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K-tech full upgrade


Bartek
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Just got done K-tech full upgrade - springs, front forks valve kit and rear shock re-valving.

I thought i will share my observations, as there was nothing online from independant users (K-tech videos only and MCN test).

 

Got it done by suspension specialist, who suggest spring rates basing on my weight and usage - 99kg kitted, with bike extra 6 kg from crashbars, always riding solo, without luggage. Usualy fast dry offroad, loving ocasiional jump. Most of my riding time on the tarmac.

 

So my initial thought was to go for 6.6Nm on the front and 90Nm on the back. I was sugested to get 6.6Nm front and 85Nm rear.  This is unusual, as many forums and shops suggest that 6.6 is 3 steps harder than stock and so is 90Nm... but i have been told this is incorrect, and my suspenssion specialist said i need what he suggested... he is dealing with suspensions on every day basis and does racing suspensions, so i have decided to stick with his choice.

 

What i was hoping for is improvement offroad - precisely: Stop bottoming out front and rear suspension (rear only bottomed on me after jumps) and better control over rear shock rebound, to stop pogo stick effect.  But i was hoping that suspension will stay more on the soft side on the road, as i loved my Tenere on tn he road, and hated off the road - was hoping for a balanced improvement.

 

I still need to do more testing with dryier conditions, and will keep this topic updated, but i can share my initial thoughts after some short miles on and offroad.

 

So, lets start with static:

Bike feels far stiffer than stock - front especially.

Rear feels significantly softer without any preload, and still softer than front with standard preload of 10 turns...

Doing old fashined push on the bike in sitting position and expecting to push evenly front and rear i had to go up with preload on rear to 12 turns.

Now static suspenssion feels similar front and rear, but sag is about half what it should be. In my opinion front feels too stiff, and i have to match rear to it using preload.

 

Riding:

 

On the tarmac she feels much harder, i had to adjust rebound on the back to be pretty slow, otherwise it will be just bouncing off on he potholes. Reduced compression damping and increase rebound on the front as well.

Now she feels like a road bike rather than comfy adventure - its planted, but hard and shaky - i loved comfort of the stock tenere, only downside of stock suspenssion on he road was waviness, and i was able to ride it pretty fast on twisties on stock suspenssion...  so this transformation is not to my liking.

 

Offroad - it was wet, so can't test it at full speed, but i was going fast(ish) and intentionally going over biggest ruts/holes which i was normally avoiding - no bottoming out, sweet suspenssion work and constant grip (as much as you can have on wet offroad). No pogo stick on the back as well!  Suspenssion is hard and naturally more suitable for good grip condition and fast riding, but that's what i wanted, i will have to test it more, but it safe to say improvement is massive!

 

All in all - i think K-tech suspenssion on those spring rates suggested by my specialist made Yamaha feels more like a KTM - much more capable offroad, but you paying price for that on he road - its hard and much less comfortable.

Again - more testing is needed, but for now i think i would go with 6.3Nm on the front and stay with 85Nm on the back.

 

 

 

Edited by Bartek
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Sounds like the cursed dual sport compromise. That satisfying hard charging dirt performance comes at the expense of road comfort. Any suspension genie who can achieve both simultaneously needs let out of the bottle for everyone’s benefit. Thanks for your guinea pig efforts & feedback. Still pondering what changes I’ll be making this winter & this helps. 

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You’ve really hit on a suspension conundrum of ADV bikes. A great on-road set up may not be so good off-road and vice versa.

 

My suspension guy was pretty impressed with the stock set up as a decent compromise for my weight (175lb / 80kg) as long as my off road needs were modest (they are). With the adjustments he made, I’m enjoying the stock suspension.

 

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I came to T7 from KTM's and Husky, so got high expectations offroad. Plus i'm 99 kg kitted, so stock suspenssion was just not doing it's job.

On my last bike (husky 701) with WP CS4 suspenssion i was able to set it soft for the road work and it was still very good offroad, but there was a 280mm suspenssion travel to play with, and 40kg less of bike weight to cope with the challenge.

