Suspension settings - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Suspension settings

No Video[/YTHQ]Can someone direct me to the suspension settings, IE front preload of 1.xx", rear preload of 1.xx" ? Not the HARD - SOFT settings in the book, but actual measurements? TIA, Steve
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 06:36 AM
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Preload is based on static sag. Takes 3 people and a tape measure to set it up correctly.

Rebound and Damping is set for riding style and road conditions.

Nice to have a bike with a lot of suspension adjustments, but can be frustrating as well. My only bike with multiple suspension adjustments is the KLX250S. Settings for the dirt don't work well on the twisty roads, and vice versa.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 08:20 AM
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There are no "correct" settings to provide; they're dependent upon rider/gear/accessory weight and/or rider preferences, riding style and road conditions. However, there are general rule of thumb static sag measurements, which on our bikes can be adjusted with preload, often (but not always) given as roughly 1/3 of travel on the front, 1/4 on the rear. And stiction plays a part in that, too. I'm by no means an expert; setting up suspensions seems to be a dark art. :^)
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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thanks Guys, with a long travel suspension I "guessed" at a 30% sag measurement and set up the front at 45mm sag. I need help for the rear, obviously. I'm pretty good at engine tuning, but pretty early in my suspension tuning learning curve. I will say this... once you learn to set up suspension or ride on a bike with the suspension sorted, there's no going back. I have 2k in my concours suspension, and the bike is so much easier to ride now it's crazy. That'll open your eyes to the importance of a proper suspension setup, as it will TRULY make the bike safer to ride. Steve
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 09:22 AM
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The Owners Manual has a "factory setting" listed. I used it for a while and then stiffened the front fork pre-load by two turns (lessens the brake dive for the front) and softened the rear shock all way (counterclockwise). This is just for solo riding around the area (I have an LT with OEM top case). I will stiffen the rear back up when loaded for solo touring (adding about 40-60 lbs to the back).
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve in Sunny Fl View Post
thanks Guys, with a long travel suspension I "guessed" at a 30% sag measurement and set up the front at 45mm sag. I need help for the rear, obviously. I'm pretty good at engine tuning, but pretty early in my suspension tuning learning curve. I will say this... once you learn to set up suspension or ride on a bike with the suspension sorted, there's no going back. I have 2k in my concours suspension, and the bike is so much easier to ride now it's crazy. That'll open your eyes to the importance of a proper suspension setup, as it will TRULY make the bike safer to ride. Steve
IF memory serves - I set my 'sag' to 45mm (both ends I believe) and it works just fine for me.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 05:15 PM
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I may understand very little of the purpose of damping while braking; I though we wanted to keep the rubber touching, not hovering because rebound damping is to tight, or jumping because crompression damping is too low.
But while cruising, I see no reason to have tight damping at all since every bump would be absorbed better without damping. But eh..

However, what puzzles me is why do we bother trying to set rebound damping when we don't have compression damping. If they are not fairly equal, then the front will either lift too high or crouch too low on repetitive bumps (like washboard in the dirt). So I presumed the factory default is centered as such and I wouldn't change it.

Meanwhile, if the fork extends or dives too much because of uneven compression and rebound damping, the fork finds a position where the spring respectively is softer and stronger... So maybe it has to do with that... It seems a much more intuitive explanation than any damn video telling you how to set it without reasons.

Very confusing indeed.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 09:48 PM
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I'd have to agree with you.......this is the first bike that I've had with an adjustable set of forks. After a bunch of reading I ran across a Versys review that explained it pretty good. That's where I got the settings to adjust mine. Pretty comfy and confidence inspiring now.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 10:12 PM
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This is probably obvious for most but I've found through ignoring it and letting my tire pressure get low, that tire pressure is equally as important as suspension setup, to obtain optimum handling.

When my tires get even a pound or two below 32 front/36 rear psi the bike's handling diminishes noticeably. Going over these pressures can make the bike feel skittish and less securely planted in a turn plus it will reduce braking and cornering traction. My tires usually lose 1 psi or so of pressure a week.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2016, 08:31 AM
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This is probably obvious for most but I've found through ignoring it and letting my tire pressure get low, that tire pressure is equally as important as suspension setup, to obtain optimum handling.

When my tires get even a pound or two below 32 front/36 rear psi the bike's handling diminishes noticeably. Going over these pressures can make the bike feel skittish and less securely planted in a turn plus it will reduce braking and cornering traction. My tires usually lose 1 psi or so of pressure a week.
Yeah - If my V gets outside + or - 2 psi from what's recommended in the manual - I noticed the same thing. I also noticed more front end dive on braking if I take the preload out of the front springs. I might put in progressive springs in the front this winter to see if I can reduce the front end dive. I don't ride my V off road, so I don't need all that suspension travel in the front.

