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Suspension Setup

Suspension Setup:
The ZX7R has excellent suspension that can be tailored to suit your riding. However many people (especially journos) make a mess of it. Why? Well Kawasaki didn’t help things when they wrote in the Owner’s handbook that the forks are adjustable for preload. They are NOT! The adjuster you see at the top of the forks is (like it was for the previous J and L models) Ride Height Only. Don’t believe me? Try this test then.
Only the forks on the Race models (K, M and N) are adjustable for preload. This can be quite handy as you can quicken or slow down the steering response very easily to suit your riding, road condition, etc. If the spring doesn’t suit you then you can change it. An alternative is to make some spacers to convert the ride height adjusters to preload adjusters. Follow this link to one of Ken’s tips that explains how to make spacers to fit ’91 to ’95 ZXRs. Similar spacers can be manufactured for ’96-on ZX7Rs, but I do not have the measurements.
If you want information on suspension in general and ZX7R specifics please take a look at the Suspension page whilst here I shall give you my own setups as it may give you an idea of what can be tried. These setups work well on the track and are compliant enough to cope with fast riding on normal roads. However do remember that suspension age and condition as well as rider’s weight and riding style can make a huge difference so these setups can only be used as a potential starting point to find your own setup.

Rider weight 85Kg fully kitted out
SETUP 1
Tyres: Pirelli Dragon Evo Corsa in Standard sizes.

Forks Ride Height Adjuster – rings showing Ride Height – mm from top yoke Rebound – clicks from fully in Compression – clicks from fully in Tyre pressure (PSI)
Max – Min
8
n/a
13
8
n/a
Standard
6.5
0
7
6
36
My Setup 1
8
10
5
5
34
Shock Preload – mm of thread showing Rebound – Adjuster settings Compression – clicks from fully in Ride Height – mm of visible thread between clevis and frame Tyre pressure (PSI)
Max – Min
25
4
20
0
n/a
Standard
25
2
15
0
41
My Setup 1
25
3
13
9
38

SETUP 2
Tyres: Dunlop 207 Standard size front smaller rear (180/55).
The smaller rear tyre quickened up the steering considerably. This combined with Setup 1 above made the handling a little too knife edge for the road. To compensate I raised the front ride height using the adjusters. The handling is more stable now and the bike steers beautifully both at low and high speed. The new size rear heightens the effects of the front ride adjusters. This setup if fine for fast road riding and on a smooth track you could go more extreme for faster turning.

Forks Ride Height Adjuster – rings showing Ride Height – mm from top yoke Rebound – clicks from fully in Compression – clicks from fully in Tyre pressure (PSI)
My Setup 2
3
10
5
5
34
Shock Preload – mm of thread showing Rebound – Adjuster settings Compression – clicks from fully in Ride Height – mm of visible thread between clevis and frame Tyre pressure (PSI)
My Setup 2
25
3
14
9
38

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