Kawasaki Versys Forum banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
20,641 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just because someone asked, here are some pics I did while changing the oil in the forks of my '08 and '09.

Here's the steps in supporting the '09 - note the piece made of scrap 2x4s to support w/out forks IN CASE you decide to service your fork bearings at the same time!





By looking at the pics in my SERVICE MANUAL I could see what the specialty tools looked like (a bit!), so I removed the forks,



removed the cap (be SURE to loosen it BEFORE you take the forks off the bike!), then I was able to look at the damper-rod and take some measurements. Here's a pic of my (draftsman-quality, OF COURSE...;)...) diagram on cardboard, of the upper part of the damper-rod which is "waisted" where you'll need to fabricate a tool to hold it.



I fashioned a piece from stainless steel to fit SNUGLY into that 'waist' (the 11/32" bit), as well as an aluminum piece I could hold w/ two hands to compress the spring (the 13/32" bit), then soldered an appropriate nut ( just measured it at .353", so 9mm) to a foot of copper tubing, which will attach to the TOP of the damper-rod so that IF you let go of it, it doesn't disappear into your fork!:eek: In addition I 'sacrificed' a small screwdriver to go thru holes to 'contain' the spring. Here's a pic of what I fabbed.



And here it is, in ACTION....:yeahsmile:....



NOW w/ the copper tube attached





Someone asked IF the oil was dirty...



When you're replacing the fork oil (I use ATF from Walmart) be aware that IF you let go of the damper-rod, oil WILL squirt out the top in DIRECT relation to the speed it was falling at...:cool:







I HOPE this will help some of you to do the job, or at least make the decision NOT to....

:stickpoke:
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
20,641 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
In addition - the amount of oil you put back INTO your forks is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!

When I had a shop replace my seals (on the '08), they put TOO MUCH in, and the FIRST big 'hole' I rode thru bottomed my forks and blew the seals out....

I was fairly "upset", and they ended up redoing the job w/ ME watching over the mechanic's shoulder, and ME measuring the oil-level!

:goodidea:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,762 Posts
Changing fork oil in Gen 1 (and 2 - PROBABLY!)

Excellent write up by Eddie:thumb::thumb::thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Awesome job man! Wish I was as handy as you around bikes.
Then again, I just started my "career" so there's still time to catch up! :grin2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
EDIT (RE: My initial inquiry below): I went back and re-read the manual. I found an answer a few steps prior to the area where I was focusing my search and where I thought the answer would be. Despite photos that depict the damper nut about 1/8" from being screwed all the way down, the manual does state that the damper rod nut needs to be screwed all the way down, when reassembling (last step in section 13-13 for 2010+ Versys 650).

Then, I stumbled across this thread which specifically addresses my question:

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...nd-adjust-after-changing-oil.html#post1433690

The info in the above thread suggests that results vary, in terms of range of movement for rebound adjuster, based on the number of turns that the cap is screwed on during assembly and tightening. Feedback in that thread supports this info as well. Screwing the rod nut all the way down, followed by screwing the cap all the way down, seems to decrease the range of rebound adjustability. So, it seems that this is a consideration after all. Thanks to Invader for sharing in that thread.
-------------------------------------------------------------

Eddie, or anyone else who has disassembled/reassembled the V650 forks, did you find any reference to the location where the damper rod nut needs to be positioned during reassembly? To clarify, looking at the 7th photo in the series, you'll see a close-up of Eddie's spring compressor engaged as well as the tool which retains the spring compressor, thus exposing the damper rod nut.

In the photo, the damper rod nut appears to be approximately 1/8" away from the point where it would bottom out (from running out of threads). I can't find any spec or recommendation in the manual that indicates where this free-floating nut should be positioned during reassembly. Without tension from the spring (after disassembly), the rod nut can screw all the way down and the cap can screw all the way down, as well, without resistance until each one bottoms out respectively.

There doesn't appear to be any direction or specs, regarding rod nut positioning during reassembly. All of the photos I've see are consistent in the rod nut being screwed within approximately 1/8" from bottoming. Does anyone have a reference or is there no spec?

Curious...thanks!

Just because someone asked, here are some pics I did while changing the oil in the forks of my '08 and '09.

Here's the steps in supporting the '09 - note the piece made of scrap 2x4s to support w/out forks IN CASE you decide to service your fork bearings at the same time!





By looking at the pics in my SERVICE MANUAL I could see what the specialty tools looked like (a bit!), so I removed the forks,



removed the cap (be SURE to loosen it BEFORE you take the forks off the bike!), then I was able to look at the damper-rod and take some measurements. Here's a pic of my (draftsman-quality, OF COURSE...;)...) diagram on cardboard, of the upper part of the damper-rod which is "waisted" where you'll need to fabricate a tool to hold it.



I fashioned a piece from stainless steel to fit SNUGLY into that 'waist' (the 11/32" bit), as well as an aluminum piece I could hold w/ two hands to compress the spring (the 13/32" bit), then soldered an appropriate nut ( just measured it at .353", so 9mm) to a foot of copper tubing, which will attach to the TOP of the damper-rod so that IF you let go of it, it doesn't disappear into your fork!:eek: In addition I 'sacrificed' a small screwdriver to go thru holes to 'contain' the spring. Here's a pic of what I fabbed.



