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Question 750x DCT (2018 model) fork springs upgrade

Hot_Snot

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Hey Folks,

Am looking to upgrade my forks. Am on my second NC750x and the forks on this one are just not doing it for me. Had no great issues on my last (2015) NC, apart from the occasional handling uncertainty that the showa bual bending forks bring in twisties - certainly didn't install awe-inspiring confidence! On my current (2019 year, 2018 model) I have always thought the front sat a little low and felt a bit soft, but am sure it is getting worse... When hitting a speed bump or a (not-so level!) level crossing, if there is any kind of haste involved, the forks can bottom out. Not good. (happened once, haven't let it happen again!)

There's only 8000km on the clock, I bought the bike with 4000km on the clock. Touching 90kg, I am slightly heavier than the design-specified rider. So it makes sense to me to upgrade the springs. For all I know, there could even have been softer springs previously installed. My strategy is to start with the springs and replace/upgrade the oil. If there are still issues, then will take the next step.

From my research online, I see the stock spring is about 8.2kN/mm. So was thinking of upgrading to about a 9kN/mm.
I suppose seals should also be replaced, while I'm at it (currently perfect, no leaks, no pitting, etc.)

Has anyone done this / faced similar issues / got any tips??

Also, I am not looking to go racing - this is my commuter bike (and what a fantastic commuter!) - and am also not looking to hand over my wallet! So would be delighted to get any recommendations for reasonably priced replacements . Am located in Dublin, Ireland, but will be in California at the end of the month (have a delivery address) - so European and Northern American recommendations gratefully appreciated.

Cheers!
 

Wedders

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I am no suspension guru, but from my experience and research for my own upgrade, I have decided springs alone are not the answer. They may help slightly but not enough, the main suspension is done by compression and rebound. This can only de achieved by expensive cartridges or a cheaper option of cartridge emulators. I recommend that you investigate the emulator route the main two being sold are Racetech Gold and YSS the latter being the more economical. BTW I have the Racetech ones and they work very well but are not perfect.
 

Hot_Snot

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I am no suspension guru, but from my experience and research for my own upgrade, I have decided springs alone are not the answer. They may help slightly but not enough, the main suspension is done by compression and rebound. This can only de achieved by expensive cartridges or a cheaper option of cartridge emulators. I recommend that you investigate the emulator route the main two being sold are Racetech Gold and YSS the latter being the more economical. BTW I have the Racetech ones and they work very well but are not perfect.
Thanks Wedders. I was thinking emulators might also be required alright... But would rather not go to the expense and hassle if not required... I think I can probably live with the compression and preload as-is... And, I understand the compression/rebound rates can be improved with heavier oil (15W?), which I was intending to experiment with when replacing the springs.

My main issue is how low the front end sits - very low. At present the static sag (bike only) is about 50mm, active sag (sitting on bike) is about 75mm. This also means, when on the side stand, the bike is quite upright - way too perpendicular to relax when walking away from it on a slightly windy day!
 

Gixus

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The static sag on my 2021 was 40 mm. With me on it was 60 mm. I installed Cb1100 preload adjuster caps. They screw in easily. They are slightly longer and with preload at the minimum (not screwed in at all) I get 50 mm with my 195 lb. weight. It’s made the front feel slightly firmer, and less bouncy. An improvement worth the money, but not an epiphany.

Ill give it a while, and then consider emulators. I’m waiting for a YSS rear shock to arrive. I want to see how it interacts with the forks before I do any further work with them. I will be changing the fork fluid for an aftermarket synthetic.If Honda cheapened out on the front forks, why would they put in a quality fork fluid. I’ve noticed, it could just be me, that the stock suspension feels somewhat plush until the fork fluid warms up, and then the ride becomes unsatisfactory.

Of course there is one upside to such a basic front fork. It’s easy to work on.
 

Gixus

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It’s a Japanese bike. I understand they use around 140 lbs as the design rider weight. But I could be wrong. I’ve ridden many Japanese bikes and seldom found the springs too soft.
 

