I have ridden the bike loads recently, with some nice UK weather finally arriving. The suspension is definitely coming along and the ride is more compliant. However, the bike is definitely getting sprightly over the bumps under harder acceleration or when closing the throttle and I’ve decked the exhaust a couple of times when cranked over – not so happy about that. What I am enjoying however, is the turn of speed! I really must get on and get the speedo drive hooked up!

So, in the interests of being a little more scientific about the geometry changes, I have done a rough calculation of the reduction in front ride height caused by a change to 17 inch wheels and the change of forks.

Katana Fork length – 812mm vs TL1000S Fork length – 740mm = 72mm lower

Tyre change 19inch to 17 inch = 1inch (25mm) lower

So the reduction in front ride height = (812-740) = 72mm and an additional 25mm from the change from 19inch wheels to 17 inch – that’s quite a bit (97mm) – especially at the rear is on Ohlins SU143 shocks,  that I believe are slightly longer than stock shocks.

So – what to do? I could have just swopped front ends again – but I’ve engaged Mr. Visa to help and have ordered some fork extensions from Australia instead! They are not the cheapest option available but I’ve stuck a wad of cash into new springs and valve changes in the TL1000 forks. I also like the wide set forks in the TL1000 yokes, and I don’t want to use Honda 954 dropped yokes as I like the fact I can run clip-ons on the bike as it currently is built. So figured in for a penny in for an Australian dollar, rather than start again.

Anyhow, we should have them in a week or two assuming they don’t get held at customs – and we can get them installed! They should give me 50mm (around 2 inches) of additional length to play with (fnar fnar!)- raising the front  up plenty enough to give sufficient ground clearance, and still allow increased turn in from a more aggressive stance. I had originally ordered 75mm, but a series of discussions on OldSkoolSuzuki and some measuring etc. and I’ve opted for the 50mm. A quick exchange of emails to Ben at Extreme Creations and the order was changed. Top bloke! They’ve got some great kit – take a look at their website for further details

I’ll do some proper measurements and work out trail figures etc. when they arrive. The kit provides an extension from the bottom of the internals as well as the top outer fork – so retains the damping adjustment capabilities of the forks :o)

In other news .. the normally project fiddling about is required:

  • The Carbs need looking at (again!) – there’s a slight weep from around the float bowls somewhere – it could be overflow, or a nipped up o-ring. So I need to get that sorted.
  • The bike also fires mostly first time – but if it doesn’t then unless I let it sit for a few minutes it just won’t start – no amount of cranking. Can’t decide whether it’s  lack of fuel, or flooding. So need to have a ponder on that one!
  • The exhausts lost some of their nickel coating when they were chopped about. So I also need to decide what to do about that as the steel is starting to rust up slightly – there’s only so much I’ll put up with getting the scotch-bright pads out and rubbing down the exhaust.

So give me a couple of weeks and there’ll be a further update – and who knows I may have some on board go-pro footage if I can remember to charge it!