Suspension Adjustment - Kawasaki Versys Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-06-2017, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
twowheels's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 3,422
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Suspension Adjustment

EDIT - I am on a version 2 bike which as same suspension as version 1 bike but not the same as version 3 bike

Everything I read on suspension adjustment suggest about 30-33% sag where sag is measured as:

Sag = (distance with suspension fully extended - distance with rider on bike with legs up) / distance with suspension fully extended

I've been playing around with my suspension settings all season and ended up with it quite firm. I like this because the bike does seems most stable this way. I figure I am somewhere in the vicinity of about 195lb all geared up to ride and advanced the rear preload default +1. The front preload is also turned up a rotation over default and I've increased rebound damping slightly as well.

Tonight, with the help of a friend we measured sag and it appears I'm at 20% sag in front and 8% at rear. Think I will return the rear preload to one notch lower or the default setting although it says in the manual this is for a 150lb rider. I'm inclined to leave the front where it is as I like the increased stiffness, especially when braking.

Curious how this compares to how others have their bikes set up.

Last edited by twowheels; 11-08-2017 at 01:04 PM.
twowheels is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-06-2017, 11:37 PM
16VGTIDave's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Drumbo, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 285
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
I tried increasing the preload and damping and found it offered a stiff, harsh, uncomfortable ride. Then I measured the sag, or lack there of, and adjusted the preload to achieve the desired 1/3rd. I'm ~195 plus full gear, a tank bag and top box. In the front I ended up with 1 turn of preload from fully out. I could probably get away with no preload at all as I have yet to bottom out the forks. Rebound damping was also reduced to very little, but I don't currently know to what. Enough that it doesn't bounce, but not so much that it can't absorb multiple hits. The rear suspension settings are similar. Lowest spring preload and only a couple clicks of rebound damping.

The end result is a suspension that does what it is supposed to do. It absorbs the bumps and vibrations of daily riding without transferring them to me. As a result, I've been able to increase tire pressures for crisper handling, improved fuel mileage and reduced tire wear, while being able to ride for hours without stress. Yes, the bike moves around more, but i don't mind. It feels secure as it deals with the imperfections of the poorly maintained road surfaces I ride on. I know that the bike is going to dive under hard braking and squat with hard acceleration, so I'm ready when it does.

I don't know where the factory suspension settings came from, but if I'd wanted an uncomfortable sport bike, I would have bought one. I bought the Versys in part because of the comfort it could offer, in addition to all its other features.


2011 V650 in Black, well accessorized.
16VGTIDave is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 08:14 AM
Doug Just Doug's Avatar
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Newark, Delaware
Posts: 470
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
On my Gen3 ABS model, I'm currently at:

Shock: stock setting (1 click from full anti-clockwise)

Forks: 3.5 out from full clockwise rebound (stock setting 2.5 out); 5.5 in from full anti-clockwise preload (stock setting 6.5 in)

The rear feels fine to me, but the front is still a little harsh over small sharp bumps so I may play with it some more, but it may simply be the limitation of the OEM components. I prefer my bikes to be set up so as to value handling and feel over comfort, but just by a little bit, particularly as I ride many ill-maintained roads. I'm probably 185 lbs. geared up. The bikes has aftermarket side cases and top case that adds some weight. Always one-up. Still on the OEM tires, but ditching them soon, which may change the equation.

2015 Versys 650 ABS
AMA, Retreads Int'l.

Shoodaben ECU reflash; SW-Motech luggage rack, side racks, cases, foot pegs & GPS shelf; Motowerk mirror extenders, side stand foot & highway pegs; RKA tank bag; Nat'l Cycle windscreen; Givi hand guards; BMW grips; Hyper-Lites; Sargent seat; full decalectomy.
Doug Just Doug is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 08:55 PM
Bing O's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
09 Model.

Front rebound 1 turn out
Front preload fully out

Rear shock
Ohlins shock - 10mm preload 8 out (from full in)

It's okay. Front could be better but it rides good for the type of bike it is.
Bing O is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 09:56 AM
Super Moderator
fasteddiecopeman's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kelowna, BC - summer; Florence, AZ - winter
Posts: 18,805
Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
IF I remember correctly - my sag is 45mm on BOTH the Gen 1 and Gen 3 (BOTH have R1 shocks, and forks w/ ATF).

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

'08 V AZ, '15 V650LT BC
Ride to D2D 2013, June '13

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Ride to D2D 2015, June '15

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Ride to D2D 2016, June '16

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
fasteddiecopeman is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Versys Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome