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Sunday, 18 December 2011

Bouncy bouncy

...or hopefully not. I've been meaning to sort out the suspension on the Traveller for a while. The original forks were working OK, but were starting to look a bit tatty. I swapped them for a spare pair, and refurbishing the originals is one of the 'winter jobs' on my list. Ideally, I would have liked to get them powder coated, but they are notoriously hard to take apart, and I'm afraid I might damage them in the process, so I'll just paint them instead. If this doesn't work out there will be a 'stripping forks and getting them powder coated' thread later. Talking of powdercoating, I've used Chameleon in the past and have been impressed by their quick and high quality service.
Here's the bits and pieces:

Original forks, Hagon progressive springs, and preload adjusters from a Honda VFR 750 modified to fit. I can't remember which model of VFR these are from, but they have the same thread as the Skorpion forks, so screw straight in. More details later.

At the rear I replaced the standard shock with an Öhlins from a Yamaha FZR 400. Not sure which model of FZR (possibly the RR), but it's a 'real' Öhlins rather than a 'Yamaha  Öhlins' as fitted to some models. Yamaha owned Öhlins at one time and fitted lower spec shocks and forks to some models with the Öhlins name (and yellow paint).
I bought the shock a few years ago on Ebay for around £125. At the time, this shock cost £720, so it was too good a bargain to miss.
The rear suspension on the Skorpion  is based on the Yamaha FZR 400/600/1000 setup, so some parts are interchangeable. It's probably better to use a shock from a 600 or 1000, as the damping on the 400 unit is too low for the Skorpion and I have to ride with it set to maximum. I've spoken to an Öhlins service centre, and they said that if I give them a note of the bike's weight, my weight, and the weight of luggage I'm likely to carry; they will rebuild the shock to suit. Once I've removed it, I'll give it to them to work on.

Öhlins Shock fitted to Skorpion. I had to make the bracket for the reservoir, and also had to remove the toolbox from below the airbox as the reservoir hose fouled on it. Yes, that's a gold coloured Brembo master cylinder, (more on that later), and lots of stainless screws.

That's the plan at the moment and I'll keep you up to date with how things work out.

And no, I don't know why the font size changes halfway through this post. I've tried everything I can, but I can't fix it!


  1. Good to have some positive Skorpion related news and I hope you've got a heater in the garage.

    If you're bovvered you can probably cure your font by copying the whole thing into your word processor, formatting it there and then pasting back.

    Keep up the good work.


  2. After what's been a really bad year it's good to get back to working on the bike again. I've got a heater in the garage (and lots of warm clothing), but one advantage of living on your own is that you can do more work inside your house when it's cold!
    Yes, I could have sorted out the font problem using a word processor, but I couldn't really be bothered and everyone can read it anyway!
    Hope to have a few more Skorpion articles soon.