Rear Shock Setting KLR 650

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by cptarmy, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. cptarmy

    cptarmy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
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    Can anyone point me in the right direction for a discussion on the rear shock and what are the possible setting combinations...??? [​IMG]

    Here's my situation - 5'10", 180 lbs...sit on the bike with both balls of my feet on the ground (not tippytoe, but not quit flatfooted)

    Bike is currently set at Damper 1, Preload 1 (the way it came from the factory)- Have been riding it on mostlly paved roads...

    I plan on taking the bike on a 6 hour offroad adventure at a motopark with some friends...

    The park has several jumps and/tabletops and I don't want to kill myself or bottom it too badly...

    Anybody have any recommended setting for the best compromise for my offroad while still being comfortable...I'm not in a position to change the rear shock out right now, so I've got to work with the stock shock...

    Thoughts???

    Thanks in Advance,
    Frank
    #1
  2. Fat Toney

    Fat Toney Long timer

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    good question, I've been wondering myself, had my bike for almost 2 years and 6k and didn't think to ask about dampening and preload setting...hope somebody that knows answers with out requesting the search feature first.
    #2
  3. JKarp

    JKarp woot!

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    Get the rear suspention unloaded (wheel off the ground) and measure from the end of the swingarm to the tail light. Now hop on w/ all your normal gear and have a friend do the same measurement. Adjust the preload until you've got about a 3" difference. Rebound is a bit more subjective depending on your ride tastes. I'm 210lb and run 3 or 4 on the rebound.
    #3
  4. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    KLR's have a rear shock???

    Learn something new everyday. :thumb

    I swear mine didn't. :bluduh
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    I"ve not touched mine since new and it seems ok.. not even sure how to adjust it.. any special tools? :ear I covered mine with a shock sock and haven't seen it since day 1.
    #5
  6. Sandflea

    Sandflea One Lump or Two?

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    I weigh 200lbs, used to crank the pre-load to 3-5 and rebound adj. to 2 or 3 depending on the terrain......when I had a stock shock. I jumped my KLR's and bottomed all the time. Remember, it's a KLR not KX.....table top:wink: Just remember, it's 340+ lbs, it's not hard to bottom it out:evil or break the subframe!
    #6
  7. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    Table Tops ?:huh
    It won't make a bit of difference on a KLR :lol3
    #7
  8. Tourmeister

    Tourmeister What's that funny noise?

    Joined:
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    Use the preload bolt to adjust your static sag. This is the bolt head on the shock that adjusts the preload collar. At your weight, I would start at setting 3. For the damping (on the bottom of the shock on the exhaust side), there is a black plastic cover that slips off. The knob underneath is only supposed to be turned one way. I think the range is 1-4. I would set it on 2.

    For the rear preload, if you have a centerstand, get the rear off the ground. If not, lean the bike over on the side stand (carefully!!) until the rear is off the ground. Have another person measure from a point on the swing arm (I like the axle nut) up to a point on the fender. Say you get 13", remember that. Now sit on the bike, side stand up, and only have your feet down just enough to keep you balanced. Have your friend measure between the same two points again. Ideally, you should get a dfference of about 3-3.5", say 9.5 -10" measured. This means that when you sit on the bike, you are using about 30% of the available suspension travel (9") If you have more than that, crank up the preload to 4 or 5 until you are as close as you can get.

    For the rear damping, you just have to ride it and play with the settings to get it where you like the feel. If it is too soft, your backend will be pogoing down the road like those old worn out Caddies. To stiff and your backend will feel like a jackhammer is being used on your fanny. It can cause the rear tire to hop and make you bounce up out of the seat. The ideal setting is somewhere in between where the tire stays in contact with the ground, you don't pogo, and the ride is not bouncy or harsh.

    For the front preload, I would check the static sag as is before tearing into the fork. Again, get the front off the ground either with the use of a centerstand or by leaning the bike over on the side stand. The thing you want is for the forks to be totally extended. I pull the bottom of one of the fork protectors (the rubber booty things) loose and push it up, using a short bungee chord to keep it up. Next put a zip tie around the fork tube and slide it down against the dust seal. Now measure from the top of the zip tie up to the bottom of the lower triple clamp. I think mine was around 13". Now CAREFULLY put both wheels back on the ground such that you don't bounce the front end. You don't want to push the zip tie up to far. Once both wheels are on the ground, sit on the bike and again put your feet on the ground just enough to keep you balanced. Gently get off the bike and put it on the sidestand. Now measure from the new position of the zip tie up to the bottom of the triple clamp. Just like the rear, the difference should be 3-3.5", or around 30% of the available 9" of travel.

    To adjust the front preload, all you have to do is pull off the fork caps (carefully!!). Start by loosening the top triple clamp fork tube pinch bolts, leave the lower clamp bolts tight. This step is VERY important as it relieves the stress on the top of the tube where the caps screw in. Failure to do it makes getting the caps on/off extremely difficult. Under the cap, you will find metal spacer tubes, or maybe PVC if someone has been here before you. The only way to adjust the preload is to install longer spacers or to cut the existing ones down. 3/4" sch 40 PVC works pretty good for a spacer and is easy to cut. Longer spacers will reduce sag (increase preload) and shorter spacers will increase sag (reduce preload). I would not make changes in spacer length more than a 1/4" at a time max. Reinstall both spacers and the caps, then do the zip tie procedure again until you get it where you want it.

