Author Topic: R6 shock install (without removing the Tank and Air box)  (Read 403 times)

Offline chris900f

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o I bought this 2011 R6 shock over the winter



I've watched the Slippery Mongoose video a few times, and was expecting to follow his procedure; but after removing the stock shock as per the manual, I decided to try installing the shock up-from-the-bottom.

So I put the bike on the center-stand and used a stack of heavy cardboard shims to block up the back wheel. I also used a glove to apply the front brake as a parking brake. This turned out to be a good idea and probably saved me from dumping the bike at least once.



I removed the tail/side plastics which is not really necessary, then the left foot peg bracket and the chain guard. You can follow the Haynes manual, just remove the lower shock bolt and the bolt for the dog-bones. For this mod we also need to remove the pivot unit, Then remove the upper blanking cap on the left side of the frame
and remove the upper shock bolt and withdraw the shock from the bottom.

Now in order to fit the R6 shock through the bottom you must also remove the dog-bones.



As per SM's video prep the pivot, swap the bearings and repack if necessary. Loosely Mount the R6 shock to the pivot.



With the dog-bones removed you can just get the shock to fit through the gap.

Turn the shock so that the reservoir is facing you (left side of bike) and pass it through the gap.



Supporting the shock from the bottom



once the reservoir clears, rotate the shock so that the adjusters are facing you then lift the shock into position.





Upper shock bolt.





The lowest coil made contact before the pivot bolt lined up, so I marked that spot, disassembled and did my first grind. It's very awkward and there are a lot of sparks.


I reassembled and was able to attach the frame pivot, but now both first and second coils make contact.

More marking/grinding/sparks--Now install the dog-bones. I had to lift the wheel a little higher to get the bolt through, this gives a little extra clearance. Clearance measured on the center stand will be minimum clearance. As the suspension compresses clearance increases.

When you think you've taken enough off, paint the area. I used a flap wheel on my grinder instead of a grind wheel; this is slower, but leaves a smooth finish ready to paint.






Clearance is very tight, (like feeler gauge tight) but after a short ride (8km) the painted surface shows no sign of contact. I'll take it down a back road just to make sure it can handle potholes and bumps.

BTW I set the the shock to Yamaha stock settings before installing. I need to go for a longer ride to really comment on performance.

One thing I like is that the stock Suzuki spring tool works great on the Yamaha shock...it's easier than adjusting the stock shock.

Offline SK Racing

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Re: R6 shock install (without removing the Tank and Air box)
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2021, 12:08:12 PM »
Thank you for this short write-up. I'll be installing a 2011 R6 shock on my 2004 bike (probably similar to yours) soon.

When you've done some more riding, I'd appreciate your opinion about ride harshness and if adjusting the shock helps. Also if the R6 shock is an improvement over the stock shock on the GS.
You donít stop riding when you get old, you get old when you stop riding!
1939 Panther 600cc Single - Stolen, 1970 Suzuki 50cc - Sold
1969 Triumph Bonneville 650 T120R - Sold, 1981 Honda 750F - Sold
1989 Suzuki GS500E - Sold, 2004 Suzuki GS500F - Current ride

Offline chris900f

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Re: R6 shock install (without removing the Tank and Air box)
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2021, 10:51:04 PM »
Thank you for this short write-up. I'll be installing a 2011 R6 shock on my 2004 bike (probably similar to yours) soon.

When you've done some more riding, I'd appreciate your opinion about ride harshness and if adjusting the shock helps. Also if the R6 shock is an improvement over the stock shock on the GS.

No problem, I hope this makes your install easier. The grinding is the only challenging part.(Be ready for the sparks) The more work you can do to mark out the area you need to grind the better. Also, take the side handle off of your grinder (lol)

********************Ride Update*************************

Me: 5'9'' approx. 160-165lbs in my riding gear. I'm an experienced rider, but I've only spent a few hundred km's on my GS500.

I've managed to go for a 39km ride and a 15k ride since my 8km trip to the gas station right after the installation.

Before my first long ride I was mainly concerned with shock to swing-arm clearance, so I set the spring to its lowest setting for maximum swing-arm movement.
My route included about 45% on a fairly rough (non-gravel) lakeside road with lots of holes, patches, bumps and ripples. The speed limit is fairly low on that stretch (50-70km/hr.)
I usually dodge the really rough stuff, but this time I hit lots of moderate bumps on purpose and experienced no bottoming or scraping. Even on setting (1) the rear was not overly squishy or squirmy.

