What is the stock fork spring rate? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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What is the stock fork spring rate?

Anyone know off hand what the spring rate stock?
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 10:42 AM
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My fork springs take 28 kg to compress down by 40 mm, so the rate is 0.7 Kg/mm.
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Great thanks a lot. Going to service the forks and wanted to be sure if I needed new springs or not...I do.
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 11:03 AM
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Why do you think you need new springs? What are their free length? Are you looking for stiffer and/or progressive rate springs?
Specified fork spring free length is 292.9 mm (11.53 in), but mine measured 300 mm at 2600 miles. Service limit is 287 mm (11.3 in).

Last edited by invader; 01-02-2012 at 08:08 AM.
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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I do not beleive in progressive springs, I would never want my springs to get stiffer as they compress, it is impossible then to tune your compression and or rebound.

I like to match my spring to my weight and riding style so that I can obtain proper sag in the middle of my preload range and so I know my springs are correctly supporting my weight when riding instead of making the compression/rebound overwork.

A spring rate should be matched to the riders weight.
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 11:56 AM
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So, why do you think you need to replace them?

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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Too soft, I should have a .85 kg spring for my weight and for the fact that I use my three case luggage 100% of the time.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 12:52 PM
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Ahah... Contrary to what most may say, mine were also deemed too soft. I weigh 190 lbs. Maximum preload (1/2 turn out rebound damping) was barely enough to prevent bottoming out on our rough roads. I like it a lot now with Motul semi-synthetic 15W fork oil instead of original 10W, with preload at 3 turns from maximum and 7/8 turn out rebound damping.
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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The problem with heavier oil is that you are using the rebound and compression circuits to make up for spring rate and heavier oil cannot make up for static sag. Also, in the winter, that heavier oil may make for a harder ride...I ride well into temps below 0 c.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 04:08 PM
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I agree, but damping was lacking with preload at maximum, making it feel jittery. The semi-synthetic Motul fork oil's viscosity is also more consistent in temperature variations. It really improved mine, and I ride at down to about 0 C. 15W oil is recommended with heavier, although progressive fork springs available for the Versys.
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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 11:16 AM
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Sorry can't help you there but it is a very good question. The reason after market suppliers may have left the V out of products is maybe because they might think that the V is inexpensive enough and maybe their owners might not want to spend the cash for upgrades

Just a thought and not attacking anybody at all, it's just that they might think that if so much is needed, why not trade up to something that works better? All abt the $ I think, just think about it, how much would a new rear shock and work the very limited front suspension cost in ratio to what the bike cost new? Again, 2cts

Try writting Race Tech or Hyper Pro or something and see if they have anything

Good luck and let us know how you fared out

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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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The cost of the bike has nothing to do with the suspension. Hell my Ohlins shod Ducati could still use some suspension work. Suspension is a personal thing, tailored to a riders weight, riding style and personal preference. Since ALL bikes have generic suspension, ALL bikes and ALL riders would enjoy some sort of custom work.

New springs are $80, that and some oil weight adjustment can improve the ride quality 100%, I wouldn't call that a huge investment worthy of looking at a more expensive bike.

Some like the stock suspension, some think it can be improved. Cost is relative to your own value and buying a new more expensive bike just to get suspension that works better for you is just silly....especially since it is rare to find the perfect bike.

As for aftermarket companies, it has nothing to do with the cost of the bike, hell, they make all sorts of kits and upgrades for the SV650, a bike even cheaper than the V in many ways, it has EVERYTHING to do with bike sales. The more V's on the road, the more the aftermarket takes notice and the more products are available.
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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 03:55 PM
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Marc - Did you measure sag? I am guessing you plugged the weight in to a spring rate calculator, that's why you said you need 0.85 kg/mm. Have you measured actual sag with your normal riding weight (including gear and cases)? How much sag are you getting? How much preload do you have front and rear?

There are probably several threads about this, invader's springs seem abnormally soft. I'm not questioning his measurements, he is usually very diligent when measuring stuff like that, but most of us seem to have fork springs that are closer to 0.9 kg/mm (we considered it's a different setup for different markets, but they all seem to have the same part number and there was at least one UK bike that was measured and came out as 0.9 kg/mm).

I wrote a How To for repalcing the springs on the international forum, you can see it here:

http://www.versys.co.uk/index.php?op...5&topic=5461.0


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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 06:26 PM
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Marc11, I think that you might have taken this a little personal, it was a general comment and not towards you at all, relax.

