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Nice pics and write up of the install. Hard part is done. Hope it handles for you but I'm betting on seeing a ZX6/10 swap in the spring. If so I hope you write it up like you did on this one.

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Discussion Starter #24
Nice pics and write up of the install. Hard part is done. Hope it handles for you but I'm betting on seeing a ZX6/10 swap in the spring. If so I hope you write it up like you did on this one.

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There is always a naysayer (Othen’s law)

:)


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Nice pics and write up of the install. Hard part is done. Hope it handles for you but I'm betting on seeing a ZX6/10 swap in the spring. If so I hope you write it up like you did on this one.

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There is always a naysayer (Othen’s law)

?


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Maybe, but more to the point there is a hell of a lot (like two decades worth, and a couple of the guys that have responded are a big share) of accumulated knowledge and experience with these bikes on this forum, and just because you didn't get a detailed response within 12 hours of posting doesn't mean you are breaking new ground.

Just because not everyone is rushing to pat you on the back for fitting that particular shock also doesn't make them nay-sayers. The reason GSXR shocks are not recommended as a first best option is because they have been researched, tried, tested, and found to be not the best option.

There are a couple of very long and involved threads on the subject, such as:
https://www.svrider.com/forum/?utm_source=a2hs#/topics/46840

As with most suspension related mods, physical fitment is only your first hurdle. Your comments above lead me to believe that you have at least some awareness of things like linkage geometry and spring rates... but you need to also consider the overall geometry and attitude of the bike.

I'm also going to assume that since you refer to it as a sports bike (it's really a standard with a fairing) that you'd like to keep it sporty, rather than tourey or cruis(er)ey. This is where the GSXR option generally falls down, and it's just about the length. As built these bikes are more commuters than racers - relatively high bars, low pegs, soft springs, long forks. By lowering the rear with a shorter shock, even one with a stiffer spring, you are compromising the good bits engineered into the design, like chassis balance and linkage ratio, while exaggerating the not-so-good aspects like conservative weight distribution and geometry determined for comfort over performance.

To improve the handling, in general terms, you want to tip the bike forward onto it's front wheel, closer to the angles of a supersport - steeper rake, more weight over the front for steering/braking, more anti-squat for less weight transfer under accelleration, etc.

A shorter shock sits the bike back like a Harley. You want to raise the tail more like an R6.

A stiffer rear shock, if not matched with a stiffer front end, will also emphasise the shortcomings of the basic factory front suspension. At 95kg you are absolutely right that you do want a stiffer shock spring than factory, but not on a shorter shock, and you will also definitely want to firm up the front end - .95 or 1.0 springs and 15w oil as a general start point.

I get where you're coming from re: tinkering project and budget aspects, but that just means you need to be smarter about your choices, and more thorough in your research. For what it's worth I ended up going with a '13 ZX6R unit, which was around 340mm from memory, bolted straight up, with sag numbers and damping feel that were ball-park for my 80kgs quick-ish road riding and occasional track excursions.

With all that said, the GSXR shock will doubtless be a significant improvement over the original, and good on you for nutting it out and getting it in there, sincerely. Be thankful you didn't have to deal with ABS!
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Maybe, but more to the point there is a hell of a lot (like two decades worth, and a couple of the guys that have responded are a big share) of accumulated knowledge and experience with these bikes on this forum, and just because you didn't get a detailed response within 12 hours of posting doesn't mean you are breaking new ground.

Just because not everyone is rushing to pat you on the back for fitting that particular shock also doesn't make them nay-sayers. The reason GSXR shocks are not recommended as a first best option is because ... !

Gosh, that was a bit uncharitable, you have made my out to be an ego-maniac.

I thought I’d made it clear in the above that this was a project bike that I’m improving on a budget (not because I can’t afford not to, but because the bike isn’t worth enough to invest much in). The Kawasaki parts you describe are fairly rare here in the UK, and so typically cost about £150, whereas the GSXR parts are plentiful and so cost £40.

