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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know this is a perennial issue, and the answer may already lie somewhere out there in the long grass, but please indulge me a little.
My K6 SV650S still runs very well (remarkably so for a veteran of 135,000 miles), it isn’t worth investing in much, but I’ve located a good used rear suspension unit from a 2006 GSXR 750 that looks like it may be a fit (right sort of fittings both ends, the right length and the oil reservoir sticks out perpendicularly) - at a good price:



Would this fit my bike without too much modification? I don’t really want to start doing things like re-locating the battery.
Best wishes,
Alan


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Discussion Starter #2
... well, perhaps no one has tried this one.

I might just buy the used shock and give it a go, it looks about the right size and it is not too expensive to take a chance.
Alan
 

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Alan, not sure about how much do YSS shocks sell in your country, but when I had to replace the OEM shock of my 3rd Gen. SV I chose a Z-Series YSS, which is a drop-in part with basic settings (preload, rebound and eye-to-eye distance).
For a touristic use of the bike it's an affordable and comfortable choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Alan, not sure about how much do YSS shocks sell in your country, but when I had to replace the OEM shock of my 3rd Gen. SV I chose a Z-Series YSS, which is a drop-in part with basic settings (preload, rebound and eye-to-eye distance).
For a touristic use of the bike it's an affordable and comfortable choice.


Thank you so much for that.

I had considered a new YSS part, which would cost about £270 here. I appreciate it would be a well manufactured part and a direct replacement that would function perfectly well, but I have to keep the bike in perspective: I only paid £600 for it, so it would be difficult to justify spending nearly half as much again to replace an original part that isn’t broken. The issue isn’t really about money (I’m not a poor man: I have 3 other bikes and several cars I can use), but keeping a cheap, fun bike in perspective.

I bought the SV largely as a project (although it is also a fun small sports bike to ride) and have improved it considerably in my period of ownership, mostly with my time (putting everything together the way it is supposed to be) plus a little cash (mostly on good used parts, plus new brakes and tyres). It has been fun, and I’ve enjoyed taking something in need of some TLC and achieving a good bike.

So, that is the context. There is nothing wrong with the stock suspension unit, it works exactly the same way that Mr Suzuki intended 13 years ago. If I could improve on it at low cost (the GSXR unit I have found is only £40) and at the same time enjoy a small engineering challenge during the quiet winter months (winter is a miserable time for bikers here in England) then that would be in keeping with the ethos of the bike.

I was rather hoping someone on these pages might have either successfully fitted a 2006 GSXR unit, or just as relevant that someone might have tried and failed. I’ll leave it a day or two longer to see if anyone responds in that vein, but if not I’ll be tempted to buy the GSXR part and have a go - if the project fails it will serve to inform other members of this forum.

Very best wishes,

Alan


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If I remember correctly, you will have to cut the battery box for the clearance of the shock reservoir.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If I remember correctly, you will have to cut the battery box for the clearance of the shock reservoir.


Good information - how long ago was it you did the job?

When you did the change did you have any other issues? When you say cut the battery box, how much did you have to remove?

Many thanks - any more information you remember would be helpful.

Alan


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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Without anything to guide me to the contrary, I decided to go ahead and buy the GSXR rear suspension unit. There are contradictory accounts regarding whether it will be an easy replacement or need some modification to the bike scattered around the internet. I’ll find out whether I’ve made a wise or foolish purchase in about a week’s time :)

It looks like it should fit here if I just remove the rubber boot covering the tool box (I have never managed to get the tool roll back into its box, and it now lives in the seat tidy, so it will not be a disaster if I delete the box completely):



I took the original suspension unit off to inspect a year or so ago (it looks a bit scabby, but it still works as it should), I recall that was a pretty easy job (maybe 15 minutes) so it shouldn’t take too long to find out whether this idea is going to work or not.

Whichever way it turns out I’ll post a report with a few photos on these pages to either encourage or warn other readers.

Best wishes,

Alan


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Alan, I did it in 2007 or 2008. I think I cut about a half inch up and back the length of the front corner. I recommend mocking it up before cutting. You might not have to cut that much. I think I might have cut too much out of mine. I ended up replacing the plastic part that has the battery box and using a SV1000 shock.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Alan, I did it in 2007 or 2008. I think I cut about a half inch up and back the length of the front corner. I recommend mocking it up before cutting. You might not have to cut that much. I think I might have cut too much out of mine. I ended up replacing the plastic part that has the battery box and using a SV1000 shock.


Thank you for that, it is good to have some first hand experience.

The GSXR item was inexpensive, so if I’m not happy with it when I do a test fit then I won’t have lost much (and I suspect I could re-sell it on eBay quite easily).

Best wishes,

Alan


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Find a shock that is 330mm eye to eye like your stock shock. 05 06 zx6 is most common due to length. Next was the Zx10 (07 08 I think) zx14 is popular because the 90° resivoir but about 8mm longer. Compensate with a 70 profile front tire to help.

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
My word, there is a great deal of confusion and contradictory information on this subject!

