What is stock triple tree vs. fork tube height? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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What is stock triple tree vs. fork tube height?

I bought a used Versys, the prior owner put lowering blocks on the rear.
I am not sure that they ever adjusted the triple tree height on the front.
Can you tell me if this looks like stock? Or should I lower the triple tree on the front forks to get the geometry of the steering back to stock.

I like a bike that is very stable and solid. So I would also ask... does lowering or raising the triple tree affect how "loose" the steering is, and if so which direction makes it tighter or looser?


Last edited by BenRussoUSA; 05-22-2014 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:58 AM
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Your triple tree is in fact lower than stock to match rear lowering block. Stock is 12mm (15/32"). Lower triple tree leads to quicker steering. Versys still tends to be tight (understeer), no matter what. She'll still do good on the high-speed oval, though.

Last edited by invader; 05-23-2014 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:46 AM
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Ben, I just measured mine that I lowered. It stands at 35mm to the black cap. Check the forum and motowerks site. I think it said to lower front to the end of the smooth part of tubes. If you don't have triple tree stand then lower VERY carefully....
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:38 PM
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Ben removed the rear lowering block, and wants his triple tree at back to stock 12mm from top of fork tubes.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRussoUSA View Post
I bought a used Versys, the prior owner put lowering blocks on the rear.
I am not sure that they ever adjusted the triple tree height on the front.
Can you tell me if this looks like stock? Or should I lower the triple tree on the front forks to get the geometry of the steering back to stock.

I like a bike that is very stable and solid. So I would also ask... does lowering or raising the triple tree affect how "loose" the steering is, and if so which direction makes it tighter or looser?

Your measurement shows about 1 3/8 inch. Just checked my bike and mine is slightlty lower to 1 1/2 inch. My clamps are at the very bottom of the smooth area on the forks just barely above the ridges on the forks. Have not noticed much difference in handling but my tires are original and I have 7673 miles on the bike.

1 1/2 inches equates to 38.1 mm. Invader posted that stock is 12 mm, so this is considerably more than stock.

Last edited by toofer; 05-24-2014 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:03 PM
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Ugh I had no idea "stock" is 12mm down from the top.

Guess I'll just add that to the list of things to fix tomorrow.

Hooligan
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Old 05-25-2014, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Invader, MikeJ, Toofer, and Freerydejunky.

I *was* planning on removing the rear lowering blocks.

But, earlier this week, I got a slightly used Seat Concepts seat which for my arse is *MUCH* better than the stock seat was! The Seat Concepts seat is about 1.5" taller than the stock one, but in a GOOD way. It also lets me slide my rear end back about 1.5" farther away from the tank than the stock seat did. The "nose" of the seat is a little wider, but I am 6'1.5" tall, and about 240lbs, so not only is it no problem for me, but it let's me "feel" the bike better without having to squeeze with my thighs. The nose of the seat is also level, and just a bit taller than the slight "bowl" shape of the seat concepts wider ass area. Great seat for me! It got rid of the wedgies, and the foam is dense and firm, so I don't get the seat pan pushing into my pelvic bones... great stuff.

Because the seat is about 1.5" taller, I think the lowering blocks will stay. Seems like my bike is setup "properly" based on all the knowledge sharing here. However, I am considering raising it to see if it makes the bike feel more solid.

I'm used to riding bigger bikes, my current R1200RT, prior GoldWing GL1800, and before that a Concourse 1000. They were all rock solid had a heavy steering feel.

To me the V seems really sensitive to steering input. And when turning in it feels to me like the steering wants to just "fall into" the curve? I could get used to it, but I'd rather have that rock solid feel that my other bikes have.
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:10 PM
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At very low speeds mine feels somewhat like a mountain bike steering. Very easy to steer and like you mentioned, seems to want to fall in. I may reduce my 38mm back to about 25mm and see what I notice. I don't remember it being that sensitive to steering before, but I cannot be certain.

Above 10-15 mph no problem, but I notice it especially when I come to a stop at lights. Went up to 80 yesterday, and the bike rode fine, only seems more "touchy" when going real slow.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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It might just be me getting used to a 400 pound bike vs. the bigger bikes I have been riding for years. I took some one hour joy rides during the last few days. I found that if I treat the Versys like a dirtbike when doing less than 25 mph it handles just fine.

By "like a dirtbike", I mean pushing the bike down to the side and putting my weight on the outside peg. For some reason this occured to me when riding around town and it suddenly felt right at home.

I think that maybe on bigger bikes where my body weight is less than half the weight of the bike, you can't just throw the bike around with your body, you have to use the steering to do it, and the mass/inertia of a big bike makes the steering "feedback" feel heavy. You are essentially using the friction of the front wheel moving to twist the bike over by rotating it around the center of mass when counter-steering. and the trail of the front geometry gives feedback.

I weigh more than 0.5 times the versys. So I don't need to use the handle bars at low speed to get the bike leaning one way or the other, I can instead use counter-weighting. I of course counter-weight on the bigger bikes also, but on bigger bikes that has a *MUCH* smaller and less immediate effect than it does on the versys. I also think that consciously paying attention to the pressure of my foot on the footpeg and loosening my grip on the bars made me more in tune with the balance of the bike. I found myself pulling u-turns in a much smaller radius turn than I would feel comfortable doing on the bigger bikes.

Well, every day with a new bike is a learning day.

Last edited by BenRussoUSA; 05-26-2014 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:23 PM
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It's not your imagination. The Versys has a fair amount of inherent understeer. It is also tallish, and on 17 inch wheels. It's a bit of a unique animal... I can't be pulling power slides on gravel like I used to with the '83 GPz 550.

Last edited by invader; 05-26-2014 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:15 AM
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If I lowered my V, the same amount (front and rear), would the handling change or improve at all ? [Assume pavement riding only].

Also, I spend about half my riding hours on my V, and the other half on a dedicated dirt bike. When I ride my V on the twisties, when the curves get down to the 20 mph range, I also sometimes revert to weighting the outside peg and pushing the bike down into the turn. It surprises me when I do this.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:55 PM
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Yes. Lowering the Versys results in a lower center of gravity for an improvement in handling, overall.
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