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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2004 ST3 with no ride height adjustment at the rear, a Sachs shock and front forks with limited adjustability.

An adjustable shock link from a different ST or Monster will probably fit, but what's the best suspension upgrade on a restricted budget? Does it need fully adjustable race cartridges or are there more cost effective ways to upgrade both ends?
 

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I had the same on my ST3. The suspension isn't bad when you get it dialed in. Start by adjusting the sag for your weight with your riding gear. You may find that the fork and shock springs are not a match for your weight. Use this opportunity to refurbish the forks (bushings, seals, oil) if it's time for a service. The stock Sachs shock typically isn't rebuildable, but Cogent Dynamics can machine up a part and refresh the internals for short money.

The ride height rod can be switched out for an adjustable unit. A bit of tweaking can make the bike turn in a bit faster (too much tweaking can make it unstable at high speeds).If you go used, be cautious, they have a tendency to seize. New third party is inexpensive compared to the hassle of freeing a stuck used unit.
 

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Another recommendation for Cogent. Here's the info I got from them based on my inquiry. I'ts a few years old, so pricing may be different now:
If you have a Showa unit, it's a fairly routine service.
Shock service @ $98
Shock fluid @ $10
Typical wear parts @$20-$80

Revalve if desired @ $50+/-
Respring if desired @ $90-$140

If it's a Sachs unit, add $100 to $150 for machining to convert the shock to a serviceable unit and fabrication of special parts.


So you might be money ahead to find a used Showa unit on e-bay and have it serviced. You should be able to find an adjustable ride-height rod on e-bay for $20-$30. Expect to wrestle with it as many tend to be seized.

For the fronts, possibly fresh oil of the proper weight and proper set up would likely go a long way. Local shop was able to improve rebound by swapping out dampers for little coin. If you can do the removal/installation labor you can save a fair bit, too.
 

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The stock Sachs shock typically isn't rebuildable, but Cogent Dynamics can machine up a part and refresh the internals for short money.
Racetech in CA rebuilds Sachs all day for every Ducati dealer in the state and beyond. As is and with good results. I wonder why the "Sachs aren't rebuildable" myth persists, but stranger things have happened. What Rick at Cogent does is the same thing that RaceTech does, fixes the bug/feature that thwarts rebuilds. Either is a good route, and Rick is a friend to all on two wheels. Highly recommend and would go to him first if you have wait time to spare. And by that I mean a few weeks for CD vs 7 days for Racetech. Speaking from experience with both.
 

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The ride height rod can be switched out for an adjustable unit. A bit of tweaking can make the bike turn in a bit faster (too much tweaking can make it unstable at high speeds).

this is just not true
I have my ride height adjusted so when the bike is on the center stand the tire is touching the ground
so much so that when in my shed I have a small piece of timber under the center stand so I can lube/adjust the chain

I have NEVER had any high speed stability issues weather by myself, 2 up or even 2 up with fully loaded luggage




Tyre is off the ground because of the timber under the center stand

 

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I believe he's referring to the other way. When you raise the rear ride height the wheel comes up off the ground higher. Yours would appear to be lowered.

EDIT: I have the same scrapes on my centerstand, too. ;)
Wrong. Boing!

On my ST I never felt the need to raise the back much. Just so the tire (most new tires) just cleared the ground. But I also dropped the front 5mm. Any more and things scraped too easy. With the right tires I thought the ST steered and handled damn good without changing much. But yes on the left the center stand was a hard limit. That partly contributed to me totaling mine. :(

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Regardless of what’s the effects may or may not be for your particular set-up...make changes in small increments.




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No. That’s very misleading and wrong. When the bike is on the center stand raising the rear ride height puts the tire closer to the ground. Think about it.


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I'm confused.
That’s ok. Welcome to the club. :)

Think about it this way. Bike on the center stand. To raise the rear you increase the distance between the tire and the rear fender. Since it’s on the stand the frame can’t move. To increase that distance between the tire and fender where does the rear tire go? Down.


