Rear Shock Absorber Spring Preload Setting - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-06-2018, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Rear Shock Absorber Spring Preload Setting

Need some help guys. Bike is 2017 versys 650. Been reading owners manual to try and figure out how to adjust rear spring for when the wife wants to join the fun.

* So I should count clicks only after I turn the spring preload adjuster all the way counterclockwise (to the left?)
* So one click after it is turned all the way is how the bike is out of factory? (Standard)
* I assume if wife riding with, I probably should be somewhere over 20 clicks (turns) clockwise?

Finally, what is everyone's setting? I am 184 pounds, 5-11. Ride paved roads mainly. Any recommendation?

See attached section from owners manual.

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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-06-2018, 10:21 PM
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Yes that how it's done-I would start at 5 clicks and work up till the bike is level-I'm 200lbs and I run 2 clicks no passenger -the rear is stiff

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 05:19 AM
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-the rear is stiff
the preload has nothing to do with stiffness.

X pounds implies the spring is compress to a length Y.
All you are changing is where the swingarm rests; it should rest around 2/5th from the extended position (more margin to soak in bumps before bottoming than to extend in holes before topping).

If you add weight X, you eat up this bottoming margin because length Y is smaller (and multiplied by the lever effect, the swingarm raises even more).

That's all there is to the V's preload adjustment.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 08:26 AM
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My setting is 0. I'm 150 pounds, 5'10". Normally I can't quite flat foot both feet, though my touring boots have thick enough soles that I can with them. With full camping gear on the bike I'll give it a few clicks, but I've never had it bottom out even on rough roads. No, that's not very scientific.

I would suggest starting with 0 since you're about the same height I am. When your wife rides with you, try something mid range, maybe 10 or 12 clicks, and see if you can comfortably flat-foot it when stopped. With a passenger on back I would like to ride a little lower to have more leverage with my legs to keep the bike upright at a stop light. Again, not very scientific, but that's how I would do it.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 09:31 AM
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These types of charts in many Japanese owner's manuals aren't very helpful. Preload is more about adjusting ride height (which also affects weight distribution), so road condition and speed don't have a lot to do with that setting. After playing around with the rear preload, I've settled back to the stock 1 click out. I'm 165 lbs. without gear. Even with a Givi V-47 top case (usually fairly empty) and Givi E-22 side cases, I find that setting works fine, and I like a little more weight on the front tire than many do. If I ran about 16 clicks per the chart I'd think the rear would be jacked up sky high and there'd be so much weight on the front tire it would make turn-in difficult. Now if I were to go out on a tour with the cases packed, and maybe a waterproof duffle strapped to the pillion seat, I'd likely nudge the rear preload up a bit.

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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
the preload has nothing to do with stiffness.

X pounds implies the spring is compress to a length Y.
All you are changing is where the swingarm rests; it should rest around 2/5th from the extended position (more margin to soak in bumps before bottoming than to extend in holes before topping).

If you add weight X, you eat up this bottoming margin because length Y is smaller (and multiplied by the lever effect, the swingarm raises even more).

That's all there is to the V's preload adjustment.
Oh lord here we go again-I'm not getting into it-it's just not worth it-what many don't understand or don't want to understand this is a captive spring-the word captive explains how it works straight wound or progressive wound- the front and rear work totally different--

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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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This is getting too complicated lol. I am after all a new rider. All I want to know is how many clicks should I do when riding with my wife.

I am 184 pounds and she never told me how much she weights lol. I would guess 130 pounds or so

Last time she rode with me, I felt the bike sagged down a bit and felt shaky. So thinking I need to stiffen it up a bit. Going to do about 20 clicks next ride and see how that goes.

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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Maher View Post
This is getting too complicated lol. I am after all a new rider. All I want to know is how many clicks should I do when riding with my wife.

I am 184 pounds and she never told me how much she weights lol. I would guess 130 pounds or so

Last time she rode with me, I felt the bike sagged down a bit and felt shaky. So thinking I need to stiffen it up a bit. Going to do about 20 clicks next ride and see how that goes.

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There's nothing too simple that we can't complicate.... That's the best approach, trial and error. There's no formula.
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 02:22 PM
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Approximately 205 lbs with protective gear, small tank bag, no panniers.
I verified the front and rear pre-load on my 2017 650 LT were set at what the manual said the factory settings were...6.5 turns on front, 1 click on rear. I added +2 turns of front pre-load (8.5 turns total) and +1 click of rear pre-load (2 clicks total). I had to back the front pre-load off 1 full turn. I'm now riding with 7.5 turns of front pre-load and 2 clicks of rear pre-load. When I ride with a passenger, I increase the rear +3 clicks (5 total) and go from there.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 02:22 PM
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If you really want to dive into the dark art: https://www.amazon.com/Techs-Motorcy...70_&dpSrc=srch
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 05:17 PM
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Approximately 205 lbs with protective gear, small tank bag, no panniers.
I verified the front and rear pre-load on my 2017 650 LT were set at what the manual said the factory settings were...6.5 turns on front, 1 click on rear. I added +2 turns of front pre-load (8.5 turns total) and +1 click of rear pre-load (2 clicks total). I had to back the front pre-load off 1 full turn. I'm now riding with 7.5 turns of front pre-load and 2 clicks of rear pre-load. When I ride with a passenger, I increase the rear +3 clicks (5 total) and go from there.
Jeez - w/ the R1 shock on MY Vs, I neither worry nor even THINK about it....



