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Discussion Starter #1
I have never been a fan of how the gen 1 handled. I have had the bike since it was new and never got use to how it felt in corners and how twitchy it felt at other times, the bike just felt loose. New tires helped, suspension set up for my weight helped but nothing completely solved the problems. I hated the bike on the track. It became even more apparent how bad it handled riding it after my track bike.

I removed the 3mm shim for the rear shock and with the increased trail it wasn't so twitchy but you had to fight it in the corners. So at this point the bike was on the chopping block. Than the ass fell out of the economy and I knew I wouldn't be able to sell it for a decent price. So I decided to play around with the shims on the rear shock again. I installed the 3mm shim again just to be sure it wasn't me, yep it handled like sh*t. I took the bike out and it would fall into the corners and wallow through the sweepers.

So now I had to find some shims, Kawi sells them for over a $100,:eyecrazy: now there was no way I was going to pay that for some freakin' washers. So I googled 17x32x1 and there it was, a washer for a Suzuki DRZ400(09181-17019) part of the kick starter. I ordered three and installed only one on the bike. It handles better than my track bike now. I cannot tell how well this bike handles with the 1mm shim installed. I don't know how anyone thought it handled well with the stock settings,:dontknow: more power to you. It now feels like a completely different bike, the bike turns with little effort and tracks through sweepers like it is on rails. Transitions from right to left are effortless. So for a couple of bucks and an hour of my time I have a new bike.:mrgreen:
 

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So let me get this straight. You put the 3mm shim/washer back in and it handle like crap,so you added another 1mm shin/washer to it . Or you removed the 3mm and put in just the 1mm. Just need to be clear before I try this trick. :hello:
 

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thanks for the info!
 

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Sounds like the op felt the bike was too twitchy. Therefore put a 1mm shim in to replace the 3mm shim, dropping 2mm of rear height. This would make it less prone to turn in, and feel more planted.

Personally, I don't have any trouble holding my line on my 04, and doesn't seem too twitchy to me. There's probably something to it though, since Kawi themselves tamed down the 2nd gen's handling from the first gen, maybe the REALLY fast guys can benefit from a less radical rear ride height.
 

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hey! ive got a question for you.

ive got a gen 1 and i got the sags set up for my weight and dropped the forks by 5mm. it still felt pretty lethargic on the initial turn in. i dropped the forks by another 5mm and now the front feels like it wants to tuck in . any sugesstions??

cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
hey! ive got a question for you.

ive got a gen 1 and i got the sags set up for my weight and dropped the forks by 5mm. it still felt pretty lethargic on the initial turn in. i dropped the forks by another 5mm and now the front feels like it wants to tuck in . any sugesstions??

cheers!
Trail can vary as the bike leans or steers. In the case of traditional geometry, trail decreases (and wheelbase increases if measuring distance between ground contact points and not hubs) as the bike leans and steers in the direction of the lean.

Since you dropped the front a total of 10mm you have changed the trail alot. So as you begin your turn it is really screwed up. It would be like adding another 3mm shim to the rear. If I remember correctly 1mm in the rear is equal to ~3mm in the front. Put the front back to stock height, remove the rear 3mm shim(washer) buy the 1mm washer I have listed and install it and you will be good to go. For a couple of bucks and an hour of your time you will be surprised how well it will handle.

I have proven it to myself that something as small as 1mm can change the whole setup. I hope this helps.
 

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hmm. its starting to make a bit more sense. what tyres are you running and how much do you weigh?? my initial problem though was that the bike wont turn in quickly enough. whould that go away with the shims??

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
hmm. its starting to make a bit more sense. what tyres are you running and how much do you weigh?? my initial problem though was that the bike wont turn in quickly enough. whould that go away with the shims??

Cheers!
I am running Pilot Powers with a 50 rear. I weigh about 155lbs and wear full leathers when I ride so all geared up I am about 175. When you drop the forks so much you also put more weight on to the front of the bike, this can also have an adverse affect on handling. 10mm is alot when it comes to the geometry of the bikes setup. As for my bikes ability to turn in quickly, it turns in better than my track bike. It is very flickable without the twitchy behavior. The bike gives much more feedback instead of the loose unconnected feel that I would get before. When I completely removed the shim the bike was much harder to steer, I had to muscle it through tight turns.

http://www.sportrider.com/tech/146_0310_art/index.html
 

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thanks mate . im just trying to figure out how me being an extra 10 kilos/ 25 pounds will affect the setup. i ride in full gear as well so maybe ill start off with a 1 mil shim and add another one if i need . Cheers!
 

