Thruxton Thruxton R Suspension Mods

Discussion in 'Thruxton, Scrambler & Trident' started by JULIAN WW, Dec 31, 2019.

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  1. JULIAN WW

    JULIAN WW Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    189
    93
    carlton in lindrick
    After a very satisfying 250 mile ride yesterday the mods made to T1200R are now proven. The suspension & handling have had high praise from road testers and who can contest the Showa big piston Front Forks and Ohlins remote reservoir rear shocks are top-draw equipment? So how is it that of 5 owners I've met at bike meets/Devils Bridge and the like, immediately following friendly greetings, the subject of the hard suspension dominated. A 6th and now Speed Twin mounted chap had sold his TTR to save his fragile back from developing an addiction to pain-killing drugs. On one occasion, as I pulled my head out the helmet, a complete stranger shouted "sorted out your suspension on that yet?"
    Okay so I am not average build and my favourite back roads have an ever deteriorating surface that is nothing like the scenic,TT circuit facsimile in Portugal that Triumph let the press riders formulate their witty praise. And I'm not living my dreams through a series of track-days! I confess I'm 5'4" and weigh 9 stone and hence way (no pun intended) outside any designers calculations. But the other owners appeared much more the L, XL and XXL versions of normal humans so my mods may be of general use.
    I very soon after purchase of the bike had all spring pre-load adjusted to minimum and eventually everything that could be twiddled on its lowest/softest setting. Hard, harsh, unforgiving and crossing cats-eyes at speed meant knees braced against the tank whilst forcing the bars into submission. Hitting rough road surface whilst riding on the edge of the rubber bits was very physical. On recommendation I sought help from Mick Gardner Racing in Barnsley, Authorised Ohlins Agents. They took several static measurements and dialled some re-bound damping back in which helped to some extent but also declared the problem was too high spring rate, for me, at the rear. Ohlins don't make lower rate springs for these shocks so MGR had a set made for me, powder coated the original colour. I don't know the actual spec but they perfect for me and I know they got 3 pairs made along with mine. I recommend them, however they were unable to anything to the front forks other than re-build them with fresh oil and seals.
    Better but I knew the front end was spoiling the show so next I contacted Maxton Engineering in Frodsham, Cheshire. Richard Adams is a true expert and has many customers including pro racers, for whom Big Piston fork damping is too much. In some cases Maxton are removing the BP damping internals and re-placing with cartridge units developed for older fork designs. I didn't go that far but Maxton have fitted 0·8kg/mm springs, increased the air gap to 90mm and rebuilt with Putoline GP 5 hydraulic oil.
    In all cases I removed the suspension myself and delivered the units loose for the work to be completed nevertheless I have spent the not inconsiderable sum of £750. Pocket money blown and I hope my Great Aunt sends one of her generous postal orders early 2020.
    Believe me I still have "sports" suspension - it turns in quicker, gives great feedback in the corners and I can feel it (and see the forks) working to deal with the lumps & bumps .I even have some suspension adjustment in hand if I want softer. Happy Boy on his Thruxton now.
     
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  2. Flashp

    Flashp Noble Member

    Dec 6, 2017
    592
    343
    Hants
    I would have just eaten pies. :grinning:
    Good work though.
     
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  3. Wessa

    Wessa Cruising

    Apr 27, 2016
    10,507
    1,000
    North West England
    My thruxton r is still it its bubble having not moved since I had it delivered. I will be interested in how the suspension performs when the weather improves. I did test ride a thruxton r back to back with a speed twin and found both bikes fairly firm on the road. It sounds like your mods are good for you, good luck and enjoy..
     
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  4. JULIAN WW

    JULIAN WW Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    189
    93
    carlton in lindrick
    I hope it proves suitable without having to make changes, although it's worth taking some careful steps to get the settings/adjustments right for you. One owner I met, a well built 6 footer, was bottoming out the rear shocks but still found the front end too hard. He had cable ties on the fork lowers to record how much compression was taking place and was adamant the demonstrator he originally road was far better. Interestingly the "Standard" setting in the handbook is with fork pre-load at minimum so not leaving you anywhere to go if you want softer. The big piston damping, as it was explained to me by Maxton, is all about minimising fork dive under braking .I developed my style of rapid progress many, many years ago when being smooth & quick was almost a necessity cause the brakes & tyres had readily available limits - well that's my excuse for not needing to bury the front wheel into the tarmac prior to entry point.
     
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  5. JULIAN WW

    JULIAN WW Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    189
    93
    carlton in lindrick
    Tried a mince pie today, then got a knee down. See how it works on the bike tomorrow.
     
