suspension upgrade? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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suspension upgrade?

Has anyone improved the rear suspension on the voyager? Would really like a more plush ride and less shock up the spine when i hit something unavoidable or just a bad road. I should add it's a 2016 model.

Last edited by mike07-16; 12-26-2017 at 07:47 AM. Reason: added model year
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 10:24 AM
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does a 2016 voyager have dual rear shocks? spring or air

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 11:28 AM
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Adjust your rear shock pressures and the valving, it makes all the difference in the world. You need a special hand operated air pump, do NOT use a regular air pump for filling a car tire!! You WILL damage those shocks! The valving you change by turning the dial on each shock. Also, make sure your tire pressures are where they should be as well.

You keep that pump on you at all times and adjust the shocks and their valving if you are riding solo, dual and if you are on mostly smooth or rough roads.

Your owners manual shows you what you need to know. These bikes ride like a dream when the rear suspension is set the way it is supposed to.

Last edited by BonVoyager; 12-26-2017 at 11:32 AM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btom View Post
does a 2016 voyager have dual rear shocks? spring or air
It has dual shocks that are spring over air.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 03:07 PM
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I tried everything I could to improve the OEM shocks on the three Vulcan's I've owned. I changed oil, then springs... Nothing really made much difference.

I finally solved the issue for the Voyager by removing them entirely, and replacing them with aftermarket. In my case Íhlins, but others have used Progressive, or Works Performance.

Paul (Peg) Elliott
New Plymouth, NZ. '10 Voyager 1700
'02 Nomad 1500(sold) '97 VN800B (sold)
2 Honda's, 2 Suzuki's, 1 Yamaha (all dead)
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Peg the aftermarket shocks are what I'm looking for, progressive's own site does not have a replacement for the voyager so maybe some people are tweaking something they have close I'm looking for a direct replacement. I'll google the other 2 names i haven't heard of them before. Thanks to the other respondents also i do know about the shock adjustments and have tried different settings for the past 10 years on my nomad but now that i have a voyager i was really hoping they had a better shock on the bigger bike. As i get older the shocks seam to bother me more just like my tool box seams to get heaver as i age and if i think about it who keeps shrinking my pants every year also.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2017, 07:14 AM
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Thing is with stock shocks, is most all of them from any manufacturer are not rebuildable. On any brand with non-rebuildable shocks the damping control is usually shot/gone by 20,000 miles. When the damping is gone the shocks are then only springs which bottom out much more easily. A shock with proper damping offers increasing resistance as the shock is compressed.

My 94 BMW R1100RS has only one shock in the rear and front, and it had 120,000 miles on it before I spent the bucks on a custom Wilbers shocks. The change was fantastic, my old 94 rode as well as the new BMWs I'd ride at the shop I worked at. It was the most money I ever spent on the bike and the best money I ever spent on the bike.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2017, 04:54 PM
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Once you do the rear, you'll notice the front feels terrible by comparison. I wasted no time at all, and had it back in the shop within a week for the front to be worked over as well. Race Tech springs and emulators in there. And I agree with Andy - best money I've spent on the bike, closely followed by Ivan's flash and then the Russell seat.

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'02 Nomad 1500(sold) '97 VN800B (sold)
2 Honda's, 2 Suzuki's, 1 Yamaha (all dead)
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2017, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Peg am i correct in assuming you installed the STX 36 twin shocks on your voyager? I don't have any problem with control on the stock shocks it's comfort I'm looking for. To put it another way i am trying to make a low end ford ride like a Mercedes. Is that the results you were looking for and is that what you got?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2017, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike07-16 View Post
Peg am i correct in assuming you installed the STX 36 twin shocks on your voyager? I don't have any problem with control on the stock shocks it's comfort I'm looking for. To put it another way i am trying to make a low end ford ride like a Mercedes. Is that the results you were looking for and is that what you got?
My shocks are Íhlins HD146. They promote them as an entry level shock designed for the HD Sportsters, but they suit my fully loaded two-up Voyager just fine. The shop that did them for me spaced them out with washers & some shims, but I really don't know if they had to do anything else to get the mount size right or not.

It was comfort we were aiming for, and they were perfect from the get go. I have a riding buddy with a Boulevard who remarked that he used to know when to brace for a bump when he was following us - but that he now has no idea when one is coming. He's being launched from bumps we now don't even feel.

We had intended to trade this bike for a Street Glide after our trip around the USA on it in 2015 (that trip was what we bought it for). But it performed so well on the trip (while a couple of the HD's did not), that we chose instead to fix the couple of things about it that we didn't like. So after front & rear suspension upgrades and Ivan's flash - it's certainly now a keeper. We've just not found another bike that can match it. I have no idea if it rides like a Mercedes, but it compares very well with our "other brand" Euro car.
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Paul (Peg) Elliott
New Plymouth, NZ. '10 Voyager 1700
'02 Nomad 1500(sold) '97 VN800B (sold)
2 Honda's, 2 Suzuki's, 1 Yamaha (all dead)

Last edited by Peg; 12-27-2017 at 08:43 PM.
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