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PostPosted: July 15th, 2013, 4:25 pm 
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Joined: August 5th, 2012, 8:00 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Sacramento, CA
So my 89' XL600 was really starting to show it's 100k+ miles especially in the rear end.
If I set the bike on it's side stand, pulled it back to get maximum travel then let it settle back on to the rear tire, it seemed to drop at least 1-2" just from the weight of the bike. Put my 250lbs on the bike and it pretty much seemed to bottom out the shock/coil spring. Put luggage on for a weekend trip and I was definitely exceeding the capacity of the spring and riding bottomed out if I hit any bump.

I checked around for some kind of affordable solution, I didn't find much in the way of stock replacement springs that I could afford, and any used one I would find, well it was over 20 years old too! I checked with aftermarket shocks and couldn't afford the $600-900 price range.

So today while doing some maintenance getting ready for a trip to Oregon, I found the instructions on how to remove the shock, then remove the spring... Ideas started to form, and I pulled the shock assembly out, broke it down so that I could work with the spring alone. With the spring retaining nut off and the shock fulling extended there was at least 1-1 1/2" of thread showing above the retaining nut. I grabbed some cable that I had used for a gate for my rear fence and hung the spring from a rafter, then attached a 25lb weight to a cable on the bottom, and let it hang about 2" from the floor.

After that I used my oxy/acetylene torch to slowly heat the entire spring until the weight started to drop, I kept the heat on moving it over the entire length of the spring until the weight reached the floor. I let the spring cool on it's own with the weight still attached. After the spring cooled enough to touch, I cleaned it with acetone, then painted it the stock red.

Once the paint was dry I reassembled the spring/shock assy., I actually had to use a ratcheting strap to compress the spring enough to get the retaining nut started, I threaded the retaining nut and lock nut on so that I had about 1/8" of thread showing, re-installed the shock and tested it out.

What a difference! The bike sits at the top of its travel now when all of the weight is on the tires, barely sags when I get on, and on the test ride speed bumps in my neighborhood are now challenges instead of something to dread.

I will let you know how the bike handles this week on the trip to Oregon and back, but I'm thinking it will make a huge improvement on the rideability of the bike.


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2013, 7:57 pm 
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Joined: January 15th, 2006, 9:03 pm
Posts: 1389
Location: Portland OR USA
WOW Great Idea.. :yhclap:

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Disclaimer: The information contained herein is based on sources I believe reliable, or I just made up, so its accuracy is not guaranteed.  Commentary by "Russ Grover." expresses his opinion and not those of "Honda Motor Company".   There is No Warranty for any advice or Opinion given by Anyone on this forum. (Note: This Disclaimer can change at any Moment.)


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PostPosted: July 17th, 2013, 8:06 am 
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Joined: February 4th, 2006, 6:26 pm
Posts: 1377
Location: Champaign, IL USA
Damping will still be gone, but at least you have some travel. Hope you don't pogo too much!

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