Kawasaki Versys Forum banner

1 - 20 of 98 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
zeph sent me his photos today, so here they are:

























...

By the way, the Eibach spring from Racetech is kind of a bust at this point.. the dimensions of the spring require a different preload collar, which would be fine except that it requires disassembly of the shock itself---i.e. releasing and recharging the nitrogen pressure. And I don't want to tear into the damper unless it needs a revalve.

So I'm gonna pop the original spring off the R1 shock and see if I can find a dimensional match from a spring manufacturer (e.g. www.centuryspring.com, www.leespring.com, www.mwspring.com) or if I must, get one custom wound. So far the places I've spoken with want a hefty engineering fee to do a one-off custom job. Anybody know of a place that specializes in custom coil springs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
I just called Cannon Racecraft and spoke with Trish regarding the R1 Shock/Spring and using it on the Versys.

They will create a spring to your specific requirements for $90 (powercoating included). They are currently offering 10% disc through Jan 31. That is $81 out the door (no tax)if you don't live in Oklahoma! You won't need any adapters. And you get to specify the color. And you decide what the exact rate should be. And its never taken them more than a week to get me a custom spring. I am in texas though.

Cannon has built many springs for me, and out of around 75 fork and shock springs only 1 set of fork springs was off by .2kg/mm. They are very good. Website could use some work but they definitely know how to make a spring.

If you wanted to get creative you could even order one that was slightly progressive. Might be a bit more $ than the straight rate.

I think that a great spring might be one that progresses from 14kg/mm to 18kg/mm over 4 inches of travel. To be safe total spring travel should be at least 6in. Then you could really dial in the shock and let the spring handle the rising rate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Hello,

Try these guys if your still looking. I have a spring on order for an 09 Versys, I wanted a new one powder coated Candy Lime Green... :) They seem to know what they are doing. They make the springs, have the specs etc... They even send out for Powder coating so it comes to you in your favorite color.

http://www.wilbersusa.com/hyperpro-springs.htm


Hope this Helps,

Vic
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Hi UAV.
The bush end that you are going to ream. Are you reaming that with the bush still in the shock-eye?
My shock is a new unused one but the bush appears to be fixed in the rubber bush and non-rotating, so the bearing surface must be between the bush and the mounting bolt. Is that the same in your shock?
In that case a bigger 12mm bearing-bolt is better than a 10mm, so I will do the same as you and convert to 12mm. I must get a precision ground bolt so it is properly round.
The upper end has to be converted to 12mm as the frame tapped hole can't be converted, so I will get that bush turned out as you did. The bush outer surface MUST be well protected during turning since any surface scratches will wreck the needle bearing.
The rubber-mounted bush will give the necessary compliance to allow deflections in the frame and swing-arm so that is good. My existing Hagon shock has got no compliance and tends to wear the pins and bushes.
My new spring is SO MUCH heavier than the stock R1 spring.
All good fun this.
Ted.
Yes. They're going to ream out the softer sleeve without removing it from the shock. Will take a little creativity with vices, clamps, pieces of wood.. but I think they're up to the task. That sleeve is essentially frozen in place by the rubber bush(ing) between it and the shock eye. I'm not sure why they call this end a bush(ing) in the service manual. It's not acting as a bearing. The sleeve is clamped to the frame (or swingarm, in this hybrid application) with 44 ft-lbs. And you'd have to apply a lot of torque to it to get anything to slip against that rubber. The needle bearing end certainly relieves any torque on the shock before it can build up on the other end. In any case, I don't see a problem with reaming the softer sleeve in-situ.. nor with mounting the shock upside down. The needle bearing will do its job just as well.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
rubber bush.

Thanks UAV for that info.
That means, if the bush is clamped solid to the frame, then all the shock rotation at the bush mounting is taken up in twisting of the rubber. Now I don't know the specification of this type of rubber moulded bush but my engineering instinct tells me they can only rotate a small number of degrees before tearing the bush to rubber adhesion.
I am going to mount my shock in place on the bike with no spring on so I can test the full range of swing-arm movement. I will try to measure the angular rotation at the swing-arm end and decide if I think it is too much for the rubber.
If it is I will fit a ground bolt as I said before and I think I will drill it for a grease-nipple as well. I hope it isn't too much because a moulded rubber bearing would be preferable and should be wear-free.

