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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

just took the 04 forks apart and can't locate anything resembling a shim stack/valve assembly,

it's a damper rod cartridge Kayaba, but it's difficult to find any good info out there about its

tunability. (why is that so?)

Sag is good, so the spring stays but the front end is really vague and lacking in feel not giving

any confidence entering corners.

I'm new to suspension tuning but wanted to start working and learning on my track bike.

Racetech sell a gold valve kit (compression) and that's probably the way to go, but still if I could

improve the stock stuff and save a bit... mhmmhmh...

what do the pros say?

Cheers
 

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The pros say OEM fork pistons suck and aren't worth the time or effort to mess with. That is why 25 & 30 mm cartridges exist.

My memory ain't what it used to be, but I kinda remember those early Kawi rods were swedged making it difficult at best to get to the pistons.
 

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I have Racetech valves in a couple of my bikes forks. They work great. I have owned Ohlins carts too, they also work great. Call Racetech. They are very helpful. Yes, I believe that part is threaded but you will find out soon enough once you try to turn it with a wrench. Use some penetrating oil on it. You can make a rod holding tool with a block of wood and a hole saw so you don't crease the tube.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok,

compression valve removed, somehow the nut on the other end came loose and left the valve stuck in the tube.

It was just the rubber oring keeping it in place.

What do I do with it now?? :D scrap?
 

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Do yourself a favor and get a book like Race Techs Motorcycle Suspension Bible. You're gonna go down a dangerous path and possibly get yourself hurt if you get something wrong. RTs book will go through theory and explanations and how to fully disassemble and assemble your forks.

As to piston kits the following will work.

Race Tech
Ohlins
K-tech
Bitubo
Penske


Any 20mm piston will fit.
 

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Do yourself a favor and get a book like Race Techs Motorcycle Suspension Bible. You're gonna go down a dangerous path and possibly get yourself hurt if you get something wrong. RTs book will go through theory and explanations and how to fully disassemble and assemble your forks.

As to piston kits the following will work.

Race Tech
Ohlins
K-tech
Bitubo
Penske


Any 20mm piston will fit.
Good advice, as there are nuts that need lock-tite etc. A Racetech goldvalve kit will give you the info and the parts necessary. Valving options come from the Racetech website.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As some have mentioned the factory stuff is not worth messing with so I already ordered a Andreani compression valve kit

supposedly a lot better design than stock.

Yeah I know, that little nut is so tight on that thread but by undoing the bottom cap it all came apart in there.

The piston valve was pretty tight in there too!

I just hope the new stuff gives a bit better feedback and feel what that tyre is doing.

Tyre wise the wear has been perfect so I figured I'd leave rebound alone for now.
 

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I just hope the new stuff gives a bit better feedback and feel what that tyre is doing.

Tyre wise the wear has been perfect so I figured I'd leave rebound alone for now.

It won't. At best, if everything is perfect with the kit you install (which I doubt as I am not impressed by anything Andreani comes up) you will get more compliance from the suspension components, but feel & feedback will always remain vague. Again that is why 25 & 30mm carts exist.


I have no idea what your correlation is between tire wear and rebound or why you think that leaving the rebound out of the equation and only focusing on Compression is going to help you in any way, shape, form or fashion, but good luck.
 

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I'm one of those people who can't be told different when I know best, the trouble I have is sometimes I think I know best when in fact i don't, over my 54 years I have learned many things but the lessons which cost me dearly and the lessons that cost sooo much time are the ones that I just can't reach out with. I see this a lot on these forums, everything really everything, I see people throwing money and time away just because they can't pause to evaluate thoroughly, this can be many things, I'm using suspension as an example on this thread, people just can't take on board what "professionals" often give away for free, but also at the cost of there time. People will willing pay consultation fees to the pros, iv seen people write of bikes get hospitalised, & get them selves into debt in the bank, iv seen people sell there bikes just because they won't listen and fail to make it work. Please this guy LDH is a pro ...... listen to his teachings.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I know what you guys are saying and I appreciate all the wisdom you are trying to empart here.

It's just that I'm also stubborn but humble as well and so I like to verify some things by myself not meaning any disrespect.

I bought the kit not hoping too much really, but if it gives me that extra bit of confidence on track it was worth it.