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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 06:41 PM
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Oh lord here we go again-I'm not getting into it-it's just not worth it-what many don't understand or don't want to understand this is a captive spring-the word captive explains how it works straight wound or progressive wound- the front and rear work totally different--
if you have been at it already, please do point to your explanation for the benefit of us here.

But if a coiled spring it supports let's say arbitrarily 500 lbs (mechanical disadvantage from the linkage and some bike weight) when it is 6 inches long, it doesn't matter what preload it has. when it will support 500 lbs, it will still be 6 inches long, progressive or not. That's physics. The preload only changes how far one end of the spring assembles to the suspension, thus raising or lowering it.

The only thing that can change the effective spring stiffness is changing the geometry of the linkage. That's not happening on the versys 650 rear suspension.

Same rules of physics for front suspension.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 09:28 PM
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if you have been at it already, please do point to your explanation for the benefit of us here.

But if a coiled spring it supports let's say arbitrarily 500 lbs (mechanical disadvantage from the linkage and some bike weight) when it is 6 inches long, it doesn't matter what preload it has. when it will support 500 lbs, it will still be 6 inches long, progressive or not. That's physics. The preload only changes how far one end of the spring assembles to the suspension, thus raising or lowering it.

The only thing that can change the effective spring stiffness is changing the geometry of the linkage. That's not happening on the versys 650 rear suspension.

Same rules of physics for front suspension.
CAPTIVE-ok I'll bite so lets say a spring is 100lbs straight wound it takes 100 lbs to move it one inch what would it take for that spring to move two inches 200 lbs- three inches 400lbs and so on-the spring is captive on the shock as you increase preload the spring shortens - the amount of weight needed to compress the shock increases-if that weight is not applied the rear end of the bike goes up-that's what setting the sag does-the front end is not captive so increasing preload just raises the front end

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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 09:47 PM
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CAPTIVE-ok I'll bite so lets say a spring is 100lbs straight wound it takes 100 lbs to move it one inch what would it take for that spring to move two inches 200 lbs- three inches 400lbs and so on-the spring is captive on the shock as you increase preload the spring shortens - the amount of weight needed to compress the shock increases-if that weight is not applied the rear end of the bike goes up-that's what setting the sag does-the front end is not captive so increasing preload just raises the front end
that still has nothing to do with the spring rate (stiffness).
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 08:38 AM
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Hey, at least we're not arguing about dino v. synth or Darksiding. Those are soooo passe. :^)

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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 08:56 AM
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So if I want the back to be lower I would add more clicks? I was thinking of it backwards (softer = lower).
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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 09:55 AM
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So if I want the back to be lower I would add more clicks? I was thinking of it backwards (softer = lower).
no, you would take out preload...... at 0 clicks your sag will be much greater than at 24 clicks .
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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 11:43 AM
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Hmm, so I think I understand this.

The rear adjustment (Gen 3) will affect both the sag and the stiffness. Fewer clicks will be a softer spring, and as a result of that the sag will be greater for any given load. More clicks will raise the height of the rear for any given weight but will also stiffen the ride. Correct?

Is the front suspension the same on Gen 3 as the previous versions?
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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 02:52 PM
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...Is the front suspension the same on Gen 3 as the previous versions?
Definitely NOT!

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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 03:23 PM
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The rear adjustment (Gen 3) will affect both the sag and the stiffness. Fewer clicks will be a softer spring, and as a result of that the sag will be greater for any given load. More clicks will raise the height of the rear for any given weight but will also stiffen the ride. Correct?
no.
it won't change the stiffness.
nothing (in the versys suspension) can change the stiffness/softness.

preload will only change the height when you are at equilibrium (loaded and sitting).
you want that position to be on the high, not the middle, because bottoming out can damage a lot more then topping out (and the wheel can float over holes but can't pass through excessively high bumps).

A simple example: put a 2" spring rated 1 pound per inch, on a counter and a 1 pound book on it: it would compress 1 inch. Now wrap scotch tape to precompress the "captive" spring to 1.5" and with a 1/2" spacer (so the total length is still 2"). Put the book on again: the spring will still be compressed to 1" (although it didn't move for the first 1/2 pound), and the book will be 0.5" higher.

That's really all there is to it. I hope this makes it clear.
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