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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, before someone says "do a forum search"...I tried. I really tried, and I keep getting blank screens, so the search function doesn't seem to work at all for me. Page simply doesn't load when I do it.


Nevertheless I looked in the suspensions section and only found a few threads with different topics, so I thought I'd make one that sort of combines it all and for people to ask questions and post their findings as well. Anyway, I've been looking into suspension options for the 400 and so far haven't found much. Here's what I see at the moment:


Shocks
1. Ohlins STX
2. K-Tech Razor
3. Nitron (3 options here, R1 to R3)


Forks
1. Ohlins cartridge
2. Andreani cartridge
3. K-Tech cartridge


This is about it, which isn't much. GP suspensions don't seem to have anything. Haven't seen anything from Penske or JRI either. Traxxion Dynamics have nothing on their site, but I did shoot them an email last night to ask them if they have anything in the works. From the above, it looks like on the shocks side, the Nitron R1 is the cheapest option but you also get what you pay for. After that, it's the Ohlins and K-Tech are very similar in price, then the other Nitron options are significantly more expensive. On the forks side, the Andreani is the cheapest, while K-Tech and Ohlins are again about the same. However the Ohlins are the only ones that are really "plug-and-play". For the others, you have to make a modification on the fork tubes to get them to fit, by grinding down a lip/edge.



My question is, has anyone found any other shocks or suspension parts that are compatible with the 400 from other bikes? For example, I know on the ninja 300 some people used to use a GSXR shock which was a cheap improvement, because although not designed specifically for the 300 it was still way better than the stock 300 shock. I'm trying to save some money on my race bike build, so if there are other shocks that will fit on the 400 from other bikes I would try that first, at least for some time. As far as forks, I know the Yamaha R3 also has 41mm forks, but I haven't checked to see what other differences are. I suppose I should pull it out of the trailer sometime and look at them side by side lol
 

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RaceTech is currently using my bike for R&D. Probably be a month or so before anything is on their website though. I haven't seen anything about other bikes shocks fitting into the 400. Measurements would need to be taken.
 

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You pretty much summed up the scene well there as far as I know it.
I know for the CBR250/300's the go to option for the easiest swap upgrade was the Yamaha R6 rear shock, maybe worth a look?

BTW search box function is down, Admin have been informed but feel free to send them a PM as well.
 

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I would suggest the Andrani cartridges and the Ohlins rear, I know your on a budget. Save up and get it right the first time. Especially if your going to race, nothing like losing a race because your front end bottoms out on the last turn to the straight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would suggest the Andrani cartridges and the Ohlins rear, I know your on a budget. Save up and get it right the first time. Especially if your going to race, nothing like losing a race because your front end bottoms out on the last turn to the straight.

At this point I'm thinking Ohlins for both front and rear. The Ohlins cartridges are only $100 more but don't require any modification to the fork tubes, plus I'm more familiar with Ohlins products having had their shocks and forks on a couple of other bikes before, so I have some of the tools that makes servicing them easier. I can get both the shock and cartridges with the right springs for my weight for about $1370. Or I can get new K-tech front and rear for about $1200 or a bit more but they are setup for a rider that's way lighter than me, so then I'd have to buy different springs for both cartridge and shock and have them installed. And I'd still have to modify the fork tubes too. So at this point, based on those options listed in my original post, I'm leaning towards the Ohlins, but I was hoping there would be something else that I can save more money on.


On my R3 I have the Traxxion Dynamics damper rod kit in the forks which means it's not a full cartridge, therefore I still have no external adjustability to anything but they came setup for racing and for my weight and the front end feels really good at pretty much every track I've been too. It was definitely worth the $300. And with the shocks, I was hoping there would be some compatibility with other bikes. On CBR500s I knew some people that had GSXR shocks (myself included), or on R3s some people put Ninja 650 shocks on or modified R6 shocks. Probably not quite as good of an option as getting an aftermarket shock made for this bike, but still a huge improvement over the OEM one which would be worth it if it only costs $100-150.
 