And here it is, in ACTION....:yeahsmile:....





NOW w/ the copper tube attached



Someone asked IF the oil was dirty...



When you're replacing the fork oil (I use ATF from Walmart) be aware that IF you let go of the damper-rod, oil WILL squirt out the top in DIRECT relation to the speed it was falling at...:cool:







I HOPE this will help some of you to do the job, or at least make the decision NOT to....

:stickpoke:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
Got a Nitron rear shock coming so thought I would try and "fix" the front end issues on my 2015 650.

Pulled the right fork leg off and drained the fluid and guess what? Yep it was RED...ATF. Previous owner must have had it done.

So I flushed out the red fluid with some 5 wt I had in the oil cabinet. Then installed the proper amount of 20 wt fork oil.

Installed the top cap and adjusted the thread length so as to have the proper number of rebound adjustment turns on the screw.

Put fork leg back in the bike and adjusted preload for around 45mm sag.

This was a definite improvement over the ATF oil set up. I weigh round 180 pounds and have rebound screw turned out one and a quarter turns. Better damping and less front end dive with this set up.

May eventually go with a set of front end cartridges and springs, but for now this Port-a-gee fix is ok.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,762 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
20,641 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,229 Posts
Got a Nitron rear shock coming so thought I would try and "fix" the front end issues on my 2015 650.

Pulled the right fork leg off and drained the fluid and guess what? Yep it was RED...ATF. Previous owner must have had it done.

So I flushed out the red fluid with some 5 wt I had in the oil cabinet. Then installed the proper amount of 20 wt fork oil.

Installed the top cap and adjusted the thread length so as to have the proper number of rebound adjustment turns on the screw.

Put fork leg back in the bike and adjusted preload for around 45mm sag.

This was a definite improvement over the ATF oil set up. I weigh round 180 pounds and have rebound screw turned out one and a quarter turns. Better damping and less front end dive with this set up.

May eventually go with a set of front end cartridges and springs, but for now this Port-a-gee fix is ok.
Well done!

I was under the impression that front end dive was more dependent on fork spring rate than on oil weight.

At 193 lbs, I find the Versys 650 Gen 3 front spring too harsh. To make the suspension damping more compliant, I used 5 Wt Bel-Ray fork oil. The damping became more compliant than before, but that spring was still too harsh (for me).

Lately I have installed a progressive Hyperpro front fork spring. The front suspension now soaks up the bumps as I like but the oil sent by Hyperpro is 15Wt. I'll keep riding it like this for a while but will eventually test lighter oil to see what effects this would have on the damping.

If it's then not compliant enough (for me), I'll tinker with the valving. For the time being, I'm quite happy with it and will let it be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
Well done!

I was under the impression that front end dive was more dependent on fork spring rate than on oil weight.
.
Both play a role. The spring weight will affect the total amount of dive but the damping will affect the speed or rate of the dive. The ride height of the rear suspension will also affect fork dive too. Too much preload, as in the case with our stock shock, will cause too high a ride height and will encourage more fork dive as it moves the weight bias forward.

For my weight the stock fork spring is in the ball park for proper sag, around 45mm with rider in gear, and the preload adjuster in the middle range. If you have to go all the way hard or all the way soft to achieve proper sag this tells you the spring rate is off and should be changed.

For my weight, 180 pounds, the back suspension is a great illustration of a spring weight that is too heavy. I have my preload set all the way soft and still only have 31mm of sag. The rear sag should be roughly the same as the front but in my case the stock spring is too heavy.

My soon coming Nitron shock will take care of this issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,229 Posts
Both play a role. The spring weight will affect the total amount of dive but the damping will affect the speed or rate of the dive. The ride height of the rear suspension will also affect fork dive too. Too much preload, as in the case with our stock shock, will cause too high a ride height and will encourage more fork dive as it moves the weight bias forward.

For my weight the stock fork spring is in the ball park for proper sag, around 45mm with rider in gear, and the preload adjuster in the middle range. If you have to go all the way hard or all the way soft to achieve proper sag this tells you the spring rate is off and should be changed.

For my weight, 180 pounds, the back suspension is a great illustration of a spring weight that is too heavy. I have my preload set all the way soft and still only have 31mm of sag. The rear sag should be roughly the same as the front but in my case the stock spring is too heavy.

My soon coming Nitron shock will take care of this issue.
We're on the same page.

Last year, I swapped the rear shock for a Yamaha R1 2007-2008 rear shock. Along with the shock, I used a Road Star Warrior spring. I do not have the numbers with me, but can tell you that I have set up the rear shock as suggested as base line in the R1 shop manual. I'm happy with it. It gives me a Dynamic Sag (rider ATG + loaded luggage) of 10.5 mm. IMHO that's in the area it should be. There is not as much range as in the front.

