Shock Absorber Adjustment - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Shock Absorber Adjustment

I am new to riding and certainly new to my bike. I am also an 'intellectual' (By Bill Cosby definition: Someone that studies something that others know naturally.) So, I actually got to know MOM (Motorcycle Owner's Manual).

I was reading about the rear shock absorber and noticed that it comes from the factory set to 4. (I got my 2010 'new', no miles) They state that this is what it should be for a 150lb. rider and nothing else. Well, I am 260 lbs. I don't want to create problems for myself, so I am wondering what to set this to. MOM is unclear about it, just saying that going up in value is a stronger shock. So, assuming that 7 is reserved for a fully loaded bike (at ~400lbs.) and 4 is for 150lbs., I can't make the math work. If I divide evenly that would mean a setting of 1 is for a helium balloon. the only other solution I have is that the numbers are on a logrithimic scale.

I have not really taken the bike out of my neighborhood, yet, so I don't know what kind of ride I really have on streets that might actually have some bumps. I just don't want a fender rubbing my tire or something.

Recommendations would be great. Also, what are some problems that I could start seeing if this isn't set correctly, so that I know?

Thanks,
otis

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 12:09 PM
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Shocking!

Well, I was reading thru another post about a guy 6'2", 345lbs with a 900, and I run 6', 300lbs on a 900C. I live in northwestern Canada, crappy roads, and set my shock up to max. It is a bit stiff, but will still bottom out on a hard bump (no luggage, solo saddle). On the factory setting, it will bottom out on a smooth road.. It is not hard to change the shock setting, take the weight off the rear wheel (couple of blocks under the frame, pull the side cover off and use one of those band style adjustable oil filter wrenches to move the adjuster up a couple of clicks. You may have to play with it a bit, but 6 would probably work for a slim 260.... I wish that there was a damping adjustment on the shocks like there is on the V2K. I find it is more about the reaction to the bump than the stiffness of the suspension, no double entendre intended..
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 12:09 PM
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I run about 270 lbs and I run the shock at 6 The ride is a little firm, but I like it there. There is no "right" answer, as long as you are not bottoming out, your butt is the real judge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by otisjf View Post
I am new to riding and certainly new to my bike. I am also an 'intellectual' (By Bill Cosby definition: Someone that studies something that others know naturally.) So, I actually got to know MOM (Motorcycle Owner's Manual).

I was reading about the rear shock absorber and noticed that it comes from the factory set to 4. (I got my 2010 'new', no miles) They state that this is what it should be for a 150lb. rider and nothing else. Well, I am 260 lbs. I don't want to create problems for myself, so I am wondering what to set this to. MOM is unclear about it, just saying that going up in value is a stronger shock. So, assuming that 7 is reserved for a fully loaded bike (at ~400lbs.) and 4 is for 150lbs., I can't make the math work. If I divide evenly that would mean a setting of 1 is for a helium balloon. the only other solution I have is that the numbers are on a logrithimic scale.

I have not really taken the bike out of my neighborhood, yet, so I don't know what kind of ride I really have on streets that might actually have some bumps. I just don't want a fender rubbing my tire or something.

Recommendations would be great. Also, what are some problems that I could start seeing if this isn't set correctly, so that I know?

Thanks,
otis

-Vinny VROC #32287 - 2007 Vulcan 900 Custom, Ness Big Sucker, Fi2000R, Cobra 2-into-1

The things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. People are good; honor, courage, virtue mean everything; power and money mean nothing; good always triumphs over evil; true love never dies. A man should believe in those things, because they are worth believing in.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 01:40 PM
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I weigh about 185 lbs. My wife goes about 85 lbs.
Should I adjust from the original settings?
I mostly ride solo, but we do ride 2-up sometimes.

Thanks,
Rod

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 02:49 PM
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I come in at about 190lbs and the wife at about 115lbs, I set it up to 6 and left it there because for me it rides alot smoother over the bumps.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 02:54 PM
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I have my shock set at 5 and rear tire pressure at 40 psi. Two up, we are over 400 pounds. To me, this set up is a touch too stiff. Get a lot of impact harshness when I first hit the bump; feel every ant running across the road under the rear tire. But at this setting two up, she handles the twisties wonderfully; no big understeer, rotates through the center of the corner well on throttle, little squirrly in the wet. I'm going to play with tire pressure and lowering the shock down to 4 and see if ride comfort improves.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 03:25 PM
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you guys are brave posting your wives and girlfriends weight...

-Vinny VROC #32287 - 2007 Vulcan 900 Custom, Ness Big Sucker, Fi2000R, Cobra 2-into-1

The things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. People are good; honor, courage, virtue mean everything; power and money mean nothing; good always triumphs over evil; true love never dies. A man should believe in those things, because they are worth believing in.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truckie453 View Post
you guys are brave posting your wives and girlfriends weight...
The scary part is that most people lie about those numbers and they're still pretty high!

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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No weighty problems

I am finishing up my second divorce, so I don't have such weighty problems as passenger size. I intend to keep it that way for a while. I think this bike is going to be my girlfriend for a while. Looking through mods, attachments, accessories, and blah, blah, blah, it looks as though I am going to be spending the same amount of money... Well, maybe a little less because wrenches are much cheaper than lawyers. (She takes up the ENTIRE bed, though...)

My intention is to take a trip out to the Pacific in about 2014. My biggest concern is losing a couple (dozen) pounds by then. I don't want the bike to be too weighted down for a week or 2 trip with gear and me.

In my experience, a Motorcyclist goes places to see, a Biker goes places to be seen.

Homemade lowers
OEM Engine guard
Mustang Seat w/backrest
Tail Blazer oscillating tail light
Minnesota Fats 21" Windshield
Trail Blazer oscillating headlight
Cobra sissy bar and luggage rack
Saddlemen Extra Jumbo Drifter Saddlebags
Saddlemen Quick Release Saddlebag Mounts
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 08:25 PM
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otis, I hope this girlfriend is a better ride than the last........ In all seriousness, two-wheeled girlfriends aren't as touchy about getting wet in the rain, are willing to perform at anytime, will do exactly what they are told to do, love anything you give them ("Wow, what a nice big Ness sucker you gave me......what a nice six point wrench you use, and a perfect fit.......you think I need a wax, ok, I agree.......), don't mind being us showing them off, and, uh oh, UUHHH OOHHH, WIFE LOOKING OVER SHOULDER!!!!!!!! NO, Honey, it isn't what you think!!!! I'm only joking........honey........honest.......sweetheart ..........really, it's only a........



sp[g [i59y-0q53-a 50-
an -e9

q5
q n90-u=90u =u9= ==9u ....... shazbot

OK, great, now have a headache and she hid the keys to my Vulcan. Wonderful!!!! No rides for a while. Sheesh........

2006 VN900 Classic LT - Red and Black
Stage III Stock Pipes - K&N Filter in Stock Box - Amsoil - 170/80 Kenda Kruz - Saddlemen Explorer - Willie & Max Windshield Bag - Mutazu Passenger Floor Boards - Shorai Heavy Duty Battery - Kawasaki Lowers - Black Universal Trunk mounted on Mutazu Rack - Osram 70/65w Plus 50
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