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Author: Subject: Sportster shocks do fit on KZ400!
Sendhendrix
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[*] posted on 9-5-2004 at 18:22
Sportster shocks do fit on KZ400!



Hey guys,

Edit: Title edited to reflect last post.

I have a 1979 KZ400 B-2, and I need a set of rear shocks and fork springs for it. It dives pretty bad when I'm stopping, and I can feel every crack in the road in my bony butt.

I see that just about everybody on this forum is going to Progressive parts when replacing shocks and springs, but I'm having trouble finding their parts for my bike. Their site isn't very helpful...when looking for springs, for example, it just turns up shocks. I think I have found the right shocks, but I am also very very interested in finding springs.

Is there an application cross-reference somewhere that I can use the OE part number for?

Thanks!

[Edited on 5/10/2004 by Sendhendrix]

[Edited on 6/15/2004 by Sendhendrix]

[Edited on 6/15/2004 by Sendhendrix]




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[*] posted on 9-5-2004 at 18:41


Progressive makes the 412 (I think) rear shocks for the 400/440. Check the Dennis Kirk catalog. Most KZ shocks interchange, BTW, and a cheap upgrade is to use HD Sportster shocks. Many Sportster owners install lower shocks and sell the stock ones on Ebay.
AFAIK, no one sells replacement fork springs for the 400/440 other than Kawa$aki.

[Edited on 10/5/2004 by KLACKO]




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[*] posted on 10-5-2004 at 08:37


Dang Klacko... You are starting to sound almost sane... some good advice! bwhahaha

FWIW: Progressive shocks are pretty universal. Get the length right and they give you a big bag of bushings so that the shocks will fit proper over most any shock stud. You just got to get the ones with eyes on both ends and not Clevis type ends like on the bottom of a Suzuki. The 412s are a decent choice but kind of pricey. Progressive makes a shock called the 12 Series which is THE SAME shock as the 412 but no chrome. The black 12 Series shock also costs a bunch less and I think the black shock looks better on a KZ although if you like chrome, the 412 may be more your style. As far as the fork springs, just measure yours and then call Progressive's help line and TALK to them about another application that is the same length. I BET they make one... just didn't pay much attention to marketing to KZ400 owners so the application isn't listed. Their customer service folks will know various spring lengths.




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[*] posted on 10-5-2004 at 11:19


Just eat at McD's a lot. Eventually you won't feel the bumps that much:P



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Sendhendrix
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[*] posted on 10-5-2004 at 15:19
Lol I could beef up I guess...



Maybe if I padded my butt I wouldn't need shocks, but man I'm telling you what, my back is KILLING me today after riding that thing for an hour or so yesterday!

Thanks for the advice, yall.
Yeah I'm hoping I can get some progressive springs for it up front because if the old Kaw springs crapped out (granted they are 25 years old) I don't see why I ought to buy new Kaw springs. They are only $60 apiece though.




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[*] posted on 10-5-2004 at 15:34
Need fork spring measurements



Hey guys I don't have the luxury of a place to disassemble my bike and leave it that way for any length of time, so I was wondering if someone out there might know the following:
1979 KZ400 B-2
part#44026-1011 "fork spring"

What are these 4 dimensions:
1.)Free length (I think that might be in my manual actually)
2.)Number of coils (can only be off by 1 coil)
3.)Outside diameter of 1 coil
4.)Outside diameter of spring (fork tube size)

Progressive told me that if I can give them that info, they can hook me up with some fork springs.
I understand if noone can help me, but I'm not taking my bike apart to get those measurements and sit on my thumbs for 2 weeks while I wait for springs.

Thanks!

[Edited on 5/10/2004 by Sendhendrix]




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[*] posted on 10-5-2004 at 17:38


15 min job, maybe? Take a fork cap off, pull the spring and measure it, put it back together (may have to remove handlebars first).
Really easy to do.




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[*] posted on 10-5-2004 at 19:12
Oh.



I guess I didn't realize it was that easy.

Okay, I'll do that.

