Nose Dive - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Nose Dive

What can I adjust in the front suspension to help with front brake dive? Do I need to go to a progressive spring?

I am just starting to figure out the rear suspension, and feel like I have it nicely dialed in, but the front is still a mystery to me.

2007 Versys Black, V35 Bags, H&B Bars, Skidmarx Hugger.Fender Ex., Avon Distanzia, Braided Lines, Hella 65W bulbs Arrow Can, DNA Air filter, GIVI tall screen (for winter), PCIII, Baldwin Saddle. **SOLD**

2011 KTM SM-T. Crash bars, E55 Top Box, Fender extender front and rear.

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 11:36 AM
 
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I want to tag along on this ride too and see what some longer term owners have done. I too did the rear shock and it feels about right, I'm in the 230 area so I have it firmed up all the way and a little more than half way on the damping. I can't figure out if I should just go all in on pre-load and damping up front and make back off adjustments from there, at my wieght fully back off and headed back down seems like a waste of time as I am probably going to be closer to full on.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 11:59 AM
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Preload and damping should not be used for brake dive.
Preload should be set for your weight to achieve the correct amount of rider sag.
Damping should be set for your riding style.

Stiffer springs help, but there is an easier alternative.
Adding fork oil (raising its level slightly) will help reduce brake dive.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 12:02 PM
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I highly recommend this.

Suspension for mortals DVD

I have the booklet, and it takes a lot of guesswork out of how to set a suspension properly.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 01:01 PM
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so how do you adjust the front damping on the V? I have yet to figure that out...

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 01:20 PM
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If you check in your ops manual, you'll see a whole section on it.

Basically there is a 15 turn nut on top of each fork tube. Plus a small screw in the middle. As my learned colleague pointed out they are for sag, not dive.

Having the sag set up correctly can make a huge difference in the corners. Friend of mine (Gustavo) showed me how to set up front sag few weeks ago and it does make a difference.

If possible get three people to do the set up. One to sit on bike, one to hold bike up right with kick stand up and one to measure front sag and make appropriate adjustments. All you need is 17mm socket, screwdriver and tape measure.

It does make a difference even at my limited skill level when cornering.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Ahhh... thank you!

I didn't think fiddling with the preload or damping would do much besides change the handling, which I like. Sag also seems good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudarra View Post
Preload and damping should not be used for brake dive.
Preload should be set for your weight to achieve the correct amount of rider sag.
Damping should be set for your riding style.

Stiffer springs help, but there is an easier alternative.
Adding fork oil (raising its level slightly) will help reduce brake dive.

2007 Versys Black, V35 Bags, H&B Bars, Skidmarx Hugger.Fender Ex., Avon Distanzia, Braided Lines, Hella 65W bulbs Arrow Can, DNA Air filter, GIVI tall screen (for winter), PCIII, Baldwin Saddle. **SOLD**

2011 KTM SM-T. Crash bars, E55 Top Box, Fender extender front and rear.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudarra View Post
Preload and damping should not be used for brake dive.
Preload should be set for your weight to achieve the correct amount of rider sag.
Damping should be set for your riding style.

Stiffer springs help, but there is an easier alternative.
Adding fork oil (raising its level slightly) will help reduce brake dive.
+1 on this. Preload affects the spring at the top of the stroke. Oil level affects the bottom of the stroke.

Don
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 05:34 PM
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I just turned in front preload to maximum right from the start, with 1/2 turn out on rebound damping. It works well on our rough roads with the rear at #4 preload now that it settled a bit, with 10 clicks out from stiffest damping setting. (I'm 185 lbs) Ride is good and nose dive is not excessive, but I'd like to try progressive springs next year with some Amsoil synthetic "Shock Therapy Suspension Fluid" in the forks...

Last edited by invader; 08-29-2008 at 05:38 PM.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 06:35 PM
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I just ride mine it sort of takes everything with ease. Took me about 15minutes to get my sag set and dial it in. Of course I do not push it very hard ,just like gliding along and taking in the sights. Old age I guess.


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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainrider View Post
Of course I do not push it very hard ,just like gliding along and taking in the sights. Old age I guess.


Yeah, and if you believe that, I have a really cool bridge over the Columbia to sell you to go with the Versys 1000 that just came up, again, in another thread.

Anyway, for those who don't want to spend $50 on a DVD, most of the answers are in the The Science and Black Magic of Suspension Setup thread.


