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Discussion Starter #1
I posted another thread about converting a Yamaha xvs1100 shock to fit on a GL650 and I have been running the result on my GL for over a month now with good results.



I have also been working on converting a Yamaha xvs650 shock to fit the GL650 and have finally completed the work. I posted some of the conversion work on the other post, but wanted a separate post for this conversion since the process involved is somewhat different and I want to avoid confusion.





Also check out a conversion of this same shock to fit a GL500 further down in this thread!!



Firstly, the Yamaha xvs650 shock is generally available for less $ than the xvs1100 shock, and is actually easier to convert. There is no need to compress the spring and break a clevis loose for one thing. For another, the spring preload adjuster ring winds up at the bottom, making it much easier to adjust once it is installed on the bike.



Here is the xvs650 shock before the conversion- notice there is a collar at both ends-no clevis





First I sliced off most of the wide collar, leaving a flat surface. A new Clevis will bolt on here.







I drilled 2 holes with a #3 drill and tapped with a 1/4x28 tap.







I welded up a new clevis using 3/16 mild steel, and tried to copy the construction of the GL650 clevis. I drilled a couple of 5/16" holes in it and bolted it to the xvs650 shock with 1/4"x28 hardened bolts. I had to shorten the bolts somewhat. I also drilled 1/2" holes in the legs and pressed in 1/2"x3/8" bronze bushings. I cut the bushings off flush, and drilled the bushings with a 25/64" bit so the bolt would be a nice sliding fit. I found all the materials at my local ACE Hardware.











For the other end I needed to use two 1/2"x3/8" flanged bushings to widen the collar out to 4 cm and reduce the bore to match the gl650 shock. I turned the bushing shafts down to .475" so they were a press fit in the Yamaha collar, and then drilled the bore out with the 25/64" bit.







Here are the modded xvs650 shock next to a GL650 shock. They are actually the same length eye to eye-11 5/8".







And here is the modded shock being tested for fit in my spare GL650 frame. I will post actual ride test results once I mount the thing to my bike and ride it a while



 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm watching your creativity............






Is there a particular year..?



Tom


This one was a '06. I think the range of years for this shock is 2001 to current. I have found them with less than 10,000 miles on them for less than $30. Don't pay the $100+ some sellers are asking.
 

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Great upgrade! Would it not have been easier to modify the frame mount rather than the shock mount?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great upgrade! Would it not have been easier to modify the frame mount rather than the shock mount?


No way. The pro-link is all heavy cast pieces. Welding up the clevis and bolting it on is cheap and simple.
 

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The only thing that would make this nicer is a ready made clevis and welding it right into place.


A ready made clevis would be nice, couldn't find one. I thought of trying to find a piece of U channel that was 2" inside but reality set in. For about $1 worth of steel and some flux core welding wire I made my own. I could have cut the clevis off the gl650 shock and used that, but didn't want to. I tried welding my new clevis to the shock, but my wire feed welder wouldn't melt the shock metal for some reason. I also worried about getting the nitrogen charged shock too hot. Bolting the clevis on is safe, secure and easy.
 

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You , in the future, may be able to find a caster which could serve as a ready made clevis. With the caster wheel removed of course
 

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A U channel of the right size would also be quicker and weld free. That is if there is a good metal supplier there. Maybe they would make some cuts for you. We have one here called Speedy Metals that will cut any size no matter how long or short.



Of course int the quantity you need welding is probably a good solution.
 

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Nice job Steve. I'm curious about ride quality. I chose the 1100 shock considering the unsprung weight as it is a shaft drive bike. Mine is biased on the stiff side but very stable even pushing fairly hard in bumpy sweepers. I recently added braided lines from a cbr600 and the braking is well improved-they fit and the double banjo from the 3 hose connector fit the master just fine.GJ
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nice job Steve. I'm curious about ride quality. I chose the 1100 shock considering the unsprung weight as it is a shaft drive bike. Mine is biased on the stiff side but very stable even pushing fairly hard in bumpy sweepers. I recently added braided lines from a cbr600 and the braking is well improved-they fit and the double banjo from the 3 hose connector fit the master just fine.GJ


I have not installed the xvs 650 shock yet. Still using the xvs 1100 shock. I have it set on the 3rd from softest setting, and the ride is firm but comfortable on bumps, and rock steady on corners bumpy or not. I am very pleased. It was you who did the pioneering work on this whole Yamaha xvs shock conversion mod thing... Thanks!



