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Discussion Starter #1
So I just upgraded my front fork springs and rebuilt both forks entirely, as well as replaced the rear shock with one from a ninja 300. This isn't exactly a how to write up but more of just condensing a few good tips I found from several different posts as well as itemizing an inexpensive upgrade. Anyone who is like me and hates the squishy suspension, here is what I used to remedy it: (I have a 2005 Ninja 500 for reference)
-Racetech S2938090 0.90kg springs (I'm 6ft 200lbs for reference)
-All Balls bushing kit 38-6103
-All Balls seal kit 56-123
-10w fork oil (352mL per fork so buy 1L)
-2ft of 3/4" SCH40 PVC pipe (to make preload spacers, my spring kit came with some but just in case yours doesn't)
-2ft of 1.5" SCH40 PVC pipe (to use as an inexpensive seal driver)
-Rear shock from a Ninja 300 (I set mine to preload position #4, if you are under 200lbs I'd probably go with position #3)

As for my forks, everything but the springs is OEM, and from doing the calculation from my measurements, the new preload spacers for my forks were 130mm long each, which gave the recommended 10mm of preload at the caps. As far as I can tell all of the Racetech springs meant for the Ninja 500 are all the same length, just different spring rates, so 130mm SHOULD be the correct length for all of them, but I would still measure and calculate if you can to be sure.

So once you have overhauled the entire suspension with stiffer springs front and rear, you now have a stable bike in the curves that doesn't nosedive at the slightest tap of the front brake. If you're lucky like me, you can obtain all the parts needed for under $200, and if you are mechanically inclined can have this done in a few hours.

Here is a link for help with the forks:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
52218
Left spring is OEM, right is Racetech
52219
Left shock is from a Ninja 300, right shock is OEM
 

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Just for additional info if someone comes here to look, Racetech recommends 15w oil IF using their emulator. Otherwise they say to follow factory recommendations.
 

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Remind me the advantages of the stock Ninja 300 shock, and what modifications, if any, are necessary to fit Gen 2 EX500?❔
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Remind me the advantages of the stock Ninja 300 shock, and what modifications, if any, are necessary to fit Gen 2 EX500?❔
The stock Ninja 300 shock has a stiffer spring and is adjustable to suit many riders. The stock Ninja 500 shock is suitable only for riders around 100lbs or so. There is no modifications needed, it is a direct bolt in to the Gen 2 EX500.
 

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This isn't exactly a how to write up but more of just condensing a few good tips
@Sarge2481
This thread more than qualifies as a valid How To thread. If you want I would be more than happy to move it to the How To section. If you prefer to leave it here, that's OK also. Your thread/your call. Just let me know. Either way nice job, great thread.(y)
 
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Discussion Starter #7
@Sarge2481
This thread more than qualifies as a valid How To thread. If you want I would be more than happy to move it to the How To section. If you prefer to leave it here, that's OK also. Your thread/your call. Just let me know. Either way nice job, great thread.(y)
If you think it's a good how to then feel free to put it in that section. Where ever you think it would be the most useful I'm fine with.
 

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Just for additional info if someone comes here to look, Racetech recommends 15w oil IF using their emulator. Otherwise they say to follow factory recommendations.
Just so you know.....
The holes in the damper rod control compression and the fluid viscosity controls rebound.

Too much compression, make the holes bigger or add holes in the damping rod
Not enough rebound? Use higher viscosity fluid.
 

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The stock Ninja 300 shock has a stiffer spring and is adjustable to suit many riders. The stock Ninja 500 shock is suitable only for riders around 100lbs or so. There is no modifications needed, it is a direct bolt in to the Gen 2 EX500.
The way I see it: you're replacing a crappy shock with a newer crappy shock.

You are confusing the functions of the suspension parts.
The spring holds the bike up.
The shock dampens the spring action.

What was wrong with putting the correct spring on the EX shock?
You want a GOOD shock? Buy an aftermarket one that has adjustable damping, preload and length, with the correct spring for the application.

... did you service the shock pivots?
 

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You want a GOOD shock? Buy an aftermarket one that has adjustable damping, preload and length, with the correct spring for the application.
I have a Penske shock on mine only because of the previous owner (I'm tempted to sell it as I saw the prices, but I'll keep it on for now). But the ex300 rear will give you more options for settings, more geared towards riders more than 100 lbs, and can be found online for light money. It may not be "as good" as others but still better than before for not a lot of investment in time or coin.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The way I see it: you're replacing a crappy shock with a newer crappy shock.

You are confusing the functions of the suspension parts.
The spring holds the bike up.
The shock dampens the spring action.

What was wrong with putting the correct spring on the EX shock?
You want a GOOD shock? Buy an aftermarket one that has adjustable damping, preload and length, with the correct spring for the application.

... did you service the shock pivots?
The point of this is to be a budget upgrade, this isn't for a professional race bike. If for $35 I can get a bolt in option to improve my ride, why wouldn't I? Even if I have to replace it with another in a few years I can live with that.
And if servicing the shock pivots you mean cleaning and greasing the pivot points of the dogbone and swingarm then yes I did that, my bike had sat for 13 years so I did that for all the moving parts i could get to.
 

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...and I think you're both right, in a way.

The original EX500 shock and the OEM Ninja 300 shock are not the greatest shocks ever made;
the manufacturers buy a boatload of them and put them on every bike they make;
it's a compromise choice; they can do that and we buy their bikes anyway.

But, I can't really argue with budget upgrade and personalization.
If you buy a shock for your bike and you like the way it works,
then I'm okay with that, and I might even try it on mine.

Just my two cents.
 
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