Fork Emmulators - Do they exist? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-14-2009, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Fork Emmulators - Do they exist?

I have been trying to find out if there is a Gold Valve fork emmulator kit for the Versys. Our NZ agent sent me back information for the EX650R which has standard forks. No use to me. Have asked again and sent a picture of the bike and the correct model number KLE650A. Waiting on a reply.
The Race Tec site doesn't have all it's options listed and in the past I have had zero luck getting any response to email questions. When I fitted emmulators to my Tengai I sourced them from a locla dealer who let me go through his limited stock and luckly he had the right diameter available.
If anyone out there has the answer, please let me know.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 04:00 AM
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If it matters, fork springs are 36 mm OD (300 mm free length), and fork bore is 40 mm ID.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 07:16 AM
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I do believe the forks in the V are sealed, non-rebuildable cartridge forks. I could be wrong though.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 11:31 AM
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I believe fork emulators are meant to be an upgrade to the old technology "damper rod" forks. The V comes with cartridge type forks. So no need for emulators.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 12:08 PM
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What TG said. What you are looking for are something like RaceTech's Gold Valves (in essence, different cartridges). As far as I know, RaceTech doesn't have anything for the Versys, but since a lot of these things are standard sizes, it's just a matter of taking it to a good suspension shop to find what fits and valve it correctly for your weight.

Or, you could do some of the work on your own and get a significant improvement for a fraction of the cost - I posted this on the international forum.

Gustavo


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses.
The Triumph Tiger has a similar set up to our bikes and you can get a kit for them, so the comment about a "better" cartridge would be right.
Gustavo, your link on the changes you made is great and I will now organise to do the same. I have another friend with a new Versys and have spent a few days making all the alterrations and "fixes" to his bike. It looks like I will now be doing our front suspension as well. Thank you so much.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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Ordered two sets of springs today. My friend decided that he would make the changes Gustavo suggested. The shipping to NZ from Sonic was the same for one set or two.
They can ship four springs for the same price Califonia Sports Touring charge to ship a heated grip pack. Go figure that one.
We often find down here that some US suppliers screw us on the shipping costs. Not Sonic.
Thumbs up to Ric at Sonic.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 08:10 AM
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What we are looking for is access to the shim stack in the cartridge, which the stock one doesn't allow. Hopefully Paul Thede at Racetech can work his magic and figure out a way to get access to it or manufacture a new one.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post
I have been trying to find out if there is a Gold Valve fork emmulator kit for the Versys. Our NZ agent sent me back information for the EX650R which has standard forks. No use to me. Have asked again and sent a picture of the bike and the correct model number KLE650A. Waiting on a reply.
The Race Tec site doesn't have all it's options listed and in the past I have had zero luck getting any response to email questions. When I fitted emmulators to my Tengai I sourced them from a locla dealer who let me go through his limited stock and luckly he had the right diameter available.
If anyone out there has the answer, please let me know.

Thanks.
It seems to me that the Versys has the same forks as the Z-1000

I looked at both part list for the front forks and they are indeed almost identical

Charles Leblanc
2007 Versys
Givi Windshield and side case
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post
I have been trying to find out if there is a Gold Valve fork emmulator kit for the Versys. Our NZ agent sent me back information for the EX650R which has standard forks. No use to me. Have asked again and sent a picture of the bike and the correct model number KLE650A. Waiting on a reply.
The Race Tec site doesn't have all it's options listed and in the past I have had zero luck getting any response to email questions. When I fitted emmulators to my Tengai I sourced them from a locla dealer who let me go through his limited stock and luckly he had the right diameter available.
If anyone out there has the answer, please let me know.

Thanks.
I think what you mean is "cartridge emulator". These allow damper rod forks to approach the level of tunable damping that cartridge forks have. As someone said earlier the Versys has already has cartridge type forks.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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StonedGP has it sussed. Much better description than my original question.
My replacement springs have been shipped today and after re-reading Gustavo's post I think I will find his"low cost" option will provide the improvement I would like for dirt and sealed roads.
Thanks again to all of you who helped resolve my problem.
I will post a comment on the job when it's done in the next couple of weeks.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 07:39 AM
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I am taking Motorcycle service technology classes and we had Mike Alex from http://www.suspensiontechnologies.com/about.htm come in, as he's good friends with my professor. He brought in his shock dyno and did a demo. then we tore apart and rebuilt a shock (which happened to be Casey Kaynes left front shock from "Chicagoland race 2 weeks ago), then did a dyno run and showed what a difference a simple change in the shim stack made in performance.http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...a%3DN%26um%3D1
At this point they only make shocks for Harleys, however we took my shock off the bike and he took some measurements. He said he was going to order a shock from kawasaki to begin work on one for us.
I would suggest that we all e-mail him to show interest. These shocks are user rebuild able, infinitely adjustable, and made in America. Now if we could get someone to find a way to access the shims in the fork cartridge.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 09:39 AM
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I just emailed Mike, with my support for his upcomming effort. I also mentioned the possibility that our rough ride issue may be our "linkageless shock mount design"?