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At this point I'm thinking Ohlins for both front and rear. The Ohlins cartridges are only $100 more but don't require any modification to the fork tubes, plus I'm more familiar with Ohlins products having had their shocks and forks on a couple of other bikes before, so I have some of the tools that makes servicing them easier. I can get both the shock and cartridges with the right springs for my weight for about $1370. Or I can get new K-tech front and rear for about $1200 or a bit more but they are setup for a rider that's way lighter than me, so then I'd have to buy different springs for both cartridge and shock and have them installed. And I'd still have to modify the fork tubes too. So at this point, based on those options listed in my original post, I'm leaning towards the Ohlins, but I was hoping there would be something else that I can save more money on.


On my R3 I have the Traxxion Dynamics damper rod kit in the forks which means it's not a full cartridge, therefore I still have no external adjustability to anything but they came setup for racing and for my weight and the front end feels really good at pretty much every track I've been too. It was definitely worth the $300. And with the shocks, I was hoping there would be some compatibility with other bikes. On CBR500s I knew some people that had GSXR shocks (myself included), or on R3s some people put Ninja 650 shocks on or modified R6 shocks. Probably not quite as good of an option as getting an aftermarket shock made for this bike, but still a huge improvement over the OEM one which would be worth it if it only costs $100-150.
I used to run the Ohlins front shocks also, I tried the Andrani as they are cheaper, i promise no different then the Ohlins, they are made for the N400 no need to drill anything out, just remove stock and slide in cartridge, make sure you check the air gap I am thinking it was 120 I dont have the manual in front of me. The choice is yours though, fully suited I am 208 and have no issues with my setup. For me to save $100 thats more money I can put towards something else.

I think the Harley Davidson forks are 41mm also you might look and see if its cheaper going that route, but you need to check the length is the same. I was looking into that option while waiting for the N400 parts to roll out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I used to run the Ohlins front shocks also, I tried the Andrani as they are cheaper, i promise no different then the Ohlins, they are made for the N400 no need to drill anything out, just remove stock and slide in cartridge, make sure you check the air gap I am thinking it was 120 I dont have the manual in front of me. The choice is yours though, fully suited I am 208 and have no issues with my setup. For me to save $100 thats more money I can put towards something else.
Really? Odd because everywhere I've looked it states that you have to modify the fork tubes for the Andreani. I know for sure it was like that on the R3 (also 41mm forks) because I knew some people that had them.

I just heard back from Traxxion Dynamics and they said they have options for the Ninja 400, pretty much the same stuff as they have for the R3, but it's just not listed on the site yet. Modified Penske 8983 (same as what I have on the R3), AR25 damper rod kit for forks, or the more expensive AK20 cartridges. Supposedly the AK20 cartridges are about the best that you can get for the little bikes, like the Ninja 300, R3, CBR500, etc. but the problem is they cost a lot more than everything else too at $1100-1200 (can't remember exactly). I'm waiting for them to give me some more info about some of that, including pricing.
@SDM! is the Ohlins shock height adjustable? Do you know if it's longer than the OEM shock, and if so by how much? I assume it doesn't have hydraulic preload adjuster, just the simple 2 collar nuts that you have to turn with a spanner if you want to adjust your preload, right?

I'm probably a good 250-255 with gear on because just the other day I found out all my gear weighs more than I thought (about 28 lbs!).
 

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I bought the Andreani's but haven't installed yet, very reasonable price (under $500 shipped to SoCal from Italy), but the instrucciones say you need to grind the lip off the fork tubes, and I haven't had the time or bravery to do that yet, not sure if you had a different approach SDM, but would like to hear it too. . .
 

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I bought the Andreani's but haven't installed yet, very reasonable price (under $500 shipped to SoCal from Italy), but the instrucciones say you need to grind the lip off the fork tubes, and I haven't had the time or bravery to do that yet, not sure if you had a different approach SDM, but would like to hear it too. . .
Ill ask the shop that installed them, I do remember he said they went right in let me clarify it in a few days once I am home.
 

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@SDM! is the Ohlins shock height adjustable? Do you know if it's longer than the OEM shock, and if so by how much? I assume it doesn't have hydraulic preload adjuster, just the simple 2 collar nuts that you have to turn with a spanner if you want to adjust your preload, right?
.
Are you talking front or rear? The Ohlins I had on my N300 had compression on one side, rebound on the other side same for the Andrani. On the rear for my N400 Ohlins has compression and rebound, the cheaper model doesnt have both.
 

