Heavier Fork Oil - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Heavier Fork Oil

Got a Nitron rear shock coming so thought I would try and "fix" the front end issues on my 2015 650.

Pulled the right fork leg off and drained the fluid and guess what? Yep it was RED...ATF. Previous owner must have had it done.

So I flushed out the red fluid with some 5 wt I had in the oil cabinet. Then installed the proper amount of 20 wt fork oil.

Installed the top cap and adjusted the thread length so as to have the proper number of rebound adjustment turns on the screw.

Put fork leg back in the bike and adjusted preload for around 45mm sag.

This was a definite improvement over the ATF oil set up. I weigh round 180 pounds and have rebound screw turned out one and a quarter turns. Better damping and less front end dive with this set up.

May eventually go with a set of front end cartridges and springs, but for now this Port-a-gee fix is ok.
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:04 AM
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On going Post/ Front Shock/ MK-1 & MK-3

This first link was for a MK-1 changing / checking the oil level due to a seal leak , rather than full disassembly, just wanted to measure and top up, never did get a answer.
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...fork+oil+level

This is a post that compares ATF to fork oil, stating 10W and ATF are equal.Some highly technical info.
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/1343833-post6.html
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Old 09-09-2017, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by onewizard View Post
...This is a post that compares ATF to fork oil, stating 10W and ATF are equal.Some highly technical info.
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/1343833-post6.html
My take on it is that I prefer the forks (did my '08 and '09 [Gen 1s] as well as my '15 [Gen 3]) changed-over to ATF.

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Old 09-10-2017, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkerjet View Post
Got a Nitron rear shock coming so thought I would try and "fix" the front end issues on my 2015 650.

Pulled the right fork leg off and drained the fluid and guess what? Yep it was RED...ATF. Previous owner must have had it done.

So I flushed out the red fluid with some 5 wt I had in the oil cabinet. Then installed the proper amount of 20 wt fork oil.

Installed the top cap and adjusted the thread length so as to have the proper number of rebound adjustment turns on the screw.

Put fork leg back in the bike and adjusted preload for around 45mm sag.

This was a definite improvement over the ATF oil set up. I weigh round 180 pounds and have rebound screw turned out one and a quarter turns. Better damping and less front end dive with this set up.

May eventually go with a set of front end cartridges and springs, but for now this Port-a-gee fix is ok.
Well done!

I was under the impression that front end dive was more dependent on fork spring rate than on oil weight.

At 193 lbs, I find the Versys 650 Gen 3 front spring too harsh. To make the suspension damping more compliant, I used 5 Wt Bel-Ray fork oil. The damping became more compliant than before, but that spring was still too harsh (for me).

Lately I have installed a progressive Hyperpro front fork spring. The front suspension now soaks up the bumps as I like but the oil sent by Hyperpro is 15Wt. I'll keep riding it like this for a while but will eventually test lighter oil to see what effects this would have on the damping.

If it's then not compliant enough (for me), I'll tinker with the valving. For the time being, I'm quite happy with it and will let it be.
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I just shuffle slower.
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Well done!

I was under the impression that front end dive was more dependent on fork spring rate than on oil weight.
.
Both play a role. The spring weight will affect the total amount of dive but the damping will affect the speed or rate of the dive. The ride height of the rear suspension will also affect fork dive too. Too much preload, as in the case with our stock shock, will cause too high a ride height and will encourage more fork dive as it moves the weight bias forward.

For my weight the stock fork spring is in the ball park for proper sag, around 45mm with rider in gear, and the preload adjuster in the middle range. If you have to go all the way hard or all the way soft to achieve proper sag this tells you the spring rate is off and should be changed.

For my weight, 180 pounds, the back suspension is a great illustration of a spring weight that is too heavy. I have my preload set all the way soft and still only have 31mm of sag. The rear sag should be roughly the same as the front but in my case the stock spring is too heavy.

My soon coming Nitron shock will take care of this issue.
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Last edited by hawkerjet; 09-10-2017 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by hawkerjet View Post
Both play a role. The spring weight will affect the total amount of dive but the damping will affect the speed or rate of the dive. The ride height of the rear suspension will also affect fork dive too. Too much preload, as in the case with our stock shock, will cause too high a ride height and will encourage more fork dive as it moves the weight bias forward.

