Suspension Adjustment - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-06-2017, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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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 02:04 PM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 12:37 AM
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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.

Dave

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 09:14 AM
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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, MSTA, Retreads

Nat'l Cycle "Sport-Touring" screen; Givi hand guards; BMW Sport Grips; Omni-Cruise throttle lock; Motowerk mirror extenders, side stand foot & highway pegs; Denali Mini Soundbomb horn; SW-Motech top rack, Quick-Lock Evo side racks, wide foot pegs & GPS shelf; Givi E-22 side cases & V-47 top case; RKA 13L Shiloh Road tank bag; Hyper-Lites; Sargent seat; Shoodaben ECU reflash; decalectomy.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 09:55 PM
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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.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 10:56 AM
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IF I remember correctly - my sag is 45mm on BOTH the Gen 1 and Gen 3 (BOTH have R1 shocks, and forks w/ ATF).

Ed
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