With the above R1 shock and the OEM Versys front spring set at 5 turns preload, the Dynamic sag was at 42 mm.

The above was OK but I didn't like the harshness of the front spring when going over small bumps, etc. on the road. I finally broke down and ordered a Hyperpro front spring for the Versys 650.

With 0 turns of preload, I get a dynamic sag of 52 mm. As per Hyperpro instructions, the right fork damping is set at 1.5 turns open.

I was hesitant with the zero preload and hurried to try this out on the road. It revealed to be quite compliant and handled the small bumps, etc. very nicely. I tried but could not get the forks to bottom out no matter how hard I hit the front brakes.

As mentioned previously I'm quite happy with this but might play with oil weights later on down the road and also right fork valving.

For the time being, I'll concentrate on trying to ride more than I have been lately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
My new Wilbers front shock & rear spring finally arrived for my 2015, over 7 weeks after ordering. Got the rear shock on last night, but I fork advice. The shop manual has me feeling a little overwhelmed.

Per Wilbers' instruction, I just need to...

  • Replace the spring in the one fork
  • Drain oil in both forks
  • Refill each fork to a specific level

I've done several fork seal replacements on conventional forks, but I've never worked on the upside-down variety. And, YouTube how-to videos seem to feature parts that are different from Versys.

Can anyone share a step-by-step on how to accomplish (specifically for a 2015+ 650)? Can I get by without any special tools?

The forks are already off. Just need to replace the spring and get oil level right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Well, this sucks. To get to the fork spring you need a special tool (Kawasaki part # 57001-1744) which runs about $180. It's a 33mm rod guide case wrench for Showa 41mm forks. Unfortunately, all the aftermarket tools, which aren't much cheaper, are 35mm wrenches for Showa 43mm forks. Looks like I'm headed to the dealer in the morning.

Edit: It looks like Race Tech part # TFCH 06 ($43) + a 35mm or a 1 3/8" crowsfoot wrench ($12) will get the job done. K&L Supply appears to sell the same part for less (part #35-8379, $25), but I've yet to confirm it's the same size as the Race Tech tool.

Struck out at my local Kawasaki dealer's service dept. They don't have the tool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
My local Kawasaki dealer doesn't have the necessary tool so they're not capable of doing the job. Wasted 45 minutes with them this morning. The tool needed is basically a 33mm Allen socket with a hole in the middle for the rod. I have one on order.

This tool is not used for the previous generation Versys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
For 2015 Kawasaki switched to a 41mm Showa fork. Here is a pic of the issue. That 12-point female nut has to be spun out. There's no other way to get to the spring. This nut takes a 33mm male bit to unscrew.



Here is the Race Tech part mentioned above. It's 33mm on one size, 35mm on the other.

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,762 Posts
Mk-3

For 2015 Kawasaki switched to a 41mm Showa fork. Here is a pic of the issue. That 12-point female nut has to be spun out. There's no other way to get to the spring. This nut takes a 33mm male bit to unscrew.



Here is the Race Tech part mentioned above. It's 33mm on one size, 35mm on the other.

I guess you didn't read that thread http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...front-fork-oil-change.html?highlight=33mm+nut which is a 2015 650 ABS.

When you do this could you post your how to , I will add that to the existing thread. Sad the dealer isn't able to do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Yeah, I'm thinking a 33mm truck lug nut welded to a 1" nut. That way I can torque it with a 1" crowsfoot wrench attached to my torque wrench. Has to be torqued to 90 Nm.

I was going to weld two truck lug nuts together, but good luck finding a 33mm crowsfoot wrench.

The Race Tech part shown above might be a problem because it has rounded corners on the 33mm side. The nut is shallow so those rounded corners could cause slippage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Well, I had luck getting my left fork apart, and getting the spring replaced. Here's a pic of the tool I had welded up. The black nut is a truck lug nut that's 33mm outside diameter. The silver-colored nut it's welded to is 1.25" diameter. The 33mm side is the side that drops into that female nut, called a rod guide case. I had about 2mm shaved off the end to get rid of the rounded corners so that it seats well.

To the left you can see I have an extra nut of each. If anyone wants them, you can have them for my cost (about $4) + postage.

There's one weird thing I noticed regarding fork oil level. I have a hard copy of the factory manual that says to measure the air gap with an empty fork. Then, I have an e-copy of the same manual that says to measure the air gap with the spring, spring seat, adjuster guide rod and rebound spring all installed. The e-copy is correct. The 473 mL fill gives the correct air gap when you measure the oil level with these parts installed.

 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
20,641 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
...There's one weird thing I noticed regarding fork oil level. I have a hard copy of the factory manual that says to measure the air gap with an empty fork. Then, I have an e-copy of the same manual that says to measure the air gap with the spring, spring seat, adjuster guide rod and rebound spring all installed. The e-copy is correct. The 473 mL fill gives the correct air gap when you measure the gap with these parts installed....
Glad you posted this. When I "did" my Gen 1's forks that was how the MANUAL said to do it, so I was surprised to see my Gen 3 MANUAL say to do it empty of parts which I was pretty sure was WRONG.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top