Modifications - Performance Discuss aftermarket and DIY performance modifications

lookin for ideas

Old 01-29-2010, 01:31 PM
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Smile lookin for ideas

hey guys, i think im still a newbie here, but ive been reading an watchin wut all u guys have done to ur bikes and it seems these things are constantly changing, im still lookin forward to my maiden voyage besides across the yard a few times, its been rainin or snowin since i bought my bird, and still havent been dwn the road on her, but id like to get some ideas on what options i have for her.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:42 PM
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What kind of things are you thinking of?

The bike is somewhat undersprung in stock form for most Americans.. 140lbs riders are ok, but us heavier guys look into suspension upgrade options fairly quick. (and there are lots of options when it comes to suspension)

There are also a lot of options for changing the look and sound of the bike..

Exhaust, jetting, etc are all good options. Some people mill the flywheel, raise compression etc. etc.

The stock air filter is generally considered not worth changing out, but I also know some people have good luck with K&N and BMC filters. Just realize you very likely will have to rejet if you do change it and don't expect power gains from them, just lifetime use.

Last edited by lazn; 01-29-2010 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:43 PM
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The first thing you need to do is get the suspension set up for your weight and riding style. After that, well the sky is the limit but unless you're around 160-170lbs the suspension must be addressed first IMHO.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:46 PM
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Is it 160? Either way I am too fat for the stock setup. lol
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:09 PM
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Well if the weather sucks now why don't you do all the maintenance stuff first then replace the CCT's.
After that invest in gear first then suspension and brakes.
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by lazn View Post
Is it 160? Either way I am too fat for the stock setup. lol
Well it's in there somewhere, Think small Japanese test rider on a smooth track. If that's you, the suspension will be fine otherwise it needs a bit of work.... and yes I'm way to fat for the stock set up.....
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:47 PM
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lol well im 6'6" at 250 lbs, so i guess i can use some help with the suspension, im sure this thing is stock, but i tell ya all im already in love with it, lol. and im sure i can use advice on the cct's as well and that other thing, lol forgot the name, the regulator thingy, lol i already have a good helmet and riding jacket they came with the bike and actually fit me too, surprise, considering the $300 price tag, lol
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:34 PM
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At your weight you're in the rare category that fits the stock shock. KD is the same way - he's 265. The fronts for all of us are dangerously soft. On a good day, my body weight with all gear is 185. When Hawkrider built my fronts he used .95 springs. I run a Penske shock - the next time my forks leak I might step up a viscosity change or a valve change because I like the springs.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:40 PM
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so im not needing to get new or different suspesion? its set up for fat guys from the factory?. or am i not understanding still? lol anywayz i sure do appreciate sites like this 1 you guys sure are your own community huh?
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:10 AM
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There is the question of the shock and the forks.. different things.

You need to stiffen up the forks for sure.. The shock there is some disagreement on if it is setup for a heavy guy, or a light guy.. Either way it can be improved with either a aftermarket one, or a JD F4i conversion.


As for the forks, you can have them resprung, revalved, and forkbraced.. Or you can do a fork swap..
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:31 PM
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If I remember my numbers properly, the shock is sprung for a 280 pound rider and the front forks are sprung for a 90 pound rider. The target is equal. The fronts need to be substantially stiffened and the rear needs to be closer to your body weight UNLESS you are one of the heavier guys. The stock shock is not adjustable but I think some members have changed the spring in an attempt to get closer to the mark. I think the last time we did a workup for KD it was 105 Racetecs in front with heavy oil and valves at full-race. Sounds like a lot but just barely makes it for him. Hawkrider has been all over this and finally went to a 1k RR transplant. I think he's 225.
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:30 PM
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what kinda cost are you talkin for the reworked forks? or gettin different 1s? the wife does keep me on somewhat of a budget, lol
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:12 PM
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Race tech springs are about 100 and the valves are another 150 plus fork oil.

I'm an over 200 pound rider and getting the front redone was nothing short of amazing.
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:28 AM
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sweet, thnx for the help ill b lookin into gettin that done b4 the riding season starts, again I appreciate the help on here i am somewhat a novice at street riding been in the dirt for a few yrs though.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:40 AM
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Respring and revalve is usually cheaper than a new front end. (but not always if you get a good deal on a front end)

If you go that way, a fork brace can improve it even more.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:12 AM
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Sent you a PM as I have a pair of forks (with a brace) and a rear shock set up by http://www.le-suspension.com/
That I am going to be pulling off and selling in the next couple of weeks
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:57 PM
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ok so kind of thread jacking here but i was wondering if i could get some input on this suspension thing, i want to ride my hawk to the max and sounds like on a stock suspension its not the safest thing to do... i am a solid 240 but i am only 5'9" soo basically i need to address the front first? and rear is not AS big of a deal?
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Bearshawk View Post
ok so kind of thread jacking here but i was wondering if i could get some input on this suspension thing, i want to ride my hawk to the max and sounds like on a stock suspension its not the safest thing to do... i am a solid 240 but i am only 5'9" soo basically i need to address the front first? and rear is not AS big of a deal?
In my opinion: CCTs first, R/R 2nd, then forks, then shock. A good seat and bar position helps too as you can concentrate more on your riding if you are comfortable vs in pain.

Other than protection gear, reliability is of next most import, then performance..

Even on a fully stock bike a good rider can out-ride a bad one on a fully modded bike.. (not that mods aren't worth it.. they are! But that is order of importance)
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by lazn View Post
In my opinion: CCTs first, R/R 2nd, then forks, then shock. A good seat and bar position helps too as you can concentrate more on your riding if you are comfortable vs in pain.