I'm hoping i will get used to more harshness on the road, otherwise i will be changing front springs.

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I am 100kg without gear and am running 6.3N front and 90N rear.  Bike feels balanced front to rear and only needs an extra 1.5-2mm of preload (3-5 clicks)with the hydraulic adjuster to get 60mm sag on the rear.  Front was good with just springs, no need to make spacers to get sag at 60mm.

 

Recently had both ends re-valved but unfortunately will need to wait till snow disappears to evaluate the valving changes.  

 

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Managed to get it set up. Sag is correct (ish), bike feels substantially harder on the tarmac, but not harsh anymore.

Sill need to test it properly offroad.

I can certainly get used to it, but this perfect road setup of stock suspension, which get me buying Tenere (after falling in love on demo bike ride) has gone... now it all depends if this 20% of my offroad riding can compensate for this loss 😜

Time will tell, i will keep you posted when i take her offroad on slightly drier condition, as it's raining since november in UK (if we dont sink by the spring).

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Unloaded I ride aggressively on dirt and tarmac, but I like a plush ride for the long distance riding I commonly do. Lets say I ride within the range of 30 to 85kph off road, and 10-30 over the speed limit on road. I would say this is my realistic average threshold and my baseline for the suspension settings. I ride in the American SW and northern Mexico, so thats the terrain I'm set up for. I ride faster in the summer but I'm a bit over cautious in the winter and wet. 

 

K-Tech

Front = 6.3N springs +9mm preload  

Rear = 90N

 

Tires, Dunlop Missions with 27psi Front, 32psi Rear.  Measured at 1349.35 meters of elevation with an accurate to .5 PSI gauge tool. I found I did not have to change PSI from this baseline.

 

 162kg (+/- 5.2kg)  kitted and fully loaded for any weather 80/20 long distance riding. Forks - Rebound +6  / Compression +8 (adjusted from stock settings) Shock - Compression +2 / Rebound +3 / Preload +3

 

118kg  kitted with riding gear plus aftermarket add ons to the bike in winter. Forks - Rebound +4  / Compression +3 (adjusted from stock settings) Shock - Compression +2 / Rebound +4 / Preload 0

 

113kg  kitted with riding gear plus aftermarket add ons to the bike in summer. Forks - Rebound +4  / Compression +6 (adjusted from stock settings) Shock - Compression +4 / Rebound +4 / Preload -1

 

Hopefully this helps someone find a baseline and save some time after doing a spring swap. I was very meticulous and kept copious notes on any setting changes and their effect as I did my tuning. It took me days and lots of on and off road trial and error to decode this bikes suspension. After these adjustments and parts the bike feels and performed like it looks. I actually found myself thinking, "Oh, this must be what this bike feels like for skinny riders". I do notice the bike feels significantly stiffer when doing obstacles at slow speeds in very technical sections, especially going over rocks, or slow trails in rutted or tight wooded areas. I guess I could add some rebound to the front but I don't encounter this type of terrain enough to justify adjusting my settings for it. Just figured I should mention this because the change was very noticeable and caught me by surprise.

 

Olé! Kavi

Edited by Kavika1991
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Hey, thank for this topic. 

 

I fitted upgraded springs (k tech) after 1k km on my bike. Big difference.

 

Now I have 24k km on my bike and I decided to upgrade the pistons and valve.

I m interested in your front fork setting. Air gap and oil viscosity. I got a different info from K tech and from my suspicion guy who does k tech upgrades. 

 

I never had problems bottoming out with the oem valves but now after upgrade after 1h of hard riding (we are riding hard enduro almost trail stuff) Im bottoming out the front even in slow speeds. 

Rear is ok and have no complaints about it. Just the front. 

 

Does anyone have this problem? Most of advices I got is to add oil or change to higher viscosity. 

As well I have to mention that with the valves I changed the spring guides 

so it may be caused by this? Or the combination ? Any opinions or experience with this?

 

Thanks

 

 

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Hi Mezekk, i don't know exactly amount of oil and the air gap, i have sent my suspension to a suspension guy, and described my riding style on the phone, he then set this up for me.

