Upgrading base model non-adjustable fork

Discussion in '8th Generation 2014-Present' started by XRedJar, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. XRedJar

    XRedJar New Member

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    I guess I should have looked before I leaped when I got the base model VFR. I had figured it would not be problematic to upgrade the non-adjustable front fork, but it seems to be more to it than I thought.

    I've been working with a local suspension shop who upgraded my FZ1 suspension. He'd talked to GP Suspension, and while they did not have a plug and play solution, they did not see a problem in making it happen. So my bike has been at the local shop for over 2 weeks now, forks were shipped to GP, and finally got word back that none of the fork caps they had would work and new ones would have to be made. They also said it could be up to a year wait for that to happen.

    So back to square 1.

    Looking now at Traxxion AK-20 as a possible solution. My local guy is sending my forks to Traxxion so they can try and work out a solution.

    I'll update as things progress if anyone is interested. Figure there may be more looking to upgrade to a better fork setup.
     
  2. Economist

    Economist New Member

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  3. ducnut

    ducnut New Member

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    AK-20’s are a drop-in for those forks.
     
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  4. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    Looks like you could buy the OEM damper and fork cap off the Deluxe for about $210/side. That will give you adjustable preload and rebound at least.
     
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  5. duccmann

    duccmann Member

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    DMr guru for VFR’s



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  6. XRedJar

    XRedJar New Member

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    Thanks for the replies and suggestions!! Going to go with the AK-20s. They are probably the best fit for what I want. Will have new caps, springs, preload, rebound in one leg, and compression in the other. I had a revalved setup like that on my FZ1 and it rocked. If the full cartridges are even better, I'll be a happy camper.

    I had not figured there would be so few options for the 8th gen.
     
  7. ducnut

    ducnut New Member

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    I’ve had AK-20’s in two bikes and have Axxion valves in another two bikes. It’s all good stuff and Traxxion does a great job with baseline settings and customer service. I’ve been a Traxxion customer ~13yrs. I’ve bought four Penskes through them, as well.
     
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  8. XRedJar

    XRedJar New Member

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    Thanks, and I've only heard good things about Traxxion. Either later this year or this time next year I'll be upgrading the rear shock as well, likely a Penske.

    Once I get the bike back and get a chance to ride the new setup, I'll post a full review.
     
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  9. XRedJar

    XRedJar New Member

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    So the good folks at Traxxion are done with my forks, and are being shipped back to my local guy. With any luck, in a couple days I'll have it back and see what kind of difference it made. With my luck, it will be even more incentive to get a Penske double clicker shock for the rear now....lol.
     
  10. XRedJar

    XRedJar New Member

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    So I finally got my forks back, and have had it in for coolant, brake, clutch fluid flush, and got some Dunlop Q3+s put on. Yesterday, the weather finally was nice enough to ride without being dressed up like the Michelin Man.

    Cartridges have preload, compression (left leg), and rebound (right leg).

    Preload adjustment range - ? (I don't remember the number of turns it had, I'll have to check again)

    Rebound adjustment range - 3 turns

    Compression adjustment range - 3 turns

    Spring: 1 kg/mm (I'm 195 lbs with gear)


    Settings as delivered to me were:

    Preload: 6 turns in

    Rebound: 2 turns in

    Compression: 1 1/2 turns in


    On the short rides to / from shop and home, the front end felt much better than stock. Very firm, but it was easy to tell the spring suited my weight much better than the stock one did.


    Once back in my garage, I checked the sag and it was right at 30mm. Rebound also seemed just a little slow. So I figured I'd back everything off a bit to the softer / less damped side, and ride it a bit to evaluate.


    Settings ridden on yesterday:

    Preload: 5 turns in (right around 35mm sag)

    Rebound: 1 turn in

    Compression: 1 turn in


    I put a zip tie on the upper fork leg to help gauge how much travel I was using on compression. Full travel is 4.29 in, and I was using 2.89 in (1.4 left). I did several very aggressive stops to really try and compress the fork. I was braking hard enough to get a little squirm out of the front tire. Front end felt a bit more compliant as you'd expect, and may be able to back the compression off a bit further still for the street. Rebound seemed pretty close. I need to get a couple buddies to help me bounce the bike and see if the front and back are rebounding at the same rate.


    Initial turn in is very quick. Likely due to lower preload in the front and new tire profile. It's not bad, and these Q3+ tires inspire a lot of confidence even at 36/42 psi. Going to keep everything else the same and try going to 1/2 turn in on compression. I don't want to get the fork to bottom out or transfer too much weight. See if I can effectively use another inch of travel. I figure .4 in reserve should be about right to keep it from bottoming.


    Overall, I'm very happy so far. I wanted a setup that that allowed plenty of room to go firmer for when I take it to a trackday. I'm just in the novice group, and don't care about getting the ultimate lap times. Just to go out and work on my skills, and ride at an elevated pace you just can't do safely on the street.


    Bottom line: I think this setup is easily worth the $1200 I've got into it. Later this year or early next I'll be getting a new shock/spring on the rear. Probably a Penske double clicker.
     
  11. ducnut

    ducnut New Member

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    Where they had them set should about perfect. They dyno them, before shipping, and know about where reb/comp should be set. What you think is slow is because you’re used to stock rebound, which is inadequate.

    If the frontend packs down, unweights and starts understeering on corner exits, then, you’d want to back off rebound. That would indicate too much resistance (rebound) on extension.

    Most likely, you’re not going to be able to compress the frontend all the way, unless you hit something abrupt. They do that so when you’re heavily on the brakes and encountering ripples, you’re not having metal-to-metal contact and still have the ability to absorb them.

    As you get faster and on the track, those forks will come into their own, as delivered.
     
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  12. XRedJar

    XRedJar New Member

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    Thanks Ducnut!! I'm going to add the turn of preload back in. From there I'll try 1 1/2 turns in on rebound. That is the mid point between where they had it set, and what I tried yesterday. I'll give that a couple runs to try and evaluate. With luck, I should be able to get a couple hundred miles in this weekend.

    You may be totally right and I'll end up back at the settings they delivered them at. I've got the baseline to go back to. Just figured now that I have adjustments, try a few things and see if I can fine tune it to what works for me. I do appreciate the feedback!!
     
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  13. XRedJar

    XRedJar New Member

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    Sweet spot found:
    Settings as delivered to me were:
    Preload: 6 turns in

    Rebound: 2 turns in

    Compression: 1 1/2 turns in

    My adjustments:
    Preload: 6 1/2 turns in

    Rebound: 2 turns in

    Compression: 1 1/4 turns in

    Good compliance and firmness on the street. Steers very neutral, with the front and back ends of the bike working pretty well together. When I tried going firmer on compression I could feel the front and back out of sync a bit. I'll be upgrading the shock when possible. Then things should really get good.
     
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