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Tell it exactly like it is. T7 build and review as I go.


Suspension101

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Looking forward to seeing the Build George. 

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This is going to be very interesting.  Let it happen...

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So we have been working on these T7 Gobblers and we have been challenged with leaks, and a lack of control as the forks are just moving to fast. Not as bad as stock but not controlled.

Made some design changes and 6 more samples in hand to test. They leaked and one stem broke. Dang. They will not go out until they are bullet proof.

So was using a customer bike who has become a good friend and he just kept on bringing the bike back over and over again. I started feeling guilty as Andy never complained and simply wanted to help.

So I bought the T7 and built Andy a suspension with 1/2 inch additional travel in the shock and a set of forks with the pistons we made for this bike in the mid valve and the base valve without Gobblers. Went for a test with him and he is quite pleased. Only able to bottom the bike when he is trying. Such as landing on the front side of a whoop at speed. So now he can ride his bike in peace and aggression all at the same time. If he wants to post up that is his call as I will likely not even mention that to him.

So I tear into my bike.

First I take the bars off, loosen the upper triple clamps so I can get the fork caps loose and raise the front wheel all the way up till it stops. Checking for clearance to see if we can use up more chrome when the forks are at the bottom of the stroke.  There is room for another inch so lets see what it will take for this fork to go deeper, for more travel without making the bike taller. More travel means more plush and speed and bottoming resistance all at the same time.

 

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So how to you get more down travel out of a fork.

The T7 fork is a bit more challenging than most because as you can see the chrome tube hits the cap. So there are two stops on this fork. The standard stop on a fork is the spring guide. That is the plastic ribbed piece that rides inside your spring. At the bottom of this piece is what I call a bullet. That bullet goes into an oil filled cup on the cartridge and is your normal bottoming device.

So the bullet has to be moved up further on the damping rod and the plastic spring guide needs to be shortened, but that is not all folks. There is more and it is not free. The chrome tube needs to be shortened. Yep have to shorten the forks to get more travel, go figure.

So I removed the lugs and cut the chrome tubes 12mm or 1/2 inch. Moved the bullet up 1/2 inch and bingo. We have a half inch additional down travel. So we have theoretically a 220mm fork. But will it work?

 

I installed the custom pistons in the mid and base valves, with proto Gobblers, and a .66 spring in the left fork and a .68 spring in the right fork with 7mm of preload. 195lbs standard dirt bike gear. Stock shock as bad as it is.

I flogged the hell out of it. I tagged rocks at a much higher rate of speed than on the stock forks and did not bend a rim this time. It is actually really waay better than stock.

So I have built many internal gobblers on many bikes and they do not have a bleed adjustment. Big bikes only. So as a test I closed the bleed circuits on both forks to see if the fork became harsh. I wanted to see if I needed them at all. The fork slowed down a bit and some of that control I was looking for started to show up. Not there yet but hmm. Maybe it is not an advantage to have a bleed circuit with the Gobblers.

To confirm this I am going to do the same to the 990 today to confirm.

Then on the T7 I adjusted in more high speed by 1/2 turn. Immediate sharp edge plushness showed up. Wow, I mean really quite noticeably smoother. Front end was not raising as much it was just sucking them up better. This is hitting rocks at between 20 and 30mph that are embedded and will bend your rim in a heartbeat. No bent rim this time. Yessss.

 

So heading out for another test in a little while. Both bikes as my 17 yr old son Enzo can throw down pretty good on the big bikes. What are we testing this time.

I modified in house, the Gobblers and I am pretty dang sure they are not going to leak.

I modified the high speed spring rate in the Gobblers.

I re-valved the Gobblers as well.

I want more plush, more control. I just want more more more.

I could not ride this shock again in stock form.

I re-valved the shock just like I did Andy's and did a couple tweaks that I think will make it more compliant and still be able to throw major roost as I am looking for traction. Stock shock does not get traction.

I also installed an 8.8/10.4 variable rate shock spring.

Stock travel on the shock and that is why I went down a rate as Andy runs a 9.0/10.5 but has a bit more travel and less spring preload. Details details.

 

Will try to post results of todays test later.

