Help: How to "Set Up" suspension? - Page 2 - Kawasaki Forum :: KawasakiWorld.com
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post #16 of 41 Old 02-18-2010, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Pcbunn View Post
The stock front and rear springs are way to soft for your weight especially if you put your wife on the back. You will never get the suspension set up correctly until you change out the springs to at least suit your weight! Get some books on how to set up the suspension or read the "how to" sections. I'm set up with stiffer springs all around for my 220 lbs.
Unless you plan on riding 2 up you won't need to change the rear spring....the spring rate in the rear is almost perfect for riding solo for someone up to 250lb. I've actually talked to a Race Tech rep and looked it up on their web site.
HERE'S THE LINK FOR SPRING RATE CALCULATIONS FOR WEIGHT
http://old.racetech.com/evalving/Spr...pringType=Fork
If you won't be doing any high performance/ spirited riding, I wouldn't stress about going too stiff on the spring rate.

Last edited by DingoZX12; 02-18-2010 at 09:26 AM.
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post #17 of 41 Old 02-18-2010, 12:49 PM
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is there a tool in kit to alter preload?.
For the rear shock I got this pry bar set. Use the long one and hammer to loosen/tighten the lock and preload ring.

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post #18 of 41 Old 02-18-2010, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by k9rockydog View Post
ooohhh Marcelooooo... !! NICE article ! good find bubba
Glad you like it.

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post #19 of 41 Old 02-18-2010, 01:55 PM
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is the 3 1/2 inches he refered to a universal starting point for the front? what would be the best method to check it on a A-1 without the inverted forks,, and when he was adjusting up top was his going in or out with the adjuster anyone got pics of what valves and screws do what? wouldnt mind getting into mine,, 14K on the bike an i am @ 240-250Lbs. anyone local ever do theirs? it cant be as easy as turning the top adjuster all the way in,, and the center one all the way out can it? and the one at the brake halfway?

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Last edited by wylde; 02-18-2010 at 02:02 PM.
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post #20 of 41 Old 02-18-2010, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by wylde View Post
is the 3 1/2 inches he refered to a universal starting point for the front? what would be the best method to check it on a A-1 without the inverted forks,, and when he was adjusting up top was his going in or out with the adjuster anyone got pics of what valves and screws do what? wouldnt mind getting into mine,, 14K on the bike an i am @ 240-250Lbs. anyone local ever do theirs? it cant be as easy as turning the top adjuster all the way in,, and the center one all the way out can it? and the one at the brake halfway?
From what I know the 3.5 in is a universal start point to avoid bottoming during heavy breaking/ deep suspension stroke.... The forks on the 1200A are inverted (just well hidden from the front by the fender). Pay close attention to what he's trying to do in the video and stop walking away to grab coffee. Turning the knobs is one thing but the guy he's dealing with has the same issue on the 14 as the 12...the front is way softer than the rear and he's having to compensate for the guy's weight and old fork oil with more damping adjustment.

And since you need info on the A... Here's the link for the full manual pdf.....because the file is too large for me to post too.
Kawasaki ZX12R 2000 - Go Fast Video - Racing Videos

BTW....howdafuk do you post pics on this damned thing????

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post #21 of 41 Old 02-18-2010, 04:17 PM
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can i find the same manual for a harley 1981 FXB?
and as far as posting pic,, you gotta get a place like photobucket or printroom which i have and it sux,, and upload your photos,, when you right click the total address in properties, or view the photo,, then right click and choose properties,, copy the entire address as sometimes some is hidden,, start at the top and drag downward then copy and paste that address in between [img](your address link that you copied here)[/img]
notice the second set of brackets has a forward slash,, so everything goes im between [img] AND [/img] hope that helped. should turn out like this LOL

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Last edited by wylde; 02-18-2010 at 04:21 PM.
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post #22 of 41 Old 02-18-2010, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Great info guys. THANKS!
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post #23 of 41 Old 02-18-2010, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by wylde View Post
is the 3 1/2 inches he refered to a universal starting point for the front? what would be the best method to check it on a A-1 without the inverted forks,, and when he was adjusting up top was his going in or out with the adjuster anyone got pics of what valves and screws do what? wouldnt mind getting into mine,, 14K on the bike an i am @ 240-250Lbs. anyone local ever do theirs? it cant be as easy as turning the top adjuster all the way in,, and the center one all the way out can it? and the one at the brake halfway?
Turning the larger hex-heads on the top of the forks clockwise (ie. "in") will INCREASE your preload. From your posted picture, it looks as though you do not have very much preload dialed in at all.

The small slotted screw heads inside the preload adjusters are for rebound damping.

The slotted screw heads on the fork leg lowers are for compression damping.

BTW, pp. 113-118 of your Owners Manual (briefly) covers suspension adjustments. At least those are the pages on the A1 Owners Manual I'm trying to sell (it was handy sitting right on my desk).

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post #24 of 41 Old 02-18-2010, 08:02 PM
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so right now according to the pic the lack of pre load will have my bike doing what? when i push down it wil come back up and then down again like a spring? when is should just come back up and stabilize? then where does the rebound damping come into play? and compression,, i know all the setups are different like maps are like fingerprints for each bike,, but if there is anyone out there that thinks they have a suspension that is setup descent and weighs 250 pass on your specs and i will try them out and go from there,, ive been watching all kinds of video on the subject and there are quite a few variations on how it is done.. Hmmm might be in the garage tomorrow not that the Ignition Module is done,, BTW what is the typical firmware version of the Ignition Module anyone?

