Suspension tuning - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Suspension tuning

Soliciting advice from other forum members

I'm about 185-190lb fully geared up and find the rear very harsh compared with other bikes I have ridden, this is using the stock suspension settings, I have no complaints about the front. Riding is almost all on pavement and mainly in an urban environment on roads that experience frost damage in the winter months. I also like to ride the twisties on occasion.

Should I lower preload? What about rebound damping?

My question have you people tuned your suspension at? Please list geared up weight and the type of riding you do (urban commuting, performance riding, touring - off road, smooth pavement, rough pavement). Let's gather as much info as we can in this thread wrt suspension tuning for the benefit of all.
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:52 PM
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similar rider weight here, with a '15 Versys. Riding on pavement, some poorer quality roads with expansion joint issues, pothole patches, etc. We might have Boeing, MSoft, Amazon, and Starbucks, but the State of Washington doesn't seem to have squat to put into road maintenance right now!

I can't remember the exact settings but - rear shock I have pretty close to factory "soft" setting. Front preload is adjusted a bit for the "heavier / bad road" setting direction, dampening is close to factory.

I noticed that my bike was not set anywhere near factory presets.

I'm still tweaking things a bit but this seems to have smoothed things out a bit for me. I get a decent amount of front dive at stops and such but that's a trade-off for being more comfortable when in motion. Hope that helps a bit.
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Old 05-19-2015, 02:47 PM
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Start by setting sag front and rear to between 1/4 and 1/3 of total travel.
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:54 PM
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I'm more or less in the same boat after losing close to 25 pounds over winter. My bike was riding a bit rough so I dug out the manual and set everything back to stock even though I'm still about 10 pounds over the 150 they list at least it's a starting point.

I have a friend coming over this weekend and we'll set the sag then. Remember all preload can do is set sag. It can not change the spring rate. I am looking at my options for aftermarket springs front and rear. BUT I rode into work and on the way home I took the back road. The ride wasn't too bad not a comfy as the Moab on the KLR maybe but no crushing hits either. The handling wasn't to bad but I do need the work on the damping a bit and the bike wanted to "Hunt" exiting the corners and not hold a line. The way I learned to set one up is the get the sag set, then change spring rate if needed, IE buy new springs, then get the damping tweaked in. I did add a round of preload in front and one click in the rear just to see how things would work.

Maybe this "Flow Chart" will help.


Or was that look THEN leap?
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Last edited by Time; 05-19-2015 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Time View Post
I'm more or less in the same boat after losing close to 25 pounds over winter. My bike was riding a bit rough so I dug out the manual and set everything back to stock even though I'm still about 10 pounds over the 150 they list at least it's a starting point.

I have a friend coming over this weekend and we'll set the sag then. Remember all preload can do is set sag. It can not change the spring rate. I am looking at my options for aftermarket springs front and rear. BUT I rode into work and on the way home I took the back road. The ride wasn't too bad not a comfy as the Moab on the KLR maybe but no crushing hits either. The handling wasn't to bad but I do need the work on the damping a bit and the bike wanted to "Hunt" exiting the corners and not hold a line. The way I learned to set one up is the get the sag set, then change spring rate if needed, IE buy new springs, then get the damping tweaked in. I did add a round of preload in front and one click in the rear just to see how things would work.

Maybe this "Flow Chart" will help.

VERY interesting chart !!!


LOP
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lours_Polaire View Post
VERY interesting chart !!!


LOP
Yeah I opted for the Progressive rear shock. It's their usual wide-range riding -applications high quality. I may opt for different springs later, but it's doing the job pretty good now.

LA, CA expressway roads are the pits, and sometimes the wrinkled concrete will give any suspension at any settings a workout. No concrete slabs in the country get a better daily workout. But overall, I am pretty happy. Most of the time it rides like a dream and my tires are round as baby bottoms front and back. Accelerating usually gets the concrete-wrinkle road-shakes out when I have to ride in the right lanes (splitting lanes.) ymmv



Last edited by kawdog; 05-22-2015 at 03:35 AM.
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Old 05-23-2015, 02:30 PM
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TW, so let me get this straight, you want suspension tuning advice for a 2008 bike with how many miles on it? Or did you get a new bike?

You are aware that suspension components are wear items, right? That hydraulic fluid loses its viscosity over time/miles? That the spring is just that, and without hydraulic damping you don't really have suspension?
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Old 05-23-2015, 07:07 PM
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Problem is that the rear spring is too stiff... At 210 plus gear, my 800 lb/in spring on China shock with remote reservoir works perfectly and allows normal sag and full use of suspension travel.

What you can do to improve stock rear shock spring is to taper cut the ends as they should be. You'll notice a wear mark where the spring end sits on the next coil under slight compression, then at the other end as well. As the spring's working length shortens in 2 sharp steps, its rate is increased from 950 lb/in to about 1000 lb/in, then 1050 lb/in as suspension compresses... Reduce preload to minimum, then taper cut spring ends as shown. It should give you about 1/4" more sag, unloaded:



Then you'd be good at preload #3 from softest... I run my forks at 3 turns out from maximum preload, and rebound damping screw at 1/4 turn out.
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Old 05-24-2015, 02:28 PM
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Link to the measurements that I took of the stock 08 shock.

The stock shock is captured with 5mm of preload and my measurement at 10mm of compression (coils closed) read 885 lbs/in. I also think the end coils are closed under the weight of the bike (sans rider).
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