Duuuuuh.
Everybody have patience with the cager mechanic, please.




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[*] posted on 10-5-2004 at 19:45


[quote][i]Originally posted by KLACKO[/i]
Progressive makes the 412 (I think) rear shocks for the 400/440. Check the Dennis Kirk catalog. Most KZ shocks interchange, BTW, and a cheap upgrade is to use HD Sportster shocks. Many Sportster owners install lower shocks and sell the stock ones on Ebay.
AFAIK, no one sells replacement fork springs for the 400/440 other than Kawa$aki.

[Edited on 10/5/2004 by KLACKO] [/quote]

Not trying to hijack this thread, but does it matter what year HD? And does it have to be a sportster? Do they bolt right up without any modifications.




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[*] posted on 10-5-2004 at 20:42
I dunno I'll tell you



Hey thomastedder I just scored a set of Sportster shocks off Ebay, I think the main thing is they should be the right length; a lot of the shocks on Ebay right now for HD's are for "lowering" which I believe wouldn't suit our purposes...but anyway these are "off" a HD, not sure how many minutes or miles on them, and they are 13.5" shocks, same length as the ones on my 79 KZ400 B2. I'd expect I'll have some mounting bushing issues but that should be fairly easily solved.

Anyway yeah I'll let you know.

Oh yeah I only paid $66 for the set. If they aren't leaking oil I think I got a helluva deal.

[Edited on 5/11/2004 by Sendhendrix]




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[*] posted on 11-5-2004 at 05:09


Sporty shocks using HD bushings won't work. You have to have the right ones. Progressive Suspension WILL sell you the bushing kit that includes bushings that WILL work and the kits don't cost that much. Get the sporty shocks and call Progressive's tech line and order a bushing kit. Generally 13.5" shocks are about right for many KZs but there are plenty of folks who have lowered the bike a tad using shorter front shocks.



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[*] posted on 11-5-2004 at 09:33


[quote][i]Originally posted by thomastedder[/i]

And does it have to be a sportster? [/quote]

Dyna shocks won't work, I've heard.




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[*] posted on 11-5-2004 at 10:07


I don't think every Harley shock or even Kaw shocks will work for that matter. Some of the fatter body shocks will find interference and won't seat fully on the studs. Sporty shocks are known to work and can't say about all the others. I use Progressive 12s on my KZ... got them for about $40 on ebay used.



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[*] posted on 11-5-2004 at 10:18


The eyelets on the "bigger" HD shocks are wider than the Sportster shock mounts.

Please don't ask how I found this out.

At least for my model, upper bushings from a KZ1000P fit both the upper and lower eyelets on the Sportster shocks. The bottom KZ bushings were too small of a diameter.




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[*] posted on 11-5-2004 at 13:02


most dyna's have air shocks mounted under the bike.



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[*] posted on 11-5-2004 at 14:26


For better handling and damping in the front forks go for the KX 125 fork kit (kit number 144), if it is available. It will extend the fork travel by one inch. This has been tried out, not by me, but by others.

And I also think you can get adjustable Koni dampers for the rear.




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[*] posted on 11-5-2004 at 15:37
Here's the shocks I got...



Now I'm wondering if they may be too fat for my 79 Kz400 B-2...I assume I'll have bushing issues...and I will get the ones from Progressive, Wired thanx for the heads up.

What do you think. Hard to tell from the pic I know but are they too fat?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7901278539&ed=1084249586




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[*] posted on 11-5-2004 at 15:58


The upper part looks like the kz dampers. You might have to replace the bushings though. The bottom is harder to tell from the picture. And you might have to cut a piece out of the chain guard to be able to get the left damper in place.



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[*] posted on 13-5-2004 at 10:13


The chain gaurd will almost certainly have to be cut but they will fit if you get a bushing kit from Progressive or fab some bushings. They sell bushings at Home Depot in various sizes. The inner hole would be EASY as all you would need to do is drill it SLIGHTLY larger than your shock studs/bolts but the outer edge of a fabbed bushing would be far more difficult to make the correct size. Probably a way but I can' t think of one off hand.