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  6. Martin Bayliss

    Apr 5, 2017
    82
    18
    West Yorkshire

    That is tremendous information to have. Ta for doing all the research and spending all the money!! I have had the same issues with my Thruxton R, but it was less bad on my back and neck than any sports bikes I had had. I'm 5' 10" and 12 stones and also found the bike most suited to track days and smoother, faster A roads. A day out in the dales would leave me creaking at the wrists, with a stiff neck and bent at the knees, so all I have done is back off the front forks settings, which has made a big difference. Instead of replumbing the forks and shocks, I got a Scrambler 1200 XE which takes everything in its stride so the pressure is off needing to do much more to the Thruxton, but it's great to know that people like Maxtons and Mick Gardner are still doing a great job! Here's hoping your great aunt comes up trumps!!
     
  7. JULIAN WW

    JULIAN WW Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    189
    93
    carlton in lindrick
    Cheers Martin. Good to have your experience endorsing the underlying problem. I couldn't afford your solution though!
     
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  8. ChrisJ1978

    ChrisJ1978 New Member

    G’day Julian, I am in the same position as you and am investigating my options. I have contacted a local spring maker for some progressive rate fork springs. Would you happen to have the measurements for the standard fork springs? I need free length, wire diameter, outside diameter and the number of coils. This would save me taking the bike off the road while the new springs are being made.
     
  9. JULIAN WW

    JULIAN WW Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    189
    93
    carlton in lindrick
    Need a day to get to the shed and find 'em. Will let you know.
     
  10. ChrisJ1978

    ChrisJ1978 New Member

    Thanks mate I'd really appreciate it
     
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  11. JULIAN WW

    JULIAN WW Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    189
    93
    carlton in lindrick
    Hi Chris. I hope the attached image is clear. So overall length = 278mm; coil outer dia = 39mm; coil material dia = 5mm. I counted 18 coils but not sure of the standard method of counting at the finished ends - again see picture. Let us know how you progress

    IMG_0314 (2).JPG
     
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  12. JULIAN WW

    JULIAN WW Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    189
    93
    carlton in lindrick
    Hi Chris. I hope the attached image is clear. So overall length = 278mm; coil outer dia = 39mm; coil material dia = 5mm. I counted 18 coils but not sure of the standard method of counting at the finished ends - again see picture. Let us know how you progress
     
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  13. 2Fast

    2Fast Thrux ton-up

    Feb 25, 2019
    73
    18
    North Yorkshire
    Interesting, especially your comments received from others - I can't say I've had the same.
    I can honestly say, personally, I do not have issue with the 1200R's suspension at all, I guess it must depend upon a combination of factors - possibly rider weight, what you're previously used to, type of roads usually encountered & expectations for the style of bike it is etc.etc.

    For example I don't expect it (or want it) to be a track king or superbike, I'm lucky enough to have something else when the need for speed takes a hold, however I do find the Thruxton absolutely superb for a swift nip through the B roads to work whilst still being able to admire the scenery, or to venture down previously un-discovered back roads on a sunny day - whatever happened to those?

    I know it's just opinions, though mine is that it's unfair to cite the top notch suspension on the 'R' as a 'Problem' and flaw, when some owners (& journalists) have been perfectly happy with what they expected the bike to be.

    … Just sayin' :)
     
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  14. JULIAN WW

    JULIAN WW Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    189
    93
    carlton in lindrick
    If it does what you want without spending time & money great. From reading, without any great detail being provided, the test of the new Thruxton RS Triumph have introduced some suspension changes. I accept to make changes for myself primarily due to my substantially less than average weight.
     
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  15. 2Fast

    2Fast Thrux ton-up

    Feb 25, 2019
    73
    18
    North Yorkshire
    Yes - I am a bit more tubby than you :p
     
  16. Flashp

    Flashp Noble Member

    Dec 6, 2017
    592
    343
    Hants
    Pies are cheaper than suspension mods ;)
     
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  17. JULIAN WW

    JULIAN WW Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    189
    93
    carlton in lindrick
    Not the amount I would have to eat.
     
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  18. ChrisJ1978

    ChrisJ1978 New Member

    Thank you so much Julian, you're a legend! I'll get your data off to Ikon and hopefully will have some flash new springs arriving soon!
     
  19. ChrisJ1978

    ChrisJ1978 New Member

    I think a lot of it has to do with the quality of the roads being ridden. Here in Oz unless you are on a motorway the roads are spectactularly crap. Add to this the fact that I am very light in the upper body and the front end ends up being way too stiff for me. I do mostly longer rides (200+km at a time) so I think the new springs will be well worth it.
     
  20. ChrisJ1978

    ChrisJ1978 New Member

    Sorry to be a pain in the arse, would you have the data for the rears too? I’m just out looking at the bike now and I noticed there is no static sag on the rear at all. I have had my adjuster circlips removed too...

    image.jpg
     
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