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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased my '09 EX from my brother in law with about 1500 miles on it in the spring of last year (yes, 1500 - he bought it new in '10 and didnt ride it much). The first few rides were not very confidence inspiring as the bike wasn't very smooth, didn't like to change direction and hit hard on most any bump. After much research on this board and the wiki, it was clear that the way too soft and floppy suspension needed some help. Due to life happening, the bike sat for most of the summer. I weigh 165 lbs and went with RaceTech fork springs at .585 kg/mm, an AFCO 400 lb/in spring on the rear (from Speedway Motors) and installed FOG bones, all over this winter. I know that multiple upgrades at one time make it difficult to determine what the actual cause for improvement may have been, but there was enough of a history on the board that I felt good about doing all three.

Since the weather finally started to cooperate here in Illinois and I have gotten a few rides in, I am very happy to report that those changes have absolutely changed the dynamic of the bike. If feels solid, planted and just like it is designed to do, the suspension and ride is exponentially better with the proper spring rates. The difference is really surprising; I expected it to be better, but not like this. My last bike was a Buell Thunderbolt, so I knew what I was looking for in suspension feel and confidence, and now the EX feels right about where I would like it for the kind of riding that I do, which I would say is sport-touring.

So mostly I just wanted to give a heads up to those other new guys that inevitably post about whether they need to upgrade the suspension or not. This really is not even a question; unless you are that small percentage of people that fit the factory spring rates, then absolutely yes your should being doing these upgrades, just about before anything else. The best part of it is that the parts are inexpensive and the entire project can be done with standard tools. $85 for the rear spring, $50 for the FOG bones and $105 for the fork springs. $240 for a totally transformative upgrade that really delivers what I had hoped it would. Plus you get a great chance to really know the bike when you do the work yourself. It's a win-win, so don't delay.

I also completely recommend reading about pilot screw setting and the FOG airbox mod, as those transformed my engine; one of my pilot screws was fully screwed in from the factory...but that is a thread for a different forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Can you post a link to the rear shock spring, and maybe also any relevant tools needed to swap it? I'm about the same weight as you, so that might be my best bet.
Zero, the link below should take you directly to the Amazon page for the spring.


Regarding tools, there was nothing special required that I would think would be outside of the norm. There are some good tutorials around here that cover the removal and install, so I worked from those and the Haynes manual. I don't have a vise, but one would have made the job a little easier, but its not mandatory...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Did you lengthen the kickstand, or did you leave it as is?
uconn, I did not lengthen the side stand, though I think it would probably benefit from doing so. Mine is always on the centerstand when in the garage, and I do have the center stand on a 1" thick board from an old stair tread to get clearance for the rear wheel. When the bike is on the side stand, it does lean quite a bit, but not so much that it feel it will fall on its own on a level hard surface undisturbed. If I was going to have to leave it parked around people or other bikes, I would probably feel better about having a plate for the stand to sit on about an inch thick, similar to my center stand board, though a longer side stand would be nice.
 
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