DTMWAP

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It’s a Japanese bike. I understand they use around 140 lbs as the design rider weight. But I could be wrong. I’ve ridden many Japanese bikes and seldom found the springs too soft.
142 lb without clothes here. I'm really not good to analyze or understand motorcycle suspension but I find it to be quite harsh on my 2015 NC750. I feel all the small bumps, cracks holes front and back.
Feel slightly better front and much better back when I ride with my wife. Approximate total weight of 265 lb for both of us full gear.
 

Hot_Snot

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The static sag on my 2021 was 40 mm. With me on it was 60 mm. I installed Cb1100 preload adjuster caps. They screw in easily. They are slightly longer and with preload at the minimum (not screwed in at all) I get 50 mm with my 195 lb. weight. It’s made the front feel slightly firmer, and less bouncy. An improvement worth the money, but not an epiphany.

Ill give it a while, and then consider emulators. I’m waiting for a YSS rear shock to arrive. I want to see how it interacts with the forks before I do any further work with them. I will be changing the fork fluid for an aftermarket synthetic.If Honda cheapened out on the front forks, why would they put in a quality fork fluid. I’ve noticed, it could just be me, that the stock suspension feels somewhat plush until the fork fluid warms up, and then the ride becomes unsatisfactory.

Of course there is one upside to such a basic front fork. It’s easy to work on.
Great piece of information, thank you!

I dug a little deeper and found further details on the forum about the CB1100 adjuster trick... A quick search online and already I have a set on it's way from Webike Japan - delivered to the door for less than fifty bucks! (these days €≈$)

I was a bit uncertain about installing stronger springs straight off the bat, in case they caused jarring / the ride to be too stiff. I reckon a good first step would be to install the CB caps and replace the oil - perhaps for heavier oil to slightly improve the compression/dampening - and test. I also like the idea of incremental changes in order to monitor the approach to the 'sweet spot', and to really learn from the experience
 

Hot_Snot

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It’s a Japanese bike. I understand they use around 140 lbs as the design rider weight. But I could be wrong. I’ve ridden many Japanese bikes and seldom found the springs too soft.
Me neither... A TW125, V-Strom, Two Transalps, a CRF1000L, and this is the second NC750x under my belt.... Have never had this complaint before...
 

Hot_Snot

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142 lb without clothes here. I'm really not good to analyze or understand motorcycle suspension but I find it to be quite harsh on my 2015 NC750. I feel all the small bumps, cracks holes front and back.
Feel slightly better front and much better back when I ride with my wife. Approximate total weight of 265 lb for both of us full gear.
Strange that... I'm the opposite... I feel much better when riding away from my wife!!! ;):D
 

jcarpino

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The static sag on my 2021 was 40 mm. With me on it was 60 mm. I installed Cb1100 preload adjuster caps. They screw in easily. They are slightly longer and with preload at the minimum (not screwed in at all) I get 50 mm with my 195 lb. weight. It’s made the front feel slightly firmer, and less bouncy. An improvement worth the money, but not an epiphany.

Ill give it a while, and then consider emulators. I’m waiting for a YSS rear shock to arrive. I want to see how it interacts with the forks before I do any further work with them. I will be changing the fork fluid for an aftermarket synthetic.If Honda cheapened out on the front forks, why would they put in a quality fork fluid. I’ve noticed, it could just be me, that the stock suspension feels somewhat plush until the fork fluid warms up, and then the ride becomes unsatisfactory.

Of course there is one upside to such a basic front fork. It’s easy to work on.
I've been shopping for a new rear shock as well. Which YSS shock did you purchase? ( From where and how much if you don't mind me asking?)
 

Gixus

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jcarpino.

Its good you asked me that question now and not when I actually purchased mine. I’ve been corresponding with another member and he got a much better deal on the same shock. He got his for $543 Canadian dollars.

He purchased one from www.firefoxracing.co.uk.

Below are the details of my shock for my 2021. I don’t see a 2021 listed on the above site, but I’m sure they’ll be able to get it.

I’ll be putting the shock on in the next few days and reporting after a test ride. It seems well made.

