, but there are a few around. Triumph has a nice new one, but it's expensive, and too rare to be easily available used. Honda's got the 919 (but it's a 919cc). A few years ago, they had a version of the 919 that had 5 or 600ccs, but I don't see it on the website anymore.

There's a very active community on LJ called motorcycles. You should ask there, too.
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