Yamaha R6 Mono Shock Mod

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    A pretty popular mod from the duke/rc guys is to replace the rear shock with a 99-02 yamaha r6 shock due to its’ adjustability and performance. Just read the thread to see the who/what/where/when/how (30 pages of community R&D) https://www.rc390-forum.com/forum/wheels-tires-and-suspension/447-shock-swap-99-02-r6.html

    I was able to find a used r6 shock w/ only 2500 miles for 40 dollars and all the necessary hardware.


    Problems I faced:

    1. our husky’s exhaust sits slightly higher than the dukes so installing it right side up was impossible

    2. installing it upside down required  removing some material from the swing arm’s base


    I ended up removing some material from the swing arm being VERY CAREFUL not to compromise the structure. i’d say all i really removed were the parts where the aluminum would overflow inside the casting molds during its’ manufacturing. i don’t know the technical term is for what i removed, but i can say with a high level of confidence that my safety hasn’t been compromised. Besides that, everything else fitted perfectly in this configuration.


    All i can say is the r6 shock is many levels better than our stock shock. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s better than installing ohlins or any of the higher end stuff, but for 40 dollars i’d say it was well worth the money.

    I dont want to drag on this post any longer so just ask questions and i’ll answer them.



    This is an area of this bike that needs serious attention. I’ve searched relentlessly, looking for a mono-shock alternative with little more results than the Ohlins. Side Note: I’m sure the Ohlins is a great product but I’m not heading to the track anytime soon and I think it’s a little too much performance (and ca$h) for my riding style.

    So, did the R6 shock change the overall seat-height? I can clearly see its external adjustment points but is it internally adjustable?

    Also, would you say that if the catalytic converter was out of the way, the R6 shock would fit right-side-up without having to cut away at the swingarm? My concern would be clearance up top for the external reservoir.

    I haven’t read the RC390 thread yet but many thanks for posting the link and kudos to you for thinking outside the box and taking chances.


    I had a follow up post, but it doesnt seem to be showing. I resent it 3 times already. I’ll keep trying 8\


    I’d say the stock front forks are competent enough and the stock rears are pretty bad. With this swap, i’d say it pushes the rear shocks to something a little bit more than competent (and even better if you purchase the formula 390 rebuild kit). http://formula390.com/formula390/parts.pl?D=dukeSuspension

    I don’t plan on tracking or upgrading the front forks so my reasoning is this: I’d rather have competent front and rear (less than $50) OVER a competent front and overpowered rears ( $500+ and at this point you’d probably see the shortcomings of the front forks which you’re probably going to want to upgrade soon after).

    I just came back from canyon carving. a little over 75 miles of 3-5 gear turns and plenty of 80 mph straightaways. I can definitely feel a positive difference.

    , slightly higher seat height. Someone on the rc390 threads measured out that the r6 shock was 5mm longer. Adjustment is all external. preload, rebound, and compression. Im 100% sure the reservoir would slip through towards the right side of the chassis without issues if the cat was lower and since it’s right side up, you wont need to cut anything.

    here’s a photo on a 390 duke

    this is what i trimmed to make it fit upside down. (that photo is of a 390 duke, but on a vit’s swingarm the extra material rises much higher)


    Can you please advise: Which Ohlins or Hyperpro rear suspension should I look for, to fit the rear of the 701 Vitpilen? Their current range does not suggest anything for our model, but if you say that R6 monoshock can fit in, maybe the relevant product from those 2 brands, can do the same job – or even better…

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by kruvi.
    Anibal Sánchez

    Hello kalvin. I just have the Yamaha r6 2002 rear shock (thanks for the advice) I will fit it in my svartpilen 401 2020. I think there is enough room to place it. I will try installing it right side up.

    Anibal Sánchez

    Max Kool

    The R6 being nearly 100lbs heavier than the 401, don’t you need to replace the spring?


    <p style=”text-align: right;”>Hello. It is necessary to put a harder spring. The recommended spring is 11.5NM. We have to put a harder one because there is no suspension bolt on our vitpilen</p>

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