Rear end hopping - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-07-2009, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Rear end hopping

Purchased an 09 and have not changed any of the suspensions settings from stock. Took it on a dirtroad with alot of washboard. Riding at speeds the rear end didn't seem to keep up with the washboard surface and instead seemed to hop and bounce acrossed it, very annoying. I weigh 218lbs if that matters. Can someone tell me what i should start adjusting to get the read shock to smooth out?
Thanks
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 12:17 PM
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Your shock may be packing up.

I think I'd try adjusting the damping down to the minimum.

The adjustment screw is on the bottom of the shock. Turn it counterclockwise to reduce the damping. It has about a three turn swing from minimum to maximum.

I played around with mine when I had the spring off. I was surprised how stiff the damping got at even 1 1/2 turns.

One more thing. Adjust your spring preload so that you have about 30% sag when you are sitting on the bike. That works out to about 2 1/4" on the rear.

Ron
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Hey thanks. Now, if only the snow would melt and the temp get above freezing for more then a day...
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-20-2009, 05:51 PM
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Rear end hopping

Snow melt, isn't this the wrong season to be anxiously awaiting the thaw? where are you? Move south.
At 218 pounds you are probably feeling the suspension bounce off of the bottom cushion.
To fix your ride and bounce consider upgrading your rear shock. There just is not much range of adjustment in the stocker. BTW, the original shock has very mickey-mouse damping system in it. The earlier ones are even worse.
You can install or have installed a Racetech Goldvalve kit in the shock and a proper spring on it for your weight then consider a set of Racetech Cartridge Emulators and springs inside the forks, and all of a sudden the bike will fit you better.
Adding all the preload available will not make the springs or damping right for your weight.
There is a whole new world out there for you, yes it will cost a little but it will make a huge improvement, among the best things you can spend upgrade monies on with the KLR.
I have a revalved Racetech Kitted OEM shock for sale, and a Penske 8900e specifically for a late model KLR.

'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
www.gmdatl.com
the str8ner
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-20-2009, 07:35 PM
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Hi -

I don't know a damn thing about suspension. It's a total mystery to me.

I did, however, have problems with washboard roads. In my case, as I was riding the washboards the rear suspension would "sit down". In the fuzzy recesses of my mind I was able to figure out that the damping was wrong - something was allowing the rear spring to compress, but not rebound. The rear end got pounded down into a squatting position and then everything went to crap.

I got off the bike and adjusted the damping position a half turn or so and it got worse quicker. Lacking any other imaginative solution, I got off and turned it a half turn past the original position. It didn't seem any better, but was no worse. I have no idea if that little screw adjusts the damping upon compression or extension of the shock, or if it really does nothing at all except give inveterate tinkerers a thing to adjust.

It was then that I realized that the KLR suspension isn't any good if you're a Clydesdale and resolved that a) I needed a primer in basic motorcycle suspension, and b) I needed to invest in mo' betta stuff.

At this point, I'm leaning towards the Ricor stuff, but it won't be until next spring (no pun intended)...

Tom

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 10-20-2009 at 07:39 PM.
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-20-2009, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
I have no idea if that little screw adjusts the damping upon compression or extension of the shock...

Tom
I don't remember about the '07 and earlier models, but on the '08+ shocks the screw adjusts both compression and rebound. It just varies the fluid flow by restricting an orifice.

Ron
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-21-2009, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger Ron View Post
I don't remember about the '07 and earlier models, but on the '08+ shocks the screw adjusts both compression and rebound. It just varies the fluid flow by restricting an orifice.

Ron
Ron -

Thanks! I just learned something.

My first attempt softened the damping action in both directions and made the problem worse. My second attempt stiffened it and I was back to where I started, but it took a bit bigger hit to make the shock compress, stay compressed, and sag the rear end.

I still have a lot to learn, but now I know what to go after. a year shock should have separate adjustments for damping, one for compression, one for extension.

Tom
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-21-2009, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
I know what to go after. a year shock should have separate adjustments for damping, one for compression, one for extension.

Tom
Yeah. I guess Kawasaki didn't think we were worthy.

Ron
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-26-2009, 08:02 AM
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Rear end hopping

Hey ya'll,
The KLR is an econo model, those adjustment features add complexity and cost.
You're right about the adjustment for rebound affecting the compression. It is a very simple bleed that affects both circuits.
I put a remote resevoir on my KLAR shock, so now I have independant compression and rebound adjusters.
Racetech offers a Rebound Separator Valve that is cheap and effective. It makes the oem shock function like a more expensive shock.
I also removed the nearly useless stock plunger bobber piston and put in the racetech goldvalve piston. That actually has a tune-able shim stack and better port design for much better damping.
I tried a couple of variations onthe shim stack to come up with a multi-stage shim stack that works very well.
now my bike skims over those old washboards. The bouncy, wallowing has been replaced with a planted solid feel that plants the bike quickly as I flick it off into the turns on pavement, and it handles rough surfaces with ease.

You gotta have the right spring in place too, to support the weight of you, your load and the bike. My weight of 175# is okay, if borderline, on the stock spring.
All this makes a huge difference in comfort, ride quality and control.

To buy a bike that has that stuff in place stock, it is spelled KTM, not klr. Even more expensive bikes need their suspension tailored and fixed.
The sun's coming up, I'm going ridin'.
Good'day mates.

'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
www.gmdatl.com
the str8ner
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