Also if I can make the forks a tad better without spending 1000eur (at least for any of the cheapest cartridge kits) that I

suspect at that price range won't make the world of a difference. (could be wrong though!)

LDH, what is the most effective and cheapest way to make these forks better?

please don't mention the 25 and 30mm carts again..?! just kidding :)

Thanks guys
 

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I know what you guys are saying and I appreciate all the wisdom you are trying to empart here.

It's just that I'm also stubborn but humble as well and so I like to verify some things by myself not meaning any disrespect.

I bought the kit not hoping too much really, but if it gives me that extra bit of confidence on track it was worth it.

Also if I can make the forks a tad better without spending 1000eur (at least for any of the cheapest cartridge kits) that I

suspect at that price range won't make the world of a difference. (could be wrong though!)

LDH, what is the most effective and cheapest way to make these forks better?

please don't mention the 25 and 30mm carts again..?! just kidding :)

Thanks guys
I have ridden all kinds of forks kits. Cartridges, Big Piston Aftermarket kits, stock stuff. I have a stock fork in my 2005 Zx6r and it has a revalved 20mm fork kit in it. Not sure which brand, but it works excellent. Check out Racetech, Paul Thede has been doing this Shit for decades. He does know what he is doing. I am sure he sells a piston valving kit for your fork. You get the valving specs with it. You can tweak the specs to fit your needs. The kits are relatively inexpensive. Don't believe the Hype. Most guys can't ride the bike hard enough to know if the fork is working well or not.
 

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I have ridden all kinds of forks kits. Cartridges, Big Piston Aftermarket kits, stock stuff. I have a stock fork in my 2005 Zx6r and it has a revalved 20mm fork kit in it. Not sure which brand, but it works excellent. Check out Racetech, Paul Thede has been doing this Shit for decades. He does know what he is doing. I am sure he sells a piston valving kit for your fork. You get the valving specs with it. You can tweak the specs to fit your needs. The kits are relatively inexpensive. Don't believe the Hype. Most guys can't ride the bike hard enough to know if the fork is working well or not.

Therein is the difference between what I do versus what many others do. I don't work to the lowest price point. I don't do things halfass and then hide behind the idea that it is ok because it was cheap. I don't specialise in making bikes mediocre, I make them fuckin awesome. That comes with a price.
 

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Therein is the difference between what I do versus what many others do. I don't work to the lowest price point. I don't do things halfass and then hide behind the idea that it is ok because it was cheap. I don't specialise in making bikes mediocre, I make them fuckin awesome. That comes with a price.
That's why half the time you come across as a pompous ass.

If rating fork performance on a 1 to 10 scale and stock
forks are a 1 and Ohlins are a 10

Reworking the stock forks with springs, re-valving, oil, etc. and
the general curiosity of trying to learn about set up and
shock performance leads to a mediocre rating of a 2,3 or 4 on
a scale of 1 to 10 that's still better then a 1 rating for people
that don't have the money to spend on a full Ohlins set up.

I don't think there's a misunderstanding on the point that
if one had the money they would swap for a Ohlins set up
so they could be fucking awesome too.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Things don't have to be all black and white, I like grey areas, and those are the fork mods and piston kits, and theres a

market for all that.

Most of the times, it's the rider that makes most difference on the bike at the track.

I know that some shops change the original stack and modify the stock valves (drill them out whatever)

and that made me curious as to what can be achieved vs. aftermarket valves.

I do all the work on my own bikes, just never messed with usd forks.

The objective here is to make the bike feel better and learn suspension tuning in the process.

But for now I'm going to try the andreani kit see how it feels and go from there.
 

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I'm loving this thread! I'm in a similar boat whereas I'm on a tight budget, and I want to use my Gen1 to learn more about suspension tuning. I've been watching as much of Dave Moss' free content as possible, and threads like this are really motivational!

Thank you for all the wisdom, and much more thanks for all the color commentary! >:)
 

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The PROS.....I use the term loosely, want you to think that you cannot make stock components work well. All of the Black Art of suspension adjustment and customization is schrouded in Mystery. Racetech has removed some of the veil of secrecy and taught some of the masses. This does not sit well with other suspension guys who are trying to make a buck. Oh well.
 
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