Wilbers shocks on my 2015 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Wilbers shocks on my 2015

Back in July I ordered new Wilbers front & rear suspension for my 2015 model. I had an interesting experience that I thought I'd share here.

Firstly, I'm 165 lbs in street clothes. I ride with Givi side cases locally, plus all the usual riding gear. Add a top case on long trips.

Despite living on the opposite coast, I chose to buy from Ted Porter's BeemerShop. I've bought from them before and found Ted to be very responsive to emails/calls and thorough in discussing options.

After he gathered info about my weight, luggage and riding style, he recommended that we fudge the weight we report to Wilbers because, in his experience, Wilbers has a habit of over-springing Versys 650 shocks. So, we "lightened" the riding load we reported to Wilbers by around 30-40 lbs.

The parts arrived exactly 7 weeks after ordered. The new front fork spring made the front end more stable and reduced brake dive. The installation was more complicated than I expected, but doable with tech assistance from a helpful employee named Jeff (and you folks). You can read about that process *HERE*.

The rear shock wasn't such an improvement. Despite Ted manipulating my reported riding load, the shock was built way too stiff. It did give me rider sag equal to 30% total travel, but the shock just wouldn't give much from there. I reported my sag numbers to Ted, then Jeff did a bunch of fancy math and recommended swapping the spring with one that's 5 steps softer -- a 140 spring instead of a 180 spring (whatever that means).

After the stock w/ new spring arrived, I dialed in the correct preload with the remote adjuster and now the bike handles like a magic carpet. Very pleased. My only real complaint is that the new shock is a few millimeters longer than stock, raising the seat slightly. A little disappointed in this.

Ted & Jeff documented my ordeal so they'd be ready to correctly spring the next Versys 650 order that comes in. If a shock upgrade is in your budget (it's not cheap), I highly recommend these guys to do it for you. Jeff was great both in helping me get the right rear shock and with the tricky front-end install.
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Last edited by brock29609; 01-02-2018 at 11:44 AM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 08:05 PM
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Glad you got it dialed in. I have used Traxxion Dynamics and Racetech for front suspension on bikes.

On the rear I have used progressive on touring bikes and Cogent Moab on the KLR650. The KLR is the only bike I miss for exploring all the B roads and dirt roads where I live.

My Versys Travels:


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2017, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by brock29609 View Post
Back in July I ordered new Wilbers front & rear suspension for my 2015 model. I had an interesting experience that I thought I'd share here.
Are the springs (front and rear) progressive or straight rate?
Thank you

I still have a full deck.
I just shuffle slower.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2017, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Progressive front, straight rate rear.

I have had each option on past bikes (Hyperpro and Yacugar) and I prefer straight rate. Straight rate to me seems more predictable. Hyperpro has a Versys option, but Yacugar does not.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2017, 01:41 PM
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Progressive front, straight rate rear.

I have had each option on past bikes (Hyperpro and Yacugar) and I prefer straight rate. Straight rate to me seems more predictable.
True! In my case, I prefer progressive because most if not all of my riding is easy touring. Canyon carving is things of the past for me.

Quote:
Hyperpro has a Versys option, but Yacugar does not.
On mine, I have a Hyperpro progressive spring in the front and a straight rate Roadstar spring on my rear R1 shock. I will be swapping a "Pacific Coast Progressive Roadstar spring" onto the R1 shock this winter.

Thank you

I still have a full deck.
I just shuffle slower.

Last edited by quexpress; 12-06-2017 at 04:45 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by brock29609 View Post
Back in July I ordered new Wilbers front & rear suspension for my 2015 model. I had an interesting experience that I thought I'd share here.
Interesting. I bought a pair for my Thruxton from the same place. I was advised to go with the "touring" set too as my problem with the stock shocks was harsh ride over sharp bumps. Other than that, the stock was fine.
Got the Wilbur and I have the same issue. Feels just fine over anything but high velocity changes, then it's jarring. Doesn't seem to matter the size of the bump, just how fast it rises.
I thought initially it was poor compression damping linearity, but maybe it's just too high a spring rate? I'll give them a little more time to break in. My stock suspension was way stiff over everything when it was new.
Ted told me the same thing about Wilburs being overly stiff. Seems to be the way these high dollar suspension places seem to think people want them. I had the same issue with a Hyperpro I bought for an FJR. It was an absolute brick. Probably would have been great going around the corners of a highly manicured European race track at 120 mph, but that's not my daily ride.

Science...because we don't figure things out by praying.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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I previously order pricey Yacugar and Hyperpro shocks for other bikes. They were sprung perfectly right out of the box.

The Hagon shocks I ordered for my '13 Bonneville T100 were perfect and very inexpensive.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 11:51 PM
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[QUOTE=brock29609;1479577

After the stock w/ new spring arrived, I dialed in the correct preload with the remote adjuster and now the bike handles like a magic carpet. Very pleased. My only real complaint is that the new shock is a few millimeters longer than stock, raising the seat slightly. A little disappointed in this.

[/QUOTE]

I went with a Nitron shock on my 2015 V-650. Great shock for the money.

It too was just a tad longer than the stock shock. I rode it for a while but then decided I wanted the rear end back at stock ride height.

Not familar with Wilbers but most high end shocks have a ride height adjuster on the bottom end of the shock. I had mine screwed in all the way and the shock was still too long.

The solution is to unscrew the adjuster, which is actually the bottom attachment point, and grind off some of the length of the threads. I removed about 2mm on mine which made the shock overall length the same as the stocker. Problem solved.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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...most high end shocks have a ride height adjuster on the bottom end of the shock.
Mine does not. I was told that a spacer could be inserted to shorten when the shock is due for a rebuild. But, I doubt I'll own it that long. I typically don't keep a bike long enough to wear out a shock.
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