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Ill ask the shop that installed them, I do remember he said they went right in let me clarify it in a few days once I am home.
OK thanks, I had the instructions in my hand where I read you have to grind the fork tubes, but it doesn't sound ridiculously difficult. . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I bought the Andreani's but haven't installed yet, very reasonable price (under $500 shipped to SoCal from Italy), but the instrucciones say you need to grind the lip off the fork tubes, and I haven't had the time or bravery to do that yet, not sure if you had a different approach SDM, but would like to hear it too. . .
That's what I thought. If the instructions even call for it then it's true. I've seen it done before, there's a good youtube video about it. Doesn't look hard, I just don't want to do it because if I decide to sell the cartridges and put it back to stock, the OEM stuff won't work anymore.

On the other hand, how the **** did you get it that cheap?? Anywhere I've look, they retail for $650. I can get it for just under $600 from Spears with the racer discount he gives, but under $500 would be a **** of a deal. I'd be down to do some grinding then if I can get them that cheap lol

Are you talking front or rear? The Ohlins I had on my N300 had compression on one side, rebound on the other side same for the Andrani. On the rear for my N400 Ohlins has compression and rebound, the cheaper model doesnt have both.
Rear is shock, front is forks :)

So does your Ohlins shock have height adjustability? Can you post a picture of it? Everywhere I look online that lists Ninja 400 Ohlins shock, they use generic pictures of other shocks and it's not the real thing because so far I've seen 3 different pictures for the same "Ninja 400 Ohlins STX shock". And all 3 pictures had a note at the bottom that said the picture is generic and may not reflect the actual product. WTF?? lol

I'm also wondering if it's longer than the OEM one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@SDM! I just realized you literally have the Ohlins shock in your avatar pic lol...unfortunately it's too small and I'm also on a smaller tablet. Any chance you can post a larger version of that pic?
 

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@SDM! I just realized you literally have the Ohlins shock in your avatar pic lol...unfortunately it's too small and I'm also on a smaller tablet. Any chance you can post a larger version of that pic?
Here are a few pics of it. It looks like at the bottom there might be some adjustment.



 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yep, if it's got that blue nut, that's what it's for. Man that is a skinny looking shock. That leads me to believe most shocks from other bikes wouldn't fit on the 400 unless they're from other small bikes.

At this point I think the Ohlins is at the top of my list. I heard back from Traxxion Dynamics today. Their AR25 kit (damper rod kit) is $400. Comes setup for your weight. I'm considering it since I've had good experience with the same kit on the R3. Although that one I only paid $300 for. They must've increased their prices or something. I guess it's a matter of "Do I want to pay an extra $300 to have full adjustments or not?".

The Penske shock though is almost $1000 so probably not going to get that even though it's a good one.
 

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Penske with remote is actually almost $1200, at least on the HB and GPsuspension sites. a bit rich for me atm, but I do need something back there. The Ohlins doesn't look fully adjustable, but probably enough for my needs. $775 at STG looks to be the going rate, anyone found anything better?
 

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I have a 02 CBR 954 shock and 2 R6 shocks off the 02's laying around.

Let me see what it looks like might fit.

If we can get a measurement eyelet to eyelet, and the space available between swing arm braces and rear engine case, we might be able to fit something.

I also have an 06 GSXR shock.......but its on my SV....you know I have a 08 SV shock laying around too, although that is crap if it wants to fit up, then anything that fits the SV would fit this.

SDM! do you have the old 400 stock shock around?
Can you document some measurements for us?

Much easier than having one of us pull off ours while its still warm and sunny for riding :) lol

Edit: Quick google search turned up.........

Length: 320 +6/-0
Rate N/mm: 105Rec.
Öhlins Oil: 01309
Mounting Length: 320 +6/-2
Stroke: 66

So we can assume the eye to eye is 320mm.....
 

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Suzuki Bandit 1200 2001-2005: 320mm (+6/-0) Stroke: 61
Suzuki Bandit 650 2005: 319.5mm Stroke: 65.5
Suzuki GSXR 1000 2005-2006: 325.5mm Stroke: 70
Honda CBR1100XX 1997-2005: 319mm Stroke: 52
Honda VTR 10 SP1/2 326 +10/-2mm at Stroke: 63mm
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So 05/06 GSXR shock, which is on my SV might work, and appears to be a winner......