If you have a helper, its not difficult to set the suspension sag front and rear on the V. If your helper weighs close to your weight, and they are bad at measuring, then you could have them sit on the bike and you do the measuring. There are a lot of "how to" posts and YouTube videos out there on the procedure. After you set the sag, ride it, and tweak as needed to your taste.

Last edited by trialsguy; 12-01-2016 at 08:34 AM.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2016, 08:59 AM
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This is probably obvious for most but I've found through ignoring it and letting my tire pressure get low, that tire pressure is equally as important as suspension setup, to obtain optimum handling.
Yup. In addition to affecting handling, tires are really part of the suspension system, too. Tires do, after all, suspend our bikes on air.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2016, 12:33 PM
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Just to echo the great advice on the suspension setting benefits. If you are a new rider or have not owned a bike with adjustment capability, don't be intimidated by it. Yes there is math involved but it's easy measuring. Be patient, make some adjustment and go ride, observe and remember what you feel. Come back in and make some tweaks. Once preload is set to your weight, it's almost a done deal. The Versys front fork is pretty elemental compared to all out sport suspensions with individual preload, rebound and compression damping for each fork. It is truly amazing the difference getting it set right will make. Okay, now go erase those chicken strips!

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2016, 03:01 PM
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I think it would be helpful, if people who have set their preload through measurement, could post their geared up weight as well as their preload settings front and back.

I've found even with no preload it is pretty much impossible to bottom out the suspension on the Versys, which raises the question, is the desired sag (25-30mm front and 20-22mm rear) normally recommended for street use, applicable for adventure bikes with long travel suspension.

MCN Article: How to set your sag

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2016, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
I think it would be helpful, if people who have set their preload through measurement, could post their geared up weight as well as their preload settings front and back.

I've found even with no preload it is pretty much impossible to bottom out the suspension on the Versys, which raises the question, is the desired sag (25-30mm front and 20-22mm rear) normally recommended for street use, applicable for adventure bikes with long travel suspension.

How to set suspension sag | MCN
Those numbers are for road bikes with a more typical ~4 inches (100mm) of travel. The Versys has more suspension travel, 6" or ~150mm. (that's on my 1000. I assume the 650 is similar?)
The rule of thumb I have always gone by is set loaded sag at about 30 to 33% of total travel, which puts you closer to 1-3/4 to 2" (45 to 50mm) of loaded sag.

Whether for long or short travel suspension, the ratios are similar. You should have about twice the compression travel available as extension travel.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2016, 09:15 PM
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A note on tire pressures. You will gain/lose a pound of air pressure for every 6-7 degrees F. If you check tires at 90* and it gets down to 60 the next morning you are gonna lose 4+ lbs of pressure.

Something to keep in mind.

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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 07:32 AM
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Hi guys,

My front fork on the right which houses the Rebound/Damping has been refit upside down by a mechanic near home. Can I just loosen the fork clamps (as mentioned in service manual attached below) and turn the tube around until the top nut and wordings face me as when stock?

Or is it just that top plug has been screwed on the wrong way? Which means remove just the top plug and rescrew it?

How do I get this to face me the right way? Would like to avoid going to the dealership and waste half a day if its a fairly simple fix.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 08:20 AM
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Hi guys,

My front fork on the right which houses the Rebound/Damping has been refit upside down by a mechanic near home. Can I just loosen the fork clamps (as mentioned in service manual attached below) and turn the tube around until the top nut and wordings face me as when stock?

Or is it just that top plug has been screwed on the wrong way? Which means remove just the top plug and rescrew it?

How do I get this to face me the right way? Would like to avoid going to the dealership and waste half a day if its a fairly simple fix.
MY only comment is, the mechanic blind and vision impaired? As a professional I would never let something like that go back into service unless I pointed it out to the customer that it was my mistake and purely cosmetic, however a considerable amount of time would need be spent to correct it and the next time they were in I would correct it at my expense, or I would do it immediately but they would need to wait XX amount of time.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 09:54 AM
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MY only comment is, the mechanic blind and vision impaired? As a professional I would never let something like that go back into service unless I pointed it out to the customer that it was my mistake and purely cosmetic, however a considerable amount of time would need be spent to correct it and the next time they were in I would correct it at my expense, or I would do it immediately but they would need to wait XX amount of time.
Yeah, real lame. Techs/service departments should treat customers' bikes as if they were their own.

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-08-2017, 03:07 AM
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Thank you all for the support

I just wanted to know what the process is to get that realigned so I know before even heading to the technician? Please?
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 12:34 AM
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I loosened the fork clamps, and the top fork plug. Then turned the outer fork tube until the top plug with the damping info turned to face me.
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