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Help: How to "Set Up" suspension?

This is a discussion on Help: How to "Set Up" suspension? within the ZX-12R forums, part of the Kawasaki Motorcycles category; I have NEVER touched my suspension settings. But I would like less "dive" when I apply the front brake, and a little less travel when ...

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Old 02-15-2010, 01:51 PM   #1
natemc1911's Avatar
From: mobile
Joined: Jan 2009

I Ride: 2000 ZX12r

Posts: 95
Question Help: How to "Set Up" suspension?

I have NEVER touched my suspension settings. But I would like less "dive" when I apply the front brake, and a little less travel when loaded on the rear. I have no idea how to make adjustments. I saw a guy on the speed channel start to set up a 14 using the guys weight. I'm 6'0' and about 265. Another this is my wife loves to ride with me alot and she's about 165.,......
No track riding,...YET, riding is "spirited" jaunts on the street and occasional 50-100 mile trips, sometimes 2up.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:18 PM   #2
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ZuminaZX's Avatar
From: Utah
Joined: Sep 2006

I Ride: 2002 ZX12R
I Race: 2005 XR650R

Posts: 5,011
I would do a google search for a suspension setup article, there are countless ones floating around out there.
Old 02-15-2010, 04:40 PM   #3
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Marcelo's Avatar
From: South Florida
Joined: Jun 2008

Posts: 743
Here's a good one: Racetech Suspension Setup
Old 02-15-2010, 09:33 PM   #4
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From: vancouver b.c. Canada
Joined: Oct 2008

Posts: 287
When I first got my 12 I figured the front was way too soft and after searching I found the front is set for about 125 pounds and the back for 200 when stock.
So I eventually went to a suspension shop to get it set up,it cost $50 and the guy cranked my preload on the front almost all the way if that is any indication.
He also suggested better springs up front and a better shock for the back.
Old 02-15-2010, 10:40 PM   #5
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texlurch's Avatar
From: Colorado/Africa
Joined: Mar 2009

I Ride: 2002 ZX-12R, Pigpens 00 ZX-12R
I Race: Pigpens 00 ZX-12R

Posts: 1,635
Basic set up is to set the sag first, for the rider weight fully geared up
Shoot for 25-30 mm for the street
Back the compression all the way out
Adjust rebound so that when you push down firmly and quickly, the bike comes back up smoothly and doesn't over return, should take about 1 second or so to come up and settle. Adjust so front and back come up at same rate. Test that by bouncing using the rear of the tank, center of bike.
Lastly do the compression. Look around for recommended settings, and then go for a test ride and fine tune.
Old 02-16-2010, 07:23 AM   #7
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From: NY - LI
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Posts: 1,091
Thank you Dingo... That's what I've been looking for. All that reading was driving me nuts... I needed to see someone actually do it.
Old 02-16-2010, 12:24 PM   #8
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From: na
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Outstanding post DingoZX12!!!
Old 02-16-2010, 01:45 PM   #9
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From: Maryland USA
Joined: Dec 2009

I Ride: 2000 ZX12R

Posts: 187
Without what I learned from the videos I'd have thought there was something I was doing wrong... I almost started to think I just couldn't figure out my bike. Which would have really been a disappointment because I was not trying to go the cookie cutter roll and get a busa. But for us heavier riders....(230lb+) be ready to get up rated front springs b/c the fronts are very softly sprung but the rear spring can hold a heavyweight.
Old 02-16-2010, 05:12 PM   #10
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From: Santa Ynez. Cal.
Joined: Jul 2005

Posts: 378
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.
Old 02-17-2010, 06:57 PM   #11
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Gunner's Avatar
From: Lost
Joined: Dec 2004

I Ride: 12R

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Excellent post
Old 02-17-2010, 11:07 PM   #12
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ddonacaZX12's Avatar
From: Camas Washington
Joined: Jun 2006

I Ride: 05' zx12r

Posts: 810
Sport rider magazine used to have some pretty good articles on suspension set up on their web page.

And fwiw most of the local race/performance shops in PNW USA will do initial set up for ya, for $40-50.

Money well spent... (imho)

Many good vids available on the net (as shown above) but you'll need probably two buddies to help ya, a tape measure and a spanner wrench. (or hammer and punch/screwdriver)

Old 02-18-2010, 06:11 AM   #13
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k9rockydog's Avatar
From: Aree-zonee
Joined: Aug 2009

I Ride: '03 ZX12R The only bike with wings !

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Here's a good one: Racetech Suspension Setup
ooohhh Marcelooooo... !! NICE article ! good find bubba
Old 02-18-2010, 07:12 AM   #14
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From: carnforth, england
Joined: Jan 2009

I Ride: zx12r, zx9r, vf750, cr250 and yam 350 ypvs

Posts: 226
is there a tool in kit to alter preload?.
Old 02-18-2010, 08:12 AM   #15
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From: Maryland USA
Joined: Dec 2009

I Ride: 2000 ZX12R

Posts: 187
is there a tool in kit to alter preload?.
Up front just use the proper sized socket/ wrench and in the rear use a spanner wrench.

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