For my weight the stock fork spring is in the ball park for proper sag, around 45mm with rider in gear, and the preload adjuster in the middle range. If you have to go all the way hard or all the way soft to achieve proper sag this tells you the spring rate is off and should be changed.

For my weight, 180 pounds, the back suspension is a great illustration of a spring weight that is too heavy. I have my preload set all the way soft and still only have 31mm of sag. The rear sag should be roughly the same as the front but in my case the stock spring is too heavy.

My soon coming Nitron shock will take care of this issue.
We're on the same page.

Last year, I swapped the rear shock for a Yamaha R1 2007-2008 rear shock. Along with the shock, I used a Road Star Warrior spring. I do not have the numbers with me, but can tell you that I have set up the rear shock as suggested as base line in the R1 shop manual. I'm happy with it. It gives me a Dynamic Sag (rider ATG + loaded luggage) of 10.5 mm. IMHO that's in the area it should be. There is not as much range as in the front.

With the above R1 shock and the OEM Versys front spring set at 5 turns preload, the Dynamic sag was at 42 mm.

The above was OK but I didn't like the harshness of the front spring when going over small bumps, etc. on the road. I finally broke down and ordered a Hyperpro front spring for the Versys 650.

With 0 turns of preload, I get a dynamic sag of 52 mm. As per Hyperpro instructions, the right fork damping is set at 1.5 turns open.

I was hesitant with the zero preload and hurried to try this out on the road. It revealed to be quite compliant and handled the small bumps, etc. very nicely. I tried but could not get the forks to bottom out no matter how hard I hit the front brakes.

As mentioned previously I'm quite happy with this but might play with oil weights later on down the road and also right fork valving.

For the time being, I'll concentrate on trying to ride more than I have been lately.
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I still have a full deck.
I just shuffle slower.
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:13 PM
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Are there any drop in cartridges for the 15+ 650 forks?
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by nayr14 View Post
Are there any drop in cartridges for the 15+ 650 forks?
There are Andreani Adjustable Cartridge Kit for Kawasaki Versys 650.

However I have not heard of anyone trying these on their Versys.

Note: There's lots of good info in this Andreani Cartridge install.....Unbelievably easy!!! thread on the FZ09 forum.

It's interesting to say the least. It's not difficult to do but definitely not a plug and play. I'm anxious to see who will try these first.
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I still have a full deck.
I just shuffle slower.
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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After a couple of rides I decided to try 10 wt fork oil.

Now have about 1500 miles with the 10 wt and have to say this is the best set up for my weight and riding style.

Pre-load is right in the middle, 10 turns in from full soft, and rebound adjuster is also right in the middle at 1 and a half turns out from full stiff.

Low speed damping and rebound is pretty good with this setup but the high speed damping is too stiff.

Project for this winter will be to tweak the shim stack to help take the jolt away from hitting those square edged bumps.
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Old 10-10-2017, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by hawkerjet View Post
Low speed damping and rebound is pretty good with this setup but the high speed damping is too stiff.

Project for this winter will be to tweak the shim stack to help take the jolt away from hitting those square edged bumps.
Same here! Please keeps us up to date with your shim stack setup on your Gen3 Versys 650. I will do the same.
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I still have a full deck.
I just shuffle slower.
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:09 PM
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Garage
Since you only need a litre of fork oil and fork oil is not that expensive, even for synthetic, and ATF is a similar price, at least for my VW, why not simply use the fluid designed for use in forks?

I'm close to 200lb all geared up. I've noticed a very significant improvement firming up my suspension and rebound damping on the front and back. Ride is not really any harsher on pavement but much more controlled. The bike feels more planted in corners and has less of a tendency to hobby horse braking into corners. The default settings listed in the service manual are for a rider weighting 150lb with gear.

I've added a notch of preload in the rear and a turn of preload in the front.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
I've added a notch of preload in the rear and a turn of preload in the front.
I am about 185 lbs in full gear. I checked the rear sag with the stock shock. All I could get was 31mm static sag with the preload adjuster at full soft. So for my weight the stock spring is too stiff. I went with the 950 lb recommended spring on the Nitron shock and it is perfect. Free sag is 15mm and static is 40mm. This eliminated quite a bit of harshness in the rear end, both mine and the bike's.
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