I will try out the new arrangement in the spring. If it an improvement on the original then I’ll consider that a worthwhile small investment in a cheap project bike, if you are right and it turns out to be rubbish I’ll re-fit the cleaned up standard part.

My view was that writing up this little experiment might have been useful and interesting to others considering a cheap and easy modification to their older bike. However, in the future I’ll be more wary of posting, save I be accused of self-aggrandisement.

Best wishes,

O



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Maybe, but more to the point there is a hell of a lot (like two decades worth, and a couple of the guys that have responded are a big share) of accumulated knowledge and experience with these bikes on this forum, and just because you didn't get a detailed response within 12 hours of posting doesn't mean you are breaking new ground.

Just because not everyone is rushing to pat you on the back for fitting that particular shock also doesn't make them nay-sayers. The reason GSXR shocks are not recommended as a first best option is because ... !

Gosh, that was a bit uncharitable, you have made my out to be an ego-maniac.

I thought I’d made it clear in the above that this was a project bike that I’m improving on a budget (not because I can’t afford not to, but because the bike isn’t worth enough to invest much in). The Kawasaki parts you describe are fairly rare here in the UK, and so typically cost about £150, whereas the GSXR parts are plentiful and so cost £40.

I will try out the new arrangement in the spring. If it an improvement on the original then I’ll consider that a worthwhile small investment in a cheap project bike, if you are right and it turns out to be rubbish I’ll re-fit the cleaned up standard part.

My view was that writing up this little experiment might have been useful and interesting to others considering a cheap and easy modification to their older bike. However, in the future I’ll be more wary of posting, save I be accused of self-aggrandisement.

Best wishes,

O



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That wasn't how it was intended, so sorry if it came across that way.

I just wanted to reiterate the advice you had been given, which you seemed to have either dismissed or ignored.

I do understand the minimal budget ethos, believe me! I'm surprised that Kwak parts are less plentiful over there than Zook bits, but I'll take your word for it. Maybe I just got really lucky finding mine so cheap.

Please don't be discouraged... just do your research, and heed experienced advice even if it differs from what you want to hear.

All the best!
 

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
The long winter (well, the winter plus a few more months of Coronavirus lock down) is over, it is a lovely day so I taxed the SV650 and took it for a first spin since I fitted a GSXR 750 rear suspension unit - plus adjusted the ride height back to exactly standard with a set of dog bones 6mm shorter.

The SV started up on the button, ran perfectly and nothing had seized or broken during the break (the bike is garaged and I have started it perhaps once per month, plus I think I re-charged the battery either once or twice in 6 months). We filled up with some new gas (although it seemed to be running fine on the remains of the old stuff) and headed off on about a 30 mile excursion around Northamptonshire, Rutland and Leicestershire.

I’m pleased to report that the suspension swap has resulted in a complete transformation of the rear end: no more fear of bottoming out over bumps, no more pogo stick damping and the handling and road holding are excellent. I’m really pleased with the change: the most effective £50 (£40 for the suspension unit plus a tenner for the dog bones) one could spend on a bike like this.

The SV650S makes me smile, for a 14 year old bike with 135,000 miles (but only 2 owners and history from new) it is marvellous:



Stay safe,

Alan


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The long winter (well, the winter plus a few more months of Coronavirus lock down) is over, it is a lovely day so I taxed the SV650 and took it for a first spin since I fitted a GSXR 750 rear suspension unit - plus adjusted the ride height back to exactly standard with a set of dog bones 6mm shorter.

The SV started up on the button, ran perfectly and nothing had seized or broken during the break (the bike is garaged and I have started it perhaps once per month, plus I think I re-charged the battery either once or twice in 6 months). We filled up with some new gas (although it seemed to be running fine on the remains of the old stuff) and headed off on about a 30 mile excursion around Northamptonshire, Rutland and Leicestershire.