Other than protection gear, reliability is of next most import, then performance..
Well I have to disagree with you my friend. While there have been a few CCTs failures by following the simple advice, that I was given by a well respected source, of not letting the bike idle on the side stand for any length of time my CCTs lasted well of 50k miles with no issues. Now the R\R is another minor problem and while it can be an annoyance, it's not a major issue.

The suspension on the other hand is something that comes into play everytime to hit the brakes or roll the bike into a corner.

So IMHO the suspension needs to be addressed first and then the other possible issues can be dealt with as you have time or need.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 8541Hawk View Post
Well I have to disagree with you my friend. While there have been a few CCTs failures by following the simple advice, that I was given by a well respected source, of not letting the bike idle on the side stand for any length of time my CCTs lasted well of 50k miles with no issues. Now the R\R is another minor problem and while it can be an annoyance, it's not a major issue.

The suspension on the other hand is something that comes into play everytime to hit the brakes or roll the bike into a corner.

So IMHO the suspension needs to be addressed first and then the other possible issues can be dealt with as you have time or need.
ok thanks guys but sadly i still dont know what R/R is.... and if my budget is kinda small...ok very small what can i do with the stock forks to make them a bit stiffer? new oil and stiffer springs?

basically im suffering because the hawk rides so great i want to put a bit of my very small funds into the KZ650 and get her running correctly again and a few minor things but again thats basically a side project now that i have my red beauty!
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:32 PM
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Well that would be the regulator\rectifier (know you know why it's a R\R) and on the first few years they were a poor design with no cooling fins. I still got about 8yrs out of mine but that really isn't normal.

The stock front end is way undersprung for your weight (I'm a big guy too)
So you will need to change the fork springs (you will different opinions on what rate spring to run) for your size I would say 1.0kg\mm would be right unless you are a hard braker in which case 1.05kg\mm are a better choice.

Either one of these springs will overload the stock damping. You can band aid it by running 7.5-10 wt fork oil but you really need to revalve it to get them to work correctly.

Also you will want to get a fork brace, they are well worth the money. It may cost you a little bit to get it all done but it will be a completely different bike when you get the suspension set up properly.

The forks really are not that bad, the real weakness on the SH is the lower triple clamp. At least that is what would flex on me.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:38 PM
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"R/R" is the REGULATOR/RECTIFIER. The older stock version is prone to failure due to overheating I believe.

Also, if you haven't already figured it out and commited it to memory, "CCT" is the Cam Chain Tensioner.


...I struggled with these two when I first joined the forum.
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:35 AM
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Well I rode my bike stock for a long long time before I changed anything on it..

I swapped the R/R when it died and took out a battery. And I changed the CCTs to APEs at ~50,000 miles (a risk to wait that long) and when I did, I was really lucky since I found that my front wasn't functioning properly anymore.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by AngryOlaf View Post
"R/R" is the REGULATOR/RECTIFIER. The older stock version is prone to failure due to overheating I believe.

Also, if you haven't already figured it out and commited it to memory, "CCT" is the Cam Chain Tensioner.


...I struggled with these two when I first joined the forum.

ha totally should have known that one just replaced them on the KZ last spring, just couldnt put it together, and CCT's i knew that one
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by 8541Hawk View Post
Well that would be the regulator\rectifier (know you know why it's a R\R) and on the first few years they were a poor design with no cooling fins. I still got about 8yrs out of mine but that really isn't normal.

The stock front end is way undersprung for your weight (I'm a big guy too)
So you will need to change the fork springs (you will different opinions on what rate spring to run) for your size I would say 1.0kg\mm would be right unless you are a hard braker in which case 1.05kg\mm are a better choice.

Either one of these springs will overload the stock damping. You can band aid it by running 7.5-10 wt fork oil but you really need to revalve it to get them to work correctly.

Also you will want to get a fork brace, they are well worth the money. It may cost you a little bit to get it all done but it will be a completely different bike when you get the suspension set up properly.

The forks really are not that bad, the real weakness on the SH is the lower triple clamp. At least that is what would flex on me.
wow thanks so much this is great info, so how hard is all this stuff to do, i am pretty mechanically inclined with a best friend who gratuated from UTI, something we could/should tackle or best to get it done from a shop?
also where can i get the parts? i always like to try and buy cheap rather than have them buy it and it cost me an arm and a leg.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Bearshawk View Post
wow thanks so much this is great info, so how hard is all this stuff to do, i am pretty mechanically inclined with a best friend who gratuated from UTI, something we could/should tackle or best to get it done from a shop?
also where can i get the parts? i always like to try and buy cheap rather than have them buy it and it cost me an arm and a leg.
You can get the Race-Tech stuff and do the valving yourself with no real problems. If you just want to buy springs there are a couple choices. You can go with Race-Tech springs which are made by Eibach which have show to be one of the most consistent springs over time as they keep their rate very well with use. The other choice is Sonic Springs, I have never used them so I really can't say anything about them except i have never heard anything bad about them.

The only "special" tool I can think of right now (still on the first cup o' coffee so hope I don't forget anything) is a seal driver. You can either get one from Motion Pro or you can make a PVC set up that can work ok.

Greg N. is the real fork guy on this board and I would suggest you either talk with him or shoot me a PM before you pull them apart for the first time and either of use can give you a few tips and hints on how to make it a fairly painless procedure.

Cheers,
Mike
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