985CE0A5-BD77-45C1-A1E0-F94B413305B9.png
 

potter0o

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To not take the thread too far off of topic I ordered from Firefox. It was only last night though so I can't comment on much more than pricing. I did a fair bit of research on who to buy from and consciously made a choice knowing the pros and cons. My shock is slightly different as it is for a 2013 NC700S MZ456-300TRL-33. I was planning to do a review of the supplier after delivery. Sharing is caring :)

I can post a separate thread on the granular details of my process if anyone is interested, send me a pm. My spouse says I think too much...
 
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jcarpino

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jcarpino.

Its good you asked me that question now and not when I actually purchased mine. I’ve been corresponding with another member and he got a much better deal on the same shock. He got his for $543 Canadian dollars.

He purchased one from www.firefoxracing.co.uk.

Below are the details of my shock for my 2021. I don’t see a 2021 listed on the above site, but I’m sure they’ll be able to get it.

I’ll be putting the shock on in the next few days and reporting after a test ride. It seems well made.

View attachment 50395
Thanks for the information. I was looking at the same one. I found one on eBay for about the same price - about $365 USD with shipping.
Let me know how it works out for you.
 

Gixus

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jcarpino.

I put the shock on today. Fitment was fairly straight forward. For those who have a 2021 and are interested:

1). Take side panels off.
2). Take left foot plate off, as well as unscrew gear shift.
3). Take chain guard off. Makes access to upper shock bolt on left side easier to reach.
4). Support swingarm with Jack.
5). Undo wishbone bolt that attaches to frame, and let dangle down. This makes lower bolt holding shock on accessible.
6). Undo shock bolts and shock drops out. When putting new shock on, attach bolt on bottom, and then push up on the shock until it slots into frame slot. It’s awkward, but far easier than struggling to hold the shock and insert the top bolt. There’s limited room, depending on the size of your hands.

This guy does a good job on a pre 2021 Nc shock replacement.
 

MartiJ

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I went with the Hyperpro streetbox option for the NC750X. The springs were set for my weight with gear and while the front forks don't have an emulator they are a stiffer progressive spring and they supply the oil weight that works with them (make sure you tell them your weight and what you are looking for). Mine is much more composed and surefooted. And my thought was I can always put in emulators later if needed. So far I don't need them. This worked for me for budget reasons and left room for future adjustments if needed (fork preload adjusters, emulators both of which would require cutting the stock spacer length)
 
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Hot_Snot

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So, update...

I purchased the CB1100 preload adjusters and these Race Tech springs: FRSP S3534 https://racetech.com/ProductSearch/12/Honda/NC750X/2019 - went for the .80kg type, which is slightly less than the manufacturer recommends, but got them for a sweet €100 on ebay! Also had new 10W fork oil put in.

I got the bike back from the mechanic last week and have had a couple of rides since... She is a different bike!...

Straight off, I noticed she stands more upright on the side stand. Jumping on, noticed a whole lot less static preload. On the road, for speed bumps, pot holes and level crossings, she just eats them up! Even the handling in the corners now feels excellent - I even did some slow speed technical maneuvers in a disused car park - but there again, I suppose I probably had become somewhat used to the handling being atrocious!

Haven't had much opportunity to play around with the preload adjusters as-yet... So far I have maintained them applying least preload until the initial assessment period is complete... So it is anticipated the best is yet to come!

All-in, labour and all, it cost €240 (~$240 these days!) and it was definitely money well spent.

Thanks folks for the tips and advice... I knew I could count on motorcyclists to assist! ;)
 

Hot_Snot

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jcarpino.

I put the shock on today. Fitment was fairly straight forward. For those who have a 2021 and are interested:

1). Take side panels off.
2). Take left foot plate off, as well as unscrew gear shift.
3). Take chain guard off. Makes access to upper shock bolt on left side easier to reach.
4). Support swingarm with Jack.
5). Undo wishbone bolt that attaches to frame, and let dangle down. This makes lower bolt holding shock on accessible.
6). Undo shock bolts and shock drops out. When putting new shock on, attach bolt on bottom, and then push up on the shock until it slots into frame slot. It’s awkward, but far easier than struggling to hold the shock and insert the top bolt. There’s limited room, depending on the size of your hands.

This guy does a good job on a pre 2021 Nc shock replacement.
This guy's videos greatly helped me out too... All kudos to him if he should ever read this thread!
 
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