I’m pleased to report that the suspension swap has resulted in a complete transformation of the rear end: no more fear of bottoming out over bumps, no more pogo stick damping and the handling and road holding are excellent. I’m really pleased with the change: the most effective £50 (£40 for the suspension unit plus a tenner for the dog bones) one could spend on a bike like this.

The SV650S makes me smile, for a 14 year old bike with 135,000 miles (but only 2 owners and history from new) it is marvellous:



Stay safe,

Alan


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Greetings from Nottinghamshire.
Isn't it nice to be able to get back out and ride again !!
I'm a relatively new SV owner having only passed my test on Christmas eve last year.
I too went down the road of swapping the rear shock, I used a 2014 zzr1400 unit and put some ktech .95 linear springs and silkolene rsf10 fork oil in the front.
For a budget of around £200 and a couple of hours in the garage the results are a massive improvement over the stock set up and plenty good enough for the riding I'll be doing.
Glad to hear you're happy with yours
Enjoy the bike and enjoy the sun

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Discussion Starter #30
Greetings from Nottinghamshire.
Isn't it nice to be able to get back out and ride again !!
I'm a relatively new SV owner having only passed my test on Christmas eve last year.
I too went down the road of swapping the rear shock, I used a 2014 zzr1400 unit and put some ktech .95 linear springs and silkolene rsf10 fork oil in the front.
For a budget of around £200 and a couple of hours in the garage the results are a massive improvement over the stock set up and plenty good enough for the riding I'll be doing.
Glad to hear you're happy with yours
Enjoy the bike and enjoy the sun

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Yes, it is good to be on the road again (I have some other bikes that I have used a bit during the winter, but it was good to get out on the SV650S today).

I think the ZZR is a slightly easier conversion - perhaps even a straight swap? The GSXR 750 needs a little bit of cutting plastic, and some change to the dog bones to make the ride height dead right, but there are lots of them around so they are really cheap. The standard SV suspension unit really isn’t all that good (particularly for the bigger rider, I’m 6’2” and 15 stone (210 lbs for Americans, 96Kg for Europeans)), and the result is £50 really well spent.

The front forks huff and puff a bit, but they were nowhere near as bad as the back end. I might change the oil, but for a 14 year old bike one has to be careful not to throw too much money at something that ain’t really broke.

Enjoy the good riding weather, and stay safe.

Alan


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I think the ZZR is a slightly easier conversion - perhaps even a straight swap? The GSXR 750 needs a little bit of cutting plastic

The standard SV suspension unit really isn’t all that good (particularly for the bigger rider, I’m 6’2” and 15 stone

The ZZR was a doddle, and yes, a straight swap with no cutting needed, especially on my 2003, there's no battery box in the way, there's loads of room.
I'm 15st too and found the bike very soft before I made the changes, it was like being on a bouncy castle !!

Like some have said, yes there are better options out there but not everyone wants to spend a fortune on their bike and I didn't really need a machine fit for the track, just something more suited to my weight


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Discussion Starter #32
The ZZR was a doddle, and yes, a straight swap with no cutting needed, especially on my 2003, there's no battery box in the way, there's loads of room.
I'm 15st too and found the bike very soft before I made the changes, it was like being on a bouncy castle !!

Like some have said, yes there are better options out there but not everyone wants to spend a fortune on their bike and I didn't really need a machine fit for the track, just something more suited to my weight


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The same: a rear suspension swap for a fairly cheap secondhand item results in a really good improvement for the SV650S, especially for larger riders. I know what you mean with the bouncy castle analogy.

I suspect there will be correspondents to this forum who say I’ve done the wrong thing and only a grand’s worth of new upgrade shocker would be good enough, but I disagree: cost has to be kept in context. My K6 is probably worth about a grand, so £50 spent on the rear suspension to improve its worst aspect is (in my opinion) money very well spent. Like you I don’t need a race bike, just one that doesn’t bounce around so much.

I think I’ll take advantage of the nice weather and the relaxation of the lock down to enjoy a spin on my SV650S :)

Stay safe,

Alan


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