Anyone have any experience with Penske Shocks?

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Talk' started by Juilin, Sep 27, 2012.


  1. Juilin

    Juilin
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    I'm looking to swap for something more adjustable. My Ninja 650 carries my somewhat heavy butt and on any given day a bag full of burly school books, touring gear, two-up, and sometimes just fun twisty type riding.

    The stock spring is sucking. Anyone have experience with Penske..?
     
    #1 Juilin, Sep 27, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  2. Nex

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    Sounds like you need a stiffer spring to match your weight. Penske will offer more adjustment and you will still need a stiffer spring.
     
  3. skistud17

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    have you adj the suspension or sag for your weight/riding style since you got it?


    one of the easiest and most positive changes you can make to a bike before changing out suspension parts
     
  4. RedKat600

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    There are no adjustments other than sag. These shocks kinda suck.

    Also, I don't think you can swap in a shock off another bike as most other bikes use a linkage and the 650R does not. I can't find any good info about a swap other than replacing with a Penske or WP or something.
     
  5. Juilin

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    That's where I'm at, I've already adjusted the pre-load to death. It's better but still sucks.

    I know it's where they saved cost on manufacturing, so it's not like it's a surprise but I plan on hanging on to the bike for awhile so I'm doing the research.

    I've seen people who swapped a Versys shock, but that's not exactly a huge step up and it Rakes the heck out of the back end.
     
    #5 Juilin, Sep 27, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  6. RedKat600

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    All you gain with that is a rebound adjustment. Not worth it IMO and I'm sure others will agree also. Unfortunately looks like you're stuck with a large investment.

    That said, Penske makes good stuff. I'd ping them, Ohlins, and WP to see if they make a shock for your bike.
     
  7. Lone Rider

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    I have the simplest Penske on the 14.
    My former track day partner ran one on his 650. They are a vast improvement over KHI's junk. He also had Barry at KFG put 636 forks on his 650. I had him revalve and respring my forks.
    Made the 14 a different machine!!
    Needless to say my buds 650 was worlds better.
    I'd suggest using Race Techs spring rate calculator to figure what you need. They might have a valving kit for both ends on your bike. If you just go with matching heavier spring rates it will overpower the low budget dampening on your bike.

    http://www.racetech.com/

    Have fun shopping!!
     
  8. yellowfin

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    I'm in the same boat. I got an 09. The suspension is scary bad on this bike. I cringe when I go north on 405 thru Bellevue in the carpool lane. My $300 trek bike has better suspension.

    Let me know what you decide and how it works out. I'm planning on doing some mods over winter. Was thinking about race tech gold vales n respring, but read that some folks were able to go better by using some kind of cartridge style spring system in the forks.
     
  9. RedKat600

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    The rear shock is not modifiable in any way other than a new spring. Heads up.
     
  10. Lone Rider

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    Thought so. Its been 4-5 yrs since we did those suspension mods. Really forgot why we chose those routes to handling prowess. Knew the 14s shock was like that. And as I recall Barry went with the 636 forks because the stock forks couldnt be made adjustable nor was there a lot He could do to the dampening.
    Its one of the reasons the 650 is so cheap compared to, say. the Monsters or any other 600ish sport bike. Basic suspension combined with simple and dated engine platform....,
     
  11. Grantizzle

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    You sure?

    http://www.sasquatchrider.com/


    I had this guy rebuild my v-strom shock with new valves an a fat man spring. Whole deal was about $400 and it was the best money I've spent on the bike to date. OP, send the guy a message and see what he can do for you before dropping the dough on a new rear. The money you save might afford you new bits in the front as well.
     
  12. RedKat600

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    It's a sealed non-adjustable shock like what's on my Katana. I'm 100% sure it's not rebuildable. Pretty much just like the shock on your car but with a spring.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. yellowfin

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    I think the op is not trying to modify the existing shock but put a adjustable aftermarket one in. I've seen it done on these bikes.
     
  14. Grantizzle

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    I know. The shock on my vstrom and my klr were the same way. He takes them apart and welds ports and stuff into them. Turns non serviceable shocks into serviceable ones that any suspension shop can work on and re charge. My strom shock even has a nitrogen port.
     
  15. Lone Rider

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    And 4 bills is less than half of a Penske. But about is about half the value too. Still a nice option on a low budget bike like the 650 sv or ninja!

    Always best to investigate your options OP
    I'd give Barry at KFG a call too.
    See what the spendier options are.
     
  16. Buick_65

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    Love the Penske on my SV. Go talk to Barry at KFG and get you one....
     
  17. RedKat600

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    Did your factory shock look like this?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If so, they are two completely different animals. Yours could be modified and already has adjustments, the one on that 650R cannot. It's just the way they are made. I cut the one on my Katana apart and had a look inside because the travel was limited for some odd reason. They are not modifiable even by a suspension shop like the one on your Strom for many reasons.
     
    #17 RedKat600, Sep 28, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  18. Grantizzle

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    Well... That sucks then. Still might be worth dropping the Sasquatch guy a line and seeing what he can do, if anything.
     
  19. mcjunky

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    I ran a bitubo on my TLR and loved that shock, great quality and they make one for the ninja 650
     
  20. RedKat600

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    Yup! He may have a Penske or something else in stock that will fit for cheaper than new.
     
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