R1 shock fitted - need spring source. - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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R1 shock fitted - need spring source.

There has been a bit of discussion about fitting R1 rear shocks to the Versys so when I saw a brand new 06 shock on Ebay for $75 I thought I would give it a go. The 06 model has the oil rservior at right angles to the body of the shock so if you fit it upside down it should clear everything and it does!! Well not quite. With the spring fully compressed it hits the black plastic trim under the seat, but not by much. I trimmed this in shallow curve slightly bigger than the reservior and that solved the problem.The fixing centers are the same but they are for a 10mm bolt. An engineering friend bored them out to 12mm and the unit was ready to bolt in. I had to fit spacers/washers top and bottom to ensure the steel bushes were held firm and not loose when the bolts were tightened and that was all.
I knew the spring would be way to soft and it is. With the spring compression adjustment all the way in to maximum, the static sag is about 80mm. It should be about 40 to 50mm.
My question is does anyone know a good source for a stronger spring from some one who will ship to New Zealand?
I have done a Google search but haven't had much luck.
My guess is that I will need a spring a bit softer than the Versys but not by much. If you happen to have the specification for a Versys spring that would be a great starting point.
With luck we will have found an alternative to the original set up.

Thanks.

PS: I don't know how to post pictures so my apologies for not being able to show you the set up. It looks cool!!

PPS: 31/08/09 Photo's now added. See further down the thread.

Last edited by zeph; 08-31-2009 at 03:32 PM.
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post #2 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 08:47 PM
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Zeph, Hi You may be able to get some advice from Robert Taylor of Crown Kiwi Technical. Ohlins dealer phone New Plymouth 06 751 2100, the shock stroke is 51.5mm and the Ohlins rear shock is KA 907 for the Versys, he may be able to offer an alternative, watch the bottom of the battery box it hangs low.regards Jim Cambridge NZ
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post #3 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 09:03 PM
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Shatrat says:
This is a cool project!

Doesn't the linkageless shock require some kind of built-in progressive dampening?
Is the R1 shock and the Versys shock really apples to better-apples?
Stay tuned to find out!
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post #4 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 10:14 PM
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Zeph - the Versys spring is rated at 16 kg/mm. So that would be your starting point. You can make it a bit softer if you think it was too stiff for your weight.

Gustavo


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post #5 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Progress report.
I have been riding around today on the R1 shock in standard trim and it feels smooth but bottoms out as expected on a decent bump.
Went and saw our local shock guru and he has put me on to a local Auckland company that he uses to make up springs to order. That won't till happen next week. I will take the shock in on Monday and he will take the spring off and I will take across town to get the new spring made.
Based on the great information about the existing Versys spring from another thread in this forum we decided that 13 kg/mm was the most likely best option. The Versys being 16 kg/mm.
The shock man suggested we might need to increase the dampening stack to overcome it being underdamped, a result of the R1 shock not being of the direct acting type.
I think I will try it first and then decide about any internal alterations based on Hagon's advice to one of our members who has had heaps of experience with fitting and altering a Hagon rear shock for his Versys.
Likely all up cost for this exercise will be about NZ$350 to $400 depending on the need to alter, or not, the shim stack.
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post #6 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 02:57 AM
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Zeph, Hi Looks like you are on to it and will get some good advice. I too was looking for a quick fix at least cost, and after enquiering all the scribes,I have settled on the existing Showa shock and have got the lowering kit from Speedy Gonzales, from this Forum, incredible service ordered last Friday arrived today Wed 26th.This gives me more options if I want to change the shock in the future, Good safe cruising.
Regards Jim
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post #7 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post
Progress report.
I think I will try it first and then decide about any internal alterations based on Hagon's advice to one of our members who has had heaps of experience with fitting and altering a Hagon rear shock for his Versys.
.
Well done Zeph. It was me with the modified Hagon shock.
I weigh 120kg all up with touring bags on and I reckon my spring, the softer Hagon one, is just right. Hagon said on the invoice it was 140kg per cm.
You must be getting a significantly longer shock-travel if you are hitting the plastic which is good news.
I wait with interest although I doubt I will do it now the Hagon is working fine.
Ted.
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post #8 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Photo's of R1 shock in Versys.

I have joined Photobucket and can now show you the R1 shock fitted. The stronger spring is due to be finished by Wednesday and I will fit it and report back. This an 06 shock with a spring rate a little less than 9 kg/mm.









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post #9 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 08:38 AM
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Hi Zeph.
Perfect. It looks like it was made for the Versys. I am tempted if it all works well.
Did you fit the 14 or the 16kg spring?
Thanks.
Ted.
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post #10 of 371 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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I am getting a 13 kg/mm spring made. I am a bit lighter than you Ted weighing in at 75 to 80 kg with all my gear on. Your Hagon had a 14 kg/mm spring so I figured I should go one lighter. Even with the wife on board we still only hit about 140 kg.
Before I fully compressed the spring I raised the bunch of wiring under the seat but it wasn't necessary. The shock reservior doesn't even come close. The reservior clears all the fittings in the region of it's swing arc.
Can't wait to pick up the new spring and see whether we have the strength right to give the correct static sag and still have at least half the compression adjustment left.
Stay tuned.
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post #11 of 371 (permalink) Old 09-01-2009, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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R1 set up finished.

