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Do shocks really need a rebuild every five years?

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  • Do shocks really need a rebuild every five years?

    I have read comments that the rear shock should be rebuilt after five years or 20K miles, that even on the shelf, they don't last. Does this apply to all shocks or just the ones made in the 80's?
    I'll admit that my shock on my '91Katana 1100 will be sent out for service this winter (I see a little oil on the end of the rod and it just doesn't feel damped)But, do they have better fluid and seals now than they did back in the 80's, or will my rebuild only be good for five years?
    My '11 C14 now has about 35K miles and the shock on it still feels fine, that's why I ask about the longitivity of Katana shocks

  • #2
    Not sure there's anybody around who can answer this question anymore.
    Myself, last summer I contacted one of the re-builders mentioned on site and received a reply, but no follow up emails.
    Seems the K 750 rear shock is so unique, it can't exactly be substituted by shocks from other bikes. They're either too tall (Hayabusa, Bandit) or too short (R6).


    • #3
      Fluids and seals, even new ones today, will change consistency over time. The rebuild is a preventative in many cases. Refresh prior to major fails or changes in performance.

      It's like changing the oil in the motor. Will motor oil last longer than the recomended (3k miles in most instances)? Sure, it can/does. Is it a good idea? well....

      93 750 Kat

      Modified Swingarm, 5.5 GSXR Rear with 180/55 and 520 Chain, 750 to 600 Tail conversion, more to come. Long Term Project build thread

      "I've done this a thousand times before. What could possibly go wron.... Ooops!"


      • #4
        Is the '91 Katana rear shock rebuildable? I got an email back from Racetech saying they were not sure it was. They also said that they don't have a rear spring for it. Yet, Hyperpro sells one.
        They are the only outfit that has front and rear spring for the kat 1100. They are both progressive but I suppose that's better than the stock stuff that I have now.


        • #5
          Yes it is rebuildable (1127 only). Racetech has done them in the past. Even if they can't now for whatever reason, Tmod's shop can - he's the one that did it for racetech back when he worked there.
          I've had 2 Tmod worked shocks, happy with the service. Norwest suspension is I believe the name of his shop.
          1998 Katana 750
          1992 Katana 1100
          2006 Ninja 250

          2006 Katana 600 RIP - 130k miles