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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 01:17 AM
 
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Suspension fluid, like motor oil, comes in different viscosity ratings. To help cut down on dive under braking, try the next heavier fluid. If that isn't the answer, then you might need to get your fork cartridge valves rebuilt and upgrade your springs. Not the cheapest way to go, but it is customized to your weight and riding style.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 04:59 PM
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Changing fork oil to a higher weight will reduce the dive rate, but it will do so at the expense of your compression and rebound damping. I don't know about you guys, but on my bike (and for my weight) it feels pretty firm on compression. Using heavier weight oil will only make things worse.

Progressive springs will only be good if they have a larger spring coefficient overall. Since most progressive springs are not well marked, it'll be hard to tell if it will be better without testing it. I never found official Kawasaki specs for the OE springs, but I'm guessing it's about 0.80 kg/mm.

Using a stiffer spring will give you the most benefit if you are trying to reduce dive, but it will only be useful if you check the sag and it turns out that you are using enough preload to not find yourself with not enough sag under normal riding conditions. The reality is that you bought a bike that has about 6" of suspension travel, and if you want to take advantage of all that suspension travel, the spring has to be soft enough to allow that kind of travel. You can't expect it to have the same dive as a supersport with 4" of travel and stiff suspension. If you make the front spring so stiff that it resembles that a sport bike's, you won't be using the full available suspension travel.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 05:30 PM
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Ditto, heavier oil will affect the damping too. Just raise the level if you only need to remove dive under braking. Start with only 1 oz of 10 wt, you will be surprised how well that eliminates dive.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 07:26 PM
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The last thing the Versys has is a soft suspension. At 220lbs it is the first stock bike that I have ever had that I had to back off on the preload to get 32 mm of sag. If you get the suspension set up there is no sag. You would have to push the Versys a hell of a lot harder then I do and be really clamping down on the brakes to get any kind of dive out of it.


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Last edited by mountainrider; 08-31-2008 at 04:08 AM.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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Quote:
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The last thing the Versys has is a soft suspension. At 220lbs it is the first stock bike that I have ever had that I had to back off on the preload to get 32 mm of sag. If you get the suspension set up there is no sag. You would have to push the Versys a hell of a lot harder then I do and be really clamping down on the brakes to get any kind of dive out of it.
At 160 Lbs.... I find the suspension more than adequate... actually... for the street I'd like a bit more rebound damping in the front... My preload in the front is 13 turns out. That's at only 1800 kms though so will likely need a bit more preload as they break in. From a suspension point of view, the V is awesome value for money... maybe the best! If it doesn't ride right... play with it 'til it does. The range of the settings is huuuuge execpt for the front rebound damping...
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 10:01 AM
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I picked up my '08 on Tuesday and found that the stock settings for a 150 lb rider was really stiff with the potholed roads we have in town. I haven't had a chance to ride it again after the changes, but, I went 9 rounds out on front preload and 3 turns out on dampening / Back dropped down to third setting and softened it up 2 clicks on rebound. I am 150 lbs and it handled GREAT! just really stiff. Like Magnaversys I expect to have to stiffen it up again once it starts to break in. As far as the Fork oil goes.....when i changed my KLR over to progressive shocks, I buggered up filling them up with the oil sent with springs. Nobody had same viscocity in town and it took a while to get them dialed in with mixing (as suggested by local bike shop) Fork oils to get the desired viscocity. Pain in the Butt, but, worth it when you get it right. Also had problems with excess pressure build up in Forks when trying to get them sorted out. Front end became more like high pressure Pogo Sticks. Wouldn't adding more Oil do the same thing???
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 10:10 AM
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If you add too much yes. The fork needs an air column, this is what gives it a progressive feel. If you eliminate too much of that column it will get wonky.

Only add about an 1 once. It doesn't seem like much, but you will notice an improvement.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 10:13 AM
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As for suspension settings, I weigh 175. I have the front preload all the way out, and the rear on the next to last softest notch.

This gives me 40mm total sag in the front and 37mm total sag in the rear. Which is just under 1/3 of the suspensions travel, so it's still firm.

So yes, the stock settings are brutal.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-04-2008, 09:53 PM
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As I got used to the V I did find it to get wallowy in the corners with the suspension backed off as initially posted. Went back to the stock settings after 150km on it, and, it is the Bike I hoped it would be now. Not choppy anymore and soaks up the bumps quit nicely now while in the corners.
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