I have to say i think suspension feels to hard for my liking, and after many try's i have found two set ups - one for road riding and one for offroad.

 

If you ottoming out fron the question will be what hardness front springs do you have and how much you weight?

Also what is your compression damping? Maybe youneed to increase compression damping, to "give a spring more time" during compression?

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Most suspension guys will do a free or  reduced revalve if you are unhappy. What Cruze said. 

Suspension guys live and die on reputation. They will be unhappy as long as you are unhappy.

  Now it is up to you. Give accurate feedback. 

What do you want it to do?

My street bikes are set up for for fast riding.

Not that fast as I age, need to soft’n them up for my declining pace.

    Lighter springs, softer valving.

T7 -I am pretty happy with the shock with stock valving. Different spring.Race tech compression valves in the forks, 6.6 springs.

 Forks are hammering me on sharp edged bumps. Don’t think it’s the spring. I either muffed the oil level or need to revalve.

   It is easy to get frustrated, my advice, work with the shop till you are Happy!

        

adv_og_logo.png

Here is a bit of info for you T7 owners. I will build on it as i do more. Spring rates. I have calculated these. They are very close to what a tuner...

…and if like me you have trouble sleeping?

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 1/4/2022 at 11:15 PM, gone2seed said:

Most suspension guys will do a free or  reduced revalve if you are unhappy. What Cruze said. 

Suspension guys live and die on reputation. They will be unhappy as long as you are unhappy.

  Now it is up to you. Give accurate feedback. 

What do you want it to do?

My street bikes are set up for for fast riding.

Not that fast as I age, need to soft’n them up for my declining pace.

    Lighter springs, softer valving.

T7 -I am pretty happy with the shock with stock valving. Different spring.Race tech compression valves in the forks, 6.6 springs.

 Forks are hammering me on sharp edged bumps. Don’t think it’s the spring. I either muffed the oil level or need to revalve.

   It is easy to get frustrated, my advice, work with the shop till you are Happy!

        

adv_og_logo.png

Here is a bit of info for you T7 owners. I will build on it as i do more. Spring rates. I have calculated these. They are very close to what a tuner...

…and if like me you have trouble sleeping?


 

 

On 1/4/2022 at 11:15 PM, gone2seed said:

 

Now this is difficult topic... i know myself and i'm very picky - i can find the reason to moan about everything 😜

I'm also pretty clued up mechanically, so i know what i can demand from suspension or anything mechanical in that matter.

In this case we got suspension with modest travel for offroad use - 210mm on the front is pretty poor for today's standards. With 200kg bike it will have to be harder to ensure it's not bottoming out. That's the fact.

I can't expect stock plushness with bottoming resistance, as with linear springs this is rather impossible. Not with 210mm minus 60mm of sag.

Sadly i'm also comparing it to CS4 WP suspension with 280mm travel on my previous bike (Husky 701). There i was able to set it up soft (ish) for tarmac ride and it was still performing excellent offorad without bottoming or pogo stick effect. But we are talking 175kg (with rally kit) and 280mm of travel. Also  6k miles spent on terribly undersprung stock suspension is not helping out my jujdgement 🙂

 

I'm not sure how much of the problem is suspension and how much is my subjective feeling... I need to spend more time with the bike.

 

Another problem is the fact that suspension specialst who did it for me is 300 miles away... so stripping the suspension and sending it away is a complication.

 

For now i can advise to people who considering upgrading suspension to make it with nearby specialist, so they can assist with setting parameters on the bike and change springs if needed. It will be slightly more expenssive, but they will have suspension on the bike and they can see if and how it works. Sending it separatelly just complicates things.

 

Edited by Bartek
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Today i had a ride on very wet, typical January English green lanes...

Have to say - K-tech and Bridgestone AX41 is a excellent combination!

I was able to go with full confidence, little slow for my liking, but had so much feedback from suspension i was well within safty boundries without to much risk of dropping the bike.

 

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2 hours ago, Bartek said:

Today i had a ride on very wet, typical January English green lanes...

