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Thread: [Review] Mikuku Suspension on TA150

  1. #1
    MJ Gurunathan
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    Default [Review] Mikuku Suspension on TA150



    Hi guys.

    After riding my Phantom 150 for 11 years, I decided to fit a nice pair of rear shocks on the bike. The originals were worn out, so I made a trip to LAB and got myself a pair of MIKUKU shock absorbers. Details below...

    Brand: MIKUKU
    Made in: Thailand, though I suspect Malaysia
    Quality: 5/10
    Finish: 5/10
    Cost: 7/10 ($70)

    The shock absorbers look like the Super 4 SHOWA items. They are light and decently made, though the finish could be improved. You can adjust the preload (spring tension) and ride height (length) of the shocks, though the adjustment is very difficult to do if you don't have 3 hands!

    The general quality of the shocks were disappointing; for $70 I would have expected something like the stock suspension, but hey, you get what you pay for. FYI, a pair of RXZ stock shocks will happily fit on the Phantom and they are cheaper at $65 (and also better made).

    Performance of the suspension is decent; the rear is pretty stiff now and the bike does not wobble in corners. They look nice. Other than that, there's nothing else to shout about.

    Before fitting the shocks, be sure to set the spring tension and the shock length EQUALLY for both units. This will ensure proper suspension performance.

    The shocks are easy to fit. Procedure as follows:

    1) Loosen bolts on the original shocks. Do not remove bolts yet.
    2) Place a jack under the bike. Start jacking it up.
    3) As you are jacking up the bike, remove the bottom bolt of the left hand suspension unit. There will be a point where the weight of the bike is taken up by the jack and the suspension becomes unloaded. That's when you pull out the bottom bolts.
    4) Remove bottom bolt and top bolt completely.
    5) Remove old suspension unit.
    6) Install new unit on left hand side first. Grease the mounting points on the frame, as well as the mounting bolts. The reason for doing the LHS unit first is because the RHS unit is hard to install. The exhaust pipe blocks the bottom bolt on the RHS shock.
    7) Install and tighten top mounting bolt. Install and tighten bottom mounting bolt. It may take some work for you to line up the mounting holes for the new shock.
    8) Remove the RHS suspension unit.
    9) Install the new RHS suspension unit, but do not attach the shock to the top mounting post. Instead, fasten the BOTTOM MOUNTING BOLT FIRST! If necessary, jack up the bike some more so that the bottom mounting bolt can be installed easily.
    10) Finger tighten the RHS mounting bolt.
    11) Lower the jack till the top shock mount lines up with the suspension unit. Slide the shock onto the top mounting post.
    12) Tighten the lower mounting bolt. Tighten the upper mounting bolt.

    That's it! You're all done.

    Summary:

    Substandard pair of shocks; look good, average performance. Hard to adjust spring preload. Mounting holes were not the correct size; I had to modify them. Difficult to set the ride height to the same value for both shocks.

    Recommendation:

    Buy the original shocks, or YSS or RXZ shocks. For looks, though, the Mikuku shocks are very good.

    Hope you guys find this useful.

    Cheers!
    MJ.

  2. #2
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    Interesting, independent ride height and preload settings. And that low, low price! I might want one of these purely for DIY experimentation

     

     
  3. #3
    kmjoe
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    hi ts mind if u post some pics of it?

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    MJ Gurunathan
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    Default Pictures of the Mikuku Shocks

    Here are a couple of pics of the shocks. Enjoy...

    They actually look pretty good!

    In one of the pictures, you can see where some rempit stole the cap from the shock body... he rode off as I was running towards him with my hockey stick
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Wow thanks so much for the effort. This is just the item I'm looking for. Learn carb tuning one month, and suspension the next :3

    The only thing that deters me from getting one is your commentary on the 'average' handling. Although, having separate preload and ride height gives much more tuning flexibility over the stock one (mechanical preload only).