Also, I wonder why he's not gotten into the "mono-shock" business before now?
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Sonic fork springs installed today. Tha hardest part of the whole deal was undoing the four brake caliper bolts which were so over tight it wasn't funny. One of them I had to drill, apply a small gas flame and use a left handed "easy out' to undo it. What a drama. The main axel bolt was just as bad and needed an impact wrench and a 14 mm allen socket to loosen it.
Made up the spring compressor and a dampening rod extractor as suggested by Gustavo and they worked a treat. Used two pull down straps to hold the arrangement down when the spring was compressed so both hands were free to undo the lock nut under the fork cap.
Set up with 5 wt oil using the heights and spring compresion lengths Gustavo used.
Rode it this afternoon over a bumpy twisting backroad and the set up was much smoother and still felt rock solid and planted. The front Distanzia tyre helps a lot in the grip department and these improvements only added to the overall package,
Thanks again Gustavo for the great advice.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 09:40 AM
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Zeph,

I'm just curious - how much do you weigh?
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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About 75 kg with all my motorcycle gear on. With Gustavo's spacer sizes of 75mm and 55mm I needed only two full turns on the preload adjusters from the fully turned out position to get the correct static sag. I set the front dampening/rebound screw one full turn out from fully wound in.
So if you were a bit heavier there would still be a lot of preload adjustment left.
Interestingly all the general information about dimmensions for oil levels and spacer sizes that came with the Sonic springs match exactly with what we ended up with.
This solution is not the holy grail but it is very good improvement over the original settings.
I would think that just doing the 5 weight oil and shortening the original preload spacers by 8mm would be a very worthwhile exercise.
Sonics advice was that you are looking for about half an inch of preload once every thing is tightened up given that the preload adjuster screw is set in the centre position.
Their advice on air gaps or oil levels is that you are aiming for the length of the fork travel. In our case 150mm or 6 inches.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 05:24 PM
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i just finished reading the post from gustavo. so the stock airgap is 75mm right and 65mm left? wow that is tight. normal forks are about 110-115mm for inverted forks. not alot of airspace up there. i might try just reducing the oil level first to see if ti helps out.

you put in different springs, what woudl you suggets for reducing the stock spacer? si that the 8mm reduction in the spacer you spoke of?
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 11:26 PM
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I'm not convinced that the cartidges in the Versys forks have shim stacks at all, but rather some sort of cheaper damping method. Kawasaki calls them cylinder assemblies, and you can get them brand new for under $100 each (compared to almost $300 each for a Z1000 replacement), which tells me the damping internals can't be that complicated--only taking them apart (which the service manual cautions against) will tell. Taking them apart would also answer the debate over whether the left fork leg has any damping at all vs. some control. When I switched to Silkolene Pro RSF 10W, and pumped the solid piston rod up and down on the left fork before draining the stock oil, there seemed to be no damping action at all, and the oil was free to spill out between the rod and cylinder. This is compared with the right leg, with the oil travelling through a hollow piston rod, and a controlled clearance between the rod and cylinder, having significant damping action, both compression and rebound. If I had 200 bucks to blow on it, I would order the left and right cylinder assemblies to take them apart and find out how they are designed. Maybe next year, unless Race Tech ends up publishing some information on it.

Last edited by Wyorider; 08-22-2009 at 11:33 PM.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 09:29 AM
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if they are that cheap anyone consider making the left fork the same as the right by putting the rebound adjuster top cap on the left as well? wonder if the cylinder assembly part number are the same then it would give adjustability to both sides.

I know som of the manufacturers are trying forks that serve as single duty now, right compression only and left rebound only for example. not sure I like the idea but have read where some are trying that way for the super sport models.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 07:49 PM
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You would have to replace the entire cylinder assembly, plus the top cap, as there is a right and left cylinder. Still wouldn't be that expensive, but would be way overdamped as a pair. I wonder, though if this were done in combination with a very light synthetic fork oil (5w or less), if it wouldn't be worth a try. Since I finally got my bike tolerable, I won't be messing with the suspension until at least next spring.
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