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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picture this:

You, err, have a "friend" who, erm, wants to take his XR on the track or even hillclimb/sprint it :whistling:

"He's" on a limited budget and is considering lightweight wheels for all the obvious reasons, but has noticed that the Bitubo/Ohlins shock upgrade highlights how shoit the the forks are:001_9898:

So the question is this - spend the money on wheels (turn in quicker and shed some unsprung weight), but still have the forks unsettle the whole plot, or spend on a fork rebuild and gain the extra speed through sure-footedness?
 

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Carbon Fibre Hooligans
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569 Posts
Picture this:

You, err, have a "friend" who, erm, wants to take his XR on the track or even hillclimb/sprint it :whistling:

"He's" on a limited budget and is considering lightweight wheels for all the obvious reasons, but has noticed that the Bitubo/Ohlins shock upgrade highlights how shoit the the forks are:001_9898:

So the question is this - spend the money on wheels (turn in quicker and shed some unsprung weight), but still have the forks unsettle the whole plot, or spend on a fork rebuild and gain the extra speed through sure-footedness?
Gareth at Reactive suspension can rebuild your forks with Traxxion Dynamics cartridges for around GBP1000 (gulp!). Difference is night and day though!

Alternatively, give Rob Wittey a ring at PDQ in Surrey on 01753 730043. They are the UK agents for Race tech stuff, and I heard that Rob was looking for a 'donor' so that he could have a look at the XR1200 forks. Rob is a very talented engineer and very quick racer, so I would trust him with my bike any day. He is just too far away for me to drop my bike in to him to have a look at.

Lightweight wheels will of course give the front suspension an easier time though, so you may be able to get away with a change of springs and oil rather than a full upgrade if you go down that route?

If I was on a budget then I think I would go for the lightweight 17" front wheel first, along some fork upgrades (springs/oil). This will give the biggest benefit straight away.
I would add the rear wheel later.
 

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trophy Ohlins fork upgrade questions?

I am considering the Ohlins Trophy fork upgrade kit. It includes new springs matched to my weigth with proper preload on both forks and a new Ohlinns fully externally adjustable valve on one side only. Any opinions on this option compared to others? Thanks-Mort
 

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Warning! Fat people are harder to kidnap.
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Mort, Any time you have functioning suspension on only one side your handling will suffer. The side with the dampening will always be the most stable on that side of the bike and the other will suffer. If the dampening is on the left in a left hand turn you will be more stable. In a right hand turn lack of dampening on that side will "wind up" the chassis and create instability to the right. This is why the Harley BP forks are so good. They feel the same way in left and right hand turns and you can back off the spring preload if you are light. The Ohlins rear shocks are top quality but I'll put my BPF Showa front end against all others and come out ahead. Here's the kicker, the Showa forks cost less than the aftermarket kits and work better. That's a first!

The question about which is best Wheels or forks. The forks would be and were what I got first. Fully adjustable forks will allow you to adjust the suspension to make the bike handle correctly. The wheels are an advantage due to the light weight, better brakes and better tire choice but with a inferior suspension those advantages are going to less important. If you want to make the largest difference fit the front forks and good shocks and the front wheel only and save some coin. Suspension rules with weight and tires coming in second. :cool: Later,
 

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Thanks Billy

Thanks for your time in answering my question so thoroughly, Billy. My only concern about the Showa Big Piston forks is wether they are oversprung for my approx 150 lbs of weight(plus gear). I can't seem to find out what size/rate/type springs they have and if other sizes/rates are available if necessary for me to be able to adjust preload properly for accurate sag. There was one other member on the forum who weights in the 140 and could not get any sag with the new Showa forks. If anyone else knows the answer to the spring question, I would appreciate the info-Thanks-Mort
 

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Warning! Fat people are harder to kidnap.
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Mort, I weigh about 100 lbs more than you and I increased the spring preload to compensate. As long as the sag is between 1/2 and 1 inch you'll be fine. Get with Kevin because Kawasaki uses the BPF on some of their bikes and I'm sure someone has lighter springs if needed. You are going to be better off with forks that work. I'd try the BPFs with the preload backed off so see how the sag feels and how the bike handles overall. Or wear a backpack filled with bricks. LOL I think the Showa forks are the way to go and if you need softer springs they'll be available. If you get a kit installed with lighter spring and they're too light what then? Showas have preload adjustment. Just rug your neck a wright a check for the Harley forks, You'll love 'em. :cool: Later,
 

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Question for Kevin

Kevin-can you fill me in wether there are alternate spring choices for the XR1200 Showa BPF forks in the event I cannot achieve proper sag(weighing 150plus gear)? Thanks-Mort
 
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