    Or would you recommend an RX-Z shock instead? I wonder what is the max rated weight of an RX-Z aftermarket rear suspension (which comes in critical during touring). I guess anything higher-spec (like a superfour suspension) would cost a bomb.

    And I wouldn't want secondhand suspensions, eww. Too critical a component.

  6. #6
    MJ Gurunathan
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    Actually, secondhand shocks aren't too bad. You can get pretty decent ones for quite cheap, as the Phantom is a popular machine and we get lots of them being written off. Of course, you should make sure you get the shocks from a somewhat newer bike than the one you have (best case scenario).

    The threaded preload adjustment is a bit of a pain to set up; whilst it gives you lots of flexibility in adjusting the suspension, it takes a while to set it up right. Say your large friend wants a lift home from work; if you have the stepped preload adjuster, all you need to do is make sure the position of the adjuster for both the left and right shocks is identical. Changing the preload is also very fast; just whip out the C-spanner, adjust the preload, put back in toolkit. With the threaded preload collar, you need to undo the lock ring, count the number of turns you increase the preload, retighten the lock ring and repeat for the other side. A bit of a pain, I think...

    Anyway YSS does very good shocks now. Their technical guy used to work for TechnoFlex (Dutch suspension manufacturer) and so they've got a solid engineering team at work. Quality is very good, even Ducati riders are going for YSS shocks now!

    That being said, you can order up a pair of YSS shocks for the Phantom that have adjustable preload, ride height and rebound damping. Even their cheapest shocks are much better than the originals. Check with Chong Aik for details. Don't bother getting the S4 Showa shocks, they're not that fantastic (I have the same set on my CB750 and they are average, at best).

    The RX-Z shock should be able to handle the weight of the Phantom, but I think they're a little underdamped (bouncy) for use on the bike.

    Ultimately it boils down to how much you're willing to pay to do stuff for your bike. $400 shocks on a small bike? Errr, I'm not sure anyone but the owner would appreciate that. But if you're really keen on the handling, I guess it's fine.

  7. #7
    yeukeong
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    look like the spring is touching the chain cover?

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    thechosenx
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    How much are the YSS for phantom TA200? How about the front forks? Can it be changed?

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    I'll admit that the name is a bit of a turn-off.

    Wah nice red suspension! What brand?

    Kuku brand!?

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    MJ Gurunathan
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeukeong View Post
    look like the spring is touching the chain cover?
    Had a look at the shocks and checked out the clearance... don't seem to be any issues, there's about 5mm clearance between the chain cover and the shock.

    To be on the safe side, I'm going to shim the shock mount so it moves the suspension outwards.

  11. #11
    MJ Gurunathan
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    Quote Originally Posted by thechosenx View Post
    How much are the YSS for phantom TA200? How about the front forks? Can it be changed?
    I guess you can change the front forks, but you've got to find a set with matching length. YSS makes springs for the forks, so you can improve them if you want. Or you could fit a set of SP forks...

    As for the YSS shocks, I don't know how much a set would cost you, but I'm willing to bet somewhere around $200. Check with Chong Aik or Ah Boy.

     

     
  12. #12
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    Mr. MJ;

    May I know how is the high speed handling of the Mikuku rear suspension feels like?

    Stock TA's rear shocks are too bouncy over high speed bumps at setting 3 (lack of rebound damping).

    Just wondering how much handling difference is there with a more complex aftermarket suspension, over the stock coilovers (which are more or less okay, just prone to corrosion).

  13. #13
    lycan
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    so..

    which suspension is the "strongest""?

    Ah chong told me 3rd party shock with preload will have oil leakage problem as it wasnt meant for phantom.

    :/
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  14. #14
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    Need to check weight rating for the shock - if you use RXZ shock on Phantom and add touring boxes then the weight may exceed what the shock was designed to take. Also consider the location of the rear shocks - it's an old school 'box' suspension so it's subjected to greater forces and range of motion over monoshocks. This increases the stress on the shocks and their dampers.

