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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Fork oil

Hi Folks,
Well on my winter list, one of things to is change the fork oil. I know many have either stayed at the stock viscosity or went down. My thought was to actually go up to the next thicker viscosity. The reason is I like the way my bike feels the best when the temps are cold. First part of the early morning is the best. BTY my weight w/o gear is around 190lbs. Also the static sag is good and on extremely hard braking Iím not fully bottoming out the travel. [used a zip tie]
Your comments?????
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 03:05 PM
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It seems like you did your homework and figured out what works and what doesn't so I think you are on the right path. For me the stock setup was too harsh (too much compression damping) so I went with lighter oil. But then, I weigh 40+ lbs less than you do. Invader seems to weigh about the same as you and he says the heavier oil works for him. Try a 12.5w oil (you may have to make it by mixing 10w and 15w) before going to 15 w.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
BTY my weight w/o gear is around 190lbs. Also the static sag is good and on extremely hard braking I’m not fully bottoming out the travel.
What's your fork spring preload at? I'm also 190 lbs and went from maximum preload to prevent bottoming out in heavy duty conditions with stock 10W fork oil (3/4 turn out rebound damping), to 3 turns away from max with 15W Motul Synthesis (7/8 turn out) which works quite well... Marc11 went with a 12W blend, but mentioned he could've went with 15W.

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Originally Posted by marc11 View Post
I mixed 10w and 15w, I originally thought I would go 65/35 10w vs 15w, but in checking how much 15w was left over I am betting I went 60/40 10w/15w. My goal was to make them just a little stiffer than they were stock, so I was looking for a 12w. Honestly, I am betting I could have gone full 15w and still been happy.
Actually, I'll probably blend some Amsoil 5W synthetic Suspension Therapy fork oil in and try it at 13W.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
Hi Folks,
Well on my winter list, one of things to is change the fork oil. I know many have either stayed at the stock viscosity or went down. My thought was to actually go up to the next thicker viscosity. The reason is I like the way my bike feels the best when the temps are cold. First part of the early morning is the best. BTY my weight w/o gear is around 190lbs. Also the static sag is good and on extremely hard braking Iím not fully bottoming out the travel. [used a zip tie]
Your comments?????
This maybe unrelated, but have you changed the fork oil yet? If so is it easy to do, or do you have to dismantle the whole thing?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 04:06 AM
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I changed the fork oil at 28000km. It's WP 10W, which should be of higher viscosity than stock Showa SS-8.

The harsh feel that built up towards 28000km has gone!

I forgot the fork preload. I weigh 70kg; Givi V35 panniers are always on.

I really look forward to do rear shock upgrade. Elka 2-way vs Ohlins 1-way (same price to me).


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 05:32 AM
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Stock Showa SS-8 fork oil is labeled as a 10W, but is a bit lighter... I don't know who makes WP fork oil, but Silkolene Pro RSF 7.5WT is actually a bit heavier than Showa SS-8 10W.

http://www.peterverdonedesigns.com/lowspeed.htm

http://www.peterverdonedesigns.com/f...ion%20oils.pdf
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 08:01 AM
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I am 180 with gear and I always carry three bags on my bike, almost always with something in them. I went with a 50/50 mix (well if you read my write up more like 60/40) of Motul 10w and 15w for about a 12w. For me it was a signifigant improvement, in fact I think I could have gone with the 15w alone and been happy.....next time.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miker4055 View Post
This maybe unrelated, but have you changed the fork oil yet? If so is it easy to do, or do you have to dismantle the whole thing?
To change the fork oil both forks have to come out, you need to remove the caps from both forks and then you need a couple of special tools, either purchased (cheap) or made. One is a spring holder to allow you to remove the top cap from the rod the other is a rebound bleed screw/rod to allow you to pump the rebound circuit to remove any air and to install the cap back on without making a HUGE mess of yourself. You can do the job without these tools, but for the $30 they cost, they are worth GOLD once you start the job.....trust me. The first time I did the forks on my Ducati I had my wife help...a face full of fork oil and a ruined set of clothes later she still refuses to help me!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 11:41 AM
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As Marc said, having the right tools make your life a lot easier. In this case, all you need are a spring compressor and rod-puller, both of which can be home made for less than $10 (even AUS$). I wrote a how to 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 #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 05:25 PM
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You can get a spring compressor and spring stopper tool set from Traxxion Dynamics for $36.95. http://traxxionstore.com/detail-25.aspx
Kawasaki's # 57001-1298 piston rod puller (M10◊1.0 threads) goes for $15.05 at: http://www.cheapcycleparts.com/OEM.aspx

