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  #1  
Old 24 Aug 2009
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Unhappy KLE500 (2006) front fork air pressures

Has anyone tinkered with the pressure in the front forks. The Manual says 0 kpa adjustable!! I have been doing a bit of rough country riding but find the front forks just too soft they bottom out frequently.

Obviously this can be adjusted but what is the pressure range??
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  #2  
Old 25 Aug 2009
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Hi Phil and welcome to the forum.

Despite warnings from Kawasaki and the dealers about not playing with the air pressure in the forks there are several posts in here with pressures up to 35psi. I'm not that game but I did take mine up to 10psi and it made a big difference. Diving under brakes has been reduced and the general "feel" through corners has improved.
I set the pressure with the wheel on the ground.
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Old 25 Aug 2009
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Hi the forks can easily handle the 20 psi in mine whether thats on road, off road or jumping over the odd bridge and i'm about 95kg

The handling and braking are significantly improved which i think outweighs the possibly shortened seal life

Although i would like some WP 48mm USD forks with twin discs eventually and a slightly longer rear shock
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  #4  
Old 26 Aug 2009
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Ive been running mine with 10psi with no problems. Deffo improves the handling and the fork dive under braking.

Roy
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  #5  
Old 26 Aug 2009
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After reading about upping the air pre load in KLE's I decided to try it on mine _ with good results . I have 10psi but may choose to try a bit higher . With no air pressure I may have well been using a sponge as a fork
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  #6  
Old 26 Aug 2009
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Smile

THanks for the feed back, I will give it a go and see if it helps me from destroying the bike and myself on those very rough bush tracks.
As for the rear shock I need it shorter not longer as I suffer from "ducks disease" short legs and I have a lot of trouble supporting the bike when stoping on rough or broken ground.
I am having the seat remodeled to take it as low as I can.
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  #7  
Old 6 Oct 2009
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Your oil seals are going to leak if you pressurize the forks. Rather install progressive springs. Make the seat narrower in the front. it makes your legs reach the ground easier
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  #8  
Old 6 Oct 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pleco View Post
Your oil seals are going to leak if you pressurize the forks. Rather install progressive springs.
Do you have experience of this happening? because i have over 15000 (21000 total) miles on mine with the forks at 20 psi some of this over very bumpy dirt tracks with the bike actually bottoming out and haven't had any issues also it says a max of 36psi can be put in the forks
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  #9  
Old 21 Oct 2009
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I have some kx forks that will going on mine soon with a 320mm disc and better caliper (basically a motard setup, but still using 21" front for dirt) - got em on ebay. Will let you know how it goes....
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  #10  
Old 27 Oct 2009
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If you want to improve your suspension, rule no. 1 is to change the spring first. You probably need the spring with bigger "spring rate" The original one is about 0.4 kg/mm (22 pounds per inch) and it is too soft.

Last edited by Nikola_M; 27 Oct 2009 at 11:24.
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  #11  
Old 1 Nov 2009
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Hi,
we recently changed the standard front fork springs of our 2006 KLE 500
for Wilbers Racing ones, progressive. Boy that made a difference. The bike doesn't dive as much under braking, but more importantly has better road contact through corners, where surface is more on the rough side. The feedback is so much better.
Unfortunately, for me as a dad, our son is now curving on the foot pegs through corners, as he feels the bike has become more direct, more predicatable. He never did that with the old springs, as he felt not 100% in control.
About two weeks after we have changed the springs we have also changed the front brake hose for a steel flex one, and it really has transformed the bike into a very nice unit. If you pull the lever, you can now hear the tyre scream, if you want so. Now you can talk of stopping power even with two up, which was a vague expirience before.
For a relativly small amount of money this bike is now a pleasure to ride.
Next project might be the seat....
Cheers from downunder, Michael
P.S.: Adding air pressure in the front fork will make them stiffer, but even less sensitive. By their design those valves are only there to release built up pressure in the fork after hard riding. That is to my understanding.
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  #12  
Old 28 Aug 2011
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How do you adjust the pressure?
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  #13  
Old 29 Aug 2011
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Pressure adjustment

A bicycle pump works fine to adjust the pressure.
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  #14  
Old 21 Jul 2013
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Just 4 strokes with a bicycle pump made a great difference to the forks of my KLE. Maybe i'll look to add stiffer springs at some later date but for now the bike is good to ride on and I'm very sure there is no issue with blowing seals for on road use or even a little off road that I do. This is not an MX bike with huge travel and harsh use where blown seals could be an issue.

S.C.
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  #15  
Old 22 Jul 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pleco View Post
Your oil seals are going to leak if you pressurize the forks. Rather install progressive springs. Make the seat narrower in the front. it makes your legs reach the ground easier
Why do people say this?

I run 10 psi in my '94 KLE500, also ran 10 psi in my old KLR650

Bicycle or hand pump ONLY, do NOT use a compressor or service station air outlet

Let all the air out then pump them up with the hand pump [takes very little].

I use a pump with a built in gauge on it, letting the air out each time I check first means I can get them accurate as air bleeds out when you try to check with a hand pressure gauge [Southern Cross' method is a very good option as well].

Edit:

By the way, there is a sticker on the right fork leg of KLE500's stating the maximum air pressure that can be put in the forks.
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