    Unfortunately better spec aftermarket suspensions cost quite a bomb so if the stock suspension works for you, don't bother to improve it. Unless you think Phantom is a sports tourer (I do lol)

  15. #15
    MJ Gurunathan
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    Hey guys...

    Sorry for the late reply, I was away for a bit trying to get the rainwater out of my carburettor. My version of water injection is riding in the bloody floodwaters...

    Kalyan > The shocks do a decent job, there isn't as much wallowing about as on the stock shocks... but that's probably because the shock is set up to be sprung pretty hard. You can take a gentle bend at about 90km/h and you'll be fine. Something like the corner from the BKE to the KJE is do-able at about 70km/h with plenty more to spare.

    lcyan > you can fit whatever shocks you want on the Phantom. Whether or not it works well is something else. Ah Chong is just playing it safe. I fitted a pair of some stupid shocks on my Lau-K and the damn things broke after 1 month. So much for $30 suspension... I guess he doesn't want the same thing happening to you.

    So the question is... how do I choose what shocks to fit?

    Answer:

    1) Check the free length of your shock. Remove it from the bike and measure the distance from the center of the bottom mounting hole to the center of the top mounting hole. That's your free length. Get a shock with a similar length or something that can be adjusted. Also make sure the mounting holes are the right size and the shock can fit without hitting anything (like your chain guard, ha ha!).

    2) Look at the weight of the Phantom and the weight of the bike you're taking the shocks from. An S4 is heavier than a Phantom, so the shocks will be a little stiff. An RXZ is lighter than a Phantom, so the shocks from that will be a little soft.

    3) Finally, good stuff doesn't come cheap. Spend your money wisely. I think the YSS shocks are good value for money. I have seen the build quality of the shocks and they are VERY good for that kind of price. I should know because I've bought plenty of suspension units from overseas that are overpriced and don't perform that well. That being said, I've bought some shocks that are quite reasonably priced and give spectacular performance (Penske's a good buy; I use an 8983 shock on my GSX-R).

    Hope I've helped a little.

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    You've helped more than a little!

    From '04 onwards I saw many Phantoms on the road with sagging rear suspensions, now actually owning one myself the sagging is cured by adjusting the preload. With stiffened front and rear suspension the stock sus is very good. However until you came along there was little to no discussion at all on Phantom aftermarket suspensions.

    Have come to the conclusion that most riders would prefer to do the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" thing and that includes myself :3

    $200, erm, 100 plates of chicken rice. Can feed whole kampong.

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    thechosenx
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    I'm really keen to change my suspension to YSS ones. Might want to check it out soon.

  18. #18
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    Do post here once you've upgraded - I'm interested as well

  19. #19
    thechosenx
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    Haha but will need to find a good price before I change. Tomorrow I'm going down to Unique Motorsports as my front brake broken off when i dropped my bike zzz..
    Will ask the YSS shocks price.

    Will keep you posted. (:

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    I went and ask the mech today, he said super not recommanded.. Changed my brake host to steel its alot better in the rain now. From my previous asked question.

  21. #21
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    Super as in super4 suspension, or YSS?

    A lot of things are "not recommended" according to shops; including things like sprocket size, DIY carb settings. Logically, these are the first things to tune, in order to 'fit' the bike to the rider.

    I'll calmly reply that my bike hasn't exploded doing all sorts of 'not recommended things'

     

     
  22. #22
    thechosenx
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    Yes YSS ones. And for phantom our suspensions are shorter. So if really want to change will have a taller back riding position. And if will be unbalance. Will have to set everything. When i mean super not recommanded means its super super not nono nono recommanded by the mech lol.

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    Ahh, that's exactly what I want, a higher backside. I find the stock rear shocks too short for my tastes. My headlight is pointing at the sky, almost.

    As for height vs handling, not a problem, can always look at ride height and compression damping. We have a very low centre of gravity with those huge wheels and low seating position, anyway.

