While on the topic of suspension - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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While on the topic of suspension

I never messed with my stock suspension when I got my 20111 V. I was doing some reading up on it since it came up here. The manual says everything is set up for a 150 lb rider. I weigh 205 plus gear, plus my duffel bag. I figure at times I have about 220-230 lbs on the bike every day. I do not quite understand the suspension adjustments but it seems to me I might want to make some changes. Where do I start? This is my first new bike so I don't know what is supposed to be right. A friend said unless I am doing track days not to mess with it, but it just seems mathematically I am over weighing the suspension as it is set up. I do want to start riding 2up with my wife so I better get this figured out.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 10:14 PM
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a good read through this thread and get your sag set up first.

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ht=black+magic
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2012, 04:27 AM
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Trying to summarize:

1. Will only adjust Pre-load of the springs, and NOT the damping.
2. Front suspension is more adjustable than the rear as the rear is discreet with 7 steps.

Front Adjustments:
1. CW increases Preload, CCW decreases on the adjustment hex nut.
2. Full free length of the front fork is around 170mm, measured the telescopic member (shiny part) with the front wheel lifted up.
3. For Street riding purposes, estimated about 30% of 170mm for sag (25% for track), which is around 50mm of spring compression for a Static Weight (Rider + riding gear). Your sag target is 50mm.
4. 3 persons will be the best to help get the sag adjusted, but with 1 person, it is also possible. I am just going to discuss a 1 person setup.
5. Things needed are Nylon cable tie to use as marker on the telescopic rod, measuring tape, pen and paper for documenting the measurements, calculator, riding gear, 19mm socket n wrench and a car jack.
6. Jack up the front wheel by placing the jack at the pipes, below the engine. Measure the free length of the telescopic fork. Should read 170 ~ 175mm.
7. Sag target is 30% of 170 ~ 175mm. Tie the cable tie around the fork as a marker. Wear your gear, get on the bike, use the front brake and shake it about 3X to even out the spring force, and adjust the cable tie position to top most position, and carefully straighten your body assuming the position of riding. Once stable, lift both feet off the ground for a split second.
8. Slowly and not to upset the marker position, get off the bike and take that sag measurement. Adjust CW or CCW to achieve that. Note that you have to adjust both sides with the same amount of turns. I find that a CW/CCW turn moves about 1mm for my light frame weight of 65kg.

Rear:
1. This requires 3 persons to do the setup as the measurement is taken while the rider sits on the bike, and 1 person holding the bike steady and prevent it from leaning over.
2. There are only 2 more notches to adjust on the preload from stock settings. I suggest that you may need to up by 1 notch to increase the preload.
3. The method of measurement is the same as doing for the front adjustments. The only difference is that the measurement is not done at the absorber but at the seat height relative to the axle nut. I.e, take measurement at a marked out area near the seat to the axle nut with the rear wheel lifted up. Then figure out what 30% sag distance is, and adjust as necessary, which is probably just 1 notch up for you.

Personally, my front sag is around 25% as my body mass is too light and won't achieve 30% unless I change to softer springs. My damping is 'Soft' by 1 full turn. I did it with a nearly empty tank, a mistake on my part.

For the rear, stock settings at #5. Damping adjustment at +1 on 'Hard'. I will adjust to +2 if carrying my wife + gear to reduce the bounciness. Rear tire was cupping when the damping was at stock settings. Cupping syndrome healed when damping increased to +1.

Overall, the ride is much better and I could take turns with even more confidence.

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Last edited by 2daMax; 06-07-2012 at 02:37 AM.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2012, 04:20 PM
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Once you have your sag adjusted, here's an interesting exercise to familiarize yourself with the suspension damping and the changes that occur. Comes from Keith Code and written for bikes with adjustable compression and rebound damping but you'll get the point. Find a road you know fairly well (so you can ride reasonably briskly but not close to the edge - you don't want to surprise yourself) that has some bumps and turns. You make each step of adjustments and then re-ride the same road.

Go to full soft on all, Front & Rear, Rebound (RB) and Compression (C) Settings.
Go to full hard Compression (C) on Rear Shock.
Rear/C to full soft & Rear/RB to full hard.
Rear RB to full soft & Front C to full hard.
Front/C to full soft & Front/RB to full hard.
All C & RB to center settings.
All center but full hard on Rear/C.
All center but full hard Rear/RB.
All center but full hard Rear/C.
All center but full hard Front/RB.
All center.
Bring all settings back to stock (in your owners manual).
Adjust to taste.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2012, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2daMax View Post
...
Front Adjustments:
1. CW increases Preload, CCW decreases on the adjustment hex nut.
2. Full free length of the front fork is around 170cm, measured the telescopic member (shiny part) with the front wheel lifted up.
3. For Street riding purposes, estimated about 30% of 170cm for sag (25% for track), which is around 50cm of spring compression for a Static Weight (Rider + riding gear). Your sag target is 50cm.
4. 3 persons will be the best to help get the sag adjusted, but with 1 person, it is also possible. I am just going to discuss a 1 person setup.
5. Things needed are Nylon cable tie to use as marker on the telescopic rod, measuring tape, pen and paper for documenting the measurements, calculator, riding gear, 19mm socket n wrench and a car jack.
6. Jack up the front wheel by placing the jack at the pipes, below the engine. Measure the free length of the telescopic fork. Should read 170 ~ 175cm.
7. Sag target is 30% of 170 ~ 175cm. Tie the cable tie around the fork as a marker. Wear your gear, get on the bike, use the front brake and shake it about 3X to even out the spring force, and adjust the cable tie position to top most position, and carefully straighten your body assuming the position of riding. Once stable, lift both feet off the ground for a split second.
8. Slowly and not to upset the marker position, get off the bike and take that sag measurement. Adjust CW or CCW to achieve that. Note that you have to adjust both sides with the same amount of turns. I find that a CW/CCW turn moves about 1mm for my light frame weight of 65kg....
Nice writeup, but I believe you should have written "mm", not "cm".

Ed
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 02:35 AM
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fasteddie,

Good catch. You are correct. Should be mm.

Present Ride: Yamaha Super Tenere 2012
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2011 to 2015 2011 Versys Spark BlackKawasaki Ninja 2010 to 2011 250R 2008 Plasma Blue
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
Nice writeup, but I believe you should have written "mm", not "cm".
But at least its metric.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 07:56 AM
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The fork will not compress the full 175mm, it is about 35mm less than this so you should be looking at 30% of 140mm. Yes the spec says travel is 150mm but it is nearer 140mm in real life.
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