By some investigation this morn I think I now have Mr. Suzuki’s own figures for the length of the two suspension units. The SV650S is 329.5mm (between centres) and the 2006 GSXR 750 is 325mm, so a 5.5mm difference.

I’ve just had a look at the mechanism and can see that the mechanical advantage should lead to a difference in ride height of about half this, so 2-3mm. Until the part arrives on Monday, and I’ve fitted it, I can’t be sure about that, so I’ve made a record of the current seat height on the garage wall using a builder’s spirit level, and I’ll do the same afterwards.

If the difference really is 2-3mm that will be well within the normal margins of error, and I think will be corrected by the more apposite spring rate for my weight (the SV650S spring rate being 9.1 Kg/mm and the GSXR 750 is 9.5Kg/mm; I weigh 15 stones in England, 210 lbs in America and 95 Kg in Germany).

I still don’t know whether I will have to modify the battery box or the tool box to give enough clearance for the GSXR 750 unit. I have read accounts saying people achieved this change with no modifications at all, that the rubber cover to the tool box must be removed and that the battery box must be modified. It is possible that all three of these accounts are true, and that people have used slightly different models of the GSXR unit. The one I have bought has a perpendicular reservoir, so I’m hoping it will fit well, but only time will tell.

I’ll follow this up with some notes and photos when Mr DPD delivers the GSXR suspension unit on Monday.

I hope there will be a good outcome, and either way this will have been an interesting project, in line with the ethos of the bike.

Good fortune,

Alan


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Discussion Starter #15
Whatever length difference is in shock length will almost double at axle rear seat.


Have you measured or calculated that, or is it just a guess?

I don’t know the answer yet, that is why I’ve marked the original height on the garage wall, I’ll measure the outcome.


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Measured long time ago, don't remember exact number, somewhere around 1:2 ratio.
Suzuki will give you suspension travel, think around 5". You can measure shock travel and dividing those two will give you ratio.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Measured long time ago, don't remember exact number, somewhere around 1:2 ratio.
Suzuki will give you suspension travel, think around 5". You can measure shock travel and dividing those two will give you ratio.


Excellent - now that is useful. If the unit that turns up is just 4.5mm less than standard and the outcome is 9mm or there about, I think that should be fine.

If the rear end is lowered too much then the options will be to either drop the front forks through the clamps by 9mm or jack up the rear end with shorter dog bones.

I started stripping the bike in readiness for the part arriving, the old shock is off (only about 15 minutes work to remove 3 bolts) but I discovered the clamp that secures the rear exhaust pipe to the header had completely rotted away. Fortunately I found a good used one in my box of useful bits (never throw parts away), so that is another job that I didn’t know needed doing fixed on the way.

Best wishes,

Alan


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Longer than stock is only thing that improves handling on this bike, everything else makes it worse than stock. Keep that on mind if you decide to start changing dog bones and front end.
 

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Good info in this thread. Higher is better. I just heard from a very reliable source that they set up their gen2 race bikes at 345 eye to eye! This is a team that has won in MA Twins Cup. That being said if you are just commuting dropping the front should compensate but I would not mess with shorter links. That brings other geometry issues.


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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
The GSXR 750 suspension unit arrived this morn, I wasn’t busy so I thought I’d see if it fitted. The SV was already jacked up in the bike shed and I’d taken the old shock absorber off a few days ago:



It became clear that the reservoir would interfere with the tool box (the bit that hangs below the battery box and is too small to get the original tool roll into). I decided on a quick and dirty method - there being little point wasting time on something that might not work - so I quickly trimmed the front of the tool box away with a battery powered multi-tool saw, it probably took about half an hour, then the shock fitted. Mechanically it was an easy fit, I used the top bolt and nut from the GSXR to secure the bottom bracket (I had to grind about 1mm off the end) and the original SV fastener at the top:



There was about a roll up cigarette paper’s clearance between the reservoir and the bottom of the battery box under no load (but that will increase with load), I decided that was enough and put the battery back in its original home:



I may re-visit this to tidy things up a bit (but then again I might leave it if it runs okay), but for now I put everything back together to do a gross error check. The replacement shock was just under 10mm shorter than the original, when I measured the new seat height you may see it is 15mm lower than with the standard suspension:



That seems acceptable, and there is clearly much less as sag under load than with the 13 year old, 135,000 mile original item.

The bike sits on its side stand pretty well, so I don’t think I’ll have to shorten that:



... and it looks quite well balanced:



The new shock absorber fits fairly well in the tool roll space and everything seems to work okay:



Road testing will have to wait until the spring (I’ve declared the bike SORN and it isn’t worth paying the tax during the winter), but my first impression is that this has worked okay. I’ll probably do a bit of fettling when I get a spare day, but this only took about 3 hours today (much of which was working out how to cut the plastic - I considered taking the whole under-seat tray out, but that would have taken most of the day so I did it in situ).



One advantage of running an old, high mileage bike like this is that I can try things out that I wouldn’t on a new bike. This was a £40 modification that will probably improve the bike a bit - I think that is a good outcome.

Alan


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