For the next leg of my ride I turned onto a highway (100-110 km/hr.), it was too windy to really focus on the suspension, but it was (maybe) too soft to inspire a lot of confidence in the corners. My stock shock was set to (4) and was perhaps a little better at speed.

My initial take was that the R6 spring is a bigger diameter and heavier gauge than the stocker; there is also a good chance that the R6 swing-arm is a little longer and therefore applies more leverage against the shock than the GS (just a guess). Because of these factors I think that I overestimated the amount of pre-load I would need. (1) was almost enough.

I got in a second ride that same day, this time I clicked up to setting (2). This was a much better experience and the dampening seemed much more in the pocket. The handling is sharper and there is a nice, planted "sinking into the corner feel" when you lean it over.  A big improvement and I think for my weight it will be (2) or (3) max, but I won't know until I do the forks. I haven't even started playing with the dampening yet, but I'm confident that this shock can be dialed to perfection and the stock shock will stay in its box. :cheers:

I've heard of people complaining about harshness, but I think that this is caused by "setting bias". I have never set preload at less than 50% before, I expected the worst and was pretty surprised that (2) may be my number.



 

Offline SK Racing

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Re: R6 shock install (without removing the Tank and Air box)
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2021, 01:26:55 AM »
Thank you very much for the feedback. It's very inspiring and I'm looking forward to having the R6 shock installed.

My main concern was harshness because I've had spinal surgery beginning of last year and want to minimize impact on my bum. Yeah, I know, I should really stay away from riding bikes, but I can't see that happening after spending the last 18 months customizing my GS. :D

What settings would you recommend for my 185lbs 6'2" frame, bearing in mind that I'm not a hard-core rider and only do short trips and don't lean much into corners. The biggest draw for me to get the R6 shock was that I'm a little heavier than what the GS was designed for. And I was also hoping that with the R6 shock with it's many possible settings, I would be able to adjust it to a soft enough setting for my spine, without affecting handling too adversely.

Thanks for the tip on the grinder handle. I doubt that I'll have a problem with the grinder, cause I'm quite a handy sorta guy.  :thumb:
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 01:27:41 AM by SK Racing »
You donít stop riding when you get old, you get old when you stop riding!
1939 Panther 600cc Single - Stolen, 1970 Suzuki 50cc - Sold
1969 Triumph Bonneville 650 T120R - Sold, 1981 Honda 750F - Sold
1989 Suzuki GS500E - Sold, 2004 Suzuki GS500F - Current ride

Offline chris900f

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Re: R6 shock install (without removing the Tank and Air box)
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2021, 03:16:49 PM »
For preload, I think you should start really low like (1) or (2) and just increase it if necessary. It's very easy to adjust with the Suzuki wrench, you could easily make roadside adjustments.

I need to do more research into the compression/rebound dampening settings. I've been checking out Dave Moss Tuning on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CatalystReactionSBW

If I can get my neighbor over to help hold the bike, I'd like to do the sag measurement technique Moss uses, it allows you to judge pre-load separately from dampening.

Re: Grinder...lol yes I have seen your project-build chops :thumb:, the comment was more of an eye roll at my own "duhh" moment. I did a little grinding and thought "damn this stupid handle is really in the way here"....gawddamn stupid piece of!!! "oh wait...it just unscrews" :oops:

Offline SK Racing

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Re: R6 shock install (without removing the Tank and Air box)
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2021, 09:06:17 AM »
Thanks for the additional info. I will certainly check out the Dave Moss Tuning videos.
You donít stop riding when you get old, you get old when you stop riding!
1939 Panther 600cc Single - Stolen, 1970 Suzuki 50cc - Sold
1969 Triumph Bonneville 650 T120R - Sold, 1981 Honda 750F - Sold
1989 Suzuki GS500E - Sold, 2004 Suzuki GS500F - Current ride

Offline The Buddha

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Re: R6 shock install (without removing the Tank and Air box)
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2021, 09:21:21 AM »
You could put a 2X4 under the center stand to give you extra room to get it in through the bottom. That's the way we install all remote and non remote shocks when airbox is there.
With the piggy back style its not worth it doing so, install from top is easier cos it requires removal of airbox for that piggy back reservoir. So might as well do it right side up and not mess around on the floor much.

Never mind this reservoir is under the top of the shock, and fits with airbox. Thought it was one of those with a huge one sticking upward from that.

Cool.
Buddha.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2021, 09:25:16 AM by The Buddha »
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