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Because I just finished a bottle of cab I keep thinking “fuck, I hope I got this right”. :)


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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Guys. I can rebuild forks and set up suspension, so that's the easy part. And yes, raising teh rear decreases trail and high speed stability if taken too far. But reducing weight at the rear changes weight distribution, so suspension needs to be set up carefully.

Good info on teh rear shock. Has anyone swapped out the cartridges or valves? I even considered fitting a set of Suzuki Fork legs that happen to the same length and diameter. I wonder if the internals are anywhere close to being swappable. Highly unlikely, but might be worth checking into.
 

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the non adj forks are just fine if you set them up - get them revalved. gsxr750 cartridges do go in - 00 - 03 are the most straightforward from memory. a few threads on it in the ss page. std springs are a bit soft, but not as bad as most models.

gsxr forks are the same sizes at the triples, but you have guard mount and possibly wheel mount issues.
 

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I absolutely love the Ohlins upgrade on the ST*S models. I was scraping from time to time on the exhaust, side stand, and pegs (standard ride height). Cornering with elevation changes or bumps would really reduce ground clearance. I was going to raise the rear, but tried the shock swap first. Kept the same sag and once I swapped over to the Ohlins, the rear stopped blowing through it's travel and my clearance issues went away. Firmed up the dampening but made it ride more compliant - which is what a good valving upgrade should do. Fantastic upgrade IMO. Also loved the ability to remotely adjust preload when I added the wife on the back.

Put a Race Tech cartridge in the front also made a big difference. Firmer dampening but better ride. I have the front dropped 5mm, stock rear height, rider weight 175. Probably could use a .95 mm/Kg spring in the front, but honestly I don't think about the suspension anymore - it's really as good as I need it.

Scott
 

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You will want a heavier rear spring if you regularly ride two up or weigh more than the mythical 160lb Italian rider the suspension was built for.
 

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I have a 2004 ST3 with no ride height adjustment at the rear, a Sachs shock and front forks with limited adjustability.

An adjustable shock link from a different ST or Monster will probably fit, but what's the best suspension upgrade on a restricted budget? Does it need fully adjustable race cartridges or are there more cost effective ways to upgrade both ends?
Rear can be revalved and sprung to your weight,
Front have non adjustable cartridges that can take new valves with shim stacks that has built in bleed that simulates set adjuster.
I’ve done this work myself and it works.
State side get Cogent Dynamics to do the work with parts off bike


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Sachs boge shock is a very good shock with one downside-parts. I rebuild them all the time and it is a easy upgrade on most versions, if it is not I would not do it as it is not cost effective to put a ton of money in one for one reason. Sachs does not/will not sell parts. If you damage the shaft or other critical parts you can not get a replacement so game over. Too bad as the valving is as good as any aftermarket shocks I see (ohlins/penske included)

If I owned a ST it would depend on the budget.
stage 1
set sag and adjust damping.

stage 2
change fluids, change springs to proper straight rate springs for riders weight factoring % of passenger use. This is probably a 80% of your benefit over stock.

stage 3
revalve the forks as they are the same restrictive high speed compression valve as used on showas in the early 90's ** note this is not always needed if you do not have high speed compression issues- shaft speed not bike speed**

If you have the money and will keep the bike or put lots of miles on replace the shock with a more parts friendly shock (ohlins,penske,etc) make sure it is a shock you will be able to get parts for because that is a big part of what you are buying. I can get parts for about anything ohlins or penske has ever built so that is a plus if you do not want to swap whole units. I also would make sure the bike has a hydraulic preload adjuster if you vary loads often (1-up vs-2-up, solo unloaded vs loaded for a trip). If you ride it pretty much the same (load wise)all the time the hydraulic adjuster is no benefit.

I would spring a sachs and freshen it because that is plenty good but I would also keep an eye on the classifieds for a GOOD aftermarket at a price that would be close to the cost of hot rodding a showa or sachs.
 
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