If you can find any good suspension manufacturer to make something fully adjustable for the V; hell, I'm all ears. This is what the V lacks, adjustability; hell, take a look at the Aprilia DD for example, same thing, zip and the comments on Sportrider mag were that when ridden hard it slouches. And yes, cost has ALL to do with it or the manufacturer would have equipped it with better components like your Ducati.

Just comments as well as you are entitled to yours, and I agree with wanting to make the bike ride better and that no bike is made for anybody in particular, etc...
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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FJS - Easy there brother, you made your point and I posted my own, it is all discussion, there is no personal attack given or taken. Try not to read the internet posts with any emotion since you do not know the intent of the person writing.

Gustavo - I am at 35mm, but I forget how much preload I have dialed in, I need to check that, but you are right, I pluged in my weights at got my spring rate. From all the Kawi's I have owned they are often under sprung, so I assumed this one is undersprung too. If not, GREAT, then I can just change out the fork fluid and be happy.

On the other side, I just ordered a Hyperpro shock, rebound, lo/hi speed compression, remote preload and ride height adjustment, should make the bike handle much much better over the very tired stock shock.
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post #16 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 05:06 PM
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LOL! Good show... How many kilometers are you at, Marc, and may I ask which part of the world you are in?

Last edited by invader; 10-22-2009 at 10:43 PM.
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post #17 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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I am in New York, USA and am just passing 27,000 K. I should be at about 30,000 before I pack it in for the winter in December.
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post #18 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by marc11 View Post
I am in New York, USA and am just passing 27,000 K. I should be at about 30,000 before I pack it in for the winter in December.
Wow, that's good mileage. Now I'm even more interested in finding out what pre-load settings do you have it at to get that 35mm sag. As you probably realize, 35mm is on the low side for 150mm suspension travel, so unless you have the pre-load fully cranked up to get there, I'd say the springs are not too soft for you. No doubt your fork oil could use replacement at this point, if you feel the suspension to be on the hash side in the compression stroke, you could use lighter oil to reduce compression damping. If you read the How To, I used 5wt on my forks. I think I could go with 2.5wt and get an even smoother ride.


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post #19 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 11:03 PM
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Our Versys' all have the same fork springs with about 300 mm free length, even though manual states a standard 292.9 mm and a service length limit of 287 mm, and with wire diameter of 4.9 mm at one end up to to 5.1 mm at the other end (progressive?), and of the same coiling. Mine takes 62 lbs (28 kg) to compress it for the initial 40 mm from a resting free length. I questioned this as being an accurate method, and according to Hyperpro's Klaus Huenecke: "Yes, it would be a rate of 0.7 Kg/mm." I'm still not sure if measuring it more compressed in the actual usable pre-loaded range would result in a higher compressed spring rate reading.
I do run at a high pre-load setting to suit my demanding needs on unforgiving road conditions, and also benefit from thicker Motul synthesis 15W fork oil for adequate damping, as recommended and used with Hyperpro's 7.5 N/mm (0.765 kg/mm) to 12.05 N/mm (1.229 kg/mm), 295 mm free length fork springs. There's also Progressive Suspension (USA) #11-1521 fork springs: 0.71 to 1.16 kg/mm, 340 mm free length, 37 mm OD progressive springs (pair available for under $90 USD) which could work by shortening the spacers like Gustavo did to install his Sonic springs. Stock fork springs are 36 mm OD, and fork bore is 40 mm ID.
My original 10W fork oil which looked and smelled much like ATF was replaced at only 2600 miles, but it already contained a impressive amount of black break-in and wear residue, as was wiped from inner tubes, springs and spacers. I was able to drain the forks thoroughly over a few winter weeks beside an electric floor board heater. Now I'm looking at replacing fork oil at every 5000 miles or so.


Last edited by invader; 09-30-2009 at 07:22 AM.
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post #20 of 49 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm, so now you guys are making me think. I didn't set the sag myself, I had the dealer do it, all I did was get on and off the bike as needed, so maybe they didn't get 35mm or maybe they are have preload maxed out.

One thing I always wondered was what would the preload should be for a long travel suspension like this? I am guessing someplace between a sport bike and a dirt bike, so, 50 mm? What are you guys running?

My complaints about the front end are pretty generic, I find the fork dive excessive, taking into account the long travel will have more diver than say a sport bike, and it seems to be less composed over bumps than I like, perhaps over reacting to bumps, so I was thinking a thicker oil would slow things down.
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