I will be updating this thread once I get the xvs650 shock mounted and can test it out.
 

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Steve... Curious... Does the GL500 not have that Clevis like the GL650? And if so, any thoughts as to adapting the xvs 650 shock to the GL500?



We've been having a little conversation HERE because my shock appears to be leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Steve... Curious... Does the GL500 not have that Clevis like the GL650? And if so, any thoughts as to adapting the xvs 650 shock to the GL500?



We've been having a little conversation HERE because my shock appears to be leaking.


Another note on converting the xvs650 shock for use on the GL500 --- Just re bushing the bottom collar will leave the new shock 1 1/8" too short, so I am thinking of ways to correct this.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The XVS has close to the same travel as the GL shock as far as I can tell. I am really just winging it but the xvs1100 shock seems to be just right on the GL650. I wanted to install the XVS650 shock on my bike today but spent the time rebuilding my front brake calipers instead. But soon I will install it and have a ride report on how it does.



I am worried that a 1" shorter length shock will put the rear of the bike too low for proper cornering clearance, and upset the geometry of the bike. The fork tubes could be slid up in the triple tree to compensate of course. It may be a fix for a short rider as long as aggressive cornering ability was not needed.
 

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Maybe a chance to incorporate a ride height adjustment at the top? My GL500 is holding air for now but if I get through the summer I'll feel lucky.
 

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Anyone know what the Spring Weight of the GL500 Monoshock is?



I've found information that the stock XVS650 Spring Weight is 725-lbs. (and just FYI: I know you can get an aftermarket spring that is 930-lbs) What really matters is the ride height while you are on it, right? I've found that the stock rear spring is pretty squishy (possibly even more so due to it leaking though)... but my thought is that the geometry with rider may not change as much as you think. Or at least what I'm hoping.



Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Anyone know what the Spring Weight of the GL500 Monoshock is?



I've found information that the stock XVS650 Spring Weight is 725-lbs. (and just FYI: I know you can get an aftermarket spring that is 930-lbs) What really matters is the ride height while you are on it, right? I've found that the stock rear spring is pretty squishy (possibly even more so due to it leaking though)... but my thought is that the geometry with rider may not change as much as you think. Or at least what I'm hoping.



Thoughts?


The stock Honda shocks are air over oil adjustable and are meant to always have some air pressure over the oil to help the lighter spring hold the bike up. Just the spring is not going to work too well except with an extremely light rider. Honda was probably trying to make the suspension adaptable to a wide variation in loading, and they succeeded to a certain extent. If your shock is leaking be aware that low oil level will cause a bouncy shock with traction and handling negatively affected. I am 230 lbs and carry stuff on the bike most of the time and wear heavy gear and boots etc. I usually ran my stock rear shock at close to 70psi to keep from bottoming out on bumps. This resulted in a harsh ride which led me to pursue another option. The XVS shocks are Spring preload adjustable by means of a stepped collar. The more pre load you dial in the less sag. The xvs shock is nitrogen filled and has good linear damping. I haven't bottomed yet even with the spring preload on step 2 or 3 out of 7.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Maybe a chance to incorporate a ride height adjustment at the top? My GL500 is holding air for now but if I get through the summer I'll feel lucky.


Ride height is determined by the length of the shock and also by how much sag occurs when the riders weight is on the bike. You need some sag to allow the suspension to get "longer" when riding over bumps and when cornering etc. This keeps the rubber on the road when the bike is "unweighted". So raising ride height by installing a stiffer spring is going to cause handling and ride quality problems. A ride height adjustment made by making the shock a different length is the better way to go and your comment has gotten my brain clicking. It might be possible to fabricate a length adjustable feature into the shock.
 
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