rear shock question - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 4 Old 11-29-2009, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
1st Gear
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Hampton, Iowa
Posts: 21
rear shock question

I have a 2000 KLR 650 with 11,400 miles. I've put 3,200 miles on it since I bought it in mint condition in September. Anyway, I'm 6' 2" and 290 pounds, and normally ride with the rear shock set at 4. Last week I thought I'd try setting 5, and when I turned it up, I went one click too far and the thing snapped back to 1 as it normally would. I then turned it back up to 5, but now the shock seems to be a lot softer than usual, as if it's still set at one, even though the scale clearly indicates 5. Any thoughts? Most of the riding I do is on pavement or gravel roads, and I only once took it to an off road vehicle park and tried it out on some dirt bike trails (which was pretty dicey at times, since I'm running Avon AM24 Gripsters front and rear), to the bike has not really been ridden roughly.
Big Ray in North Iowa

Big Ray in North Iowa
1972 Yamaha DT250 (my first bike)
1975 Honda CB360 (my college ride)
1976 Yamaha XS750D (burned, may she R.I.P.)
1980 Yamaha 850 Special (went to new home)
1981 Yamaha 850 Special (former daily ride)
1982 Kawasaki KZ250 L-1 CSR (sold)
1996 Suzuki DS80 (my son's first bike)
2000 Kawasaki KLR650 (my new love)
2008 Honda CRF100L (my son's first "real" motorcycle)
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-29-2009, 05:01 PM
5th Gear
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,700
All the setting is doing is giving you more compression of the spring.. Turn it again and see if you're spring is getting compressed as you go up in numbers..
And yeah, a person of your size really needs to be running at 5, especially if you're riding even remotely aggressively..
If you find the shock is bad, PLEASE DON'T BUY A PROGRESSIVE SHOCK!! Check around and go with a MOAB, or any of the other custom made shocks..

Let us know how the test turns out on the shock.
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-29-2009, 08:35 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 8
Need new spring

There is a company that will sell a more studly spring for a fella of your size. I just went to 7.4 kg spring for my 235 lbs and the bike has no noticable sag. The spring in the origianal shock is only for 150 lbs rider so you might need to upgrade. I did and it took a couple of hours to change out the spring. If your interested hit me back and search out the company and phone # for ya
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-30-2009, 08:59 PM
2nd Gear
kent soignier's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: north Ga. USA
Posts: 272
Need new spring

Big Ray,
You need more spring rate, not extra preload on the stock spring which is calibrated for a 160 pound rider at a casual pace.. If you add enough spring rate to hold you up to proper sag values (typically 25 to 33% of total travel works well) your shock will not have enough damping to control the big spring on the bounce. That what makes pogo sticks fun to hop around on, but not motorcycles. That condition makes our 'dangerous sport' more so.
If I may make a suggestion to you;
Get yourself a better shock if you want to enjoy your klr to it's potential.
the older OEM shocks are not good candidates for revalving for a couple reasons which I won't bore you with. Unless asked.

I second Paper's comments about avoiding the progressive brand shock, the Works performance shock is little if any better.

Along the same lines; Mr Excavator Nut, your comment about sourcing a firmer spring is spot on, except the part about no noticable sag.
If in fact there is no sag, you need some for optimum handling. There should be a little free or static sag, say 10% of the available travel, and 25% to 33% (of total available travel) or so rider sag. If you have none; that is a result of too much preload on your set-up. Just an fyi

Then there is the front end.
Another day.

'08 KLR650,
'72 BMW R75/5 (Col. Klink),
'02 KTM 400 E/XC,
'05 ktm 125 sx (for sale)

"Hey, are you okay? Can you get up?
I thought you said you could ride"

All the best
Kent Soignier
the str8ner
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