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Rebuilding a shock..any advice??

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  • Rebuilding a shock..any advice??

    I bought a swingarm and linkage on ebay...I want to rebuild the shock, it probably needs it...also I am thinking if I take it apart I can have each part of it repainted...I know it's probably a wast of time but if I'm taking it apart I might as well make it look pretty...Has anyone ever rebuilt these things? Is it a kit you can buy or do you have to take it to a specific place to have it done? Is it worth doing it or should I just suck it up and buy a new aftermarket one? Is there a site that shows how to take this apart?
    Good judgement comes from experience, and often experience comes from Bad Judgement :smt084
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  • #2
    according to Race Tech's website the Kat shocks are not rebuildable.




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    • #3
      I'd buy a 92 GSXR rear shock and send it to race tech for a gold valve revalve. That way you'll have a much better rear suspension and it will be fit to your weight and riding style. The gold valves are far superior to the originals.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the advice...I know you said 92 but are there other years I can use...the reason is I was searching ebay and not many 90's but there are many 2000+ and I don't know if they will fit...Also I was looking at another thread and I don't remember who said it but they were saying for a 600 Kat look for a 750-1100 GSX R shock because of the weight difference of the 600 GSX-R and the Katana...
        Good judgement comes from experience, and often experience comes from Bad Judgement :smt084
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        • #5
          Yeah, for sure go with the 750, I'm not sure about year compatiblity, but I know that the pre 93 will work. A lot of changes happened after that year, I know mine is a 92 750 GSX-R rear shock. With any shock that old you will want to have it rebuilt at the least. Race tech is the way to go. My shock is there right now getting the gold valve revalve. I bought mine from Florexa, who seems to know alot about this subjsect. Maybe PM Florexa for more info. Also do a search on this subject I know there have been threads about it in the past.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by arsenic13
            I'd buy a 92 GSXR rear shock and send it to race tech for a gold valve revalve. That way you'll have a much better rear suspension and it will be fit to your weight and riding style. The gold valves are far superior to the originals.
            Bought one of those myself , but dunno if it's gonna need rebuilding or not (I'm told it nost likely will) . Cost ?
            I am a fluffy lil cuddly lovable bunny , dammit !



            Katrider's rally 2011 - md86

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            • #7
              Matt, check out race tech's web site. I believe the rebuild is like 150 and the gold valve revalve is like 185. Any old nitrogen shock will most likely need to be rebuilt because will won't have proper rebound dampening, just spring. www.race-tech.com. I have my shock there now, and from everything I've heard they are the best.

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              • #8
                I asked a buddy of mine about changing out springs and this is what he wrote....anyone want to comment??...my question to him, this will help you understand what he is answering...I'm thinking of changing out my shock for one off a GSXR...

                "don't bother... yet.

                unless your shock is out of whack, it may not be worth your time or money. if you don't take advantage of a fully adjustable shock and set it up correctly, it does more harm than good. trust me, first hand knowledge!

                the problem with using another model shock is that if you change to different size (circumference) tires, you will need to make up for it on the shock (ride height). you change one thing, it affects something else. trust me on this one.

                so, shocks differ from model to model years, mainly the total length of the shock from eyelet to eyelet @ full extension. if you get the wrong one, you'll jack up your steering geometry. steer too quick or steer too slow.

                your oem shock has some adjustability. i suggest playing around with that first. i did that before i changed my suspension all the way around. a little bit makes a huge difference. if you change the rear out, eventually you will have to rework the front, to retain the proper balance. if that is the case, total frontend rebuild (oil, springs, shims?, seals, labor) about $400.

                2 problems:

                1. a gsxr shock has hi and lo speed compression settings. believe me, you don't get these 2 right, you won't be a happy rider. and the only way to do get them set is to ride a whole day on a empty road and carry a screwdriver or do it on a track. it took me 3 weeks to get mine set, but from time to time, i make adjustments.

