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Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys, I started the install tonight. And by started I mean that I removed the seats and lifted the rear wheel off the ground :D I'll be doing the actual install tomorrow. Pictures and problems to follow. This is what she looks like right now. If you look close (just above the 2x4s on the right), in the second pic you can see how my bike has been scraping on the ground and why I need new suspension.

I lifted the bike off the ground using my car jack and a 2x4. I put the jack near the middle of the bike and had someone hold the handlebars as I jacked the bike up so it was stable. When the rear tire was off the ground, I put 5 2x4s (that's how many it took for me) to keep the rear tire off the ground and moved the jack closer to the front of the bike so the bike is completely stable while suspended. I did not want to chance damaging any part of the undercarriage, so I made sure that the 2x4s were only touching the frame of the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So, I was going to try this tutorial style, but I ran into a bunch of problems where I had to go back and redo stuff. So instead I'll just update as I go. Just got the old shock out. If you have any questions about what I did feel free to ask.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Ok, ran into a problem. I can not get the bolt to line up with the mount. I'm pointing to it in the first picture. The third picture it's bolt 21 that I can't line up. And in the 4th picture, its labeled C. Does anyone have any advice on lining that bolt up? I've loosened all the bolts for more play but I can't get anything to work. I think the shock is a little too long, I just need to shorten/compress it a little. How would I do that?

Also, if I remove a bolt and line up the bolt I'm currently having trouble with, the bolt I removed no longer lines up...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Found a solution:

With someone holding the bike steady, lower the bike until the hole lines up. insert the bolt and tighten everything down. Then completely lower the bike. New Shock is installed :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Ok all done with the install. The pic is of the shock+spring installed looking from the battery side. Went on a short 5 mile ride to test out the suspension. I can definitely tell the difference. The factory settings are set to 3 (out of 5) and it's way stiffer than I'm used to. I turned it down to 2 without removing anything for better access. It is very easy to adjust if you install the shock + spring so the adjuster wheel is facing the left side of the bike (In the second picture I am pointing to it). You just use the allen wrench that is provided and turn clockwise until you get to the setting you want.

With the setting at 3 I felt a lot of the bumps I don't normally feel on the straight aways. But in the turns it was a lot smoother. The bike didn't over exaggerate any bumps I hit when I was in a turn which was nice. I also didn't bottom out! So mission success :) I have not tested the bike with the setting on 2 yet. I'll be doing that tomorrow since I have a lot of other things I need to get done today. I'll let you all know how much of a difference there is between 2 and 3.

Tips for next time:
- Take a picture of everything before removing the battery.
- Take off the exhaust then the battery and container (once the bike is lifted up)
- Have a second person around to help keep the bike stable while lifting it up and lowering it back down. (unless you have a better lift than me :) )

That's all that I really got hung up on. It was pretty straight forward. I used the Yamaha shop manual and the Clymer manuals throughout the whole process. It took me about 6 hours to complete start to finish. Some of that back tracking and redoing stuff. Overall it wasn't that bad though.
 

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Looking forward to bearing from you on how much of a difference this change has made. My 05 is in need of a replacement also but budget come into play.
It'll be the best thing you ever did to the bike....by far. It's always a good idea to take off the swing arm and grease the bearings while you're at it. Yamaha suggests doing it about ever 2-3 years. Plus, it'll make the installation a lot easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, I took the bike on a more lengthy ride today. I really like this suspension. With the suspension set at 2 the bike is a little stiff when going over bumps which is to be expected since my old suspension would bottom out every once and a while.But the best part is how it handles curves now. It's so smooth and it feels much more stable when in a tight turn. I'm really happy with it :)
 

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When you say it's set at 2, are you talking about the rebound or the preload? The little numbered dial on the shock is for rebound damping, no?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ya sparkn, I was talking about the rebound damping
 

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I was thinking you might have some room to soften the preload if your sag would allow it. The rear travel is fairly long and you can probably go up to a max of about 1.25" total sag fully loaded and still not bottom out like you were previously.
 
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