  24. #24
    thechosenx
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    I checked YSS suspension is at 200 bucks. But that's for cups and other small bikes.

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    Expensive toys :3 Thanks for checking the price out - they may be crucial for my future plans!

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    thechosenx
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    Haha i also bought BROQUET want to try it out since my dad's BROQUET on his car works. I want to try it on my bike.

    Also if you try YSS let me know

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    Sure will do!

    It will be a very long time in coming though; I'm just very happy that I'm spending a total of $0 on repairs so far. Which considering how hard I ride is surprising.

    I set a challenge for myself to use only household parts for DIY accessories, to keep the bike related costs down.

    Obviously, can't do that for suspension O.o

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezzyoiler View Post
    if i buy a $100...acessory which suppose to improve fc by 20%..or whatever%%..
    i will tell the whole world..it works..
    i would definitely not shout ..i am so silly to be scammed..so u see..all miracle cures works if they cost a lot of$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    I've come to realise the best performance mods are free. From oiling the chain properly to DIY tuning work

  29. #29
    thechosenx
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    Well it can last 400k km so why not try? That's almost 15 years -.-

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    thechosenx
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    Well i can only say one thing. If mine improve in 1 weeks times i will keep you posted (:

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    I bet more performance and FC gains can be gotten from my free DIY mods than some silly magnet in the tank. The fear of making mistakes and going up in a ball of flames is just so very exciting

    At least I feel great from making my own ideas work, rather than giving some big corporate fat cat halfway across the world my hard earned money!

     

     
  32. #32
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    Broquet is lead balls.
    DIY instructions
    VTEC indicator for CB400 - http://tinyurl.com/7gvy3vy
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    Lead? Must see what kind of lead. (Tetraethyl or something) Lead was used to boost octane in petrol up to the later part of the last century. Obviously not needed or wanted in modern engines and exhaust systems.

    Its quite predictable where those companies get their ideas from

  34. #34
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    Put it this way if these things works...How come manufacturers had to design hybrid, regeneration braking,AGC stop and start in small honda scooter...and etc....to save on consumption? They just pop these things inside the engine, there they go.....Maybe really all are just dumb engineers.....Or you are the one???I dont know....
    Placebo effect I guess......
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    Current bikes: NIL

    Gear 4th

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by hachi View Post
    Put it this way if these things works...How come manufacturers had to design hybrid, regeneration braking,AGC stop and start in small honda scooter...and etc....to save on consumption? They just pop these things inside the engine, there they go.....Maybe really all are just dumb engineers.....Or you are the one???I dont know....
    Placebo effect I guess......
    Exactly. Major manufacturers of engines would jump at the chance to +10% FC immediately.

    They don't. Wonder why? It's as you said.
    Last edited by Pandora's Kitten :3; 13-07-2010 at 01:47 PM.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by thechosenx View Post
    I checked YSS suspension is at 200 bucks. But that's for cups and other small bikes.
    anyone tried the yss suspension on their phantom b4?
    I ride at 70km/hr only...please please dont blow2 at me or overtake me dangerously....wait i change into Incredible Hulk n dont know why my little baby bike will always be ahead of u if u do that

  37. #37
    GNYRAG
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    Hi pp!

    Have ben using the stock looking YSS suspension but it was becoming too bouncy; no damping.
    Just installed an adjustable rear suspension from LAB. HE wanted to sell me the YSS stock looking suspension but i tol him i wanted height adjustable type. So he got me something like e MIKUKU type.
    -Soft aluminium construction
    -soft spring
    -preload, height and damping adjustable(with air pump)

    Mostly the same comments as MJ in this first post.
    The good thing is the bike does not have the pogo effect of bouncing over humps and bumps.