All the rest of you guys must be laughing your socks off at all this "stuff" we have got ourselves into. I won't bore you with the struggle I had to get the spring off and I have yet to face the bigger struggle of getting the stronger one back on.

Ted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
bush thickness and length

More points I have just realised UAV.
The bush in the rubber is only 15.3mm OD originally.
By the time you have reamed it out to 12mm you will have reduced the wall thickness to 15.3 -12.0 divided by 2 = 1.65mm.
That may be too thin to take the end load of the 44ft/lbs.
I suggest you think about doing what I am now going to do, fit a 10mm bolt with spacers so it can bolt into the 12mm through-holes in the swing-arm.
You could machine a 12mm bolt down to 10mm from where it goes through the shock-bush so you only have to put a "spacer-sleeve" on the nut end.
ALSO. The length of the R1 bush is 30mm whereas the original Versys bush is 32mm so you will need 10.1mm ID washers either side of the R1 bush to take up the clearance, and these washers (or just 1 washer on 1 side only) will apply the end load onto the bush instead of the too-thin sleeves.
My Hagon shock was supplied with suitable nylon washers but on that shock the bush rotates inside the shock eye so it didn't need much clamping force on the bush.
Another thought. If you do ream the bush get them to take care to keep it cool so it doesn't destroy or weaken the rubber to bush adhesion.

Sorry about all this but better before than after.
Ted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
shock bush rotation

I measured the rotation at each end from min to max shock stroke.
Swingarm end 9 to 10 degrees.
Frame end 11 to 12 degrees.
I have asked Mr Google about permissable rotation on a rubber-bush joint but can't find the info. Does anyone know?
I "reckon" 9 to 10 degrees is probably ok because that is only on full bump and the frequency of doing that will be rare. I did find out that frequency is a key factor in what the bush will stand. At 8K frequency, +/- 5 degrees is ok. Up to 40 degrees is ok on some designs of bush at low frequencies of operation. No details specified.
There ought to be design data somewhere.
Pity it isn't rubber both ends to eliminate maintenance.
Ted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I measured the rotation at each end from min to max shock stroke.
Swingarm end 9 to 10 degrees.
Frame end 11 to 12 degrees.
I have asked Mr Google about permissable rotation on a rubber-bush joint but can't find the info. Does anyone know?
I "reckon" 9 to 10 degrees is probably ok because that is only on full bump and the frequency of doing that will be rare. I did find out that frequency is a key factor in what the bush will stand. At 8K frequency, +/- 5 degrees is ok. Up to 40 degrees is ok on some designs of bush at low frequencies of operation. No details specified.
There ought to be design data somewhere.
Pity it isn't rubber both ends to eliminate maintenance.
Ted.
Interesting. I didn't realize both ends would need to rotate that much.. guess it makes sense, though.

I would agree that a 1.65mm wall thickness is questionable, especially considering all the other compromises we're making here. I had discussed my application with the machinist, and wall thickness came up at one point.. but I don't recall it being that thin. You and I have the same shock, right?

In any case, they've already reamed the sleeve. It sounds like it was a success---i.e. no damage to the rubber---but I'm not 100% sure what ID they reamed it out to. We had discussed both 12mm exactly and the closest inch equivalent, 15/32" or ~ 11.9mm. I had measured the "12mm" bolt on the Versys at only 11.7-11.8mm, but that's just what's sticking past the nut. I figure if I need to I can take off another 0.1mm in the garage. We'll see. The machining work came to $30 btw.

I'm out of town so won't be able to check it out until Thursday. Perhaps we'll learn more by then. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
Interesting. I didn't realize both ends would need to rotate that much.. guess it makes sense, though.

I would agree that a 1.65mm wall thickness is questionable, especially considering all the other compromises we're making here. I had discussed my application with the machinist, and wall thickness came up at one point.. but I don't recall it being that thin. You and I have the same shock, right?