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 06:26 PM
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Going for the 15w when V doing her 24K service. Thanks for the info.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 02:18 PM
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Why do you have to pull both out if there is only damping in one side?

Thanx
Paul
post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
What's your fork spring preload at? I'm also 190 lbs and went from maximum preload to prevent bottoming out in heavy duty conditions with stock 10W fork oil (3/4 turn out rebound damping), to 3 turns away from max with 15W Motul Synthesis (7/8 turn out) which works quite well... Marc11 went with a 12W blend, but mentioned he could've went with 15W.



Actually, I'll probably blend some Amsoil 5W synthetic Suspension Therapy fork oil in and try it at 13W.
Hi Invader

I notice you have gone heavier. I'm trying to get rid of the harsh compression damping. Think roads with potholes. I rode a Hyabusa the other week and it ate the potholes MUCH better than the Versys. Could barely feel them where the Versys jars the whole bike.
It's not bottoming, it's way too high fast compression damping. Feels fine stock on the track or when pushing hard, but awful on poor roads.

What riding do you do that going heavier has helped. I'm 110kg / 235lb with gear on ready to ride and generally have a bag on the back as well.

Even with a weekends camping gear, and pre-loads at minimum it's still to harsh for me.

Comments?

Thanx
Paul
post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 04:09 PM
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There is oil in both fork tubes for compression damping... 235 lbs with gear at minimum preloads? That's impossible without bottoming out severely. What's your sag? Your suspensions are probably in a more compressed position causing a harsher ride. What are your rebound damping settings at?
Like I mentioned, at 190 lbs with no gear with stock fork oil, I needed to have forks at maximum preload with 3/4 turn out on rebound damping to prevent bottoming out when riding on our rough roads. That and rear at #3 preload with rebound damping at 12 clicks out gives me good compliancy without bottoming out too hard on the harshest bumps.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
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There is oil in both fork tubes for compression damping... 235 lbs with gear at minimum preloads? That's impossible without bottoming out severely. What's your sag? Your suspensions are probably in a more compressed position causing a harsher ride. What are your rebound damping settings at?
Like I mentioned, at 190 lbs with no gear with stock fork oil, I needed to have forks at maximum preload with 3/4 turn out on rebound damping to prevent bottoming out when riding on our rough roads. That and rear at #3 preload with rebound damping at 12 clicks out gives me good compliancy without bottoming out too hard on the harshest bumps.
I'll do some measurements on the weekend.

The only time it bottoms is driveways at speed whilt turnign. Feels like rim strike. Harsh, real harsh.

If it is bottoming otherwise - it's very gentle. The zip tie shows near bottoming under brakes when hitting roadworks.
More preload makes the ride worse, not better, and I've tried the full range of adjustment. Small bumps feel the same as jarge bumps in terms of harshness - it's not bottoming there either.

I run both preloads at minimum.
Front and rear rebound about 1/3. Less damping than that gives a harsher ride - presumably from the bike bouncing back.

Had 20KG of campign gear on the back on the weekend. Didn't touch preload. Had to add 2 clicks of rebound to manage the extra travel generated.

Front is the worst - makes my wrists sore.

Paul
post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 06:23 PM
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Hi and [email protected],

Sorry, you're not enjoying your ride.
Suggest you download the service manual at http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=2846.

Refer to the suspension section 13.9 (pg 437- front shocks) and 13.19 (pg 447- rear shocks). It might not be super accurate but it is some place to start.


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