Proper way to adjust the preload? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Proper way to adjust the preload?

Hey everyone. Sorry, kinda new to all of this.

I am going to be doing a 3 week camping road trip on my 2015 650 LT. It has the official givi top luggage case and will also have a duffel and guitar strapped to it. It's a lot of stuff on the back, but I don't want to fiddle with that knob without knowing exactly what I'm doing.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 06:12 AM
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It's about 24 click range according to your manual (which tells you what to do, yeah RTFM).
Count the click until you hit the limit (in or out), so you can restore the original.
Have fun trying. Heck you can do it while riding. Can't break.

You can see it changes the spring by about 1/4 inch compression.

All it does is set the balanced position of the swingarm suspension when sitting on, to prevent topping or bottoming.
In doubt, screw in more (harder).
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 07:25 AM
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Greetings and welcome!
I have a 2016 650LT and took a long fully loaded trip last year (I live in Illinois so waiting for the weather this year to get over 24 degrees!), and left the rear adjustment totally counter clock wise, so that would be as soft as possible. Cranking it in will harshen up the ride, but why would you do that? Especially putting on 300 - 400 miles a day I need all the kindness I can get!

I also to day long rides with varying amounts of stuff in the rear bags and never fiddle with the adjustment.

I probably need some info here as well.

As in all things, experiment away.

BTW I adjusted the front forks and have never changed that setting. I read everything I could on the front fork setting and read the advice of the "professional riders" doing the reviews and had my son who rides quite a bit guide me as well.
Info here would be welcome as well.

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ANDY

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 09:49 AM
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I "played" with the settings a bit after getting the bike (15' 650 LT) last fall. After much reading I set the rear shock a "soft" or full CCW. Next I set the front fork damping 4 turns harder than factory recommendation (reduces brake dive). Left the front rebound at factory recommended. Rides good solo with no excess weight (I also have a OEM 47 L top case). I may have to increase the rear damping when I take a long ride (about 5o lbs of gear added to the bags/trunk/rear seat).
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by andyversystheworld View Post
...Cranking it in will harshen up the ride, but why would you do that?....
Maybe so you wouldn't bottom your rear suspension when hitting bumps....
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 12:02 PM
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mine seemed a bit stiff to turn clockwise after a few clicks... is that normal?

i remember when it was newer, it turned smoothly... any way i could get this "smoothness" to turn back?

Speaks softly, but carries a sidearm...
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 04:45 PM
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...Next I set the front fork damping 4 turns harder than factory recommendation (reduces brake dive).
versys 650 '15 doesn't have compression damping, only rebound damping.
tell me how what you did could help.

To me it's the main reason to not even bother changing the rebound damping except to have it equal to the invariant compression damping (so that bumps don't cause the bike to raise or dive).

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and left the rear adjustment totally counter clock wise, so that would be as soft as possible.
That is also not changing how soft it is. It is only changing the height of the rear when in equilibrium. Assuming the suspension moves when you are on, the weight is supported by a specific spring length equating to force. Pre-compressing (pre-load) it doesn't change the spring rigidity. It only means it doesn't extend as far, and the first newtons it provides are not requiring deformation. When in equilibrium, the effect of preload is no more than adding fractions of inches on the attachment of the spring, which gets amplified a bit by the assembly.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 04:48 PM
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Softness require changing the spring.

What can be done for both damping is fork oil with other viscosity. Another complicated matter.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 08:40 PM
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As dddd says, adjusting the preload on low tech suspension like this only changes the ride height.
You adjust preload in order to keep the suspension moving in its range without bottoming or topping out.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
versys 650 '15 doesn't have compression damping, only rebound damping.
tell me how what you did could help.

To me it's the main reason to not even bother changing the rebound damping except to have it equal to the invariant compression damping (so that bumps don't cause the bike to raise or dive).



That is also not changing how soft it is. It is only changing the height of the rear when in equilibrium. Assuming the suspension moves when you are on, the weight is supported by a specific spring length equating to force. Pre-compressing (pre-load) it doesn't change the spring rigidity. It only means it doesn't extend as far, and the first newtons it provides are not requiring deformation. When in equilibrium, the effect of preload is no more than adding fractions of inches on the attachment of the spring, which gets amplified a bit by the assembly.

I don't have the OM in front of me right now (I might have used the incorrect terminology) and I'm not a suspension expert by any means.............I read an article in a bike magazine that discussed the Versys and brake dive. I followed the gents recommendation and adjusted my bike. It now doesn't "dive" nearly as much as the stock setting. I'm happy with that. When I load the bike up for a trip I'll crank up the rear shock to counter the added weight.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 04:39 PM
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I don't have the OM in front of me right now (I might have used the incorrect terminology) and I'm not a suspension expert by any means.............I read an article in a bike magazine that discussed the Versys and brake dive. I followed the gents recommendation and adjusted my bike. It now doesn't "dive" nearly as much as the stock setting. I'm happy with that. When I load the bike up for a trip I'll crank up the rear shock to counter the added weight.

Interesting. Is it possible that the screw does a bit of both compression and rebound, essentially just a hole between both chambers? dunno, I've never disassembled one. I've read, and simply avoided that by the theory of it.

But to be fair, I don't see how damping can affect the dive 'amount'. It will dive more slowly though, but just as far on sustained braking (and again, front preload won't change that amount).
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duffy View Post
I don't have the OM in front of me right now (I might have used the incorrect terminology) and I'm not a suspension expert by any means.............I read an article in a bike magazine that discussed the Versys and brake dive. I followed the gents recommendation and adjusted my bike. It now doesn't "dive" nearly as much as the stock setting. I'm happy with that. When I load the bike up for a trip I'll crank up the rear shock to counter the added weight.
I can definitely attest to this, changing the preload and rebound damping definitely reduced the amount of fork dive I was getting to an acceptable level. I totally understand the argument that there is no compression damping adjustment, but it is possible that the rebound screw adjusts both to an extent.

P.s. I actually went lower on preload, not higher.

Last edited by psych0hans; 02-11-2017 at 06:34 AM.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 07:43 AM
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I can definitely attest to this, changing the preload and rebound damping definitely reduced the amount of fork dive I was getting to an acceptable level. I totally understand the argument that there is no compression damping adjustment, but it is possible that the rebound screw adjusts both to an extent.

P.s. I actually went lower on preload, not higher.
Good! I'll definitely try mess with that then.
It might not change the amount of dive, but slowing its dive certainly has an effect (among which, reducing the surprise).

You can test the amount of dive by placing a zip tie around the fork tube; it will mark how deep the fork went in, assuming you can brake evenly (make 5 tests to get an avg). Helps for preload readings too.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 09:21 AM
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Yes, it still dives, and probably just as much if you were to measure it (distance wise). It just doesn't do it as "quickly" when you two finger the brake before entering a curve. That is what annoyed me. I don't mind brake dive when I grab a hand full of brake but when feathering the brake that dive can be up setting.
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