Progressive Rear Spring Install - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Progressive Rear Spring Install

Now that the front springs are done, it was time to bite the bullet and go for the rear progressive spring I purchased a couple of months ago from Pacific Coast Cruisers. I just couldn't ante up the big $ for a complete shock/spring assembly, but I had spring compressors and figured I could handle a simple spring change out. I was wrong on that one .

The manual shows it being easy, and again, it is dead wrong. So many things need to be loosened or removed to gain access to the shock to get it out. Both side covers, seat, battery and battery case, seat release mechanism, remote gas tank (loosened, but not removed), wire loom harness, ECU, both saddlebags, drive belt guard. Getting that battery case out was quite the chore. My bike has extra wiring for the brake light modulator and a wire harness for the trailer hook up that added to the maze of wires.

Finally the old shock was out, and I quickly realized my old spring compressors were NOT up to the task (too large). After watching a couple of YouTubes (are some of these people for real?), I decided it was time to bring it to someone that could swap the springs safely. My local motorcycle service guy said he could work me in if I brought it right away, so away I went. It took them almost 1/2 hour to get the old spring out (while I watched) and the new one in. It took quite a lot of force to compress those springs. Glad I didn't try it on my own after seeing that! $40.13 total charge.

Got the shock home, installed it on the bike, and ran out of time before I could get anything else put back on. So I'll get back on it tomorrow AM and hopefully not have any extra parts left over when I finish. Will let you all know how much (if any) difference it makes. It is set at the softest setting right now.

I was initially disappointed in my front progressive spring install. When I went back to shorten the spacer, I found that I had one side fluid level set incorrectly. The spacers were shortened to 3" and siphoned fluid out of the one side to get it to 5.5" height. Made a big change! Now rides much better, but I may go back and go for 2- 3/4" depending on how the rear softens up. It did raise the front end up quite a bit from stock and will take some getting used to.

Sorry about the long winded post, but I haven't seen much written on rear progressive springs, or what it's like to get the shock off the 1300. Now you know .
Elk, Elk, YamaMassGirl and 1 others like this.

NCDaveD

2008 Yamaha V Star 1300 Black Cherry
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Bike is all back together (with no extra parts left over), and again ran out of time before I could take a ride. Taxes, yard work, and life in general infringe on my riding at times (imagine that!). Just a quick bounce up and down shows a difference for sure, with the bike moving a lot more up and down than it did before. Will let you all know how it goes as soon as I can get that ride!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 05:31 AM
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Definitely let us know how you like it. I will be happy to one day put some progressives on my bike. My 950 is easily scraps floor boards in fast corners, so if I can get some height, then that will be good. I have gotten better at leaning my body in to lesssen the lean on the bike. Don't really need springs now, but when I do, will want progressives on the front for sure.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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As mentioned in another post in a different area, my bike is back together and I FINALLY got to take a short 30 minute ride to make sure I didn't leave anything important off. Big change in the rear spring comfort, for the good! I did go back in before the ride and tighten the shock up 2 notches as the bike settled more than I had expected by just sitting on it. The rear now doesn't kick me in the kidneys when I go over those sharp rises in the asphalt that gets pushed up between old concrete sections. I just get a solid push that doesn't make me grit my teeth and go "unh" when I hit them like I do w/my Suzuki C50. The front progressive springs still leave a little to be desired, but they are certainly better than the stock setup.

The bike is so much smoother going over bumps and the edges of bridges than before. It does seem to want to follow the edges of asphalt patches and depressions in the pavement, but that may be more because of tire wear than the springs.

I'm going to get some long distance riding in over the next couple of weeks, and then will decide whether or not to change the front spacer again. For the rear, I am going to tighten it up one more notch as I did get a little rear wallowing in the corners. Then we will hit the mountain roads in western NC and see how it goes. This combination is certainly a huge step up from my C50.

So I'll give this a thumbs up! If you have the $$$ for the entire progressive shock (which I believe includes settable damping), go for it. If you are a little short on cash, just the spring will make a noticeable improvement. But please, please, PLEASE be careful changing that spring out. That much stored energy can really ruin your day if you don't know what you are doing.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 12:40 PM
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Going for the 465 Shock is many times better in all respects than just replacing the spring. But if it gets you by and you don't mind doing the job twice, a spring is an adequate temp bandaid. The shock was probably the best change I ever did on my 1100. Handles like a sport bike now.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sick Mick View Post
Going for the 465 Shock is many times better in all respects than just replacing the spring. But if it gets you by and you don't mind doing the job twice, a spring is an adequate temp bandaid. The shock was probably the best change I ever did on my 1100. Handles like a sport bike now.
No doubt, but $400 vs $120 ($80 shock + $40 install) is a pretty substantial difference. I'll put a 465 shock on my Christmas list and see what happens

Thanks for reading my little adventure

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Final Report on rear spring install.... I did indeed tighten up the preload by one more notch (total 3 notch from lowest preload), and then went into the mountains of NC to test it out. This appears to be the best setting for a compromise between ride and sport handling for my bikes weight (with 225lbs of me aboard). While the cornering might be improved by tightening one more notch, I believe the loss in compliance would not be worth it. The rear floats over most irregularities while those nasty pavement joints have become just a nuisance with no spine compressing resulting from going over them.

So I still give the spring install a two thumbs up. If you've got the $ for the whole shock, just do it (unless you are currently happy with your stock rear shock). It you can't quite scratch up the $, the spring alone is worth it.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2017, 04:07 AM
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when you installed your progressive front springs, what exactly was the positive outcome? and you say the front end was higher?
Im thinking about them but i want to know what the difference will be,
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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With the new springs installed, the front end of the bike did gain a little height. For me, I ended up with the shortest recommended spacer length which gave the most compliant ride. Now that I've had several rides with the new springs, I definitely give it two thumbs up. The front soaks up all but the most jagged obstructions like potholes, freeze bumps and some road to bridge joints. For the rear spring, it actually sits a touch lower, which means I now have to push the bike up on 2 X 4's to get a jack under it. Small price to pay for the ride.

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