This chapter covers the front forks, steering
head, rear shock absorbers and swing arm.
specifications are given in Table 1 and Table 2
at the end of the chapter.
The KZ550-D is factory-equipped with a
cafe-racer style fairing. See Figure 1 for fairing
and windscreen removal and installation.
The Kawasaki front suspension consists of a
spring-controlled, hydraulically damped
telescopic fork. T h e damping rate is
determined by the viscosity (thickness) of the
oil used. The spring rate can be altered by
varying the amount of oil used and, on some
models, the air pressurization ofthe forks; refer
to Chapter Three for these adjustments. Before
suspecting major trouble, drain the fork oil and
refill with the proper type and quantity. If you
still have trouble, such as poor damping,
tendency to bottom out or top out or leakage
around the fork seals, then follow the service
procedures in this section.
To simplify fork service and to prevent the
mixing of parts, the fork legs should be
Each front fork leg consists of the fork leg
(inner tube), slider (outer tube), fork spring and
damper rod with its damper components.
1. Raise the front wheel off the ground;
support the motorcycle securely under the
2. Remove the front wheel; see
Removal in Chapter Nine.
3. Remove the front fender.
4. Loosen the upper and lower fork clamp
bolts (Figure 2).
5. Work the fork leg down and out of the
clamps with a twisting motion.
6. Install by reversing the removal steps. Note
a. The top of the fork tube should be even
with the top of the clamp (Figure 3).
Both fork assemblies must be installed at
exactly the same height to prevent axle
and suspension damage when the
suspension is bottomed or fully
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