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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.
 

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I am also looking at putting a 465 shock on my '08 V. I was trying to decide whether or not to go with the 1" shorter shock. The Tech from Progressive pointed out to me that I need to keep in mind that the short shock also has a 1" shorter stroke, which could be an issue if I am looking for a more comfortable ride.

I am on the fence, really. I want more comfort and better handling (assuming a 1" lower bike would handle the twisties better, which I think it would).

Do you feel that you've gained or lost "comfort" overall with the 1" shorter shock stroke when compared to the stock shock? From your post (above) you've indicated that you gained both "smoothness and control" over the stock set up. I think we are looking for the same thing?

Another thought I had would be to combine the stock length 465 with the lowering link, and then lower the front end about 7/8". I'd then have a plush rear suspension. But I don't think I'd like a "slammed" cruiser feel though, dragging the rear end. Hmmm...

I sounds like the 465 shock has a "one spring fits all" policy with no optional springs? I weight 175, ride solo only, with small panniers. Would I need to buy a lighter spring?

I am assuming that the 465 shock would work with the lowering link. Is this true?

In addition to all of the above, I have not totally dismissed Invader's suggestion of modifying the stock spring. There's a thread on how to do this on the forum.
 

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I'd love to improve the suspension on my Versys too, but it's way too costly right now. It's great for me stock in the twisties, but starts to feel kinda harsh on rougher roads. Felt terrible on maintained gravel/dirt roads.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
trialsguy

I almost ordered the standard length and planed to use it with my Speedys lowering block for the reasons you mentioned. However taking a better look at Progressive's spec. sheet revealed that the shock has only 10 mm or about .400 in shorter stroke, the swing arm ratio causes a full 1 in. lowering of the bike. The shocks are the same other than the shorter shaft. Also the upper travel towards the fender is the same . In effect I set my sag at 1/3 of the reduced travel ( 4.7 in vs 5.7 stock) or about 1 9/16 in. I weight about 180 lbs and it gave me a smooth ride without any bottoming out, and I have some really rough roads to travel. I definitely gained comfort big time. Either way will probably work fine for you. I am pleased with the slightly shorter shock and the slightly higher ride height than using the lowering block is noticeable to me. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)

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Just got my standard length in a few days ago but trying to find the time to install it, retirement does that.....gotta go back to work for some rest!

I got in on the Amazon deal for $360 when it showed 2 left.

Mine is starting to wallow around with me and the wifey. Have played with the adjustments and still not happy, I just bit the bullet. 360 bucks is not really all that bad though.

The 465 really helped my KLR, hoping for the same results on the Versys.

Dan
 

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Versys Shock

To: oldkawboy. Have you came up with a price for your stock shock yet? I'm still looking for 1 at a reasonable cost as I'm just going to cannibalize anyway for my stocker to which I've added a remote res/with comp adjustment and hydraulic preload adjustment.
 

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I replied back to your original post in the wanted section and was thinking that you've been debating on a price.

I sold the stock one off my KLR for 75 bucks when I replaced it, is that a fair enough price for the Versys shock?

Dan
 
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