Pay for a rework or do it myself? - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Pay for a rework or do it myself?

Trying to decide on what to do with some spring funds this year. I'll either be getting a new lens for my camera or getting some parts for the RC.

Assuming I'll be buying RC stuff, I'm trying to decide what is the best option for me. If I go with the Kyle racing 20mm kit, I'm at about $700. Or, I can buy the kit and new springs, seals, and spacers, plus the oil and all the tools. As I have never done front shocks before, it would be a learning experience. On top of that, I would then have most tools required to service my own forks, and would then be able to do seal replacements, oil changes, and other maintenance needs in the future. However, I would lose out on the spring modification and polishing described on the Kyle page.

I'm wondering what approach you guys would take? FWIW, never done a track day and don't plan to. I ride the bike to and from work and the occasional hour or two on weekends and when time allows in the summer. I live in Cleveland so the riding season is short to begin with.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 07:58 PM
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IMO, if you plan on owning the RC51 for a long time and want to improve the bike, go with the suspension work. Although it seems to me with your riding notes, an upgrade is not needed in the literal sense, but maybe in the personal sense. If not in the personal sense either, save the $$ and get a lens for your camera. And if you plan to own the RC51 a long time, and want to do the upgraded suspension, while not cheap, may as well get the tools and learn to do it yourself since over the years it will be less expensive as your maintain the forks and change seals, etc. Plus even at the dealers I've seen half-a$$ed work.

The RC51 is the last priority I spend money on, though it is still a priority. I love photography. What do you shoot and what's the gear?

Last edited by kwtoxman; 01-05-2014 at 10:16 AM.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I need to replace the springs with something that works for my weight, as I go about 270. Add an oil change to that and I'm already looking at a few hundred in product cost. May as well just buy the tools and do the cartridge upgrade while everything is apart. So I'd have money invested either way. I also have an old CBR I plan on selling in the spring. May sell quicker with fresh maintenance done.

I have a Canon 5D2, gripped etc.. A Sigma 35mm, Canon 24-105, and the 100-400L. I had a 70-200 IS version 1 but sold it to get the money I needed for the RC last spring. If getting a new lens I would be picking up the 70-200 IS v2. I'd like a new 24-70 v2, but the 70-200 is so versatile on the full frame camera. I just take pics of whatever. Don't really have any favorites or great work yet. Still learning to be honest, but at least I do everything in manual mode.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 08:59 PM
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FWIW, the RC51 stock can handle your weight. I can't remember, but the owner's manual give a maximum weight rating and it is in the 300 lb range.

The RC suspension is progressively sprung which is the normal average do-it-all way that bikes come, so it can handle that weight (from a lightweight rider to a fully equipped 2 up bike with gear), and works fine on the street. And even the track (at least initially), but when getting fast on the track or racing, having a stiffer suspension that is linearly responsive is the goal.... it is more predictable at the limit, which is very important in that extreme environment. Hence the need for aftermarket suspension, though many people don't realize this when they buy and ride around on the street. It ceases being needed and becomes wanted. Nothing wrong with that though. I love aftermarket suspension, but I'm not tracking or racing the RC51, so it is a want, not a need.

I don't think that all suspension tools for the RC51 will translate over to your other bike per se (as I'd guess different bikes would often need different tools), but I'm assuming here. Other's would know more than me here. And I look to others with more experience working on forks for their input.

Beyond that, my caveat on length of ownership applies, as well as mechanical aptitude, and desire to work on the bike.

BTW, the forks are one of the strongest aspects of the RC51 design. The rear suspension is a much bigger issue on the bike and the general consensus is that the rear should be tackled first.

Nice camera set up. Consider aperture priority for artistic shots and shutter priority for speed. It simplifies the process and you can get the shot much quicker, which in many cases makes or breaks a shot (unless you are a landscape person, which I am at times and love). If you are big in this hobby, go for the lens, imo. My amazing shots have come from a good but very compact camera, as I bring it with me almost everywhere allowing me to get some amazing pictures. I'm always into seeing fellow enthusiasts hobbies so if you ever want to share some shots, post up. Cheers.

Last edited by kwtoxman; 01-05-2014 at 10:24 AM.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 09:05 PM
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Mike,
It all comes down to how much your trust yourself and your level of skills.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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kwtoxman, thanks for the input. I know they say the suspension is capable of two riders, but for some reason the front end just doesn't feel right to me. Perhaps it is just a learning curve or perhaps it needs a lot of adjustment or maybe new oil. I haven't touched the bike since I bought it save for cleaning up some light damage from when I dropped it in the drive a couple times late summer. I have a listing of the tools required and while some are special to a given fork size, some are very universal.

James, I believe I am quite capable. I do maintenance for a living and can rebuild an automobile engine. Not sure I'd trust myself with a motorcycle engine, but for stuff like chains, brakes, tires, sensors, etc (carbs on my CBR) I've been doing it myself and it seems to be working out fine. This winter will be block off plates, new chain and sprockets, wiring trace due to a speedo problem, oil and coolant change, spal fans, and hopefully a few other things. I hate paying others to do things that I can do myself. Anyway, I'm wondering how much the few additional steps that Kyle takes is worth shipping the forks off for.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 12:27 AM
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I'd buy the tools and service the suspension myself first (All you need is a fork seal driver & basic workshop tools + a ratchet tie down and a couple of suitable hooks) then start with base settings and go from there. Rear shock is a must. If you have an SP1, get a Kyle or other link too (Or get an SP2 link which is very similar).

If you can then afford it, get the lenz. But it's not the lenz that makes the photographer...

Euro RC51 SP2: HRC WSB Ti Hi-Level, T1 Airbox & Snorkel, PCIII, Dymag CA5 Carbon Wheels, Ti64 Spindles (F, R & Swing Arm), Mori Link, Maxton GP7 Shock & Ohlins 832 Forks, Brembo GP Calipers & SBK narrow track (F), Braketech Disc (R), Brembo billet Underslung x 2 Brembo RCS, Tyga Triple, 7075 Stem, Probolt Titanium all over, Babyface rearsets, MR Complete Carbon Lineup, Custom Undertail & CBR 1000 LED, Watsen LED Indicators, Harris Brace, Giles clip-ons, Corbin seat, etc. 2013 BOTY.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Well after doing a bunch more looking around I think I am going to try the work myself. It is clear I do not service the suspension nearly often enough, which this will help me do. It is also clear that I will be able to use these on my next bike a few years down the road, which will most likely be a used CBR1000. Given that I should be cleaning and changing the oil at least every few years, it now makes sense to invest in the tools.

Oh, and Stig, even the best photographers can produce quality work with crappy equipment, but they produce amazing work with good equipment. A lens is like a motorcycle. Either can produce good results, but to be able to do things that the ordinary person cannot, you need the top notch stuff. For example, in low light situations, a $100 lens won't do crap. A $1000 lens though might get you that perfect shot.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 02:43 PM
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There's a very good thread that b.miller123 did when he did his SP2 forks. Check it out then decide...

https://www.rc51forums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7973

John, 2000 RC51 #000100

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 07:28 PM
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Last year I asked myself a similar question....and sent them off to Hord Power.

Time was the issue with me.

Well worth the dollars spent too.



The very first schoolbook that was written had God all over it. --Dave Mustaine
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