In any case, they've already reamed the sleeve. It sounds like it was a success---i.e. no damage to the rubber---but I'm not 100% sure what ID they reamed it out to. We had discussed both 12mm exactly and the closest inch equivalent, 15/32" or ~ 11.9mm. I had measured the "12mm" bolt on the Versys at only 11.7-11.8mm, but that's just what's sticking past the nut. I figure if I need to I can take off another 0.1mm in the garage. We'll see. The machining work came to $30 btw.
I'm out of town so won't be able to check it out until Thursday. Perhaps we'll learn more by then. :)

On my 2008 shock the steel bush in the rubber is 15.3mm OD so you can measure yours and compare.
Remember you have to put a big end-load on your thin-wall bush to stop it rotating on the bolt and thus only rotate in the rubber. I hope it doesn't crush it.
What I am going to do when it is finished is put someone heavy on the bike to compress the shock at least one third of its stroke, than tighten up the lower mounting bolt to grip the steel tube. Then the rubber will be rotating
+- 5 degrees and not 0 to 10 degrees.
I know it will all be worth it in the end for you. I will be gutted if the R1 shock is not noticeably better than the Hagon after all this work.

On Phoneman's point. I suspect the rubber bush is bonded into the eye not pressed in. Also bonded to the tube. I like the rubber bush design better than a plain or needle bearing since I have had problems with them several times over many years. I even had one seize up and snap the bottom eye off the shock, which threw me down the trail some, distance from a road.
Ted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
All change

I have decided to rip out the bush and bearing at both ends and replace them with new polyurethane bushes using 12mm bolts.
I am not happy with the compromises in the modifications from 11 mm to 12mm.
My Versys does a lot of really rough stuff and I am not satisfied it will be durable unless I do what I am now doing.

Ted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
P U bushes

Hi UAV.
I have a friend who is turning some top-hat PU bushes for me. When we have sorted the final dimensions I will let you have all the details. We have had SO MUCH discussion about it.
When I took my needle-bearing-bush to be machined at my usual place they wouldn't attempt it, they said it was too hard. I didn't make a fuss, knowing that others had done it ok, but that decided me to do it with PU and get a proper strong job with 12mm bolts.
Apparently needle rollers are not durable if you use the bike on rough stuff. I am told lots of BMW GS riders convert their shock needle rollers either to a tougher roller bearing or a PU bush due to failures.
I wouldn't be happy with your thin and eccentric wall bush but it depends on how hard you use it. You could wait and see and when/if it fails put PU bushes in then. I think it will quickly lose its end-load and the bush will rotate on the bolt and not flex the rubber.
I have never used PU bushes but they seem to have pretty amazing properties. Low wear, long life and flexible to absorb misalignment, shocks, vibration and harshness.

Repeat after me. It will be worth it in the end.

Ted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Something like this?



Does the PU get bonded (via heat, adhesive, or otherwise) to the sleeve like the original rubber bushing? Or are they free to slip against each other?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems the bearing action on the original part is provided by the stretching of the rubber bush. This seems like a good, maintenance-free design---until the rubber material starts to fail from age and fatigue, I suppose. But at least there is no need for lubrication, periodic cleaning, etc.

Does the PU top-hat bush operate on a similar principle? Is it jammed in there so tight that the only mechanism of rotation is via axial stretching of the PU?

...

I may go ahead and install it as is, and then just upgrade the bushes to your custom design when they become available. I think its probably rugged enough for my purposes, at least on the short term. A little eccentric, sure, but so am I. And I do agree with you on the weakness of the needle bearing. Just from all the handling its been subjected to these past few weeks mine is starting to come apart: a piece of the orange/brown plastic that holds the needles in place chunked off the other day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
copies

Copies of emailed discussions as promised.
I will send you the bush drawings when we have finalised dimensions.
Ted.


--------------------------------------
The PU bushes do not need to be bonded/fixed to the eyes at all. They are low friction/abrasion and have good heat resistance and durability. They are meant to be allowed to move a bit. I would make them a reasonably tight fit, but they will still move because they are made that way. It is not a fault/problem. They can compress slightly to remove any play, but still maintain a sliding joint. That is why Peter said to put a rubber grease on the bush/bolt when mounting to allow this small amount of movement.


