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I fitted an R1 shock to my bike just over 10,000 kms ago. I have been following the the thread I started on how I did it and am pleased to see others giving it a go.
I was a little concerned when I read that the reversing of the shock to fit the Versys might result in the rubber bush, now at the swing arm end, could fail with the extra movement. I had never even considered this when I made the swap.
I pulled the shock out yesterday and was pleased to find no detectable wear or damage to this rubber bush.
The suspension change has proved to be a real winner. I have ended up with the rebound and dampening set 5 turns in from the fully out position.
My wife and I did a 5000 km tour of the South Island last year and apart from winding up the preload, the new shock gave us a safe comfortable ride.
As a solo ride the set up works great on our twisty bumpy NZ roads and continues to amaze my friends who ride the bike. Swapping bikes with mates is great way to remind yourself how good the Versys is.
 

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I figured the rubber bushing would be ok with its limited rotation on the Versys direct-acting rear suspension... Is it substantialy better than stock on sharp steps/bumps, on washboard, and overall in various conditions?
 

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As a solo ride the set up works great on our twisty bumpy NZ roads and continues to amaze my friends who ride the bike. Swapping bikes with mates is great way to remind yourself how good the Versys is.
Love the swapping bikes as iit does make you apreciate the versys but also love the positive reaction from mates who have a turn on the V:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Invader, you wouldn't believe how much better!!
I enjoy running through corners that have asphalt ripple at right angles to your direction of travel just to hear my friends comments when we stop about nearly loosing their bike when they hopped sideways following my line. Cruel trick, but sometimes it's to hard to resist.
Sure, it still jumps a bit on dirt road wash boards but it still feels safe as. Even my KTM 990 Adventure would do that. The KTM was the best dual sport suspension of any bike I have owned but this modified Versys is the second best.
 

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Hi zeph! Glad to see your R1 setup is still in good shape.

Thanks for forging ahead on this project, sharing this economical rear shock upgrade with us.

I've been riding around on my 08 R1 shock w/ 13.8 kg/mm Eibach spring the past couple weeks. But it wasn't until last night that I really saw the light. It had felt rather bouncy (i.e. underdamped) and I'd been working my way up on the rebound damping adjuster. But yesterday I visited a suspension shop (Fineline in Huntington Beach, CA) and Jason there did some bounce tests and set it at the Max and DAMN IS IT GOOD! This thing feels like a real sportbike now. The ride is still a little rough, either due to the fork compression valving (which Jason will be addressing next week) or because the oil within the shock is too restricted at MAX rebound. I may go out a few clicks for more ride comfort.

We should all keep in mind, though, that its very difficult to directly compare suspension settings. Even if we were the same weight, with identically built and worn components, we'd still probably like our bikes set up differently. Point being, don't put too much stock in other people's numbers... do your own testing.

Nevertheless, I was blown away at how well the bike handled while still riding comfortably. The rear tire just stays planted, no matter the road conditions. I felt a lot more confident ... in fact I need to be careful not to speed now because it feels comfortable at speeds which were previously rather sketchy. I'm starting to feel like I could take this bike anywhere---freeways, canyons, fire roads---which was the selling point in the first place.

Anyway, I'm pretty jazzed (as if you couldn't tell) and can't wait to give the forks the same treatment. And to anyone who's even considering upgrading the suspension on their Versys, don't hem and haw about it for 9 months like I did. An R1 setup and a fork revalve is less than $400... $200 if you can do the work yourself. DO IT NOW!

- Steve
 

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I just bought an '08 R1 shock off E-bay.Do I understand correctly, that i just need an aftermarket spring and no other mods.Wow,this is one of the coolest mods yet. Thanks Zeph,for your help.
 

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I am ordering an Eibach spring for the R1 shock conversion.Is anything going to change with regard to the springrate because its going on a Versys and not the R1? Any help much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Hi inroads,

You do need a higher springrate than what's typical for the R1. I used a 13.8 kg/mm spring but you should probably do your own research and determine your proper spring rate.

And you'll need adapter collars to fit the Eibach spring to the R1 shock. Much can be learned over in zeph's original thread.

Good luck,
Steve
 

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Say JD,I am usually loaded down,too.I am 195 lbs.The only guesstimate that I can make on what spring rate is off this forum because of the odd set-up.
Sounds like Cannon Racecraft is the way to go.What is your weight?
 

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Cannon Racecraft does sound like the better way to go. I only ended up with an Eibach spring because Racetech helped me engineer my solution. On the plus side, they offered to change out my spring if I was unhappy with the rate (13.8 kg/mm).. but so far, so good..

I'm 165 dry, btw
 

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The only guesstimate that I can make on what spring rate is off this forum because of the odd set-up.
Sounds like Cannon Racecraft is the way to go.What is your weight?
it's not really an odd setup, it's just a better direct mounted shock. i used a spring rate that was close to the oem spring rate because i had a lot of miles on the versys shock and that spring worked pretty well when the bike was loaded. if you were not loaded down with gear or passenger, then a different rate might work better. i do remember guys trying to set up that group buy Elka shock, and many felt the supplied spring was too heavy, although there was no consensus on the exact oem rate as tested, therefore no real good baseline.

if you go with Cannon, i think you'll find that they're easy to work with.

i probably have 400# on the bike in travel mode.

a note on prepping the R1 for installation...the bushings on the R1 need to be bored to the diameter of your oem shock mount bolts, a nominal 12mm. you do not want any slop in either end. the SS needle bearing end needs to be bored because it's hardened, while the conventional end can be drilled, but only if done carefully. i made a small fixture to position the conventional shock bushing and hold it in alignment to be drilled. it's just mild steel, not hardened. you can job this task to a machine shop, target price for both ends would be $25-30. take a mounting bolt with you so they can check the diameter and do a proper setup.

not all R1 shocks are the same, so know what you're buying.

even with a custom spring and a little machine work, the R1 is looking more and more like a real nice low effort/low cost mod for these bikes. my stock 2008 R1 looked like new for a purchase price of $25, so even with postage you should be ready to mount this shock for around $200 complete. compare at $5-600 and up for the big boys.

thanks to the guys who did the initial homework on this shock.
 

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It is an odd set-up in the fact of trying to explain to a suspension set-up guy what you need.IOW,only Versys guys are keen to this particular set-up.
i take it JD,that you must be in the 200-225 lb. range.Thanks for all the help,its helps to develop a baseline with this.
 

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I caved...and bought one off Ebay yesterday. Spoke w Cannon Raceecraft and they can bend me a spring which will fit the shock with no modifications. I have access to a lathe for turning the bushings : so from what I read I've got the the conversion tools covered. Am I forgetting anything ?
 

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the R1 needs a small spacer at the upper bushing to prevent the adjustment screw from rubbing on the shock mount. 12mm flat washers, or fabricate one.



the plastic above the reservoir might need to be trimmed to prevent interference.


what rate spring did you order?
 

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JD

I'm goin for 14 mm.kg. I weigh 230, and only ride w luggage occasionally (usually not). This was based on a recommendation from TedUK.

Your thoughts ?

Coop

PS: Much respect for your builds !
 

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From what i had observed, the noticeable difference is the side where the compression dial is. Dont worry we have forumers who used both with the same benefit.
 
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