SV1000 – GSXR1000 Rear Shock Install

SV1000 – GSXR1000 Rear Shock Install

Author: AndyW  March2005
For more information and alternatives such as using a ZX10R shock unit do some searches on where there are a LOT of posts on the subject of suspension.

On a budget but would like to upgrade / improve the rear suspension on you SV1000 – fit a Suzuki GSXR1000 rear shock absorber.

NB: 2003 onwards GSXR rear shock absorbers have the reservoir on the opposite side to stock SV1000 shocks and pre 2003 GSXR shocks. The GSXR shocks do not fit the Naked SV1000 due to the tool/battery box location unless you are willing to cut in to this (tip: ZX10R shock 😉

I installed a 2003 shock but photos of a 2002 gsxr shock install can be seen here:

First things first, an extract from the SV1000 Suzuki Workshop Manual (6-50 onwards):

NB: “Rear cushion rod” = ‘Dogbone’

(A) Nut 14mm  Bolt head 14mm
(C) Nut 14mm  Bolt head 17mm
(G) Nut 12mm  Bolt head 14mm

1) Whilst not necessary, the help of a buddy is a good idea and makes life much easier (I did my own shock upgrade by myself but also helped Stevezuki install his gixxer shock…..much easier, much quicker)

2) Depending on the age of your bike and how much wet weather it’s seen, some time before you intend to do the job, consider brushing any ‘crud’ off the lower suspension mounting bolts and soaking them with WD40 to ease any corrosion.

3) Again not necessary but the job will be much easier to do if the rear wheel is removed together with the swingarm mudguard and/or hugger. A good opportunity to clean those bits that are hard to get to and carry out some preventative maintenance – Wheel Bearing / Spindle Maintenance

4) Use of an Abba Stand ( or similar DIY method of securely holding the rear of the bike off the ground with the swingarm/suspension ‘unloaded’

You can see why (3) and (4) above make sense……
everything is easy to get at:

Step 1
Support the swingarm so that the rear suspension is unloaded and the shock is in a neutral state, neither under load or compression i.e. not supporting the weight of the swingarm or the swingarm raised too far. I wedged a suitable length of wood between one of the paddock stand bobbin mounting points and the floor (note, you don’t want to wedge the swingarm too tightly or the shock will be in compression)

Step 2
Remove the 10mm bolt that holds the chain guide in place under the swingarm (blue arrow in photo below) the reason will be clear when you pull the upper Dogbone retaining bolt. Undo the upper Dogbone retaining bolt and withdraw the bolt (red arrow in photo below). I put some rag up through the swingarm around the shock at this point so that nothing gets marked or scratched when the shock is pulled through. Swing the Dogbones down out of the way…there is no need to undo their lower mounting.

(Note for anyone interested, the lower Dogbone mounting bolt can only be withdrawn after the top mount has been undone and the lower shock mount bolt removed so that the ‘cushion lever’ can be swung down giving clearance below the exhaust for the bolt to be pulled)

Step 3
Undo the lower shock retaining bolt, remove the nut but you won’t be able to pull the bolt yet. Undo the top shock retaining bolt.  You’ll see from the photo below why removal of the wheel and mudguard/hugger again makes life a lot easier, space to get a spanner or ratchet on the bolt head is limited. There is a hole in the frame on the right side to slide a ratchet extension bar through….you’ll need to put the 14mm socket on the nut first as this won’t fit through the hole 😉

Step 4
Whilst supporting the shock (buddy comes in handy here :-), withdraw the top mounting bolt. You will now be able to lower the shock so that the bottom retaining bolt is clear of the exhaust and can be pulled out.

Half way there…………….

Step 5
Before installing your new shiny shock it’s a good idea to protect it by taping some cloth round it so that nothing gets marked or scratched on installing. Remember the reservoir will point to the left as you face forward for 2003 onwards GSXR shocks.
To pass the top of the shock through the swing arm, hold the shock at an angle of about 45 degrees with the lower end of it under the right side of the swing arm something like the diagram on the right. As the shock comes through the swing arm bring it more upright and rotate it clockwise so that the reservoir  is biased to the left as you face the front of the bike (2003 onwards shocks). Insert the top mounting bolt from the left side to hold the shock temporarily – don’t put the nut on yet.

NB: All bolts are inserted from the left side of the bike.

Step 6
Attach the shock lower mount to the ‘cushion lever’ and reattach the Dogbones to their upper mounting point – this is where you might be glad the shock’s top mount bolt has not been done up. You may need to pull the top mounting bolt to make life easier aligning the Dogbones to their mounting point. If so, once the Dogbone mounting bolt is in place realign the top of the shock and re-insert the bolt.

Step 7
Tighten all fixings to the specified torque setting – it will depend on the size/shape of the head/socket on you torque wrench as to whether you can get it on nut of the upper Dogbone mounting bolt…..I only just managed to get mine on with a bit of fiddling. Re-check all mounting bolts.

About time for another photo…………
Shock, wrapped for safety, loosely installed, Dogbones still hanging:

Reinstall you wheel etc and take a gentle test ride before returning to check that all mounting bolts are secure.

For 2003 onwards GSXR shocks you will find that the damping adjusters are now on the left of the bike (Compression – top / rebound – bottom)

Not really necessary but I’ll finish off with a final snapshot from the manual…… need to reinstall the exhaust!