                2. some model shocks have more finite adjustability than other model years. this is where you'll have to take a really good guess. some of the adjustment is spread too far, not allowing for granular settings.
                usually the shocks improve from year to year. sometimes not.

                the shock spring makes a big difference as well. if you get an aftermarket spring for your weight, say 150-175 or 175-200 lbs, that alone helps. because now the bike is set for your weight +/- additional weight. now all you have to set it dampening.

                so this is what you have to think about before you nut up your bike. if i get a shock from a different model year; will it fit?

                what is eye to eye length at full extension?

                if it doesn't fit but is close, is there height adjustment? a higher rearend causes bike to steer faster but you loose straight line stability, if the rear sags, steering becomes slower.

                if not, do i need longer dogbones or different size shock linkage?

                will the shock reservoir clear the swingarm, subframe, wheel well, etc? the oem stuff is integrated into the shock body and cannot be taken off to be put remotely.

                how fine is the hi and lo speed adjustments?

                do i need to replace the shock spring with something closer to my weight? if so, do i get linear rate spring or progressive rate spring?

                how easy will it be to make spring adjustment?

                will any of this affect front end stability? if so, how much work do i need to do to get both ends working together? you want the front and rear to work in phase.

                alot of questions to answer.

                hope this helps. if you ride like i do, the performance gains are great, if you don't you'll be pissing money down the drain. you need to find the
                limits of what you have now before you are able to make a decision as to what you need later. "
                Good judgement comes from experience, and often experience comes from Bad Judgement :smt084
                Help Support Katriders.com via Motorcyclegear.com
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                nah nah nah nah nah nah JAX! (special thnx to sexwax)

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                • #9
                  Your friend has valid points. Tweaking or swapping suspension parts does open a whole can of worms. Your Kats performance and handling can be compromised by a poor set-up.

                  You have a few options for replacing a pre98 rear shock.

                  1. Replace your shock with new one. I believe bikebandit sell them for around $800.00. Too expensive. My kat cost less.

                  2. Used 98+ kat rear shock ebay price around $35.00. I've used a 98+ 600 rear shock on my '93 kat 600. My pre98 shock was totally shot and I was happy with the handling of the 98+ shock. The pre98 and 98+ shocks are virtually the same length. The pre98 and 98+ kats are close in weight and geometry. The problems your friend refers to won't be a problem, which is great. It's a nice easy swap and it's the cheapest option by a long shot.

                  3. Gsxr 750/1100 shock '90-'92 These shocks are a direct bolt-on. '93-'94 750 will fit, but the base needs to milled for clearance in the kat swingarm. Using these shocks will open the door to the potential problems you friend stated. The gixxer shocks are about 1 1/2 inches longer than the kat shocks. It raises the rear end and changes the steering characteristics(faster steering less straight line stability). I have tried three different gsxr '90-'92 shocks. All of them were completely shot. They all needed rebuilds. So I can't comment on the handling, spring, or damper. Right now I am using a rebuilt '94 gsxr 750 shock. I've only put about a hundred miles of city riding on it. Now it's snowing I can't say much about the handling cause I havn't put the miles down, but it is a superior shock compared to the stock kat shock. Just from the limited riding I've done I can tell the gixxer shock does a better job of keeping the rear wheel on the ground while providing a much smoother ride. I still need to set the sag and I havn't even tried adjusting the preload, compression damper, or rebound damper. So far I like what I've felt.

                  There are other options but I haven't tried them so I can't comment.

                  Here's another thread on the suject.

                  http://katriders.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=470
                  '92 Kat restoration/mod project

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                  • #10
                    Thank you Floxera for your comments and suggestions...I really appreciate all the advice I get here...I know you guys really know what you are talking about and have more knowledge than I do in these matters...If anyone has any further suggestions please leave them because I like to hear as many as possible...
                    Good judgement comes from experience, and often experience comes from Bad Judgement :smt084
                    Help Support Katriders.com via Motorcyclegear.com
                    Welcome to KatRiders.com! Click here to Register

                    nah nah nah nah nah nah JAX! (special thnx to sexwax)

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                    • #11
                      Hmm , guess I'll plan on having mine (GSXR1100)rebuilt sometime . Bummer .
                      I am a fluffy lil cuddly lovable bunny , dammit !



                      Katrider's rally 2011 - md86

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