Have to say - K-tech and Bridgestone AX41 is a excellent combination!

I was able to go with full confidence, little slow for my liking, but had so much feedback from suspension i was well within safty boundries without to much risk of dropping the bike.

 

 

Great video.  I can't believe you ride that quickly in the muddy stuff.  Is it not slick?  Thanks for posting that.

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@Landshark Thank you, it was slippery, especially on rocky and clay sections (white looking ground was also up the hill, which video do not show that well, ou can only judge on how hard the engine is working) but the Bridgestone AX 41 are excellent tires, and i runned it on road pressure, without deflating it! Could go even faster, but i decided to stay within safety boundries as i got comming wedding and do not want injuries before that 😜

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16 minutes ago, Bartek said:

@Landshark Thank you, it was slippery, especially on rocky and clay sections (white looking ground was also up the hill, which video do not show that well, ou can only judge on how hard the engine is working) but the Bridgestone AX 41 are excellent tires, and i runned it on road pressure, without deflating it! Could go even faster, but i decided to stay within safety boundries as i got comming wedding and do not want injuries before that 😜

OMG  I can't imagine what the video will be like after the wedding.  Does she know?  ha ha

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22 hours ago, Bartek said:

Today i had a ride on very wet, typical January English green lanes...

Have to say - K-tech and Bridgestone AX41 is a excellent combination!

I was able to go with full confidence, little slow for my liking, but had so much feedback from suspension i was well within safty boundries without to much risk of dropping the bike.

 

Awesome. Where in the UK is this out of interest? Looks like a few nice long lanes with some good climbs too.

 

Rich

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@Rich TT It's around Petersfield. Couple of green lanes around this place. There's two or three more, but i need to check latest Ordnance Survey map as recently they seems to close one for motorised vehicles 😞  Less and less places we can go each year 😕

 

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19 minutes ago, Bartek said:

@Rich TT It's around Petersfield. Couple of green lanes around this place. There's two or three more, but i need to check latest Ordnance Survey map as recently they seems to close one for motorised vehicles 😞  Less and less places we can go each year 😕

 

Thanks @Bartek. Agree, it's a pain with the restrictions but still lots of great places to ride and the T7 has the legs to travel too.

 

Enjoy the lanes!

 

Rich

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  • 3 months later...

Yesterday i have been to Salisbury plains, for those of you not familiar with UK - it's massive military training ground with public access if there's no training ongoing.

After all my moaning about K-tech upgrade on tarmac how harsh the ride is, i have to admit - its brilliant offroad.

It was dry and hard, so i can test it at faster pace and with some jumps.

Had suspenssion set up for soft compression damping, as it's better on tarmac, and had my scewdriver with intention to make some adjustments, but i didn't in the end - it was great.

Excellent feel and feedback, and man... how she flys now! Only at the end of the day i managed to bottom out front on landing, and thought its time to adjust compression damping, but then i decided to leave it like it was and instead adjust my speed... or height of jumps in that matter 🤣  With decent suspension i can apreciate how perfectly balanced this bike is when airborne, and when it's time for landing it is landing instead of crash on stock suspension.

 

IMG_7800small.jpg

IMG_7807small.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

So problems with suspension just sarting...

Did one more trip to salisbury plains and noticed that suspension become softer, more buncy despite high rebound damping and developped nasty clonking noise... it feels and sound like there is no oil, but there is no leak visible.

It also bottomed out and cause a dent in a front rim!

 

It feels like something went bang inside. It only last 3k miles and literally couple offroad rides ;-(

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10 minutes ago, Bartek said:

So problems with suspension just sarting...

Did one more trip to salisbury plains and noticed that suspension become softer, more buncy despite high rebound damping and developped nasty clonking noise... it feels and sound like there is no oil, but there is no leak visible.

It also bottomed out and cause a dent in a front rim!

 

It feels like something went bang inside. It only last 3k miles and literally couple offroad rides ;-(

Sorry to hear your suspension woes, I have k-tech upgrade as well, over 8000km no issues, hope it's nothing serious.

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