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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Race Tech web site lists fork springs for 07-09 Versys but not for 10-11 Versys. Race Tech technical service is telling me that they cannot recommend a fork spring for 2011 Versys because they have not seen any 10-11 forks to verify changes if any. Using Race Tech spring rate calculator for 07-09 I come up with 0.95 rate springs for 205 lb rider.

I have not heard about any fork changes from 09 to 10 and I believe all Versys forks are identical. So has anyone checked fork part numbers from 09 to 11 to know for sure. Or has anyone gone through this before with Race Tech for 10-11 models. I intend to increase spring rate and reduce fork oil weight and volume. Thanks.
 

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I haven't checked part numbers yet but if you do, you should find that it's still the same forks in which Race Tech springs would work... Heavier springs should require heavier weight oil for sufficient damping. 15W is usually recommended for aftermarket heavier/progressive fork springs. I run at or near maximum preload with stock springs and 13W oil instead of stock 10W.
 

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Has anyone found a significant improvement in the Versys suspension performance with an aftermarket spring? I am looking to take out some of the wallowing on high speed cornering and possibly more compliance with small road imperfections.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Has anyone found a significant improvement in the Versys suspension performance with an aftermarket spring? I am looking to take out some of the wallowing on high speed cornering and possibly more compliance with small road imperfections.
Lighter weight fork oil and slightly less oil height will reduce compression damping which should reduce harshness and provide more compliance with road bumps. The stiffer springs will provide proper sag without excessive preload. Combining lighter oil and stiffer springs has been excellent modification for my Vstrom 1000 and many dirt bikes over the years. I expect same improvement for Versys.

With suspension changes everything is a compromise. What works for some riders may not be beneficial for others. So no question that stiffer fork springs is better for my 205 lbs. Only issue is weight and height of fork oil for my specific needs. I can very easily experiment with fork oil after I have new springs. If I am still not satisfied I can always later start experimenting with valving but I believe getting proper springs is best place to start.
 

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Hyperpro Spring Kit...

You might consider a progressive spring , front and rear from Hyperpro...I went with just the rear because after I changed my fork oil with 10 wt. at a lower level than stock about 10 mm...and 3 turns out from max preload...it was good for balanced rider sag of 30 mm..Thats not much but i'm 165 lbs.My 2009 Versys handles great in a wide range of conditions with this Hyperpro rear spring...:thumb: also there front spring will fit your 2010-2011 just fine so go for it and dial it in ...this bike is such blast to ride when its set right for your personal style of riding....:cheers:
 

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When the '10 models came out and some reporters were regurgitating the Kawasaki press info I looked at the parts lists and found no differences between '07-'09 forks to the new '10 forks. My guess is that they have the exact same spring and damping settings the older bikes do.

If you search the forum, you'll find several discussions on what that spring rate is. I measured it and came up with 0.9 kg/mm. Phoneman used a load cell and came up with an average of 0.86 kg/mm (the difference is due to the spring being tapered at the top, resulting in a somewhat progressive rate).

The question is, what are you measuring as far as sag and do you really need the extra stiffness in the spring? I like Sonic Springs calculator better than that RaceTech offers (I also prefer to buy my springs from them), as it gives you more options to see how they impact the recommended rate:

http://www.sonicsprings.com/catalog/calculate_spring_rate.php

Assuming 30 lbs of gear and misc. and a 450 lbs. loaded bike weight they recommend a 0.9 kg/mm spring for a sport-touring application. That is very close to the OE specs, which is why I was asking if you measured sag and what were you getting.


Gustavo
 

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Has anyone found a significant improvement in the Versys suspension performance with an aftermarket spring? I am looking to take out some of the wallowing on high speed cornering and possibly more compliance with small road imperfections.
Yes, but replacing the spring alone will not necessarily fix those problems. The problem is that the fork is basically not adjustable in two of the three parameters that affect this behavior. As oldturtle mentioned, using a lighter weight oil will allow better compliance over sharp bumps (hi speed compression damping) but will cause more movement under normal conditions (low speed compression and rebound damping).

