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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here's the deal...

I recently picked up an 84 Honda Saber (VF700s). The bike runs great and is a lot of fun to ride. The only problem I am having is with the rear suspension. When I ride it by myself it SEEMS to be alright however when I have a passenger on the back, its rougher then I would expect even after making the proper adjustments. I have torn apart all of the arms and brackets connecting the rear shock absorber to the bike and greased up all of the bushings which I guess can be a problem with the VF700. These now move smoothly (however they were all seized up when I tore it apart) but the problem persists.

This bike has the stock air assisted single Pro-link suspension and I am wondering if this may be the cause. Clymer doesn't say much about the Pro-link suspension except that service by the home mechanic is limited and should be performed by a professional shop. Internet searching so far as also yielded limited results. After removing the shock absorber, I could hear the fluid "bubbling" around inside when I flipped it upside down. This sounded almost as if the oil was moving from one chamber to another through a hole. I don't know much about how the interior of these are constructed however I don't think this is supposed to happen. To further investigate the problem, I removed the air nipple to see if the liquid may just be condensed water (like what can occur in air compressors) and when I started to pour it, it was in fact oil. Clymer indicates that the oil should be be changed by a professional so having "access" to the oil in this fashion seems wrong.

Question 1: Is everything working fine? Am I expecting a smoother ride out of this bike then it generally provides and is what I am describing normal for the pro-link shock absorber?

Question 2: If not, is this something that can be fixed or am I just hosed? A new Pro-link shock absorber is ~$900 which is more then twice what I paid for the bike. (I am looking at salvage yards but no luck yet).

Question 3: Does anyone have an affordable recommendation for an after market replacement or a direction to point me to for an used unit (I have already looked at the typical places i.e. Craigslist, Ebay...) Right now I'm on a bit of a budget on this bike and I don't want to spend more then the bike itself is worth.

I know this is a fairly specific topic however any help, suggestions, or comments are welcome and appreciated.

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