Yes, agreed, a pair of top-hat bushes per shock eye, and I agree, having some large penny washers would be good too, I’m not keen on the surface finish of the shock mount points. I’ll try get some next week, and make up the bushes then also. I’ll make some spares too. Also, The bushes will be a press-fit, so you’ll be able to change them on the road if ever you have problems, so like my dad said, I’ll make up some spares. One rod of Polyurethane should make 3 sets at least, but I’ll make 2 for now, and if we want to try an alternative, like fitting some sleeves to firm up the mounts (possibly) we can make more, and if ever you need spares, we can just make them up too.
-----------------------------

Have a look at this website.

http://www.automedia.com/Upgrading_Your_Bushings/res20020701pb/1

Also, many cars fit PU bushes to their shock absorbers.
The PU is not in torsion, it is just a wear-resistant flexible bush.
When assembling one can use rubber grease or silicone grease (I bought a tube of silicone grease on eBay)

I think that it will be a good solution and the PU has enough 'give' to accomodate the geometry.

My BMW has needle rollers in the paralever and they get hammered and I plan to replace them with bushes - some use bronze but that is too precise.

I am still curious about the R1 shock in the Versys application, because the R1 is a rising rate suspension whilst the Versys is a direct application.
---------------------------------

The standard Versys spring is WAY too hard. Ridiculous. I changed that for the Hagon shock but the 14Kg spring on that is too small diameter for the R1 shock.
The rising rate thing is interesting. I went in to that and they don’t make special shocks for rising rate but it gives them the choice to use softer springs for comfort at small deflections rising to stiff when they want real control and big bumps.
-------------------------------
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Finished up the installation last night. A few things I learned:

- Fit a 2.5mm thick washer between the swingarm clamp and the sleeve.

- Needed to use the spool stand + "pipe frame w/ ratcheting tie-downs" lift to get the right angle to get everything in place and lined up.

- Didn't have much flexibility within the frame clamp. Had to put both washers (5mm total thickness) on the outboard side, otherwise the rebound adjuster would rub against the frame... as it is I see about 0.5 mm of clearance.

And my results:

- The 13.8 kg/mm spring is markedly softer than the original Kawasaki spring. I can actually feel the suspension moving when I plop down in the saddle. And I feel a bit closer to the ground.. can get all my toes on the ground now. This is without the Givi topcase, and a minimum preload. Will certainly need some preload to get the right rider sag. I think the springrate is good, though. Didn't seem to bottom out even over the really big bumps along my commute.

- I dialed out all the damping adjusters to full soft. The rear end feels great at low speeds and high speeds.. nice and compliant like I wanted, less so at "medium speeds". There are a few parts of the 405 where the concrete sections are short (maybe 12 ft long) and uneven with each other, so you get harmonic bumps. The forks still feel unsettled over these sections (and everywhere else, too) but the shock was nicely composed, for the most part. Definitely felt a lot more planted and comfortably in control. At medium speeds it still felt like the rear was misbehaving, but the forks are so bad it's hard to be sure what I'm feeling. I purposely rode over some Bott's dots, a high speed compression problem area before---the forks still kick but the rear soaks it up perfectly. I will reserve some judgment until I get the forks sorted. But for now I'm pleased as punch. Might dial in some more rebound damping but that's it.

- Everything is a compromise, and I'm not expecting the suspension to soak up all the bumps and still handle, respond crisply. But I think this is about as good as I could ask for. Feels composed enough to handle the rough going, but controlled enough for medium-performance riding. I look forward to trying it out on some dirt roads, and on some windy canyon roads. Gotta get the forks sorted first, though.

- The R1 shock with the blood red spring looks the business on the Versys. I took off the passenger pegs and supports---I don't need or want to ride 2-up on this bike, not yet anyway---and I haven't yet reinstalled the plastics that came off. Apparently I'll need to cut the upper plastic as Zeph did to accommodate the reservoir.
...

Here are the relevant pages from the 08 R1 Service Manual:




...

And one glamor shot:



Okay, two:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
Well, the R1 shock is in and I have taken it for a short ride over rough tracks.
It just feels so plush, like a different bike, even comparing it to the Hagon aftermarket shock which was much better than the standard one.
I have to get it "UK-MOT" tested now so I can road-tax it and then I can go and ride it properly.

If anyone else fancies all the work I have done to fit Polyurethane Bushes to the shock (in place of the needle rollers and rubber-bush), I can do an explanatory piece. Only time will tell if it was all worth it.

How are your forks coming along UAV? Its all gone quiet again.

