I just bought a 2000 ZX-6R. I had an EX500 for a few years, so I know how to ride, but I don't know how to adjust the suspension. Where can I find instructions on doing this. Or is it just something I can fiddle around with until I like it?
Compression damping for the front is at the flat-head screwdriver slot behind the fork legs; for the rear, it's at the top of the monoshock.
Rebound damping for the front is the flat-head screwdriver slot at the top of the fork legs; for the rear, it's the flat blade slot in front of the bottom linkage of the rear shock.
Maximum damping is when the adjusters are turned all the way clockwise. Turning them counterclockwise reduces damping with each click out.
Rider weight (in full gear) is a significant factor in determining suspension set-up.
The first thing you need to do is to find out what your settings are (i.e., if the previous owner has dialed it in for himself) by turning the adjusters in clockwise and carefully counting the clicks. Make a note of them and make sure they are equal when restoring the settings. If the former owner weighed approximately the same as you, you may not have to do anything.
Initially, you might just want to play with the rebound damping to reduce bounciness, especially in corners which is how my bike (same as yours) was when I first got it.
Depending on how far you are from the 150 pound rider for whom Kawasaki set up the bike, you'll have to think about adjusting pre-load.
i have an 02 zx6r and im trying to dial in my settings.. how do i adjust accordingly to my weight? i see all the front/rear dampening, both rebound, and comp.), but where can i adjust my weight? I'm 140 and i like to ride the twisties...
here are the recommended settings for the 01 6R from sportrider mag.
front preload: 5 lines showing
front rebound damping: 7 clicks out
front comp. damping: 11 clicks out
rear preload: stock
rear comp. damping: 4 clicks out
Our settings must be different in Australia, the adjusters don't click and the manual states settings in number of turns from fully screwed in. Not sure how this relates to your number of clicks.
Poch - do you reckon that rebound is the setting to soften if you are light and getting bounced off the seat on bumpy roads? I have adjusted both my forks and shock to be 1/4 turn softer than standard for compression which seems to have made a difference.
Front and rear preload and rebound are stock.
Red 2002 ZX-6R 636
It's not the speed that kills, it's the sudden stop...
I guess a click equals 1/4 turn. Really, the damping adjusters don't click? Rather odd that Kawasaki would have different types of shocks for different markets, unless the shock was locally supplied, I guess. Is it a Kayaba?
If I recall right, the stock settings are for a 150lb rider, so turning out to softer settings would be the thing to do. For the rear, the stock settings are both 10 for rebound and compression. I would try softening compression by 1 unit first, and go from there. From what I've read, a one unit difference between rebound and compression (with rebound being harder) is the way to go for those blessed with less weight.
Poch, thanks for posting those suspension settings! I'm 140lbs and I've been running around on the PB setup which has been beating me up on the road. The bike feels worlds better with your settings on the road and better than stock settings too. I haven't changed my tire pressures yet though. Have you noticed any negative effects from running 32/33 on the street as opposed to what Kawi recommends?
It was posted elsewhere on this forum that the 36/41 pressures are for maximum load on the bike (i.e., 2 up with baggage or something), but whatever it is, it is not applicable for the usual load of a single rider.
So, the short answer is no, I haven't noticed any negative effects such as on handling. As an intermediate step, you might want to try 32 front, 36 rear, but I can tell you that a 31/33 set-up is much kinder to your back. [^]
Sorry, but in the epic search for suspension settings, I never came across info based on a sliding scale. The dividing line was lighter or heavier than 75 kg (about 165 lbs).
You might want to start with this:
Front compression: 7 clicks out
Front rebound: 6 clicks out
Front preload: 1 full turn in from stock six lines showing
Rear Compression: 10 clicks out
Rear rebound: 7 clicks out
Rear preload: 178 mm (reduced from 180mm)
Tire pressure: 36 psi front, 36 rear
Forgot to mention, guys, tire pressures should be COLD.
Hope that does it for you. By the way, to clarify: 1 turn in from stock means clockwise (harder preload) up front.
Yep, raised it up 11mm. Info recommends a max of 8 mm, which is maybe why the front was a bit loose -- cured it with a little more preload. Now corners telepathically -- I curl over the tank on the left, it turns left; over on the right, bike leans right. I don't even think about countersteering anymore [^]
I weighed 165 lbs about 10 pounds ago [:I]. My settings are a bit different because of the +11mm ride height adjustment, requiring more of everything up front so it neither dives nor chatters under braking.
Try the settings I suggested to perry 929, which worked great for me until I jacked up the rear. For our weight on stock settings, the bike has a tendency to wallow in corners until you firm up the rear rebound damping a bit. I was perfectly happy with the settings on the road.
Thanks Poch, I'll be trying those settings out tomorrow. Yeah, I noticed the bike does wallow some when cornering; this is especially noticeable on a weaving roads. By the way, why did you adjust your ride height adjustment?
Also... what would you recommend me doing when I take a 140lb passenger? Riding around with her on the stock settings was horrible... she had fun, but man, was it ever not fun for me!
You got me there -- my first reply to you actually had the reason (which I deleted) why I jacked up the rear, and it really is just vanity. [:I] I had installed a fender eliminator and I wanted the rear to show more space, so in went the 11mm spacer. Had to work from there to restore its stable handling, which I have.
This is why I have so much info on suspension settings, because it took me a month of riding on varied roads to find one that works most of the time.
I haven't regretted the change, because the bike steers quicker now than before. If you ask me if it's necessary tho, I will say no, if you don't intend to ride track days and such.
As for 2-up riding, I confess I don't take pillions -- I'll only risk my own neck. But I guess this is where the stock settings come into play. With the added weight, you'll need to increase tire pressure and reduce rebound damping (softer) so the bike doesn't pack down.
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