adjusting suspension sag - Kawasaki Z1000 Forum: Kawasaki Z1000 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-18-2017, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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adjusting suspension sag

Hi all-

New to the forums and first post. Purchased a 2013 Z1000 this June and am really loving it.

Been doing a lot of reading on suspension setup and think that I have a pretty good grasp of the process. However, I do have one question that I haven't seemed to come across an answer for. Before you begin the whole process of setting/checking static sag, and then on to rider sag, should you turn your rebound and compression damping all the way out (full soft)? Or adjust them to the midway point? I am a bit confused and just might be over thinking it. My thoughts on this can go either way. Full soft you don't have any additional internal resistance in the shock and then you (might) get a truer setting on your preload to start out with. IDK Any help or guidance is much appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-19-2017, 11:08 AM
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Great question....

What you find, in playing with suspension, is the damping does not really come into play, much, until the or fork is subject to rapid movement. Think like your front wheel hitting a rock, as you drive along.

For sure you are over thinking it, but thats not a bad thing....

There just might be some interference if you were to set all those settings to maximum firmness, but still, not THAT much.

I like your idea of starting in the middle when you adjust preload, or sag.

Dont be afraid to take a ride with those settings at full soft. Be aware your bike might feel goofy, but its a good way to learn just what the damping settings do.

As you start to adjust these, more towards "stiff", that lightbulb in our brains kicks on and things make way more sense.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-19-2017, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, Rcannon-

Thank you for the input. After watching many videos, reading posts and articles, I think that there is a point of information overload which increases the chances of over complicating a simple task. Pretty much where I was at.

I did come across a video of a 'Get your suspension setup by Dave Moss' day; do a search on U tube for "Motorcycle suspension tuning made easy"(not allowed to post links yet. lol) which simplified the whole process. For me anyway. In the sense that the settings for damping and whatnot didn't matter when tuning. Just set your sag and then bounce the bike around, watching how it reacts, and adjust accordingly.

Plan on messing with the suspension this weekend with the help of a buddy and see how things go. Worse case scenario, I am going to take the Z in to the folks at Traxxion Dynamics (about 30 minutes from my home) for a professional adjustment next week. Price of admission is $40. Well worth it in my opinion.

The thing that concerns me the most in all of this is the fact that I weigh 240 and to get the suspension "just right" will take new springs. Bit pricey. I am losing weight though. Lost 10 pounds in the last 3 weeks.

Regardless, I believe that having it done professionally will still make a difference. Even if it isn't "perfect".
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-24-2017, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Just wanted to give a quick update on my suspension adjustment I made this past weekend. Once I got started I figured out that the previous owner had the front and rear preload as firm as it could go. No wonder it was so punishing on the keister. I couldn't even push on the tail and make the rear drop. It was solid. I admit that I do not have much experience with motorcycles and didn't realize how the suspension is supposed to feel. I read and watched Keith Code's TOTW II and then read Total Control: High Performance Street Riding Techniques by Lee Parks. After reading the books and watching videos of proper suspension setup, I quickly realized that something was wrong with my bike.

After taking about an hour and a half to get things adjusted, I went out for a ride. Let me tell ya, I was amazed at the difference. Was just going to take it out for a quick spin and came home 3 hours later. lol
World of difference.

I know that there is no such thing as universal "perfect" suspension settings. But, as someone who scoured the internet for a couple weeks looking for baseline settings used by others in my weight range, I am going to give you my settings and maybe it will help someone in the future. I am 5' 11" @ 240lbs.

Front fork preload - 10 turns in (this got me 33mm of sag when the forks and oil were stone cold @ 60 degrees F. Sag will automatically increase some as it warms up. Race Tech uses the 33% rule which would be 40mm of sag for this bike.)
Front rebound damping - 1.5 turns out - (*side note- Dave Moss says that only the first 2 turns out on rebound damping have any effect on the suspension. After that you're just turning a screw.)
Front compression damping - 1.75 turns out

Rear shock preload - don't have a solid turn count, but, turned in about 3/4 of the way. About 10mm of threads showing from spring to the top of the threads. I know this isn't the accurate way of telling you all this so I will take a measurement of threads showing from the bottom to the lock ring and update.
Rear rebound/compression damping - 1.5 turns out

Again, I understand that these aren't magical #'s or anything but should get someone of my stature in the "ballpark".

Last edited by Papa Turtle; 10-24-2017 at 12:54 PM.
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