Ted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
Fitting PU bushes

Polyurethane bushes for R1 shock conversion to Versys.
The R1 shock has needle bearings in one end with a steel sleeve, and a steel sleeve in a rubber bush at the other end, which both have to be removed.
The versys shock mounting bolts are 12mm whereas the R1 bolts are 10mm, so the R1 bushes have to be opened up to take 12mm. Modifying the Versys mountings to 10mm is not a practical job in my judgement.
Drilling out the 2 sleeves to 12mm has been done but I am not happy with this as the sleeve wall will be too thin to be able to take the required end-load to lock the sleeves into their mounting so they don’t rotate with the shock. Also drilling the rubber-end sleeve has caused problems of concentricity with others who have done it. The needle-roller bearing is not very heavy-duty for the greater shock-loading my Versys will get compared to an R1.
Polyurethane or PU bushes are supplied in my case by “Superflex”, grade 95 which is the hardest. They have resilience and self-lubricating properties and are very hard wearing, shock resistant and shock isolating.
The correct way to do it is to have a steel sleeve which can be locked into the mountings with an accurate ground outer diameter for the PU bush to rotate on. However the R1 shock housings are not a big enough diameter to fit it in and still have an adequate thickness of sleeve and PU bush.
I decided to buy 2 new mounting bolts from Kawasaki and hope they were made accurately round. They were good, so I polished them up with emery cloth and metal polish. They will not be as good as specially-made ground-finish bolts but time will tell.
The required running-fit of the PU bush to the bolt is an interference fit which varies with the application, but in this case 0.25mm is recommended. Now that is tight and requires a pretty firm push to get the bolt through, BUT, the thread is the same OD as the bolt shank so you have to “screw” the thread through the PU. This feels really bad to do but after removal the PU is so tough there are no thread grooves in the PU so it is ok. Next time I remove the bolts I will take a bit off the Threads OD with emery-cloth since there is not a large bolt tension as it is not locking onto a sleeve.
The down-side to this tightness is you have to get the bushes tight in the housing so they do not turn in the housing when you rotate the shock on the mounting bolt. One end of mine the bushes are tight but the other end the bushes are a bit loose and they turn in the housing. Since this is an elastic material when you force the bushes into the housing the bore size reduces, hence the fit on the bolt on the end with tight bushes is a bit too tight in my estimation, whereas on the other end the bush/bolt clearance seems nice but the bush turns in the housing.
I have to decide what to do about the loose bushes. I am currently investigating a special grade of Loctite which “should” stick PU into the aluminium housing. Failing that I could drill the housing and put a small peg in to lock the bushes (Superflex advise against this) OR make a new set which I may eventually have to do.
One further problem. At the swingarm end the mounting bolt cannot be pulled up hard as it has not got a sleeve to lock onto. In view of the very tight fit we have to prevent the bolt from sticking in the PU bush and rotating in the aluminium housing lugs which would elongate the housing holes very rapidly.
I have used “Schnorr” toothed-locking-washers on both sides under the bolt head and the nut, so a moderate bolt tension which will not deform the mounting lugs will still grip onto the aluminium and not allow rotation of the bolt.
I also used a Schnorr washer under the bolt head on the upper mounting which bolts into a tapped hole in the bike frame, because that cannot be over-tightened as it would lock the PU bush which would not then rotate with the shock.
SO! It is not an easy task to get all this right and is not a straightforward simple conversion job. However I am satisfied that done correctly this is a good strong and hard-wearing solution. If it has to be done again then Mark 2 will be a top-class job. Certainly the “feel” of the Versys with this superb “plush-action” shock is a revelation compared to the standard deeply unsatisfactory rock-hard shock.
The success of the conversion will not be measured until a lot of hard miles have been covered. I will strip it and inspect after about 1 thousand miles to check for problems.

Ted Scott.
PS. I will try separately to post photo's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
Forgot to cut the plastic panel.

I just realised I forgot to cut the plastic panel under the seat to give clearance to the shock reservoir on full bump. I should have done it when it would have been easy with no spring on the shock. Now I can't do it unless I get a 50 stone guy to sit on the bike to depress the shock.
Zeph's photo is clear enough but his 06 shock is different to our 08 one.

UAV. Did you need to cut that panel?

If you did, a photo would be greatly appreciated.
I am so annoyed with myself for forgetting to do it. There is NO WAY I am taking that spring off again, it was such a job to fit the stronger spring.
It is difficult to measure it because as the shock rises the reservoir gets closer in as the shock shortens.

Ted.
 
1 - 20 of 98 Posts
Top