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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Pressure in rear shocks

I just got around to messing with the rear suspension. I checked the pressure and there was basically none in them. The PO didn' ride it much and probably never messed with them. For giggles I put 30psi in and set the damping setting to 2. I weigh about 150 and 99% of the time I am solo so I'll see tomorrow what this feels like.

But I was curious what the rest of you guys have done or what opinions you have (if any!) regarding these adjustments?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 06:31 PM
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Kawasaki recommends dampening set at 2 and no additional air pressure in the rear shocks for riders up to 150 lbs. You can add air pressure up to 43 PSI as your load increases due to additional weight from riders or luggage, etc. Basically it's a matter of personal preference for both dampening and shock PSI. Do not exceed 71 PSI or you may blow your shocks. Also, be certain to match the PSI in both shocks exactly. I'm sure you already know this, though.

I've got 20 PSI in both shocks because I ride occasionally with my wife on the back, and sometimes with luggage strapped to the rear rack. Haven't noticed any difference when I ride solo, but my wife says the 20 PSI makes it a bit softer when we ride 2 up. I probably should go up to 30 PSI when we take a long ride together.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 08:46 PM
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I don't remember if was a suggestion or in the owners manual, but there was something about having the shock pressure max at 10% of the load on the bike. So if you've got 300lbs on the bike (rider, gear and anything else loaded on the bike) the 30lbs is a good pressure to go with.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperbuzzin View Post
I don't remember if was a suggestion or in the owners manual, but there was something about having the shock pressure max at 10% of the load on the bike. So if you've got 300lbs on the bike (rider, gear and anything else loaded on the bike) the 30lbs is a good pressure to go with.
That's kind of the "rule of thumb" around here and VROC.
P.S. use a hand pump to do this, never a compressor!

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 10:09 AM
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The previous owner and wife rode 2-up and they were not petite. So, they had set the shock pressure and dampers accordingly. However, I weigh 152lbs, ride solo without luggage on good roads. My first few rides after picking up the bike were a bit uncomfortable, due to the suspension stiffness. I set the dampers back to 2 and, with the bike on the center stand, released the pressure in the shocks (set to factory atmosphere). The ride is much better now.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 03:45 PM
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I use the 10% rule and set them both to 2. The ride is very comfortable.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperbuzzin View Post
I don't remember if was a suggestion or in the owners manual, but there was something about having the shock pressure max at 10% of the load on the bike. So if you've got 300lbs on the bike (rider, gear and anything else loaded on the bike) the 30lbs is a good pressure to go with.


Actualy it was from a post of mine back in 2003. I had an old chart given to me from a suspension tech at a race track that listed various psi figures for different weight riders. I basicly took the data an plotted it out and came up with an average percentage. It came to around .9 percent so I just rounded it up to 10.0 percent.

Someone had asked how much pressure he should run in his shocks so I offered the formula as a starting point. Appearently it worked well as I now see it given out on several forums. I guess I should have called it Knifemakers Therom or something stupid like that, but as I got it from some guy whose name I do not remember, its fine as is...lol.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Well, here is my evaluation about today's ride to work with 25lbs of pressure in the shocks and the damper set to 2: pretty dang good! Perhaps I may take 5lbs out and make it 20lbs even but other than that It actually feels much better than what it was set at previously (atmosphere and 4).

BTW, I did use a compressor, but I have a compressor with a pressure regulator. So I can set it for 25lbs and it will put 25lbs into whatever I press the air valve on to. If you do not have a regulator then for sure use a hand pump.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kontiki View Post
use a hand pump.
Actually, a regular hand pump will not work for pumping up shocks. You need a zero-loss hand pump (Progressive makes a good one).


Chris Glennon - Portland, OR
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Good point, I'm not sure how well a hand pump would work unless it had a very good check valve. Then you have to balance each side with pressure gauge... sounds kindof ugly.

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