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All About Brakes & Suspension Everything from the best brake pads to use, installing new brake lines,
swing arm swaps, adjusting your suspension or rebuilding your forks.
Everything you need to know on those topics and so much more is here.

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Old 03-15-2009, 09:36 PM   #1
SGTJimbo_Kat600
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Default Shock Swap Success! R6 Shock in a Pre Kat.

Today I took on my first suspension mod. Replacing the stock katana shock with a 06-07 R6 shock. I was looking for more adjustability and the stock shock always seemed a bit “mushy” for lack of a better term. I had been looking at the shock swap threads and Tmod and some others had been discussing shock swaps in the Chat box so I figured it was time to try. Tmod had an R6 shock that I purchased from him. He made adapters for the clevis as the R6 is 12mm and the Kat is 10mm.

Overall installation was pretty easy, a few minor modifications but here is how it went.
First I removed the Tank, all the plastics, air box, battery box, disconnected the relays, so no need to bore you with pictures of that.
Here is the stock shock in place.

Removed the top bolt first.



(yeah it’s a little dirty)
Then removed the bottom bolt.
Here you can see the preload adjustment on the Kat it is on the bottom.On the R6 it is on the top, so it will a little more work to change it.


After the shock was removed there is lots o room in there.


Next came the R6 shock. (aint it pretty?)


I then installed the R6 Shock, top bolt first then bottom bolt. And checked for clearance and binding.
And here is where the picture of it after it was installed with out the battery box etc. should have been but it seems that when I was deleting the blurry pics, it got deleted too. (BAD JIMBO )
After installing the R6 Shock, there was not enough clearance between the battery box and the top of the shock. There was a very small amount of clearance but under compression it would hit.

As you can see in the pictures below.








Here you can also see the adjusting screws.


I needed to slightly modify the battery for clearance. I did several test fits and came up with this. On the front side of the box I cut inch off from the bottom. Ground it smooth and hit it with a little paint. I then used some scrap plastic and foam in the bottom of the battery box to raise the battery just about inch. I bent the tabs at the top slightly to tilt the bottom of it toward the back of the bike. Here is the modified battery box.


Here is the battery box installed after modification. On full compression there is still approximately 1/8th inch clearance.





Height at tail light with Stock Katana Shock.


Height at tail light with R6 Shock.




At this point I put all the plastics, tank, air box etc back on.
Dispite the 3/4 inch difference in height, once I climbed on the seat height actually seems the same if not slightly higher with my weight on it than it did with the old shock. <edit> the sag was 3 inches with the stock shock, and 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 with the R6 which explains the weighted height being the same.

Then I took it out for a ride. All I can say is it was worth every second of work. With all settings at in the middle of the adjustment range it was already 100% better than stock. It actually absorbed the bumps like should, and laid over in the twisties it holds the ground fantastic. I got much better feed back than I ever did before, and that is without adjustments. I can't wait to get it dialed in.

Over the next few weeks I will be playing with the settings and I will post up as I make changes.
I would also like to thank Tmod for the encouragement, and making the clevis inserts to go with the shock.

My Second ride was to the car wash. Can you tell I have been riding it in michigan the last month or so?
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Last edited by SGTJimbo_Kat600; 03-15-2009 at 10:06 PM..
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:55 PM   #2
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Glad to hear it worked out well for you Jimbo.

Any questions you have about the adjustments let me know.

Now to get off my butt and do something with mine which will cover the post series of kats.

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Old 03-15-2009, 10:03 PM   #3
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looks good yeah let us know how it is once you get it dialed in
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:07 PM   #4
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Nice write-up
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:31 PM   #5
squiggy
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Chain's rusty.



Look's great.

That battery box looks to be a minor mod.
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:37 PM   #6
GSXfs600
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You do know the R6 spring is about a 100lb less spring rate than the Kat?

You may want to buy a new spring.

Nice looking shock thoe!
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:40 PM   #7
SGTJimbo_Kat600
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Yes it is, gotta love the salt on Michigan's roads in Jan, Feb and March. Its time for replacement anyway. Not swapping it out until I swap out the tires as well. But thanks for pointing that out! lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSXfs600 View Post
You do know the R6 spring is about a 100lb less spring rate than the Kat?

You may want to buy a new spring.

Nice looking shock thoe!
It may be 100lbs less when a kat shock is brand new, but after the install it sags less, is much smoother, and you can actually feel the road as you should. I rode down some seriously bad Michigan roads and never bottomed it out, and I tried.

Last edited by SGTJimbo_Kat600; 03-15-2009 at 10:40 PM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:32 PM   #8
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Nice work Jim, any plans for the Forks? or making the rest of the bike as shiny as the rear shock .
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:41 PM   #9
SGTJimbo_Kat600
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSXfs600 View Post
I was just trying to help the guy out. Like you should have by including the correct spring.
I knew what I was getting into when I purchased it.

And the spring rate may have been X in 1993, but in 2009 it most certainly isn't anymore. The R6 shock stiffened the back quite a bit. After some very spirited riding today I have to say it was well worth the swap. Even if it is 50-100 pounds less than my shock was 16 years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by woobie View Post
Nice work Jim, any plans for the Forks? or making the rest of the bike as shiny as the rear shock .
I started by WASHING it. It is quite a bit shinier now. And yes I am going to do the forks next. I knew they were soft before, but after the shock swap, you really notice it.

Last edited by SGTJimbo_Kat600; 03-15-2009 at 11:41 PM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gjlc19 View Post
looks good yeah let us know how it is once you get it dialed in
Excellent writeup as well!!
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