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[Review] Mikuku Suspension on TA150


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

 

:/

DIY instructions

VTEC indicator for CB400 - http://tinyurl.com/7gvy3vy

Replacement/Changing of T10 light bulbs for CB400's Meter - http://tinyurl.com/8624wsa

 

:bouncefire:

2006 Aprilia RS125(Sold)

2006 Honda Phantom TA200(Sold)

1999 Honda Super 4 Hyper VTEC(Sold)

2003 Honda ST1300A Pan European(Sold) :thumb:

2010 Kia Cerato Forte Koup(Current)

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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)

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  • 2 weeks later...

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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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' :D

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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.

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