Race Tech R&D of Versys Forks and Shock - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 72 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Race Tech R&D of Versys Forks and Shock

I just shipped my forks and shock to Race Tech. They are going to do a complete R&D of both to see if they can use their typically excellent gold valve products for the stock items (no R&D labor cost to me since it is a new application). I hope they can, since I want a real damping performance improvement without spending $2K on a new shock and complete cartridge replacement. If they can develop the products, they normally offer them for sale to everyone, though some applications will require them to do the labor depending on the modifications needed. It will probably take about a month before they are done, and I'll post an update then. I shouldn't miss riding any since I woke up this morning to a foot of snow and 10deg temp.
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post #2 of 72 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 01:01 PM
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Cool (soory, no pun intended ). I suppose we'll have to wait until next spring for you to report on the result, though...


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post #3 of 72 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 03:25 PM
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Let us know. I am pretty sure a few of us would be happy to do the mods also.
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post #4 of 72 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 05:11 PM
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Thanks for going through the PIA of sending your shocks/forks out for the benefit of all us. I thank you sir.

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post #5 of 72 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 07:25 PM
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Yep! Good job!



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post #6 of 72 (permalink) Old 10-11-2009, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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My pleasure
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post #7 of 72 (permalink) Old 10-13-2009, 10:25 AM
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yea, thanks for doing this. I was just about to drop coin on a rear shock, again, but now I have to see how this pans out....
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post #8 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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The Race Tech rep called today to give me an update. For the forks, they confirmed what I have stated earlier that the left fork has no damping whatsoever. The left "cartridge" is just a slider that keeps things together--otherwise it's a pogo-stick. They are waiting on a backordered Kawasaki replacement right-side cartrige to put in the left fork (this is cost effective, as it's barely over $100 from Kaw, plus probably the spacer and top-cap). The stock cartridge valves will then be replaced with their gold valve products, shim stacks tuned, and I should end up with a perfect performing set of forks.
Also good news is that the stock shock is rebuildable, and they are able to install their gold valve in it as well. I wrote in a previous post how I tapered the shock spring ends so they don't contact the adjacent coils, which by mid-stroke, makes my spring about 10% softer than stock. The rep said that with this mod, the spring is spot-on for my 165lb weight, though of course personal preference comes into play
Once they get the backordered part and get the forks built, they are going to put my suspension on another Versys, do a full test, make necessary tweaks, and be done. Soon after that, I expect they will post the data to their website like they do for other bikes, which shows products available, stock and recommended spring rates, etc.
I'll post again when they are finished.
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post #9 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 08:41 PM
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Outstanding news!



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post #10 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 08:41 PM
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Bless you!

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post #11 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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One thing I need to keep in mind when making recommendations is that, well, being the versys, we will all have different riding styles, and therefore, different suspension needs. I never carry a passenger and seldom more than about a 20 lb tail pack. I am most interested in best control in agressive sport-style riding, combined with enough compliance to be comfortable when riding distance, but never mushy, and chose the Versys because its longer-travel suspension, when properly set-up, will handle the often rough mountain pavement I ride on much better than a typical sport-bike. For me, the stock suspension has the right level of firmness, its just that the forks are too harsh over sharp-edged bumps, while the shock is quickly overwhelmed by successive bumps. I can't wait to get my suspension back, and hope I have a warm enough day to test it out when it does get here.
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post #12 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 10:40 PM
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Wyo ...in your early post you said the stock shock was rebuildable and they could put their gold valves in it ...that the rear I"m assuming?
as my local Racetech guy thought that i couldn't be ..but he only looked at it on the bike quickly.

Thanks for doing this too, much appreciated. It should save us all a lot of coin.
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post #13 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyorider View Post
I am most interested in best control in agressive sport-style riding
Speak it brother Cant wait for your feed back!

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post #14 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-04-2009, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyorider View Post
One thing I need to keep in mind when making recommendations is that, well, being the versys, we will all have different riding styles, and therefore, different suspension needs. I never carry a passenger and seldom more than about a 20 lb tail pack. I am most interested in best control in agressive sport-style riding, combined with enough compliance to be comfortable when riding distance, but never mushy, and chose the Versys because its longer-travel suspension, when properly set-up, will handle the often rough mountain pavement I ride on much better than a typical sport-bike. For me, the stock suspension has the right level of firmness, its just that the forks are too harsh over sharp-edged bumps, while the shock is quickly overwhelmed by successive bumps. I can't wait to get my suspension back, and hope I have a warm enough day to test it out when it does get here.


I thought about doing the same thing. Thanks for diving in and actually doing it! Your final settings should be close to what I think I would need, as I weight 175, no passenger ever, and need something to handle all the bumpy roads I ride on. I would even be willing to give up some of the handling to get a softer ride.
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post #15 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-04-2009, 08:48 PM
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There's finally some light at the end of the tunnel, tip of the hat to you Mr. Wyo.
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post #16 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 12:12 PM
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Wyo,

I am not an expert on the subject so please advice what I am missing.

I can understand why we need to upgrade the rear shock with gold valve (always a good thing to do) . I also understand why we need to upgrade the forks with gold valve.
But I do not understend what improvment of damping should you get when you will upgrade the left side fork to be same as the right one. As far as my understending, if it was planed to damp with one side, two sides should should not do any positive different.

Thanks
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post #17 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 12:47 PM
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Wyo,

...I do not understend what improvment of damping should you get when you will upgrade the left side fork to be same as the right one. As far as my understending, if it was planed to damp with one side, two sides should should not do any positive different.

Thanks
I was wondering the same thing. Maybe the Race Tech hardware or analysis tools only work when you do both fork legs?
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post #18 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 02:02 PM
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I think the point is to get both legs to accept damping and then add in the Racetech valving to both.
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post #19 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 02:11 PM
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This is my point. Why we need both legs to accept damping?
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post #20 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 02:54 PM
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Because that is how proper forks not on a budget work best. I am sure they are thinking each fork damping instead of just one is a better set up.
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