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Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Solo Lobo, Apr 9, 2011.
That request IS suspension tuning!
I'm not arguing about the value of the services. The service is very valuable, and I'm willing to pay the price. I'm willing to pay for advice and tips, whatever the cost. But don't give me this horse poo that I can't tell a bad shim from a good one. I'm sure in motocross, knowing the intricate details is important, but we just want general stuff, not the deep dark secrets he has worked so hard for.
Yes, it is, and I want to pay HIM to do so, not teach me how.
So you are willing to pay anything, but don't want to pay to send your forks to a tuner?
Anyway, this is wasting time and bandwidth in an otherwise pretty decent thread.
I apologize to the other readers for my transgressions here.... let's get back to something of more value...
I too digress and apologize, but will close by asking if you, Solo, having worked so hard to know your airhead inside and out, can honestly say that you are comfortable not knowing ANYTHING about the inside of your forks? Are you willing to give up on an engine or carb rebuild because someone told you it's impossible except by experts despite seeing many MANY threads to the contrary? I for one, am not. That's why I bought an airhead. I WOULD rather pay MORE money to know my forks inside and out, learn from my mistakes, waste money, but know them, rather than pay to send forks out and know nothing. These forks REQUIRE frequent rebuilds, and I do NOT want to send them in every year. I thought my offer was quite fair. If Alex does not, that's up to him and I don't fault him for it. But I'd love to pay him to help all of us out with general settings.
I am also fine with not knowing how to rebuild my transmission, and head reconditioning, final drive re-shimming, and a number of other things where I feel like spending the $$ to have a specialist do the job right the first time is worth it to me.
This thread has legs again!
Good points guys, it is an interesting discussion and probably quite an old and beaten out one regarding suspension tuning, shim stacks and the interwebs- we aint going to solve it so there is not point in trying.
I hope we are not dissuading Alex from joining the discussion.
I'll also be shipping things to various places to get some specialist work done that I can't do myself (or don't want to try to learn to do- at least yet)- transmission rebuild, head, piston and cylinder porting, recondition and machining, etc. These are 'do it once right' jobs IMO and ones I am not set up to do- and yes, they are paying for the result not a lesson in how to get there- and very importantly I know exactly where and who I will be sending these to.
For some reason I think of suspension tuning a little differently, not that it is less specialist or anything, nor that it is any less result-oriented, but that it is something that I would rather have done locally or alternatively (with some outside help if possible) take it on as something to learn enough to do it myself.
Not to learn how to be a suspension tuner, but from a given starting point just to learn just enough to start to tweak this one fork on this one bike towards desired outcomes. I think there is a significant difference there.
In the hands of the right expert, the shimming and springing work might be a do it once kind of thing, but the maintenence is ongoing and there are internal wear/replacement parts so I will be in and out of my forks anyway.
If this was a proven application (say for a newish bike that is produced and sold in the many thousands), where a given tuner had done it all before and knew exactly the ground being covered then I might believe it more of a do it once and do it right kind of job- that is if I could find the right tuner... I haven't been able to and from the people I have spoken to if they even agreed to begin discussing taking on the job it seems to be more of a 'we'll just have to start trying things and keep at it until you are happy (or broke) and the results are probably not going to be good':eek1 quite a sales pitch.
I found one helpful fellow about 500Km's away who was willing to work on this. I would have to bring the complete running bike to him. He wanted to respring it using off-the-shelf springs from 4860 forks (that by reports rattle around in our forks). He was a seat of the pants guy rather than a dyno guy, and shim stack changes would be tested by actually riding the bike, and though I got the feeling he would be able to improve the forks a lot the sheer logistics of getting this done were insurmountable to me.
For us, compared to the USA, we get significantly screwed with shipping costs, and one certainly doesn't want to be shipping forks (or anything else big and heavy) back and forward across the country or internationally for ongoing tweaks, thus if I have to go down the path of paying some one to do this for me, I would like to be able to drive/ride within an hour or two and actually see them face to face. I deal with a lot of things that might potentially require ongoing service or warranty type stuff this way.
I woud happily buy internationally, with no guarrantees, for a shim kit to get me started. I would happily pay a decent premium for this and for the knowledge it takes to be able to offer such a thing. I would expect this would only be a starting point and would in no way come close to actually handing over the forks or complete bike to the right person. It was the sniff of this possibility a few pages back that got me interested again.
Completely aside from that I just want to hear a pro talk a little or a lot about these forks for this application. Knowing a few of us, and what we have invested in them so far, we'll probably be stuck with them for the next decade or two and by that time the next crop of suspension tuners REALLY won't want to touch them
On a related note, there is a set of WP Extreme 50mm's for sale in the flea market right now.... this is the complete kit with forks, triples, axle, wheel, rotor, caliper and master cylinder.
What's cool about these is that they are the earliest version that came on the 1998 620 Adventure's.
Its not only telling a good shim from a bad one. Recognizing what the fork does or does not do is one of the most difficult things. Learn to feel what your damping system is doing when you push a fork one by one with your hand.
The details that you might think only motocross guys need to know might make all the difference for our airheads for road and off road use.
I have been to a few of those suspension classes and it was surprising to see prof racers, life long bike mechanics or MX champions struggling with suspension even with all their experiences.
Look what Alex just delivered to me at my office!
They look perfectly valved and sprung.
well......did you ride the damn thing???:ddog
Sadly no time today!
as a quick summary in the meantime:
how much did you cut off the fork length ? Is that a standard length monolever ?
I am sure the info is in the depths of this thread, so apologies
I have a set of these forks and they are around 4 inches longer that stock do they shorten them or just run them a few inches higher in the triple clamps?
Looking sexy Solo,
how do you like the gaiters? Do you feel you have enough room to compress them- mine feel like they will limit suspension travel- but then I can't slide them down the fork legs due to my fork brace.
Ras and Waco,
here is Solo's buried post dealing with the fork shortening,
and a brief one by me after,
yes they are shortened- very simple to do.
Thanks Ontic for the shortening info...
I have my boots pushed about 10-12cm below the fork slider tops, so no issues with limiting the travel.
Added six gallons to my almost empty tank and rode in today ~15 miles.
My initial impressions are.... WOW!
It's much better (thanks Alex !)
Compliant, planted, firm and feel right about where they need to be. Previously they were bouncy, a bit weird.
For sure I need to adjust my rear shock as I had backed off the comp and rebound to compensate for the forks... I need to add some comp back in for sure to start.
I did hit every pot hole from home to work but there's no dirt between here and there. Now I need to get out ride more miles.