Fitted new 13 kg/mm spring yesterday and installed the R1 shock. The shock is fitted upside down so the compression dampening oil reservoir has room to move.
At the "new" top of the spring I turned the rebound dampening section through 180 degrees so I can adjust it by simply removing the plastic cover.
There is a 5mm spacer fitted at the top and a 2mm spacer fitted at the bottom so that when the bolts are torqued ( 59 ft.lbs ) the bushes are clamped up tight. Because the top bush runs in a needle roller bearing and can slide, the 5mm spacer can go either side as the top will automatically centralise itself when the bottom bolt is tightened.



The black is the new spring and the silver is the original R1.



The top of the shock is turned through 180 degrees to access adjustment.



With the preload set half way I get 40mm of static sag under a 75 kg load.



Access to bottom adjuster from left hand side.



Finished installlation.
Rebound and compression dampening are at the standard R1 settings and feel about right. A decent ride is the next step to finalise any adjustments.
Stay in touch and I will update as I get used to the new set up.
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post #12 of 371 (permalink) Old 09-01-2009, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Ajustments made to R1 shock.

For my first ride I left the rebound and the compression dampening screws in the standard R1 set up. Rebound 18 clicks out from 27 total and dampening 11 out from 19 total. When I rode the bike it was better than the original shock but still felt a bit harsh over small bumps.
I came home and backed both adjustments off to their softest setting and went out again over my favourite twisty and bumpy back roads. What a difference!!
The bike felt so plush and yet went round the corners without a hop or a slide. Didn't get banged out of the seat once. It's weird. You feel as though you should be hardening everthing up a bit because it feels way to plush to do it's job properly and yet it does.
You may recall I did Gustavo's front fork fix with Sonic springs, doubled the air gaps and used 5wt oil. I have the front dampening screw set 2 turns out and the spring adjusters 9 turns out to give 45mm of front static sag. Prior to the R1 shock the front felt way better than the rear. Now it's the other way around. That's how good the R1 shock is.
I am so pleased I followed this through.
I had to enlarge the cut out on the black cover under the seat by another 5mm to stop the oil reservior on the shock hitting at maximum compression.
Other than that I will experiment with increasing the rebound and the dampening just to see what happens, but right now I am delighted with the end result.
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post #13 of 371 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 12:26 AM
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sounds like your on the right track for sure..very nice setup
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post #14 of 371 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 11:01 AM
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Great stuff Zeph.
I am so pleased for you, but seriously muttering to myself, because I am sure yours is much better than mine. Mine is way better than stock but you could not call it plush.
I wait your further reports. I have a growing feeling this could get expensive.
I wish we could meet up and ride each others bikes but Auckland is a bit far from UK. Next time I visit my daughter in Taupo I will get in touch with you before I come.
Ted.
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post #15 of 371 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Ironic isn't it Ted. I have a son living in London. Maybe for you an R1 swap may not be too expensive. You can probably buy one in the UK whereas I had to buy mine in the States and pay US$60 for postage on a $75 shock. The spring cost was NZ$135, so all up I have paid out NZ$335. My friend bored out the holes for free. I could have bought a new Versys rubber bush and the needle roller bearing cage and simply pushed out the R1 parts and inserted the Versys parts. The diameters of both holes in the shocks being the same.
So maybe you should be tempted and sell off the Hagon once you have found a cheap R1 shock.
When you do come to NZ I would be pleased to give you a ride on my bike . I will follow on my KLR650 Tengai I restored last year.

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post #16 of 371 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 04:42 PM
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Thank Zeph. I look forward to it.
That Tengai of yours looks fantastic. I have never seen one like that before, maybe we don't have it here. I suspect it didn't look like that before you restored it?
Ted.
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post #17 of 371 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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My bike was brought out from the UK where it was bought new in 1991. I am the third owner. Being a UK bike, it had heaps of light corrosion on the frame and fittings but the red and white paint work was in great condition. I did a complete strip down, plated all the bolts, powder coated frame, respoked the wheels and did up the motor. I really enjoy this lovlely big single. It is my main bike for dirt road exploring and light trail riding.
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post #18 of 371 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post
Ironic isn't it Ted. I have a son living in London. Maybe for you an R1 swap may not be too expensive. You can probably buy one in the UK whereas I had to buy mine in the States and pay US$60 for postage on a $75 shock. The spring cost was NZ$135, so all up I have paid out NZ$335. My friend bored out the holes for free. I could have bought a new Versys rubber bush and the needle roller bearing cage and simply pushed out the R1 parts and inserted the Versys parts. The diameters of both holes in the shocks being the same.
So maybe you should be tempted and sell off the Hagon once you have found a cheap R1 shock.
When you do come to NZ I would be pleased to give you a ride on my bike . I will follow on my KLR650 Tengai I restored last year.


Very nice!! Great job!



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post #19 of 371 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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I have now increased the compression dampening, the bottom screw, by turning it in 5 clicks from fully out. Rebound still on softest setting.
The results is a more solid feel to the rear end but it still floats over the bumps. Scraping the pegs today having removed the long screw-in feelers on the foot rest. To be fair, I have the Speedy lowering kit for the riders pegs to allow me to stretch my legs a bit more.
The main thing is the bike felt safe doing it.
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post #20 of 371 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Rode today with a group of friends through our favourite back roads. I led the group and the Versys just left them behind on every corner. The new settings are spot on and the bike felt bloody brillant!!
One of the guys followed me home after having had a ride on my bike. He wanted his hard sports settings altered to try and get closer to the plush feel of my bike. We reset his static sag and backed off the rebound dampening. The compression dampening seemed about right. I will find out next week if it's any better. I rode his bike earlier and it sure can't be any worse!!
Well that's the end of my R1 story. I hope it inspires others to give it a go.
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