Dialing more rebound damping will help, but I am not sure will eliminate the wallowing completely.


Gustavo
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When the '10 models came out and some reporters were regurgitating the Kawasaki press info I looked at the parts lists and found no differences between '07-'09 forks to the new '10 forks. My guess is that they have the exact same spring and damping settings the older bikes do.

If you search the forum, you'll find several discussions on what that spring rate is. I measured it and came up with 0.9 kg/mm. Phoneman used a load cell and came up with an average of 0.86 kg/mm (the difference is due to the spring being tapered at the top, resulting in a somewhat progressive rate).

The question is, what are you measuring as far as sag and do you really need the extra stiffness in the spring? I like Sonic Springs calculator better than that RaceTech offers (I also prefer to buy my springs from them), as it gives you more options to see how they impact the recommended rate:

http://www.sonicsprings.com/catalog/calculate_spring_rate.php

Assuming 30 lbs of gear and misc. and a 450 lbs. loaded bike weight they recommend a 0.9 kg/mm spring for a sport-touring application. That is very close to the OE specs, which is why I was asking if you measured sag and what were you getting.


Gustavo
A big belated thank you Gustavo for this great info. I checked sag. With an adjusted rider sag of 41mm I get an unladen sag of 29mm. At these sags I am only using about 100mm of fork travel out of about 150mm available and ride is too harsh. But bike is just barely broken in so suspension could loosen up.

I also looked at Sonic spring calculator and this is quite a bit more exacting than Racetech calculator. Depending on what I plug in for type of riding I come up with about the same rec'm of anywhere from 0.85 to 1.0. So since the stock spring is close to 0.9 I will not replace spring for now but will concentrate on fork oil weight and oil height.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How much fork travel are you using?

With 5.9 inches available I am only using about 4.5 inches. And this is after I changed fork oil from 10w to 7.5w, dropped oil height from 75mm right 65mm left to about 90mm right 80mm left, set rider sag at 41mm, with stock fork springs. Bike now has about 740 miles on odo and forks should continue to loosen up.

So what does it take to be using more of the 5.9 inches other than riding faster. I may even consider trying 5w. I also have rear shock set at full soft and bike is working better than when all stock but is still harsh on sharp hits.
 

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So what does it take to be using more of the 5.9 inches other than riding faster. I may even consider trying 5w. I also have rear shock set at full soft and bike is working better than when all stock but is still harsh on sharp hits.
Mine has 5w oil in it (plus the softer springs and less preload, but I weigh less than 150 lbs) and it uses most of the suspension travel on your average Oregon back road. Granted, that says more about how crappy our pavement gets over winter(s), but it's a good test of any suspension.


Gustavo
 

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With 5.9 inches available I am only using about 4.5 inches. And this is after I changed fork oil from 10w to 7.5w, dropped oil height from 75mm right 65mm left to about 90mm right 80mm left, set rider sag at 41mm, with stock fork springs. Bike now has about 740 miles on odo and forks should continue to loosen up.

So what does it take to be using more of the 5.9 inches other than riding faster. I may even consider trying 5w. I also have rear shock set at full soft and bike is working better than when all stock but is still harsh on sharp hits.
What's your fork springs' preload at, and how much do you weigh?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What's your fork springs' preload at, and how much do you weigh?
I have preload set at 9 turns out and I weigh 205 lbs plus gear or about 220 geared up with small tank bag. 9 turns out on preload gives me a rider sag of 1-5/8 inches and static sag of 1-1/4 inches.
 

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call out to invader -
I am 225lbs 6ft tall and would like the fork to not be as fast, ie more dampening. I have the preload almost at its hardest. About 1 turn in.

So I should look into switching from 10W to 15W?
I did this recently on my mountain bike fork but i can only imagine that it is a different game on the V.

Is this easy enough for me to do it?
 
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