    For the front damping, unless you change out oil, there is not much to do to adjust it. I am 5'10" and about 185 lbs and like the 10wt oil. I also have the Progressive springs installed. I installed the 420 Progressive spring on the rear shock. I like it, but when I ride with nothing but me on the bike, it feels like it needs one notch less of preload but I am already on the lowest setting. With luggage on the back, it is fine. I have my rear damping set on 2.

    The biggest thing is to remember the KLR really isn't a "dirt" bike. So if you go to jumping it to hard or high... :kurt
    #8
  9. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, slow

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    Great advice.
    I read somewhere here at ADV that the KLR flies like a bird . . . . and lands like a piano.:lol3
    #9
  10. Jack90210

    Jack90210 quia ego nominor leo

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Street/Mild Dirt: Preload 3, Damper 2 or 3

    Serious Dirt: Preload max, Damper 4

    6'0", 165 lbs (plus 20 lb gear)

    The rebound adjuster really does effect rebound significantly, and it feels like it also affects compression somewhat too.
    #10
  11. ldeikis

    ldeikis Dirty daydreamer

    Joined:
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    5 preload and 4 damping was still too little for me. Race sag was something like 4.5 inches in the back, and even cranked up the damping wasn't enough to keep it from kicking you like a mule after any big impact. The couple times I had it in the air, after landing (and bottoming) it would leap up so hard it would throw you off the pegs. I put a set of raising (yes) links on a couple weeks ago, RL1s from Eagle Manufacturing, and it's a huge difference. Now I've got about 3" sag and the damping feels appropriate... doesn't pack up, but doesn't kick me if I don't get wise-ass over whoops. RL1s and progressive fronts made a big difference.

    I'm 185 plus a tailbag with tools and tubes, FYI. Rob rides like he can't remember which bike he's on, I ride like a normal person :D.

    Ps If you're hitting tabletops, you may have bought the wrong dualsport.

    Check out:

    http://www.off-road.com/dirtbike/tootechp1.html
    http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/howto/122_0508_sag/index.html

    -Luke
    #11
  12. kdxkawboy

    kdxkawboy Mr. NVKLRGirl

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    If you plan to ride agressively in the dirt, like most at your size you find you need the the max preload and max dampening. It's okay and then one day you discover that it doesn't seem to make any difference which dampening setting you use, they all feel the same, but oddly enough the shock finally starts to feel like it is working. Then one day, while changing the tire you discover the shock is blown. You cringe when the dealer tells you the OEM replacement is like $750 clams and kiss him when he says a Works Performance or White Power shock would be cheaper. So you get the White Power from the White Bros. and wonder why you didn't replace the OEM door-stop on day 1.

    If you don't plan to get off the maintained dirt roads, never mind.
    #12
  13. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in

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    easy to do..play with it....left side top of shock 12mm bolt...turn it to adjustthe preload...from 1 to 5 on the yellow indicator....when at 5..keep turnign and clunk it pops back to 1 to start again

    dampning on bottow of rt side of shock...black plastic cover over it (almond shaped kinda)...pop that off...turn the dial (black wheel in horizontal configuration)...cover back on

    pre 3 and dampner 2 here...230 lbs 6'1"...

    I sag it more for when my gal rides the KLR

    pics here from Glen

    http://klr650.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10299
    #13
  14. Sandflea

    Sandflea One Lump or Two?

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    907
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    SuperFund Heaven
    Hey...I resemble that remark:D KLR is back together after the land-scraping job I did on those trees, nothing that a torch and a prybar couldn't fix....and 300 bucks.:lol3
    #14
  15. 30Bones

    30Bones Long timer

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    I have yet to touch mine and probably won't for another 6-8K miles or when it gets worn out.

    2 up you notice that some adjustment would be a good thing. :rofl
    #15
  16. ldeikis

    ldeikis Dirty daydreamer

    Joined:
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    Upstate NY
    What did you end up doing about that exhaust?

    Mine is finally up for spring maintenance b/c my countershaft seal is oozing about 1/2 qt every 500 miles :cry Decided to screw around a bit while I'm waiting on the seal, so I mucked about in the carb a little. Can't wait to get back out... Don't expect to see the seal in time for Jack's ride this weekend, but I'll be on the SOB for sure unless work intrudes.

    /hijack

    -Luke
    #16
  17. 30Bones

    30Bones Long timer

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    Set mine up like this last night before a 150 mile ride and I am of similar size and was carrying 10-15 pounds of junk. Definatly noticed a difference. I think I will knock the preload down to 2, seems a little too stiff to me. Dampner at 2
    #17
  18. XPatriot

    XPatriot Charges have been dropped

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    OK.

    180lb rider, almost all street.

    Settings?
    #18
  19. 30Bones

    30Bones Long timer

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    Go by that above process to get preload set that Tourmeister laid out.

    I changed mine on a whim 5 minutes before a road trip last night and it feels far to stiff for my tastes so I will be taking preload down to 2 and see what that does. I have other issues right now to deal with than ride quality, my mpg has taken a sh!t on highway treks and I want to take care of that ASAP.
    #19
  20. Krabill

    Krabill Long timer

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    Bring a socket with you and adjust as needed. It takes all of two seconds.
    #20