zx10 2004 need advice on ohlins shock setup - Kawasaki ZX-10R.net
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-14-2013, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Question zx10 2004 need advice on ohlins shock setup

Hey guys, I'm asking for suspension setup advice since I ran out if ideas.
I was running a stock setup on track an it felt just fine, however I decided to upgrade my shock to Ohlins (KA345) since it should have been better.
Before that I've changed stock 190\50 tire to 190\55 and it still felt fine, despite being slightly higher (7mm according to my calculations). I even felt I could get better lean angles and some reserve on the tire edge. Then I fit my new shock from Dan Kyle and changed the gearing to -1\+3 (16-42 now). And the problems began. First off, I couldn't get a correct sag of 25-30mm, it was only about 20mm with hydraulic preload set to full soft and the bike started to run wide on corner exit. I tried to raise the forks in clamps for 5mm and back the spring preload for 5 turns out, but it didn't help much. After numerous experiments and calculationsI wrote to Dan and he confirmed that the spring they installed (.95Nm) was incorrect for my weight (65kg without gear) and he sent me .90Nm for free. Now I changed the spring and returned forks and shock preload as they were. Still I can barely get 25mm of rear sag with stock Ohlins preload setting set to full soft. I also changed for the softer (.90) fork springs to match my weight, cut the spacers to get a correct front preload, and it still doesn't handle nearly as well as it was with the stock shock. I don't feel any problems running it on the streets, but once I go to the track it runs very wide, I have to close the gas to try to keep the line, my times dropped to +5-7 seconds of my best. I read numerous very detailed suspension guides, tried the comp\rebound settings back and forth and back to stock, actually the only thing I haven't tried yet is changing rear ride height, since the shock length is the same. I even had to buy a new bike (zx6r 2011) and after running it i'm now confident that this is the geometry problem. I read that zx10 2004 is a hard bike to setup, but I didn't think it is that hard, however, I don't want to surrender yet because I love this bike.
I know, that the best advice will be to get the bike to the suspension workshop and get the job done by pros, unfortunately there is no such opportunity within 500 miles, and probably it'll be in another country as well)
So I need your advice on what to try next - raise or lower the rear height? I can only get -5\+7mm with Ohlins length adjusters, will it be enough or should I change the dogbones? Get back to stock tire height? Back out the preload to get more rear sag? Raise the forks? Change the shock back to stock and see how it goes with current tire and gearing?
Any help appreciated.
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-15-2013, 09:30 AM
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I would back the preload out and add some ride height in the rear, that gen ZX10 really responds well to getting the rear up in the air. Considering you already have a taller tire it won't take much, but add 2-3mm in the length of the shcok and see if the problems continue. On corner exit once you are pretty much finished with the corner if you get aggressive with the throttle does the bike have a tendency to spin or wheelie? Reason I ask is because next thing i would look into is swingarm angle. Just some food for thought.
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-16-2013, 05:39 AM
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Suspension Set-Up

I'm no expert, but I spent a long time setting up the suspension on my gen3 and this is basically what I discovered on the way

Optimum geometry is largely down to Swing arm angle and 12.5 degrees is considered to be about right. I believe the stock gen 1 is close to optimum

Adding rear ride height by fitting a taller tire actually reduces the swing arm angle increasing the tendency of the bike to squat and run wide on corner exit. Adding height at the shock would restore the correct geometry

Alterations to the sprocket size (gearing) will also affect the swing arm angle (look for the chain running close to the top of the arm)

Dropping the front by raising the forks in the yokes helps with corner entry, but again, actually flattens swing arm angle and can also cause running wide on exit.

(You cant alter the front without affecting the rear and vice versa)

I would suggest restoring the front ride height to stock and raising the rear ride height by degrees until it starts to feel better. 4mm-6mm should be plenty enough at the rear.

I wouldn't worry too much about rider sag, but I would aim for 28mm free sag at the front and 10mm at the rear. 25mm rear rider sag should be OK. I'm sure you already have a zip tie on the fork leg which will help you set preload to use nearly all the available travel

Once again, I'm no expert, but maybe some of this will help you sort this problem

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post #4 of 7 Old 06-16-2013, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys, I'm starting thinking it's really because of the squat, so I'm going back to stock sprockets and tyre profile to see how it goes. Will let you know after Wednesday.
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-29-2013, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Hi guys, I tried my old 525 17-38 chain-sprockets setup and new tires with 50 profile (q2 - like them alot) and finally it worked! The bike goes where I tell him to, like the old days. Still I don't know if it were affected mostly by anti-squat due to gearing or poor front tire condition (looked nice though) and higher rear tire profile. And I thought I will never know but suddenly in the last session my old chain was torn apart on the straight. So I have 520 chain left and my 17-39 sprockets aren't shipped yet. Since I have a city cup race on 6th of July, I think I'll try 16-41 setup with +5mm in rear ride height. Hope it will the right balance, otherwise I'll have to buy another 17-39 sprockets here)
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-01-2013, 07:36 PM
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I put an ohlins shock on my 1gen and had the same problem this past weekend. I didn't measure my rear before i put the ohlins on. How do i measure the rear? I tried to get the shocks same length but not sure. Can u help me out with stock height and where to measure? Thanks
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-05-2013, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Hi again guys, great news! I raised the tail by 5mm and put 16-41 sprockets and surprisingly I beat my last year's record! I'm so glad this thing began to work. It still has a tendency to run wide, comparing to my stock zx6r, but I can deal with it for now. Still playing with rebound damping since bike's chasis shakes on corner exit. Soon I'll get my racetech's compression and rebound valves for the fork, good time to start the setup from the blank)

toedragger24, ohlins and stock shock should be the same length, there is some topic on the net comparing this. start with proper rider sag first
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