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I think alot of it has to do with rider weight and riding style. I had no handling issues with my 05. But I also weight 225 without gear on. I dropped the front by 5mm and with running the PP it raises the rear I think 3mm from stock. Glad you got yours to handle the way you want! Nice job on finding a solution.
 

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Hey bro,

what difference would it make if the rear was lowered with a lowering link

by 1".

Would that 1mm shim still help me, cause I'm not crazy about the way my 05 handles
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey bro,

what difference would it make if the rear was lowered with a lowering link

by 1".

Would that 1mm shim still help me, cause I'm not crazy about the way my 05 handles
If you lowered the rear a full inch and did nothing to the front, that is going to make the bike handle like crap. You increased the trail alot. Any time you lower either end of a motorcycle, you must lower the opposite end an identical amount. Unless you want to change the bike's steering characteristics.

Why did you only lower the rear?

http://www.sportrider.com/tech/146_0210_lower/index.html
 

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If you lowered the rear a full inch and did nothing to the front, that is going to make the bike handle like crap. You increased the trail alot. Any time you lower either end of a motorcycle, you must lower the opposite end an identical amount. Unless you want to change the bike's steering characteristics.

Why did you only lower the rear?

http://www.sportrider.com/tech/146_0210_lower/index.html


I didn't lower it. I bought it that way from the previous owner.

I am going to remove the lowering link, cause you are right.

The bike handles like ass in the curves. Doesn't want to hold a line in

the curve.

When I take it off, I want to learn how to set up the suspension

for me being 5' 11" & 220 lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I didn't lower it. I bought it that way from the previous owner.

I am going to remove the lowering link, cause you are right.

The bike handles like ass in the curves. Doesn't want to hold a line in

the curve.

When I take it off, I want to learn how to set up the suspension

for me being 5' 11" & 220 lbs.
When you get the bike back to the stock height, you should be good to go. Heavier ppl seem to have less handling issues on the gen1 than lighter ones. You can look at the top of the rear shock to see if there is a washer there. Get it back to stock, set the sag, compression and damping then if you have to, raise/lower the front/rear.

http://www.gostar-racing.com/information/motorcycle_suspension_set-up.htm
 

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This thread doesn't make sense to me. If you lower your rear, you lose turn- in. It's no secret that raising the rear or raising the front helps turn in. I know when I went to a 190/55 2ct compared to a PP 190/50 that I gained turn-in and the bike held a line better. :dontknow:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
This thread doesn't make sense to me. If you lower your rear, you lose turn- in. It's no secret that raising the rear or raising the front helps turn in. I know when I went to a 190/55 2ct compared to a PP 190/50 that I gained turn-in and the bike held a line better. :dontknow:
You are correct raising the rear to a certain point will help turn in. What I think you meant when it comes to lowering and not "rasing" the front, is raisng the fork tubes. Going from a 50 to 55 tire probably raised the rear of your bike 10mm or more. This is just the beginning.

Rake, Trail and Wheel base are in most magazine articles but they are only half of the story... The following measurements are equally or even more important factors affecting stability and traction of a motorcycle.

Steering head to Swing arm pivot is a measurement most people seldom hear about yet, it is a very important number.

Swing arm angle is pretty self explanatory and is more important them most people can imagine.

Axle height is affected by the tires actual diameter it also affects Rake, Trail and Swing arm angles

Lowering the front or rear of a bike by as little as 5 mm can be the difference between a setting that works and one that wont. How often do you hear a race was won after they finally got the bike suspension or chassis figured / sorted out? All of a sudden the lap times come down and from there it is history.

When you raise the back of the bike it will reduce the Rake and Trail. It will make the bike turn in faster but how will it affect rear wheel Traction? and Stability? But, how was the bike raised in the rear? If you lengthened the rear shock you also increased the swing arm angle and shortened the wheel base... On the other hand if you put on a taller tire like the Dunlop 195 then you have reduced the swing arm angle and did not change the wheel base...

What happens if the front end is Lowered I.E. the forks are moved so more of them stick out above the triple clamps. This reduces the Rake, Trail, Wheel base and it also reduces the swing arm angle... A smaller front tire will do the same although it will not noticeably affect the wheel base.

Suspension settings are personal, what works for one may not work for another, there is trial and error involved in finding a good set up. If something works for you that is all that is important.
 
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