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My T7 definitely needs upgraded suspension… cant wait until you have it all sorted out.  enjoying this thread so far.

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@Suspension101 Hi George, I will be following your build with much interest.  I also like the @Camel ADV stuff.  Cory gave me your contact info and we talked via email and I've got to say you are easy to talk to and have a wealth of knowledge, this forum will benefit from your build thread.  All the best. 

 

cheers

-Bob

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i too, am eagerly awaiting the kit foor retail availability..  🙂

else I need to ride to SD and git-r-dun

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This is gonna be awesome! Hurry up and get on with it!

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Hey George, welcome to the club!

You might want to explain what the "Gobblers" are. I know what they are because I have them in my dirt bike and 790 but many people here may not know.


I'm quite curious to see how far you can get with the stock parts. The work you did on my original parts (before the KYB SSS and TFX shock swap) was very impressive and that was just the first one you'd done. I'm sure you're well beyond the ride quality of that revalve now.  My OEM parts are in a friend's T7 and he's blown away by the difference, he's loving it.

If Giovanni races VCGP, will you be headed up with him? I'm planning on racing it again. My race ended so abruptly in 2019, I feel I have to go back and do it again.

 

 

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Bits and pieces for your adventure bike. Camel-ADV.com

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Ok pictures and more details. The white plastic item is the spring guide. Simply keeps the spring from folding against your damper rod.

The silver item on the damper rod itself is what I called the bottoming bullet. When compressed it goes into the cartridge into a cylinder full of oil. The oil then has to be forced by the piston and it is a lot of resistance. That is the last ditch effort to stop the fork at the end of the stroke.

IMG_0833.thumb.JPG.1e6fad4f1569ca4dd00f8847f3c33608.JPG

 

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KIMG0142.thumb.jpg.c9af87083dec3a61d6f70264ad85e545.jpg

 

Please excuse the terrible picture. To get in much deeper. This is the T7 sprung mid valve design.  The spring you see is holding your shim stacks against the piston.

Think pop off valve. Very similar to a Gobbler except in the mid valve. This is the same design concept as the cone valve.

The cone valve has the spring and it holds a cone against the fluid flow. Under pressure the aluminum cone is pushed out of the way to allow flow. It is all about spring.

Which is better a cone or a shim stack. The cone is claimed to be longer lasting. They change springs and cone angles to change the damping characteristics. The cone is shown on my website if you want to see one. So when I use a shim stack instead of a cone there are distinct advantages.

For starters I have been doing these for many years prior to the cone. I have not seen any bent shims and very little wear because of the pop off spring. Hit a sharp edge and the spring allows a momentary flow. This stresses the shims much less and is likely the reason they last and last. But the big advantage is the amount of adjustment you can get from a shim stack compared to a ridged cone. We can make it firmer in the beginning or in the end or in the middle. The range is much larger than a cone. The sensitivity you can get with cross overs etc with shims is proven and superior. More expensive maybe but better.

So the sprung mid I do has no float or bleed. The mid valve starts damping from the first inch to the last inch. This makes the fork more digressive instead of progressive and makes for a really steady and controlled fork with more bottoming resistance, but it is easier on the wrist bottoming resistance.

Firm through the stroke but when you really hit something way too hard is when it shines.

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So I have been using the Prototype Gobblers for all these tests.

This week I modified the stock T7 base valves into Gobblers. We have to keep on testing and improving. Again with a slightly modified shim stack.

With the Gobblers we do have an adjustable high speed.

With the oem modified base valve I had to fix the high speed spring preload. See picture of the WP Gobbler. The spring seat at the bottom of the spring is adjustable so I can firm up the shims for more firm or lighten the spring for more plush although sometimes firmer spring more plush. Dang so complicated.

But I do have a major advantage when I make a Gobbler out of the oem base valve. When I had the Gobblers working really good last week I was able to remove the Gobblers and measure the spring preload for the best overall package. So I cheated and stole my best settings.

Softened up the stacks at the beginning of the stroke a touch and we will be better tomorrow than we were last week with a much less expensive product.

Also have a Go Pro looking at the front wheel and forks as well as the boy Enzo with a video camera. 

Thanks for listening and good times tomorrow.

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