Tenere 700 DIY Suspension Modification

I won’t bother going into the discussion of whether or not the OEM T7 suspension is adequate. That’s for you to decide based on your use. For me, I felt it could use some improvement. I’d have loved to ship my suspension off to Suspension101.com over in CA, but given my use of the bike, I couldn’t justify the cost. Note that S101 will extend your suspension if you want, which if you want the travel, is the way to go. So given I’m not opposed to getting oily, and there is a wealth of information on the internet, I did my next best thing……and went DIY with revalving my fork (and eventually my shock).

First, let’s set a baseline here. I am 185# before any riding gear. I race A class Enduro\Harescrambles and have a healthy background in trials. I’ve grown up riding dirtbikes, so that is to say…..riding is in my blood. For springs I opted for:
Front – KTech – 6.6n
Rear – KTech – 85n
There is talk that the 85N from Ktech isn’t good as it has 4mm more preload than other stuff. I don’t know. I’d read I could have went with Rally Raid rear at 90n and been good, but then see youtube videos noting that was too heavy. So, I went with what SEEMED to make the most sense for me, and also kept in mind that I’m making some massive swings from OEM settings here, so no sense getting too caught up in a minor detail like that.

For fork (and eventually shock) valving, there is a user on ADVRider by the name of Motociclo. He posted a massively large wealth of information. You can read through it here: ADVRider Link I used his information posted there to do my valving. I also integrated the midvalve stack that he noted (more on this later). You can see my exact valving information here:

You’ll note that my midvalve, I stacked up 17 x 0.10 shims to get my midvalve float to where it needed to be. You may need to do something different. This is why I bought extra shims. Speaking of, I bought my shims from suspensiondirect.com If I were ordering again, I’d go with: http://www.racingsuspensionproducts.com/shim/shim.html as they seem to have more in stock. Suspension direct did get me the shims they had in stock rather quickly though, so that was good.

Fork Oil, I went with Maxima 5W. The local dealer only had the “cheap” stuff from them, so I ran that. It’s 5W, so it should be fine.

If you have never done suspension before, I am not the best to give a how-to on this. I’ve gone through the process before so am familiar with doing it. If you don’t have a damper tube holding tool, you’ll want to have an impact to get the compression damper (at bottom of forks) removed without spinning the damper tube too much. You will also need something that is ~1-1/8″ diameter to clamp onto the damper tube to disassemble it (to access rebound valve). I drilled a hole in a 2×4 with a wood drill and then cut it in half. This worked quite well and was free99.

My hands were coated in oil during the process, so I didn’t really get much good pictures of this whole process. I’m sure there’s someone on the youtube with some information or walk throughs to follow. I don’t want to over-simplify things here, but the reality is is that revalving forks is literally unscrewing things, replacing a certain set of shims with a new set of shims, and then reassemble. The “black magic” of that is knowing what shims do what. This is where I used the information provided on the ADV thread above. There are programs which will assist you in understanding damping like restackor. I’ve owned this in the past for revalving MX forks for woods use, but unfortunately lost my passwords, otherwise I’d have used that to see what was what with this valving.

I haven’t had a chance to ride the bike with the forks revalve, and the rear shock spring replaced. Which on the rear shock, for compressing the spring I used this: https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/BK_7769091?impressionRank=2 I clamped the top tangs onto a steel rod passed through the upper shock bolt. It worked out quite well for me.

I plan to sneak in a ride on the bike here soon enough. I will say that compressing the forks, on rebound they seem noisy, but could just be my imagination. Once the snow melts, or roads are decent enough I’ll get the bike out to test and tune.

Also quick side note…..Since you’re in there, double check your linkage bearings. I know folks say “ZOMG THEY”RE DRY FROM THE FACTORY”. Mine were not. Bearings aren’t meant to be spooged like mad. They aren’t spinning like crazy, and they have dust seals. Check them, but don’t feel the need to cram in a pile of grease because the internet said so.


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