Many bikes (I will exclude KTM of course
have suspension, rear and front, which is not really up to the business for travelling. It might "do the job" more or less, BUT...
We rode up and down to India with our original suspension, after loooong thoughts, and most of all after looking at all the money we needed before and during our trip. (we rode on two Suzuki DR 650 SEs)
Well, yes, we did changed the front springs for Wirth, stiffer and certainly better.
Halfway through the trip already we felt that the rear spring was getting weaker and weaker, and Iris's bike --which was set at its very lowest-- bottomed out every once and now again. But we got home alright.
After getting home, we decided it was really time to do something about it. Looked around, collected some advize. Someone pointed us at Hyperpro, a Dutch company, founded some 10 years ago (sort of an offspring off WP). Their website = http://www.hyperpro.com
At first they mainly focused on race bikes, also making steering dampers and such. But now they are extending their range to dirt bikes and the lot.
We had the suspensions of both of our DRs done at the main seat of the company (close to Rotterdam) and are very very VERY HAPPY with the result.
They changed "just" the springs, front and rear, but the change in riding is plainly unbelievable. Their main asset is the "progressive spring" type, meaning the spring gets stiffer the more it's compressed - it's a known concept, but not so often used on rear springs.
Anyhow, our bikes now
- brake better (no joke !)
- feel stiffer
- don't bottom out (I even did a jump in Italy lately)
- handle better in curves (so we go faster
(the only thing we regret is that we didn't do it before our trip
The specialist/engineer Peter van den Bogaard of the main seat in the Netherlands, tested the bikes before and after, and worked on the bikes fast and professionally.
Not only was it quite affordable (260 euro's for the kit plus 2,5 working hours per bike), but the result is ABSOLUTELY worth it.
I must add that Peter decided to open and relook our dampers too - a thing they don't normally do. He added metal shims, and put different oil in it. Servicing a damper is not something a normal bike mechanic can do - you do need a specialist with the right equipment who knows what he's doing.
(nope, we don't have any special connections with Hyperpro, we're just VERY happy customers, that's all. And we hope they get the attention they deserve.)
Practically: they have dealers world wide. You can either buy the springs you need for your specific bike and install everything yourself, or have it all installed at the specialist dealer.
Iris and Trui
P.S.: their logo looks euh... "not very attractive"... to say the least - I'm a graphic designer and a bit sensitive to these things, sorry. But WHO cares if their products are excellent ??!
Iris and Trui
2 belgian women, often travelling on motorbikes (now on DR650SE's)
2nd overland from home to Northern India and back, April-October 2002