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post #25 of 41 Old 02-18-2010, 08:36 PM
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OK just want down to the Geerage and took some specs,, this bike is right where its supposed to be per the manual,, which is what i thought since i am the second owner and the previous guy had it all stock with no miles on it,, now based on a average ride weight of 150-160 LBS.. (manual says) where would i go from there,, im thinking try 11MM on the preload,, it is right @ 14mm on the digital calipers,, 5 clicks out on the rebound (which would be 2 more clicks in) and 6 out on the compression which would be 1 click in?? sound OK being i weigh in @ 250 lbs?

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post #26 of 41 Old 02-18-2010, 08:46 PM
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Wylde, I am VERY far removed from being any sort of expert on suspension setup. It's just something that I'm trying to get my head around since I bought the 12 and my KTM dual sport a couple years back. Prior to that, my bikes have not had any sort of adjustability other than maybe preload.

I will try an answer your questions though to the best of my understanding & ability. I'll rely on others here to correct any errors on my part.

Ok, so understand that your "preload" adjustment has nothing to do with the hydraulics of your forks/shock. All your preload adjustment does is change how much your spring(s) are compressed to start with. By increasing the preload, you are physically compressing the spring(s) further. Think about it, if you have a coil spring in your hands and you try to compress it, it's easier at first, but then gets tougher as you continue to compress the spring. That's all you're doing when you adjust the preload.

So what does that mean as a practical matter? Well, if your front end is diving when you apply the front brakes, or if you ever find yourself "bottoming out" the forks, then you need to increase your preload to start in all likelihood. You can determine the necessary amount of preload by measuring "sag" as discussed in the videos and various articles, then fine tune to taste. There MAY be enough preload adjustment to get the sag set correctly. It's possible though, especially if you are a bigger/heavier guy, that even with max preload you still cannot get the proper sag setting, in which case you'll need heavier rated springs.

If you don't have a helper to measure the sag distance (like the guy did in the video), you can put a zip tie around the fork tube right at the fork seal wiper, then get on the bike to compress the forks & get back off. This will push the zip tie down and you'll be able to measure from this point to determine your sag.

Compression damping & rebound damping are the adjustments for the hydraulic aspects of your suspension. Without the hydraulics, your bike would just pogo along on the spring suspension (like a car with blown out shocks). Bear in mind that these settings are relative to your preload settings, as well as your fork oil weight/condition (which is why you need to set preload/sag first, and why your compression/rebound settings should be at the softest settings while adjusting preload).

Just as the names suggest, compression damping affects the amount of travel and rate at which the forks/shock compress when you hit a bump. Likewise, rebound damping determines the amount of travel & rate at which the suspension springs back after being compressed (again, relative to the preload settings). Not enough rebound and the and the suspension "uncompress" too far & too fast, again, leading to a pogo'ing effect.

Clear as mud now?

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post #27 of 41 Old 02-18-2010, 08:53 PM
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think it makes a difference if i do it with the zip tie while on the pit bull stand? or do you think the bike needs to be level with both wheels on the ground?

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post #28 of 41 Old 02-18-2010, 09:04 PM
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think it makes a difference if i do it with the zip tie while on the pit bull stand? or do you think the bike needs to be level with both wheels on the ground?
I'd think it needs to be on the ground. Otherwise I suspect you're shifting more weight to the front wheel and you'll get a false reading. If you don't have a front wheel chock, then it would be helpful if you could get someone just to steady the bike for you so you can sit on it and grab the bars as you would when riding. Or, get close to a wall and steady the bike with your fingertips against the wall (and close to the grip so you've got your weight where it would normally be when riding).

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post #29 of 41 Old 02-18-2010, 09:42 PM
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Yea i hear ya ,, makes sense,, been looking at a bunch of videos of that Moss guy,, just dont know how they go to town with the ratchet on the preload adjusters,, not counting the turns to make sure they are equal? oh well i guess if you do it long enough you can do it in your sleep.

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post #30 of 41 Old 02-18-2010, 09:42 PM
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Can't really do it with a zip tie, unless you go ride and see how much travel you are using. If you bounce it, the tie moves father than the actual sag number.

And on the preload, I am sure he is counting turns in his head, or going by the little lines on the adjusters.

Rebound controls how fast the shock/fork extends, compression controls, well compression. Neither one really affects overall travel, just how fast it moves. You want the rebound set where it comes back fairly quick, but doesn't go past the initial sag point or "pogo" up and back down. The softer you set rebound, the better the ride, to a point.

Compression is more subjective, and you really have to start in the middle or at stock settings, and try a couple clicks each way to see how it feels.

Now on most stock bikes, once you get out past halfway on the compression adjustments, it really starts not affecting anything.. has to do with orifice sizing and flow.

You can also change oil weights and affect the flow characteristics thru the valves, and add oil level to affect the air spring and how the forks bottom, but that gets pretty technical quickly.

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Last edited by texlurch; 02-18-2010 at 09:49 PM.
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