Joined: Apr 2016
From: Austin, Tx
I Ride: 1996 ZX11, CR500, DR370
Hi guys, yesterday I took off work early (after only 10 hrs) and resolved to swap the links in the rear suspension. After a few minutes I had the ZZR1200 links removed. When I tried to install the ZX11 links I discovered that they were too short to reach the ZZR1200 rocker .
I was sad.
So I decided to bite the bullet and remove the rocker arm and see if I could do the full swap.
Since the ZX11 rocker is wider than the ZZR1200's I had to mill off about .1" from each side (I have a mill / drill with cross slide in my garage). The amount of material I had to remove meant that I broke through the center zerk ftg. cavity slightly. The fitting still screws in securely but you can see the threads. I applied a dab of RTV black to seal it. After about 15 minutes the rocker arm was done. I used the ZZR1200 sleeve, since it was the correct length. Everything went together smoothly. It took about 4 hrs total, at a leisurely pace.
This morning I rode to work, first down my gravel driveway (.2mi long) then down a smooth US highway. I made sure to ride over every road repair patch and uneven section. This evening I took off early again (yep, only 10 hrs...) I took the long way home, down my favorite county road.
Let me say this- it is like night and day compared to the original rear shock. The bike now soaks up bumps that would have seriously jolted my insides previously. The ride is comfortable but taut, and instills confidence. Whereas I sometimes worried that the old suspension would skip over mid-corner bumps, now I can feel the rear end absorbing the shock and tracking over the bump.
It's still somewhat rough over the really bad stuff at speed but it's also about what you could reasonably expect out of a 600lb machine with only 4" of suspension travel. Still, it's nowhere near as bad as previously.
Was it worth it? YES! Would I recommend it? HELL YES! For the price of an 'bay shock, paying a machine shop to cut the rocker (or grinding it your self), and a day's work (including removing and installing the shock itself) you end up with a transformed machine for probably less than $150!
So now my ZX11/12 has ZZR1200 engine, radiator, oil cooler, fans, front forks, front fender, front brake calipers, and rear shock. It is faster and works even better than the original, and that's saying something. Pictures eventually...
I am happy.
"If it ain't broke-don't break it!"