    Upon installation, it is way too soft, i've set the pre-load to nearly max and still its not hard enough for riding with pillion and rearbox n side bags. btw pillion and myself weigh abt 140kg.
    solo riding is good though.

    in summary. get the mikuku or equivalent if you need to replace ur rear shocks IF you do not need to take pillion OR if you're both really lightweight and have got no rear or side boxes/bags
    2000 RD125LC TZR125, 2002 RD125LC, 2003 RXK, 2004 XLR185, 2005 CB400PB1 UC150 Epicuro, 2007 CBR150, 2008 NX650 CB750F2
    2010 TA200 XR200R, 2011 DR650

  38. #38
    kzone
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    Bros, anyone else have tried other suspensions? looking for something suitable for pillion riding, it shud absorbs/damps the humps... my current stock ones r too stiff...
    Liverpool revival has started....

  39. #39
    Metalfyre
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    Try Bitubo. Been using those for a few years now...fully adjustable and don't have the problems those cheap 'kuku' brands seem to carry as mentioned above; I can carry a pillion with a fully laden box and corner pretty low without scraping my pegs on the road (the default height setting is higher than the stock, but I raised it a little more anyway to avoid this problem). Has an easy 5 setting preload adjustment you can tweak without using any tools, and if you have the tools you can tweak rebound/compression as well. The only good/bad thing is it rusts damn easily...mine is nearly completely covered with rust (which I'm lazy to remove lol)...which has obviously reduced the 'nickable' factor since no one has tried to steal it. The rust hasn't compromised on performance for the past 5 years so it's a tradeoff I'm fine with lol. I guess the only other 'downside' is the cost of the shocks themselves. Hope this helps.
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  40. #40
    followthelaw
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    recently kanna a flat tyre and bike towed to workshop.....was taken aback when the mechanic said that beside the tyre, the rear brake pad and SUSPENSION also must change. i ok with change tyre as kanna really sharp object that literally sliced my tyre and also the rear brake pad.........but the suspension........

    the YSS suspension was changed back barely 6 mths ago.......now no choice also changed again to YSS as the original phahtom suspension quite ex....but are there any other type of budget suspension for TA200?????.......i admit that everyday the machine must tahan mine and my wife weight...

  41. #41
    naim
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    im using the YSS one i got from LAB for abt 4 mths now. alright so far lei. i weight abt 100kg plus sumtyms pillion ppl. just watch out for d humps lor.
    A ride a day, keeps the doctor away!

    2010-2012 : Honda Phantom TA200
    2012-current : SYM Maxsym 400i

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  42. #42
    followthelaw
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    i looking for another type of suspension for my TA200......v tired with YSS s it is weak

  43. #43
    naim
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    can u define weak? im really heavy + 3 boxes and my suspension seems to be coping fine. on setting no. 4 n its pretty stiff. if u rly want stiffer, maybe can try see if S4 one can mount or not.
    A ride a day, keeps the doctor away!

    2010-2012 : Honda Phantom TA200
    2012-current : SYM Maxsym 400i

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  44. #44
    nitsua
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    I got the Makida rear shock from JB Ah Gua Lane. Rated for 240kg load. Cost RM185 nett ($75+ SGD)

    It is quite popular among RX-Zs, and provides a compression 4 click adjuster although I can't feel the difference but my test rider can.

    He had the preload set up in between slightly hard for solo riding (63kg) and slightly plush for pillion riding (55kg) with box. Compression set at 2.

    If I am not wrong, this Makida shock I have is about an inch longer than OEM. (270mm??) My lab rat took the bike rather lower than norm at a high speed bend and the shock holds well as I observed.

    This is a pleasant shock so far, damping is reasonable, does soak up bumps, compress and rebounds back nicely.

    Comparing to the stock suspension, the Makida does have a harder spring rate, and does not bottom easily. The stock shocks had proper damping, but just seems too soft.

    Compared to the Phantom specific YSS I had, the YSS was simply just a pair of stiff springs with ZERO damping and tons of backache.

    Down side of this suspension probably is the ever cumbersome preload ring design as opposed to the five stage stack design. - you gotta turn and turn and make sure it is lock etc...


    For this price, for my usage, I am a happy user. Your mileage may vary.

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