Good Results with Progressive Suspension's 465
I admit it I am picky about how my motorcycles are set up and how they fit me. One thing I could never get sorted out on my 2011 Versys was the rear suspension. Over the past 14,000 miles I have played with preload settings and rebound damping, installed Speedys lowering kit etc. and still could not get the right combination. I think the front suspension works fine from the factory and is very adjustable, rebound damping, preload, and even fork tube height adjustment.
Kawasaki says the Versys shock has two stage compression damping, soft at first and sport bike like firmness as the shock stroke increases. I suspect that may have been my problem. If I adjusted the sag to 30% or thereabouts I must have already progressed into the firm portion of the compression damping. The only times the rear suspension really worked good was if I was riding hard and fast over rough roads, normal speeds would not load up the shock enough for it to respond. It also work very good if I had the extra weight of my camping gear and luggage on .
Amazon had a good price ($360) on the 465 Progressive Suspension shock for a while so I finally spent the money. (ouch) I went with the 1" lower version because stock height the bike is just a little to high for my 29" inseam, and the lowering block lower the rear 1.850" and I felt like that was too much. Reminded me of my old cruiser motorcycles, never did like that low scooting down the road feeling. ( picky I know) I really did not have high expectations for the Progressive 465 other than getting the ride height in my preferred range .
I have put 300 miles on the new set up now on all types of road conditions and am very pleased with this shock. This shock really works for my 200 lbs. ( total gear and E 21 Givi cases.) I can not believe the difference in smoothness and control, I would say for my weight and set up it has transformed the bike.
On the Versys Progressive Suspension does not use a progressive wound spring but a 900 lbs. per inch straight wound, which I beleive is the same as the stock spring. I suspect there is more to a good spring than just the rating. I ended up raising
the front forks just 1/2 inch (lowering the front) instead of the close to 1 inch possible, it felt like the bike held a line in the curves much better and was less sensitive.
Last edited by shilohsam; 09-05-2014 at 03:04 PM.