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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,
I'm in the process of installing a ZZR1200 shock on my 96D model ZX11. As expected, the '11 rocker arm is wider than the '12 lower shock yoke. I know that the normal procedure is to grind down the sides of the rocker arm,, and maybe some off the bottom yoke, but that kinda "gives me the willies' (makes me uncomfortable for all y'all non southern speakers :grin2:)
I compared the rocker arms from the two bikes and there is a difference in the geometry as well as in the length of the connecting links. The ones on the '12 are longer, but that seems to be to make up for the bend difference of the rocker arm. I'm sure there is a leverage difference, and possibly ride height, but what?

So my questions are;
A) does anyone know what the effect would be of transferring the complete rocker arm and linkage from the '12 to the '11?

B)Where to mount the hydraulic preload adjuster?

Any advice is appreciated, especially if there is someone who has done this. Oh, and a couple of pics would be great!
 

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If the swingarms are the same length, the difference in the shocks (spring rate, damping etc.) should make up for the difference in the rocker leverage since the bikes weigh relatively the same. I would go with the 12 rocker along with the 12 shock.

The preload adjuster needs a bracket fabbed unless you can drill and tap the subframe.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Hammerhead, I did exactly that. I'm using the ZZR1200 shock and linkage since it bolts right in. I'll post exactly how it functions in a few days. I figure if it works badly or strangely, I can always experiment and swap the struts, then the rocker arm and see what happens. With the V&H exhaust it's easy to access everything, so not a huge hassle to change things. And I figure I can always buy a rocker arm off the 'bay for cheap and modify it if I have to.

I've drilled a couple of holes in the right side passenger peg bracket and mounted the hydraulic adjuster to and it. Looks factory!

This has actually been part of the "mission creep" of a larger project. Since the rear tire was worn out , and I had a rear wheel from the ZZR1200 with a good, two year old tire, I figured I'd try to swap the wheel.

Then the "mission creep" started... I figured since I was in there already, I might as well change the chain and sprockets, brake pads, disassemble and clean the rear caliper, install frame sliders (Thanks MartyZX11) and swap out the shocks.

The ZZR1200 wheel is too wide to fit without machining thinner spacers. So I'm just going to have the good tire swapped to the ZX11 rim.

I'm really looking forward to trying the new suspension setup, maybe it will be easier on my spine!
 

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The remote preload is very handy. I wished for years my ZX-14 had one. The ZZR 12 shock is rebuildable and Traxxion Dynamics can rework it and set it up to suit your purpose for about $350.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Hammerhead,
I'm puzzled at your comment that the ZZR1200 shock is rebuildable. Everything I have read states the opposite. I have examined the shock and can not determine how it would come apart. Even getting the spring off looks like it requires an outside spring compressor.

I would be very happy indeed if turns out that you are correct! Do you have any pics, or even a written description as to how it comes apart? I have no fear of actually taking one apart and re-assembling it, I did that with my ZX11 shock, and some Works Performance dirt bike shocks and changed the fluid, etc.

Unfortunately the ZX11 shock doesn't work that much better than before the fluid change, it's still overly harsh on compression.

Let me know what you've found or if you can point me to a link, I would greatly appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ride report

Ok guys- today I got my rear wheel back on and got to test the new / old shock and linkage. The results were mixed.

For a start, using the ZZR1200 shock and linkage makes the bike sit quite a bit lower (don't know exactly how much yet). So much lower in fact, that it's almost impossible for me to get it on the center stand. I have the pre-load cranked to the maximum which helps but not enough.
It also steers noticeably slower. Not like a chopper or anything but definitely slower.

As for the ride, here we have a definite win! Whereas the ZX11 shock was a bone crusher over, well, just about everything, the ZZR1200 shock is nice and smooth albeit too soft.

So now the plan is to take the ZX11 linkage and grind it down to fit the ZZR1200 shock's bottom yoke. Actually, I'll probably try swapping the connecting links first, and progress from there. I may be able to do that next Saturday if I don't have to work.

Regardless, it's good to have my bike back under me! I've been in withdrawal the last month or so!
 

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Ok guys- today I got my rear wheel back on and got to test the new / old shock and linkage. The results were mixed.

For a start, using the ZZR1200 shock and linkage makes the bike sit quite a bit lower (don't know exactly how much yet). So much lower in fact, that it's almost impossible for me to get it on the center stand. I have the pre-load cranked to the maximum which helps but not enough.
It also steers noticeably slower. Not like a chopper or anything but definitely slower.

As for the ride, here we have a definite win! Whereas the ZX11 shock was a bone crusher over, well, just about everything, the ZZR1200 shock is nice and smooth albeit too soft.

So now the plan is to take the ZX11 linkage and grind it down to fit the ZZR1200 shock's bottom yoke. Actually, I'll probably try swapping the connecting links first, and progress from there. I may be able to do that next Saturday if I don't have to work.

Regardless, it's good to have my bike back under me! I've been in withdrawal the last month or so!
There are adjustable suspension links out there if the modded 11 link doesn't work out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
MTE78- I'm not sure of the dimensions, it's the stock ZZR1200 parts. I just got home and am in no shape to go out and measure them. I can't remember if the ZX11 links are longer or shorter, but there was a significant difference. I'll see about measuring them tomorrow, depending on when I get off.

Hammerhead- I still have to determine what effect changing the links has, as well as changing the rocker arm. I'll have to wait till I get some time.

I rode it again today, and it definitely feels under sprung, even with the adjuster cranked full hard. It doesn't seem to affect the stability of the machine and I could certainly get used to the plush ride, but it just feels kind of "vague"at the back.

Ok, ok, I couldn't stand it, I went out and measured: the ZX11 links are 6" c-to-c, the ZZR1200 links are right around 7" c-to-c. Now I have to see what difference the length makes...
 

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I had the same issue with my current build. 57x suggested ZX9R links. Fix my issue for $20.

And 1/2 the weight
 

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The links will only affect ride height. The proportions of the rocker (and the difference between 11 and 12) establish the leverage ratio of the suspension. The smaller rocker will have less leverage and yield a stiffer ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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.
 

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Nothing succeeds like success. A nice piece of garage engineering.

Had the ZZR 12 been equipped with a frontally-smaller fairing, it would have eclipsed the performance of the 11 in every way, but it wasn't built with that intent. It was built as a response from European dealers' request for an autobahn-burning missile. Then once the US dealers got a taste of it, they wanted it too, despite it not being intended for sale here.

Other than a tuned 1st-gen Vmax, I have never felt the visceral feeling of being pushed by the hand of God so intensely. After I had been riding the ZX-14 for a couple of years, I traded rides with a friend who had purchased a big Zed and was amazed that it felt faster than it's newer, more powerful successor.
 

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Just seen this, i did the same upgrade with a brand new zzr1200 shock. I just milled the linkage to suit...which ended up halfway across the grease zerk like you said.....been fine with no dramas.

 
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