The GSXR 1k 05-06 shock is 453.5 lbs/inch or 79.4 N/mm

The Ohlins shows 105 N/mm or 599.5 lbs/in which seems way high for someone my size.(which I know you can get different rates)
---------------------------------------------------------------------

954 is 288, so that is out.

Yamaha YZF R6 1999-2002 305 (+4/-2) 62
So R6 is out too.

Now Suzuki GSXR 750 2000-2003 325 (+6/-0) 74
Suzuki GSXR 600 2001-2003 325.5 (+6/-0) 74

That would be a 5mm lift, but that stroke is pretty long. Or not overly longer, cause it says +6 and minus 0 is the possible deviation, even for the Ohlins.

Not sure if the N400 benefits from lifting the shock or not like the R3 does? Quicker drop in/feel but could impact stability....

Bandit 1200 shock looks spot on that Ohlins, but not sure what kind of adj that shock has if any....from what I can tell its a dud.
 

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Suzuki Bandit 1200 2001-2005: 320mm (+6/-0) Stroke: 61
Suzuki Bandit 650 2005: 319.5mm Stroke: 65.5
Suzuki GSXR 1000 2005-2006: 325.5mm Stroke: 70
Honda CBR1100XX 1997-2005: 319mm Stroke: 52
Honda VTR 10 SP1/2 326 +10/-2mm at Stroke: 63mm
-------------------------------------------------------------------
So 05/06 GSXR shock, which is on my SV might work, and appears to be a winner......

The GSXR 1k 05-06 shock is 453.5 lbs/inch or 79.4 N/mm

The Ohlins shows 105 N/mm or 599.5 lbs/in which seems way high for someone my size.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

954 is 288, so that is out.

Yamaha YZF R6 1999-2002 305 (+4/-2) 62
So R6 is out too.

Now Suzuki GSXR 750 2000-2003 325 (+6/-0) 74
Suzuki GSXR 600 2001-2003 325.5 (+6/-0) 74

That would be a 5mm lift, but that stroke is pretty long. Or not cause it says +6 and minus 0 is the possible diviation, even for the Ohlins.

Not sure if the N400 benefits from lifting the shock or not like the R3 does? Quicker drop in/feel but could impact stability....

Bandit 1200 shock looks spot on that Ohlins, but not sure what kind of adj that shock has if any....from what I can tell its a dud.
Good work bud, this is the sort of info we need to work out a cheaper alternative to the high ticket items.
We need to know the width of the bolt mounts as well.

I concur that a bandit shock despite the similar dimensions would not be an upgrade and most likely non adjustable apart from preload collars.
I had an K6 or 7 GSXR600 shock on my old GSXR400 that was fully adjustable but that extra stroke length could be the spoiler there. You can pick them up quite cheaply. I think I spent more on getting the shock serviced than I did the purchase price.

That Ohlins spring rate sounds well high. It converts to 10.7 kg/mm (sorry I'm a metric guy). I thought Ohlins sent you the correct spring for your weight when you ordered a shock off them?
 

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Good work bud, this is the sort of info we need to work out a cheaper alternative to the high ticket items.
We need to know the width of the bolt mounts as well.

I concur that a bandit shock despite the similar dimensions would not be an upgrade and most likely non adjustable apart from preload collars.
I had an K6 or 7 GSXR600 shock on my old GSXR400 that was fully adjustable but that extra stroke length could be the spoiler there. You can pick them up quite cheaply. I think I spent more on getting the shock serviced than I did the purchase price.

That Ohlins spring rate sounds well high. It converts to 10.7 kg/mm (sorry I'm a metric guy). I thought Ohlins sent you the correct spring for your weight when you ordered a shock off them?
Yeah, I agree.
Yeah maybe SDM! can measure the width of the mounts for us if he still has his around :)

Right, I am pretty sure they do too, so this must just be and example of what they have, here is the link I found, appears to be the supersport model and not the high end TTX GP or anything.

https://www.ohlins.com/product-item/62901/
 
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