World class suspension
We've destroyed shock absorbers while on our record setting trip around the world. Admittedly we didn't take the easiest roads, as that's not where the real beauty of this world can be found. Nearly 4 years on the road also meant we had quite some luggage with us. My Bonneville recorded a whopping 305 kg on the scales at Kuala Lumpur Airport (without the rider on it and with an empty tank), the Yamaha came it at 265 kg which means we carried around 80 kg each divided between luggage, crashbars, pannier systems etc. All this being static weight means it's even harder on shocks. The Triumph broke two sets of Ikon shock absorbers (and that was before the hard stuff had even began), they aren't worth their money in our view. Hagon faired a little better, despite being less expensive, but broke as well. Meanwhile the Yamaha had been fitted with YSS suspension front and rear. To say it transformed the bike is an understatement... We've seen first hand how well they performed, even when we had the opportunity to compare it side by side to a 690 KTM...
When in Thailand, with 40,000 gruelling kilometres more on the suspension already, we had it checked by YSS. Mind you we didn't think there was much wrong with it, after all it worked fine and didn't leak or even sweated, but it would be good to see what state it was in. They took the suspension out, put it on the test bench and... found nothing wrong! The graphs from the test bench showed exactly the same performance as when they were new. They then stripped everything to be sure. The oil was clean and no visible damage to any part, emphasising what the test bench had showed us: no performance loss. To put this in perspective somewhat, the 40,000 km we put on it were under very harsh circumstances, on 'roads' which saw many a shock fail and on bikes which were overloaded.
Having seen Mike float over 'roads' which had my spine crying for mercy... and now realising the YSS suspension did it all without breaking a sweat, I wanted them on the Bonneville too! Especially as another set of shock absorbers had literally broken in half(!) My question to YSS was simple: 'can you make the Bonneville as good as the Yamaha?' Not only was the answer a firm yes, they actually managed to do it too!
A Bonneville is a notoriously difficult machine to get right suspension wise, and it took quite some doing to get damping and spring pre-load setup perfect. Obviously the limited suspension travel, for what we were doing with it, didn't help... so we improved that somewhat too... Now that it is done, it's sweet! And it will last a long time too, as proven by the Yamaha. Good news is, you can get the same shocks and extended travel we have, with our own unique setup!
Nomad-ADV is uniquely placed as YSS distributor, as the European YSS headquarters are just around the corner. That's where all the testing and setup work is done for every motorcycle on the market world-wide. Be it old or new. They setup the Yamaha for us and worked out the setup needed for the Bonneville as well, taking weight and luggage in consideration. For them anything is possible and they know there stuff as they used to travel the world with world champion motocross teams. That they chose YSS over the better known marques says it all. All we can add to it is that YSS is world class suspension.