Adjusting Drifter Shocks - 800 and 1500


Adjusting Drifter 800 Monoshock



- Monoshock tool from Kawasaki tool kit.
- Wrench for tool


  1. Remove the left side panel, you will see a bolt sticking out of the middle of the mono shock towards you.
  2. Using the tool from the toolkit and a wrench. Slip the tool over the adjustment bolt.
  3. Next to the adjustment bolt you should see numbers ranging from 1 to 7.
  4. Turn the adjustment bolt to the desired higher number. Clockwise to increase from 1 to 7. Counter-clockwise to decrease from 7 to 1.
  5. Once at "7" reverse direction and lower to the desired preload.

Note: 1= Soft ; 7= Stiff

ROTATION: 1 to 7 - Rotate Clockwise ; 7 to 1 - Rotate Counter-clockwise

Some riders have indicated continuing past 7 will return you to setting "1", but may also damage the shock. Also some early repair/service manuals provide the incorrect direction of travel for stiffening. It is best to pay attention to the settings when adjusting. As always, your best bet is to purchase a service manual from Kawasaki and follow their maintenance instructions.




Adjusting Drifter 1500 Suspension


- Lossless air pump


Its important to set up the suspension properly. First the dampener... Range 1-4... with 1=Soft,light load, good roads, or low speeds. and 4= Hard, Heavy,Bad roads, High Speeds. Air pressure: Really important... at 0 psi the suspension is right for about 150 lbs with no passenger. I used to ride with 40psi in mine. (I changed the rear shocks). NEVER GO OVER 71psi or you will pop the seals. Use a suspension lossless pump... a few drops of oil in the tube isn't unusual. Don't use tire air gages to check and don't use compressed air to air up your OEM air shocks on a 1500. You really need a lossless pump with a gage to both check and adjust air in the shock. Progressive Suspension makes a very good pump with gage. The shocks should be at room (ambient) temperature and the rear wheel/suspension raised off the ground (according to the manual - many of us don't bother with that).Kaw suggests 43psi for the HARD setting, Heavy loading, and/or Bad road. You can adjust anywhere in between. The pressure should never exceed 71psi or you will blow seals. When using the pump you will occasionally see some oil in the pump tube, that's not a problem.

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Not affiliated with Kawaski. Kawasaki, Vulcan and Drifter are trademarks of Kawasaki.