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How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

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eternally_troubled
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How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by eternally_troubled on Sat 30 Jan 2016, 6:55 pm


My bike was off the road for a week or two while I affixed my new downpipes.

Because of this I've ridden my wife's bike (a 20009 YBR125) a few times recently.

Now, it is a pretty light bike and easy to chuck around (like most 125cc bikes), but having ridden it and now ridden my fixed CB500 I have the nasty feeling that the suspension on my CB5 may be a bit buggered!

A few years ago I refreshed the oil and replaced the bushes in my front forks which made things a bit better at the time - I can certainly replace the oil again however I fear that isn't all that is wrong.


What I'm really trying to ask is, how do I know if my rear shocks are buggered?

I've heard about bouncing the bike up and down (like a car) and seeing what happens - does anyone have any better ideas?

I'm assuming that the options for replacement are YSS, Hagon and TEC shocks - any thoughts on which one to get?
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wornsprokets
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by wornsprokets on Sat 30 Jan 2016, 7:42 pm

If you push down on rear suspension, it should come back up at a controlled rate, but maybe check swing arm bearings wheel bearings, front forks  new fork springs and heavier oil, rear shocks mine were leaking i got tec shocks very cheap 50 pounds for a pair very good i couldnt recommend them enough , george from tec very helpful. Have look on delboys garage he had uprated ones of mine, beresford has tec shocks too
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jchesshyre
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by jchesshyre on Sat 30 Jan 2016, 9:32 pm

Are they the original shocks? Check for oil leaks and also in Haynes there is a spec for 'spring free length' with a service limit (it seems the shocks on R, T and V models are shorter than on later ones - learn smth new every day!).
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Jameshambleton
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by Jameshambleton on Sat 30 Jan 2016, 11:35 pm

Tec shocks all way!
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eternally_troubled
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by eternally_troubled on Sun 31 Jan 2016, 8:08 pm

@jchesshyre wrote:Are they the original shocks? Check for oil leaks and also in Haynes there is a spec for 'spring free length' with a service limit (it seems the shocks on R, T and V models are shorter than on later ones - learn smth new every day!).


I'm sure there was a free length for the fork springs - this was fine last time I had them apart.  I'm not so sure there was a free length for the rear shocks (given is is quite difficult to get the springs off etc).


I've looked for leaking parts on the rear shocks - I can't see anything obvious, unless it's all gone!

I've tried the 'bouncing up and down' thing and I can't really tell...

They are really rusty anyway, so if I cared about how it looked I'd change them anyway - however if I cared how it looked I wouldn't have bought it :)
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jchesshyre
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by jchesshyre on Sun 31 Jan 2016, 8:12 pm

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eternally_troubled
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by eternally_troubled on Sun 31 Jan 2016, 8:36 pm


I'd obviously missed that in Haynes...

Do you think that means the length of the spring when it's off the bike?  (ie. free from load, rather than 'removed from the shock')  If so, I might remove mine at some point and get measuring.
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jchesshyre
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by jchesshyre on Sun 31 Jan 2016, 8:47 pm

Hmmmm....good point! I hope it doesn't mean 'removed from the shock!'. Presumably if it's just off the bike it should first be set to the lowest preload setting. 


I'll check in the Honda Workshop Manual. 
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HomeBrew
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by HomeBrew on Sun 31 Jan 2016, 8:50 pm

Your fork oil should be changed every 5,000 miles, shock oil every 10,000. The oil degrades over time and damping is affected.
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jchesshyre
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by jchesshyre on Sun 31 Jan 2016, 8:51 pm

I think that spec is for disassembled springs. The Honda manual shows how to do this.
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Basil Moss
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by Basil Moss on Mon 01 Feb 2016, 7:54 am

Fork oil every 5,000 miles? Shocked  I do that in a few months...
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jchesshyre
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by jchesshyre on Tue 02 Feb 2016, 9:05 am

Just been reading the Honda common service manual and it unambiguously says that shock spring length is measured with the spring on its own having disassembled the shock Sleep
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trevor machine
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by trevor machine on Tue 02 Feb 2016, 10:02 am

Every 5k. Damn. That's three times a year.
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jchesshyre
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by jchesshyre on Tue 02 Feb 2016, 10:32 am

I've started doing my fork oil every 8k but can always feel a big improvement after doing so, suggesting 5k might be more like it. 

Has anyone ever discovered why the maintenance schedules never specify a mileage for fork oil changes? Neglecting them lowers the life of the fork components as well as giving you a sh*tty ride.
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eternally_troubled
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by eternally_troubled on Tue 02 Feb 2016, 12:43 pm

I suspect that the main degrading factor for fork oil is all the crap/water/dust etc that eventually gets past the seals and ends up collecting/emulsifying with your fork oil (this is why it is black when you drain it out).

The motion of the forks will kill it off eventually but I reckon that contamination will get it first.

Having said all this I haven't done mine for ages, so I should 'put it on the list'.

Did you mention that the real Honda manual says how to take the shocks apart? Is that the CB500 manual or the common manual?
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jchesshyre
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by jchesshyre on Tue 02 Feb 2016, 12:49 pm

The CB500 manual itself does detail their disassembly and reassembly, but mentions that a 'service tool' is required - namely a 'shock absorber compressor' and 'compressor screw assembly', part nos 07GMA-0010000 and 07GMA-0010100.
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jchesshyre
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by jchesshyre on Tue 02 Feb 2016, 12:53 pm

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Beresford
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by Beresford on Tue 02 Feb 2016, 12:58 pm

You can test the rear shox to see if they are still working OK by removing the spring and putting the shock in a vice - holding the lower mounting eye. Then operate the shaft through the full operating range. Use a long bolt or screwdriver to manually do this.
It should operate with smoothe resistance through the full stroke without any roughness or 'slack'.
If they do not operate smoothly through the full stroke,  - if they are the original standard ones they are not re-buildable - all you can do is bin them.
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eternally_troubled
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by eternally_troubled on Tue 02 Feb 2016, 1:07 pm

Just had a look at my unofficial copy:  it's not exactly explicit on what to do is it?  I suspect it's trying to suggest you need to compress the spring before removing the top collar and then carefully uncompressing the spring, but I can't be sure :)

Anyway, even if my shocks are fubar'd I don't think there is any way of replacing the oil and/or the seal on the original ones, even if I could take it apart...

[EDIT - just read beresford's post - as I thought, there isn't any way of fixing them.]
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ashcroc
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by ashcroc on Tue 02 Feb 2016, 7:34 pm

The offical workshop manual assumes you're a mechanic if you're reading it so just gives the dis-assembly / assembly order rather than a detailed 'how to'. It'll be the same as a car though where you compress the spring before loosening/removing the top cap/seat.

While you can most likely get replacement springs I'd bet it'd be cheaper just to replace the whole lot with a set of tec shocks.
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Celt500
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by Celt500 on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 9:30 pm

I like the Hagons.
For a while there I was blaming them for an increasingly harsh ride thinking they were clapped out after not having had them very long... and then I put the new chain on. Problem instantly solved. Embarassed
I've changed the fork oil twice now and after each time I've thought there was a definite improvement in handling.
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HomeBrew
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Re: How can I tell if my shocks are past it?

Post by HomeBrew on Sat 13 Feb 2016, 10:43 pm

The 5K change is what Dave Moss said for road bikes. He has a number of interesting videos on youtube (if suspension settings interests you just search Dave Moss) focusing mainly on track bikes. For race bikes he advises changing fork oil something like every race. The steel springs scrape aluminium off the stanchion and this degrades the oil. I have tried changing every 5K and it makes a difference.

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