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[*] posted on 13-5-2004 at 16:55
One more question



How much bigger/heavier than a KZ400 is a Harley Sportster? Am I about to create a suspension monster?? It just dawned on me that I might be putting on some struts that are intended for a much heavier bike!



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[*] posted on 16-5-2004 at 17:54
Okay, I rebuilt my forks this weekend



Well I took apart my front forks yesterday to measure the free length of my springs and replace the seals "just cause."

Pulled the springs out, they measured 19 inches long each. According to the manual, minimum free length is 18.7 inches. So I know they're good.

Thing is, I didn't notice until I went to put them back in that they are progressively wound...Kewl. Looks like maybe someone has been here before me? Although I did hafta torch out the old seals...and the oil looked like it had to be OE.

Well my question now is, which way do progressive springs go in? I ended up putting the close coils at the top. Is that backwards?

Oh also I discovered that the preload on my rear shocks was set at max, which would explain why my butt hurts every time I get done riding the bike. I set the springs at the softest preload, which helped the harshness of the rear suspension, but now the thing gallops and bounces all over the place so I know it needs shocks.

Anyway sorry about the dumb questions and the long posts.

Thanks for your help yall




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[*] posted on 14-6-2004 at 17:39
Put them on!



I finally got around to putting the Sportster shocks in my backpack and rode down to the shop.
My old rear shocks were 100% shot, oozing oil and the ride was like a waterbed.

Because I was merely experimenting, I decided against getting a bushing kit, instead using the old bushings from my old shocks via a press. The bushing swap/fit was perfect.
It took some finaggling to get the first shock on, as it seemed to be a tad longer. The second shock was easier.

Once installed, the bike sat noticeably taller. Clearance between the rear fender and wheel is increased. Seat height is close to another inch. (I wish I'd measured it before hand.) When I mount the bike, it does not sag very much at all, as I am used to it doing. I have the preload set at the lowest setting.

While testing, I noticed a much smoother, firmer ride. I don't think the ride is too firm, but some might think so. Probably my biggest complaint is the change in seat height; I feel as if I'm pitching forward a little, whereas with the old shocks the bottom sagged right under me and wallowed over bumps. I weigh 140 lbs after lunch.

So anyway there you have it, the 13.5" Sportster shocks do fit on my 1979 KZ400 B-2, and as I have no experience with any other bike, I can't offer much opinion as to whether the suspension feels right, but I like it mostly. I especially like the chrome :)




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[*] posted on 14-6-2004 at 18:00


Good work!
And you did put in the front fork springs correctly by the way:)




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[*] posted on 14-6-2004 at 18:55


Lemme get right up front and tell ya I am not a fan of stock KZs...they are in desperate need of major modification to suit me...and that's just for [i]me,[/i] not everybody who rides a KZ...

That having been said, I can get into the shocks replacement thing...the last thing I want as replacement shocks on my KZ650 is a pair that are just as too tall as the originals, and priced higher, too...I don't like sitting uncomfortably on a too-wide seat with my feet arched so that only my toes touch the ground...so I didn't use the almost-new stock shocks from my Sporty; instead, I scored a pair of Suzuki (with double-eyed ends) 11 3/4" shocks, changed the bushings, and could actually ride this bike...

HD stock shocks are very high and tight, and Sendhendrix used them to replace worn KZs that were probably flat...if you don't mind spending a little $$$, there are companies that will shorten shocks to length...or you can scour eBay and ask everyone selling shocks how long they are, eye-to-eye...

Before anybody asks--I got a KZ for its fine motor and finer price...never even considered leaving it stock...I think my signature sez it all...




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biggrin.gif posted on 1-7-2004 at 08:54


ok ive got an 82 440 ltd.
will the sport's shocks work for me?
if so what year sporty should i get?
this is my first kaw and first 440.
and my first post. any ideas on an old school 440 chopper?im leaving the frame stock just gonna change the frontend a little. like an old triumph or bsa.
thanks




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