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The Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Owners Group: Discussion Forums

Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Owners Group :: View topic - Hagon shocks suspension upgrade


Hagon shocks suspension upgrade

 
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spurlock
Commuter
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Joined: Jul 08, 2014
Posts: 868
Location: Vacaville, CA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:30 pm    Post subject: Hagon shocks suspension upgrade Reply with quote

It might seem silly to talk about handling upgrades to a little 1975 bike, an era when suspension and frame technology was made more for economy than performance. But my little CB125S is really capable in most ways, and I ride it a lot, often in a "spirited" manner on winding bumpy roads. So to me any handling improvements I can make are worthwhile for both safety and fun.

Probably the biggest shortcoming with most older bikes is lousy shocks. A couple years back I modified my stock CB125S shocks by adding an oil drain/fill plug to allow replacing the stock oil with heavier stuff to improve dampening. That did improve them quite a bit compared to the flabby, bouncy stock shock action.



But lately I had noticed them losing their mojo and the bike feeling squirrely in bumpy corners once again. Pulling the shocks off I found that one of them had completely lost its dampening, so something had worn out or fallen apart inside. So this time I replaced them with a new pair of Hagon shocks. Hagon had a pair that matched the original 310mm length, have adjustable spring preload and added an extra 12mm travel. Made in the UK, Hagons are distributed in the US by Dave Quinn Motorcycles and available in several styles, damping ranges and spring rates to match particular bikes and rider weights. Dave took extra measurements for me to make sure the shocks would clear my chain guard.

I wasn't sure if premium shocks would be a worthwhile investment for a simple 1975 era tiddler, but after one test ride the answer was yes, the handling improvement is dramatic!



To test shock sag I mounted a brass rod to the swing arm and up through a plastic cable clamp guide and along the side of the seat. Then riding along slowly on a smooth level road I could note how far the shocks were compressed with weight of bike and rider. With the springs on the softest setting, sag was about 34% of total travel, a bit more than I would like so I will experiment with upping the pre-load one notch.





To find out how much of the total shock travel I was using, I slid the rubber bumpers on the shock rods down their shafts a ways, then deliberately rode over some of the worse bumps I normally encounter. Stopping and looking at the bumpers, I found they were still about 10mm shy of the top eye, so I was not quite getting full travel from them, but close. Quinn says that with a few hundred miles of use the shocks will loosen up and I will likely get that last bit of travel out of them. For me this was $236.00 well spent.

I had already improved the front suspension by changing fork oil from the stock ATF to 10w-30 motor oil for improved dampening, and making PVC spacers to preload the springs by 20mm to reduce front fork sag to about 25% of travel. The fork springs are external, so I added the PVC spacers above the springs.



The bike is now much more secure and confidence-inspiring in bumpy corners and heavy braking. Now I just need to not get over-confident and remember that the available tires for this bike are not the greatest.

-Bill

_________________
1975 Honda CB125S
1975 Honda XL250K2
1989 Honda NX250
1989 Honda GB500tt
1990 Honda GB500tt
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Thomas8
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Joined: Apr 14, 2012
Posts: 251
Location: Hillsboro, Ore., USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice setup! I love my '82 125S. Now you've got my wheels turning.

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fasterspider
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Joined: Feb 04, 2007
Posts: 3231
Location: Granada Hills, SFV, Ca.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a pair of Hagon shocks coming off of a crashed bike and one of them is bent.
Do you think Hagon would reshaft the bad shock?

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Ray #1
1964 Yamaha MG1-T Trailmaster
1974 Suzuki TS185 Sierra Suitcase Cycle
1981 Yamaha XT250H
Sold CBX and both Trail 90s were stolen
fasterspider [at] gmail [dot] com
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spurlock
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Joined: Jul 08, 2014
Posts: 868
Location: Vacaville, CA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thomas8 wrote:
Nice setup! I love my '82 125S. Now you've got my wheels turning.



That is a beautiful bike Tom. I'll tell you, I just walked in the door from a 70 mile ride on my 125 over bumpy twisty roads like this....



....and I'm grinning ear to ear at the experience. The shocks have absolutely transformed the bike, keeping the rear tire glued to the road and maintaining a predictable line through corners in spite of bumps. It feels like a road racer, so much more stable and confidence inspiring. I was transported back to the 1970s, racing my first Honda 125 with modified Koni shocks in AFM road races. I cannot recommend this upgrade enough for improved safety, handling and just overall feeling of security. Makes the bike feel like a bigger machine, except for needing to keep the revs at 7-8K rpm going uphill.

-Bill

_________________
1975 Honda CB125S
1975 Honda XL250K2
1989 Honda NX250
1989 Honda GB500tt
1990 Honda GB500tt
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Muzzleloader
Weekend Warrior
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Joined: Jul 30, 2013
Posts: 136
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently discovered Hagon shocks and installed a set on my '71 Harley Sportster.
They made an unbelievable difference in ride comfort and handling.
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spurlock
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Joined: Jul 08, 2014
Posts: 868
Location: Vacaville, CA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fasterspider wrote:
I have a pair of Hagon shocks coming off of a crashed bike and one of them is bent.
Do you think Hagon would reshaft the bad shock?


I don't know, but it likely depends upon the model of shock. Some are rebuildable, others like mine are not. Dave Quinn is the guy to call, he will have the answer and is a great person to deal with.

-Bill

_________________
1975 Honda CB125S
1975 Honda XL250K2
1989 Honda NX250
1989 Honda GB500tt
1990 Honda GB500tt
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fasterspider
Full Throttle
Full Throttle


Joined: Feb 04, 2007
Posts: 3231
Location: Granada Hills, SFV, Ca.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spurlock wrote:
fasterspider wrote:
I have a pair of Hagon shocks coming off of a crashed bike and one of them is bent.
Do you think Hagon would reshaft the bad shock?


I don't know, but it likely depends upon the model of shock. Some are rebuildable, others like mine are not. Dave Quinn is the guy to call, he will have the answer and is a great person to deal with.

-Bill

Thank you.
I really don't think it is worth the cost of rebuild, was just wondering is all.

_________________
Ray #1
1964 Yamaha MG1-T Trailmaster
1974 Suzuki TS185 Sierra Suitcase Cycle
1981 Yamaha XT250H
Sold CBX and both Trail 90s were stolen
fasterspider [at] gmail [dot] com
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